Do you work with people that annoy you?

annoyed staff

If your co-workers are driving you crazy, you are not alone. Career experts Christine Lambden and Casey Conner have thirty combined years of consulting experience and have encountered and worked with people of all personalities. They have authored a new book together called,
Everyday Practices of Extraordinary Consultants, and they are revealing their list of “The Thirteen Most Annoying People To Work With”:

  • Pontification Person – This person goes on and on, telling you what they are going to say, saying it and then telling you what they said.
  • Um Person – To avoid losing control of the conversation, this co-worker fills every pause with “Um,” not realizing that they might be able to think better if they weren’t talking.
  • Too Much Detail Person – ‘nuff said.
  • 50,000 Foot-Only Person – He or she is eloquent when you talk about the big picture, but refuses to allow anyone to get into the details…which we all know is where the real work gets done. Unless you’re the CEO of a multi-national corporation, you have to be willing to work at any altitude.
  • Hypnotized-by-Email-Person – If you go to the trouble to think of a meeting topic, send out an invitation, invent an agenda and prepare slides, you naturally expect people who show up for your meeting to pay attention while you talk. Wireless technology has made it possible for people to multi-task very effectively, but there is nothing more defeating than presenting to the tops of the people’s heads because everyone at the conference table is hunched over his or her laptop.
  • Buzzword Person – This employee is annoying in meetings, team rooms and in cubicles. In fact, this person is just plain annoying all the time.
  • Foul Language Person – Much like Buzzword Person, this co-worker is obviously too lazy to think of the right words to express what they are thinking, if indeed they are thinking at all, but this person isn’t trying to impress you with his knowledge. They aren’t trying to impress you at all. They don’t care what you think of them.
  • Reiteration Person – If the only contribution you have to make at work is to restate what has already been said, you don’t have any contribution to make.
  • Too-Busy-To-Be-Prompt Person – If you are always late to work or every meeting, there is something wrong with the way you manage your schedule or time. Fix this behavior. It’s rude.
  • Can’t-Control-the-Meeting Person and their arch-nemesis Wants-To-Take-Over-the-Meeting Person.
  • Secondary-Conversation People – These folks are only annoying if their conversation is less interesting than the meeting.
  • Disagrees-With-Everything Person – This co-worker honestly believes he is just being practical, or serving as the Voice Of Reason, or playing Devil’s Advocate. This may be true sometimes, and even helpful occasionally, but when it becomes a habit, everyone else just tunes them out. Don’t give up your influence by being this person.
  • Obscure Metaphor Person – This employee is as annoying as the fool in a troupe of Morris dancers. (See? Wasn’t that annoying?).

Have you worked with any of the personality types on this list? What do you think is the most annoying work personality?

19 comments Add your comment


March 22nd, 2009
9:45 am

what about the sneaky person who walks quietly behind you in your cubicle to grab a sneak peak at your work, hoping to find an idea he can steal? what about the person who never uses email so all information-sharing is verbal and grandiose no matter how insignificant? what about the person who bathes in cologne and you can smell them a mile away? what about the person who in every conversation points out the inefficiency of others or the process as if we don’t already know? the person that refuses to answer a direct question because they fear they’re going to be judged and wastes time by avoiding? i could go on but i don’t like to spend sunday thinking about it.


March 22nd, 2009
10:04 am

What about the person who is SO attentive to exactly when everyone punches in, goes to lunch, comes back, punches out, and if everyone fulfills the letter of the law in their job description. And yet they refuse to be helpful when you’re swamped and could use a hand for a day or two? That kind of Rules Lawyer is destructive to any kind of team building.


March 22nd, 2009
10:15 am

I started to read this article that was written by Joy Johnston but once I got to where she said, “Pontification Person – This person goes on and on, telling you what their going to say, saying it and then telling you what they said.”, I couldn’t read any more. With writers who can’t distinguish between they’re and their, it’s no wonder your newspaper is loosing readership and going down the tubes.

32 Years In

March 22nd, 2009
10:26 am

Hey, Hook…it’s losing, not loosing


March 22nd, 2009
10:40 am

Gee, then does that mean I’m qualified to be a writer for the AJC?


March 22nd, 2009
10:47 am

What about those consultants who don’t know anything, but are consultants type of people? They are the most annoying group of co-workers for the time they are with the company. When the job is suppose to be complete, the long term employees spend the next year cleaning up after them.

Casual Observer

March 22nd, 2009
11:08 am

32 years In- That was CLASSIC.


March 22nd, 2009
11:46 am

what about the coworkers that are negative all the time and have been with the company forever!! if you don’t like what you are doing move on!!


March 22nd, 2009
12:07 pm

I work in a call center in Marietta and the one type of co-worker that they didn’t mention was the “I think I know better than the boss” co-worker. We have one lady here That despite being writen up, suspended and chastized by my bosses still thinks that her way is the best way and doesn’t care what she’s told about how to do her job correctly. If it’s not her way it’s the wrong way. Wonder if she’ll feel like her way is the best way when she finally gets fired?


March 22nd, 2009
12:15 pm

Those adults who had Attention Deficiet Disorder when children who grow up to be co-workers who can’t do anything that requires planning or sequential thinking. It is like working with a pin ball machine, where the ideas just bounce around and around.

Don’t plan, just do it. And then if it don’t work, fix it. And then fix it again.

And if it don’t work then, just do something else. But don’t plan. Just do it and move on. Why are you taking so long? Just do it.

another observer

March 22nd, 2009
12:38 pm

What about the nit-picker? You know the one that waits anxiously, ready to pounce on any instance of incorrect grammar, or misspelled word? Do these people have a clue how annoying they are and how little anyone else cares about a misspelled or misused word? Or are they so desperate to show off their superior grammar skills that they’re blind to how petty and pathetic they look?


March 22nd, 2009
12:42 pm

The only people who drive me crazy are the lazy thugs at work. These black girls are overweight and do nothing but complain, worry about when they can go home, and when lunch is. I never see them working too! Why are they so lazy? Pretty obviously why you rarely see black CEO’s, Presidents, VP’s, etc.


March 22nd, 2009
12:51 pm

No, classic is Hook asking if he’s qualified to be an AJC reporter. Thanks for the humour guys.


March 22nd, 2009
3:04 pm

My personal unfavorites when I worked in an office were the gossip types who were so busy spreading discord among their fellow employees they never got much else done,the interupter who never let you finish a sentence,or if you were in a conversation with someone, they interupted like the little buttinski’s that they were. Then there was one who did nothing but make or take personal calls all day and having to hear them say,”I love you”50 million times a day.Lastly, the ones who insist on playing their music so loud and sometimes over and over if it’s a favorite and they just “love this song”!


March 22nd, 2009
3:08 pm

I forgot about the one who controlled every meeting with their tears. They would manipulate with whining and crying for literally 2 hours or more so every meeting you’d feel completely exhausted!!!!

Casey Conner

March 23rd, 2009
9:19 am

This is Casey Conner (yes, they misspelled my name above, but no matter), one of the authors of the book. Thanks for all the comments…this topic always drums up great conversation and is lots of fun. Our book has quite a few more “Don’t Be ‘That Guy’” points such as “Body Odor Guy and his wife, Too Much Perfume Lady” and “Instant Best Friend”. The book itself is really about how to get along at work, have integrity and communicate effectively with anyone. It’s got “Consultants” in the title, but it’s a good, easy (and, we’ve been told, fun) read for anyone. Again…thank you all!

The Grunter

March 26th, 2009
2:31 pm

We have a lot of grunters, throat clearers and hockers. OK if you have a cold, but these folks snort, grunt, talk to themselves and clear their throats every day for months now. Keep your bodily noises to yourself. Loud gigglers too! Get a cough drop or something. The behavior makes me wonder how many germs are floating around in the office. It is to the point where I use ear plugs daily so I can concentrate on my work rather than listen to the harmony of nasal noises.


April 6th, 2009
9:38 pm

“Pretty obviously why you rarely see black CEO’s, Presidents, VP’s, etc.”

Yeah, a black President? THAT will never happen!


February 12th, 2010
7:51 pm