Point Lookout: a free weekly publication of Chaco Canyon Consulting
Volume 9, Issue 11;   March 18, 2009: Pet Peeves About Work

Pet Peeves About Work

by

Last updated: August 8, 2018

Everybody has pet peeves about work. Here's a collection drawn from my own life, the lives of others, and my vivid imagination.
A speakerphone of a type in common use for teleconferences

A speakerphone of a type in common use for teleconferences. Some speakerphones, and some telephone connections, are half-duplex. That is, they permit transmission in only one direction at a time. Half-duplex facilities usually work just fine, but when someone is speaking, and one of the listeners wants to interrupt, the connection prohibits the interruption. Conversations over such connections are extremely frustrating.

I hate:

  • …that when you fall asleep on your keyboard, your face gets quilted.
  • …that my keyboard isn't drool-proof.
  • …that I can no longer see what's going on behind me because my new monitor has a no-glare screen.
  • …that there isn't any part of my monitor to clip my bicycle mirror to, and people laugh at me when I wear my helmet at work.
  • …that the woman from QA always interrupts me whenever I'm interrupting her.
  • …speakerphones that won't let you interrupt while someone at the other end is talking.
  • …that Windows crashes so often.
  • …that Windows doesn't crash often enough to be a reliable excuse for anything.
  • …that when you set the cell phones they give us on vibrate, you can still hear them.
  • …that my boss gives me bad advice that I have to follow.
  • …that when I follow my boss's bad advice and the thing implodes, it's my fault.
  • …that when someone calls me on a bad cell phone connection from under the airport public address system, I have to make up both ends of the conversation.
  • …that to tell whether the sun is shining I have to badge out.
  • …that nobody knows what business casual really means.
  • …that meetings start and end on the hour, with no time in between, so all our meetings start late.
  • …that I get more email than I can possibly read. If anyone really wants to reach me, they text me.
  • I hate that nobody knows
    what business casual
    really means
    …that I get more text messages that I can possibly read. If anyone really wants to reach me, they call me.
  • …that I get more voicemail than I can possibly listen to. If anyone really wants to reach me, they send me email.
  • …when they change a procedure nobody ever actually followed to some new, more complicated procedure that nobody will ever actually follow.
  • …when people CC me so I'll know that one of my direct reports screwed up again. Do they think I don't already know?
  • …when my boss tells me what she firmly believes, then asks for my honest opinion.
  • …that our whiteboard markers are always dry. I think they must come that way out of the box.
  • …when someone puts me on speaker and it's just us on the call, I know they're doing something with their hands but I can't imagine what.
  • …when I have to drop the 17 things I'm doing to get training in managing multiple tasks.
  • …when a drop dead showstopper problem that I've been busting my tail to resolve for three weeks is suddenly reclassified as non-critical just after I fix it.

I'm sure you have some pet peeves of your own. Don't send them to me. I hate that. (just kidding) Go to top Top  Next issue: Coping with Layoff Survival  Next Issue

52 Tips for Leaders of Project-Oriented OrganizationsAre your projects always (or almost always) late and over budget? Are your project teams plagued by turnover, burnout, and high defect rates? Turn your culture around. Read 52 Tips for Leaders of Project-Oriented Organizations, filled with tips and techniques for organizational leaders. Order Now!

Your comments are welcome

Would you like to see your comments posted here? rbrenScPtvnzKveidkAvRner@ChacCThqmNsTgkSWSuKnoCanyon.comSend me your comments by email, or by Web form.

About Point Lookout

Thank you for reading this article. I hope you enjoyed it and found it useful, and that you'll consider recommending it to a friend.

Point Lookout is a free weekly email newsletter. Browse the archive of past issues. Subscribe for free.

Support Point Lookout by joining the Friends of Point Lookout, as an individual or as an organization.

Do you face a complex interpersonal situation? Send it in, anonymously if you like, and I'll give you my two cents.

Related articles

More articles on Personal, Team, and Organizational Effectiveness:

Answering machine controlsAt the Sound of the Tone, Hang Up
When the phone rings, do you drop whatever you're doing to answer it? Do you interrupt face-to-face conversations with live people to respond to the jerk of your cellular leash? Listen to seemingly endless queues of voicemail messages? Here are some reminders of the choices we sometimes forget we have.
ClamsEnjoy Every Part of the Clam
Age discrimination runs deep, well beyond the hiring decision. When we value each other on the basis of age, we can deprive ourselves and our companies of the treasures we all have to offer.
An iphone 4sVirtual Communications: II
Participating in or managing a virtual team presents special communications challenges. Here's Part II of some guidelines for communicating with members of virtual teams.
The Johari WindowAssumptions and the Johari Window: II
The roots of both creative and destructive conflict can often be traced to the differing assumptions of the parties to the conflict. Here's Part II of an essay on surfacing these differences using a tool called the Johari window.
The damaged Apollo 13 Service Module, as seen from the command moduleHealthy Practices
Some organizational cultures are healthy; some aren't. How can you tell whether your organizational culture is healthy? Here are some indicators.

See also Personal, Team, and Organizational Effectiveness and Managing Your Boss for more related articles.

Forthcoming issues of Point Lookout

The road to Cottonwood Pass, ColoradoComing April 24: Big, Complicated Problems
Big, complicated problems can be difficult to solve. Even contemplating them can be daunting. But we can survive them if we get advice we can trust, know our resources, recall solutions to past problems, find workarounds, or as a last resort, escape. Available here and by RSS on April 24.
Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD)And on May 1: Full Disclosure
The term "full disclosure" is now a fairly common phrase, especially in news interviews and in film and fiction thrillers involving government employees or attorneys. It also has relevance in the knowledge workplace, and nuances associated with it can affect your credibility. Available here and by RSS on May 1.

Coaching services

I offer email and telephone coaching at both corporate and individual rates. Contact Rick for details at rbrenYVhnvrKmILeuNbwGner@ChacNTmKuEdkJXJUoAvgoCanyon.com or (650) 787-6475, or toll-free in the continental US at (866) 378-5470.

Get the ebook!

Past issues of Point Lookout are available in six ebooks:

Reprinting this article

Are you a writer, editor or publisher on deadline? Are you looking for an article that will get people talking and get compliments flying your way? You can have 500 words in your inbox in one hour. License any article from this Web site. More info

Public seminars

The Power Affect: How We Express Our Personal Power
Many The Power Affect: How We Express Personal Powerpeople who possess real organizational power have a characteristic demeanor. It's the way they project their presence. I call this the power affect. Some people — call them power pretenders — adopt the power affect well before they attain significant organizational power. Unfortunately for their colleagues, and for their organizations, power pretenders can attain organizational power out of proportion to their merit or abilities. Understanding the power affect is therefore important for anyone who aims to attain power, or anyone who works with power pretenders. Read more about this program.

Follow Rick

Send email or subscribe to one of my newsletters Follow me at LinkedIn Follow me at Twitter, or share a tweet Subscribe to RSS feeds Subscribe to RSS feeds
The message of Point Lookout is unique. Help get the message out. Please donate to help keep Point Lookout available for free to everyone.
Technical Debt for Policymakers BlogMy blog, Technical Debt for Policymakers, offers resources, insights, and conversations of interest to policymakers who are concerned with managing technical debt within their organizations. Get the millstone of technical debt off the neck of your organization!
Go For It: Sometimes It's Easier If You RunBad boss, long commute, troubling ethical questions, hateful colleague? Learn what we can do when we love the work but not the job.
303 Tips for Virtual and Global TeamsLearn how to make your virtual global team sing.
101 Tips for Managing ChangeAre you managing a change effort that faces rampant cynicism, passive non-cooperation, or maybe even outright revolt?
101 Tips for Effective MeetingsLearn how to make meetings more productive — and more rare.
Exchange your "personal trade secrets" — the tips, tricks and techniques that make you an ace — with other aces, anonymously. Visit the Library of Personal Trade Secrets.