Etiquette Hell

A Civil World. Off-topic discussions on a variety of topics. Guests, register for forum membership to see all the boards. => Time For a Coffee Break! => Topic started by: bopper on October 05, 2012, 09:50:34 AM

Title: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: bopper on October 05, 2012, 09:50:34 AM

This Subboard summed up in a single article

http://www.cracked.com/blog/6-petty-things-that-start-wars-in-every-office/
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: LeveeWoman on October 05, 2012, 10:11:01 AM

This Subboard summed up in a single article

http://www.cracked.com/blog/6-petty-things-that-start-wars-in-every-office/

Thank you very much for the laughter, bopper!
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: LazyDaisy on October 05, 2012, 10:57:38 AM
Funny and so true of every office I've ever worked for. But the author totally ignored the most controversial place of all -- the office fridge. Someone is always leaving their food to rot and stink up the whole floor, prompting someone to empty it all out... or the person who attempts to store a months worth of food in a fridge shared by 30 people... and then the food thieves!...  I can only assume the author is so traumatized by the office fridge that he can't even utter it's name. The humble refrigerator door is truly where the best passive aggressive notes appear.
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: Really? on October 05, 2012, 11:21:11 AM
ROTF, the burnt popcorn brought back lots of unpleasant memories.
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: Firecat on October 05, 2012, 12:03:34 PM
I'll admit, I'm mildly annoyed by the people who don't clear the microwave time. But only mildly annoyed, because I think it's more considerate to try to leave a communal item ready for the next person to use. Which means I'm also annoyed by the person who has something cook over and make a mess, and doesn't bother to attempt to clean it up.
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: Kaypeep on October 05, 2012, 12:26:14 PM
They forgot to add:

7.  The people who eat at their desks.  And the food is usually messy or smelly. OR, they chew everything with their mouth open and gross out the people around them.

Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: cicero on October 05, 2012, 01:38:19 PM
the fridge, definitely.

also -
8. people who use the last of the milk/sugar/sweetener etc and don't put in a new one, or
8a. people who use the last of [supply] and forget to inform the office manager to order more.

9. printer! annoying people who send things to the printer all.day.long, leave them there, forget about them, and then 3 days later print the same things again.

10. people who take things off your desk "just for a sec" (pen, stapler)
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: anonever13 on October 05, 2012, 02:13:15 PM
I'd like to add another microwave one he missed.  The people who take someone else's food out of the microwave the second the timer goes off, not giving the person who is microwaving a chance to see if their lunch is fully cooked or not.  (Can you tell that's happened to me?   ;D)  Alternatively, people who start cooking their food in the microwave then leave the break room, not coming back until long after their food is done cooking, thereby holding up the microwave. 

I guess this is like laundromat etiquette, only with microwaves. 
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: camlan on October 05, 2012, 02:29:49 PM
There's also the people who leave dirty dishes in the sink. Forever.

My last office, this was a huge problem. It was a small, family-owned company. The owner had made it clear, many times, that she really didn't like finding dirty dishes in the sink every time she entered the kitchen. But there were several people on staff who would eat lunch, leave their dishes in the sink, and "take a break" later in the day to come back and wash them. Just a way to get out of doing 10 minutes of work. Or they forgot and didn't come back until the next day.

When we were moving to a new office building, we had the opportunity to put a dishwasher in the break room. But the owner decided that we "didn't deserve one," because of all the people who didn't wash their dishes promptly. It was such a little thing--just wash what you have dirtied.
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: Cat-Fu on October 05, 2012, 02:31:37 PM
The Thermostat Wars at my current job are brutal. One thermostat makes one office bearable, and the other untolerably hot or cold. No matter what you do, the meeting room outside my cube remains 9th-circle-of-hell-cold, and it rolls out into my cube. I wear a sweater and stay out of it.

I do eat in my cube, unless I have curry, so I am a jerk in that respect. :P

ETA: At my last job, people would burn their food (especially popcorn) all the time. There were all sorts of rude notes on the microwave. One day someone supposedly burned their tea... sure didn't smell like tea... more like illegal herbal supplements.  :-X
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: bansidhe on October 05, 2012, 02:50:15 PM
I'll admit, I'm mildly annoyed by the people who don't clear the microwave time.

This drives me absolutely nuts. I check ours every time I go into the break room and clear them if necessary. (Don't worry: I kind of enjoy being OCD.)

A co-worker at a former job thought this trait was hilarious. After I left that job, he took a video of one of the microwaves there flashing because its time wasn't cleared and e-mailed it to me.  :D
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: Amara on October 05, 2012, 02:51:59 PM
Also missing:

(1) People who do not clean up their messes in the microwave:
I remember a student worker who put her bowl of tomato soup in the microwave where it apparently got hot enough to spill a good amount of it over onto the oven's plate. I was waiting to use it when she came up, opened the door, and just picked up her bowl and started to leave. I couldn't believe it and I was suddenly angry enough to say, "Aren't you going to clean up your own mess?" (I wanted to add a lot more that would not have been polite but refrained.) She silently got some towels and did clean it up but never spoke a word to me again. Good riddance when she finally left.

(2) People who do not clean the oven or microwave even though they use them all the time:
Do people really never clean their own ovens or refrigerators at home? Or do they just think that they shouldn't have to do it at work even though they use them all the time? I swear there are some who must live with black mold in their refrigerators given their habits and unconcern at work.

Unreal.
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: Cami on October 05, 2012, 04:05:44 PM
There's also the people who leave dirty dishes in the sink. Forever.

My last office, this was a huge problem. It was a small, family-owned company. The owner had made it clear, many times, that she really didn't like finding dirty dishes in the sink every time she entered the kitchen. But there were several people on staff who would eat lunch, leave their dishes in the sink, and "take a break" later in the day to come back and wash them. Just a way to get out of doing 10 minutes of work. Or they forgot and didn't come back until the next day.

When we were moving to a new office building, we had the opportunity to put a dishwasher in the break room. But the owner decided that we "didn't deserve one," because of all the people who didn't wash their dishes promptly. It was such a little thing--just wash what you have dirtied.

Oh, that's a huge one here.

I'd add -- the people who microwave foods with obnoxious odors like fish, broccoli, brussels sprouts and cauliflower.
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: cheyne on October 05, 2012, 09:06:54 PM
They forgot to add:

7.  The people who eat at their desks.  And the food is usually messy or smelly. OR, they chew everything with their mouth open and gross out the people around them.

Guess I'm one of the jerks then.  If I don't eat at my desk-I don't eat.  I work 14 hour days both Spring and Fall.  Sorry but I can't go 14 hours without something to eat, especially when I am doing physical labor like loading fertilizer tenders, filling anhydrous tanks and loading/unloading chemical.

In some jobs you have no choice of where you eat.  It's the nature of the job to eat when and where you have a spare moment or you don't eat at all.
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: MagicEyes on October 05, 2012, 09:33:01 PM
Burnt popcorn is bad, but I can top that. One time, one of my coworkers burnt fish in the microwave.  :o It was more than a bad smell. It hit you right in the face when you walked down the hall, and it actually made me feel physically ill. It still smelled awful the next day (and I think I ended up spraying the hall with an odor neutralizer that we usually keep in the bathroom to get rid of the smell). It's bad enough to microwave fish at work, but it's so much worse to let it burn.
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: GSNW on October 05, 2012, 10:13:50 PM
I don't think eating at one's desk is an automatic issue unless, like someone said, you have a very strong-odorded lunch.  It reminds me of the episode of The Office where Pam is having sensitive nose issues due to pregnancy.  She asks Dwight not to eat hard boiled eggs at his desk, he refuses, so she barfs right into the trash can at her desk (in front of everyone).  Not a great solution but got a laugh for TV :)
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: cicero on October 06, 2012, 06:14:01 AM
I don't think eating at one's desk is an automatic issue unless, like someone said, you have a very strong-odorded lunch. It reminds me of the episode of The Office where Pam is having sensitive nose issues due to pregnancy.  She asks Dwight not to eat hard boiled eggs at his desk, he refuses, so she barfs right into the trash can at her desk (in front of everyone).  Not a great solution but got a laugh for TV :)
I agree. we don't have a place to eat lunch so we have to eat at our desks. we're considerate of each other, and don't bring fish (unless it's eaten cold) or raw onion etc.
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: BarensMom on October 06, 2012, 08:44:48 AM
The office fridge is a battleground waiting to happen, I agree.  I used to clean the office fridge and I would send out e-mails every day for a week, put signs on the break room and fridge door stating "the fridge will be emptied and removed for cleaning on Friday, xx/xx, after 3 p.m. - any items left will be dumped."  Of course, someone would always start screaming, "Where's my lunch, tupperware, salad dressing, etc." around 3:30 p.m.

Other battles were caused by people not refilling paper/toner into the shared printers/copier after they printed off the corporate equivalent of "War and Peace."
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: Firecat on October 06, 2012, 09:30:56 AM
I don't think eating at one's desk is an automatic issue unless, like someone said, you have a very strong-odorded lunch. It reminds me of the episode of The Office where Pam is having sensitive nose issues due to pregnancy.  She asks Dwight not to eat hard boiled eggs at his desk, he refuses, so she barfs right into the trash can at her desk (in front of everyone).  Not a great solution but got a laugh for TV :)
I agree. we don't have a place to eat lunch so we have to eat at our desks. we're considerate of each other, and don't bring fish (unless it's eaten cold) or raw onion etc.

A lot of people where I work eat at their desks, too. Some of us because we work through lunch, others because we use that time to check personal email and such (which is ok where I work, so long as it's not excessive or NSFW).
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: FauxFoodist on October 06, 2012, 11:06:43 AM
I don't think eating at one's desk is an automatic issue unless, like someone said, you have a very strong-odorded lunch. It reminds me of the episode of The Office where Pam is having sensitive nose issues due to pregnancy.  She asks Dwight not to eat hard boiled eggs at his desk, he refuses, so she barfs right into the trash can at her desk (in front of everyone).  Not a great solution but got a laugh for TV :)
I agree. we don't have a place to eat lunch so we have to eat at our desks. we're considerate of each other, and don't bring fish (unless it's eaten cold) or raw onion etc.

A lot of people where I work eat at their desks, too. Some of us because we work through lunch, others because we use that time to check personal email and such (which is ok where I work, so long as it's not excessive or NSFW).

Funny, none of those items in the article would or have caused problems in my current office, and most of the things mentioned by posters are not a problem either.  I think the only issues we have (but not big enough to be "war-worthy") are the messy microwave.  No one burns popcorn, no one cares about strongly odored food and no one cares about eating at our desks.  Except for two people in my office, ALL of us eat at our desks on a regular basis (I work in a hospital and we don't have a break room so the options to eat elsewhere are really outside at concrete tables and benches or about a block away at the hospital cafeteria -- not worth the walk when most of us also bring our lunches).  However, we all have cubicles and face the wall so it would be a bit difficult for anyone to watch us eating.  A lot of us also often have strongly odored food from time to time so it wouldn't make sense for anyone to complain (only one person, Evil Coworker, tends to complain about anything, but the battles she creates are against me and since I now sit at the opposite end of the office separated by a long hallway, she isn't affected by me doing things that would infuriate her if I were near her, like eating at my desk or eating something with a strong scent -- only me, though; she wouldn't care if it were anyone else...and her bullying is why I now sit at a different end of the office and why I have a different supervisor).  I have to say I am blessed this time around with an office that gets along pretty well.

OTOH -- the commercial real estate brokerage where I worked years ago did have some fairly entitled brokers in it.  The receptionist (an almost always accommodating person) finally had enough of the dirty dishes one day and made a sign she posted above the sink stating everyone was responsible for washing their own dishes (the brokers kept leaving dirty lunch dishes and utensils in the sink).  It was never part of OUR jobs to wash THEIR dishes.
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: Winterlight on October 06, 2012, 04:39:13 PM
Funny and so true of every office I've ever worked for. But the author totally ignored the most controversial place of all -- the office fridge. Someone is always leaving their food to rot and stink up the whole floor, prompting someone to empty it all out... or the person who attempts to store a months worth of food in a fridge shared by 30 people... and then the food thieves!...  I can only assume the author is so traumatized by the office fridge that he can't even utter it's name. The humble refrigerator door is truly where the best passive aggressive notes appear.

Oh, dear heavens, the fridge. I've seen it cause civil insurrections in departments!
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: andi on October 06, 2012, 08:24:34 PM
At my one office the smoke detector was right outside the break room and went off at least once a week with one person's burned popcorn. We got fined by the fire Marshall because it was going off so often and popcorn was banned from the building (we had the microwaves taken out for a while )
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: Dazi on October 06, 2012, 08:39:45 PM
I think my offices number one war starter is the people doing number two in the bathrooms that are in the general office area vs the far better ventilated ones in the hall and then super spraying with even stinker air freshener...even after repeated reminders (true emergencies exempt of course).

Next would be the bathroom, kitchen, microwave, fridge dirtiers that just leave their mess.

People putting insulated lunch boxes in the fridge, taking up all the space so people who don't have monstrous lunch boxes can't find a place for their food.   >:(  This is one of my biggest peeves.  Insulated means the cold doesn't get in either, geniuses.  Tip:  if you want your lunch box to stay colder, store it open in your freezer and the put a blue ice that is the as close to the same size as your container on top of your food...it works splendidly.

Chair wars...or just supplies in general.

Lunch and break times, especially for offices that don't have a strict time policy.
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: White Dragon on October 07, 2012, 12:02:33 AM
Our current issue is the dishwasher, and I am admittedly probably the person most affected and thus annoyed.

Generally, people are really good about putting their stuff in the dishwasher and helping unload it.
My job is to make sure the dishwasher gets loaded and run as needed.

People have taken to trying to add items mid-cycle - which makes me wonder how clean they'll end up being. But the real issue is that they don't restart the machine after they interrupt the cycle.
Last Friday, I came in to find the machine had sat half done and full of dirty water overnight.
I restarted it.
Came back an hour later to empty it - only to find it stopped again.
I had no way of knowing just how clean it was, so I cancelled the cycle and started over.
Very frustrating!!

And now the big argument is whether or not we should let people put stuff in while the machine is running, or leave it in the sink.
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: Amara on October 07, 2012, 11:05:44 AM
Could there be an agreement that everyone thoroughly rinses and puts their dishes in the dishwasher but it isn't started until the end (or nearly the end--so it has time to end and be unloaded) of the workday?
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: pixel dust on October 07, 2012, 11:34:40 AM
There's also the people who leave dirty dishes in the sink. Forever.

My last office, this was a huge problem. It was a small, family-owned company. The owner had made it clear, many times, that she really didn't like finding dirty dishes in the sink every time she entered the kitchen. But there were several people on staff who would eat lunch, leave their dishes in the sink, and "take a break" later in the day to come back and wash them. Just a way to get out of doing 10 minutes of work. Or they forgot and didn't come back until the next day.

When we were moving to a new office building, we had the opportunity to put a dishwasher in the break room. But the owner decided that we "didn't deserve one," because of all the people who didn't wash their dishes promptly. It was such a little thing--just wash what you have dirtied.

We have this issue at my office too... But the main culprit is the owner. Luckily his wife also works there and she has no qualms about yelling at him about it.
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: Sirius on October 07, 2012, 12:01:01 PM
Where I used to work I had some highly coveted office supplies  - an electric stapler and probably the only decent-functioning two-hole punch in the place - because of the work I did.  I guarded them with my life.  They both had my name on them, and were only loaned to people who I knew would bring them back.  I also had some medical word books that I owned that were well labeled, and if people borrowed them and didn't put them back they'd lose their lending library privileges. 

This one was good, though:  We got a new NCOIC (the sergeant in charge.)  He wanted my space for his office, until I pointed out all the equipment I had that would have to be moved (special printer, modem, two computers, two file cabinets, my books.  I stayed where I was.
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: FauxFoodist on October 07, 2012, 12:24:34 PM
This one was good, though:  We got a new NCOIC (the sergeant in charge.)  He wanted my space for his office, until I pointed out all the equipment I had that would have to be moved (special printer, modem, two computers, two file cabinets, my books.  I stayed where I was.

Unlike you, Evil Coworker (ECW) coveted my spot so she got Evil (Now Former) Supervisor (ENFS) to trade our cubicles (and she lied that she was the one that prompted this trade since it made absolutely no sense -- our cubicles were next to each other and shared a wall).  Because I was put in her old cubicle, the lighting was a lot stronger and was causing me physical difficulty (caused increasing pressure in my head).  So, I did what I was told (by another party) would be okay -- I contacted maintenance to reduce the lighting above my cubicle.  When maintenance showed up to do so, ECW had a major cow on the floor then, as always, ENFS came out and started berating me right in front of the maintenance guy (also a hospital employee so someone who could file an internal complaint regarding what took place).  Nice Coworker (who, I didn't know, had been witnessing the harassment and bullying of me since day one of my employment) finally had enough, went to our department director and not only told him what happened but how long it had been happening (which finally confirmed my complaint 1.5 years prior that ENFS was harassing me -- he lied when confronted and I couldn't prove it so, except for a few months of peace, he went back to what he was doing as it brought pleasure to ECW).

Anyway, happy ending, since I finally had someone who could corroborate my story, I knew I could go in with power behind my complaint, insisted that ENFS be removed as my supervisor since he had proven he could not be trusted to be an impartial supervisor and I got moved to the other end of the office.  Life has been much better for over 1.5 years now, and that has chapped ECW's hide even more.  All this took place just because she had to try to stick it to me yet again and take my cubicle (and given that my area had to decide among them who would be my supervisor, the entire office knows what those two had been doing for 2.5 years).

BTW -- if someone here is wondering why NCW (and others around us who I didn't realize could hear everything) didn't step up and say something sooner -- I really don't know.  It never occurred to me when I first complained that there were any witnesses to what was going on, and I can't/won't fault them for not getting involved (and, since I didn't talk to any of them about what was going on, they might've wondered why in the world I was putting up with it).  I think it was when I got berated in front of someone from an outside department, thus making OUR department look horrible, that it was the last straw for NCW.
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: flowersintheattic on October 07, 2012, 01:14:16 PM
I find it funny that none of the items on the list are really a problem in my office. No one makes popcorn, no one complains about strong smells, and most people eat at their desk. The receptionist is the one who washes the dishes at the end of the day, but issues can arise when she's not in.

The main thing that causes problems at my work is the use of speaker phones. We're an office share - three separate law firms in the same office suite. Myself and two co-workers have offices in a hallway the opposite direction from the rest of the offices, and the walls in our area are very thin. The three offices are in a row, with my firm's paralegal the first one you hit, then mine, then an attorney from another firm. For awhile, she'd use the speaker phone constantly. On what seemed to be a very loud volume (it sounded loud in my office, but wasn't as loud in the hallway, though it was loud enough that our paralegal could overhear), for long periods of time. She's stopped doing it now, thankfully.
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: HorseFreak on October 07, 2012, 01:35:46 PM
At my workplace the shared fridge is a major issue. One person likes to take it upon herself to remove or throw away EVERYTHING inside without notice, usually on a Friday afternoon. I have witnesses that saw her eating my lunch that I left for the next Monday since I had gone out for lunch Friday. I label everything with my name and it doesn't matter, she just trashes it.
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: Catananche on October 07, 2012, 02:46:49 PM
Ah, the fridge cleaner. We had one of those as well, until we started labelling food not only with our names but also with a CAN BE THROWN AWAY AFTER *DATE*. She was happy she could throw away stuff and we didn't lose our precious food.

One of our biggest office discussions was about the windows. People would randomly open windows and mess up the office climate control. It would be blazing heat on one side of the building and blazing freezing air on the other side. The window-openers couldn't be persuaded to leave the windows closed.

Another one was the radio: people complained about the station, the volume, people humming along, people singing along and people turning the radio off. It was very annoying for those of us who didn't really care about the music.
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: Outdoor Girl on October 07, 2012, 04:46:42 PM
Someone posted a sign on our fridge last week.

'It's so cute!  People are starting to name their food.  I ate a tuna sandwich named 'Kevin' today.'
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: Lady Snowdon on October 07, 2012, 05:34:07 PM
My company posts signs on all the fridge doors of what days they will be cleaned out for the entire year.  It's usually once a month, on a specific Friday.  Since it's up for the entire year, people aren't really able to complain that they didn't know, since they've had to look at the sheet every day they put something in there!  I'm grateful for that one, since everything else about the fridges causes a war.  We have something like 4 fridges for over 200 people on my floor, and people are constantly doing things like going grocery shopping on their lunch hour and putting their groceries in the fridge, or bringing in 20 of something to last for the whole month, or trying to cram 50 huge insulated lunch bags into one fridge (which causes my stuff that's not in a reinforced lunch bag to be smashed). 
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: Adelaide on October 07, 2012, 05:44:23 PM
I have a story about #4: Kids' Fundraisers. One of the secretaries (a girl about 22, my age) walked around the office soliciting donations. They weren't even for her child. Apparently another secretary was "too shy" to ask for donations, so this girl was doing it for her. She was soliciting donations to get a 13-year-old autistic girl almost $2000 worth of cheerleading equipment and a uniform. The secretary kept saying "Girl's Mom wanted to go around and ask everyone, but she was too shy to do it so I am!"

I turned her down. She walked up to me, cheerleading catalog in hand, and stuck it under my nose to point out things that the kid needed. I just said "No, I'm afraid that won't be possible." (Thanks to ehell for that phrase.) The girl soliciting stared at me like I'd grown a third eye. She kept throwing out points like "She's autistic" to which I would say "Okay." and "She's only 13."  "...okay." and "She really wants to be a cheerleader." "...okay." This secretary just could not get that I wasn't going to give any of my minimum-wage paycheck to her. I noticed that the secretaries were somewhat frosty to me after that, but I really didn't care.  I never even figured out which one of them was the actual mother!
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: Pippen on October 07, 2012, 06:25:24 PM
I have a story about #4: Kids' Fundraisers. One of the secretaries (a girl about 22, my age) walked around the office soliciting donations. They weren't even for her child. Apparently another secretary was "too shy" to ask for donations, so this girl was doing it for her. She was soliciting donations to get a 13-year-old autistic girl almost $2000 worth of cheerleading equipment and a uniform. The secretary kept saying "Girl's Mom wanted to go around and ask everyone, but she was too shy to do it so I am!"

I turned her down. She walked up to me, cheerleading catalog in hand, and stuck it under my nose to point out things that the kid needed. I just said "No, I'm afraid that won't be possible." (Thanks to ehell for that phrase.) The girl soliciting stared at me like I'd grown a third eye. She kept throwing out points like "She's autistic" to which I would say "Okay." and "She's only 13."  "...okay." and "She really wants to be a cheerleader." "...okay." This secretary just could not get that I wasn't going to give any of my minimum-wage paycheck to her. I noticed that the secretaries were somewhat frosty to me after that, but I really didn't care.  I never even figured out which one of them was the actual mother!

There was a thread on here a while back about a director using the companies personal contact list to send out solicitations to employees at their home address for her children's private school activities. I wonder what the outcome of that was.
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: Bijou on October 07, 2012, 07:07:16 PM
All true. 
Plus, nothing is worse than a clique.  There was one where we worked and no less than three of the people who got pulled into it came to me and complained that the 'leader' had shared with others confidential information they told her was for her ears only.  They all were confused, "I thought she was my friend".
On the coffee, we had the coffee wars, and that was when I bought a one of those cup and funnel sets for making one cup at a time and supplied all my own stuff. 
We ended up assigning a different work department to clean the kitchen every Friday and when you have to be involved in cleaning up the joint, you are a little more careful. 
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: TheaterDiva1 on October 07, 2012, 10:41:36 PM
I can't believe no one mentioned flushing toilets (or should I say, not flushing well enough or at all).  Seriously - it just takes a minute to flush, watch and make sure everything goes down, and flush again if necessary.  I'm tired of finding paper (or worse) floating in the bowl when I go on there!
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: girlysprite on October 08, 2012, 06:45:38 AM
At my previous company, two departments switched fridges, because one was much bigger. No issue there. However, the smaller fridge that now went to smaller department hadn't been cleaned out yet. And it was gross - there was even mold growing inside it. I kept going over to big department and demanded that someone from that department would clean it. After several demands one person caved in. However, the irony was that this one person never used the fridge at all. I gave him a bucket of candy as my thanks for doing this. The department got a big scolding from boss.

On dishwashers - dishwashers don't solve the 'dishes in sink' issue. You see, if the washer is full with clean dishes, no one wants to take out those clean dishes, and end up with putting their dirty dishes in the sink.
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: oz diva on October 08, 2012, 07:41:03 AM
 I have never encountered popcorn of any sort in an office setting. Is it common in America?
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: rain on October 08, 2012, 07:41:58 AM
oz - the answer to your question is a resounding YES!!! (but I don't eat popcorn)
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: Bijou on October 08, 2012, 09:37:07 AM
I have never encountered popcorn of any sort in an office setting. Is it common in America?
It was in our office.  Fortunately I don't mind the smell of burned popcorn.   :-*
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: whiskeytangofoxtrot on October 08, 2012, 12:01:10 PM
POD to just about every previous post! I would also add- not refilling the copy room printer with paper or the stapler with staples, and failing to close the ice machine door. Apparently these require a higher skill level than I would've expected.

To anyone who's never experienced these annoyances, I have two questions: 1- where do you work? 2- when can I start?  ;D
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: Adelaide on October 08, 2012, 12:12:59 PM
I have never encountered popcorn of any sort in an office setting. Is it common in America?
It was in our office.  Fortunately I don't mind the smell of burned popcorn.   :-*

We had that problem as well, but it wasn't always with popcorn. Someone would always burn food and when people smell it in the break room it was all "Oh, what happened in here?" or "Ermagerd, someone cooked food in the microwave? How dare they!"
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: workerbee on October 08, 2012, 12:31:32 PM
Along the lines of 'office smells' - I have one co-worker who uses an incredibly strong "scent stick" thing in her office. She started with the plug-ins, but upon being informed they were a fire hazard, went with this thing instead.  I have a strong aversion to those sickly-sweet fake scents, and this one is so strong it actually filters out into the common area outside our offices! I wish she would just get rid of it. (I know many offices have a policy against this sort of thing, but sadly we do not).

Not only does it bother me personally, I just consider it highly unprofessional. Kind of like dousing oneself in perfume. I went in her office one day after she'd had the door closed for a while and the smell nearly knocked me down.
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: Slartibartfast on October 08, 2012, 12:44:20 PM
The microwave in the physics department at Duke University (so used by what one can usually assume is smart people) had a big sign on it saying "PLEASE DO NOT MICROWAVE METAL OBJECTS."  I laughed at the sign and said something aloud about how it was funny they had to specify that.  The grad student using the lounge at the time replied "It was funny before they went through three microwaves in the last three months."

Seriously, people?  How do you get to be a graduate student in physics without knowing that putting metal things in a microwave makes shiny-flashy-boom and the microwave no make hot anymore?
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: BarensMom on October 08, 2012, 01:08:32 PM
I just remembered the coffee wars at Evil Oil Company.  I was pulled into more battles between  the Starbucks people and we had the Peets people.  There was always a race in the a.m. to get in and make that first pot of coffee.  I finally had to label each carafe for each brand/type and, since I was usually the first one in, I would make each pot to avoid the complainers.  The irony was that I didn't like coffee before and I despise it even more now.
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: rose red on October 08, 2012, 01:38:30 PM
I once worked at a place where there are two businesses in one building (Big Company and Small Company).  It's a one story building with an open floor plan so we all just mingled a lot.  One day, a note showed up on one of the water coolers that said "This water cooler is paid for by Small Company.  Big Comany, please do not use this water cooler as you have your own."  OK.  The next thing you know, there are signs on the multiple and conveniently located water coolers owned by Big Company telling Small Company not to used them.  Also, signs showed up for one of the microwaves, the only coffee machine, the basket filled with coffee/tea/hot chocolate/sugar/creamer/spoons/stirrers, etc., all owned by Big Company. 

Small Company was not happy, but since they started it, they couldn't say anything.
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: FauxFoodist on October 08, 2012, 01:45:32 PM
I once worked at a place where there are two businesses in one building (Big Company and Small Company).  It's a one story building with an open floor plan so we all just mingled a lot.  One day, a note showed up on one of the water coolers that said "This water cooler is paid for by Small Company.  Big Comany, please do not use this water cooler as you have your own."  OK.  The next thing you know, there are signs on the multiple and conveniently located water coolers owned by Big Company telling Small Company not to used them.  Also, signs showed up for one of the microwaves, the only coffee machine, the basket filled with coffee/tea/hot chocolate/sugar/creamer/spoons/stirrers, etc., all owned by Big Company. 

Small Company was not happy, but since they started it, they couldn't say anything.

I feel no sympathy for Small Company -- Bed. Made. Lie.
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: White Dragon on October 08, 2012, 01:47:58 PM
POD to just about every previous post! I would also add- not refilling the copy room printer with paper or the stapler with staples, and failing to close the ice machine door. Apparently these require a higher skill level than I would've expected.

To anyone who's never experienced these annoyances, I have two questions: 1- where do you work? 2- when can I start?  ;D

Not a problem in my office. Everyone is really good about the copy paper etc.
I even have a theory that our machines are intelligent and wait for my cowrker Amber.
The machines *always* seem to run empty in the middle of her print jobs. I think she fills it up more than anyone!

Oh, and while I'd love to have you join our team, I'm kind of hoping to stay on after my temp contract ends, so can you please wait till then? Thanks!
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: bansidhe on October 08, 2012, 06:29:26 PM
I can't believe no one mentioned flushing toilets (or should I say, not flushing well enough or at all).  Seriously - it just takes a minute to flush, watch and make sure everything goes down, and flush again if necessary.  I'm tired of finding paper (or worse) floating in the bowl when I go on there!

The ones where I work auto-flush - at least in theory. In actual practice, sometimes they do and sometimes they don't. I always push the flush button to be sure, then half the time it auto-flushes right afterward anyway.  ::)

Loads of folks, knowing about the spotty auto-flush feature, still don't flush manually.
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: Miss Misha on October 08, 2012, 06:40:52 PM
<snip>
On the coffee, we had the coffee wars, and that was when I bought a one of those cup and funnel sets for making one cup at a time and supplied all my own stuff. 
<snip>

I did the same thing at my all-time worst job.  We shared the facilities with the Sales group, the coffee pots were supplied, but not the coffee.  The Sales guys all chipped in and bought their own coffee and supplies.  No one else in my group drank coffee (or bought it outside), so I brought in my own Melitta set and coffee.  Cue one of the sales guys popping up in the break room and saying, "Wow, that coffee sure smells good.  Can I have some?"

I replied, "No, this is coffee I brought from home."

He then started to argue that I if I drank their coffee and I should share some of mine.  I told him I didn't drink theirs which was why I brought my own.  He then started saying how selfish I was to make my own coffee and not contribute to their coffee fund (which I had pointed out I didn't participate in).  As he got louder and louder, I ignored him, finished my coffee-making and walked away from him in mid-bray.  To this day, I cannot even begin to understand his vehement reaction to someone making coffee for themself, using their own supplies.

Office refrigerators are their own special beast.  I gave up after someone literally threw their lunch, in a manila envelope, no less, on top of a specially decorated cake in the office fridge.  Yes, there was plenty of room on other shelves in the fridge for the manila envelope lunch.  I have a whole wardrobe of insulated lunch boxes and little blue ice packs.

Lastly, similar to the tomato soup story shared by a PP, at the aforementioned awful place to work, I opened the microwave one day to heat my lunch and there was a large puddle of soup.  I groaned, "Oh man, who spilled their soup?"  An indignant, disembodied voice floated over the cube farm, "I did so clean it up!"  I looked closer and they had taken a paper towel and made one swipe, leaving a clean trail in the puddle of soup.  Yep, that's cleaning up I guess.  I was never so happy to leave that place, let me tell you.
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: blarg314 on October 08, 2012, 07:35:21 PM

Seriously, people?  How do you get to be a graduate student in physics without knowing that putting metal things in a microwave makes shiny-flashy-boom and the microwave no make hot anymore?

Oh, but you have to experimentally verify the photo-electric effect.  That's how Einstein got his Nobel prize, after all....  The worst microwave incident in a physics department I've seen was when someone was re-heating pizza late at night, punched in one hour instead of one minute, and left the room.

My current office is pretty mellow. People eat at their desks, the kitchen is generally reasonably clean (more thanks to an excellent cleaning staff than anything else), a whole durian is considered an acceptable thing to bring in to share at  tea time, and we have a single use coffee machine.  Selling stuff for your kids is not part of the culture here, and they don't do potlucks.  The thermostat thing is pretty much solved by the combination of no indoor heating (AC only) and a government regulation that prohibits setting the thermostat lower than 26 C (79 F). There were some problems in the new building with the AC efficiency, when some offices wouldn't go below 30 C (86 F), but they fixed that.

In  previous places, the big issues have been the fridge and eating in the lounge. In grad school, we had an admin assistant who freaked out if people microwaved food in the lounge, because it smelled bad. Of course, we noticed that if you microwaved foods from *her* ethnicity, it was no problem, just the funny foreign stuff.  This was a grad program where it wasn't uncommon for students to be in the department 12 hours a day, 7 days a week because we needed to use computers - we didn't go home at five the way she did, and ate most of our meals at work.

My personal peeve is people who have long, involved personal phone conversations in the office that you can't help but overhear.







Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: Gyburc on October 09, 2012, 05:39:09 AM
Regarding office microwaves...

A friend of mine once worked in a medium-sized company that was rather dysfunctional. There were two kitchens with microwaves, one on the ground floor next to the break-room and one on the top floor. The top-floor kitchen was right next to the office occupied by 'Bertha', and most of the top-floor staff used the microwave in there to heat up their lunches, rather than trek all the way downstairs and back up again. Naturally, Bertha could smell the food from her office, and sometimes the smells were less pleasant than others.

But Bertha never complained.

Instead, the top-floor staff came in one day to find the microwave removed and an email sent round to the top floor only by the company's HR manager, explaining that carrying hot food around and eating at desks was an unacceptable health and safety risk, so staff would have to go downstairs and use the break-room instead. Staff downstairs continued to eat at their desks without sanction.

Guess who Bertha's best friend was?  ::)
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: andi on October 09, 2012, 11:57:10 AM
Right now my pet peeve is people having loud, long, detailed personal calls in the share break room (which echoes everything). Also - people who watch TV on thier phones with no head phones - I am not easily offended but I don't want to hear your show during my lunch time!
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: LazyDaisy on October 09, 2012, 12:17:02 PM
Right now my pet peeve is people having loud, long, detailed personal calls in the share break room (which echoes everything). Also - people who watch TV on thier phones with no head phones - I am not easily offended but I don't want to hear your show during my lunch time!

Ugh, I with you on loud personal calls in a shared space. I have a co-irker right now who is: 1) having a spat with his girlfriend about him going out with his friends without clearing it with her ahead of time; 2) having financial difficulty resulting in him being late with his rent, and child support to his ex-wife, and receiving multiple collections calls on his cell phone; 3) he's also in a band and the group is constantly breaking up and getting new members then bringing back the old members; 4) he's always always buying drum equipment over the telephone...yes while not paying rent and child support...  How do I know all this? He keeps talking loudly about it on his cell phone rather than take the call someplace else and it's never on silent ring. Seriously, it's like he's in high school rather than in his 40s.
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: Sirius on October 09, 2012, 12:50:30 PM
Right now my pet peeve is people having loud, long, detailed personal calls in the share break room (which echoes everything). Also - people who watch TV on thier phones with no head phones - I am not easily offended but I don't want to hear your show during my lunch time!

Ugh, I with you on loud personal calls in a shared space. I have a co-irker right now who is: 1) having a spat with his girlfriend about him going out with his friends without clearing it with her ahead of time; 2) having financial difficulty resulting in him being late with his rent, and child support to his ex-wife, and receiving multiple collections calls on his cell phone; 3) he's also in a band and the group is constantly breaking up and getting new members then bringing back the old members; 4) he's always always buying drum equipment over the telephone...yes while not paying rent and child support...  How do I know all this? He keeps talking loudly about it on his cell phone rather than take the call someplace else and it's never on silent ring. Seriously, it's like he's in high school rather than in his 40s.

One of my former co-worker's mother would call her at work practically every day and scream at her, leaving the co-worker in tears.  Finally my boss took a call and told Mother to stop calling at work.  From what I heard, Daughter had told Mother several times to stop it, but Mother wouldn't stop it.  Finally Boss took a call and told Mother point blank to stop calling because she was getting Daughter in trouble.  That worked - Mother stopped calling. 

There was one time right before I left when two female sergeants suddenly got into a loud screaming argument.  The only other people in the office were me and a couple of young airmen who didn't know what to do; I walked out of my cubicle and told them to sit down and shut up and and that I didn't want to hear another word from either of them that wasn't job-related.  Not ten minutes later I got a call from the sergeant in charge asking me what was going on.  He had gotten vastly different stories from each sergeant, but one thing they agreed on was that I had told them to stop the screaming and sit down and shut up.  They both ended up being written up for their behavior. 
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: Outdoor Girl on October 09, 2012, 01:46:15 PM
We have a dishwasher at my office.  When it is running, people leave their dishes in the sink.  Where they stay for several days until someone finally unloads the dishwasher.  I used to use the dishes and silverware from the lunchroom and got so frustrated over the dishwasher situation that I brought in all my own bowls and silverware to use.  I take it back home and run it through my own dishwasher and bring it back.

I do end up either loading or emptying (or both) the dishwasher about once a month or so because I use the odd item to put out baking that I bring in to share.

My biggest pet peeve are the people who's lunches explode in the microwave and they don't clean it up.  I exploded one day, in non-Ehell approved fashion when I opened a microwave door to a very disgusting mess.  I think the whole office heard me.  And I think I scared the living daylights out of one of our summer students.  I did apologize to the student later because I was pretty sure he wasn't responsible.

Not so much a pet peeve but I just don't understand the people who bring food in and leave it in the fridge to rot.  Or the people who don't put their lunches in some sort of bag.  They just put their sandwich container and fruit and yogurt in a pile in the fridge and expect to be still all in the same place when they come back to get it at lunch.  Really?  You don't think that little pile you put right at the front, right in the middle of the shelf isn't going to get moved so someone else can fit their lunch in?
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: NotTheNarcissist on October 09, 2012, 02:22:08 PM
They forgot to add:

7.  The people who eat at their desks.  And the food is usually messy or smelly. OR, they chew everything with their mouth open and gross out the people around them.

Agreed! Nothing like a fork clanging against a plate to ruin my concentration! Except maybe....

Those dang pencil drummers!
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: 2littlemonkeys on October 09, 2012, 02:40:16 PM
POD to just about every previous post! I would also add- not refilling the copy room printer with paper or the stapler with staples, and failing to close the ice machine door. Apparently these require a higher skill level than I would've expected.

To anyone who's never experienced these annoyances, I have two questions: 1- where do you work? 2- when can I start?  ;D

Oh, a thousand times YES!  I'd like to add sudden ignorance about how to clear a jam (or at least asking for help if you aren't sure about poking around the machine)  I can't tell you how many times I've walked into the copy center to find the machine has ground to a halt and no one did anything about it. (and you can tell how longs jobs have been sitting in the queue and the culprit's originals are usually nowhere to be found.)
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: weeblewobble on October 09, 2012, 02:48:37 PM
ROTF, the burnt popcorn brought back lots of unpleasant memories.

Warning, discussion of morning sickness.

Augh.  We had a guy in my first office who loved to make extremely fragrant tuna-based meals and bring leftovers to work for lunch.  The smell would radiate from the breakroom microwave throughout the rest of the building.  The office would reek for the rest of the day, if not part of the next day.  It was awful.  And nothing we said could dissuade him from doing it, because "tuna's my favorite!  And it's healthy for me!" We went to the boss who said we needed to find more productive uses for our time than complaining about a coworkers lunch.

One of our other coworkers was pregnant at the time and very sensitive to smells.  She tried to suffer in silence because she didn't want to be a drama queen.  Tuna Guy would heat up his lunch and she would run to the bathroom as quickly and quietly as possible to be sick.  Well, one day, she didn't make it.  He brought his lunch to his desk, which happened to be right across from her desk.  She stood to run to the bathroom, but knew she wouldn't make it and dropped to her knees over her wastebasket and was very very very ill. 

Tuna Guna yelled and carried on as if she'd been sick on him directly.  She was sooooo disgusting, he said, and she should just stay home if being pregnant was going to make her do that.  We pointed out that he wouldn't have been "traumatized" if he'd listened to us and been considerate about his stinky lunches.  He insisted he should be able to eat whatever he wanted.  He continued to bring the tuna meals for a few more days.  Pregnant coworker got sick a few more times in her cubicle. Tuna Guy was so disgusted that he "magnanimously" agreed to bring less offensive meal options.

For the record, I believe that public bathroom behavior, coffee supplies and birthday cakes are also huge sources of workplace contention.
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: camlan on October 09, 2012, 02:50:02 PM
Has no one else experienced supply room drama? In one office, the receptionist was in charge of the supply cabinet and mailing supplies. She checked everything twice a week and ordered replacements before we ran out of things.

But sometimes people had big projects that used up a ton of folders, or labels, or envelopes or whatever. They'd empty the supply room of whatever they needed and stash it at their workstation. Meanwhile, the rest of the company would be looking for supplies and not finding them, would complain to the receptionist, who had no idea there was a problem. Or they'd just expect to have enough supplies on hand to finish their project and were stunned to discover that we didn't, as a rule, have 1,000 extra large manila envelopes on hand (because ordinarily, we went through about 10 a month)--and their project had to ship that day, so someone needed to run out right away and get some.

Because apparently notifying the receptionist that at the end of your three month long project, you were going to need 1000 mailers was just too much work.

To say nothing of just running out of basic supplies and people never notifying the receptionist. Then there'd be tons of complaints that we never had any red pens, when the poor receptionist was ordering 2 boxes a week. Some people must have been hording office supplies at their workstations.

It got so bad there, that I had to include "when to notify people that supplies are running low" as part of new employees' training.
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: Giggity on October 09, 2012, 02:58:43 PM
Pen clickers. It's terrifically annoying.
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: Pippen on October 09, 2012, 03:00:28 PM
Pen clickers. It's terrifically annoying.

They should be publicly flogged in the town square!
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: Sirius on October 09, 2012, 04:18:18 PM
Where I used to work there were two issues that we kept having to deal with.  At least twice a year one or the other of these (and sometimes both) would happen: 

1.  I had a dedicated high-capacity printer for my one-person section.  For some reason, whenever new departments and/or offices opened up in the hospital, they'd make a beeline for my printer and try to take it.  Fortunately my boss and the squadron commander both knew that I had a completely legitimate reason for having it (I printed out huge numbers of medical records documents) so always backed me up, and in the ten years I did the job no one got my printer.

2.  Any new offices/departments that were attached to the command section were always trying to take our records storage room for office space, since it happened to be right across the hall from the hospital commander's office.  My boss had a brilliant way of handling this situation:  She'd tell the people who wanted our records storage room that if they could come up with somewhere else we could put all those records that didn't involve us having to hike all over the hospital and that wouldn't involve the personnel in our section having to be the ones to move everything, and the new place conformed to records storage and earthquake standards, then she'd consider their request.  Never happened. 
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: bansidhe on October 09, 2012, 05:01:08 PM
I'll start off by saying that I love my job and the people here are great. Every place has some faults, though: I am surrounded on three sides by people who have absolutely no clue about the concept of using an "indoor voice." Everything they say is at top volume, always - in a cubicle environment. Two of these four people are major talkers, too. I clocked the one guy talking nearly nonstop for just over two hours once.

I'm pretty good at tuning stuff out, but some days I just want to yell SHUUUUT UPPPPP!
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: Hillia on October 09, 2012, 05:16:46 PM
I work in a small satellite office space.  I am the only person from my division of the company in this space; everyone else has worked together for 8-25 years.  Since they all work for the same division and share a lot of the same duties, it's common practice to take conference calls on speaker, often gathering several people in a cubicle to do so (instead of in one of the myriad small 'huddle rooms' available in the suite).

We also have a very small kitchen area in the suite.  A few of the ladies bring in exercise videos and use them in the kitchen space during lunch, so getting to the microwave means dodging 3-4 people marching in place and waving their arms.
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: Thipu1 on October 10, 2012, 08:15:05 AM
I once shared an enclosed office space with a woman who drove me nuts. 

She hardly ever spoke.  She didn't even say 'good morning' unless I said it first and then, her answer was almost inaudible.

She was a constant sniffler.  Even when I moved the box of tissues between us she wouldn't use them. 

She would type furiously for twenty minutes or so.  Then she would stop and meditatively crack every knuckle on every finger.  After that, she'd crack them all back again and continue her furious typing. 

She also commandeered my good, stand-up stapler. 

I was happy to retire. 
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: oz diva on October 10, 2012, 09:03:16 AM
I once worked with such a disagreeable woman that in a non approved ehell manner I actively encouraged her to smoke, outside, because it would mean she'd die sooner.  >:She was just awful, she called me a 'f***ing Pollyanna' once.
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: KimberlyM on October 10, 2012, 06:58:47 PM
Mostly the fridge here.  We have the typical food thieves (which I am convinced is actually the boss!), but the bigger problem was the one woman who keeps her entire months groceries here leaving no room for anyone else.  She has 3 drawers labeled with her name and instructions to keep out, then uses 3/4 of the condiment storage racks in the door and at least 1/2 of the shelves.  The woman pulls out her crock pot and makes full meals here regularly.  She is insane.  After many years of trying to cram my lunch into the butter tray in the door, as it was the only clear space, I gave up and bought a mini fridge that now lives under my desk.  I still have to use the big freezer in the kitchen for my blueberries (the freezer in the mini fridge doesn't actually freeze anything, just keeps it super cold).  Life is now good again, the fridge wars continue, but they are no longer my problem.

Now if I could fit my own coffee pot in here.....
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: FauxFoodist on October 11, 2012, 12:48:40 AM
Mostly the fridge here.  We have the typical food thieves (which I am convinced is actually the boss!), but the bigger problem was the one woman who keeps her entire months groceries here leaving no room for anyone else.  She has 3 drawers labeled with her name and instructions to keep out, then uses 3/4 of the condiment storage racks in the door and at least 1/2 of the shelves.  The woman pulls out her crock pot and makes full meals here regularly.  She is insane.  After many years of trying to cram my lunch into the butter tray in the door, as it was the only clear space, I gave up and bought a mini fridge that now lives under my desk.  I still have to use the big freezer in the kitchen for my blueberries (the freezer in the mini fridge doesn't actually freeze anything, just keeps it super cold).  Life is now good again, the fridge wars continue, but they are no longer my problem.

Now if I could fit my own coffee pot in here.....

If she takes her cooked meals home, I'm wondering if she lives somewhere with no fridge and no stove.

Another one I'm surprised no one has mentioned -- people adjusting your chair.  It takes me awhile to get my chair set just right so it's a huge annoyance when I find out someone has adjusted it for him/her (we all have our own chairs).  Fortunately, it's only happened to me twice in the almost four years I've worked for my current employer, but it's still one of my biggest pet peeves and, frankly, would cause a war if I knew who did it.
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: HermioneGranger on October 11, 2012, 08:02:01 AM
ROTF, the burnt popcorn brought back lots of unpleasant memories.

Warning, discussion of morning sickness.

Augh.  We had a guy in my first office who loved to make extremely fragrant tuna-based meals and bring leftovers to work for lunch.  The smell would radiate from the breakroom microwave throughout the rest of the building.  The office would reek for the rest of the day, if not part of the next day.  It was awful.  And nothing we said could dissuade him from doing it, because "tuna's my favorite!  And it's healthy for me!" We went to the boss who said we needed to find more productive uses for our time than complaining about a coworkers lunch.

One of our other coworkers was pregnant at the time and very sensitive to smells.  She tried to suffer in silence because she didn't want to be a drama queen.  Tuna Guy would heat up his lunch and she would run to the bathroom as quickly and quietly as possible to be sick.  Well, one day, she didn't make it.  He brought his lunch to his desk, which happened to be right across from her desk.  She stood to run to the bathroom, but knew she wouldn't make it and dropped to her knees over her wastebasket and was very very very ill. 

Tuna Guna yelled and carried on as if she'd been sick on him directly.  She was sooooo disgusting, he said, and she should just stay home if being pregnant was going to make her do that.  We pointed out that he wouldn't have been "traumatized" if he'd listened to us and been considerate about his stinky lunches.  He insisted he should be able to eat whatever he wanted.  He continued to bring the tuna meals for a few more days.  Pregnant coworker got sick a few more times in her cubicle. Tuna Guy was so disgusted that he "magnanimously" agreed to bring less offensive meal options.

For the record, I believe that public bathroom behavior, coffee supplies and birthday cakes are also huge sources of workplace contention.

He got off lucky.  It could have been his trashcan she was ralphing in.  Poor thing. 
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: Outdoor Girl on October 11, 2012, 08:02:46 AM
^ Or on his shoes...   >:D
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: Hillia on October 11, 2012, 08:41:22 AM
I had a boss who was so sensitive during her pregnancy that we weren't allowed to eat anything at our desks.  I could understand fragrant items, like Tuna Guy above, but we're talking about saltine crackers, lettuce-tomato salads, turkey sandwiches.  She had an office with a door while we all sat in cubicles.  There was limited lunchroom space, too, so unless you wanted to go out to eat all the time, lunch was rushed and unpleasant; you couldn't relax at all.

Our company had work from home available, and I always thought she should have chosen that option if her sense of smell was that sensitive.
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: MindsEye on October 11, 2012, 08:52:11 AM
My office used to have a problem with people leaving their dirty dishes on the counter or in the sink in the kitchen.  They dealt with it by telling housekeeping to throw away any dishes/mugs left in the kitchen after hours.

Dirty dishes/mugs attract bugs and mice, which can cause health issues, so I don't blame them for taking the nuclear option of dealing with the problem. 
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: NotTheNarcissist on October 11, 2012, 01:43:28 PM
Pen clickers. It's terrifically annoying.

Ah yes, my pencil drummer was also a pen clicker. He wore headphones & drummed & clicked to his fiesty upbeat music. It was a nightmare. Lots of complaints against him. I think 4 of us told him to quieten down  and 3 of escalated it when he wouldn't.
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: MayHug on October 11, 2012, 02:57:00 PM
I work for a small security company. Our building is secure and we have no windows. One day a co-worker put her popcorn in the microwave and went outside for a quick walk. (She was walking around the parking lot and we could see her on outside cameras).
Well, her popcorn somehow caught the microwave on fire! We had alarms going off, we had to open one door to get the smoke out.
All the while we could see co-worker walking around the parking lot oblivious to all the commotion she had just caused!

We got it situated and she came back in wondering why the door was open. She was mortified to find out what had happened.
The boss had to institute a "no leaving popcorn in the microwave and walking away policy" lol
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: nuit93 on October 12, 2012, 12:27:28 AM
My b/f worked for a company that banned microwavable popcorn.  Fireable offense.
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: Thipu1 on October 14, 2012, 09:24:55 AM
My b/f worked for a company that banned microwavable popcorn.  Fireable offense.

The library banned microwave popcorn as well.  The stuff often burned and the stench was said to be 'inconsistent with our preservation mission'.  Staff lunches in the reading room (we closed for lunch) were banned for the same reason. 
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: siamesecat2965 on October 15, 2012, 12:13:44 PM
Many of these mentioned happen where I work too.  We also have someone, part of our building services dept who takes it upon herself to randomly come and check the fridges, and chuck stuff SHE thinks is old or not labeled etc.  I had a small bottle of milk one time, in the fridge, for my coffee. It was in a plastic bag, so no one else would use it. She came in, took it out of the bag, chucked said bag, and was about to chuck the milk since there was no sell by date  on it, therefore it MUST be bad.  Thankfully, my CWs knew it was mine, and told her to leave it alone!

The toilets are another one; ours don't always flush all on the first try.  So I always check, and flush again if necessary. But some don't.  My other pet peeve is that we have small wastebaskets in each stall, for female products.  there are also bags to PUT them in, or you  can wrap them in tp.  Yet some still think its ok to just chuck them in, so they're visible to all.  EWWWW.

And I also sit in a cube farm, where some people just don't get that a. we are here to work, NOT run their personal lives and b. quiet is condusive to work.  In fact, due to my one boss, we moved across the floor!  there was conflict between her and our in-hosue travel agent, so we got moved.  Where she now annoys others on a daily basis.
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: snowfire on October 15, 2012, 02:50:28 PM
When I worked in the office of a construction company the sales and field guys were always stealing my nice gel pens.  I bought cheap Bic type pens for them because they were always losing them.  It was lucky for a pen to last a week, so there was no point in buying nice pens for them and a five pack of pens would normally last me a year.  It really ticked me off because they would search my desk when I wasn't there to get a gel pen.  I had no way to lock my desk because the key was long lost, but it really frosted me that people felt it was okay to go searching through the drawers.  I also had food vanish from the desk drawer & some %*$&% jerk super glued my safety glasses shut & I never found out who.

Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: NotTheNarcissist on October 15, 2012, 02:54:14 PM
Since this thread is started & since this just happened, am I being SS if I am rather annoyed at my co-irkers for sending emails and posting pictures on their desktop that are anti-purple political party? Maybe I am getting old & crotchety but I don't broadcast my political opinions at work & find myself annoyed at those who do.
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: lilfox on October 15, 2012, 03:02:36 PM
When I worked in the office of a construction company the sales and field guys were always stealing my nice gel pens.  I bought cheap Bic type pens for them because they were always losing them.  It was lucky for a pen to last a week, so there was no point in buying nice pens for them and a five pack of pens would normally last me a year.  It really ticked me off because they would search my desk when I wasn't there to get a gel pen.  I had no way to lock my desk because the key was long lost, but it really frosted me that people felt it was okay to go searching through the drawers.  I also had food vanish from the desk drawer & some %*$&% jerk super glued my safety glasses shut & I never found out who.

See?  This, this right here is clearly why Bic came out with Bic for Her, the pens designed for the female worker.  If only they'd existed while you worked there, no man would have taken your pens again!   ;D

(see "Bic for Her" thread in the Humor Me section)
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: VorFemme on October 15, 2012, 03:32:47 PM
This is why I rarely bought pens for myself at work - so just used the company's standard pens.  Now if I could find a really "feminine" pen or someone gave me one with my name engraved on it, I would use that one.

But even a pen with your name engraved on it can be slid into someone's pocket "absent-mindedly" and never seen again (VorGuy lost the pen to his high school graduation pen & pencil set the first time he loaned it to someone at college - before we met or I would have asked why he would LOAN the good pen & keep the cheap one to use himself). 

There are any number of businesses that I have seen use green floral tape or electrical tape (any color) to tape a large silk flower, plastic spoon, or something to the pens used at the desk or cash register to make it completely obvious even to the habitually oblivious that THIS pen will not fit in their pocket or purse and that the person who "loaned" it to them can see if they walk off carrying it.

They seem to work better than the pens on chains because I've seen a lot of empty chains on various bank and hotel counters......I rarely see anyone carrying a pen with a silk flower taped to it.
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: cicero on October 15, 2012, 03:35:38 PM
When I worked in the office of a construction company the sales and field guys were always stealing my nice gel pens.  I bought cheap Bic type pens for them because they were always losing them.  It was lucky for a pen to last a week, so there was no point in buying nice pens for them and a five pack of pens would normally last me a year.  It really ticked me off because they would search my desk when I wasn't there to get a gel pen.  I had no way to lock my desk because the key was long lost, but it really frosted me that people felt it was okay to go searching through the drawers.  I also had food vanish from the desk drawer & some %*$&% jerk super glued my safety glasses shut & I never found out who.
reminds me of a really bad job i had once - i worked on the "floor" of "factory" (they were developing an electric car and so it wasn't a whole assembly line but there was a big hanger type building where they did the factory work. the workers were always swiping stuff of my desk , pens, papers, etc and the hole punch. i went to the warehouse guy to get another one. it was stolen. asked for another one. after the third one got stolen , the warehouse guy told me that he will deduct it from my salary. (like this was my fault?). while i pretty much realized that that would be illegal, it really irked me that he would say that in the first place so i gave him the icy glare of doom and said "fine, i'll just work without a hole punch" and flounced out of there. got a new hole punch about an hour later...
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: EmmaJ. on October 15, 2012, 03:47:32 PM
<side track>  It really bugs me that every time I read the title of this thread, I see "star wars" instead of "start wars".

Every single time. ???
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: hermanne on October 15, 2012, 04:01:07 PM
<side track>  It really bugs me that every time I read the title of this thread, I see "star wars" instead of "start wars".

Every single time. ???

Geeks unite! ;D
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: Thipu1 on October 15, 2012, 04:06:04 PM
Ah, yes. 

If it's on your desk it must be general issue for everyone to use.

Yes, I don't mind sharing but, if you must borrow one of my gel pens, please return it promptly and don't return it with tooth marks on the cap, or without any cap at all. 

We do thank you electricians for your prompt response when we had a possibly dangerous leak in the library.  TYs do not extend to you walking off with my big, blue Maglight. 

Yes, if you take a phone call at my desk, you may take a slip of paper from my spiral notepad to write down a note.   However, I don't want to come back from lunch to find that all the yellow slips
 in the middle have been ripped out and the pad is in two pieces.  You may have needed yellow slips
for a project.  That is why we have yellow sticky notes in the supply cabinet.   

Also, do you really think that the library has purchased a heavy, frog-shaped tape dispenser for the general use of all? 

To make a workspace more homelike, people will buy things of their own to embellish their place.  Please respect the possessions of others.     
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: Julian on October 16, 2012, 11:59:41 PM
I haven't seen this one so far in the thread...

The people who use the last of the TP on the roll and do not replace it.  It drives me buggy.  How hard is it to get a replacement and actually replace it?  (in my office, there's usually a replacement in each cubicle, and a stack on the sink)



 

Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: Giggity on October 17, 2012, 06:58:27 AM
There's no extra TP in my office. The custodians keep it, and refill it as needed.
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: LadyClaire on October 17, 2012, 07:13:00 AM
There's no extra TP in my office. The custodians keep it, and refill it as needed.

Same here. The problem is our custodian is out on FMLA right now. They have not replaced her. A cleaning crew comes in once a week to clean the bathrooms and make sure the TP is filled, but the problem with that is we have over 100 people using the bathrooms here.

A lot of us have had to grit our teeth and wipe with those tissue paper seat covers, because there was no toilet paper.
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: HermioneGranger on October 17, 2012, 07:57:46 AM
There's no extra TP in my office. The custodians keep it, and refill it as needed.

Same here. The problem is our custodian is out on FMLA right now. They have not replaced her. A cleaning crew comes in once a week to clean the bathrooms and make sure the TP is filled, but the problem with that is we have over 100 people using the bathrooms here.

A lot of us have had to grit our teeth and wipe with those tissue paper seat covers, because there was no toilet paper.

I think I'd be buying my own roll and carrying it back and forth with me.   :o
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: #borecore on October 17, 2012, 09:44:07 AM
My new employer seems great as far as these standard issues -- I'll take one industrial fridge for 7 floors of employees if it means no stink, and I'll take a sink area covered in dirty company cups if there's a maintenance person to wash and replace them several times a day. The replacement office supplies are plentiful and easy to get.


But my last employer, well, let's just say the pinnacle was the picture of human waste on a toilet handle, posted to the employees-only Facebook page. (Well, maybe it was the poor person who encountered it, or the one who managed to create the mess.) We had an incredible fridge problem, and monthly cleanups barely helped. And let's just say the time one co-worker was sent a Dyson vacuum to test was better than Christmas -- I don't think my desk area was cleaned by maintenance more than once every 2 years.

Staplers were more precious than gold.
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: Outdoor Girl on October 17, 2012, 11:23:51 AM
Each stall has two toilet paper holders at my office.  A couple of summers ago, there were 7 summer students, 6 of them female.  I was constantly changing out toilet paper every time I went.  Many times, I had to change both rolls and one time, I went in to both rolls empty with a roll started on the back of the toilet.

These kids were in college; you'd think they could figure out how to change a toilet paper roll.

A few years back, we actually ran out of toilet paper.  The cleaners normally left two rolls on the tank of each toilet for replacing.  We'd used all the spare rolls and went to the cupboard for more.  There was none there.  The cleaning company made an emergency run over with enough paper to see us through the day.  And that particular cleaner got fired.  Turns out, she'd sprained her ankle and instead of letting the company know she couldn't do the job for a couple weeks, she showed up and did her homework at one of our desks every night and didn't actually do any cleaning!

And I now have a roll of toilet paper in my desk, just in case.
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: Sirius on October 17, 2012, 12:45:41 PM
I had a roll of TP that I'd brought from home locked in my desk, plus sanitary products and cheap pens.  I'd give the cheap pens to the doctors; they'd ask for a pen to sign charts, then get paged, stick the pen in their pocket, and I'd never see it again.  My multi-colored Bic pens were for my paperwork, and I kept them locked up as well. 
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: FauxFoodist on October 17, 2012, 01:50:27 PM
I used to keep a holder full of pens with flowers attached to them -- like someone said upthread, I attached the flowers so people wouldn't walk off with the pen.  One person protested and asked to use one of my regular pens (I used the cheap pens for the flowers and kept my preferred pens below the counter).  I said no (he was the worst one about walking off with my pens) and told him that if he wanted a different pen to use, he needed to carry one (he never did, which was part of the problem).
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: anniehawks on October 17, 2012, 02:00:35 PM
I once worked with someone who was extremely stingy with our supplies.  While this person was in charge of ordering supplies, they took frugality to a whole new level.  Everything was either locked up or hidden, so if you needed something, say for example, staples.  This person would take your stapler to the hidden stash of staples, fill your stapler for you, and bring it back.  We weren't allowed to have access to any extra supplies.  Same with the glue, they would get the glue bottle out of hiding, let you use it, then return it to its hiding place.
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: Pippen on October 17, 2012, 02:48:22 PM
I once worked with someone who was extremely stingy with our supplies.  While this person was in charge of ordering supplies, they took frugality to a whole new level.  Everything was either locked up or hidden, so if you needed something, say for example, staples.  This person would take your stapler to the hidden stash of staples, fill your stapler for you, and bring it back.  We weren't allowed to have access to any extra supplies.  Same with the glue, they would get the glue bottle out of hiding, let you use it, then return it to its hiding place.

I once worked in a large department in a large company and if you wanted a pen (because someone had invariably nicked yours) you had to take a pen to your manager and show them it was out of ink.
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: NotTheNarcissist on October 18, 2012, 02:57:46 PM
OK I know this is uber petty but does anyone else get irritated at the sound of flip flops in the office? I mean they are distracting and I need to concentrate....
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: camlan on October 18, 2012, 04:21:18 PM
OK I know this is uber petty but does anyone else get irritated at the sound of flip flops in the office? I mean they are distracting and I need to concentrate....

Yes.

And it's not just flip-flops. There are all sorts of slides and mules that make slapping sounds as people walk. The summers in my old office, which was chiefly women, were full of flipping, flapping, slapping, and shuffling sounds because of the footwear they chose.
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: Giggity on October 19, 2012, 07:18:14 AM
I don't like slappy shoes, but I'll take them any day over whatever shoes it is that make women (it's always women) shuffle and slide their feet along the floor. Pick up your feet and take actual steps! You learned when you were small.
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: Kari on October 19, 2012, 09:39:52 AM
My office's petty battle-starters:

Kitchen behavior. I could fuel the website Passive Aggressive Notes solely on the Post-Its that pop on in my office's kitchen. Half the office seems to become infuriated when the kitchen is not sparkling clean, the other half thinks magical fairy-maids come by to do their dishes, throw away their empty wrappers, and refill the coffeepot/tea kettle.

The candy jar. Woe betide you if you're having a vicious chocolate craving, for the Candy Watchers will loudly berate you if you hit the communal jar hard one day. (Though I've never run afoul of the Watchers, I did get a kick out of one Watcher berating one candy-loving coworker, saying "Those things will give you a heart attack!" before popping out on her smoke break.)

Arrival/departure times. This battle happens every time the office is collectively stressed out by the higher-ups' demand for overtime and working through lunch breaks. Some people will watch their fellow coworkers' arrival/departure/lunch break times like a hawk and loudly comment on them. I think it's a way to defend themselves if the higher-ups call them out on not working hard enough, so they can retort "So and so doesn't work through his lunch, AND he arrives 2 minutes late everyday!" It turns normally reasonable people into insufferable neurotics. I was very surprised one time when it went as far as one coworker altering another's timesheet behind her back to reflect a time that he felt was more accurate to her comings and goings. (He did get chastized by the boss for that, but not formally disciplined.) When the stress of all this seems just about to become unbearable, the coworkers enter into "I don't give a flip anymore" mode, bring in donuts for breakfast or go out for margaritas at lunch, then become calm and agreeable again. Until the next time.
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: LadyClaire on October 19, 2012, 10:00:58 AM
Arrival/departure times. This battle happens every time the office is collectively stressed out by the higher-ups' demand for overtime and working through lunch breaks. Some people will watch their fellow coworkers' arrival/departure/lunch break times like a hawk and loudly comment on them. I think it's a way to defend themselves if the higher-ups call them out on not working hard enough, so they can retort "So and so doesn't work through his lunch, AND he arrives 2 minutes late everyday!" It turns normally reasonable people into insufferable neurotics. I was very surprised one time when it went as far as one coworker altering another's timesheet behind her back to reflect a time that he felt was more accurate to her comings and goings. (He did get chastized by the boss for that, but not formally disciplined.) When the stress of all this seems just about to become unbearable, the coworkers enter into "I don't give a flip anymore" mode, bring in donuts for breakfast or go out for margaritas at lunch, then become calm and agreeable again. Until the next time.

Ha. I had a co-worker who frequently comments on the fact that I leave before anyone else, and that I take lunch before anyone as well. My schedule is 7:30-4:30, and unlike my co-workers, I get to work on time. Usually I'm here 10-15 minutes early, in fact. Labor laws dictate I must clock out for lunch no later than 5 hours after the start of my shift, and HR monitors the time clock and sends nastygrams to the Big Boss if an employee is even 5 minutes late in clocking out for lunch. So yes, I take lunch sooner than everyone, and I leave before everyone else. The co-worker who makes snotty comments about it seems to forget that by the time she strolls in through the door, I've already been at work for over an hour.

She would also call me demanding coverage for her department when she'd have an appointment or event, and then accuse me of being inflexible because she'd call me 5 minutes before the latest possible time I could clock out for lunch. I'd have to tell her "No, sorry, you've left it too late and you'll have to call someone else to cover you." It took me refusing to cover her several times before she finally figured out that if she doesn't call me by 10:30 for coverage, she doesn't get any help from me. She can't call at 11:45, or 12:20 and then get mad when I won't cover for her.
Title: Re: Petty things that start wars in every office
Post by: Lorelei_Evil on October 19, 2012, 10:25:02 AM
That used to happen to me, too. 

I always used to get from a former employees, in an insufferably Female Dog tone: "Must be nice to leave IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY!"  (hairflip, derisive expression)

I would usually not say anything, until one day she said it in from of The Grandboss.  That was my moment.  She says The Phrase again, complete with tone and expression. 

I just smiled, said: "It sure is nice.  I have time to run errands in the afternoon or even keep a medical appointment.  It makes starting work at 6:00am worth it!""

Grandboss just grinned.