1. Money
Susan M. Heathfield

What Coworker Behavior Drives You Crazy?

By March 15, 2014

Follow me on:

Do your coworkers drive you crazy sometimes?

Do you have pet peeves about your boss and coworkers? If you do, the good news is that you're not alone and that you're - normal. Even sane and likeable people have habits and behaviors that can drive their coworkers crazy.

People miss work; they miss deadlines. Some people are perpetually late for meetings. They dress unprofessionally: in one client company, a customer service representative wears crumpled cotton capris and beachwear to work everyday and wonders why no new opportunity appears on her horizon.

In another, a manager talks down to employees and acts as if he is the only one contributing to accomplishing work. In still another, an employee, who regularly interacts with the public at trade shows, decided to grow long hair and a beard and wear jeans to trade shows.

An otherwise valued employee at another company spoils her boss's day three times a week by repeatedly asking for a raise when the company is not giving raises.

In some organizations, bad boss behavior is legendary. Sometimes, a new boss is assigned a dysfunctional team. Every workplace has different stories about employee behavior that can drive others crazy.

This new resource about dealing with difficult people at work can help.

Check them out.

Is the behavior that most drives you crazy on the list? If not, add yours in "comments" below. Please take the time to vote in the poll.

Recent survey/poll: What Do You Do?

Prior polls. Vote in previous polls.

More About Dealing With Difficult People at Work

October 27, 2009 at 10:06 am
(1) Mary says:

Here’s what my BOSS does:
Talks all the time about personal issues and chats about non-work-related topics.
Misses a lot of work time.
Seems to be hardly working even when they show up for work.
Takes credit for other’s work.
Must be the center of attention (…if ANYONE tells a story about ANYTHING, they will have to add how they have lived through something worse) Must constantly have sympathy or accolades.
Runs a personal business on company time selling to fellow employees.
Doesn’t talk about your performance at performance review – just wants to be your “friend”.

October 27, 2009 at 10:29 am
(2) Candice says:

I work with an HR Director:
That is very NEGATIVE…all the time.
Her life is miserable…misery likes company.
Nothing is confidential…she gossips about everyone.
Unorganized…her office is dirty and unorganized.
Never happy…unless something negative is happening.

October 27, 2009 at 11:59 am
(3) Fredricka says:

The behavior that drives me the most crazy is where people create problems instead of coming up with solutions to solve them. They are poisioning the waters and are the cause of the problem.

October 28, 2009 at 6:52 am


October 28, 2009 at 9:17 am
(5) Sasha says:

Staff who refuse to read emails and will then come to you for assistance or questions on what was directly covered in the email. The best one was our office recently got some hi-tech equipment on which I conducted a 10 minute training session on how to use it. Three people showed up out of about 50 people who use it. A week later, one of our employees hosted a meeting after business hours with a professinal organization where about 40 people showed and he had no clue how to operate the equipment (after bragging to his group how great our office was). He could, however, operate the copy machine and they had the meeting caveman style.

October 28, 2009 at 4:12 pm
(6) LJ says:

I have an employee who talks continuously. I had a meeting with him to let him know why he is having problems with directions. He does not listen and talks over people when they are trying to speak.

He kept interupting me and talking over the top of me. I told him that was the very behavior which caused the meeting in the first place. It was nearly impossible for me to give constructive critsism.

October 29, 2009 at 12:08 pm
(7) Lori says:

We have an employee who is the office “tattle-tail” and somewhat of a backstabber. At the same time she also appears to be the supervisor’s favorite. She can be nice as can be OR she can be on other employees’ rears – depends on her mood. It’s alright for her to complain about the supervisor or to the supervisor about others but the supervisor doesn’t appreciate the same behavior from the rest. The supervisor actually appreciates her “keeping an eye on things” (being a tattle-tail) but apparently doesn’t know that she complains about her just as much as the rest of us.

November 10, 2009 at 10:39 am
(8) jugoghosh says:

This may not be the case everywhere but here in India I find lying for just about anything as a way of life. this is not only for co-workers it scales from shop assistants to taxi drivers and bosses.

December 10, 2009 at 5:38 pm
(9) Brett says:

My fellow employees waiste time when their told not to.
Repeatidly make the same mistakes over and over but take no action to solve repeated mistakes.
Actully say that they dont get paid enough to do certian duties of their job.
Can dish it out but can’t take it when it comes to job performance or personal interactions.
I’am far from a stellar employee but the highly entitled attitude and lack of respect for others at their place of work drives me to the edge of known insanity and beyond.
I will not be driven from a job that i like but can not leave at this time either.

March 3, 2010 at 1:07 am
(10) Sage says:

Gossips and backstabbers. I mind my own business and do my work but they still won’t leave me alone. I have a child with disability so from an accident and so they are sick a lot and have to have more surgery. I am critized by coworkers and gossiped about even though I have no control over my child’s illnesses and surgeries. I’m a single Mom, no other family, the father out of the picture cause he couldn’t handle childs disability. Everything from saying I’m lyin about why I am gone to telling me I’m making it up even though they have seen the before and after effects of the accident and heard the emergency phone calls come in when problems arise.

September 20, 2011 at 4:56 pm
(11) Me says:

Arrogant employees that think they are perfect and never make mistakes.

August 16, 2012 at 8:21 pm
(12) Jerry says:

I have coworkers who feel the need to explain a process every time it comes up. Then insist on explaining the importance of the process, when I am already doing it correctly, and their reason for telling me is about a problem I hadn’t even created.

February 17, 2013 at 12:15 am
(13) bonnie lohnes says:

I have been working with this company for about six months now, I work the early morning shift…we put the stock out. There is so much negativity it is now affecting the rest of the other employees. We have some employees that have been working with the company for about 14 years. My question is how can I get rid of the negativity.

February 18, 2013 at 2:07 pm
(14) Susan Heathfield says:


Here is all that I have written about curing negativity:



July 30, 2013 at 10:28 am
(15) Sandy says:

I have a boss that doesn’t read his e-mails, but it doesn’t stop him from responding. He will usually ask a question that was specifically addressed in the e-mail or if you ask him “Should I do it this way or that way”? he has responded, “Yes”. Very frustrating!

July 30, 2013 at 1:04 pm
(16) Laura says:

I have a coworker that continually talks about their sickness and personal drama. Every time a new person comes near, the story is told again and again until something new happens to them.

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.