Stop Driving Me Crazy – A Request to my Work Colleagues

My job would be great…
if I didn’t have to work
with any people

*************************************

I work in a large company and have the pleasure of spending most of my days in meetings with other people. Sometimes those people (excluding those of you who happen to be reading this) drive me a little crazy. I’d like you to meet them:

  1. Mr. Fancy Words. He shows up at the meeting, sits back in his chair, and throws out words that none of us have ever heard. At the last meeting, he used the word “obviate”. Huh? Isn’t that what I do every 28 days? I cannot ever recall that word being used at work before (frankly, I’m not sure I’ve ever heard it, ever), and I consider myself reasonably intelligent (don’t we all?). Put your “word-a-day” calendar away and talk normal, ok? Either that, or go hang out with the guy from Finance who keeps using the word ‘accretive’. You’ll get along famously.
  2.  Mr. Interrupter. He seems to only call into meetings, never manages to make it into the office. He therefore uses the handicap of being on the phone to talk over everyone else.  It’s not that he doesn’t know you are talking, he just decides what he has to say is more important AT THAT VERY MOMENT than anything anyone else can say. I have two words for him: shut up.
  3. Ms. Stand in front of the Projector. Do you realize what you look like? The velociraptor from Jurassic Park. You know the part when it raises its head and all the genetic codes are

    Image from the movie Jurassic Park

    projected onto its face.  This is what you look like. Do you not know how it makes your skin look? Dead. Do you not know your eyes get a demonic glint in them from the light? I beg you, take a step back – just 18 inches and you’ll be fine. Because otherwise I can’t stop imagining you eating the guy from Finance, or at least biting him every time he says accretive.

  4. Ms. Too Good to Stay for the Whole Meeting.  You know what? My next meeting started 10 minutes ago too. We are 2 freakin’ minutes from closing this topic for good. Please don’t go. You know you are a decision maker. If you leave, we have to start this all over again, and I’ll have to take my own life.
  5. Mr. Never Blinks. You, sir, are just creeping me out. I have watched you now for several minutes and I never, ever, see you blink. Now I can no longer concentrate on the topic being discussed because I can’t stop watching you. I live in fear you will catch me staring at you… but I also live in fear I’ll miss you blink. Blink, dammit, blink!
  6. Ms. Types on her BB and Talks in the Meeting Concurrently. Ok, so you are more talented than I am. I don’t care. Right now, you are giving neither me nor the poor schmuck you are emailing your full attention. No one is so special that she must multitask that way. I don’t mind you typing under the table – we all do it (she in glass houses…) – just pick one.
  7. Mr. Conversation Tick.  You know him, right? For some reason he needs confirmation that you agree with what he’s saying, right? And he tends to request this confirmation at the end of each sentence, know what I mean? This wouldn’t be so bad if his cadence and tone varied sentence to sentence, but it doesn’t, understand? Oh. My. God. Stop it. Go stand in front of the projector or something.
  8. I would be remiss in pointing out the pains of the workforce if I did not link you to this delightful video about global conference calls. Every time I watch it I laugh my ass off. It is a perfect representation of what 80% of my calls are like. I cannot add anything to it. Enjoy.

In closing, if you see yourself in these profiles, know that I do like you, but sometimes I just want to strangle you, understand?  Reading this and appropriately reacting would obviate your risk of committing these sins in the future.  I’m not expecting perfection – just try on some self awareness, please. If you lack that (which I’m fairly comfortable saying is probably true), I work in HR – ask me how you show up in meetings and I’m happy to give you a clue.

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15 Comments

  1. Sarah

     /  January 19, 2012

    OMG – I know these people!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  2. Farah

     /  January 19, 2012

    I think my personal favorite is Ms Stand in front of Projector.!!. quick suggestion? get a Smartboard already 😉

    Reply
  3. OMG I’m pretty sure I am one of these people! I decline to admit which one on the grounds I may incriminate myself! LOVE THIS…

    Reply
  4. I completely concur with your haiku today. That seems to be my primary problem with my job as well. I feel your pain, and laughed hysterically, because I can definitely relate!

    Reply
  5. Lyssapants

     /  January 19, 2012

    One of my biggest pet peeves is #4’s sister: Ms. Too Good to Come On Time. When she bustles in late, insists on interrupting the proceedings in progress and then demands to be brought up to speed on what she missed. I don’t think so! You don’t want to miss anything? Then get there on time. Your time is not more important than mine. /rant 🙂

    Reply
    • totally agree… the problem is i am often late… (see glass house reference on post). however, i usually say something like “i’m late, my fault, don’t stop for me” as a way to lessen the guilt!

      Reply
  6. Do we all work at the same place? Because these people seem very familiar.

    Reply
  7. O.M.G. If I didn’t know exactly where you were I’d swear you were over here in my dept. So true. So funny!

    Reply
  8. I can relate. Great post!

    Reply
  9. Rebeca

     /  January 20, 2012

    I couldn’t avoid getting pictures in my head with each description, laughing so hysterical! Thanks, I really needed it 🙂

    Reply
  10. It so hilarious 😀
    Thanks for the great post. I love your writing skill.

    Reply
  11. literarylunchbox

     /  January 23, 2012

    Oh, so hilarious. I work with these people, too. I fear I am Mr. Fancy Words in drag. However, many of the people I work with have a big vocabulary, too… one of my staff just used the word “conflate,” as a matter of fact. I happen to know that many don’t think that’s a real word, but it is. Since we both knew it, we felt good about each other.

    Reply
  12. Where I work, we also have Ms. Pretend I Don’t Understand, who asks ridiculous questions about things that have already been explained. We’re sure she does it on purpose to try to catch people contradicting each other. We decided it’s funnier if we repeat it later with a bad fake foreign accent, like someone who just doesn’t “get” English. “What is this cloud you speak of, and why does it hold your document?”

    Reply
  1. More People Who Drive Me Nuts (IM Edition) « FamilyHaikus

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