We all have to be polite and even politically correct at work, but there are things your co-workers are itching to tell you, if they could just get away with it! So next time someone gives you that look and they appear to be busting at the seams to tell you something, they probably want to. Here are some things they’d tell you if they could.
Your Opinion Matters
Co-workers that ask for your input on a project really value your opinion and want to hear from you, even if it is constructive criticism.
You brought carrots. They brought lasagna. It looks so good and you bet it will smell even better, but don’t think about it. If you’re one of those people who eats someone else’s lunch, your co-workers are just dying to give you a piece of their mind.
If you’re eating lunch with a co-worker, don't just reach into their bag of chips or cookies to help yourself. Just because you’re sitting together doesn’t mean you’ll automatically share. Ask their permission!
What? No Coffee?
Dude. Don't be the jerk who gets the last cup of coffee and leaves a quarter-inch of coffee in the pot, assuming someone else will make more. Pitch in, dude. Everyone know’s it’s you who leaves it empty. Surprise everyone and brew another pot. You’ll keep the java flowing and you’ll be a hero!
Don’t Be A Pig
Clean Up After Yourself! Along the same lines as the coffee pot, wash your lunch dishes and your coffee mug once in a while. Don’t leave dirty stuff around, and clean up water around the office kitchen sink. And for goodness sakes, throw away your trash!
Don’t be the person who talks on your cell phone LOUDLY when you’re in a crowded elevator. And please don’t be the person who decides to wait until you get into the elevator to perform one of nature’s bodily functions—you know what we mean.
Too Much Cologne
Don’t wear too much cologne or perfume in the office. It is stifling on the elevator and most of your colleagues probably feel like there is a noxious cloud forming over their cubicles. If you notice people holding their noses in meetings, it’s probably because of you.
Most places outlaw smoking inside a place of business, but outdoors are usually within limits. Be careful to smoke in the designated area which is usually away from entrances. Don’t be the person who smokes right by the door so you envelope everyone going in or out in a cloud of smoke. This goes for vaping, too. While you may think it is different, most people regard it as the same as smoking tobacco.
If people turn their noses away from you while you’re speaking to them in close quarters, or if this happens to you in meetings, you may have bad breath. Are people offering you mints or gum on a regular basis? That is a sign as well. Ask someone you trust to tell you the truth, then brush more often or buy your own mints or mouthwash to use after morning coffee. If your problem is more serious, your dentist can help.
Your co-workers know you love your dog, but unless he knows Excel or can handle a conference call, think about leaving your pet at home. If you're absolutely going to be bring your dog to work, please make sure your wet is well trained and behaves. Disruptive pets really peeve co-workers.
The same rules that apply to your pets definitely apply to your kids. Except for Bring Your Kids To Work Day, co-workers generally don’t enjoy your kids as much as you do, particularly if you’re using the office as an after-school day care for a couple of hours until you go home for the day.
Please flush. Don’t leave water all over the sink. And that can of room deodorizer is there to be used. Enough said.
You Complete Me
Don’t be the person who has a cell phone as an appendage. If a co-worker is trying to have a conversation with you, be respectful. Put your phone down for a few minutes or call the person back.
If you’re going out for coffee, or picking up lunch from the new restaurant down the street, ask your team if you can get something for them too. And make sure you pay for your items. Some people think that if they serve as the delivery person, everyone else should pitch in and pay for their meal. Not cool.
If you say you’re going to complete a task, follow through because your coworkers are depending on you to do your part. Don't let them down.
Know It All
Don’t be a know it all. Don’t profess to know everything about sports, politics, and whatever else is being discussed around the water cooler. And don't tell co-workers how to do their jobs. Stick to your job. You’re not always right, so stop talking and give your colleagues a chance to speak.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
You will easily become the most toxic co-worker in the office if you steal other people’s ideas and take credit for their work. If a team member does well on a project, give credit where credit is due. Don't claim their work as your own.
Participate in office birthdays and after hours celebrations. You have a lot of commitments—everyone does, and you don’t have to go to all of them, but try to attend at least some. Don’t be the person who sits in their office while everyone else is eating cake. Even if you only stay 10 minutes, your presence will be appreciated.
Don’t dig through coworker desks when they leave for lunch or at the end of the day. If you need something, ask them while they’re in the office or call or text them. You may think you’re slick but they can tell you’ve pilfered their desks.
What’s That Noise?
Your co-workers will beg you to not walk into their offices or cubicles and perform any bodily function. It starts at belching and gets worse from there. You get the picture. Do that at home or in the bathroom or outside. Anywhere else! Sure, the occasional accident happens, but if you’re a repeat offender, your team members will know you’re doing it on purpose!