Why don't these tap-tap-tappers just bring in a 16-piece drum kit and get it out of their systems? There are fewer annoying office habits than the person who has to tap out a rhythm while waiting for their brain to engage into first gear. There are unconfirmed made-up rumours that the CIA is now using the office-drummer technique in terrorist interrogations after finding it more effective at extracting information than attaching car batteries to soft body parts.
Foghorn phone voice
In the same way that your television volume appears to jump up nine notches when the adverts come on, there's a breed of office worker who raises their tone several decibels as soon as they pick up the phone. You can help by explaining their voice is carried not through very long cardboard tubes but through conversion to electrical currents down a copper wire which, almost instantaneously, are then amplified at the other end through a speaker. If they don't understand this, just speak louder.
"But this is the latest fragrance from the streets of Paris. All the celebrities are wearing it," they may plead. Wearing it _ yes. But marinating themselves in it overnight? Probably not.
All offices have at least one person who appears to think that to make the little symbols on their keyboard appear on the screen, they need to exert the force of an atomic bomb through the ends of their digits. Either this, or after a freak gardening accident, they now have lump hammers for fingers.
Paid for nothing
Finally _ a good reason to smoke. You get paid for standing out in the sunshine chatting to your wheezy and addicted mates while the fresh-lunged members of the workforce are indoors putting their nicotine-free fingers to work. You could ask the smokers to start pulling their weight, except their lungs would probably collapse. You could also give them some mouthwash as a gift, to help mask the breath-of-a-thousand-cigs.
What is it with people who _ riddled with pleurisy, the bubonic plague or cancer of the entire body _ still think it's a good idea to come in to work? The world really won't stop if that report doesn't get finished and the boss more likely regards you as a mug than a martyr. Your work mates, of course, will shower you with love for ruining their plans for the weekend and keeping their kids out of school with the germs you give them.
Egg and mayonnaise sandwiches, tuna fishcakes, blue cheese with crackers, breakfast burritos with extra onion and chips with salt and vinegar _ all food items which require urgent federal government or United Nations action to ban them from the workplace. Alternatively, ask your boss to find some funds to hire a permanent on-site SWAT team armed with fumigation guns. Or just ask your colleague to bring something that doesn't stink (or, in the case of the chips, require you to leave and buy some yourself).
If your office friend intermittently decided to play bits of his favourite music collection from a speaker on his desk, you'd probably ask them to leave their taste for death-metal or American R&B at home. So why, then, is it OK to have Usher's latest offering, or a 50 Cent classic (is he called that because that's how much most people would pay for one of his records?) playing six times a day _ or 22 if it's Friday.
You distinctly remember hearing the boss bring your new work mate over to his or her work area and say, "This is your desk". The boss did not follow that up with the words, "but feel free to use your colleague's desk for overspill if there's not enough room for your inane gossip magazines and pictures of your 17 children".
Eau de underarmDeodorants were invented in the '50s _ which is a year, not the age you have to be before you start using them. There are fewer things more noxious than a damp-shirted male who, after working up a sweat running for the bus, is left to "mature" over a keyboard for eight hours.