So, after all your hard work handing out résumés and preparing for interviews, you have finally got yourself a job in an office. But don’t relax yet; the trouble is only just starting. Offices seem like such cozy and safe environments, far removed from the war zone that is public service, with no scary customers to invade your workspace. But, offices are not what they seem; they may not have angry customers stomping around the corridors, but they do have a wide range of other scary people to contend with. Don’t get comfortable (if you even can on that office chair that hasn’t been replaced since the mid-'80s), because the horrors of working in an office are all lurking around the next corner.
15 The mad dash to escape
When you are stuck in a dreary office all day, doing an even drearier job, the only thing keeping you going is the image of the clock nearing closer to the time to leave the office. Some foolish people (and even the more troubling people who seem to enjoy loitering around the office) will wait until the clock strikes five before starting to get ready. This is just asking for trouble. In the three minutes it takes to button your jacket and check you’ve got your phone, your boss could have dragged you for a chat. Worse still, you could even have been lured into some giant task, meaning you get stuck at work. Get a strategy in place and, as soon as your shift is complete, get out of that door ASAP.
14 Conference call madness
We're sure some very clever person came up with the idea of conference calls with everyone's best interests at heart, hoping that it would help office workers. Unfortunately, this isn’t how things turned out. Managers now seem to deploy the dreaded conference call as a method of torture. Normal work meetings can be a nightmare, but when you don’t know who is speaking, what they are talking about, why you are there and generally what is going on, they are unbearable. Things get worse still when they go on for hours and with everyone at their desks, there is no hope of you overstaying your welcome in a meeting room. So, basically, if you get stuck on a late conference call, you could be there all evening.
13 When people just don’t get technology
Are you under the age of 40? Do you work in an office? Are you a computer expert? Well, guess what? It doesn’t matter if you can barely turn on your PC because looking like a young and technologically-minded creature means that you are going to be called upon for all manner of mad IT queries. Some of these queries involve items of technology that have been around since before you were born and haven’t been used for decades. Why some people are still hanging onto the dead communication that is fax, we don’t know, but these people are out there. If you are unlucky enough to have one of these in your office, it is safest to find a desk far away—otherwise you are asking for trouble.
12 When people eat fish at work
Being trapped in a confined space with people you can barely stand the sight of is not the best way to spend your working day but, alas, someone has to pay the bills. The considerate way to act in such an environment is to keep your head down, stay quiet and, if you must eat at your desk, bring in a low-odor sandwich.
But there’s always someone who decides that eating fish in the office is a good plan. We can’t imagine why anyone would want to eat a tuna sandwich that had been sweating in their backpack all morning; the smell alone 0is bad enough. Worse still are those treacherous creatures that microwave fish products in the break room. These people must be stopped!
We all know what teamwork means...and it doesn’t involve working as a team. What teamwork normally involves is an office of people (who would ordinarily rather cut off their own ears than engage with their co-workers) having to join together and pretend to be friends for the day. Such tasks are normally a cunning idea by management to try and test their teams and try and make them work together during their day-to-day work. In reality, it just makes everyone resent their boss even more. But this is not the worst thing about teamwork. The worst thing is the fact that very few members of teams do any work. If you are one of the few who do work when forced to cooperate in teamwork, we salute you.
10 When you get roped into a staff night out
The work party—seriously, this is an event that can never go well. It is bad enough being surrounded by morons all day long without having to endure them after work too. But, these evil people catch you off guard or lure you in with the promise of fried food and wine. This is brutal. After five days trapped inside an office, most people would crawl over broken glass for a sip of wine, so these people are pros but we can’t let them break us down. You do not want to end up on a staff night out because no amount of alcohol is going to make your colleagues bearable. If you cave to their party initiation, you are doomed to spend the evening with a bunch of dorks.
9 When new younger employees arrive
Every year, new younger, prettier, more tech-savvy employees join the workforce and, unfortunately for us, we just keep on aging. Before you now it, you aren’t the youngest person in the office anymore and suddenly you are the old bore in the corner who doesn’t understand how to use the latest office-based technologies. It wasn’t long ago that the offices were deemed as being cutting edge for having laptops, but now people are in business meetings typing away on their iPads and Skyping people from across the globe.
We are left with the fear that our jobs will soon be taken over by these youngsters. How can we compete with their social media capabilities and their perfectly contoured faces? Millennials, ugh…
8 When technology lets you down
Technology is supposed to be there to help ease the stresses and strains of our everyday life, but any office worker will tell you that one of the main stresses of working in an office is trying to get technology to cooperate. One of the central reasons for these problems is due to budget cuts, financial problems or just the bosses being miserable old scrooges most offices are full of computers that would be better placed on the scrap heap. These aging machines cause chaos to anyone actually trying to get any work done (and yes, there are some of these people out there). Worse still are the timings of these PC meltdowns, which always seem to occur when a big deadline is looming.
7 Having to phone IT
Anyone not familiar with the horrors of workplace IT systems will be confused as to why, in the section above, phoning IT was not mentioned. Well, this is because contacting the good people at IT is the absolute last resort in any computer-based disaster. Due to the number of system failures and computer illiterate morons that the IT technicians have to deal with on a daily basis, they have become rather a jaded bunch. The problem is that even if you call with a genuine problem that you have done your best to fix yourself, they will answer the phone with an air of despair in their voice. This lack of enthusiasm also means that they will normally wait three days before dealing with your query.
6 When people steal your milk
One of the few things that will keep someone from losing their mind in an office is a good cup of tea or coffee, dependent upon which side of the pond your office is based. However, your hopes and dreams can quickly be dashed by some inconsiderate staff member has chosen to drink the rest of your milk. Such instances often result in the deployment of polite notices (or rather passive-aggressive notices) around the break rooms, encouraging visitors and co-workers alike to purchase their own milk. If this subtle hint doesn’t work then the fridge police, who always seem to appoint themselves, will start sending out group emails to warn of the repercussions of using other people’s milk. Seriously people, just don’t take my dreams (and milk) away.
5 Loud typists
There only ever seems to be two levels of noise in an office: so loud that no one has any hope of ever being able to process their own thoughts or so quiet you can hear a pin drop. One of the big contributing factors to the former is loud typists. While everyone else manages to type away with minimal noise, some people just hammer away at those keys like there is no tomorrow. It is hard to understand the reasoning behind this need to hit the keys with such force. While some just don’t understand how to use a keyboard (and there are plenty of these workers around), other loud typists take out their anger on the innocent keys. If in doubt, stay clear.
4 Wanting to quit, but knowing you can’t
The horror here is that however much you hate your job, you have to be there. Very few people go into work on a morning because they love what they do (if you are one of these people, you are very lucky indeed). But, for the rest of the world’s workforce, the working day is a constant struggle to stay motivated and suppress the urge to quit. Dependent on the office in which you spend your working day, these fantasies of quitting can start anywhere from the end of the day to before you even get to work. But then, waking from your daydream, you realize that you need to pay for food, shelter, gas bills and all that other boring stuff. But, the boss can’t stop us from dreaming.
3 Having to work on your birthday
The last place anyone wants to be on their birthday is at work, but sometimes this just cannot be avoided. If you haven’t booked your annual leave entitlement far enough in advance, you got confused and forgot to book to day off or your evil boss has arranged for a special event that everyone must attend on your big day, you may just get stuck in the office having a truly rubbish time. The only ray of hope is that you get birthday cake, but even this comes with pitfalls, as most colleagues expect the birthday girl/boy to bring along cakes on their special day. This basically means that, along with having to spend your birthday at work, you have to buy dessert for an entire office.
2 When people make you terrible tea
In order to try and regulate the constant tea making in offices, many teams club together to buy milk and other office essentials and then take turns to make rounds of drinks. This system falls down when someone in the office is incapable of making a hot drink. How can a person get to be a grown up and not have mastered the art of tea-making? Most people's first jobs are working in cafés and restaurants, so this alone should hold most people in good stead. But for whatever reason, some people just can’t make a proper brew. It really makes you wonder if these people know exactly what they are doing and are just pretending to be bad to get out of tea duty.
1 Random staff meetings
Office managers seem to have two purposes in life: the first, which they often excel at, is draining all hope and happiness from their employees. The second is to hold meetings as often as they possibly can. It doesn’t matter that there is work stacking up on everyone’s desks, an imminent deadline looming, or if the building is on fire—if the boss wants a meeting, they are having a meeting. The ironic thing about this is that most people seem to address the team’s workload and try to help overcome an influx of work. Meanwhile, the office staff is all trapped in a room being lectured as more and more work comes in. No one has time for these meaningless meetings; make them stop!