This editorial was originally published on Mar 27, 2009. It is being re-run as Steve is on vacation.
Humans are social animals. We like to interact and deal with each other, though that presents its own challenges. Personalities conflict, we have different likes and dislikes, different methods of working, different habits, it's amazing that so many of us do get along well. This is one of the reasons that I hire for a fit with the team first and technical skill second.
It's only natural that over time, even those of us that get along well, will get into arguments and disagreements. Often over little things that don't even matter. So for this Friday's poll
What are the little annoyances in the office?
Do you hate finding the empty coffee pot or having to make the next one? Do you hate the guy in the next cube that loves garlic for lunch? Is it the way that your manager arranges everything on his desk at right angles?
I know that there are all types of things that are truly offensive, even illegal or inappropriate, but please keep it clean and professional. Give us those things that are small, things that you can laugh at a little. Or that bug you for no reason. And let us know if you have a way to deal with them.
I don't have any great complaints now. Despite The Best Job in the World contest, I think I have one that's competitive for that title. And I have a great environment, working at home. The annoyances I have now are mainly noise-related, kids, dogs, or airplanes while shooting podcasts.
When I was in an office, there were a few things that bugged me for no reason. I worked with one guy that liked to come talk to me in my office, but he wouldn't talk. He'd come stand in the doorway and wait for me to initiate a conversation. It was maddening that he'd just come stand there while I was trying to cut code, not have anything really to say or ask, but want to talk. He was a nice guy, and I couldn't tell him to go away every time, and I would try to start a conversation, but that bugged me for quite awhile.
Other than that, I don't have anything that really stands out to me. I'm sure there were things that bothered me, but none have stuck with me over the years. So open up a bit, commiserate with others, and hopefully you'll learn to let go of a few things.