Spooky, Kooky, Crazy Coworkers. Go to the Office At Your Peril.

How To Handle Difficult Coworkers

It's close to lunch time and something evil's lurking in the hall. Over the cube wall you see a sight that stops your phone call. You try to focus, but anger takes over so you fake it. You start to daydream as crazy coworkers look you right between the eyes. You're paralyzed...

Scary, crazy coworkers are most definitely not a thrill. Haunting offices year-round, these negative forces exhibit bad attitudes and behaviors, dragging the rest of us into doldrums. True villains, they often don disguises. But have no fear, here's a guide to help see underneath their masks.

Things that Go Bump in the Office

  • Ghosts: These spectres can never be found and frequently leave coworkers in a lurch. While their computer monitors are always on, ghosts are perpetually away from their desks, vanishing for extended periods — especially during crunch times when an extra helping hand is sorely needed.
  • Zombies: Office zombies walk through the workday in a disengaged and trancelike state, sluggishly going through the motions with little commitment, pride or passion for their work. Known for having furrowed brows and apathetic demeanors, zombies only exhibit excitement at 4:59 p.m.
  • Mummies: Self-absorbed and sneaky, mummies are all wrapped up in one thing: themselves. These self-serving workers have no concept of collaboration or teamwork and care only about moving up the corporate ladder. In addition to hogging the spotlight by taking all of the credit for group efforts, they also try to pawn off assignments they deem “low profile.”
  • Scarecrows: Not content just 'hanging' around the office, scarecrows delight in trying to frighten employees (especially new hires) with warnings about the organization. “If you think we’ve had a tough time since you’ve been here, just wait until spring,” the always-ominous scarecrow may be heard to say. Painting the boss as a fire-breathing ogre and spreading other tales of woe is this pessimistic person’s specialty.
  • Witch’s Brewers:  These office stinkers cook up nothing but trouble. With little regard for colleagues and their olfactory senses, these microwave monsters frequently heat up malodorous meals. They then eat at their desks as the smell of their pungent food wafts throughout the entire building.
  • Trick-or-Treaters: Arriving without warning or invitation, trick-or-treaters knock on neighbors’ front doors and demand goodies whether the porch light is on or not. The workplace version of this impolite character never says “excuse me” before barging into a colleague’s workspace and interrupting the person to ask for a favor or borrow office supplies.

Thwart Office Ghouls

If these office “ghouls” consistently create nightmares for you, it may be time to be brave and speak up. Let them know their behavior isn’t a treat. And, of course, if you realize you're the devilish one, make amends as soon as possible. Take a good look at your behavior and work on being less of a fright.

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