back to article Have you ever suspected your colleague doesn't hope this email finds you well?*

It was international coworking day this week, which quite a few corporates used to get people excited about coming into the office again. Yes, the office. Remember? That place where your colleague microwaves seafood pasta in the shared kitchen, boils eggs in the kettle, repeatedly sighs meaningfully, or makes horrible mixed tea …

  1. lvm

    The last one doesn't have the correct choice

    The best coworker is the one who leaves you in peace.

  2. Howard Sway Silver badge

    your colleague microwaves seafood pasta in the shared kitchen

    I'll take your colleagues microwaved seafood pasta, and raise you an ex-colleagues microwaved fish curry.

    It smelt revolting. The worst thing is he left it in the fridge in a container, where I also kept my cheese, and my cheese sandwiches also tasted of fish curry.

    1. chivo243 Silver badge

      Re: your colleague microwaves seafood pasta in the shared kitchen

      At my last gig, a shared kitchen with over 100 cow-wankers warming up leftovers from the <insert_ethnic_food_here>, that's the reason I never ate in the lounge... Almost always at my desk, with El Reg open.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: your colleague microwaves seafood pasta in the shared kitchen

      And I’ll raise you with using the kettle to heat milk up.

    3. Mongrel

      Re: your colleague microwaves seafood pasta in the shared kitchen

      I had a colleague moan that I moved his Stinking Bishop to a sealed container, apparently it did funny things to the flavour.

      1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge

        Re: Stinking Bishop

        Your colleague was quite obviously on a next-level wind-up of the entire office. I take my hat off to him!


    4. Stevie

      Re: fish curry

      See that and raise you the guy who cooks the curry, then jams the bog with the inevitable results and the other bloke who doesn’t recognise the situation despite the bi-weekly replay, and “adds” the the janitorial experience.

      Oh, and the colleague who must use copious amounts of water during their bizarre bathroom ritual which leaves the entire cubicle soaked and every scrap of paper a soggy mush.

      And the guy who conducts experiments to see if half a toilet roll won’t flush on the first Friday of the month, whether the same laws of plumbing apply every Friday that follows.

      Hard to believe we require proof of education before we employ anyone.

  3. Dinanziame Silver badge

    I hope this email finds you

    before I do

  4. RosslynDad

    Attention span of a goldfish

    I need a few bits of information. I send them an email with requests split into numbered list. They answer just the first. They clearly have the attention span of a goldfish. Oxygen pirates.

    Add "auto-reply then block" rule to (crap) email tool: respond "Happy to go with your suggestion" for this luser.

    1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

      Re: They answer just the first.

      ^ What he said x 100.

      I blame the service-previously-known-as-twitter.

      Not sure I agree with the proferred solution though.

      Better to send them a reply with two bullet points.

      The first is a perfectly civil point.

      The second can be as rude as you like (bearing in mind they ain't gonna read it).

      So if they reply saying that there is no need to be so abusive you can reply to the effect that "ah, you DO read the full email, so why didn't you reply fully to my previous one?"

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: Attention span of a goldfish

      Just add it to the paper trail explaining why $PROJECT isn't done on time.

      You are only paid to do your job, not your colleague's job as well. Don't find yourself taken down because of somebody else's laziness or incompetence.

  5. Jan 0 Silver badge

    Bring Back our Dabsy!

    This is a very poor imitation.

  6. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    I'm glad I don't have to ork any cows.

    Don't they mean irk?

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: I'm glad I don't have to ork any cows.

      No, it's definitely cow-orker.

      According to The Jargon File it traces back to at least 1989, on Usenet.

  7. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    The AI quesation has a missing option

    'It's irrelevant to what we are doing here'

  8. jake Silver badge

    Someone might want to tell Brad ...

    ... that we were doing what he calls coworking at SAIL, starting in the mid 1960s. It carried on into various proto-SillyConValley startups in the 1970s and beyond.

    Also, see any hunter-gatherer society going back into the mists of time ...

  9. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    Or the really annoying

    "Did you deliver <X> parts as promised?" from a customer that really deserves the reply

    "Fek off to your fekking loading dock you lazy arse fekker and fekking well look, its like a fekking 20 fekking foot walk from your fekking office to check with your fekking dockmaster who should have handed you the fekking paperwork fekking yesterday.. "

    Of course we cant say that... but roughly translated thats what our answer is

    Note : please replace the work 'fekking' with a swear word of your choice

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Or the really annoying

      Why don't you replace the fucking word yourself?

      Why is it that some people seem to think that this kind of masking somehow mutes the badness of the word(s) that they self censor, despite the fact that their actual meaning is blatantly obvious to anyone with native intelligence greater than that of a flatworm. It's almost as if they think that the words themselves are somehow more meaningful than the intent behind the words.

      :: Adds to list of irritating things that cow-orkers do ... ::

      Nothing personal, Boris (any relation to Archie?), you just gave me an opening to bring up a pet peeve. Have a beer. Or six.

      1. Tim99 Silver badge

        Re: Or the really annoying

        The best uncensored ( apocryphal? ) story I heard was a reply from an WW2 RAF ground crew sergeant to a Squadron Leader when asked why an aircraft had not been repaired for combat: " Fucking fucker's fucking fucked - Sir. "

        1. RockBurner

          Re: Or the really annoying

          "The best uncensored ( apocryphal? ) story I heard was a reply from an WW2 RAF ground crew sergeant to a Squadron Leader when asked why an aircraft had not been repaired for combat: " Fucking fucker's fucking fucked - Sir. " "

          A good example of the adaptability of a great english swear-word.

          1. tiggity Silver badge

            Re: Or the really annoying

            Not sure if its apocryphal, but read similar story in a work on swearing by the late great Anthony Burgess (author of A Clockwork Orange amongst many others)

      2. Robin

        Re: Or the really annoying


        It's really fucking anno**ng.

      3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Or the really annoying

        "Why don't you replace the fucking word yourself?"

        Maybe he's fecking Irish you daft fecker! :-)

        Or just a fan of Father Ted.

        1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

          Re: Or the really annoying

          1/8 Irish on my dad's side

          And a fan of father ted too




          THAT!........ would be an ecumenical matter

          (to be honest I could have using zarking, then finished with 'belgium' but I would'nt stoop that low)

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hands Free..........

    Making handsfree calls in an open plan office...........

    Been 15 years since I worked in an office as my office has been in my spare bedroom for a while - I assume folks still make phone calls?

    1. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

      Re: Hands Free..........

      At least you can hear both sides of the convo that way. Hearing half can sometimes lead to amusing, or disturbing, thoughts.

    2. Dinanziame Silver badge

      Re: Hands Free..........

      In my little corner, video conference is far more common than phone calls.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hands Free..........

      I used to work near a team of about a dozen people, all of who had phones and headsets on their desks, but would join conference calls by one of them putting it on speaker and the rest of them, still sat at their desks, shouting at it from across the room.

      1. RockBurner

        Re: Hands Free..........

        One "boss" (small* company director) I had expected his minions to listen to his calls; well, his half of his calls, said half comprising mostly of single word responses: "yes", "ok", "fine", "no" etc; and then be able to pick up a new project and start running with it, assuming they'd heard (how??) everything the other party had been yammering about.

        He tried it with me twice: the first time I told him "I don't listen to other people's calls, it's rude and invasive", and he filled me in on the details with very bad grace **, and luckily I moved desk away from him very soon after.

        The second time, (about 10 years later when I'd finally had enough of his utterly moronic bullshit) I quit.

        * in both senses

        ** well - he was Australian too, which didn't help matters.

  11. dark_15

    Re: Slack choices

    It's not even the 10-15 messages part that I dislike (admittedly, I will send things on multiple messages to break up long things - and when sharing code/terminal output). It's two separate things that drive me up the wall:

    The one-word slack message that says "Hey" or "Hi" without describing any part of the problem.

    The unrealistic demand that if someone DMs me they are entitled to a response almost immediately.

    1. the.spike

      Re: Slack choices

      May I direct you at ?

      It's my standard Bio info these days.

      1. dark_15

        Re: Slack choices

        Oh I am very familiar with that site. Along with "No @Here" -

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Slack choices

      "entitled to a response almost immediately."

      Some people use DMs instead of a phone and these people have every bell & whistle on, so their computer bleeps and flashes like a disco at the moment a DM arrives, so naturally they assume that everyone else has it the same way, literally *demanding* immediate action. Even worse than a phone as it pops up one or several windows on top of whatever you were doing, totally killing the work flow.

      It's not only Teams, but *every* 'collaboration software' which does that by default: DM is literally *designed* to act like a phone. Them morons.

      I've disabled every 'notification' I can and a DM shows in the task bar as changing icon colour, nothing more. Not at all if I have something full screen and that's the way it should be, to me.

      If you have *really* urgent matter, you call. Otherwise you get a reply when I've time. Usually not too long, as we've coffee breaks/lunch at every 2 hours.

  12. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    Performance assessments

    In my time, I've leveraged my competences to manage many issues lists, while

    managing successful delivery of many deliverables and keeping the

    stakeholders happy. Going forward, I will action further projects, drilling

    down when I find issues. Often, this means staying at my desk well beyond

    close of play. I will continue doing this until beloved employer sunsets me.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Performance assessments

      You need whisky.

      A large one.

    2. Hazmoid

      Re: Performance assessments

      Lol, I see what you did there :-)

      Playing a game of boardroom bingo, were we?

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Performance assessments

        "Playing a game of boredroom bingo, were we?"

        FTFY :-)

  13. Flat Phillip

    First poll missing an option

    Where is the "creates a meeting for every single thing, including pre-meeting meetings"?

    First to the wall when the revolution comes.

  14. Pantagoon

    Social Media

    Finding a worker messing around on Twatter or Faceache when they should be doing something more productive.

    Full disclosure: I am self-employed and work alone.

    Sometimes I disappoint myself so much.

  15. MarcoV

    The best coworker is somewhat capable in his supposed field and even a bit beyond here and there.

    .... because there is already enough dead wood.

  16. I Am Spartacus

    Worst person in the office is the one....

    That send you an email for something that can easily be done next week, or even next month

    And then send you a whatsapp "did you get my email - its been 60 seconds and you haven't responded"

    And then calls you to see if you got the WhatsApp?

    No, Blair, I am just ignoring you because you are irritating

  17. David Nash Silver badge

    Guilty as charged

    of pressing Return between thoughts and thereby sending multiple Teams messages.

    Another one is editing a message I sent a few moments ago, after it's been read. I wonder if they'll notice!

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Guilty as charged

      "of pressing Return between thoughts and thereby sending multiple Teams messages."

      Yeah, that's bloody annoying and counter-intuitive. Enter should start a new line like in most text entry. CTRL-Enter as a shortcut for send would be far too sensible, of course.

  18. Graeme Mudie

    Excessive deodorant or perfume

    You missed out an option for coworkers who drench themselves in perfume/aftershave/deodorant, such that even the office plants wilt within 10 metres of them, and due to the usual poor office air circulation, the stench can linger for 20 minutes or longer after they've left.

    Much as I can't stand stale cigarette smoke smells - at least that fades to something not quite barf inducing, within minutes. (usually.) Some smokers seem to have the smell impregnated to their core, unfortunately.

    1. Roger Kynaston Silver badge

      Re: Excessive deodorant or perfume

      back in the days (a long time back) I spent some time driving taxis in Taunton. There was a unique smell associated with old unwashed man who drank rough cider and smoked Bensons or senior service. It would take half an hour with all the windows open to clear it.

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: Excessive deodorant or perfume

      Olfactory pollution intentionally inflicted upon the rest of us by an idiot affecting an almost inconceivably blind vanity. In other words: It fucking reeks! There is no place for perfume (aftershave , by any other name ... ) in modern society. We have this new-fangled thing called "showering". Avail yourself of it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Excessive deodorant or perfume

        "We have this new-fangled thing called "showering". Avail yourself of it."

        It's not about that at all: It's a message to other people: 'I'm smelling good".

        You can buy deororants without anysmell if you want and they do the job as well. These people obviously don't want. And obviously bath in the parfym: It's *meant* to be used so little that you have to be really near (like a hug) to smell it.

  19. Bebu Silver badge

    Misparsed but probably didn't make much difference.

    《It was international coworking day this week》

    When my scraped across this my aging brain parsed it as "intentional cow orking" and wandered off thinking of some obscene viking practice (orking?) now confined to the Faeroes - the mind boggles. But reheating fishhead broth with broccoli in the office microwave is on a par for both boggling and obscenity.

    In the BOFH line you don't have co-workers - possibly an apprentice (PFY) and the rest are busy earning their defenestration.

  20. martinusher Silver badge

    What exactly are you doing?

    As a developer I've been able to work from home from time to time, especially if I'm working on Linus/Unix. Sometimes its even essential because bits of the kit you're working with are scattered across the world. But all too often I need to access the kit I'm working on. I might be working on a PC platform but I'm developing for something else and I'm not writing a PC based application but something that requires close interaction with the hardware.

    One thing that keeps nagging at me is the idea that as an employee you have to earn your keep. The numbers I was brought up with suggest that at an absolute minimum you have to be responsible for three times your salary in created value. There are exceptions to the rule -- pure R&D is often just an overhead (although in the US there's really no notion of 'pure' R&D, everything has to make a profit eventually) -- but overall if you can't show your value you're vulnerable, it often being just a matter of time before you get noticed (and the more there are of you the more likely you're going to get noticed). The general attitude I get from WFH is "I'm too important" which is nice if its true but in decades of employment it rarely turns out to be the case.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: What exactly are you doing?

      "although in the US there's really no notion of 'pure' R&D, everything has to make a profit eventually"

      Bullshit. Absolute, stinking in the noonday sun, pure grade A bullshit.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What exactly are you doing?

        Not at all as "profit" can be in form of tax deduction too: It doesn't matter to penny pinchers.

        You spend 10M in 'research' and get 20M in tax deductions, profit 10M. Very simple.

        Also the results of said research is never used anywhere, because it exists solely for tax deductions. See: Microsoft and usability lab. Or Bill himself and his tax avoidance 'charity'.

        They've published some actually good stuff and every user interface ever (in Windows) has been made by marketing droids and therefore is utter crap. Examples: Ribbon (in Office), flat page, Teams.

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: What exactly are you doing?

      "The general attitude I get from WFH is "I'm too important""

      That, or "I don't want to come into contact with the fuckheads who still refuse to get a simple Covid vaccine, even though by now it is quite clear that all their paranoid conspiracy theory driven and completely unscientific reasons for not doing so are horseshit".[0]

      Or so I've been told by people still working from home, pretty much in those words. Most of these people WANT to go back to the office, but don't want to risk elderly relatives.

      [0] Ordinarily I'd say that it's nice to see the left wing nuts and the right wing nuts working together on something ... but I think I'll make an exception to the rule.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: What exactly are you doing?

        Aghh diseased coworkers

        a pox on them.

        Pretty sure I caught something from work, still not well, been over 8 months.

  21. Eric Olson

    For the first time in my 20 year career, I like my co-workers

    At least the folks in IT. It's a laid-back crew, and it probably helps it's my first IT just where we are support rather than the product being sold. Still would rather not work, but I'm not going to say no to the first job willing to pay me more than 100K a year.

  22. Anonymous Anti-ANC South African Coward

    Another bad habit... to phone immediately after sending an email...




  23. JohnTill123


    I'm not sure the first item on that list is all bad. Ever send a coworker a message looking for a quick reply and you're standing there looking at the "writing something" animation and waiting, waiting, waiting while they write, erase, and rewrite their magnum opus that takes >5 minutes? While you're standing there looking like an idiot because you said your coworker would "get right back to me as soon as I send them a message!".

    FFS, press Enter every now and then just so I can get a head start on dealing with your bloviation!

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Hmmm...

      Or just pick up the fucking phone. That's what they are for.

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