8 Things I Don’t Miss About Working in an Office

I’ve been working for myself for almost three years now.

This week I was thinking about things I don’t miss about working in an office – actually, I can’t really think of anything I do miss but there are definitely things I don’t miss at all.

So, here’s my list of office annoyances that I hope I never have to deal with again.


The List

  1. Co-worker’s annoying habits – I worked near someone that liked to whistle. Admittedly, whistling is one of my pet peeves – I don’t think of it as a happy “whistle while you work” type of sound – it grates on my nerves. I wasn’t as bothered by whistling before that co-worker as I am now. It’s probably because he whistled all the time. And had the habit of whistling Christmas carols in July.
  2. Loud co-workers – Part of this problem is related to cubicles but a lot of co-workers are really really loud. And you end up hearing about everything they are doing – even personal stuff – and it’s impossible to avoid overhearing it. Did I need to know the guy in a cubicle near me was taking a couple of days off because he was having a vasectomy. Nope, I really really didn’t need to know that. I guess I should be grateful that he’s not passing on his annoying genes. Yes, headphones can help with this type of problem but at my last job I was doing tech support and I had to be able to hear the phone ring.
  3. Cubicles – I despise cubicles. I suppose it’s better than an open floor plan but there is something really demoralizing about them. You can decorate and personalize but it’s still a cubicle and there is really no privacy.
  4. Having my lunch stolen – I almost always brought my lunch to work. And frequently parts of it would be stolen out of the work fridge. I wasn’t like I was working with a genius, like House, so it was impossible to excuse.
  5. Complaining – A lot of people in offices spend much of their time complaining about how much work they have. I had not patience for that. If you spent the time you spend complaining, actually doing your work, you would probably have plenty of time.
  6. Comments from managers which really belong on The Office – “Working hard or hardly working?” ha! So funny. I also wondered about managers that I overhead discussing the last episode of The Office – didn’t they get that the show was really making fun of them?
  7. Perks related to parking – I live right in a big city so I don’t own a car and I don’t drive. A lot of people who drove to work really didn’t need to as – they just wanted to. And there were always perks / bonuses related to parking. “Kim, if you work the later shift, you can have a parking spot right out front.” Umm … that’s not selling it to me. Got any incentives for someone who will be taking the subway home?
  8. Obsession with food – People will go absolutely nuts in an office for any food that is free. What? Week old stale cake? For free? You would have to duck to avoid the stampede to the break room. Interestingly enough, the people who got the most excited about free food were the same ones who would complain that their diets weren’t working.

Hmm … now I feel a little grumpy after reminding myself about these annoyances. How about you? What annoys you about working in an office? What would you add to this list?

photo credit: plutor

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  1. says

    The thing I don’t miss the most is the managers themselves. Almost every office I worked in when the managers ‘worked’ all they really did was get in the way of developers being productive.

    Second is the meetings. At one place I worked I refused to attend meetings unless they were 30 minutes and there was a clear decision to be made. I also made my boss take something off my schedule or extend deadlines a day for each meeting I attended. I always found it funny that 99% of the time the least important thing on my list was the meeting, so I didn’t attend.

    • says

      Hi Curtis – Yes, managers! My last one was the worst and I was going in include that. But, I’ve also had some good ones. And meetings – I should have added that one! What a waste of time – the usual outcome of any meeting was to schedule a meeting. In 1999 we started having meetings about the redesign of the website – in 2002 when I left the job they were still having meetings about it and hadn’t started :-)

  2. says

    Hey Kim, Great list. It has been so many, many years since I have been in any sort of an office (other than my wonderful sun-filled one overlooking the horizon) but this post still resonated with me. And entertained me.

  3. says

    Hi Kim,
    I’ve never worked for any company, I have in my entire life has been self-employed and had businesses with employed people, so I can not comment of what I miss, the only thing I’m happy for today is that I have no employees. I can count up a long list of problems I do not have with the employed people. LOL

  4. Jessie says

    The things I DO miss about being in the office are the cleaner & the ability to take time off for sickness – seems to be much harder to do that knowing I work for myself and won’t get paid! However I am sick less often now that I’m not surrounded with germ spreading collegues!

  5. Gaynell M. Jones says

    Hi Kim,

    So true! I totally agree with you. But what cauth my attention is the comment of Jessie. Seriously, you colleagues are spreading germs? lol

  6. says

    I agree with you on most of those points, haha. I would feel like being trapped in a jail sometimes, with the cubicle making it feel like solitary confinement to boot! Although I still have to take up a part-time job when money is tight, I prefer the self-employed life far more than any full-time ‘real’ job, no matter the pay. Peace in life is more important sometimes.


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