First, like "Clippy," as we called that guy, here are some of the "hygiene horrors" PayScale heard about:
- "This one lady always burped and clipped her fingernails. Gag!"
- "One word: farting. Uncontrollable, incessant farting."
- "Coughing up phlegm all morning long. Gross!"
- "There was once a discussion from the staff about buying the business owner a gift basket of mouth care products. This person's breath was somewhere between annoyance and horror."
They also found a whole lot of unprofessional, lazy and obnoxious behavior:
- "I actually worked with a girl who wore house shoes and sweats that said 'juicy' on the butt -- then she wondered why clients didn't take her seriously or respect her. Also, lazy people drive me nuts, and Debbie-Downers. Womp-womp."
- "A male coworker called all the women he worked with 'girl'. 'Hey girl' only works for Ryan Gosling, and only if I don't work with him."
- "I had a coworker once who was nearly crazy (passive aggressive, played the victim, just an emotional basket case). I also had the joy of having the office next to her. One day, about 3PM, I hear someone playing a mandolin in her office. It was her. She had to practice she said. I couldn't believe it."
- "I can't stand passive-aggressive group e-mails, especially ones with words in ALL CAPS."
The Internet is loaded with complaints about co-workers – the oglers, the combative types and the perpetual victims.
On JobSchmob.com, one poster spoke of a co-worker who spoke down every day and doublechecked everything the employee did and then went one better – er, worse – and went to the boss and said this person didn't know what they were doing.
On Askville.Amazon.com, one fed-up employee said a co-worker from Hell "stole my work, called me names in the hall, let the air out of my tires, and scuttled any program I tried to start. She got her job by being the mistress of an important man in the hierarchy."
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Another post on JobSchmob talked about a foreman who leers at her when he's in the office. When she chirped, "What's shakin'?" he gave a glance to her backside and said, "Looks like you are."
StealthGenie.com offers a list of five types of bad employees, including "The Panicker," who is "always running around the office with steam coming out of their ears and their hair looking like they've just been wrestling with a wild bear…" and makes "every trivial task into a battle between good and evil where they are Luke Skywalker to the filing cabinet's Darth Vader."
And then there's "The Silent Assassin." "This was the weird guy who always ate lunch alone and quietly kept scribbling onto his notepad during meetings. This was the woman who looked like she had seen a ghost when you asked her if she had seen Sex and the City the night before. They have no social skills and they are silent. They are deadly. Those notes that he was taking? They were all about how you keep stealing stapler pins from the admin desk and how you are always browsing humor blogs when you should be working. These people annoy you because they ruin your image with the boss and can eventually lead you to quit when you realize the amount of hatred your boss has developed for you."
On Twitter, there were tales of grime in people's teeth, lying and blaming and one co-worker from hell who *gasp!* played that song "Call Me Maybe" twice a day.
Oh the horror. The humanity.
It's one thing to show up with food in your teeth or Juicy printed on your butt. But we have to draw the line at Carly Rae Jepsen!
Psychologist Sherrie Bourg Carter offers this advice in "Psychology Today" for dealing with CFH's (Coworkers From Hell):
- Anticipate and be prepared
- Don't reinforce bad behavior
- Don't take it personally
- Avoid direct attacks on the CFH, emotion, sarcasm and defensiveness
- DO NOT engage
- Practice reasoned responses to CFH behavior
And if all else fails, you can tweet about what they did -- #coworkerfromhell or better yet #waystogetslapped.