We are full swing into March Madness mode. While a good percentage of the country is focused on the basketball tournament, we here at Hiregy put together a bracket system of our own to crown the champion of Office Pet Peeves. You may not be able to help your basketball team win the tournament (no matter how loud you scream "Rock Chalk Jayhawk!" from your couch) but you will be able to help choose your favorite (er, least favorite) office pet peeve.
I've polled various co-workers, both past and present, to get a small sampling of office pet peeves. These are the little annoyances you come into contact with frequently. If you work in an office lined with asbestos, or if a family of opossums have taken up residence under the sink in the break room, well, those don't count as office pet peeves. Those are huge problems and you should probably contact an office manager to take care of them immediately. And don't feed the opossums. They'll never leave.
We'll start this week with our 1 vs. 8 and 2 vs. 7 matchups, which we affectionately refer to as our Kitchen Division.
(Editor's note: These rankings are completely arbitrary and one man's opinion's.)
(1) Fridge Thievery vs. (8) Wrong Time on the Microwave
Let's start off with our pre-tournament favorite, Fridge Thievery. True story time: I worked in an office where Fridge Thievery was taking place. One of the stolen lunches belonged to our security guard, who just so happened to be a former WBC heavyweight champion. (That is absolutely a true story.) Fortunately for the perpetrator, the champ was never able to track him or her down. Stealing a coworker's lunch is the lowest of the low, and is going to be tough to beat.
The David to Fridge Thievery's Goliath is that plucky upstart, Wrong Time on the Microwave. This can occur from forgetting to reset the clock after Daylight Saving Time, or when someone doesn't let the timer run out while heating up their coffee (or hit the "clear" button). Just imagine it's Friday, and you are looking forward to the weekend, and the microwave says it's 2:45. That's great, only a few more hours until that sweet release! But nope...it's actually 1:45. Sorry!
Which is the biggest pet peeve? Fridge Thievery or Wrong Time on the Microwave?
(Voting has been closed! Fridge Thievery wins 42 - 4 and moves on!)
(4) Dirty Microwave vs. (5) Empty Water Jug
Yes, the microwave again. This is like when both the University of Miami and Miami of Ohio make it to the NCAA Tournament. A little confusing. The issue here is when the inside of the microwave gets encrusted with various cheeses, spaghetti sauces, coffee drippings, chicken bits, and other remnants of millions upon millions of leftovers. If your office does not have an intern, then someone has to step up and take the task of grabbing a hammer and a flathead screwdriver and chiseling away at the caked-on ghosts of leftovers past. This could easily be avoided if people used lids on their tupperware or covered plates with a paper towel.
The water cooler is a vital part of the office. It serves as a meeting spot, a destination where employees can gather and discuss the important topics of the day, like who's turn it is to clean out the disgusting microwave ("It should probably be Sheila, she brought in tortellini last week, and didn't cover her bowl when reheating"). There is only so much water in each water jug, and it eventually runs out. The polite thing is to refill it with a new jug...but this wouldn't be an office pet peeve if everyone refilled it when it ran out. These are probably the same people not making another cup of coffee when they drink the last few drips in the pot.
Which is worse? Dirty Microwave or Empty Water Jug?
(Voting has been closed! Dirty Microwave wins 33 - 13 and moves on!)
Thanks for voting! If you have any pet peeves to add, please do so in the comments section.
Don't forget to check back next week for The Office Pet Peeves Tournament Part 2, when four more competitors vie for the right to be the champion of office pet peeves!