I have my face buried in American studies, all week. If I don’t seek them out, they land in my inbox because the companies that conduct them, know I like to write about them, and they will get their name out there.

I tell you this because no matter what the study is, I rarely see numbers of 90% or more on anything. It’s very unique to find such a startling number in any study or survey. The highest numbers are usually in the 70% and up range. When I saw that 90% of Americans have at least one co-worker that annoys them, I had to dig a little deeper.

The study was commissioned by Quality Logo Products and these are some of their other key findings:

  • 68% have confronted a coworker about being annoying.
  • 57% have considered quitting or quit because of an annoying coworker.
  • The types of behavior that are most annoying: 1. Interrupting 2. Taking credit for someone else's work 3. Oversharing.
  • The most annoying workplace conversations: 1. Politics 2. COVID-19 3. Money.
  • Nearly half (48%) find their coworkers less annoying in a remote setting.

What is it that people do, that gets under their co-worker’s skin? Some of the more popular answers do not make human beings look great.

  • 48% of respondents say interrupting was the most annoying thing that their co-workers do.
  • 47% of those who participated say their co-workers take credit for their work.
  • 45% say their co-workers “overshare” about their personal lives.
  • 42% say their co-workers simply don’t do their work.
  • 41% say their co-workers are arrogant.

I can tell you that being interrupted is one of my biggest pet peeves in the office. So many Americans resigned from their positions during the COVID-19 health crisis, that there was a name for the movement, “The Great Resignation.” Then, there were offices where the workforce was gutted to protect the bottom line.

If you factor all of that in, this means the people who were leftover, took on a lot more work. Scan your work memories and answer this, how many times have you found yourself working through a co-worker’s interruption? If you’re like me, it’s a lot. I’ve found myself continuing to type while someone is talking to me, and I bet that is pretty annoying.

But interruptions are nothing compared to the dreaded “close talker.”

Youtube/Professor Ross
Youtube/Professor Ross

This study went deep and included a series of questions about COVID-19. They asked what behaviors bothered you most during the health crisis. The answers to me were funny, because they played out like an episode of Seinfeld. The most popular answers were:

  • 45% - A co-worker standing too close
  • 41% - Arguing about COVID-19
  • 38% - Talking too much about COVID-19
  • 37% - Not wearing a mask
  • 30% - Talking about vaccines

The “Close Talker” is an all-time annoyance for me. There does not need to be a global health crisis for this to be true. Look, if you think you might be standing too close to someone, you are way too close. If you are within four feet, you are too close. If you can see my dental work, you’re too close. If you are able to touch me, you’re too close.

Humans are gross. The further apart we can stand, while being able to communicate, the better. The following is a true story of the worst “close-talker” moment I’ve ever experienced.

I was speaking with a person at my jobs some years back. This was not a colleague of mine but they were associated with my business. We were standing outside the building and they were extremely enthusiastic about the things they were saying.

They were standing so close that I became really uncomfortable, so uncomfortable that I stopped listening to what they were saying. Instead of listening, I began watching their mouth, eyes and hands for potential germ threats.

My focus landed on a stray piece of food they had on their lip. With every word they exclaimed, the food became less stable. It was moving around, changing position from their lower lip, to under their lip, to their top lip and back to their lower lip.

That is when it happened, they used an “H” word, like heat or help and they put their back and chest into it. The food launched from their lower lip and landed on mine. Yes, the partially digested food from their mouth landed on my lip, and I freaked out.

I shouted “What the ----” I wiped my face with both hands and bent at the waste. I said, “ugh”, “gruh” and “no!” This is the most I’ve ever been hurt by another human being, that had no intention of hurting me.

Stand back America, your point can be made from the other side of the room. If you are standing outside the blast zone, there is a good chance I’ll feel respected, and actually listen to you.

P.S. As I was writing this, my wife was "doing" my mother-in-law's eyebrows. I told them both, you're a BIG part of this problem.

Lou Milano
Lou Milano

This is not fair of me to post this, it's just not a flattering look for either of them but I had to post it. Sometimes people don't believe my "stories."

P.S. #2 - This is further proof that Seinfeld is the greatest TV show of all-time. It's bigger than television, it is high level art. There is no fictional series, in the world that is more relatable than Seinfeld. Time and again, these stories developed by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld are proven to be the story of humanity.

5 Infamous Danbury Cold Cases, These People Have Been Missing for A Decade or More

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6 of CT's Most Wanted Bank Robbery Suspects

Not every bank robbery is an open and shut case like I used to believe. I figure, it's the digital era, if they are on camera, they are getting caught but that is not how it always shakes out. According to CT Financial Crimes Most Wanted, the following 6 cases are open investigations, either by the police department, or the banks themselves. 

7 of Danbury's Most Interesting Signs

There is a song by Tesla and the lyrics go something like this:

"Signs Signs, everywhere there's signs blocking out the scenery breaking my mind, do this, don't do that can't you read the sign?" I think the song was actually written by a man named Les Emmerson but that is for another day. Signs can block out the scenery, disturb or even make people laugh. Danbury, CT has it's fair share of signs, these are just a bit more interesting than your average public message.

12 Signs You're a True American 'Tough Guy'

Our culture morphs and those shifts mean certain types of behavior have an expiration date. What you once thought was "cool" or "tough" may make you look like a straight up D-bag now. The problem is, when our culture pivots, not everyone gets the memo.

You could find yourself in a room with someone born in the 60's, another in the 80's, a man who was born in the 90's and another in the 2000's, they are all going to have different ideas about what makes them a man. 

What makes you a "tough guy" today? For starters, the term itself is a punch line, if someone calls you a "tough guy", they are picking on you. This list was supposed to be titled "Top Signs You're a Raging Douche" but my editor nixed that, so these are the "Top Signs You're a Real Tough Guy." 

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