At some point in everyone’s life they have tolerated or hated a certain Jane/John Doe (metaphorical) in the workplace. Whereas, some may want their annoying coworker to choke while drinking water, others simply contain themselves with the thought of the intolerable being quitting the job. It starts with the dreadful feeling since one wakes up in the morning and has to slouch their way through the doors of work and anticipate the misery of having to run into their obnoxious coworker, sometimes with no apparent reason but other times with obvious ones. This eventually demolishes ones well planned work day leaving them irrevocably agitated and hot tempered. A number of factors may affect such reaction involving the coworker’s personality, poise, behavior, unprofessional approach so on and so forth.


Amidst all this unavoidable, yet inexpressible feeling of doom towards the coworker, it is wisest to realize that the value of their job over weighs all the inconvenience around. Hence, finding a common ground is the best plausible option. Human nature is complex thus, often when we even ask ourselves to pinpoint what it is that bothers the existence of the irritable coworker, we are often left with no apparent reason and answer. And the simplest explanation to that is as said before, we are all humans, therefore we aren’t designed to like all of mankind which is comprehensible and standard.


In a mix and match country like Bangladesh, often people are overachievers in educational sectors but not so much when it comes to their brain to mouth filter. This country is manipulated by multiple figures even so in workplaces. It is rather easy for them to demoralize women more in this country, especially in the workplace, where some still nurture ill values such as – women are only entitled to be in the kitchen, can’t achieve as much as men, have lower capacity to pull through hard labor, ensemble judgmental remarks, inclined towards favorite coworker hence giving motivation to biases within the workplace and are just temporary workers who are volatile as soon as they get married or conceive. It would be wrong to visualize that such occurrence and bullying is only confined to the sector of women in Bangladesh but actually also invites in the young graduates and men. It is rather difficult to get a promotion or incentive for excellent performance and still have friendly colleagues. They somehow, after seeing such positive progress eye the individual, gossip, spread rumors and talk behind their back with sky high peak.

A coworker may be deemed annoying for multiple evaluations starting from the ‘know-it-all’ to the ‘cubicle invader’. On the other hand, it is applicable to be whistle blowing to a certain limit if the coworker is a bully, involves in unprofessional talk/gesture or contact, is consistently gazing especially at women or has the potential to show any other sort of unethical characteristics while in the workplace. The act of gossiping, talking loud, showing oneself off as the company stud or the ranter are also on the same boat of being equally ignorant, hence irritable.

Sometimes even the effortless breathing of another could be triggering such obscene feeling. This does not however, only encircle among employees and colleagues and can even lengthen up to bosses or managers feeling the same way about a certain subordinate or worker. Such scenario may erupt if the said character shows up to work late, are constantly on their respective phones or social media and hence is highly unproductive, partaking in the highest numbers of no-show or absenteeism rate, having a dominant negative aura all the time, being too nosy, showcasing dishonesty or lying to their superiors. In the geographical parameters of Bangladesh, it is rather easy to lose a job rather than acquiring one, although an enormous chunk of the population still remains unemployed, it is highly competitive within the workplace which gives rise to more discrimination or aftermath of jealousy.Whereas, it may exhaust one with such behavior, it could have an alternate action on the rest. This is where the line stretches longer to decipher if an individual is an introvert or an extrovert. On one side of the picture, the loud, nosy, talkative and friendly co worker would tempt the introvert to plaster a tape over their mouth, the other side portrays how extroverts find it extremely dull when their coworkers are quiet, need their own space or lives in a non penetrable bubble of their own. In most cases, subordinate, boss or colleague, there’s a certain amount of peer pressure which also heavily plays a role in such depress feeling of exasperation. In such social blunder, it is firstly the sole duty of an achiever of extraordinary performance to place and prioritize their work first and never to combine both the element of botheration and job together. Just like the saying goes to never mix up personal and professional life, although the fluster could be a cause of professional unethical act but that would bring in a lot of other extensional legal or authoritative obligations.

On a lighter note however, it is obligatory that even close friends and family will sometimes get on one’s nerves thus, finding a balance between the positive and focusing on that is influential. If the coworker happens to be a bully or narcissist, one must not take it personally and enable the growth of forgetting the unpleasant situation. It is also applicable that there must be no division or barrier developed in order to escape the annoying person as in a workplace there are no place for such enclosed doors, where all departments and teams are ought to work towards one common goal.

Dealing with the regular face demands one to take the high road and just remain polite as to never advance own feelings through unjustifiable actions. If however, the annoyance was caused due to a problem created by the other individual, it is rather perceptive to let go and ignore it overall, no matter how bitter it would be to swallow that pill. It is also sane to stop for a second and to think who the actual problem lies with and confront the consequences as per the results. It is never an option to retaliate or form an inexplicable chaos in the workplace; rather one must focus on finding a solution. Another effective yet, agonizing solution to such an issue could be to just vent it all out and spit out the hostile words to a third person and attain their perspective on said situation.

When one concludes in himself of what values more – their work or the antagonizing coworker, it clears up much of the dark cloud. It is unsettling but pleasant to realize that in order to survive and earn, inconveniences such as stereotyping, foul mouthing, bullying, demoralizing, unsolicited judgments and other cultural barriers are bound to come and go. But what’s important is to know and educate oneself on how to tackle such emotions and minimizing the ulterior actions. Maybe then it will be easier to not mentally picture the metaphorical Jane/John Doe choking while they gulp down a glass of water. What’s gulping to one could be mere drinking for the other. And realizing that makes the individual a bigger person.

Ebana Haque


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I wonder where else can someone find peace if not within the vulnerabilities of reading. However, in all honesty I like people who don’t read like I like my tea. I don't like tea.

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