For the most part, we love our coworkers. So much so that our research revealed that employees are most excited to show up to the office each day because they enjoy the folks they work with. Still, our coworkers can be really, really, really annoying from time to time — particularly when we’re busy. Next time your colleague stops by your desk to waste your time, consider employing one of the following tactics to ignore the interruption:
1. Wear your headphones, even when you’re not listening to music
People are less likely to talk to you when you’re wearing headphones. So put on a pair of headphones and act as though you can’t hear when your coworkers call your name. When they turn around to see why you’re being a jerk, they’ll just assume you can hear them.
Bonus: you don’t even need to be listening to music. Just put on a pair and stick the headphone jack into your pocket.
2. “Learn how to code”
Your annoying coworker won’t be able to bother you when you’re busy with super-complicated work, right?
Just tell them that you’ve recently learned how to code and are working on a secret project for your boss. Head over to Hacker Typer and start pounding the keys, making sure your coworker can cop a glance at your screen.
3. Become persistently political
It’s amazing how quickly your coworkers will stop talking to you when you tie every question and comment directed your way back into politics. You don’t even have to take a stand on a particular candidate. Just talk politics 24/7, and your coworker will stop talking to you. Mission accomplished.
4. Feign a neck injury
Assuming you’re not directly facing a coworker, a masterfully faked neck injury can keep you out of most work conversations. So whenever you’re asked a question by someone sitting or standing in a position that forces you to move to address them, just start complaining about your neck — and don’t stop. They’ll give up soon enough.
5. Say you’re in a bad mood and don’t want to talk about it
An oldie but goodie: channel your inner 13-year-old bratty self. When a coworker starts talking to you, reply very loudly and curtly, I’m in an awful mood today, and I don’t want to talk about it!
6. Have chips on hand to chew loudly
Buy some crunchy snacks to store at your desk — potato chips do the trick. Whenever a coworker asks you a question, open a bag and start chewing as loud as you can. The bigger you open your mouth, the better.
7. Act like you’re asleep
Do you have a coworker who’s constantly asking you questions at the least opportune moment? Show that person how bored you are of their shtick by acting like you’re asleep every time they open their mouth.
Closing your eyes doesn’t take the act far enough. You need to really embrace it. Unlock that deep guttural snore.
8. Speak gibberish
Sure, it may be a juvenile tactic. But as long as it works, who cares? When you’re interrupted by an annoying coworker, just respond in gibberish. No, one or two words won’t do the trick. Think paragraphs. Think chapters.
You just have to be prepared. Maybe it’s worth spending some time developing your own strain of gibberish?
9. Bring your dog to work
They say dogs are man’s best friend. Bring your dog to the office and shower him or her with affection the moment your annoying coworker starts bothering you. You’ll become even better friends.
- 11 Ways a Nightmare Coworker Sucks the Life Out of Employees
- 7 Simple Ways to Make Your Coworkers Happy