I work a lot. And when I say, “a lot,” I really mean it. I’m a freelance writer; I work for #Strella; and I have a full-time job in health care. Each of these endeavors comes with different groups of people with whom I interact. With #Strella, nearly all my interactions are low-key and don’t stress me out. However, dealing with others on a regular basis in my other roles drains my patience.
In work and social situations, I run up against a lot of things that bug me to no end. Admittedly, I have a low threshold for tolerating people’s petty actions and random annoyances. (Although, there are people I absolutely adore, and they get a free pass.)
Lately, I’ve gotten bogged down by a variety of niggling irritations worthy of the term “gripe.” And so, I must vent.
The Top 6 Things that Annoy Me When Dealing with Other Humans
1. Unnecessary Meetings
With #Strella, we go into meetings with a concrete agenda. They are wrapped up quickly and don’t deviate from the agenda items. We discuss the pertinent information, and everyone goes their own way. However, other businesses often call meetings with no agenda, and people are allowed to ramble. Ninety percent of what happens in these meetings could easily be covered in a quick status-check email.
If you are going to make your contractors or employees attend meetings, create an agenda and stick to it. Keep the meeting to the promised amount of time and let people go as soon as possible.
2. The “You Gotta” People
Clearly, with my aforementioned workload, I am a busy person. Yet I encounter people who constantly tell me what I “need” to do because they found a particular thing interesting or enjoyable.
For example, they’ll tell me I “need” to go to a new restaurant or I “need” to watch a new show.
I appreciate recommendations, of course. But badgering me or shaming me for not having seen “90 Day Fiancé” or something equally as ridiculous, is not okay. If you suggest a show or a movie, I will likely watch it. However, do not browbeat me about it.
3. Smack Talkers
I live by a pretty strong motto — actually, several of them. One is, “If you are a snake, be a snake.” DO NOT be nice to my face, call me pet names, and then talk behind my back. It is one of my biggest grievances. I work with one person who constantly talks about me. Just stop. If you have a problem, communicate like an adult. Come to me and speak to my face.
4. Disrespect for My Time
I am a health care scheduler for a living, which means I work with an intense respect for my own and other people’s time. When you lay out a task for me to accomplish something, I work within the set protocols or standard operating procedures. Constantly changing your expectations of how things are created and what is expected of me throws a wrench in my workflow. As a creative person, I need a certain vibe for my work to flow fluidly. Interrupting that flow stagnates my creativity.
5. No Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)
Every business requiring creative contribution should have a standard operating procedure that is clearly outlined and concrete.
For example, when working with a freelance writer, a company should specify:
- This is what we want.
- This is the way it should be written.
- Here is a word count.
- Here is the way we expect it to look.
When you don’t provide these and other expectations, you are disrespecting my time. If you don’t provide an SOP, I will use my own. And if what I produce does not look like what you envisioned, I must spend more time editing. That can add additional cost to your project. Had you established protocols from the beginning, we both could have avoided the hassle.
6. Unrealistic Expectations
On one freelance gig, I was brought on as a part-time writer, with a max of 20 hours per week of work. The client said I’d be tasked with two to three articles per day. Later, I was told they expected me to produce four to five pieces per day. Then the scope of work jumped to five or six contributions each day. When I pushed back on that unreasonable request, I was told other writers were able to handle that workload.
I very quickly exited that situation.
Businesspeople, define your expectations and listen to your workers (whether hired or contracted) when they tell you what they are — or are not — capable of.
Griping Feels Good
We are all dealing with a lot — mental health issues, heavy workloads, child-related issues, and everything else that life throws our way. I encourage everyone to take the time to gripe, even if no one else gets to read it. Get it out and find joy where you can. I hope my gripes help all of you realize everyone is going through something. You are not alone in the struggle.
Give griping a try here and now! What is your biggest annoyance?