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What is the most annoying thing your colleagues say all the time?

dvddpl profile image Davide de Paolis ・2 min read

Is there something that you hear all the time in office, at the watercooler or in meetings that really gets on your nerves or is simply "funnily" annoying?
Speech patterns, vocal mannerism, grammar or pronunciation mistakes, trendy words, anything.

For example:

  • Low hanging fruit - being said over and over again by project managers
  • You was - being said by some Russian colleagues
  • Γ„hm - filler word used all the time by - um/ehm - every single german ( my kids now use both: Italian mmm and German Γ€hm... :-))
  • super - as an answer to basically everything, or t spice up every adjective good or bad (super annoying, super exiciting - that was super!)

It's a no brainer

But that is nothing. What drives me really mad is when colleagues say all the time "simply" and "just".

It could be a slightly brown nosy wannabe lead trying to please the upper levels by being condescending and saying

sure we can do that - ItΒ΄s just a UI form, Easy!

even though all other people in the team stated that that task should not be underestimated in its complexity.

or it could be a junior dev "lying" during standups by saying:

I am almost done, I just need to apply some final touches but it should be simple and quick

while you know - because he asked for help - or you are reviewing the WorkInProgess MR - that he is faaar from done.

or a junior or senior - doesn't matter - developer that during an estimate meeting / planning poker, say :

Oh that should be simple, definitely, an S ticket, couple of days, tops!

when they really have NO clue what they are talking about (a clear case of Dunning Krueger Effect )

I will come back later on with a post about "lying at standups or underestimating task", for now, I am just curious about what you hear and hate the most and what you do when it happens.

Make it stop!

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Davide de Paolis


Sport addicted, productivity obsessed, avid learner, travel enthusiast, expat, 2 kids. πŸ‚βœˆπŸšžπŸŒπŸ“·πŸ–₯πŸ€˜πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘¦β€πŸ‘¦πŸš€ (Opinions are my own)


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"Write it like I told you to."

When later down the line, days, Weeks, might even be months later, turns out the way I wanted to write it was the better option, and I have to rewrite the entire thing to what I knew in advance it should be (no matter what "it" was).


been there done that. even though always with some resistence on my side.

the hardest part then is not going around saying "I told you that" with a grin on your face...


Unfortunately, I'm not even there anymore. I'm where you get the design, you say how you think it should be done, your opinion is rejected with some bullish excuse, you get frustrated and that takes twice as much time to do the job, and eventually, when you rewrite it, you're just upset about all the work you've been throwing away.

try to never get frustrated and make calmly your point.

but also accept that there might be something out of your scope that you dont see and there might be very valid reasons for not to do what you suggest.
In the long run, try to build credibility, so that when you say something, even if you are the only one in a team of 10-15 people, everyone starts questioning themself just because you said that.
ThatΒ΄s why it is important not to grin, or spitefully taunt/reproach those who did not listen to your advice.

I totally accept that there might be reasons I'm unaware of to do things in a different way, but I also think that if I ask about a design choice, I should get a better reason for it than "because I said so", which is what I'm getting. I have 20 years of professional software development experience under my belt, 10 of them in the current company I work for - I think I deserve a better explanation then simply "because". That's what's bugging me.

oh. with so much experience, I would find it hard to accept such an answer.
In the end experienced devs are there to build stuff but mostly to provide their expertise, if itΒ΄s not listened at all why hiring them at all.
and personally - but that is maybe just a flaw in my attitude - I would really find impolite and unacceptable an answer like "because i said so" - I barely use that with my kids - imagine at work.

Exactly! I couldn't have said it better myself. And frankly, even if I had just one year of experience I wouldn't accept this kind of answers.

You know, even if I'm not the smartest person or best developer in the room (which is probably true), even if it's a technology I'm not that familiar with - even then, I've learned a thing or two about software development over the years. Otherwise, I wouldn't be employed as a developer.

I don't mind if my opinion gets rejected - as long as I get a valid reason for it. If me and another dev are proposing different but equally valid solutions to the same problem, I really don't mind implementing the other dev's solution - and if it's better then mine I'm happy to do it because it means I'm learning something new - but unfortunately, that's not the case here.


I dislike the constant "Hi how are you?" It's thrown out automatically and people don't even care for your response. Then you feel obligated to return the question or appear rude.

Can't we just say 'Hi' without all the fakeness


For most people it's just basic politeness. In France we greet people with "Bonjour", which translates to "good day", but the person doesn't actually wish you a pleasant day, it's just a polite way to greet people, same goes for "how are you?".


Then you feel obligated to return the question or appear rude.

That's probably exactly why they ask you in the first place, they don't want to appear rude either.


sure, but he explicitly said, the _automatic "how are you" thrown by people that they don't even listen to your question - btw social convention also implies that you should not start telling the truth - therefore all your problems to anyone asking you -

So - you ask automatically just to not appear rude - but don't care about my answer - that I am not supposed to give you anyhow. why bother then.

Hi!, Hi!.
Goodbye! Goodbye!

obviously being kidding. somehow.

I like this reply. I believe it explains clearly the situation, at least in my office.


true! not a big fan of chitchat either.


"We need it done fast, we can do it right later".

I wonder when later is...


Later means never of course.
but you can also immediately create a Jira ticket for the improvement, further implementation, refactoring - so that *that technical debt goes in the backlog as non-functional requirement * and then it is up to the pm to evaluate it or not, but it does not go forgotten.


"Can I ask you a question?" / "Can I disturb you?".


oh, well, that does not annoy me much, I actually like to be helpful for other.

But it annoys me indeed when it is a constant interruption and from the question context i find out the other person did not put any effort in finding the solution themself


It's more about the meta questioning. They are already asking me a question, they are already disturbing me.

Got that. It's like:
"Can I make you one question?"
"Sure, you can. Actually you just made it. You can leave now."


"I don't know"

Mainly when you need details about a task and no one has documented it properly!


yes, but it is also fun to have to find it out somehow, or that you might then have some freedom in the task ;-)