What are some co-worker attitudes you dislike?

joehobot profile image Joe Hobot ・1 min read

I've been in IT Industry since 1999 and been working with many people, however there was always that one co-worker that just rub me the wrong way..

For me it was always one of those co-workers "Know it All" or "Let me try to put you down upfront of 20 people and act like I know sh**"

So what's your most disliked attitude in workplace?

(Btw if you feel like sharing comment anonymously hit sloan@dev.to)


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Personally, I dislike three very specific behaviours:

  • some people just criticize for the sake of it. They do not offer any solutions of their own. I thing it is called the "Gotcha" technique.
  • they agree with anything that is presented, but then when a problem occurs say 'I knew it will not work'.
  • people that complain a lot; it just drains you

As you mentioned the "Know it All".

But the worst type of coworker is, as mentioned, the Complacent One. The person who's happy where they are so they don't want to budge. Code gets written slow, sloppy and if it works it's good enough, never mind if it's 5 times as long.

I personally always strive for better. In myself, others, friends and family... So being kept behind like that really frustrates me.


My most disliked attitude: Definitely the "Know it all", it blinds people and often times backs teams into a corner because there wasn't enough input from around the table.

Other disliked attitude: "Complacent developer guy" - Very frustrating trying to move a project along when someone you depend on doesn't want to move forward or put in the work to make great things happen.

Other disliked attitude: "I got this manager job because I have extensive military training" IT Manager. No doubt that I am thankful for your service and we need to make sure we've got opportunities for vets... no politics here. But when you make them the leader of a multi-million dollar IT organization, it's pretty insane. No doubt that I had a lot of laughs in that position though. Very interesting when you try to transform an engineering culture into a group of "rank and file" workers.


As a military veteran and senior software engineer, I feel like this needs challenging...

In the US Army at least, there's an entire 'Signal Corps' which is in charge of networking/communications/IT for A $trillion+ organization (well, the DOD as a whole is a trillion+ organization)

Even a battalion with a couple of thousand soldiers probably owns and maintains millions of dollars of signal gear. A Signal Warrant Officer or Senior NCO would probably make an amazing IT manager for any size company.

I was infantry myself, with a lifelong interest in IT and engineering. I got out and went straight to work based on previous experience and code-level work I did in the Army as an additional duty (assisted greatly by the GI Bill and a flexible schedule). I have little interest in being a people manager, but I can tell you I have years of experience doing it because of the Army.

The manager might have been bad at managing civilians, or they might have just been incompetent, but hiring Vets (especially in a field their MOS specialized in) is almost always a safer bet for an employer, all other things equal. There's risk with any new hire. I just don't think the cause was because they were former military.


Hey Scott,

First and foremost, thank you for your service. I'm glad that you were able to get into the industry and pursue a career in a field you were passionate about.

My example is indeed an extreme case and those issues have nothing to do strictly with the person being in the military. The issue I have lies with management hiring someone for the role just because they had military experience. The individual in my example had zero IT experience in the military, and "copy+paste" was literally a miracle to him. Assignments for entry level helpdesk staff and interns were literally cleaning his desk and hanging a huge portrait of the USS Enterprise on his office wall. The portrait was badass though.

I would welcome any former military officer with relevant IT experience into an organization. It is likely that they'll have the drive, commitment and leadership abilities more than many other candidates depending on the role. As you said, it is indeed a safer bet.

Hope this clears things up!

-- Jimmy

Hey, no issues here... We're not any less prone to being incompetent in fields we never trained in :D, and a lot of guys get out thinking they can do anything, whether they've trained in it or not hahaha!

Yeah, that's definitely a hiring issue. As much as I support hiring Vets, they set him and your whole team up for failure. If he's starting over, a lot of career guys don't realize they might need to start from the bottom in a new field.

We have impressive-sounding jargon and monetary 'responsible for' numbers in our resumes, and may have even handled civilian VP-level tasks (I know I did), but if your skills don't translate then you AND your team are going to be frustrated.

Anyway, thanks for sharing the details!

  • Eating at workplace (slurping and burping).
  • Singing to a song that's played in the headphones (and doing it awfully).
  • Not knowing how to lift toilet seat.

Basically just these petty things that make you wonder how a person can't develop into an adult in 20+ years of existence.

If we talk about dev habits the most annoying is stubborn ignore of any advice given on the code reviews.


The Ostrich.

They know they have a problem. They know they're going to be late. But they hide it. They don't own it.

I understand why a lot of people can be like that though. Many companies will chew you up for admitting you don't know. I'm prepared to give Ostriches the benefit of the doubt and I've developed a few techniques to help them speak out. As a boss, I want people who own their mistakes early and reach out. If they don't feel safe to do that, it's on me. But if they can't even admit to themselves they're wrong or they need support, there's nothing I can do.


I've seen that. There's also a related behavioural pattern that makes the Ostrich pale by comparison, and it's sometimes seen in Dilbertian bosses from hell who instigate ostrich-like behaviour when they refuse to accept that planning errors, unrealistic deadlines, and performance prediction mistakes can sometimes happen.
Force too many people to behave like ostriches in any organisation and you end up with the most dysfunctional bureaucracy you have ever seen.


I've worked with plenty of organisations like that, which is why I try not to blame the Ostrich at first. In a situation like that, it's a valid defence mechanism. Any organisation that blames individuals instead of process will wrap itself up in red tape and stop achieving anything.


The CEO of my company has a background in economics, where to draw conclusions there's usually first a set of "assumptions", such as, "Assuming a perfect market, insert generalization about market economy".

I had a coworker that no matter how complicated the project proposal, he nods and says "no problem, everything looks good". Then when we would actually begin development, I ended up in endless meetings where he takes issue with every detail of the user flow, the UX plan, the component layout, all of it.

Seems to me he was "assuming he's smarter than everyone else" and a perfect dev, and whenever he encounters an obstacle, he's content to blame it on everyone upstream instead of working out a new solution. It was to the point where we had to take his objection meetings into account when giving development estimates.

"Well, Developer X will probably cry about a lot of this later, so instead of 20 hours we better say 30..."

Obv no one knows everything, and saying "I don't know" is not a crime


I'm a pretty easygoing guy and so I don't find too much trouble with a lot of people. But I've noticed that one of the main ones is I have a co-worker who is easily angered. I don't like being angry, or being around angry people. But half of the time I'm around this co-worker he'll get angry very easily over fairly minute things. Sometimes he'll slam stuff, or just start yelling or cussing vulgarly. Not a big fan. I am unaware of how common this is, but I presume that it is not so uncommon in the world of IT since people have to constantly deal with computers, and it can certainly be frustrating!


No its not common at all and it is hostile environment.

Individual 1 probably has some anger issues and needs to solve that before it escalates. Either at work or home..


I am totally over and repulsed by passive aggression.
-Some will have issues with work direction and flow while others think it's perfectly fine.
-Some will adopt an attitude of needing to "tell it like it is" and complain about "people getting their feelings hurt" which really is just them justifying being mean.
-People begin to split into counter-productive cells of communication.


YES. these days people are quick to proudly announce they "tell it like it is" or they "don't care if the truth hurts people's feelings", but honestly, that's just a cop-out to take no responsibility for being really mean to people who disagree with you


I'm currently sitting annoyed and bored at work, so this is more venting about my day than my coworkers ^^;

  • "You know I'm not technical" -- okay, but this is your job. There should be some responsibility for learning and growing into your role, not just saying it isn't something you know so you shouldn't be held accountable for it. See: QAs being moved from manual to automation, PMs writing Acceptance Criteria that isn't feasible in the slightest
  • Eating cereal during the 9 am to noon meeting marathon, slurping the whole time and I can hear you chewing. The meetings are dull and dead aside from 1 person talking and 1 person slurping, so it's super loud and noticeable.
  • "What would you say.... you do here?" -- The guy who thinks his code is perfect and either 1. QA is out to get him or 2. QA is useless and everyone should just develop all the time, but also gatekeeps development work as only for true, trained engineers while simultaneously having only an art degree. This one is highly specific, and I'm mostly just salty about his lack of self-awareness. I can ignore Know It Alls fine, but when their gatekeeping would keep themselves out, I just can't.

Trying to make fun of you by insulting or cracking a low grade joke. Another one is calling some funny names which are kind of Cheap behavior. I respond in a funny way at times, but you can't always be smiling to it, at times people can be in different mood, they might be going through something which they won't reveal and they do this to you, it can hurt and the reply could be harsh.


I just recently handed in my notice because the working attitude of a coworker demotivated me immensely. He is constantly on reddit, twitter, facebook, discord, whatsapp, twitch, youtube, etc. and - due to the constant distractions - delivers absolute sup-par work and is unbelievable slow. Our manager knows about it but is too afraid of conflicts. So no actions have been taken and it resulted in just an unproportional high workload for me.


It drives me crazy when coworkers completely disregard email notifications from GitHub and I have to write them a special invitation on Slack for every single PR, and every single comment in a PR that I need a reply for.


Then switch to Slack only, to be honest our culture is just like that.
Email usually notifies us that PR has been merged but its much faster to know that PR is out there to be approved/changed.


People who won't help you without first criticizing you, or or tell you to just look at the documentation, when it's not clear what in the documentation you need to look at.

Basically a know-it-all who despises anyone that knows less than them or isn't as far along and learning a certain framework has them.

That is the kind of coworker I'm very thankful to not have to deal with.

Unfortunately, I'm running into a person like this in a developer Community around a new programming language I'm trying to learn. I don't know why this guy hangs out in the gitter help channel for this language. He clearly doesn't like helping people.


There is frankly little that bothers me about interaction with other devs as long as dialogue is maintained on a respectful level.

But there is one thing that annoys me to no end,

It's an almost infantile, but also very authoritarian i-think-i-know-it-all, there-is-only-one-way-to-do-it attitude that can be subsumed as the arrogance and hubris of acrobats prone to heroically jumping without a net.

Ten times out of ten, turns out that the acrobat didn't really know, and the team is left to clean up the splattered mess left below the spotlights of the trapeze artist's bars and ropes.

If you combine that with a strict adherence to matters of form over function, you have a perfect nightmare in your hands.




I'm going to be honest, I'm the complainer type coworker :c I complain because I care way too much but, normally I try to have a solution to my complaint, it just sucks that there's no feedback. So I don't complain much anymore, just to people I trust X)

But it's a thing I'm trying to change since forever and it's hard since I've been this way all my life! lol.


Oh, I'm just not good with technology!

It's 2019, and the entirety of your job takes place on a computer. You're just making excuses for your laziness, and I will not give you a pass.


Too loud and bassy normal talking.

Update: Ups, that's no attitude… I'd say reckless behavior in general.