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Pet Peeves

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Thanks to a new survey, we can now form a mental picture of the worst co-worker in the world: He or she talks too loudly on the phone (and overuses the speaker phone), constantly complains about assignments, forms cliques with colleagues, is late for work and meetings, chews gum, eats noisily and/or smelly foods, takes cigarette breaks and doesn't respond to e-mails. Those habits, in that order, were the ones deemed most annoying by office workers who responded to a recent survey on the TrueCareers Web site. The respondents did cop to having bad habits of their own, as you can see from the chart. In all, 54 percent of those polled said they are guilty of at least one annoying work habit. (Of those who admit to talking to themselves, we wonder how many are simply muttering about everyone else's annoying behavior.) A majority of respondents (60 percent) said their co-workers' annoying habits have resulted in at least a somewhat significant loss in their own productivity.