Are you the office annoyance?

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Every office has one - the colleague you just want to thump, whose very presence is as irritating as fingernails on a blackboard.

This person can ruin your enjoyment of the job - indeed, research from recruitment consultancy Benchmark Recruit has revealed that a clash with a colleague is the sixth most popular reason for leaving a job.

Most readers will be nodding sagely at this point, and possibly indulging in murderous fantasies. But if you can't think of anyone in particular - well, what if the office annoyance is you?

Do you like to keep the record straight?

You do your job perfectly when you're given the chance, but sometimes failure by others means something goes wrong. Naturally, you want to point out how these mistakes happened and how things should be handled differently in future. It's just being professional.

Are you delightfully sociable?

You've always got time for everybody, and just love stopping by someone's desk for a chat. They may say they're busy - but a break always does people good. You're honest, friendly and open: just look at the way you were discussing your bowel operation last week.

Do you keep a sane work-life balance?

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, which is why you leg it out of the office on the dot of five. It's hardly your fault if the rest of them can't get everything done on time. And you need that plum holiday slot in August - you've always had it, it's practically a tradition.

Do you like to help less experienced colleagues?

Let's face it, they're lucky to have you. You know the business inside out, and you're never too busy to share your expertise and offer a few useful hints. It's remarkable how unappreciative most of your colleagues are - still, it's just that sort of behaviour that shows how superior you are.

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Should You Be A Better Colleague?

Are you too busy to make the tea?

You've got your head down from the moment you get into the office until the moment you leave - far too busy to even think about tea, let alone make any. Of course, when somebody offers you a cuppa, it's very welcome, and you always accept with thanks. And they can't be nearly as busy as you, can they, if they've got time to be brewing up?

Are you the most laid-back person in the office?

For some reason, your colleagues dress up every day as if they were about to meet the Queen. If you're doing your job well, though, what does it matter if you wear comfortable clothes? And if your co-workers don't want to watch you clean your fingernails, they can just look elsewhere. Also, there's really no need to shower every morning: the body needs its natural oils. Surely the clothes pegs on your co-workers' noses are just for show... aren't they?

Are you a supportive staff member?

Your boss has a difficult job, and it's only civil to show her a bit of support. You're sure she appreciates having such a loyal staff member - and how hard you work yourself. In fact, you're practically best friends.

Are you the life and soul of the party?

It's all about political correctness these days, but you know that deep down, women just love to be complimented on their cleavage. It's probably all the more welcome in the office, where the poor dears are frequently treated just like men. And there's nothing wrong with being a tactile person and giving the odd hug and kiss - despite what that po-faced HR person said at your disciplinary hearing.

Do you have a social conscience?

Last year it was cycling across Mongolia for a cat's home; this winter, you'll be raising much-needed funds to allow traumatised whales to swim with dolphins. Your colleagues may grumble that you're having some great holidays at their expense; but don't worry, they're just stingy. You know you're a saint.

Do you have a strong work ethic?

Some people seem to use any excuse to take a day off work - not you. A few coughs and sneezes shouldn't be enough to keep you at home. Why, you're sitting in the office right now, despite that little touch of ebola you picked up last week. Funny, though, how everyone else seems to have gone off sick in the last few days. Slackers.

The top 20 annoying office traits, according to The Brooke animal charity:
  • Blaming everyone else for mistakes
  • Coming in late and leaving early
  • Never admitting being wrong
  • Making a drama out of everything
  • Sucking up to the boss
  • Taking credit for others' work
  • Making personal calls
  • Criticising everyone behind their back
  • Never making a tea round
  • Handing over complicated work
  • Never listening when you talk to them
  • Taking time off sick with minor ailments
  • Whistling all day
  • Singing all day
  • Having poor personal hygiene
  • Having earphones plugged in all day
  • Never chipping in for birthday presents
  • Getting drunk at office parties
  • Booking up all the school holidays first
  • Always calling you when you are on holiday

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