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‘Desk rage’ taking over the office space

Printer troubles, loud cubicle mates, co-workers who take credit for your work: a new study reports 51 percent of people suffer from "desk rage" at the office. (Image courtesy Twentieth Century Fox)

If you’re seething right now, it could be “desk rage.”

Printer troubles, loud cubicle mates, co-workers who take credit for your work: the office space has a lot of frustrations that can leave workers steaming.

A new study featured in The Telegraph says a good number of workers can’t make it to noon on Monday without hitting their threshold and experiencing desk rage.

The British study says 51 percent of Britons acknowledge they have desk rage, with the average worker feeling it at least two times a day.

The top 20 reported office triggers include things like: someone sitting in your seat, the boss not thanking you for your work, brown-nosing coworkers, and people talking while you’re trying to think.

“That’s something that we deal with a lot in the newsroom,” says KIRO Radio host Andrew Walsh. “When news breaks, people are shouting desk to desk.”

Something like that might be charming in the beginning, but after a long time working in the office, or as you get more embedded in your role, these things start to wear on you, says Andrew.

“Usually when you start a new job, you basically can rise above everything and all the petty disagreements and complaints that are swirling around you.”

“Maybe when I first came here, it was like, ‘I love this live active newsroom. I love the fact that everybody yells all the time.’ But then there are other times, you’re under deadline, and you’re like ‘If these people don’t stop yelling, I’m going to freak out.'”

Andrew thinks there’s a specific timeline for when these things start to become annoying.

“It’s almost exactly a 12-month bar and then you just break,” says Andrew. “You are able to deal with that [annoying] stuff for an entire year because you’re still thinking about all the things that drove you crazy at your last job. You’re riding the high of not being at the last job.”

After a year, Andrew says you can’t float above the office drama, gossip and complaining, and you fall into the muck with everyone else.

“Usually, I’m so happy to be at a new job, I’m like, ‘Oh you’re talking [crap] about Bob. Bob is alright. You’ve been working with Bob for a long time, but it’s not that bad,'” says Andrew. “I’m telling you, a year later, I am the one with the pitchfork and the lit torch, like ‘Let’s get Bob! We’ve got to get Bob. I’ve had enough of Bob.'”

Once you get to that point, Andrew says it’s just a matter of time before you’re perusing the job market.

“By six to 12 months [after the first year], you’re miserable with everybody else and then it depends on how long you can put up with it before you find a new job.”


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