The 8 Most Awkward Situations to Avoid in Your Office

The office isn't just a place for work, it's also a place for gossip and awkward situations. Sure, most managers don't exactly encourage this but unfortunately it's entirely inevitable. And seeing as there's no getting around it, you're just going to have to learn to live with it.

Read on and we'll look at eight of the most awkward office situations so at least you're prepared for them!

1. Working With an Ex

It sounds like something straight out of a soap opera but it does happen. And working with an ex-partner is just as awkward as it sounds. Not only will you probably hate one another but you'll also know everything about each other and be able to use that as a weapon as required. Plus you probably still fancy each other… yeah it's awkward.

2. Working With a Current Partner

But if you thought working with an ex was awkward, how about working with your current partner? Surprisingly this can be even worse – especially if you then have to discipline them. Oh and enjoy having nothing to talk about ever because you spend literally 24 hours a day with each other.

3. Seeing Someone Else Take Praise for Your Work…

This is the moment when you really learn the measure of your colleagues. There's an awkward moment when they glance at you and you both know what they should do… and then they take the credit anyway. Now you have three options:

  • Correct your boss' mistake and look really petty
  • Fester about it and be bitter and twisted for weeks
  • Be the bigger person and get over it

So that's two options then…

4. Not Being Invited Out for Drinks

This one is awkward and painful. Either a thoughtless colleague lets slip, or you find pictures of your teammates in a bar together on Facebook. Now you have weeks of self-consciously wondering what you did wrong to look forward to.

5. Sitting Next to Someone Smelly

Also awkward: sitting next to someone who doesn't stop talking, sitting next to someone who fancies you, sitting next to someone who makes a strange humming noise when they work… you get the picture.

6. Knowing Someone is Getting Paid More/Less Than You

Looking at your friend's payslip is a little bit like trying not to look at a car crash. You know you shouldn't, but curiosity gets the better of you. And then you have to live with the awkward knowledge that you are doing the same work but being paid differently…

7. Knowing Someone is Going to Get Fired

'I'm totally going to buy a new car when I get that promotion!'

'Haha yeah sure you are Geoff… sure you are…'

8. Someone Eating Your Sandwich

This is the old classic and for good reason. To start with your sandwiches will just be going missing which will be incredibly annoying. But then you'll discover who's doing it and it then becomes incredibly awkward. Do you confront them? One alternative is just to leave a note saying you individually licked each slice of bread and filling.