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20 Awkward Office Situations Everyone Has Experienced

When you forget to mute your computer and the unmistakable Facebook chat tone blares. Busted.

1. When you're behind the same person through a succession of doors. Do you say, "Thank you," each time? Or just one sincere thank you at the first door and nothing at the following doors? GAH.

2. When someone sneezes a few times. Do we all have to say, "Bless you?" Do we all have to say it every time?

3. When you can't understand a colleague's accent and you've maxed out your three socially acceptable "sorry?"-s. Just pretend to faint. It's your only way out now.

4. When you get stuck in the kitchen waiting for the microwave to ping with someone you're not friendly with. "Soooooo. Microwaves are kind of amazing, aren't they?"

5. When someone you know for a fact doesn't care about your weekend says, "Good weekend?" And then you have to return the question even though you don't care about their life either. It's one big cycle of non-shit-givery.


6. Leaving work at the same time as someone who's walking your way, but you'd rather just listen to music. So you just take a random and unfeasible diversion just to lose them. You'll probably miss the bus now, but it's worth the risk.

7. Accidentally sending a bitchy email to the person you're bitching about. *Facepalm.* Whose idea was it to make the reply and forward buttons so close together?!

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8. Going into the bathroom after a colleague created smells in there that could kill a small mammal and making eye contact en route. Shit happens, of course, but it's still a moment of horror that will haunt the two of you forever.

9. Overthinking a handshake versus hug situation, so you inevitably opting for an awkward "don't touch me" wave instead. Smooth. Real smooth.

10. The complex decision-making process of figuring out if you're "close enough" to go into the revolving door with someone. You will misjudge this at least once in your career and be met with stony silence.


11. Having birthday treats in the office for someone you don't even know. Then having to feign a perfectly timed coughing fit in the "Happy birthday, dear [name]" part so they won't know you don't know their name.

12. Having to figure out when is a socially acceptable time to slip away from a snacks-type situation back to your desk instead of wasting your valuable time celebrating the birth of a virtual stranger. Seven minutes is usually a good bet.

13. Trying to open the closing elevator doors for someone running for the elevator but it's just too late. Or you were just pressing "close" instead of "open." Double awks.

14. Trying to have a kitchen bitch-fest when the person you're chatting about walks in and you have to instantly change the subject in a really unconvincing way. "I've always loved Wildberry Pop Tarts. A truly underrated flavor."

15. Having to endure someone's selfish decision to eat the stinkiest lunch of all time. Everyone glare at the girl who decided to microwave fish.


16. Being in a packed elevator and trying really hard not to look at your reflection like you do when you have the elevator to yourself. You know everyone's thinking exactly the same thing. *Just look at the floor. Just look at the floor.*

17. When the printer jams at the precise moment you're trying to print something totally not work-related. UMM. I'll just wait here until it's fixed.


18. Writing a leaving card for someone you barely know. What do you write?! Keep in touch. You'll be missed. BEST OF LUCK XXX.

19. When you forget to mute your computer and the unmistakable Facebook chat tone blares. Yep. Really busy over here, guys.

20. Getting an email with the sentence, "Did you see the below?" Yes, I saw it, and I plan to continue procrastinating the issue for the foreseeable future. Kind regards.


This article originally appeared on Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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