Dear Snarky – A Nit Picky Co-Worker is Making Me Cray

Dear Snarky,

 There’s a woman at my office who is driving everyone crazy. She’s constantly correcting mistakes, some that I believe are imaginary, with our appearance. From telling us we have a little lint on our pants to food between our teeth or even a stray thread it’s pick, pick, pick all day.

I don’t even think she’s doing it to be nice. I think she’s doing it to be a critical witch and to undermine people’s confidence. Last week at a very important meeting she kept gesturing to me that something was on my face. It freaked me out and it turns nothing was wrong with my face.

 How do I shut her down? It’s gone way past just irritating and is starting to affect my job performance.

 Signed, Aggravated at Work

Dear Aggravated,

 Well, of course, the standard response is to talk to your human resource director, but I can see where, if not phrased right, you’ll be the that ones that sounds like you’re being hyper sensitive to a kind co-worker. So, here’s my suggestion.

 Just straight out tell this woman that while you appreciate her laser focus on your appearance, you’ve already lived that life as a teenager with your mother who would nit-pick every aspect of your being before you left the house, so as a grown woman you’re all good with just being free to have lint on your sweater and lipstick on your teeth.

 It’s the classic it’s not you it’s me – and it should work because who wants to be compared to a nagging mother. For sure, she’s going to slip up and correct something, but all you have to do is look at her and say – “Remember I’ve got that mom PTSD thing going on.” (Trust me, your mother won’t mind being being thrown under the bus because you’re never too old to use your mom as an excuse for just about anything.)

Dear Snarky – My Co-Worker Won’t Quit Singing

Dear Snarky,

 I’m about to lose my mind. I work with a woman who sings or hums constantly! If she’s sitting at her desk she’s humming. When she’s walking around she’s singing everything from show tunes to Taylor Swift. It seems to get worse when The Voice is airing because it’s as if she’s showing off or waiting for someone to tell her she has talent or something.

 I work for a large company and our office is basically a cubicle farm and I’m not the only one she’s driving crazy. It’s pretty much all anyone talks about and yes we have asked her to be quiet. Her reply was “a lot of people like my singing.” Don’t tell me to wear headphones because that’s not allowed.

What can we do to shut this woman up? I’m about to need anti-anxiety meds to deal with the situation.

 Signed, Stop Singing,

Dear Stop,

Yikes! That would also drive me crazy, like fingernails on a chalkboard crazy. Since you mentioned that you work for a large company I suggest visiting human resources ASAP, but go prepared. Keep a diary of your co-worker’s singing/humming for one week and to back it up I would record some of this woman’s greatest hits.

This way when you walk into human resources, with at least two other co-workers so you don’t look like a grump, corporate can’t assume you’re exaggerating or are just sensitive to sounds because you’ll have proof.  I don’t care if someone is Taylor Swift no one wants to hear anyone singing or humming on a constant loop. It’s beyond rude, smacks of zero home training and speaks to an abundant and needy ego.

 *If you have a question for Dear Snarky – 21st Century Advice With an Attitude 😉 – email me at or PM on my Snarky FB page.