As they only human being of my age and cohort has never seen a singular episode of either the American or British variety, I don’t know any of the injokes, references and memes that come along with that culture. The closest thing I ever had to an office job was back in 2000-2002, and that was a high school internship at an architectural firm. After that, I did a whole bunch of other shit, but dodged the whole office bits pretty gratefully.
But despite not getting them, I have seen the memes. I know that there are whole zodiacs of bad co-worker typologies, describing Dwights and Darrens, Shannons and Karens, and you can immediately reference one and everyone know what you are talking about. And I also know everyone has an opinion on who the worst coworker is. But now that I have joined the swollen ranks of the wage slaves, I to am ready to opine on who exactly the worst coworker, ever, is.
It didn’t take me long to come to this conclusion. I can with great confidence say that the answer is:
In the short month that I have had this fucking office job, nothing has given me as much pure, unadulterated misery as god damn Microsoft Outlook. I think my work would easily be 50% more efficient if I was using literally any other platform in existence. I would sooner go back to using AOL then keep using this, but alas my hands are tied and I am obliged to use something that I am convinced was once one of Satan’s own dingle-berries.
Someone may think I am being hyperbolic, but I assure you that I am not. Microsoft Outlook is the most bizarrely organized piece of software I have ever had the misfortune of using. It is so full of redundancies, and it manages information so poorly that it actually makes your day longer and in the worst sense.
For much of the rest of this to make any sense you should understand that I use an ‘inbox zero’ method of organizing my life. My goal is to have nothing in my inbox, ever. I hate notification of any kind, and my goal is to make them go away at any cost. This turns my inbox into a defacto to-do list – if it is my inbox, it needs an action of some kind on my part.
And that brings me to my first set of gripes. Outlook just seems to juggle notification from one place to another in the most ridiculous fashion. I will get a notification for my inbox, see the email isn’t useful, and send it to ‘junk’. Then I get a notification in ‘junk’, open that folder, and delete the email. Then I will get a notification in ‘deleted emails’, have to go into that folder, and permanently delete the fucking emails. Only then can there be peace. To make matters worse, my inbox is broken into two parts, one called ‘focused’, where my important emails find themselves, and the other called ‘other’. What’s in the ‘other’ folder? So far, nothing but spam! But this isn’t a spam folder, or at least it doesn’t seem like it was meant to be one. This is some kind of secondary inbox that has atrophied into a spam folder, created just to piss me off and to be redundant.
If all of this sounds like a gripe, know that I am a big proponent of ‘in-box zero’, and seeing a notification drives me insane. This is partially because I use my inbox as an ersatz to-do list. So imagine my frustration when I learned that deleting things does not remove the ‘unread’ message notification. So I will delete something, even from my spam folder, and then suddenly the notification has moved to my ‘deleted emails’ folder.
On top of this, the spell check might be the worst I have ever seen. Consider the following: