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Who gets under your skin? Problems between coworkers

Who hasn’t had a colleague that annoys them?! Read about my friend’s really messy coworker AND learn some expressions to talk about someone who bugs you (7)!

Last week I had coffee with my friend, Oscar, and he was really riled up (1). He said he was at his wits’ end (2) with his new colleague that he shares an office with.


“I’m sorry to hear that, Oscar. When we talked about a month ago you really liked your job and your colleagues. It sounds like a lot has changed since then.”


“Yeah, it’s like night and day!” Oscar replied. Then he went on to tell me why he had so much trouble getting along with (3) his new officemate. He said that she was a slob and she never cleaned up after herself.


“Really?” I responded in astonishment. I’ve been friends with Oscar for several years and I know how organized and clean he is, so I can see how he found sharing an office with someone who isn’t very clean extremely challenging.


“For real. She’s super cool. We get along (3) when we work together and we’ve even grabbed lunch a couple of times, but I can’t stand (4) how messy she is!” He said in an exasperated tone.


“So, like, what does she do that’s so messy?” I curiously asked him.


“For starters, she doesn’t throw anything in the trash, she leaves dirty coffee cups all over our office and when she spills something she doesn’t wipe it up. She just leaves it there! And the worst part is that she chews with her mouth open! It really gets under my skin (5),” he said angrily.


“Uh-oh, you’re biggest pet peeve (6) is when someone chews with their mouth open!” I exclaimed.


“Exactly!” he almost yelled. “But the hardest part is that she’s great in every other aspect. We get along so well except for her lack of cleanliness.”


“That’s tough, especially because you work together every day. Have you tried talking to her about it?” I asked.


“Not yet. I know I need to but I’ve just been avoiding it because I don’t want to make things weird,” he paused for a awhile before he continued, “I’ve decided to say something to her next week. It bugs me (7) so much, so I have to say something,” he said.


“Sounds like a good idea. I hope it helps to talk to her about it. You’ll have to let me know how it goes next time we have coffee.”


“I definitely will,” Oscar replied right before we started to catch up on what we've been doing since our last coffee get together.


  1. to be riled up: be agitated and angry

  2. at one’s wits’ end: be extremely upset and not know what to do

  3. get along (with someone): to have a friendly, pleasant or amicable friendship

  4. can’t stand someone or something: to hate or dislike

  5. get under someone’s skin: annoy or irritate someone intensely

  6. pet peeve: something that a particular person finds especially annoying

  7. to bug someone: to annoy or bother someone


What else do you want to learn about in English?! Write in the comments below or at monicajones4276@gmail.com / @monicayourprofe 😊



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