Psychiatric literature is filled with examples of odd and little-known phobias. There’s pentheraphobia (fear of your mother-in-law), omphalophobia (fear of belly buttons) and consecotaleophobia (fear of chopsticks). And let’s not forget lutraphobia (fear of otters) or peladophobia (fear of bald people).
Since it seems there’s an official phobia for just about anything anyone has ever feared, we were surprised not to find much in the literature about office-related phobias. So we did an informal survey and the result is the following list of the Top 10 Office Phobias:
Tonerphobia– Fear of changing the toner in the copying machine. The inside workings of a copier are dark and scary. Reaching in to mess with its guts is a task that makes mere mortals cringe.
Javabreathophobia– Fear of being stuck face to face in a meeting with the guy with coffee breath. Starbucks sells mints right next to their cash registers — for good reason.
Splashaphobia– A common fear of changing the bottle on the water cooler. These full water bottles are, what, like 200 pounds, and when you turn them over who knows how badly you’ll flood the office? Better left to the next thirsty person.
Zombiephobia– Fear of becoming so bored you will morph into a zombie. Usually happens in staff meetings filled with phrases like “raise the bar,” “at the end of the day,” and “think outside the box.” Escape the monotony of a boring job by finding a job you love. Take a free online career assessment testto find the jobs best suited for your interests and personality.
Tunaphobia– Fear of your cube neighbor unwrapping yet another tuna sandwich for a nice, long, odiferous lunch at her desk. Tunaphobia isn’t limited to fish sandwiches; it applies to any stinky food item whose odors you can’t escape.
Cubaphobia– Fear of ugly, beige, soulless spaces with walls that are five feet high and seem engineered to amplify every loud, obnoxious phone conversation within 57 feet.
Forwardphobia– Fear of getting really kitschy forwarded messages with saccharine tales of friendship or pictures of cutesy wildlife. Every office seems to have a forwarder of such messages.
Sciencefairophobia– Fear of what’s growing on leftovers in the company fridge. Hairy pizza is not OK.
Popophobia– Fear of going postal next time the gum snapper next to your cube pops another chunk of Bubblicious into her mouth.
Weekendophobia– Fear of the ubiquitous questions “So any big plans for the weekend?” and “So did you have a good weekend?” from people who just don’t care. Can make you want to take a permanent weekend.
If you really dread going into the office, the problem may be more than just an annoying gum snapper. You may be in the wrong job. Take a job satisfaction survey to find out the top contributors to career satisfaction and find ways to find more fulfillment through your work.
And if you’re looking to find refuge in a new job, get expert advice on fine-tuning your resume into one that gets results.