Tomorrow’s Monday. Ugh. With Monday, comes work… with unerring frequency, I’m afraid. Equally unfortunately, with work, comes annoying coworkers. Or clients. Or customers. I think we can all agree that at some point in time, we all experience annoying people at work. Some more than others.
I’m sure that you will also agree, annoying people are the bane of everyone’s existence. Our lives would be so much better if they jumped into a McDonald’s ball pit and were somehow sucked into the Phantom Zone (go read Superman comics, people).
We’ve all had to deal with annoying people, whether we want to or not, and I can’t help but think, there must be a solution to our shared problem. We have apps for almost everything else, why can’t we come up with one for this? I mean, for Pete’s sake, there’s an app to help you breathe when you just “can’t even” anymore. Why not one for dealing with annoying coworkers? Because if there’s one thing that can make us “can’t even” anymore, it’s annoying coworkers.
So, here’s my pitch to developers everywhere … and thanks in advance for the forthcoming royalty check.
Short Answers: An App for Over-Sharers
Anyone who has ever worked in an office … or just with other people … know at least one conversation hog – aka over-sharer. These are the people who will give entire speeches to the simplest of questions such as “how was your day?”
Instead of settling on, “good, you?” they’ll expound on every topic in the book from every little event in their dog’s life to which state in the United States the rash on their back looks like. The worst part about these people is when you try to change the subject to literally anything else: they’ll just open a whole new box of topics. Don’t want to talk about rashes? How about that oozing infection on their left pinky toe where the nail used to be? Simply asking an over-sharer how the weather is off limits as it will somehow lead to a topic about how they had extreme gas before lunch.
That’s where the app “Short Answers” comes in. While interactive, it does cut down on the whole “you should’ve seen what my kid did to his diaper this morning!” conversations. The app is tuned to the voice of its owner, and much like Siri, responds to a key phrase, such as “over-sharer incoming.” Once activated, all you need to do is ask your question, and when the app registers more than a set number of words in reply from someone other than its owner (for instance, you can set it to 5, 10, 15, etc.), it bursts out with a loud air-horn level alarm that will drown out any continued response until the owner of the app inputs their thumb-print.
The Short Answers app basically ensures you’ll never have to hear another story about your co-worker’s cousin’s daughter’s friend’s wedding where the dog was the ring-bearer and the cat was the flower girl, and well, you know how that turned out. And while you do indeed know how that turned out, because you’ve heard the story 500 times already, in the past you would get to listen to the story over and over again … but no more with the Short Answers App!
The Pin Sound: An App for Those in a Self-Righteous Bubble
Those who walk around the office in an almost impenetrable bubble of self-righteousness need to have their bubble burst from time to time. The Pin Sound app is the perfect solution to passive-aggressively pop their bubble, leaving them to question what exactly it was that you just did. Imagine the whiplash sound app to suggest someone is whipped, except it simply makes a bubble popping sound.
The app comes in three sound settings: bubble pop, balloon pop, and a snow globe being crushed by a hydraulic press. In order to really drive the point home that they’re trapped in their own moral or ethical bubble, the app also the option to broadcast a hologram of a pin with a halo over it. The pin will have eyes … not unlike the paperclip from the old Microsoft Word who told you that you were doing everything wrong.
The different sound settings on the Pin Sound app can be used for different situations. If a coworker joins you in the lunchroom and starts to lecture you on your food choices (but you know they just downed 6 of the 18 donuts that were put out in the break room), then use the bubble pop sound. If you’re talking to another coworker about how you take what little free time you have to go to the gym and they start preaching about their twice daily CrossFit routine, then hit them with the balloon pop sound. Finally, for that peer-level, non-supervising coworker who just loves to delegate work and tell you how to do your job, hit them with a snow globe being crushed by a hydraulic press sound. If you really want to drive the point home, maybe throw an actual snow globe at them… you know, for visual effect.
The Phone Zapper: for People Who Won’t Put Them Down
You’re in yet another lunch meeting, but the coworker you’re seated next to simply can’t put down their phone. They’re taking photos of the catered lunch, of the speaker, of the view outside the window, the obligatory selfie. On top of the infernal click click clicking in your ear as they navigate social media to post said photos, you’re also subjected to their tittering and gasps and exclamations as they watch videos that you’re pretty sure aren’t work related. Unable to filter out this assault on your senses, you just missed an important part of the presentation. Now, you’re faced with asking the speaker to repeat themselves, thereby coming off as the one not paying attention, or just smiling, nodding, and keeping quiet, thereby unknowingly agreeing to finish a 10-day project in just under 5 days.
Well, have I got an app for you! The Phone Zapper is the perfect app that turns your coworker’s own obsession against them. This app harnesses just enough phone-battery power to give the user a small electric jolt as they play on their phone, forcing encouraging them to temporarily put down their phone so that they can come back to reality and be a decent person.
I’m telling you; this is an untapped market. I’m sure that together, we can come up with a litany of apps to put into production. This is a chance to make millions, people. Millions.