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 to find very little about office-related phobias in the relevant literature. So we did an informal survey, and the result is the following list--the Top 10 Office Phobias:
1. 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.
3. Splashaphobia A common fear of changing the bottle on the water cooler. Those full water bottles are, what, like 200 pounds? And when you turn them over, who knows how badly you'll flood the office? Better leave it to the next thirsty person.
4. 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 career assessment test to find the jobs best suited for your interests and personality.)
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. Forwardphobia Fear of receiving kitschy forwarded messages with saccharine tales of friendship or pictures of cutesy wildlife. Every office seems to have a forwarder of such messages.
8. Sciencefairophobia Fear of what's growing on leftovers in the company fridge. Hairy pizza is not OK.
9. Popophobia Fear of going postal next time the gum snapper next to your cube pops another chunk of Bubblicious into her mouth.
10. 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. May make you long for 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 free career test to uncover your dream job and the path to happiness.
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