20 Secrets Your Work Colleagues Desperately Wish They Could Tell You

Chances are, if they always ask if you want a mint, they're not doing it out of the goodness of their heart. That's the consensus from the (anonymous, natch) group of employees interviewed for this story.

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If I ask you, "Do you want a mint?" every time you enter my office, that's my polite way of saying your breath is less than pleasant

If I ask you, "Do you want a mint?" every time you enter my office, that's my polite way of saying your breath is less than pleasantiStock/wekiwis
I just haven't figured out how to tell you about your bad breath yet, and I'm trying not to embarrass you or hurt your feelings.

Don't overdo it on scented fragrances

Don't overdo it on scented fragrancesiStock/dmitriytitov
If I sneeze every time you walk by, your perfume or cologne is too strong. The scent can be overpowering, so please dial it back a bit when you're in close quarters.

While athleisure may be trendy in the fashion world, workout wear isn't appropriate for the office

While athleisure may be trendy in the fashion world, workout wear isn't appropriate for the officeiStock/brauns
So leave the yoga pants, sports bras, jogging pants, and gym shorts for the actual gym, and dress in more professional attire. (These outfit mistakes could cost you the job interview.)

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If you borrow my pen, laptop, iPad, etc., don't forget to return it

If you borrow my pen, laptop, iPad, etc., don't forget to return itiStock/georgijevic
Don't make me tape plastic spoons to my office supplies. This is just one of many things you can do to build trust with your colleagues.

Follow the golden food rule

Follow the golden food ruleiStock/yulia_davidovich
If I leave food in the refrigerator with my name on it, it's my lunch—not yours.

And a second rule too

And a second rule tooiStock/john-shepherd
When I'm eating lunch, don't just reach into my bag and help yourself to a handful of my bites. That's rude (and a little gross). If you want a little piece of my cookie or a couple of chips, please just ask.

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Let me know what you think

Let me know what you thinkiStock/julief514
When I ask for your input on a project, I really value your opinion, and I'm open to hearing some constructive feedback from you.

Don't forget about the coffee

Don't forget about the coffeeiStock/alvarez
Don't leave a quarter inch of coffee in the carafe and assume someone else will make more. Pitch in, brew another pot, and let's keep the java flowing.

A friendly bathroom reminder

A friendly bathroom reminderiStock/creacart
The bottle of air freshener in the bathroom isn't just a toilet decoration. Enough said. (Brush up on this bathroom etiquette while you're at it.)

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I really admire your fervor to take on new projects

I really admire your fervor to take on new projectsiStock/jacoblund
In case I haven't already told you, your enthusiasm is refreshing and isn't going unnoticed.

Don't dig through my desk when I'm gone for the day

Don't dig through my desk when I'm gone for the dayiStock/xijian
If you're looking for something specific, text or call me. Otherwise, it looks a little suspicious, and I can tell when you've rifled through my things. Here's 9 items to never keep on your desk at work.

Don't take credit for someone else's work

Don't take credit for someone else's workiStock/littlehenrabi
This is toxic coworker behavior: If a team member does well on a project, don't claim their accomplishment as your own. Instead, celebrate with them. This creates positive energy and a better vibe in the workplace.

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Learn to listen to others

Learn to listen to othersiStock/skynesher
Sometimes you need to stop talking and give your colleagues a chance to speak. Contrary to your belief, you're not always right. Start by honing these listening skills.

Can we talk about bodily noises?

Can we talk about bodily noises?iStock/peopleimages
I beg you: Don't walk in my room and belch (or worse). Sure, I can excuse the occasional bodily noise. But if you're doing it almost every time you're in my office, it's annoying. Say, "Excuse me for a minute," and walk out!

If you say you're going to do something, kindly follow through with the task

If you say you're going to do something, kindly follow through with the taskiStock/peopleimages
Your coworkers are counting on you to finish the job, so don't let them down.

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Your cell phone isn't a necessary appendage

Your cell phone isn't a necessary appendageiStock/georgijevic
If I'm trying to have a conversation with you, please be respectful and put your phone down for a few minutes so you can listen to me.

Be thoughtful when ordering food

Be thoughtful when ordering foodiStock/andresr
If you're going to order food from the new restaurant down the street, ask your team if they want to participate. And make sure you pay for what you ordered; there's seemingly always someone who tries to get out of paying for their portion of the bill.

Clean up after yourself

Clean up after yourselfiStock/peopleimages
Wash your dirty dishes. Don't leave them in the sink for someone else to do for you. We've all got a lot on our plates, so be a team player and share in the responsibilities for maintaining the common areas.

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I know you love your dog, but...

I know you love your dog, but...iStock/pekic
If you're going to be bring your dog to work, please make sure they're well behaved and won't be disruptive. (The same kind of goes for your kids.)

Don't assume you know more about my job than me

Don't assume you know more about my job than meiStock/peopleimages
I don't tell you how to do your job; don't tell me how to do mine. Also, if I decline your offer to help me, it's usually because I'll end up having to redo everything. If I want your help, I'll ask for it.

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