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Closeup portrait of handsome business man using laptop while looking at you

In this world, you don’t get to pick your family—and you almost never get to choose which co-worker sits next to you in the office.

Here are some clear warning signs that you and your assigned cube-mate—the individual who spends more time with you each week than anyone else—may not be compatible:

  • Your cube-mate is in sales, and his “phone voice” is about two decibels louder than the drunk who sat behind you that one time at the hockey game.
  • Your cube-mate likes to slurp reheated Lo Mein and cackle at YouTube videos during the lunch hour.
  • “You got a second?” is the verbal cue that your cube-mate is about to ask you for some marriage advice.
  • Your cube-mate is an accomplished whistler of 1970s light-rock hits.
  • When you ask your cube-mate to stop whistling, he switches to humming—usually “Can We Still Be Friends?” by Todd Rundgren.
  • You never want to borrow your cube-mate’s pens, because those are what he uses to dig the excess wax from his ears.
  • Your cube-mate checks his 401(k) balance daily, and loudly threatens to sell that crappy international fund they’ve got him in.
  • Your cube-mate’s love for every episode of Seinfeld is second only to his love for the New England Patriots.
  • It is well-known throughout the office that your cube-mate does not wash his hands after using the bathroom.
  • After checking Donald Trump’s poll numbers for the day, your cube-mate taunts you by asking “Are you worried yet? Are you worried yet?”
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