How to drive your colleagues insane with Google Docs


Google Docs can be a powerful tool for collaborating with colleagues. However, as Sarah Cooper notes in The Cooper Review, it can also present some truly unique opportunities for passive aggressive behaviour in the workplace. These habits will have people tearing their hair out.

  1. Never close docs: Not working on a document? No worries. Just leave it open permanently.
  2. Highlight text and then leave it forever: Are you making a comment on it? Are you going to change it? No one knows.
  3. Edit text while it’s being written: There’s nothing that will make people self-consciousness like editing text as they’re writing it. Whether changing words or tweaking their grammar, it’s guaranteed to stop them dead in their tracks.
  4. Add text above where they’re working: Of course, adding text above where they’re working, causing the page to continually jump down, will be almost equally annoying.
  5. Remove edit or comment permissions: Don’t like what they’re doing? Revoke access. Protest. Silenced.
  6. Reply to negative comments with a “+1”: No actual edits or comments, just an underlining of all the negative sentiments attached to the doc.
  7. Ignore comments by resolving them: Want input to go away? Resolve it, ignore it and then deny you saw it.
  8. Rename the doc: Want to make sure no one can find the doc? Occasionally retitle it without telling them.
  9. Use the revision history to continually turn back the clock: Want to make work a truly Sisyphean task? Continually turn back the clock 15 minutes.
  10. Submit multiple comments simultaneously: How did you get through the doc so quickly? And why aren’t you submitting your comments one at a time?
  11. Make minimal edits then add yourself as an author: All in a hard day’s work, after all.
  12. Use the comments to start a conversation with someone who’s not the document’s author: Want to exclude the author from discussion of their work, within the work itself? Direct questions to other colleagues in the comments.
  13. Use a script to create an alert whenever your colleague is finished typing: Allowing you to get your response in instantly and automatically. For example, commenting ‘Seriously?’ on anything your colleague might happen to write.
  14. Be the one to share the doc even if you contributed nothing: Just because you didn’t add anything doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be the one to share the doc with everyone else.

How to Be Passive Aggressive When Collaborating in Google Docs

Image: The Cooper Review