I’ve been meaning to write this post ever since I read Rands post entitled Bored people quit (and I apologise to the original author for blatantly stealing the title). As far as I agree that boredom is important factor when people decide to quit, years of observation and experience brought me to conclusion that there is one more important reason to quit. Annoyance. Pure and simple annoyance.

Let me elaborate on that one. In my belief every person has an annoyance threshold, meaning they can only stand so much bull shit, before they decided that it is just not worth it anymore. This varies from person to person. To some, being bored at work is enough to see their careers are going nowhere and they leave. However there are plenty of people around who are content, if not extremely pleased, to be bored at work and are willing to take up a lot more shit to quit. Personally, I think boredom is the worst, but hey, to each it’s own.

Back to my original point. Let’s say every person can only hold up a cup of annoyances (let’s call it annoyance cup) in his era at a company. Some have an espresso cup, some have a maß, some might even have a 70 liter fuel tank. When a person comes to a new company, everything is fine. Nothing can be wrong and people go about doing their business cheerfully. But sooner or later (with me it takes about a year) a person starts to get annoyed by things. It could be little things like not being praised for that ownage product they did. It could be normal things, like boss not acting up on promised raise. Or it could be giant things, like superiors lying directly in their face.

The thing is, no matter how big annoyances are, each annoyance adds a little content to annoyance cup. Sooner or later (depending on the cup’s original size and the size of annoyances), the space will run out, content will spill over the edge and that person will storm into your office with a notice in their hand.

Whether you are a person handing in the notice, or a person receiving one, you are bound to ask yourself: “Could I have stopped this?”. After all, changing job or replacing a good employee is a difficult task. The answer is: “No”. There is no annoyance-free environment. Sometimes people get annoyed by their co-worker smashing a keyboard too hard. Other times, people won’t get annoyed by a drill throwing out supporting pillars. The only thing you can do is to brace yourself for inevitable change.