HOW STUFF WORKS
QUIZZES

FOLLOW US
What's Wrong With My Co-worker? Quiz
by Staff
We'll give you the symptoms, and you tell us what the problem is — remember, your co-worker could be suffering something physical or mental.

Your cubemate's ice-chewing habit is often a sign of what condition?

  • dehydration
  • iron deficiency anemia
  • parasites

Your co-worker has a nagging cough for what seems like months. Which of the following can you rule out?

  • asthma
  • hay fever
  • stomach flu

Your teammate calls out, sick with norovirus. Which is not a symptom?

  • severe diarrhea and vomiting
  • sore throat
  • stomach cramps

Your officemate has begun to be a real downer and is becoming divisive. She may suffer from which mental illness:

  • binge-eating disorder
  • borderline personality disorder
  • schizoaffective disorder

An employee is frequently absent, irritable and, recently, unproductive. Is this person suffering from depression, or from adult ADHD?

  • depression
  • adult ADHD

An inability to follow instructions, meet deadlines and generally get along with other co-workers doesn't mean your colleague is a slacker. Which disorder might cause this?

  • ADHD
  • amnesia
  • social anxiety disorder

Yawning, hot ears and nausea may not seem to have anything in common, but are actually symptoms of what?

  • cluster headaches
  • insulin shock
  • migraine prodome

In addition to an OTC pain reliever, what else will help your boss's tension headache?

  • bright sunlight
  • a light snack
  • a shot of vodka

What type of anxiety does your "work husband" have if he gets sweaty and a bit shaky before delivering presentations?

  • obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • generalized anxiety disorder
  • social anxiety disorder

Which highly-contagious infection causes red, itchy and pus-filled eyes?

  • blepharitis
  • conjunctivitis
  • pterygium

There's always the one: What type of personality disorder does your backstabbing, two-faced, yet still somehow charming, teammate probably have?

  • avoidant personality disorder
  • narcissistic personality disorder
  • paranoid personality disorder

Could your colleague be a sociopath? Which doesn't fit the description:

  • flirtatiousness
  • mental quickness
  • impulsiveness

Do you know what a tic looks like?

  • repeating words
  • throat clearing
  • both of these are tics

Your work BFF gets really angry and aggressive just before her period (you ladies sure do talk about everything, don't you). It seems way more extreme than PMS to you. What could it be?

  • cancer
  • PMDD
  • it's PMS

Every morning your officemate complains about her stiff joints. Chronic achiness could be caused by all of these conditions, except one.

  • chronic fatigue syndrome
  • diabetes
  • rheumatoid arthritis

You new intern washes his hands a lot — and by that we mean, excessively. What's the problem?

  • ADHD
  • OCD
  • PTSD

If you sneeze on your keyboard in the morning, your germs wiill still be there to infect the IT guy who helps you after lunch.

  • TRUE
  • FALSE

A teammate who begins to have debilitating anxiety, and is sometimes physically ill before the workday begins, might be suffering from what?

  • ataxia
  • OSHA laws
  • workplace bullying

Your officemate asks to use your lip balm, but you noticed cracks at the corners of her mouth — are those contagious?

  • probably yes
  • probably no

A colleague, who looks pale, has been having a hard time concentrating, and has complained about leg cramps and about being dizzy. What could be the problem?

  • anemia
  • insomnia
  • psoriasis
  • thrombocytopenia

If you were in the match-making industry in the early 20th century, what did it mean when a co-worker had toothaches, an abscessed jaw and bones that glowed green in the dark?

  • Fiddler's neck
  • metal fume fever
  • phossy jaw
  • radium jaw

Your stylist's hands look red and itchy. That rash may be the result of what problem?

  • contact dermatitis
  • seborrheic dermatitis
  • seborrheic keratosis
  • psoriasis

Your teammate's been missing deadlines, missing motivation, and, frankly, he's missing work in general. What could be wrong?

  • He's a pragmatist.
  • He's a professional slacker.
  • He's got a case of the Mondays.

A colleague who recently returned from the Saudi Arabia office comes to work with flu-like symptoms, maybe bordering on pneumonia. You'd diagnose him not with influenza, but with this virus, instead.

  • common cold
  • MERS
  • SARS

What's the most contagious thing in the workplace?

  • pregnancy
  • rudeness
  • skin infections
  • yawns

A colleague begins to complain and whine about work, more so than usual. One day he throws his phone across the conference room table. Is this an act of workplace violence?

  • yes
  • no

Every day for the last three years your co-worker has listened to her voicemail messages via speakerphone, without a hint of remorse — or, even noticing the glares. How is this possible?

  • She's annoying.
  • She's part of a government experiment.
  • She's pretending not to notice.

Teammates complain about a co-worker who is tardy, misses deadlines and generally preoccupied. True or false: These could be the symptoms of a personal matter, such as divorce.

  • TRUE
  • FALSE

The early warning signs of this disease are so common — headaches, dry mouth, increased thirst — they're easily overlooked.

  • ALS
  • HIV
  • hepatitis B
  • Type 2 diabetes

The new hire is on time, eager to learn and eager to please. Why on Earth could that be a problem?

  • no boundaries
  • not focused on priorities
  • disliked by colleagues
  • all of the above