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Managers spend an average of seven hours a week sorting out personality conflicts among staff members, said a survey of 150 senior executives in the human resources, finance and marketing departments of the nation’s 1,000 largest companies.

Here are some common office troublemakers and how to manage them:

Blusterer. Finds everything amusing and is unaware that voices carry to other cubicles. Solution : Encourage workers to keep their voices down during conversations or to find an empty conference room for discussions.

Ghost. Performs a disappearing act. Solution : Let everyone know how important it is to be accessible, whether out on official business or not.

Foodie. Distracts others with microwave popcorn and reheated leftovers. Solution : Remind firm members that it is inconsiderate and distracting to eat pungent foods at their desks.

Pessimist. Delights in dishing about the hardships of the business or the foibles of top management, especially around new hires. Solution : Talk to this person individually and try to stem the negativity.

Source: Accountemps, www.accountemps.com .

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