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coworker issues, need your opinions

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ficklefaye

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i love my job, but unfortunately one of my coworkers makes my skin crawl, i work for a small business, so she can''t be avoided, she''s loud and obnoxious, she throws tantrums and things fly around her office when she is upset, my boss has confronted her about it before and she improved but in the past few months she''s reverted back to that behavior and i don''t know what to do, part of me wants to quit my job, but times are tough and i can''t afford to let someone like her get the best of me.

what do you guys think?
 

BeachRunner

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Jul 30, 2008
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It sounds to me like if she keeps up her poor attitude, then you won''t have to be worrying about her too much longer. I''d try my best to ignore the situation, and go on with my day (I know, easier said that done). She''s just embarrassing herself, and I''m sure you are not the only one feeling the way you do.

Hang in there!
 

AmberGretchen

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Jan 6, 2005
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7,770
DEFINITELY don't let her get the best of you and lose your job over this.

Start keeping a written record of ways in which she is unprofessional - keep it objective and non-personal. When you've got a couple of weeks' worth, go to your boss and discuss it with him/her.

Emphasize your concern for the BUSINESS, not your personal dislike.
 

ficklefaye

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thank you, BeachRunner and AmberGretchen, for your responses.

i know my other coworkers feel the same way i do, but we don''t know how to deal with her. despite the tantrums, this coworker is actually very good at her job, which is why she''s hasn''t been fired. it''s the bad attitude that comes with it that ruins the whole atmosphere in the office. i find myself spending a majority of the day with my earphones on just to avoid hearing her. i can''t believe it''s come to this.


i will try my best to keep professional in this situation.
 

Kelli

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May 27, 2008
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Sorry you have to deal with this. What a downer! But it would be even worse if you let it get the best of you. Keep those earphones on and do what you can to distract yourself!
 

SparkleSparkle

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Oct 14, 2007
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FF - maybe I can offer some perspective having been "that person." Is she young? I was like that when I was 19-22ish... mostly because my parents drilled into me that work was supposed to be a serious place and people around me were having "too much fun." That, and I was excluded from lunches, outings, etc. The more excluded I got, the more obnoxious I got. I was also being taken advantage of in the worst way - I worked for 4 people as it was, but the boss would wait until his secretary left and give me a huge assignment at 5pm that had to be done "right now before you leave." I was good at my job and so I kept it.

It sounds like she needs attention in the worst way and will do anything to get it. I agree with AG - keep a log of what she''s doing and ask your coworkers to do the same. See if you can find a trend - does she act this way after speaking to a family member on the phone? When you get back from lunch after nobody invited her, etc? Just a thought...

Do what you need to do to get through the day - hang in there!
 

KimberlyH

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Jun 15, 2006
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I worked with a person like this, and we were friends before we were coworkers, it destroyed our friendship. The boss is clearly aware of her behavior, so I would be polite and go about my business. If you''re really bothered by it, just can''t tolerate it anymore, you could talk to the boss about the work environment being hostile as a result of her behavior. It''s not the route I''d go but if you feel you must do something you could. Another option if you feel you must do something, would be to pop your head into her office the next time she tantrums and simply say "Is everything okay in here?" It could be the dumbest thing you''ve ever done but it could also stop her in her tracks. It''s a tough position to be in, good luck.
 

Italiahaircolor

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Honestly, I wouldn''t let anyone run me out of my job...no matter how poor their attitude was.

I know going to work with people you dislike is rough...but, her behavior isn''t a reflection on you and until what she''s doing directly effects you and your ability to work effectively, I''d just keep my nose in my business and speak when spoken too.

You don''t have to be friends with everyone you work with, heck you don''t even need to like them...you''re only there for a paycheck, no for a social gathering.
 

bee*

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I definitely wouldn''t let her run you out of your job. If she continues to behave like that I''d have another word with the boss.
 

Diamond*Dana

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Ugh, it is no fun working with an irritating coworker, but I think that all you can do is stick it out with times being as tough as they are. Hang in there.
 

ficklefaye

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thank you everyone for your responses. i had another frustrating day, so i actually perused the job listings today. slim pickins i tell ya. i tried to keep to myself today, but unfortunately with the recent layoffs, i have to work with this coworker at times whether i like it or not. i''m just trying to learn how to adapt.

my coworker is in her late 20s and i do believe is out for attention, whether it be positive or negative. she even mentions that she enjoys the negative attention. it sounds sad now that i think about it.
 

AmberGretchen

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Date: 4/16/2009 9:38:28 PM
Author: ficklefaye
thank you everyone for your responses. i had another frustrating day, so i actually perused the job listings today. slim pickins i tell ya. i tried to keep to myself today, but unfortunately with the recent layoffs, i have to work with this coworker at times whether i like it or not. i''m just trying to learn how to adapt.


my coworker is in her late 20s and i do believe is out for attention, whether it be positive or negative. she even mentions that she enjoys the negative attention. it sounds sad now that i think about it.
I''m not surprised the pickings are slim right now - its a really rough job market out there.

I really think even if she is good at her job, if she is creating a negative work environment, you are totally justified in complaining to your boss about it. No one should have to deal with unprofessional behavior that creates a negative work environment - it negatively impacts their productivity, and I really think if you can give your boss specific examples of unprofessional behavior it would help and she could likely try to do something more about it.

Also, its important for your coworker to learn that she can''t act like this with impunity in a professional environment - no one can (well, no one should), no matter how good they are at their job.
 

scarleta

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Feb 25, 2006
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I wonder what would happen if you all took her for lunch and let her know that her behavior is bothering all of you?She may or may not be aware of it.She may have some deeper problems and perhaps someone can help her out?
 

omieluv

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Feb 28, 2007
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Pay attention to her only when she is not being a PITA and IGNORE her when she is being a PITA, which, over time, should diminish the PITA behavior. When I mean ignore, act as if she is not bothering you at all. Your co-workers need to do the same thing. For instance, her boss speaking to her about her bad behavior actually reinforced it. I know it sounds strange, since she was a better for a short time, but now she is at it again b/c she wants more attention. She is acting out, much like a child does.
 

LaraOnline

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Feb 24, 2008
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This is an interesting issue for me.

We run a small business and have had a couple of really obnoxious staff members.
They have been mediocre in their jobs, but have held it together enough not to create any massively sackable offence. Also, their private lives were constantly such a disaster that it always seemed as if they had so much stuff going on, it would be unfair to sack them. The implication always was that their mediocre performance was being influenced by (short-term?) issues at home, that were, of course, none of our business...

Eventually, after years of mediocre performance, one junior girl had to be let go. The other that comes to mind, an older lady, eventually moved away from our town. Sigh of relief.

We also have had a very good staff member that was basically run out of her job by other staff members (who are also very motivated) because they did not 'get' her personality.

This girl was not obnoxious, by any means, but she was inflexible in her work habits, because she answered not so much to her co-workers, but to us (she was the first staff member we ever employed)...

She was also indefatiguable. But she complained a bit to the other girls, and had a way of making other staff members feel that perhaps they were not as good as her. In short, she showed them up. They didn't like her, so they wrote a big letter of complaint against her. Against our best efforts (because we adored her) she heard about their complaint, and she left. When we were upset, and tried to woo her back, several of our other staff members (all women) threatened to leave if she returned!!!!
Of course, it has strained things with our remaining staff members. We resent their actions, although she has gone and they have stayed.

Basically, it would be best if you we super professional about this. You can't expect to sack someone just because they are difficult to get along with. They have to be seen to be impinging upon others' well-being (bullying?), and acting unprofessionally, in a manner worthy of receiving a written warning or three. The Australian work place culture is incredibly pro-worker (antagonistic to bosses/business-owners), loves regulation and a sense of worker 'representation', and there is a real tall -poppy thing going on besides.

I guess you could bully her out. Keeping a dated list of all her bad behaviours is probably a start on this. But if she is as obnoxious as you say though, perhaps she won't be intimidated like our precious shrinking violet was. She'll just shape up to you in the carpark, and have you looking elsewhere quicker than you think!!


If you like your work, stick with it. If she directly threatens or intimidates you, make a formal complaint. If her poor work performance directly impinges upon your work performance, let your boss know at the time.

Is your boss your friend? You say it is a small business. Do you think you could confide in your boss, ask him/her out for a beer after work one night? What do you think your boss might say?
 

HollyS

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Jul 18, 2007
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6,099
Co-worker? Not boss or supervisor?

If you are of equal or better status, confront her behavior. I don''t believe in being nice for the sake of people liking me. BS. When someone is being a jerk, they need the world to tell them to suck it up and shut it up. The world is you and me. But if you do this, do not let it devolve into a scene. State your case and make your exit. Leave her with something to mull over.

If you are not her equal, avoid her when you can, tune her out as much as possible, and let her boss handle the disciplinary action she deserves. You quitting is not the answer. You cannot spend your life avoiding situations that make you uncomfortable or unhappy. In this case, you''ll have to be the one to suck it up.

Anyone who has ever been employed has been through something similar. This too shall pass.
 

Hera

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Jul 12, 2007
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2,401
Be patient and wait it out. I''ve always found with people like that if I wait, another coworker will have a problem and make a big fuss about it. You then, will not cause any office drama and appear a perfect team player.
 
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