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The Four Worst Coworkers and How to Deal

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It’s Monday. We’re back at work, and that also means we’re back at work dealing with our coworkers. Overall, you like most of your coworkers, but there are some you wish would go jump in the lake. Well, the lakes are frozen right now, so here are a few ways to deal with the unpleasant people you’re forced to share space with day in and day out.

The Gossip

Is this high school? Why do some think that it’s OK to talk about what people did over the weekend and who they did it with? Did you see Toby from HR out having a drink with Angela from accounting? Maybe it was harmless. Maybe she was asking for his advice on something. Maybe he lost a bet and had to buy her a drink. Maybe they are dating and the reason no one knows about it is because A.) There’s nothing to tell. B.) It’s new and they don’t want to tell anyone or C.) They could get into trouble if they get caught. If Toby and Angela haven’t said anything to you personally about it, then zip it. If The Gossip is trying to tell you about Toby and Angela, keep them at a distance. If Toby and Angela find out that someone is spreading gossip about them and you know about it, it could ruin your friendship. It’s also good to keep The Gossip at arm’s length because if they’re always talking about others behind their back, they’re going to talk about you behind yours, so keep your distance.


The Delegator

Delegation is fine if it’s a manager or supervisor and they’re putting together a team to work on a project or need help with something. Delegation is not OK when the person asking is trying to get you to do their job while they take a long lunch or goof off on social media. If you see The Delegator coming your way, prepare yourself. You want to help and be a good team player and you’re afraid if you say no, it will be perceived that you have an attitude problem, but sometimes you just have to say no. If you see them coming your way, even if they need to use your stapler, say no. Showing a sign of weakness, even if it’s just for a second, they’re going to take advantage of you. Don’t let them.


The Tattletale

They hear everything, they overhear everything, they mishear everything, and they are aware of everything you did (or didn’t) do. They write everything down and they run off and tell the boss. While the boss may like that they have someone keeping an eye on everyone even when he or she can’t, the problem with the Office Tattletale is that they destroy trust and morale. One way to nip tattling in the bud, is the next time you’re called on the carpet because of something the Office Tattletale said, ask for an open discussion about what’s happening. Say, “If someone has an issue with me or something they think I’m doing, I’d be more than happy to talk about it. Is it possible to sit down and hash this out with this person because I feel I’m being unjustly targeted here and I want to know what’s going on.”


The Chatty Cathy

This person likes to talk. A lot. At the beginning of lunch, they started telling you about their weekend and the guy they met and the drink he bought her, and the songs they danced to and what he said and what she said and what she wore and what he told her and how she’s hoping he calls this week, etc. It’s now 1:30 and she’s still talking. Wearing headphones sometimes works, but not always. Just be firm, but politely tell Chatty Cathy that you don’t have time to chat right now, but maybe later. If that doesn’t work, feel free to come right out and say that you’re sure the weekend was lovely, but you’re on deadline and can’t be bothered right now. If that doesn’t work, disappear into the bathroom and don’t come out for a while, or take your work elsewhere.

How Do You Deal With Irritating Coworkers?

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