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How to Handle a Co-Worker That Drives You Nuts

How Do You Handle A Co-Worker That Drives You Nuts?

I've certainly had my share of co-workers that made me wish I were invisible. And I'm definitely not alone — an online survey by a company that teaches communications skills to employees found that 93 percent of the 967 respondents claim they work with “nasty, unreliable, or eccentric employees.” Just one in four of the 93 percent actually confronted the co-workers that drove them crazy. While I'm not sure what the survey was implying with "eccentric" as a descriptive, nasty and unreliable are definitely identifiable characteristics in people you dread working with every day.

I could name many other undesirable traits, but let's focus on the best way to deal with these people. According to Marsha Petrie Sue, the author of Toxic People: Decontaminate Difficult People at Work Without Using Weapons or Duct Tape, don't resort to quitting or sabotaging and instead “call out the behavior in a public way, don’t just take it.” Easier said than done, but it's something to keep in mind next time your co-worker pushes you to the edge.

I personally think a condescending co-worker is the worst possible kind. What are the traits that drive you nuts and how do you handle these people?


Join The Conversation
swt-strwbrry-sgr swt-strwbrry-sgr 9 years
I just tune them out.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
I work in a mostly female staffed office, I have learned through trial and error that there are always going to be people who are difficult to be around, Sometimes there are those that really hate their lives, hate themselves, feel powerless, or just are plain mean and you cannot avoid them. They feed on the rush that “better” than everyone else feeling, you know the “Susie was 10 minutes late, I am here on time everyday!” or they nit pick, or they wait with baited breath for you to make a mistake so they can be justified in jumping on your case. I don’t let them have that power. I don’t gossip, I don’t share anything personal with them, I don’t cower when they pounce and therefore I am not an easy target anymore and they have moved on.
Advah Advah 9 years
Even some of my nicest coworkers tend to think I'm their PA, and give me all the sh*t they don't want to do. Either I pretend I didn't hear them, or say yes with a smile, and then do what I want.
LaLa0428 LaLa0428 9 years
Ignore them.
karmasabitch karmasabitch 9 years
God yes.. but now as a nanny the worst I have to deal with is naughty terrible two behavior :P Which is sometimes worse :ROTFL:
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
Kill them with kindness worked for me, too. Our Office Manager was a kind of bitter older lady who could NOT stand the very few young women who were in professional (vs. clerical) positions in the office. She would always try to "subordinate" me by doing things like telling me to answer the phones so she could leave early or trying to get me to do clerical work for her. I was always extremely nice to her, but frankly I didn't have time to do those things and I would tell her that and my boss would back me up. The really funny thing is that right before I left, she decided she loved me but HATED my (young, female) replacement. :rotfl: Transparent much?
joy76 joy76 9 years
I could not agree with you more jadenirvana, well said! Marci, Kill them with kindness?! hmm they will chew me and spit me out if I did that in my office. I have done similar and never works. People are not always that rational. Without sounding ageist and chauvinistic. I work with a sarcastic old cynical man, who is horrid, lazy, deceitful and manipulative. Then I have a boss who is too scared to do anything because he thinks he needs the knowledge of this f**l, which is not true. I then have a sub who sucks up to the f**l and does no work. This is my problem ;-(
Marci Marci 9 years
:D :D freegracefrom :D :D Basically, I think we choose our job but not our coworkers, so we're all kind of stuck with each other through no choice of our own. In all of my jobs, I've just counted to ten when someone is getting under my skin, and basically ignored as best I could the people who I really couldn't stand. Kill 'em with kindness and be too busy to talk to them. Worked for me.
sweetrae80 sweetrae80 9 years
I just try to ignore people that really bother me. I'm not really an aggressive person so I don't try to goad them, but I can't fake it either so I would rather just not deal with them.
jadenirvana jadenirvana 9 years
The people I cannot stand to work with are people who spend their every waking work moment sucking up to our boss instead of actually doing their duties. It shows such a lack of integrity to claim a power position and then not do any of the work it requires. The higher this person is, the harder everyone else's work becomes.
freegracefrom freegracefrom 9 years
I just like to beat my annoying coworkers into submission with a stapler.
joy76 joy76 9 years
Wow, such lovely comments. I have just being promoted and have to deal with my new boss, who is all right, but does not have balls! Then I have my former boss who I am now his peer due to the promo, that is an annoying tosser,bully, and likes to think he knows all. Then there is the contractor that licks my old boss's a*se who I am having problems telling what to do. Well my solution is that I am going to become super aggressive coming out when I am not happy about things and letting them know my feelings and not backing down! People like to take advantage and the minute you let them they will walk a mile. I prefer to be tagged the agressive woman than the weak one. Any one agree with me???
SuperSteph_27 SuperSteph_27 9 years
I have this one co-worker who is constantly flirting with one of the men in our office. He is totally oblivious to her but she says the most inappropriate things. I sit right around the corner from her so I hear everthing she says. All I can do is roll my eyes and share some of the funnier comments with the rest of the girls at lunch.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Ignorance is bliss...
emalove emalove 9 years
I just avoid the people I don't like at work...luckily, there is no one that I have to work closely with that I don't like.
jb3 jb3 9 years
I totally agree, Savvy! Condescending co-workers/bosses are the worst. I'd say the majority of those kind of people are so completely threatened its laughable. There's one at my office, makes me want to explode sometimes.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
I can stand most things, but I have zero patience for ditziness. The woman who "trained" me at my current job (which was a joke, since I ended up finding faster and more efficient ways to do just about everything she "trained" me on) was seriously so sloooooow I don't understand how she survives as a human being. Her thought processes just always seemed a couple of beats behind average, she seemed to realize that but treated it as a charming eccentricity, and my God did the woman love to talk. She'd babble on for hours about her personal life. I just ignored her as much as I could while still being civil, which is what I always do around people like this. It didn't work all that well at shutting her up, but thank God she no longer works here.
sweetpeabrina sweetpeabrina 9 years
omg. How about I don't get along with BAD TEACHERS! I work at a school that has garnered an amazing amount of awards. Yet, there are some awful teachers there who I can not stand. I have TRIED to give advice/suggestions through our department meetings but they REFUSE to do anything that would make them actually WORK. I'm cordial and that's about it. I pray that their students don't end up hating science.
marcella marcella 9 years
I get along with everyone at my current job. At a past job, I found some people quite annoying. I kill them with kindness. It is the easiest way to deal with rude and bitchy people.
SofyasDad SofyasDad 9 years
I love my co-workers...except for that one guy!
avienndha avienndha 9 years
I had one lady get mad at me and complain to my boss that I was disrespectful when I asked to set the heat below 80 degrees. You can't always win. Especially when they're having sex with the boss... Sad to say I cried in frustration when my manager spoke to me about it...I hate that! Now I just wear tshirts all year long rather than ask to put the ac on to bring it down to 74.
Le-Luxe Le-Luxe 9 years
People that make the the MOST mad around the office are the people who lack self-awareness. They do super annoying things and end up pissing people off all the time (making you do things that arent necessary and to their own benefit, talking loudly and are inconsiderate, etc) and the worst part is that they have no people skills and can't tell that they are even making you mad! AHH! Sorry...venting...haha
SkinnyMarie SkinnyMarie 9 years
I would also put on a set of headphones without any music, and just ignore everything anyone said to me as if I didn't hear them. I really got this one coworker really mad. It was hilarious!
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