Once in a blue moon, you have to work with the worst person ever. They’re negative, they radiate bad energy, and they’re just an all around ass head. So how do you handle a difficult coworker? Do you confront them with middle fingers blazing and demand a brawl in the parking lot? Do you quit your job and drive until you see the ocean? Maybe. But let’s come up with some better ideas.
Luckily, millennials are changing the workplace and it’s no longer OK for coworkers to be unhappy in their environment. These days, employee satisfaction is non-negotiable so your situation is no longer set in stone. So, if you find yourself dealing with a difficult coworker, this is what you do:
1. Consider the facts
Are you being dramatic or is this person really that terrible? If their only problem is chewing too loud, suck it up and get some headphones. If they are constantly complaining, talking shit about everyone in the office, AND chewing too loud, then you have a problem. Assess the situation and decide whether or not it’s worth the hassle.
2. Talk to HR
From my experience, the worst thing you can do is confront your difficult coworker. This is ESPECIALLY true if you work in the same department or if the company is very small. Your human resources department was made for problems such as this. Their entire job is based off of making employees happy. Write down exactly what you want to say in a professional manner and take it to Linda in HR. Explain your predicament WITH TANGIBLE EVIDENCE, don’t just say whiney things like “she’s being mean to me” or else you’ll just come off as immature. Explain why this behavior is effecting your ability to work and come up with a couple of solutions. Be prepared!! I cannot stress this enough.
3. Move desks
This may be something you have to discuss with your boss or HR, but by moving further away from the chaos, you could be dodging a serious bullet. The best way to get out of a terrible environment is to… get out of a terrible environment.
4. Switch departments
Have you been thinking of a career change but want to stay within the company? Well, one way to get away from Douchey Mcgee is to move departments all together. If you think you would be better at sales than finance, see if there are any openings within the sales department. Buddy up to the woman in charge (see what I did there?) and create a good relationship with their team. Hey, this crappy coworker might even change your life for the better!
5. Apply for other jobs
If you’ve done all you can to try and fix the problem but nothing has changed, it might be time to hit the road, Jack. The average American spends about 30 years of their life at work so it’s important to surround yourself with people that lift you up, not bring you down. Waking up every day to go to a job you hate can negatively effect every aspect of your life. Your grumpy attitude will eventually carry over into your relationships, health, and overall wellbeing. Clean up that resume and start sprinkling that sh*t like confetti. Or you can just quit your job without a plan like I did…
I’ve been through this multiple times which is why I finally said “fuck it, I’m working from home because my dog can’t talk down to me.” Difficult coworkers can be a real downer and you don’t have to put up with it. Because you don’t HAVE to do anything (no matter what your parents tell you (sorry Dad)). Find coworkers that appreciate you and make you look forward to that 45 minute commute every morning. JK that commute blows no matter what.