|"Advice. And stuff."
I'm relatively intelligent. And I know some pretty smart people too. So I figure that it's about time that I share that intelligence with the rest of the world. Do you have a question? Sure you do! So ask it here!
I may, or may not, know what I'm talking about. I'm not a therapist. I'm not even really a writer. In real life, face to face, some of what I've written here might have been accompanied by a smirk or wild hand gestures. Keep it in mind.
Published on 10/12/2000Dear Pith Helmet,
Without having more specifics, I can say that there are a couple of things that you can do to deal with annoying co-workers. The first thing to do would be to ignore them. I know, it sounds cheesy, but often times just not dealing is the best thing to do. Are they actively annoying? If so, then, as your mother always told you in grade school, they're just trying to get attention, and if you ignore them, it won't be fun for them any more. Your mother also told you to eat your brussel sprouts, too, so what the hell does she know?
Maybe they don't know that they're being annoying. That's a trickier situation. Even if you would be just as happy if your co-workers would just shrivel up and blow away, you should still maintain some semblance of decorum. That's because, as they are co-workers, you are in a work environment, and you do have to see them every day. Which is part of the problem. But it's not going to make things any better by telling them that they're morons. Especially if they go and tattle on you to the boss.
See how much the business world is like elementary school? That's what I've discovered in my dealings in the so-called "professional" world. Everyone is a jerk, people call each other names, and there's always that one kid who smells funny. Also, people don't know how to use toilets correctly and someone inevitably ends up peeing on the floor. You can't figure out how that happened, just that it did. I mean, I worked in an office building on Wall Street, and I would routinely find the bathrooms an utter mess. Go figure.
But getting back to your problem of annoying co-workers, you could try to form strategic alliances with the other people in the office. That way you can make fun of the annoying people behind their backs without any real repercussions. It's especially good if you can get the boss on your side on this one.
If you think that's a bit too juvenile, you can just try the straight forward approach which, I've found, actually works sometimes. Go right up to the person (or people) who are giving you trouble and say "Excuse me, would you mind not clipping your toenails over my cubicle wall every afternoon?" Believe it or not, they just might not have realized what they were doing.
If none of those things work, I'm afraid you're just going to have to get them fired. Or quit. Depending on how much you like your job.
An excellent article! And yes, so very true!!