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Susan M. Heathfield

Need to Deal With Difficult People?

By October 17, 2013

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What Coworker Behavior Drives You Crazy?

Do your coworkers drive you crazy sometimes? We all have coworkers who occasionally, or frequently, drive us up a wall. But, effectively dealing with the difficult behaviors of coworkers heralds your maturity and competence as a valued, contributing employee at work. And, who wouldn't want to have this powerfully positive reputation?

Most people have pet peeves about their coworkers. And, why not? Even relatively sane and likeable people do things that can drive their coworkers to distraction.

People miss work; they miss deadlines. Some people are perpetually late for meetings. They dress unprofessionally: in one client company, a customer service representative wears crumpled cotton capris and beachwear to work everyday and wonders why no new opportunity appears on her horizon.

In another, a manager talks down to employees and acts as if he is the only one contributing to accomplishing work. In still another, an employee, who regularly interacts with the public at trade shows, decided to grow long hair and a beard and wear jeans to trade shows.

An otherwise valued employee at another company spoils her boss's day three times a week by repeatedly asking for a raise when the company is not giving raises.

In some organizations, bad boss behavior is legendary. (Be sure to read the comments.) Hundreds of readers have weighed in about their bad boss's behaviors. (Sometimes though, in defense of bosses, a new boss is assigned a dysfunctional team or a new manager receives no training in how to be an effective boss.)

10 Tips for Dealing With Difficult Coworkers

Every workplace has different stories about employee behavior that can drive others crazy. Take a moment to look at reader stories about their coworkers from hell - believe? So, in defense, these are my ten best tips about dealing with difficult people at work. Check them out.

Is the behavior that most drives you crazy on the list? If not, add yours in "comments" below. Please take the time to vote in the poll.

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More About Difficult People at Work

Comments
September 6, 2006 at 4:20 pm
(1) humanresources says:

I forgot to mention the coworker behavior that makes me the craziest: people who blame someone else for everything that goes wrong. What’s yours?

August 25, 2011 at 5:24 am
(2) jod says:

The only solution I see is to have the Lotus Sutra interpreted by Nichicren Daishonin best English translation by Burton Watson, it is the only doctrine that there is no violence, anger or gree and if we turst that we are all accountable for our thoughts actions and deeds then we will be able to deal with any situation with this wonderful practice.

September 19, 2011 at 11:15 pm
(3) Jennifer Lane says:

How wonderful to see this! I could not agree more.

September 7, 2006 at 2:32 pm
(4) tekkiegurl says:

The person in the cube next to me drives me crazy some days! It’s easy to hear when you’re on a call, and there are some days he just has to comment on every thing he hears! Trying to be funny or not, it’s very annoying. And I have to also mention when I’m on the phone with someone, my co-workers hear what the conversation is about, and have to add their $.02. I’m all for multitasking and teamwork, but that’s just rude on their part for interrupting. If I have someone on the phone, I prefer to give them my undivided attention!

September 7, 2006 at 2:54 pm
(5) Ronnieone says:

My boss is having an affair with another woman in our small office and she hates that my boss likes my work. They’ve been having this affair for many years longer than I’ve been there. (He is since divorced, she is still married.) He lets her undermine me in meetings by “harumphing” or “tsk-tsking” me if I say anything. She walks to the opposite side of the room so as to not pass my desk directly when she needs to get somewhere and also glares at me every chance she gets. She denies it when I tell her how I feel and tells the boss, her boyfriend, that I am a problem employee. She makes up things about me interfering with her work, he confronts me about it, I tell him what happened and he agrees I did the right thing. Then it happens all over again. She is very friendly on email, which we use a lot between workers, trying to pretend she loves working with me, and covering herself. It’s the worse place I have ever worked.

October 14, 2011 at 2:43 pm
(6) anon says:

I work at a place where the boss and the owner are in a relationship. Neither of them can take criticism to the point where asking a question about a new policy sends them into a fit. It’s impossible to do things the way they want because it’s impossible to figure out what they want. And to make things worse, the manager doesn’t even abide the new policies and is totally the worst employee of the group. When he screws up, he blames all the other staff. It’s terrible.

November 23, 2011 at 7:40 pm
(7) nn says:

just take the salary, do your work. and let them be the way want. ;) don’t fret. take it easy.

October 24, 2011 at 4:06 pm
(8) Solle says:

I’m new at my job and is currently working 3months. Me and this one girl at work use 2 get along but then I started to realize I don’t want to get involved in her love for the tennis couch (she’s married) I try to stay away from the subject and start talking about something els. And things are weird with her she’s rude 2 me and ignores me and goes to my boss with complaints and telling my boss I don’t do my work and I’m not serious. What must I do ?

September 7, 2006 at 2:57 pm
(9) szn50 says:

My new coworker “Meagan” is a lovely, friendly woman but boisterous and rather clueless–talking loudly and incessantly! She is enjoyable in a social situation, but it’s too much in the office. Even turning my back on her and continuing with my work was not enough to indicate that the conversation was over. I was reluctant to cut off her discourses because we were getting to know one another and we need to work very closely together. The one time I did so resulted in the cold shoulder for a week–which made it quite uncomfortable and difficult to work together. Finally, someone else in the office made a complaint to our supervisor, who in turn discussed the issue with both Meagan and myself. I wish I had gone to my supervisor sooner and discussed the issue rather than having another staff member complain to her. It was embarrassing, but a relief at the same time. “Meagan” is better about keeping conversations shorter now, but will frequently go on and on if allowed. I no longer feel any compunction to continue lengthy conversations with her. I love the peace and quiet that results when she’s out of the office for the day–I get so much more done!

November 28, 2011 at 9:08 am
(10) Mojo says:

I can so relate with this! Totally with you mate!

September 7, 2006 at 3:26 pm
(11) Karen says:

The person who works with me at Wal-Mart wants every other weekend off, checks our schedules and tells us about them before we do. And tells us she doesn’t really have to work and has 5 saved paychecks she hasn’t cashed yet.

September 7, 2006 at 3:26 pm
(12) normandy says:

One that irritates me is the person who breaks a simple work rule, to the detriment of co-workers. We all know this simple rule, but he ignores it out of sheer laziness.

September 7, 2006 at 8:47 pm
(13) Jessica says:

Wow Ronnieone! I had the same problem at my job, my manager was sleeping with the boss and in the process of getting a divorce. The boss also liked my work and we got along well, but she went out of her way to undermine me. I was also planning my wedding at the time and she fixed it so I got all this work just as I was going on vacation, then she put the blame on me (even though I put in for my vacation months in advance.) You couldn’t even complain about her becasue she was sleeping with the boss! Arrgghh…

September 10, 2006 at 5:20 pm
(14) TECH2 says:

Although none of us in my shop are subordinate to this person in our main office, she seizes any opportunity to call us and tell us off when she feels something we do is wrong. And not in a nice way either! She scolds, lectures, repeating the “offense” time after time, and threatens to take the issue up with management just to cause trouble and controversy.

September 11, 2006 at 10:35 am
(15) Give me Serenity says:

My pet peeve is when someone takes credit behind your back for work or a project that you have done. I don’t mind when there is teamwork involved, or when it’s a group project… but one should always give credit where credit is due. And these type of people don’t ever do this in front of you — so you know that THEY know that it is wrong too!

September 13, 2006 at 12:49 am
(16) Linda says:

My coworker makes mountains out of molehills. She asks questions that we have already discussed – wants to know what the process is (when it’s one we’ve all been using for quite some time) – must have everything done the exact same way every time – unless she doesn’t want to do it that way and then wants to discuss it AGAIN! She also “forgets” that we’ve discussed something. Then after I’m really at my wits end – she says “I really want to be a good team player – what am I doing wrong?”

September 15, 2006 at 7:07 pm
(17) Joett says:

I work with a person that thinks she is perfect, if I make a mistake she is the first to point it out. They are all “mistakes” because I didn’t do it her way. She is rude to me but goes out of her way to be kind to everyone else, she was the only person doing this job for a year, then I came along. She won’t even look me in the eye anymore, she avoids me yet sends me emails asking if this or that is done or where I am on my projects. She is not my boss, she is a peer. I’ve talked to my boss but he is too meek to say anything. I’ve had it with her and am too old to put up with it, so I have an interview next week! Better to move on that work in a situation that is not beneficial to me or the company.

March 7, 2007 at 6:41 pm
(18) Rachael says:

I work with a woman who just cannot stand it that I will not become ‘buddies’ with her. She’s one of those people that knows the answer no matter what the question is. You can’t even carry on a conversation with someone else without her butting in. It just absolutely wears me out physically and mentally to have to work with this woman.Two-faced, self-centered, ego maniac, type-A personalities are my biggest peeve!

June 18, 2007 at 6:34 pm
(19) lynda says:

I have a coworker that is always talking to me like I am 2 years old.

July 12, 2008 at 1:37 pm
(20) Mairi says:

A whole bunch of people who can’t seem to do anything without being chased, half of whom don’t even do what’s required when chased, and me getting nominated by the boss to do the chasing!

August 5, 2008 at 5:20 pm
(21) HRnut says:

The absolute worst – working with managers who have been with a company so long they think they know everything there is to know about the company, the law…and everything else. They want to tell you how to do the job you were hired to do when they have no experience or training in that field. They believe since they have worked there way up through the company over the years, and have been managers for years, they need no input from anyone else. They do not realize that we all have talents, and that maybe, just maybe others are hired into positions so they can help them in theirs! (Usually these managers are from the traditionalist or boomer generation. I’m a GenX. Go figure!)

September 2, 2008 at 7:44 am
(22) Mahendra says:

Dear Susan,
I am facinated with your articles. I am writing you from Dubai, UAE. Working with differnt nationalities here I have come across a staff who is a bit difficult charater to deal with. Can I talk to you on him and get some advise to tackle him.
is it ok with you. Pls let me know.
Thks N brgds

Mahen

September 2, 2008 at 9:34 am
(23) Karen says:

The supervisory team member who is very nice to staff when she is in their presence – then makes derogatory comments about their character, performance, etc. in supervisory meetings.

January 16, 2009 at 8:30 am
(24) skye says:

A coworker that feels the world revolves around her, doesn’t follow any rules, If she can’t have something – she ruins it for other coworkers, has a new drama daily & has to tell EVERYONE about it & never takes responsibility for her actions – blames someone else, also grandstands what she does to boss. Type A personality!

June 18, 2009 at 12:12 pm
(25) Jill says:

I have an egotistical cubemate who feels the need to talk incessantly, comment on everything we do/don’t do, and gives a constant narrative of what he’s working on. Yesterday, I said to him that must really enjoy the sound of his own voice. He thought I was kidding.
Trying to be thankful I have a job….

August 13, 2009 at 8:04 pm
(26) dagster says:

The “Know it All”, The “Eavesdropper”, The “I think I’ll Tell You My Opinion Even Though You Didn’t Ask For It” and The “Non Stop Loud Talker” all rolled into one annoying individual.

October 4, 2009 at 12:40 pm
(27) Jonesy says:

I have an absentee manager, and I work in a small room with my co-worker. She is such a slacker, she has 2 hour lunches regularly, shows up late, spends half an hour writing personal emails, gets so many personal phone calls that I don’t bother answering our phone. And when anyone drops into our office, she pretends like she is the most knowledgeable about our work. She jumps at any excuse to show off, using ‘I’ and I’ll and I’d be happy to present it, and then says later, ‘we’ll’ organize it before hand.’ The quality of her work is poor, but as it goes into one big pot, my good work gets mixed into her crap. No one knows, and If I squeel, its going to be an even more uncomfortable small room we work in. I need another job!

October 27, 2009 at 9:20 am
(28) Lee says:

In addition to negativity and complaining, moodiness and inconsistency drive me nuts, it’s like you don’t know what/who you’re dealing with from one minute to the next, Jeckyl or Hyde. The other thing that drives me nuts is those who keep tabs on what others are doing but don’t follow the rules themselves to make themselves look good or feel superior.

October 27, 2009 at 10:04 am
(29) Anon E. Mouse says:

Believing themselves to be more swamped with over-workload than anyone else thus rendering them unavailable to assist with requests for group assistance, they want us to rush through meetings to get “back to work” and also are unavailable to assist with anyone else while requesting help for their own work, when in fact they do less than most in the organization. It’s called Spinning Wheels!

December 18, 2009 at 7:07 am
(30) Tanya D says:

Passive aggressive suck up behavior. I’m dealing with a woman who is part of the Millenial generation, I’m an X’er. She wants to make everything a group project, checking in constantly and touching base. She’s very much a look at what I DID! PRAISE ME type of employee. Her passive aggressiveness comes via email. One email I’m being lectured as if I’m her child the next email is full of effusive thanks for whatever I did.

Make up your mind! I’ll be so glad when I can get another position, and mostly finish my degree so I’m not dependent on this position for the tuition benefit.

December 22, 2009 at 6:08 am
(31) Gaynor S says:

Amongst several work-unfriendly habits, including sucking up & reporting colleagues behaviour to the manager, spreading gossip & constant talking about nothing, my colleague seems to have no manners. She eats almost constantly, always with her mouth open (her desk is disgustingly covered in bits of food), she doesn’t cover her mouth when coughing of sneezing & rarely says “please” or “thank you”.

January 5, 2010 at 5:14 am
(32) Red says:

What if there are only two people in the office area and you each have your own office?
The one employee is a hired snitch who rats out every move you make to your boss and is constantly stirring the pot to cause nothing but anger, distrust and mistey for anyone who comes in contact with the person?
How in the world do you deal with it?
The person is devious…….steals (but you can’t prove it) provokes arguements constantly, totally defiant, won’t believe anything that you tell them……just makes life in general totally miserable for anyone who has the the misfortune of being around them……..and that would be me.

January 13, 2010 at 12:56 pm
(33) Raj says:

I think I am going crazy sometimes to restrain myself from going off on this co-worker who eats all day long yet constantly yaks about her latest diet, talks w/ her mouth stuffed w/ food all the time (gross!) & when she is not eating, talking w/ her mouth full of food or yakking about her latest “diet”, she giggles. And I mean about everything. I constantly find myself trying to figure out why she is giggling all the time when the things she giggles at are just not that funny! I don’t get it??? Someone just shoot me please…

January 31, 2010 at 7:05 am
(34) Pink says:

I work next to a contractor who is working for the same company as me, however she is also working for her friend at the same time. When anyone asks her to do anything she gets really angry, so therefore people think twice before asking her to do any work. By doing this she can then easily manage 2 jobs and get 2 salaries. If she does need to do any work she runs round the office making herself ‘look’ vey busy, she then phones people to help her by putting on a whining baby voice. Everyone thinks she works really hard as she never leaves the office on time as she is ‘so busy and hardworking’. It really winds me up as she has told me what she is doing and she gets away with it as she knows how to play the game. If any one questions her angry attitude she says its a cultural difference. How does she get away with it?

February 3, 2010 at 1:37 pm
(35) JW says:

I wish my coworker would learn some manners and ask if she could use the printer that is on my desk rather than just print something to it. One day her reports may be printed on a label templates because of her inconsideration. I cannot stand workplace ignorance.

November 8, 2011 at 9:07 am
(36) FR says:

Is it your printer or the workplace’s printer? If it’s your own printer then I’m with you, but if it’s a printer for common use then she has a right to use it without asking you.

February 23, 2010 at 4:20 pm
(37) mt says:

My nightmare co-worker acts like she’s super busy yet she spends most of her day doing homework, planning her kids outings for Girl Scouts and telling her stay at home husband what to do (at least 5 calls a day).

March 28, 2010 at 2:37 pm
(38) Joshua says:

Gossiping know it alls who constantly look for ways to demean another employee. Also, the bossy “big” lady at work who is way more concerned about what I’m doing rather than her own work. I think she is just angry at men.

April 22, 2010 at 11:41 am
(39) Margaret Mithouse says:

I read all 32 comments about difficult people at work, and though some of them sounded humorous, I’m sure these situations are not considered funny by the people in them. Dan O’Connor, The Energy Vampire Slayer has just published a free course–including book, workbook, flash-cards and more entitled Energy Vampire Slayer: 101. In this course he deals with Gossips, Blamers, Snipers, Cry-Babies, Bullies and several other toxic types that plague offices. He scripts how to deal with them–as well as how to prepare yourself to be the person who CAN deal with them. All free–all information that can be duplicated, passed around, and used to defeat negativity wherever it’s found. http://www.powerdiversity.com and click “FREE BOOK” Anyone who has left a comment on this blog will find this course useful and effective. I know I did.
Margaret Mithouse

April 22, 2010 at 1:34 pm
(40) Susan says:

Margaret, while it appears that you may be connected to the resource you recommend, I will allow the recommendation here as it does look like a useful resource with no strings attached.

Thank you.

Susan

April 30, 2010 at 11:52 pm
(41) Lisa says:

My Human Resources in my company does not have ethics. I think she does not know what this word means. She has a friend in the company and her friend knows everything happening in the company and the human resources manipulates the owner of this company. The human resource has favor with her friends and lies a lot.

May 1, 2010 at 3:44 pm
(42) Joney says:

Difficult when you work in a close environment and your colleague uses you as a sounding board for everything they do. They are also quite incompetent because they seek your approval non stop, ‘what d’you think, what d’you think?’, all the time! It is not a compliment to me, it is they who are insecure. But then I’ll make a suggestion and they’ll totally negate it! Why ask me in the first place? They also poach my work and seek to gain credit from everyone else, mentioning nothing of my effort. It’s verging on an overly-competitive compulsive behaviour now. It is very, very strange…

Sympathies for everyone who’s having it tough and it’s amazing how people have the tenacity to act the way they do and get away with it. Where’s their conscience?

July 6, 2010 at 1:12 pm
(43) Katie says:

Been trying to deal with a co-worker who is 25 years old
than I am & she makes snarky comments to me every time we work together. I have tried asking questions about her life, make general small talk, etc…but her responses are not generally friendly. Sometimes she will walk away while I am in mid sentence. I dread the days when we are scheduled to work together, and I kick myself for allowing this person to ruin my work life.

July 22, 2010 at 10:20 am
(44) bewildered says:

Gal in c/s flirts openly w/VP of the company & he behaves like they are sleeping together or he wants to. She walks around like she’s the queen of the company & gets people in trouble when they haven’t done anything wrong. She is malicious, she lies, and she will pretend to be your friend to get information that she will use against you or others later. Then to top it all off, she behaves like she is 16 years old in response to workplace news, being way overenthusiastic, jumping up and down and shouting “Goody” or “Awesome”, or crying & pouting if someone talks rudely to her on the phone (hello, you are 30 and c/s gets rough calls – it’s part of the job, learn to deal w/it).

July 27, 2010 at 9:48 am
(45) T says:

My pet peeve is when one of my co-worker tries to micro-manage everyone else’s jobs like they are the owner or ops manager ruling over everyone. Now it wouldn’t be so bad but it cycles repeatedly. When you are finally able to reel them in, they concentrate on only their job until the micro-management starts in again a couple of months later. It drives everyone crazy that the co-worker can’t just concentrate on her own job and leave everyone else’s alone.

July 30, 2010 at 10:53 am
(46) Cory says:

My co-worker is like Grimer Wormtongue in Lord of the Rings. She has somehow wormed her way into favor with the boss and now is constantly whispering poison into the boss’ ears, and because the boss is under this person’s spell, she knows no better. This person brings a cloud of negativity with them whenever they enter a room. She says backhanded things all the time and everyone throughout the company finds this person very rude and unpleasant. She is always directing things that she has no business directing, but does it in such a way that you don’t realize she’s directing until after some time has passed. If it’s not her idea, it’s not a good one. anything she is not involved in is automatically bad. This person is TOXIC.

August 5, 2010 at 9:28 pm
(47) Struggling at every request says:

Dealing with an employee who drives me NUTS. When a request goes in for this person to complete a task, I am confronted with multiple hoops I need to go through to get them completed and everyone in management gets copied on the email. Even the simple task turn into complications and seem to turn into struggles. I can work with her co workers and don’t have to deal with the same struggles. I shutter to pass anything off to this person as more then likely it is not enough information and all management will now know I didn’t give them enough information.

September 9, 2010 at 10:38 am
(48) Aubrey says:

What Coworker Behaviors Drive You Crazy? A Coworker Who: is hateful, jealous, and will watch and complain about everything other coworkers are doing, but barely doing any work themself. Will argue that others are treated better than them, will pick-on coworkers like everybody is still in elementary school, and then have the nerve to complain if they are reprimanded about their behavior.

November 2, 2010 at 2:27 pm
(49) Jane says:

I am in an open office setting where I sit directly across from a crazy person. She talks to herself all day long, it is not only distracting but entirely rhude. I have a position where I am on the phone the majority of the day and she feels it necessary to yell at whomever she is speaking with on the other line of her phone. She constantly interupts conversations. To put me over the top every day, she eats with her mouth open, and belches out loud. Now not only does all of this drive me nuts on a daily basis but there is no need for her presence at our company, a monkey could do her job. She barely remembers anything and belive it or not I remind her of the owrk she has done because I caught it in a conversation she was having with herself. UGHHHHHHH what do I do?? I have asked for my own office but due to circumstances I am staying put for now.

November 10, 2010 at 11:50 pm
(50) Flybymyownwings says:

#3
I am in a nearly identical situation with a few minor differences:
-I am a rehire and supposed to manage the individual as they work in my dept. I speculate now, that I have been made aware of the affair, that the interest in recruiting me back was not about my skill but rather to add a buffer to the org chart. It has really affected my self confidence.
-Same undermining and challenges of the employee going around me in a very sly manner. Supposedly all ideas are considered for certain projects but it is almost comical how our boss seems to already have their mind made up before even starting the discussion.
-The employee is so driven that she will stop at nothing to get to projects faster than me, to skirt around me on decisions, to politic with other workers and gain allies.

I’m not annoyed, I just feel like such a fool. It’s embarassing.

November 14, 2010 at 10:27 pm
(51) truford says:

My supervisor BELCHES very loud after he eats lunch! This can go on all afternoon, and it’s sickening! I think it’s because he does everything too fast, including eating. He’s ex-military, not very bright, but friendly. I can get along with him up to a point, and then I just close my door. Also he NEVER listens to anyone — just jabbers away, talking so fast that sometimes he actually has to stop and gasp for breath! If he has a computer problem, he sits in his office shouting F-this and F-that, but will not come out and ask for help. I think he just desperately wants attention. I’m a few years older than he is, and have much more education and professional experience. But he treats me like a glorified secretary and tries to keep me from talking to his superiors for anything. He wants to control my ENTIRE work schedule, although he knows nothing about what I do! Oh — and he’s a horrible gossip! I can’t count the times he’s told me things that are supposed to be “highly confidential.”

December 20, 2010 at 12:37 am
(52) G says:

My neighbor in the next cube sips tea with a sucking/hissing sound!(probably a childhood habit of drinking hot liquids),he never listens to anybody a second,he shouts when when others talking in their cells,never gives importance for any human values,that day in a meeting he took my diary from my front and forcefully hit on table to assert his point,after having tea kept the empty cup in front of me! For anything he will have point ,generally a foolish one and calls others ‘Stupid”.That day I had seen a pencil inserted in between his telephone mouthpiece and cradle- to avoid incoming calls!
After lunch,his cube will be so dirty like a filthy kitchen!
With ladies he is very friendly with foolish jokes. He always acts expert in all matters,even in front of real experts and never acts professionally and even abuses others.

December 20, 2010 at 11:04 pm
(53) Jessie P says:

I work in a Restruant,I stay in my Work place one spot for 8 Hours,I am A Dishwasher,

The Cocktail Servers,Walk through My Designated work area singing like Grammer School Kids,

Walk thru like MENTAL DISABLED,Not paying attetion,
Their Mind is out of ZONE OR SOMETHING.

I can’t that.

December 30, 2010 at 3:01 pm
(54) Chatterbox Challenged says:

The overly Chatty Cathy: Talks all the time about personal issues and chats about non-work-related topics and due to that distracts others. The person doesn’t seem to be working even though they are at work. I wonder how productive the person could be if the chatter was cut back…

January 4, 2011 at 3:03 pm
(55) Ann says:

Dealing with co-workers is never easy and the stress can be maddening. Sometimes a little humor is in order like the solutions given in this story:

a href=”http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1516114/5_steps_to_help_you_avoid_killing_crazy.html?cat=72″>5 Steps to Help You Avoid Killing “Crazy” Co-workers!

January 16, 2011 at 10:21 am
(56) rafael marko( tanzania) says:

Some time manager fail to identify the behavior of workers so this can make difficult to deal with all workers. Do you think this is an easy task for managers to meet the demand of every one in the organisation.

January 27, 2011 at 6:26 pm
(57) Sandy says:

I dislike when co-workers consistently ask for money for a gift for another co-worker. In the past , this has been a voluntary practice, but in the past year it is always send me $ for a gift for xyz. I had a conversation with the “asker” to make it voluntary and or ask people what they are comfortable with contributing. They answered “well I have always had to give more in the past so I am asking for a fixed amount this time” I was appalled. Now, I politley decline to participate. Please advise……..

March 11, 2011 at 4:42 am
(58) Supernova247 says:

Hi. How are you? I think you are doing the right thing. I get really tired of that in offices, too. It’s just ridiculous. I have never had the occasion to have money collected for me – except in the instance when my dad passed away back in 04. To require a set $ amount is inappropriate. it should be voluntary, and one should give what they desire to give. These are coworkers – not friends. All that is required on a job is to do the job that you are being paid for and try and amicably get along with everyone – nothing more. I had an occasion several years ago where this coworker was collecting money for the boss’s daughter. Her grandmother passed away and the asker was a close friend of hers and purchased 2 very expensive plants. She didn’t ask anyone’s input on what should be done, but proceeded to ask everyone to contribute $17 ea. The office was small, but even still that was too much. I was new and felt like I shouldn’t have even been asked, but I did contribute out of the kindness of my heart – even though I didn’t agree with how it was done and thought the amount was too much. Ironically, that same young lady who we collected money for turned out to be extremely low-down and hateful to me and constantly did awful things. I later regretted contributing. Nevertheless, I am older and wiser. I don’t believe in someone else spending my money for me; and I’m not going to do what I don’t want to do. On my current job, they did Secret Santa and asked everyone to purchase a $25 gift. I didn’t participate. That was ridiculous and way too much!!!! The person who sent the note asked no input and decided the $ amt., and I didn’t appreciate that. So, I didn’t do it. I’m glad I didn’t because I don’t like anyone I work with at all!! They’re all a bunch of creepy weirdos!!!

March 11, 2011 at 8:29 am
(59) Susan Heathfield says:

It’s okay to collect money at work for gifts. But, there must be no pressure – really okay not to give. Amount should be totally up to the individual and buy the gift based on what was collected. No supervisors should colllect: places too much pressure on employees.

March 11, 2011 at 4:50 am
(60) Supernova247 says:

Hi. I totally agree with you, and you are doing the right thing by not contributing. I have had the exact same experiences, and I stopped doing it. I get so tired of that. These are coworkers – not friends. If you give, it should be voluntary and what you would like to give. No one is going to spend my money for me. On a job, all that is required is that you do the job you are getting paid for and to also try and amicably get along with everyone. During Christmas, my office was doing Secret Santa and wanted everyone to purchase a $25 gift. I thought it was ridiculous. They didn’t ask for any suggestions and decided on the amount. I didn’t think it was fair, so I didn’t participate. I’m glad I didn’t. Everyone there is a bunch of creepy weirdos – from the top down. It’s the worst place I’ve ever worked.

July 23, 2011 at 12:41 am
(61) Sam says:

I don’t blame you. I wouldn’t have contributed $25 to buy a Christmas gift for a co-worker either. Hell, I don’t spend that on some of my own family members. And nobody should be pressured to give anything. It should be on a volunteer basis. I once worked in an office where we had what they called a “kitty fund.” Don’t ask me why they called it a kitty fund. I don’t have a clue. But anyway it was set up where if you contributed I think it was either 1 or 2 dollars a month. The money was used to buy flowers if someone went in the hospital or for the death of a close family member. For weddings or employee having a baby, a gift would be purchased. If you didn’t contribute then you would not be included if you had a life-changing event such as those mentioned above. There were about 20-25 people in the entire office. As for funeral flowers what was purchased depended on the relationship to the deceased. If it was a child, spouse, mother or father you would receive flowers. If it was a grandparent, aunt or uncle you received a sympathy card only.

March 3, 2011 at 4:17 pm
(62) MyName says:

I really hate it when someone who is of the same level of authority acts like they are a boss.

March 11, 2011 at 5:01 am
(63) Supernova247 says:

I have a coworker who does nothing but complain, busy body and find fault with others. I try to keep to myself in the office because I don’t care for the environment. I am the newest person there and this lady has been a thorn in my flesh since I started last April. I work the front desk, and she is a Customer Service Rep. She is always complaining about the calls, walk-ins, management……..anything under the sun, she’s complaining about it. I’ve asked her repeatedly to not bring me any mess or gossip. I don’t like it and don’t want to be a part of it. Yet, she continues. She completely drains me, but there is no one I can go to about it. Management will do nothing and there would be more confusion if I did that anyway. Besides, management is extremely poor, but that’s another scenario. Anyway, I can’t win with her. I try to be nice to her, but I just can’t win with her. She always finds fault about something, so I just grin and bare it. She has my cell number and has called me when I’m off to gossip and complain about others. When I saw this pattern, I stopped answering. I don’t talk to her unless I’m at work. I have to deal with her there, but not after I get off. I am so, so, so tired of her. She doesn’t see herself. She has hurt me and insulted me and gives no thought to my feelings. Does anyone have any addl advice?

March 11, 2011 at 8:34 am
(64) Susan Heathfield says:

You’re on the right track to avoid her after work calls. For some reason, she still thinks that she can get away with this behavior with you. You need to constantly reinforce. When she walks up to you and starts to gossip, you need to immediately stop her and say, “I have told you that I do not want to participate in this kind of discussion. Please stop.” If she does not, walk away. You need to take an assertive position with such a coworker. Even if management is weak, you might try approaching them by telling them about the impact of your coworker’s behavior on your work and productivity. You can also secretly job search.

March 11, 2011 at 5:34 pm
(65) Supernova247 says:

Hi, and thank you for your advice. Also, I meant to say ‘grin and bear it’ – not bare it. As for going to mgmt, I have made attempts in the past, and my supervisor has made it repeatedly clear that he doesn’t want to be bothered. I don’t want to cause any problems because I have had so many issues before with the same person, and he is really just tired of dealing with it. He knows how she is and doesn’t care for her. No one has anything to do with her. When I first came, I felt sorry for her because of that. However, I now see and understand why. She keeps up too much confusion and always keeps something going – in addition to being a chronic complainer and busy-body. So, I chose not to bother him anymore and handle it myself. This is a very miserable woman and wants someone else to be miserable with her. I think that I am going to take your suggestion about being more direct with her. However, I bet you’ve never met anyone like her. You can tell her the exact same thing everyday, and she doesn’t get it. She will still continue the behavior. She’s very inconsiderate and self-centered and doesn’t respect my feelings or anyone else’s. After the recent incidents I’ve had with her, I said that I was going to no longer interact with her as much; and when she comes to me and starts gossiping, I was just going to ignore her. It’s hard for me at the front-desk because I can’t just walk away and I have to handle calls, and she’ll come up and start talking. She gives me dumb things to do just for the sake of giving me something to do. I think she resents the fact that I’m not bombarded with work. I really don’t care for her, but she is the only person at work who talks to me. She’s one of the most difficult and hard to understand people I’ve ever worked with. I think there may be some mental problems that need to be handled – seriously. Nevertheless, thank you for the advice. It’s great, and I will definitely utilize it.

March 14, 2011 at 9:54 pm
(66) Denise says:

I manage a small team but I have no input in hiring, firing or evaluations. One person never does her job, she is insubordinate and lies. She is the sweetest person, always smiles and says positive things to people in the company, so most people think I’m telling lies. Besides not doing her job, she steals from the company, undermines co-workers and gives customers misinformation. She destroys property, misfiles important information, does not take data or lies about it, but because she smiles, I’m evil. My boss says he will not accept any data I collect about her. What can I do? I’m within 7 years of retirement and jobs are scarce.

August 11, 2011 at 12:02 pm
(67) Tom says:

Tread lightly. Obviously, if you push the matter, your job may be at stake. Just be patient, someday she will slip up. I suggest looking into lean system for management (LSM) tools. Specifically, ways to create efficiency through visibility. The company should see this as a positive step toward efficiency, but your hidden motive is to develop visibility to this person’s failure to complete her tasks. Good luck!

April 22, 2011 at 1:15 pm
(68) Cris says:

I have one that shares the office with me. She is obviously not a team player, negative, abrasive in her comments (verbally or in emails) does not retain anything that has been taught her, is not independent, does not use common sense and ALWAYS asks questions rather than learn to deal with an issue herself. Blames others … guess what she still has a job and my stress level is building up overtime. She is more of a burden than a help … have spoken to my immediate supervisor over & over to no avail. Yesterday I had to leave work to avoid further stress. I am thinking of leaving the job …

April 23, 2011 at 2:19 am
(69) Cris says:

She shows no professional communication skills. She is abrasive, blatant, sarcastic, demanding, needs to have the last word. She does not show any interest in learning more about her job by taking initiative. No company should retain a person like her … our immediate supervisor says she is the only type of worker our budget can afford … WOW!!

April 23, 2011 at 1:44 pm
(70) S. says:

I don’t appreciate being called unexpectedly by a co-worker to be pointed out the things that I did wrong. I have to admit that sometimes I make mistakes, but something minor that I did and tried to clean up is nothing that that I shouldn’t be yelled at about.

I’m taking quitting my job into consideration because It’s really hard to work with the people I work with especially since they’re all clicky with each other and older than me.

I know the whole respect your elders thing, but what’s the point if you can’t be respected in return? I’ only trying so hard to get through the day and I don’t need you to be all up in my face about every single thing.

June 28, 2011 at 9:17 pm
(71) Suzy says:

I have a coworker that is a pushy New Yorker (we are in California) who has decided that she can push everyone in the office around, and is so pleased with herself that it seems to be working. Everyone else that I work with is so submissive and passive that they just complain about her to each other. She is disrespectufl, rude, and oversteps her boundaries.

The worst part is the to our director, whose ass she kisses, she comes across as a real go-getter and brags about herself and her skills, which she does not seem to actually possess. Because of this they have made her a supervisor. Which is now making our lives a living nightmare. Help!

June 29, 2011 at 4:48 pm
(72) Y. says:

I have a co-worker who is really smart and she is mostly (not always) nice to others. However, she seems to dislike every bit of me. She disagrees with everything I say and points out every little mistake that I make (which is few and infrequent, but as a human being, it happens). I often feel intimidated, put down, even humiliated by her. These days I just try to avoid talking to her, but even then her presence makes me so unhappy, especially when she brags about her work-related things. It’s strange how one co-worker can make you feel so depressed even when you get along very well with everybody else.

August 11, 2011 at 12:11 pm
(73) C. says:

I am having a similar problem. My coworker is a genious at what he does. The problem is, he knows it. I depend on him for my job, but he feels too important to help me. All of my ideas are immediately dismissed as garbage. I tried avoiding him too, but as my job requires his assistance, it has been extremely difficult to get certain things done. Next, I tried offering him my help, hoping he would stop being threatened by me. He refused my help because I didn’t have the expertise in his field. Then I tried to find him help, this really made him angry! With some people, there just is no way to win. I wish I could repair this relationship, but I don’t think he wants to, which makes it impossible. I would appreciate any advice anyone can offer.

August 12, 2011 at 8:07 am
(74) Neil says:

A colleague who sits a few desks back from me in an open plan office is driving me crazy with his continual banging on the keys of his computer keyboard. It could be the space bar he is hitting very heavily Iím not sure. But if you type on your space bar repeatedly very heavily, that is the sound that this guy generates every day. It is difficult to observe him without making it obvious that Iím watching him. Iím on the verge of going up to him and just coming right out with it and asking him why on earth he is hitting the keys on his keyboard so hard.

I am conscious that other people in the room are aware of the noise he generates but they seem to be able to block it out. I on the other hand am finding it impossible to block it out and I can hear it above all other noises even the traffic outside. I wish I could filter it out but now itís like the only sound I can hear.

He is a difficult person to approach and keeps himself to himself Ė not really a team player. He is line managed but the line manager is a bit aloof to be honest. Iíve worked with him since April 2011 and Iím sure heís always made the keyboard noise but itís only recently that Iíve properly tuned into it and now I canít tune out!

August 18, 2011 at 4:08 am
(75) Sunnu Golwalla says:

A colleague turns a deaf ear to rqst for sharing information. When pressed he gets hostile.

Need his info to proceed further with jobs assigned.

How to break the dead lock and help him share info.

September 1, 2011 at 8:49 pm
(76) Marilyn says:

How do I deal with a coworker who has a paraniod personality disorder, possibly Aspergergers Syndrome. She is a commentator who must have the last word (in a very loud whinging way) & tries to control the office, along with an older woman who is just plain nasty. She is a very good worker & does her job well but drives people crazy. The boss doesn’t do anything about her, therefore condones the bad behavior as I feel he doesn’t want to loose any worker.
It suits me to remain there for a while as the hours & location suit, physical medical reasons.
Any advice would be helpful.

September 19, 2011 at 11:39 am
(77) Jessica Perri says:

The absolute most annoying thing ever is when somebody (of any stature) constantly complains about their workload. Boasts about how busy they are, constantly giving a resume of achievements even thought they were from 1985. Indicating that they are completely unavailable to assist with other projects/needs as they just have so many important things to do… then you go into their office to find them sending text messages while surfing facebook!

September 30, 2011 at 2:23 pm
(78) Cleo says:

I have a co-worker who is extremely bossy. She is not my boss, but every year we have a committee who does the holiday decorating. This co-worker, who is not even the chair of the committee, volunteers me for everything. It absolutely pisses me off. I am trying to learn how to deal with her but it is hard. She goes absolutely ape shit over holiday decorating and it is hard to take. She is bossy the rest of the year too but usually I can avoid her.

October 3, 2011 at 1:08 pm
(79) Afroza says:

My co-leagues are constantly asking technical help from me. I always help them no matter how busy I am. My only expectation from is that they learn from me and stop depending on me. But they keep using me. Which made me loose temper and shout to one whom I’ve been helping for about one year. Complains been made against me to the employers and I’ve been suggested to become a co-operative co-league and to manage my ill-temper. I tried to speak truth. To the employers -all my co-leagues denied that they’ve ever taken any help from me, but to me they say the opposite. I wish I could explain why this is happening to myself or to anyone.

October 4, 2011 at 10:59 pm
(80) Star says:

I hate dealing with drama from women at work. As a woman I think I would rather work with men. These ladies I work with bitch and complain and sit around and eat all day and then try to start shit with others. They are from a small town so of course they spend all their time gossiping about who did who, who did what, who ate what. They use the computer to go online and buy stuff or go to websites then try to blame me for it. Eh sorry, hate dealing with crazy co- workers. If you hate your life so much you have to be a bitch every day of your life, then shoot yourself really. Heh.

October 6, 2011 at 12:27 am
(81) SUP says:

what to do with a insecure collegue, who takes everything personally and has bruised egos. unfortunately the boss is also incompetent and fishes in troubled waters?

October 17, 2011 at 5:53 pm
(82) Linda says:

I have a co worker who always pushes his work onto others. It doesn’t matter who tells or asks him to do the work, he always finds someone that will do it because he makes up so many excuses that it’s not his job but rather ours that we all eventually just give in and do the work in order to move on.

October 18, 2011 at 7:42 am
(83) Carol says:

Coworker has designated days off at her request so that she can attand school 2 days a week. She also complains about working wednesdays and every saturday. I usually get wednesdays off (but not always) so that I atleast have one day to make necessary appointments. She wanted me to work for her on wednesday afternoon and I told her I had an appointment. She asked me to reschedule it. I said no. A half hour later she called me again and asked me to reschedule it and I said no I will not. I would never ask someone to reschedule their personal appt so that I could have the day off for something I need to do for my boyfriend.

October 21, 2011 at 11:07 am
(84) Kim says:

I was recently demoted to a lesser position in order for the boss’s 22 year old live-in lover to have the position. I wasn’t even told I was being demoted, it was just done and the boss let my “co-worker” tell me. I am 53, she is 22. He is married (48 years old w/2 teenagers) and this affair has caused the impending divorce. The boss’s wife apparently has been receiving phone calls, texts, and emails from someone at the company and the boss accused me of doing so as apparently he believes that spoofing a phone number or email addy takes great expertise and he believes I am the only one who could do so. I did not and would not do this. Additionally I used to also plan all marketing events. She does this now as well and I have been marginalized. I am angry and hurt and have lost both money and prestige. Is this discrimination?

October 21, 2011 at 2:01 pm
(85) Susan Heathfield says:

This note is for Kim. I would certainly touch base with an attorney and the department of labor in your state. On the surface, it is hard to say because the issue is not age as much as it is the personal relationship. I hope that you are secretly job searching.

October 29, 2011 at 11:08 am
(86) feel like I am in grade school says:

I work in a county office and my Boss is an elected official. It is the most unprofessional place I have ever worked. I was off with spine surgery and had to work half days for a while after my return. One coworker saw me in walmart (this was during the winter) walking she called the boss and said I was faking it and was fine because I was in walmart. ( first I was ordered by the surg. to walk a mile daily and it was warm there) And it was none of her business. Anyway then the other coworker hums any time I speak or puts her fingers in her ears.. I seriously feel like I am losing my mind in here. The boss allows the behavior and she participates as well in the bad mouthing. She said we must all get along. They know that I have a life long problem that I will be under a doctors care for ever. And they still continue to do things like knowing I am not supposed to be cold or it causes muscle spasms and the hot ones will put a jacket or sweater on and turn the ac on. I talked to my boss and she said she was not getting into that.. IT IS HER JOB TO BE THE BOSS!!Oh which the Boss also said to me one day when I told her I had a dr’s apt. ” so are you going to see your drug dealer” I was LIVID!! I cried sooo hard. I understand that they have not had serious problems with their health but they are being cruel. I am only 41 and don’t want to have to put up with preschoolers for 7.5 hrs a day… We don’t have anyone above her that I can go to. I am just at a loss. I have been here for almost 8 years and if it were not for my health insurance I would walk out. WHAT CAN I DO.

October 31, 2011 at 1:28 pm
(87) b says:

I just started a workstudy job at school aout a month ago. There is a lady in the cubicle beside me that wears headphones but yet she hums and sings in a very unpleasant high pitched voice. I get really bad migraines so on some days aside from it being extremely annoying I really just can’t deal with it. I’m not sure of her exact position but I don’t do work for her and I’m pretty sure she’s not even in our department but I still don’t want to be rude because I don’t want to mess up my job. I have to find a way to do something about it though.Any suggestions for how I can deal with her?

November 3, 2011 at 1:26 pm
(88) Gayle says:

I have a co-worker who has so many personal bad habits that it is all I can do some days not to snap and say something to him. He constantly coughs, clears his throat, blows his nose loudly, hawks up phlegm, etc. The entire floor is grossed out by this person. Some days I can tune him out, but other days I have to walk away to calm down. At the very least, it’s distracting. Plus, he is extremely opinionated and feels that everyone who doesn’t agree with him is an idiot. If you ask him a simple question, he talks on and on and on to the point that you are sorry you ever asked him anything. I am getting to the point that I can hardly be civil to him. Does anyone have any suggestions?

November 3, 2011 at 8:44 pm
(89) Haile says:

I am working next to a person who never stop afrting. He thinks it is funny and some time does that infront of my cubicle. There is agirl on the other side of me who always love to hear his stinky fart. Both love to talk about everything, I mean everything. The gril comes three or four days a week, she is full time employee. She comes late and leaves early even on her show up dates. The guy makes joke about it, but never pass it along to supervior. But, this guy is tattle teller if someone else shows up late or sees something wrong. The bosse shows up atmost three days a week. She is aslo a full time employee. I have been in that office for more than three years and have never seem this supervisor doing anything. She comes shows up late (10am) and no body knows what time she leaves. But, I have never seen anything that is done by this boss. That is what they call a Fed Job.

November 4, 2011 at 12:54 pm
(90) just me says:

I am female and work with a female that copies everything that I wear. She’s the most annoying woman I have ever met. Its funny too because when I first started we tried being friends, but she would always make snide comments about what I look like or what I was wearing, so I eventually cut all ties with her. This is no joke! I have great style and she didn’t even own a decent belt or shoes when I started working there and now she’s wearing my wardrobe… talk about jealous. What to do?

November 13, 2011 at 12:13 am
(91) Jenny says:

We have a colleague who constantly discusses fellow colleagues sotto voce in the corner with her only buddy at work. The irony is that she pulls this woman apart too when she is not around! Nasty piece of work and thankfully she has now resigned.

December 4, 2011 at 10:12 pm
(92) Deb says:

A boss who is always mad about something.

December 10, 2011 at 1:25 pm
(93) lana says:

i am a suppervisor in a chain resturant and i am very young. anouther employee is after my job and trys to bring me down every chance she gets. she feels that because she is older than me that she deserves my possision when she causes problems everyday. she has been with the company for years and i am still having to correct her behaviour. she is rude to customers, as well as me and other staff. she is so sure of herself that she has thretend my boss with the labour board in an effort to get me fired. this woman is crazy saying that i harrass her when im nicer to her then anyone eles. although my boss is on my side i feel as though she will stop at nothing to bring me down. i am scared to even look at her and yet i am supposed to be her supperior. im at a loss in what to do i have never felt so small.

December 14, 2011 at 8:02 pm
(94) js says:

My nightmare coworker is my boss’s incompetent secretary. She tries to manage everyone and nitpicks everything, jumping for joy when she thinks she found a mistake. The problem is, she wouldn’t even know a mistake if she did find one because she doesn’t know what she’s doing. Twice she sent me nasty email demanding my absence request form for a day that was a company holiday. Of course she copied several people who she thought would praise her for finding this gross misconduct, but just ended up looking stupid. She also loses everything, takes forever to do the simplest task, or ignores tasks completely until it becomes an emergency and the boss gives it to me to do just to get it done. She drives me crazy!

December 22, 2011 at 12:16 pm
(95) Di says:

some one who just totally refuses to communicate anything and then complains when things are not done.

December 22, 2011 at 6:08 pm
(96) makisupa says:

The coworker that is over-enthusiastic about everything.. its 7am and I mention a TV show a watched the night before.. OMG!! That TV show is great!!! literally jumping out of his chair and charging my cubical to talk about it more. Its almost scary.. especially at 7am.

I could quietly say “this coffee is really good” Again, he is practically jumping up and down with excitement!!! YES THAT COFFEE IS SO GOOD!!! DO YOU KNOW WHAT COFFEE I LIKE!! etc.. etc..

I almost feel embarrassed by his reaction. Other people laugh at him and he doesn’t get it. He gets this look of rejection when I don’t react the way he does with the same enthusiasm.

I some way I feel like its fake and

January 4, 2012 at 4:05 pm
(97) Brenda says:

My biggest pet peeve is the persistent coughing and sneezing without adequately covering the mouth. I’ve been working with this one guy since May (it is now 7 months later), and he has gone into a coughing and sneezing fit every single day. And worse, he rarely covers his mouth. I hate coming to work because of this guy. I’d like to wish bad things on him but I don’t want to invite bad karma unto myself.

January 4, 2012 at 4:28 pm
(98) Susan Heathfield says:

Have you considered telling him how much it bothers you? Having to put up with that every day is a bit much. Do you both have the same boss? If talking to him doesn’t cause it to stop, you can talk with the boss. See: How to Hold a Difficult Conversation: http://humanresources.about.com/od/interpersonalcommunicatio1/qt/feedback_com6.htm

January 6, 2012 at 6:44 pm
(99) Sarah says:

To “Cris” #69 and “Suzy” #71

I generally feel I know where you guys are coming from. I’ve worked with some aggressive/crazy types. Recently, I made an “appropriate complaint” to a certain website online for those who need to complain about workers, services, or products. I made a complaint about a person who worked/works at a certain company who I’ve met who has yelled and screamed around coworkers about various things like random people she didn’t like at a bar etc. She just seemed crazy. I never mentioned any part of her name, nor what she looks like or anything else where someone would know who I was referring to. I didn’t say anything else other than she seemed unstable when I met her (That Was It!) and someone responded to my comment that I was being a “malicious gossip.” I was like…. “Huh?” To me… when you dont mention names and/or appearances…. and just being honest that one of their employees seems “off” is not gossip. There were plenty of other people on the same site saying how her company was a “fraud or scam” and I didn’t notice anyone getting upset about the comments. I think a friend of hers, if not her…. was angry about the truth. I feel bad for the people who work with her. I know someone who works with her and he’s a very timid person and seems to get stressed easily. Plus she made some not very “PC” comments once while literally screaming her head off about someone. She deffinitely seemed like a Type A personality, very aggressive, a bit intimidating, and even yelled at me once because I didn’t even realize she was talking to me. I’m human and do have thoughts in my head that have nothing to do with her. Too bad everyones afraid to complain.

January 26, 2012 at 3:43 pm
(100) Teri Scoggins says:

Working with a female coworker or boss who “mothers ” you throughout the day! They constantly correct you and make all work related choices for you.
If you are a Professional, as I am, I’m thinking we are perfectly capable of making our own decisions and do not willingly do or say stupid things!

February 6, 2012 at 6:24 am
(101) Hamid says:

Very simple, when giving you a task and telling you to do this or that, just tell him/her thank you.

February 9, 2012 at 2:46 am
(102) Brock says:

I HATE when passive-aggressive coworkers who deal with misunderstandings and conflict by shutting down communication, and use silence to “punish” people.

February 24, 2012 at 4:52 am
(103) Prof. ART says:

What drives me crazy: a) women co-workers who take up meeting time with personal chit chat–which they can engage in any other time, but choose to in my presence and get angry when I point out that this is a waste of time; b) co-workers who don’t understand that real meetings have an agreed-upon agenda, follow that agenda and follow up the meeting with meeting minutes for all to see / comment on. In addition, real meetings are short and to the point; c) team leaders who constantly ask for feedback, but really have no intention of taking it on board–a total waste my professional time!; d) those who don’t understand that work is about work, and who bring in all sorts of personal and political agendas–and then get angry that others won’t support this nonsense. It’s amazing to me, on the one hand, how much you can accomplish with a mature, professional team, and on the other what a nightmare of unproductivity and stress working with childish people can be.

February 24, 2012 at 7:24 am
(104) Carole says:

I have a colleague whose boss is below mine yet she thinks she is the same level (probably because she is paid almost the same). She insists on me giving her procedures for the jobs that I do and has informed me she will be taking over jobs I have had for years. On some days she totally ignores me; on others I’m her best friend. She whispers about me in my presence, sits opposite me at meetings and looks directly at the person next to her and will not look at or speak to me. If I say hello, she will turn and look at me then turn back and say nothing. If I ask her to do something or query something, she takes it as a criticism and becomes defensive and rude. She regularly says she does not understand what I am trying to say, that I do not make myself clear or that I stress her out. She snatches things out of my hand or slams things on my desk, makes exaggerated sighs, constantly says she wants more work but in the next breadth says how busy she is and that she can’t do what she already has. After more than 2 years of this behaviour, I finally lost it with her on the phone. She came to talk to me straight away and I asked her to please leave me alone but she would not and kept following me around the office. She then publically yelled: you think I am the one with the problem? Well I am not. You are the difficult one. It was embarrasing and I was hauled in to see her boss and told to go away and reflect on my behaviour. Unfortunately, many others experience the same issues, but the bosses don’t get to see it. I am at my wits end and don’t know how to resolve this issue. After 12 years, I don’t want to have to leave because of one individual. Any advice would be really welcome.

February 24, 2012 at 3:29 pm
(105) Astrid says:

My coworker gets sick every two weeks; she comes in, coughs and sneezes on everything and everyone. Does not pay the company’s bills on time and have had the phone disconnected every month. She repeats everything and things need to be repeated to her several time as well. Talks about her marriage problems to clients, and tries to finish other peoples’ sentences when they are speaking!

March 3, 2012 at 8:21 pm
(106) Bill says:

Self promoters who are inexperienced but talk a good game and fool upper management. These folks generally put you down in subtle ways to make themselves look bigger and more qualified. They will do anything to get ahead. They are good at the back slapping and talking game but are poison to the company as they bring nothing to the table.

March 7, 2012 at 10:40 pm
(107) Cablecar says:

Another co-worker has been providing her one-on-one training when she should be helping with the workload she was hired to do!

March 13, 2012 at 11:03 am
(108) L says:

There’s been a lingering rumor that I’m ‘slow’, going around the hospital that I work at since the first week I started back in 2010. It drives me nuts! What really bothers me, is that I don’t even know who started this horrible, yet almost comical rumor about me. I don’t know anybody outside of the job, so I really don’t know why people who don’t even know me say such things about me. Mind you, I do know OF people, but I don’t ‘know’ them. People tend to get confused by that. Especially in the area where I live. It seems like you live in the same town as somebody, and they think they know you all of a sudden. No, they might know my name, they might know my face, but they don’t know me. As you can tell, I’m talking about a small community where everything is all hearsay.

This rumor is like a bee buzzing around my head the minute I punch in. I went on a date with a guy from my job back in December, and as we were talking over dinner, he told me he was shocked by how smart I was. I mean, seriously?? He told me not to take offense but he wasn’t expecting such a serious/focused girl as he was shown that night. That made me feel really crappy inside. That relationship never panned out too well, anyway. We called it off over different reasons. But still, it hurts just the same. How could people believe such nonsense?

I guess there isn’t much a person can say, but people will talk anywhere and everywhere. What really gets me the most, is that a lot of times people think that you actually can’t hear them when you can. They try to be discreet by lowering their voices, but it really is obvious. And before anybody says I’m paranoid, I know I’m not. People have actually come up to me and told me about these rumors, and I’ve heard them myself as well. But honestly, the people who believe the rumors are just as much to blame as the ones who started them. Always remember that. ;)

March 15, 2012 at 6:15 pm
(109) annoyed guy says:

I am a new hire who gets tossed from group to group to solve problems and help teams meet deadlines. So when I started with group #3, a long-time employee asked me my title and background, so I told her. Now she thinks i make all of this excess money. So when I ask her for any little thing to help me help the team speed up the progress of the group, she CONSTANTLY asks me for $5 dollars, EVERY Single TIME.
I rarely ask her for anything anymore, like where do you keep this certain file, so I can resolve a case, etc? And she always asks me for $5. It is getting annoying!! What the freak do I do?? Anyone?

March 17, 2012 at 1:09 am
(110) Susan Heathfield says:

Here’s the deal. By not confronting the behavior immediately, you are training her that she can get away with it. Confront her – nicely, but tell her that her behavior is inappropriate and that you will not tolerate it going forward. See how she responds. Follow up each time by saying that the behavior is inappropriate and that it must stop. If she fails to stop after a few attempts, call her boss into the situation. Yes, I know this is hard as a new hire, but do you really want to have a job where you put up with this? Obviously, the company hired you because they needed and valued your skills. This manipulative behavior is either confronted or it escalates. Talk to your own boss about the behavior and seek the boss’s guidance.

March 22, 2012 at 11:37 pm
(111) Ethel says:

Most recently I had a coworker who walked around the office singing and who also hid in peoples offices and scared them when they returned. He was 42. The behavior seemed totally obnoxious to me but everyone else seemed cool with it and found it amusing. I thought it was a pretty lame way to interact with other adults, at work no less.

March 30, 2012 at 7:37 am
(112) Dana Lightman says:

Thanks for the post. There’s a lot of terrific and useful information here. I feel that the best approach to dealing with difficult people is to always start with myself. What can I do in this situation to respond in a way that will lower my stress and reactivity. Until I get on an even keel, I am likely to overreact rather than respond from a rational, thoughtful and intentional place. This isn’t always easy, but it is the foundation that allows all of the other tips and strategies to work effectively.

April 2, 2012 at 2:36 pm
(113) jeremiah says:

Today was my worst day as I was given an order for a guest and never followed up. The concerned person later blamed me for that.

April 13, 2012 at 10:39 am
(114) SUPERMAMA says:

I despise the co-worker that is always finding fault in others’ work and trying to make others look bad in an effort to make themselves look better.

April 21, 2012 at 4:22 am
(115) Travis says:

I don’t bitch and moan about my co-workers. I work with them, they do their jobs, and that’s it. Anybody who has a personal vendetta against a co-worker needs to re-evaluate their priorities. Yeah, they may annoy you, they might disrupt you, but if you have a problem report it to management. If their behavior is counter productive and is hurting their performance, management is probably aware of it.

Your little pet peeves aren’t important. If everything is still getting done as it should be, it’s not your concern. If it isn’t, the ‘boss’ probably knows about it. Stop bitching and thinking everything revolves around you.

This is what makes me sick about America, Every single person seems to think that life will revolve around themselves, and if anything upsets them it has to be someone else’s fault; it’s never the fact that they can’t deal with situations outside of their bubble.

May 1, 2012 at 2:27 pm
(116) LM says:

Why is the apparel of an employee mentioned several times in the opening of this article? That shows a marked immaturity on the writer’s part, and is key to the culture that appearances take the place of actual work performance.

May 23, 2012 at 1:01 pm
(117) Siwei says:

She is so dang bossy. like a mom

July 5, 2012 at 10:24 am
(118) ImBeatenHeWon says:

Snippets from other comments:
“wants to discuss all the time and forgets what we discuss

peer asks where I am on a project all the time

takes credit for my work behind my back

co-worker tries to micro-manage everyone elseís jobs like they are the owner or ops manager

same level of authority acts like they are a boss

copying everyone on an e-mail

insists on me giving her procedures for the jobs that I do and has informed me she will be taking over jobs I have had for years

Self promoters who are inexperienced but talk a good game and fool upper management. These folks generally put you down in subtle ways to make themselves look bigger and more qualified.”

All of these in one person, plus he comes in high all the time. He was caught snorting meth off his desk! He gets paranoid and can flip out really angry sometimes. His partner thinks he’s gotten clean, but he just stays at work and does it. I know I get weird e-mails from him at like 11PM or 2AM. One other employee said she did, too, so I’d imagine customers are getting weird e-mails, too.

Management doesn’t care at all. I was told that anything he does, they don’t have to do. I’m leaving, and everyone knows it. They won’t fire me because they make too much money off of me.

August 10, 2012 at 7:34 pm
(119) pixi says:

My boss’s wife is my problem, and his inability to set professional boundaries. She does not like me working for him as she does not like him working with women and says it is bad for their relationship. She says she could do the job better, etc. and tries to get him to sack me, or say i will only be working for them for a set number of months, etc. She has been like this with every female he has ever worked with and he does silly things like not set proper boundaries, e.g. let her see confidential info about his employees, which she then uses to stalk them on the net, or ask them personal stuff out of the blue, etc. It is ridiculous. If we have a meeting, she will call 5 times to see where he is and what he is ‘up to’, and he also is unprofessional in that he tells me how she is about me at home, which only makes it worse. I have dealt with it in a professional manner, and it seems to be taking effect, but it is very stressful.

September 19, 2012 at 3:00 pm
(120) Anonymous says:

I have a new co-worker who talks nearly all day, every day. The person is constantly talking while I, and the rest of my co-workers are trying to work. More often than not, the person is talking about inappropriate, personal things in a loud voice. Management repeatedly has to tell the person to keep their voice down, to no avail. I don’t say this to be harsh but I think it’s fair to assume that my co-worker either is chemically-imbalanced or was not socialized growing up. I only say that because I feel like I know more about this person’s life than I do my other co-workers, and this person’s one of the newest hires in my department. I’ve considered having my seat changed but I feel like that may only worsen the situation. The person is also a natural antagonist. You say, “up”, the person says, “down”. That type of individual. It’s getting to the point where I’m bringing my work home with me and I need a realistic approach on how to deal with this. I feel hopeless and dread working with the person every day.

September 20, 2012 at 9:55 pm
(121) Debs says:

I work in an office where the former employee that held my position was fired for not doing her job. She visits the office frequently and is very obnoxious. I have tried to voice my concern that she is way too loud and makes me uncomfortable. she even went as far as asking for her job back in front of me. It really annoys me and is very unprofessional for my boss to let this continue. What would anyone else do?

October 29, 2012 at 2:28 pm
(122) Lori says:

What about the slink around sneak who knows it all whose favorite line is, “I’m not like that” as she is doing what she’s “not like”. Add a phermone overload and she can get male (and a few female as well) employees to tell her things that could get them fired. She then shares the intel and what she doesn’t know she makes up. She is the only one who can do anything (she is the definition of protective motivated person ). Shares no knowledge, if she actually has any, I’m not convinced. According to her she has health issues that would kill 10 full grown men. And OMG the personal drama that affects attendance (which she gets away with too, including special concessions). And to bosses, who are actually absentee as we are in a satellite office, she makes herself look like the only one who works and knows anything.
I tell myself I must be jealous, but truthfully, I hate coming to work, and am considering asking my doctor for anti-depressants just to be able to deal with the 8 hours we are together. Gotta pay rent and eat ya know.

November 27, 2012 at 5:52 pm
(123) frustrated says:

My biggest coworker complaint falls into the negativity category. I have one person who will see something, or notice something that needs to be done, then tell you about it like it’s your job to do it, even if it does not fall into the category of your job description. She never picks up a broom, or anything, never takes it upon herself to fix an issue, or pitch in to get it done, and it’s in her department! She expects eveyone else to do the dirty, hard work, then she comes swooping in, last minute or whenever there is higher level exec around and takes credit for everyone else’s hard work!

January 20, 2013 at 1:54 pm
(124) BT says:

According to my opinion, approaches which some label as “mommy” like can be psychologically risky and not that benign. The person may be interested in domineering in order to make you obey.

February 11, 2013 at 8:15 pm
(125) candice says:

I have to laugh at some of the posts. What is wrong with people? The ego-trippers: the screwing the boss trashies: the know it alls: the ass kissers: the big mouths: the lazy asses: I could go on and on. This is why there is stress and violence in the work place, because we work with dumbasses. Face it, we are the ones who get blamed when we complain about their disfunctional behavior….suck it up buttercup! This is how it is!

February 12, 2013 at 12:08 am
(126) Lydia says:

How about people who yawn so loudly (and often!) that half the building can hear them?
Or ones who sneeze so violently it practically shakes the building?
Or ones who sing…off key, of course, in an office so quiet you could hear a pin drop (and would rather hear that than her voice!).

February 13, 2013 at 9:57 am
(127) Matt says:

Really enjoyed reading this article. I recently posted on a similiar topic. I think that its important to develop and improve our tolerance levels. We are always going to have some issues with some of our coworkers, as we spend so much time with them.

I think it all boils down to communication. Effective communication can eliminate or solve a large amount of problems experienced in the office. My main recommendation would be to help develop these communication skills.

February 19, 2013 at 10:56 pm
(128) B.N.C. says:

I seriously don’t know how to deal because the office bully took out the last person who took a stand against him. In the office, there seems to be a feeling of, oh that is just so and so. I have a nosy supervisor who appears to be in cahoots with the bully, and I don’t want to run to H.R. for all of my issues. I am almost starting to feel that is my only choice, or quit one of the two. I don’t want to run away from my problem. I kind of feel trapped and have no one to talk to. The person I try to talk to seriously just says, “uh huh” like someone says to a child they aren’t really paying attention to.

February 27, 2013 at 2:24 pm
(129) murray says:

A coworker leaves notes in the time management to do things which I find irritating. She’s made the comment before that she says she’s equal to me but I’ve never given her any reason to think otherwise. What’s her problem? I’m fairly thorough in my work, so is she trying one upmanship or what?

March 12, 2013 at 12:54 pm
(130) Qkryangel says:

How about the co-worker that:
1) Talks to themselves at full conversation volume?
2) Comes to work whenever they want?
3) Spends more time on the phone on personal calls then actually doing any work?
4) Is supposed to be a team player that supports the same people that you do, but, behaves like they are in a cocoon? And never communicates anything with the team?

April 12, 2013 at 6:57 pm
(131) MeAtWalmart says:

I work with a female narcicist who constantly back stabs me and poisons the whole team I’m on against me. Coworkers are aware of her in other departments, but my bosses don’t want to confront her about her behavior. My question is: How can she concentrate on her job and back stab everyone around her at the same time to build herself up and make herself seem superior? I found out it wasn’t just me she tried to get in trouble. I stay away from her and have confronted the assistant manager about her. I don’t understand why they keep her. She also copies what I do. ie: she cut her hair when I cut mine, she takes her sweatshirt off at work when I take mine off. She drives me nuts. She has the mentality of a 5 year old but acts like she’s the best worker. She is actually the laziest. I want to punch her in the face everyday. I’m thinking about a transfer to another department.

April 16, 2013 at 8:24 am
(132) Kate says:

I haven’t seen my problem at all yet–I’m in a fairly small office where everyone has multiple responsibilities. We all work hard and there are no slackers. The problem is that one (new-ish) coworker often takes on the responsibilities of others without keeping them in the loop. He seems to genuinely want to help when our mutual boss throws out a comment about something that needs to be done. The problem is that he charges off and does it himself without consulting any of the rest of us–often making decisions that fall under someone else’s jurisdiction. Even if he does let us know what he’s doing, it’s often after the fact–and he has already gotten the boss to okay his decision. Not only does this leave the rest of us with our mouth open (because the boss doesn’t seem to care who does it, as long as it’s done) but it sometimes also conflicts with an action we’re already taking. Two of us have spoken to him about his tendency to overlook boundaries between responsibilities, but he doesn’t seem to get why there’s any problem with his approach. He thinks the rest of us are too sensitive. Still, he’s said he’ll work on it, but nothing ever changes! I find his approach to be a motivation-killer, and it’s beginning to make my job intolerable although I used to love it.

April 19, 2013 at 12:47 pm
(133) annoyed says:

I have a nosy co-worker who adds her 2 cents to everything. Our industry is brand new to her and yet she seems to know something about EVERYTHING! A true “KNOW IT ALL”.

Her position is to make out bound calls ONLY! If she has her headset on how does she overhear EVERYTHING THAT ANYONE IS TALKING ABOUT? So annoying!

April 25, 2013 at 10:29 pm
(134) Shannon says:

Well I have one coworker that is extremely religious and thinks she can do no wrong. She denies that. She is also very scatterbrained and she just drives me crazy. I can’t even cuss in front of her without her scolding me like a child.

May 8, 2013 at 7:49 pm
(135) shang lim says:

My co worker has this attitude of being moody and every time I approach her she just doesn’t bother listening…and when she’s in the mood, she’s just like my superior who wanted me to do anything for her..I have work and have knowledge of what she was trying to do..

May 22, 2013 at 1:45 pm
(136) john says:

I don’t have a clue why people are such rude pricks nowadays. I always end up having to leave my job. It starts out where I can deal with it and before a week passes, I have people yelling at me and trying to get me to go faster, faster, faster! I go fast, I’m nice, and I work hard and yet, the more I do all of these things the more I get walked on. wtf?

June 27, 2013 at 3:49 pm
(137) Derek says:

I have worked hard to get re-hired at a company. I have done stints in temp jobs in the mean time in fairly horrible office settings. But now I am back in my old comfy cubicle, with high walls, etc. However, some new guy just started a few months ago. And although there are tons of other empty cubicles available and his group does not sit anywhere near me. He chose the cubicle directly to my left to sit in, that I share a wall with. And he has hunkered in there like a little rat and set up shop literally inches from my cubicle wall. He seems like a very nice person. But I really hate him. Just having him there constantly with his little red race car mouse, clicking and typing away, so close to me, for no good reason just drives me completely insane. Today my other co-workers are gone. So I have virtually a huge area to myself. Except the rat is just sitting there like usual, constantly typing and clicking. I swear I am about to lose my mind. It sounds like a rat has burrowed up into my cubicle wall and is sitting there scratching away at my wall all day. I know I could have it worse. I have had it worse. But for some reason this is completely driving me crazy and ruining my enjoyment of being back in this company. What in the world should I do? I really can’t move. And he seems to clueless to realize he could sit somewhere else where he doesn’t have to share a wall with somebody. Which is how everybody else is spaced in my office.

June 28, 2013 at 7:31 pm
(138) Susan Heathfield says:

Hello,

I would talk to him directly and tell him how much it is disturbing your work and ask him to arrange his office as all of the other cubicles have done. Be reasonable, professional, and polite. If this doesn’t work, go to your boss, explain how it is affecting your work productivity, and ask for his or her intervention. Tell your boss that otherwise, you’d really like a different assigned space so that you can concentrate on working most productively.

Regards,

Susan

July 5, 2013 at 11:54 am
(139) gretchen says:

My coworker listens to comedy on her headphones and laughs out loud and her laugh is like a witch.

July 10, 2013 at 4:20 am
(140) Totally Stressed Out says:

How about a coworker who is incredibly loud on the phone, slams the door every time she shuts it, debates EVERY topic, makes every attempt to prove me wrong or show me up, steals my ideas, tells me I’m “favored” in the office and given special privileges, gossips about everyone, complains about the job, constantly breaks office policy, and does not carry her share of the workload! I may have left out a few things, but suffice it to say she is the most difficult person I have ever known and I have no idea why she has not been fired yet, even though she is the only staff member to receive complaints from customers about her attitude. My attempts to set healthy boundaries for myself with her only make her worse and I can barely tolerate her any longer. I have spoken to my manager about her and asked to switch offices and nothing has been done. I’m the only person who shares an office with her and I doubt anyone else knows what this person is truly like because she is on her best behavior around everyone else. I’m nearly 60 years old and see no other options for myself except to quit. This has been going on for 6 years.

July 12, 2013 at 9:26 pm
(141) heathrer says:

My company is just like this. Management gossips about other employees, share employee personal information, are rude to those under them, have anger management issues, and women are subject to verbal abuse by men and women! I quit. I had a female PM in Sierra Vista who stuck up for the men stating that the women must be doing something to cause the men to call them c#&@s, threaten to harm them, etc.

July 23, 2013 at 12:08 am
(142) mahi says:

One of my coworkers, who is otherwise good at work, but he many a times miss doing certain work and when asked, he just says, oh I forgot.
Every time I hear oh I forgot, makes me angry because you either need to make your memory good or start accepting your fault.
Besides this he does not take notes for regular work. I don’t see why not to take notes, even if you remember your daily tasks, what’s the harm in it.
if there are cases you have forgotten your daily tasks, just keep notes. Because of his som work, manya times I have to do rework and face client taking blame on me.

July 27, 2013 at 10:36 pm
(143) Debra says:

You are working for them, you are not there to act like a drama queen. It’s not a palce to act popular and cool. Get over yourself and realise people need to survive and need a job. Don’t waste your life thinking you are one up on someone who is kind because a person like this is a just a loser who is masking themselves constantly. Be a good employee. God rewards people who are smart and treat others with respect. He despises those who create waves just saying. Just keeping it real.

July 27, 2013 at 10:36 pm
(144) Debra says:

Don’t spend your time excessively thinking about it either = waste of time. People who are bossy don’t deserve to rob others of their mental peace of mind. Right, right! Always be kind to people don’t take kindness for a weakness. Don’t burn your bridge with them. Encourage peace in the work place. Don’t group up and act clicky – it’s not fair to employees. You don’t know people’s life. Try to understand and be helpful.

July 27, 2013 at 10:37 pm
(145) Debra says:

Bossy and I’ll say it with confidence because I don’t deserve to be treated like grime. Pull the boss aside and say something to them maybe this will help you feel better. The only person who deserves to be bossy is the boss, not a bunch of workers who are ants who think they are above the insect work pecking order. Remember, if someone is stupid enough to be a snob, be smart and stupid enough to ignore them. Don’t be afraid to assert yourself and tell your boss about the person’s behaviour. This should not be tolerated!

July 27, 2013 at 10:38 pm
(146) Debra says:

Get a life and stop acting like the world revolves around you people who can’t figure it out! I’m sick of the people I run into who are like this. I’m honestly glad and can say this, that I’m glad I don’t act like some of these people. It makes me feel so much better about myself. Even if everyone acted like this, let’s say 99 people out of 100 workers. I’d still think this way. I will not be a bully and act bossy but I will also not let someone walk or run over me. I will tell someone to please stop.

July 27, 2013 at 10:38 pm
(147) debra says:

Seriously! I just can’t believe how classless and just stupid sometimes people really are. They have no morals, or respect for human life. They just care about how they “feel”, so they blame it on you. Guess what? I’m not everyone else. I don’t need you or them right to act like I’m the other people who’ve mistreated them. So stop labeling people. Oh she’s a woman, or she’s this or that. Stop and drop the bossiness or people will just look for another place to work, period, until they find somewhere that is not constantly dysfunctional.

July 27, 2013 at 10:39 pm
(148) Debra says:

And when they flip and snap an attitude, it’s really embarassing and a shocker. Like you don’t even know these people. And it’s like you don’t know me, and if even you did, that’s no way to treat someone. A lot of very dysfunctional people out there working in minimum wage jobs or maybe higher pays, too. People need to stop acting like they are the only employee with feelings. I decided not to share any personal thoughts with the other employees because they will literally group up and gang up on one person. So when I stick up for one person, they turn around and do it right back at me. It’s really sickening.

July 27, 2013 at 10:39 pm
(149) Debra says:

You know what makes me so angry when you step foot in a work place? There is someone you first meet who acts bossy and like they know the method and the way it’s done, then you not only notice this with just one person, everyone starts acting this way. It becomes viral and contagious like it’s cool or something. I wish people whom I work with would be respectful. Half of these people, I never have had a single conversation with.

August 19, 2013 at 11:16 pm
(150) Svitlana says:

1. People who EAT LOUDLY at their desks is the BIGGEST PROBLEM.

2. People who talk all the time about personal issues and chat about non-work-related topics.

September 17, 2013 at 6:43 am
(151) carol says:

One manager commented that if I jump from my balcony, to let her know so she can come to watch. She commented this at a meeting but next day she refused to admit it. Others said they have forgotten and cannot remember. What should I do?

September 18, 2013 at 3:21 pm
(152) Susan Heathfield says:

In a work environment in which people are afraid, which is what yours sounds like, you can talk to HR or your manager’s boss. Neither will earn you any good will from your manager, however. But, if this behavior is normal, I’d secretly look for a new job.

September 24, 2013 at 1:59 pm
(153) phineas says:

Constant laughing…all the time…everything is funny and laughing and giggling at EVERYTHING!!

September 26, 2013 at 7:30 am
(154) Tony110474 says:

I am new at my current position (I’ve been there 3-1/2 months so far) and I have already submitted two-weeks notice because my coworkers make it impossible to concentrate and focus. The constant girl-talk, the complaining, the cursing, leaving early. We even had a manager call her team into her office and curse and scream at them over something. She was so loud that she could be heard even though her door was closed.

What is worse is that I spend most of my time on the phone and have difficulty hearing what the caller is saying because of the distractions. I can’t wait until my last day.

September 29, 2013 at 2:09 pm
(155) Happy Hummer says:

I am a happy hummer at work, doing chores, in the shower – all day long. Recently, a coworker told me that my humming is driving everybody crazy. I spoke to each person and told them that I was unaware that my behavior was distracting and asked them to remind me of it in the future.

Two days later one woman told me that, “I better not hum anymore” at work. I actually became angry at her tone and couldn’t stop thinking about it. I kept thinking about how rude the comment was. It felt as if she was “telling” me and not asking. It really threw me for a loop!

I do not want to cause problems at work and am trying to catch myself humming and stop it; however, I can’t help but feel that this may be the first of many issues this person may have. Is her behavior a way of asserting an alpha-like role in the office?

What can I do to protect myself while still respecting my coworker’s needs?

October 2, 2013 at 1:55 pm
(156) Susan Heathfield says:

I’d say, control the humming. The problem in a workplace is that people are normally uneasy talking to a coworker about a personal habit that is driving them crazy. So, they avoid talking with the coworker as long as they can – meanwhile they’ve created a lot of pent up hostility in themselves. It would not have become such a big issue if they had addressed it sooner. Obviously, they talked among themselves and concluded that they needed to talk with you. This second coworker may just still have some of that pent up hostility going on. I’d also continue to be happy at work, treat her cordially and professionally as if the exchange never took place. If it becomes part of a pattern of her lashing out at you, it’s time to talk with her and bring in the boss.

September 30, 2013 at 8:32 pm
(157) anon says:

I connect with Phineas. I have a colleague who constantly giggles and acts cute. Worst, she loves to think she has humiliated me with a defensive reply in emails, copying the boss. I do have other mad colleagues telling me to ‘fight back’ because it’s ‘damaging’. I couldn’t care less because the giggly colleague had been given a stern warning before by my HR (I made official complaint and wanted intervention) and she still behaves such. So to me, it’s not worth being defensive over crazy people. They are just envious of us over anything. Too bad for them!!!

October 1, 2013 at 5:26 pm
(158) Sherry says:

1) Undermines other people or makes others look bad so they look good
2) Interrupts and asks questions when in the middle of helping/talking to someone else (I had a co-worker walk into my boss’s office and start asking him a question while we were in the middle of our morning brief… she didn’t even say excuse me, sorry to interrupt!)
3) Answers questions that are not directed at them (i.e – someone could ask me a question and they will answer or disagree with what I said)
4) Gossip! I absolutely hate when employees gossip about other people. It makes for a negative work environment and is so unprofessional! And believe me when you are whispering with others in your cubicle people DO hear it!

October 8, 2013 at 12:39 am
(159) Lil Bit says:

My coworker sings gospel hymns, has choir practice over the phone, has visitors for long periods, but of course, knows everything because she laid the first brick when the building was built, metaphorically. I don’t have to go to church on Sundays because I go Monday thru Friday. Any mistake I make even though she has made the same in the past is highlighted, always gets the last word, and doesn’t even come to my area to talk to me but speaks loud enough for others to hear her scold me since we are all in cubicles. I walk on eggshells every morning not knowing what her attitude is for the day, it has affected my health, I would quit but then I’m running away and she would win. I’ve heard from others she made the lady before me cry often at work and she eventually retired early, just to get away from her. She holds herself up high as a Christian. However, her treatment towards me is not that of a true Christian. I’ve confronted my boss numerous times however, since she has been there for years even before him, it’s her word against mine. I love what I do for a job, but the environment is horrible. She belittles me, scolds me and even points when she talks at me, yes at me, not to me. She has even put her hand up to shush me if I speak.

October 9, 2013 at 5:50 pm
(160) Susan Heathfield says:

In your situation, I’d tell her that you’re not going to put up with it anymore. Don’t listen. Don’t respond. Don’t engage with her. She’ll eventually tire of hearing herself speak. Make friends with your other coworkers. Stop being a victim.

October 18, 2013 at 4:40 pm
(161) Connie says:

Co-worker has an obnoxious laugh and laughs all the time. Our boss got onto her for talking all the time so now she laughs.

October 19, 2013 at 2:34 am
(162) austin says:

Coworker sometimes enemy and sometimes they are friends. When they are it is uncertain. But one should receive them as friend…

October 23, 2013 at 3:26 pm
(163) Cube Monkey says:

The loudmouthed ethnic stereotype who can’t comprehend “professional behaviour”.

October 30, 2013 at 1:05 pm
(164) anon says:

I have a coworker who sits across the aisle from me, fairly chatty (annoying to me anyway), for awhile I told myself it’s because she’s a single mom, she doesn’t have any adults to talk to at home so she makes up for it here at work. She’s a very effective worker, funny & warm, but her amusing stories & self-deprecation soon melded into self-absorption & deprecating wisecracks about others. She is constantly wisecracking in conversations whether they involve her or not. She often gets up from her desk to insert herself into conversations within earshot to tell how the subject is relevant to her, or an opinion, or tell an old story about herself or someone she knows. Maddening.

For about a year I would get the lion’s share of her disparaging remarks and criticism / railroading. I suspect it’s because I’m the only guy in our group, she’s got some issue with men (married twice, once to an alcoholic, then a crackhead) or doesn’t get along with them well, or men don’t get along well with her.

She once came into our row flapping her mouth into her cell phone, I ignored her, she repeated & then said, “Hey, I’m talking to you!”. So I said,”Oh I thought you were talking into your phone, what do you…” She cut me off mid sentence with her hand up as her phone call finally picked up, and walked away mouth flapping as before. To me that’s pretty rude.

I thought it was just me for awhile, but other coworkers agree there is something seriously pathologically rude and annoying about this person’s behavior. What a relief!

Anyhow some days I can’t even be at my desk I hear this coworker nattering within earshot and laughing and enjoying herself, and I’m happy she’s happy at work, but at the same time I want to drive sharp pencils into my ears. Eventually people may or may not come to be affected by her behavior the way it affects me, not that it should matter to me anyway. Anyhow I guess this is me venting more than anything else. Thanks for listening(?) !

October 31, 2013 at 11:53 am
(165) Anon says:

Another example: Just now, the lady on the other side of my cubicle (who is an excellent neighbor) was telling a funny story on the phone about something that happened this morning, and she was laughing beside herself, quite sincerely enjoying the moment, and the sound of it was making me chuckle too, and my problem coworker across from me grabs my attention to say, “Hey, psst, she’s worse than ME! Hey? Hey?”

Yet another nice morning moment infected. She’s gotta get in there with some remark about herself no matter how benign the context. She once complained to me that her mother said to her, “It’s not always about you”, and she often also says, “One thing I’ve learned over the years – it’s not always about me.” Really? Really? If that’s what you believe then you’re fooling everyone else.

November 1, 2013 at 1:17 pm
(166) Taxa says:

Nobody should pride themselves on being a “go-getter” because those people are highly insecure, phony, and love to kiss ass. I have had co-workers like that whom would get nowhere in life and nobody likes them.

November 2, 2013 at 11:13 pm
(167) Rebecca Cortright says:

Great points Susan! I remember a coworker sitting next to me who is full of negativity. She likes reading and watching news and then she would always tell us during our coffee break about it. Hello, why think too much about the news when we have too much work to focus on.

November 7, 2013 at 5:52 pm
(168) Izzy says:

I despise gossip-mongers and covert aggressives…the people who pretend to be your friend and then stab you in the back just because they love drama, controlling others, and winning dirty. They turn the workplace into a crazy-making nightmare. I can deal with the little petty day-to-day nonsense….but the suck up to the boss types who act sweet and innocent in front of them, then wreak havoc on anyone who isn’t stupid enough to be one of their minions. They are usually charismatic and can lie with a straight face. No normal person suspects them, because they would never think to do what these predators do on a daily basis. They turn coworkers against each other and then sit back and laugh about the mayhem.

November 13, 2013 at 10:22 am
(169) Sable says:

I recently received a boss who’s not only a micro manager but is an authority on everything about everything. He steals all of the work and throws me crumbs every now and again. He chews tobacco during working hours and spits in his trash can. He’s the most inexperienced unprofessional person I’ve ever encountered. Needless to say, I’m looking for work somewhere else.

November 30, 2013 at 11:33 am
(170) __ says:

I like to disseminate understanding that I have accrued through the year to assist enhance team efficiency.

December 21, 2013 at 10:41 am
(171) make it stop says:

The office manager believes she can delegate every job to someone else. She knows absolutely nothing about the rest of the staff’s jobs and when asked a question says I don’t know and turns away. She spends her entire morning on multiple personal phone calls on her cell phone and office phone at the same time. Then she moves on to writing out personal cards and wrapping gifts at her desk. She then moves on to the kitchen to prepare her breakfast and then eats the full spread at her desk and then continues to eat for the entire day. Next she types feverishly her personal emails and when someone approaches her they apologize for disturbing her while she is working so hard, they have no idea she is doing personal work. She watches videos on her pc and shops online. Does face time with her family. Makes calls for hours on end to companies about her credit card bills and doctor appointments. Constantly comes in late and leaves early. She does not answer the office phones unless she can see that it is a personal call for herself. Prints hundreds of pictures on company machine and uses profanity and gives tips on how to perform sexual activities. She has all other staff members convinced that she is wonderful because she purchases gifts for everyone when they have babies. They have no idea how awful the office is run. They do know that she knows nothing so all staff come to everyone else in the office for help which increases our workload. She screams at us to do her work and insists she does everything and we do nothing. She will interrogate you if you disagree with anything she says. Management said they have tried to have her removed but were afraid she would start some legal action if pushed because she is such a psycho. Their response to the office staff was that Management has begun taking medication to deal with her and that we should do the same.

January 3, 2014 at 3:46 am
(172) Stress Bottling Co. Ltd. says:

I’m on a work placement/course and I have a nice lady sitting next to me that I was friendly and accommodating towards on day one. Since then I have grown increasingly weary of her. She is approximately 20 years older than me, has had a job already and speaks with a really sweet, meek voice. I have not yet had a permanent job and am really trying to get one from this course. Every time I look up, she’s sort of leaning over the cubicle looking to see what I have written down. We both wear glasses (I’m short-sighted, she’s long-sighted) but I don’t understand why I can see the whiteboard and she can’t. I’m here to learn and hopefully get a good job out of this and I’m getting very stressed out by the fact that there’s someone (other than the instructor) looking over my shoulder all the time. I’m not very good at concealing negative emotions so I’ve kept my trap shut in case I say something that alienates me from the rest of the people in the office. Added to that, she is basically computer-illiterate. The print button was right in front of her and her query was, ‘How do I print this page?’ You’re kidding me right? I’ve since continued to remain civil, but I refuse to be warm any more. This tactic has half-worked – she’s now latched on to the girl sitting directly behind her, but I’m still three feet away so I can hear everything.

January 18, 2014 at 9:37 pm
(173) Lisa Halloway says:

What can be done to an employee who rubbed gum on his genitals and gave it to his coworker? Can’t he be fired for that? The person he gave the gum to is ready to beat this guy’s behind. He just might get fired for fighting him. Isn’t the company supposed to handle this? If not what can he do?

January 18, 2014 at 10:39 pm
(174) Susan Heathfield says:

Go to HR with any information that you have. Ask the injured party to go with you, too. If no HR, go to your manager. Without more info, it’s difficult to advise. Did the person brag about it? Did someone see it happen? Is the employee BSing? Hard to know, but you will need solid proof. Then, hopefully, your organization will address the issue.

January 20, 2014 at 4:08 pm
(175) Victoria Misigaro says:

The worker who pretends to be working hard when the boss is around, once he/she gone is another story.

February 5, 2014 at 1:50 pm
(176) Tammy says:

The co-worker who watches tv on her i-Pad when boss goes to lunch, and acts like I can’t tell

March 12, 2014 at 3:57 pm
(177) Margo says:

If your boss is showing favoritism to someone she/he is having an affair with or that person is making life miserable for you because they have that “status,” then you are being sexually harassed and you should report it to your EEO officer in Human Resources.

March 13, 2014 at 7:26 am
(178) stixc says:

A co-worker who works very closely with me, not only sits near me but we work alone most of the time. This person never talks at all. Answers to questions are yes, no. Hours of complete and utter silence. Really? We are here 40+ hours per week, at least try and socialize somewhat, it makes your work life much more enjoyable.

March 19, 2014 at 9:39 am
(179) Shannen says:

My co-worker is crazy. He hates any woman that knows more than he. He has actually caused me to hurt myself and has sabotaged my work. He mumbles comments under his breath and calls me names. He is also very narcissistic. He has told us that no one can do the job better than he can. He really is nuts. He talks to himself and tries to intentionally get people in trouble. He won’t help others and refuses to work as a team player. I have complained over and over and over, but nothing is done because of who he knows.

March 25, 2014 at 4:45 pm
(180) aggie says:

I have to work with a woman (6 feet away) who goes manic (laughing hysterically which sounds forced at anything said), screams filthy names about other people in the office, speaks destructively about everything (as opposed to constructively) and, when she’s not doing that, she talks to herself continuously even though there are two others in the work area. She has conversations as if she’s talking to someone and she answers for that “someone” – everything is out loud. I’d like to know what’s wrong with her.

March 27, 2014 at 12:40 am
(181) Susan Heathfield says:

Hi Aggie,

I don’t know what, if anything, is wrong with her, but the group of you need to talk with your manager about the impact her behavior is having on your performance. Regards, Susan

March 30, 2014 at 11:52 am
(182) JayJay says:

I have two co-workers that drive me nuts. The first is someone who spends half the day doing freelance work for about three other companies while he should be doing work for us. The second person just started and has done nothing but belittle the work our team has accomplished before she came on board, belittle our outside sale team (saying that “you get what you pay for”). This person kisses up to the boss big time while throwing everyone else on the team under the bus. During the interview process, I mentioned to my boss that I felt this person was “fake”, she was however hired and now no one on the team is comfortable with her, but she is here to stay.

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