PDA

View Full Version : Handling conflict


dollygirl
01-19-2008, 11:33 AM
I am having a conflict with someone at work now. A difference of opinion on a project. I am at a higher level than this person but he keeps doing an end-around on me, stirring up support for his point of view. I have been gently trying to show him why his idea of how this should go is not working, but he keeps pushing it. I'm getting really exasperated. (Long story but what he wants to have happen is not working - I've really tried to incorporate his ideas - but they aren't working)

I have noticed (some 8 years post-divorce now) that I have a hard time handling conflict. I either get super upset and ready to do battle, or I am so devastated by it that I want to curl up in a ball. So far I've maintained professionalism in this situation but I'm about ready to go off on him. I guess that there was so much conflict with the ex narcissist that I don't have a good concept of the proper way to handle these things.

Does anyone else notice this, post-divorce. I just have either no tolerance for this sort of thing or I just want to hide from it.

zuzuzu
01-19-2008, 12:36 PM
d-g, I don't know it has much to do with the divorce, perhaps more of a personal way of handling conflict to begin with. I think we often take our conflict skills into each and every relationship, and sometimes "choose" people with whom our ways of doing things get acted out. What is happening at your office may or may not be a pattern that you've experienced before, but it may be worth considering.

As for this person, have you tried being firm, direct and polite about what is occurring? To present a constructive plan where you tell this guy that you need his support and cooperation, whether he agrees with your plan or not?

Often, we need to acknowledge someone else's desires enough so that they feel validated. Only then can someone embrace someone else's POV for action. I suggest a middle road between your two options to take an approach like:

"I understand that you want things to go a certain way. However, what I've observed tells me that the approach isn't going to work for us. Your idea(s) have merit but we need to go down a different path and I need your support and participation to make this successful. What I want you to do is XYZ. I think we'll all benefit if we make this happen in this way."

This kind of conversation is not judgmental or critical; it is simply saying that you recognize this person's ideas but that you need to do something else. YOu then are clear about what you want and that this person's cooperation is important. You could always add something like "pls come speak with me if there is any reason that you cannot do what is expected". IOW, focus less on convincing this other person of your view, and just ask for his support and participation. IT might work....

dollygirl
01-19-2008, 01:04 PM
thanks zuzu - I actually have done as you suggested. I have even deferred to him and done things exactly the way he suggested. However, the "client" we are doing this for did not like it. That has happened twice now - me deferring, the client rejecting it. I've nicely told my co-worker this. His response is sort of "well the client is just stupid." The client, however, prefers my plan. I am to the point now where I need to just state "sorry, but this is the way the client wants it to go." The problem is, the guy has now gone over my head and I have a meeting with our director on Tuesday to go over our "differences." He's been getting a coalition together behind my back and that's what really makes me angry. We had a meeting last week and I thought all this was resolved but he went over my head yesterday.

As for the divorce angle on this - I have noticed that in my previous marriage, I was much more compliant, more willing to give in and work it out. And, when conflict did arise, I didn't feel devastated. I have been increasingly seein myself feel just consumed when conflict arises (fortunately it's not often) and I get really upset. More so than I think I should be.

Tuffy
01-20-2008, 09:23 AM
I notice this too in my work, which is why I hate being a supervisor. I dislike dealing with all the conflict, and there is always conflict and most of it is so stupid.

I'm confused however Dolly, I thought the customer is always right, if you are doing it how the customer wants it, how can you be in the wrong? Aren't they paying for this product? (service?)

dollygirl
01-20-2008, 11:04 PM
Yes Tuffy - sort of - it's hard to explain. But he was told to butt out by his direct supervisor. Yet he keeps going behind his supervisor's and my back. Really agravating.

I am pleased that I haven't been too crazy over it this weekend. Other times, I would have thought about it non-stop all weekend.

zuzuzu
01-21-2008, 09:04 AM
I've nicely told my co-worker this. His response is sort of "well the client is just stupid." The client, however, prefers my plan. I am to the point now where I need to just state "sorry, but this is the way the client wants it to go." The problem is, the guy has now gone over my head

I have been increasingly seein myself feel just consumed when conflict arises (fortunately it's not often) and I get really upset. More so than I think I should be.

dolly, it seems that this guy doesn't really understand that the client is paying his salary (presumably). Your post makes it sounds as if it is your co-worker against you, as you write about his coalition teambuilding behind your back. If EVERYONE understands that the client needs to be kept happy, then the coalition won't stand behind the other guy. Of course, maybe the client IS being stupid, which is still the client's perogative. The CYA requirement has to be firmly in place so that the client never comes back to blame you that you didn't "warn" him sufficiently, etc.

So the dynamics still seem off. How would your co-worker respond to this specifically: "The client says he wants X. Your approach is to provide Y. Please help me understand how your solution will keep the client satisfied?" If your co-worker comes back again with the "stupid" client comment, then present "That may be; however, the client pays us to do what he wants done and that is our mission." IOW, how does your co-worker view the clients? If there really is no regard to the customer, then your issue probably cannot be resolved to your satisfaction.

As for the divorce angle, the fact that you're aware of how you're dealing with conflict is probably the biggest step toward handling it the way you want to!

dollygirl
01-21-2008, 11:34 AM
dolly, it seems that this guy doesn't really understand that the client is paying his salary (presumably). Your post makes it sounds as if it is your co-worker against you, as you write about his coalition teambuilding behind your back. If EVERYONE understands that the client needs to be kept happy, then the coalition won't stand behind the other guy. Of course, maybe the client IS being stupid, which is still the client's perogative. The CYA requirement has to be firmly in place so that the client never comes back to blame you that you didn't "warn" him sufficiently, etc.

So the dynamics still seem off. How would your co-worker respond to this specifically: "The client says he wants X. Your approach is to provide Y. Please help me understand how your solution will keep the client satisfied?" If your co-worker comes back again with the "stupid" client comment, then present "That may be; however, the client pays us to do what he wants done and that is our mission." IOW, how does your co-worker view the clients? If there really is no regard to the customer, then your issue probably cannot be resolved to your satisfaction.

As for the divorce angle, the fact that you're aware of how you're dealing with conflict is probably the biggest step toward handling it the way you want to!
Good point!
Well, it's a big long story but this co-worker is an artists so there's some amount of creative difference that he feels with the client. And his little coalition also consists of other artists so they're basically saying "we know art better than the stupid client." It's hard for me to argue that point but at the same time -the client is paying the bill.

lizzie
01-21-2008, 12:11 PM
Yes Tuffy - sort of - it's hard to explain. But he was told to butt out by his direct supervisor. Yet he keeps going behind his supervisor's and my back. Really agravating.

I am pleased that I haven't been too crazy over it this weekend. Other times, I would have thought about it non-stop all weekend.

Dolly, it seems to me that you seem to be having all kinds of conflicts with people, or you're afraid of them, that never materialize.

This is a usual work problem. There are always people married to their way of doing things. This guy apparently went to his supervisor and now a meeting is called. My guess is that the meeting will be to find a way around the conflict. And again this conflict will be for naught. Just a usual business bump in the road with an obnoxious coworker.

Have you thought about seeking medical help to see if you're depressed? It sure sounds like it to me. I know when I'm depressed ordinary problems become monumental to me. And I only got depressed when I get into a safe place and no longer had to deal with the really monstrous situation I was in.

willowtree
01-21-2008, 01:29 PM
Hi dolly, I can certainly understand how you'd be aggravated by a coworker who you feel you have some sort of authority over, who doesn't recognize that authority as anything he needs to deal with at all. I think this is what I'm hearing here. Are you feeling maybe a little impotent with this person?

Have you considered maybe this person is insecure but overly aggressive, and that his insistance on going up the ladder is his attempt at getting his own way no matter what? Just because he chooses this path doesn't mean it is right.... and doesn't mean he will succeed. Stand by your principles and your decisions.

That said, I can understand your concern as well. Little people like this CAN make an impact in your career if you don't make sure to deal with the issue. Back in 1998, there was a misogynistic guy who worked on my program. I was the lead engineer, he was hired help for that program. He was not happy to take direction from a woman, and at one point totally refused to do what I said. I didn't know how to deal with it... I went to my boss, who told me it was my job to lead people, and if I was having a problem I wasn't doing my job. I should have taken it further than that, but because of my marriage and self-esteem issues, I let it go as maybe I wasn't right after all. I did not have the ability to stand up for myself.

This guy then turned to our program manager (not my boss, but the guy who was responsible for that particular program) and badmouthed me to him. Unfortunately for me, the prgram manager was also a bit of a caveman, and had other issues. He was upset that this guy he had hired as a temp to help out our program wasn't being hired permanently, so he could develop his own little stable of people loyal to him, as was happening for some other program managers. And because I wouldn't give his "boy" free reign, it set up some bad dynamics with me and the PM, some I didn't even see until too late.

I started getting less and less responsibility at work, and because of the crappy programs got less and less involved in them, and I spiraled down. I was clinically depressed as well. It was a horrible time at work, and how I didn't get fired or laid off at one time I don't know. At least five years later, after I gradually started working my way back up (the temp was long gone, and the PM had been laid off at least a year earlier) I found out that the PM had been leading a real campaign against me for years. I never heard a word, but it became really obvious. One of my coworkers told me "Geez, they really spread some bad stuff and everyone believed it." As they were both gone I let it go.

But I guess I mention this not to tell you that everyone is against you, blah blah blah.... but to tell you that if you are insecure, it will show and it *could* work against you if you don't take steps to stand by your actions, but also to make sure your coworkers and bosses recognize that your actions are correct.

Best wishes to you.

lexicon
01-21-2008, 02:58 PM
Hey Dolly.

My favorite tactics of dealing with a passive-aggressive pushy co-workers:

1) "what,...did you say something"

2) "the suggestion box is over there"

3) "see the managerial title on my name plate"

4) "oddly enough that's exactly what the last guy said that you replaced after he/she was fired"

5) "yeah, my inbox has been so full, I'll look at it when I get a chance"


If you're not depressed after dealing with pushy xo-workers,....I salute you! The best trick is to take the co-worker out, get em drunk, fold their underwear over their face and take a picture,...leave on their desk next day. That usually shuts em up!

Booktender
01-21-2008, 06:50 PM
Have you talked to your supervisor and his supervisor about this? Have you asked them for help in helping him to serve the customer better?

dollygirl
01-21-2008, 09:56 PM
Well, I don't think I'm depressed. Life is really good right now. Best it's been in years. And I don't think other areas of my life are suffering - marriage is great, kids are good, family, etc. all good.

It's just the conflict issue. It consumes me. Last month I got into a fight with my sister - really unusual for us. I was flaming all weekend. Should have just let it go but I couldn't.

As for this co-worker - yes Bookie - I have talked to his supervisor and with my director. His supervisor has already told him to stay out of my project - he keeps going around both of us. Tomorrow should be interesting.

lexicon
01-22-2008, 12:19 AM
Agreeing Dolly. I doubt you're depressed.

"It's just the conflict issue. It consumes me. Last month I got into a fight with my sister - really unusual for us. I was flaming all weekend. Should have just let it go but I couldn't."

I could say study anger management, but I really believe people can be just too damn serious about life, work, money. My advise,...tell em to "lighten up"...don't take life so seriously. It's just a job!

Reminder: ENJOY LIFE!

kara.
01-22-2008, 09:42 AM
DG-Didn't see this before, but in my previous supervisor role I encountered this. Spent months agonizing and trying to make someone who reported to me "happy" with a long list of complaints she had, about the company policies, how I was managing, and other issues. I have a real problem with others not being happy with me and liking me, as well as being willing to confront someone, and in a supervisor role all of those things are problems.

Short version of the story is, if someone is going around you as their supervisor, confront them. If you think you need a refresher on how to do this without flipping out, there are many good communication books, even Communicating for Dummies or something like that that has you think about what your clear message is to them, and how to state it matter of factly, give examples of what you mean, then state what you want to see happen from them and if not, what the coneseqences will be. It is still hard, but rehearsing does help. I really needed to do it much much earlier on than I eventually did, all because I was hoping to make this other person "happy", when in fact nothing I would have done would have contented her. (She did leave for a new job shortly after I confronted her...I was so afraid of that for some reason but as with most transitions it turned out to be definitely for the best!). Good luck!

dollygirl
01-22-2008, 10:43 AM
Thanks kara - fortunately, so far my behavior has not echoed by thoughts. I've so far managed to say all the "right" things to this person and not been confrontational. It's my insides that are churning. I also have a really hard time when someone doesn't like me. It bothers me to no end. Yet, I realize this person is being a real poop and there is no need for me to worry about whether or not he likes me. We are meeting today - his supervisor, me and the head of our office so something should get ironed out. I do worry about retaliation later - he's a sneaky little creep.

Do you think this "need to be liked" is what got us into the narcissists to begin with? Mine sure like me a lot in the beginning!

kara.
01-22-2008, 10:52 AM
I'm sure that need to be liked of ours made life a whole lot easier for the narcisissist to get what they wanted and needed from us for a long time...probably a core issue of some kind of fearing the confrontation and/or being left...

Good luck with the meeting...again, my work "Life Lesson" is to confront sooner (though without losing your cool) rather than later. So glad things will get addressed, and that's probably the only tihng that will begin to let your insides settle down too!

magic-cat
01-22-2008, 04:55 PM
Conflict. Hmmmmmmmm. Conflict, conflict. Hmmmmmm.

I'm calm in the moment. Calm and cool and quick and collected.

Then I go into another room and cry my eyes out.

Hope this helps.

lexicon
01-22-2008, 05:00 PM
lol

In fact, I hide in my room.

Great advise Kara. Communicating for Dummies works for me.

Conflict seems to be everywhere, I suppose the key is defuse it.

rebecca
01-23-2008, 10:38 AM
I should be getting royalties, I swear I should.

THE MOST IMPORTANT books I've read in the last 15 years are CRUCIAL CONVERSATIONS and CRUCIAL CONFRONTATIONS. You can get them from amazon.com -- they're worth every penny.

The first has to do with how to engage in a safe, constructive conversation about an important and emotionally charged topic. It's a skill so many of us didn't have... The second has to do with holding another person accountable for an obligation in a safe, constructive way that doesn't damage the relationship and in fact makes it stronger.

I'd recommend reading both; I think they each have something to contribute to your situation. Bonus -- if you buy them on amazon, you can 'Upgrade" them and have access to a digital copy online immediately.

kara.
01-23-2008, 11:07 AM
Thanks for the recommendations Rebecca...those sound highly relevant!

dollygirl
01-23-2008, 12:32 PM
Well it got handled for me. When I got to work yesterday my boss and the other guy's supervisor had met and they told me to go with my plan - that it was my project and enough time had been wasted trying to meet this guy halfway.

The coworker talked to the boss later that day and was told the same. About 5 mintues after, I get an e-mail, also sent to several management people, saying he was not trying to get his idea in front versus mine. He simply wanted to put the best product out there and if we were ok with going the way we went, then fine. However, the inference was that I was submitting a half-baked project while he really had a better method.

All this was done with not one phone call to me to make suggestions on my work or to try to mutually come up with a good project. What a chicken!

Thank you all for your help. Rebecca I may have to get that book. For now, I'm ignoring the pompous twit's e-mails!

ghead1
01-23-2008, 12:43 PM
oh; he didn't get the message, did he?

this reminds me SO much of a project I was given about 15 years ago. Our committee had a clear cut project, to revise our customer satisfaction survey. We decided that what we REALLY needed was a lengthy customer poll to determine what was really important to them so we knew what to measure in a survey.

After being told several times by management that "no, we really just want the survey"... and us ignoring them (I was chairman)... they told us to drop it altogether and gave the project to someone else.

ouch. :o

he'll either figure it out, or someone will figure it out for him. I imagine he's on someone's radar now.

glad it got handled!

kara.
01-23-2008, 12:51 PM
Ha-Well you got confirmation that you were right and your boss and his are on the same page. I swear a classic symptom of "difficult employees" which will not win him any favor with anyone in a management role is passive aggressive use of email to make their "points". Anyone can read between those lines and most will not be impressed with his behavior.

rebecca
01-23-2008, 01:01 PM
Dolly, I'd go on and read those books, though -- they'll help even with the intermediate posturing it sounds like he's doing, and help you build the skills to be ready to handle it easily and directly when it happens again, without stressing you out.

CheroCreek
01-23-2008, 01:16 PM
Hi, Rebecca. Long time no see.

Would you drop me an email sometime so I can catch up with you?

cherocreek@xtalwind.net

rebecca
01-23-2008, 01:55 PM
<aside> OF COURSE I would! </aside>

willowtree
01-23-2008, 03:01 PM
I get an e-mail, also sent to several management people, saying he was not trying to get his idea in front versus mine. He simply wanted to put the best product out there and if we were ok with going the way we went, then fine. However, the inference was that I was submitting a half-baked project while he really had a better method.

On the other hand, the little weasel might simply be playing "cover my a$$" and wants to kiss up and explain how he really didn't mess up. It might really have nothing to do with you, and everything to do with him.

You know, I've been reading this thread, and thinking of my own past situation at work, and knowing how things work.... and sometimes I wonder, wouldn't it just be better for us who wring our hands over communicating, to just come out and say "Shut the eff up, you moron!"? Or maybe a slightly more politically correct version of the same....
Do you think there are those who just go along and say exactly what they mean, in exactly how they feel like saying it at the moment, and don't think its so horrible to come out and maybe hurt someone else's feelings? And nothing bad happens to them or is thought of about them???

ghead1
01-23-2008, 04:23 PM
"Do you think there are those who just go along and say exactly what they mean, in exactly how they feel like saying it at the moment, and don't think its so horrible to come out and maybe hurt someone else's feelings? And nothing bad happens to them or is thought of about them???"

Yes to the first question.

As to the second: Nothing bad may happen, but you can bet plenty of people think badly of them... although they may not say anything about it.

I work with one of these guys... he says some horrible things, even in front of or to customers, with no apparent repercussions. And believe me, if there were repercussions, I'd hear about it because he is unable to keep his mouth shut about anything!

But he has repeatedly offended any number of people, and he could truly care less.

CheroCreek
01-23-2008, 04:32 PM
I think you read the meaning of his email quite correctly, Dolly. It sure sounds like he is still insisting that his way is the better way to go. Personally, if he were my employee I'd tell him just one time that any more of that and he is out the door.

onangelswings
01-23-2008, 07:15 PM
The phrase, "Doesn't play well with others," comes to mind immediately when I think of this guy.

I worked with a guy like him once and he was very destructive. It seems he decided shortly after arriving in our office that as the only woman, I was the weakest link. He did these kind of end-run things around me all of the time, including dropping comments in other departments that, "I was hard to get along with," or "No wonder she's divorced." I'm sure he got some laughs from some of the other misogynists.

After about a year and a half he left the company and my boss and coworkers spent months cleaning up his projects. Turns out his attacks on me were just a way to shield his own shortcomings.

Dolly, I'm concerned for you that he is as blatant about attacking your credibility as the other guy was to me. Perhaps he does see you as someone who he can undermine.

In my case I spoke with him directly behind closed doors to "clear the air" as I put it. I was shocked when he blatantly went off on a tirade against me. I knew then what he was but I had to wait the interminable 18 months for the rest of the guys in the office to figure it out. In the meantime I steered clear of him as much as I could and always covered my *ss.

I don't envy you. I do suggest you speak with him directly about going around you. Maybe with a witness or perhaps without a witness, then you can really tell him what you think about what he's done.

He has already decided that you are in his way and you may have to stand up to him.

dollygirl
01-23-2008, 07:50 PM
onangel - yes, I am going to talk to him about this, as soon as I calm down a bit. He is a little weasel. Pompous and arrogant. The problem is that he is an "artist" - trained and really is quite good. I am not. But I designed something that everyone, including the client, liked far better than his. But his credentials give him the courage to challenge me. The stupid part is that I was more than willing to sit with him and jointly come up with something. He just summarily dismissed my work because I'm not an artist.

Funny - I've been doing graphic design on the side for about 5 years and while I have no art degree, no one has ever complained about my work.

ghead - I have to admit I sort of miss working in the ag industry where people typically talk straight. I'd much rather have someone walk up to me and say - hey, we have a problem --than I would this sneaky behind the back maneuvering.

noregrets
01-23-2008, 10:34 PM
Thanks kara - fortunately, so far my behavior has not echoed by thoughts. I've so far managed to say all the "right" things to this person and not been confrontational. It's my insides that are churning. I also have a really hard time when someone doesn't like me. It bothers me to no end. Yet, I realize this person is being a real poop and there is no need for me to worry about whether or not he likes me. We are meeting today - his supervisor, me and the head of our office so something should get ironed out. I do worry about retaliation later - he's a sneaky little creep.

Do you think this "need to be liked" is what got us into the narcissists to begin with? Mine sure like me a lot in the beginning!

I worked with someone like that. It has the ability to poison your whole life, Dealing with having to work with a jerk for another day, thinking about how to resolve it privately with him, trying all of the books on communication and tips for working with jerks, to speaking with my superiors. Unfortunately, they supported him all the way so I eventually resorted to conscious passive aggressiveness.

Well, it made ME fell better.

Go to H.R. if you can. If not, and if your company will not step in and deal with it, stop giving a s*it about what he thinks of you and start looking for another job.

Phoebe
01-23-2008, 11:25 PM
dollygirl, Its funny how they show their real color. Once my counterpart tried to make me look bad because I questioned the costs that their vendor charges. In my business, all business practice regarding payment must follow the same formula, no more than that. Another co worker forwarded me an email that she got from my counterpart. IN that email, the vendor suggested to my counterpart that I implied there was a handshake under the table for more money.

I had replied to all parties involved including the supervisors but deleted the original email (the originals were forwarded to my supervisors) and explained to the vendor that we have the right to question quotes given to us for costs of such equipment. There were NO implications in my email discussions that there is a secret handshake under the table, this is a legitimate business discussion.

That counterpart ended up trying to make herself look good in her subsequent emails citing that this may be a problem. What she doesn't realize is that my place of business knows her reputation for not following the best business practice, she had allowed this vendor to overcharge without questioning them.

Just do the best you can and be as professional without a smidge of emotion. Good guys have a way of coming out better at the end.

dollygirl
01-24-2008, 01:00 AM
noregrets - fortunately my supervisors are supporting me. My boss even took me to lunch today. I think he heard me tell one of the other people in my office that I wasn't going to put up with people talking behind my back and that they need to step up, be adults and talk to me in person. It was nice to know the boss is behind me.

I've had way worse working situations but that was when I was a single mom and I was way more worried about losing my job. Now that I'm married and more comfortable, I feel braver about speaking up.

ghead1
01-24-2008, 12:10 PM
dolly, that's one of the reasons I've had problems even considering another job! I am so used to dealing with people in a straightforward manner, that the thought of having to softshoe would drive me nuts.

I'm glad this situation seems to be working out the way it "oughta".

lexicon
01-24-2008, 12:14 PM
"I've had way worse working situations but that was when I was a single mom and I was way more worried about losing my job. Now that I'm married and more comfortable, I feel braver about speaking up."

ok, I have to laugh here,...so being with a man makes us women more ...."confident"? Please, is that the key I've been missing?

Frankly, I'm baxk to taking this co-woeker out to lunch and putting his underwear over his head. That's how I handle men,...as a single mom.

dollygirl
01-24-2008, 12:33 PM
lexi - no, it doesn't make me more confident. But it does give me some back up so that if I want to tell them all to shove it, I have the good fortune to be able to walk without financial crisis. It's a financial comfort. Not a confidence crisis. Practicality told me, when I was a single mom, that I could not afford to lose my job so I had to be more careful not to ruffle feathers. I think that would apply to both men and women - if you have a second income, you have a certain amount of cushion and are less apt to stay in a lousy situation.

lexicon
01-24-2008, 02:51 PM
((dollygirl)) I think you are a delightfully sincere and sweet person. I apologize if I have made you feel anything otherwise. It's simply that as a woman, and a single-mom, I've had to stand up to some real jerks in the workplace and otherwise. I detest having to be as tough, as maculine as some jerk in the office, and unfortunatly, some of those jerks are women. Male/female doesn't hold me back, or my words about telling them where to get off.

As I said, as a woman, you walk right up to that jerk and tell him under no uncertain terms that what he did was underhanded and deceitful, and you will not tolerate it. Don't hide behind another man. It's great that your superior supports you, but the co-worker won't until you tell him yourself.

dollygirl
01-24-2008, 03:16 PM
lexi - Oh don't worry - I plan to. Maybe not in those tems but he'll get the drift. I'm not putting up with that kind of bs.

I guess I was remembering a past work experience that was way, way worse. Really nasty stuff going on and I really wanted to tell several people, including the head guy, where he could stick it. But jobs in my field are few and far between and I was single then and pretty well stuck in that job until I could find another. So I never said anything. I just left. I am lucky enough now to have the luxury of telling someone off and jeopardizing my job without financial concern.

I really hate workplace drama. I just want to come to work, do my job and go home!

lexicon
01-24-2008, 05:13 PM
You GO girl.

This thread interests me because of conflicts in past, currently my co-workers are great,...but I've known some in the past. My error is always seeking to understand "their" motive or feelings, and I seek to put myself in their shoes. So, that said, I'm seeking to see "if" this co-worker is trying to score points, make a good 1st impression, or..... Regardless there is no need to go behind someone's back to impress the boss.

I try to find common ground with new co-workers, aside from office gossip. Hint: laughter is usually a good start (notice my silly jokes), but doesn't always surfice.

Best of luck to you Dolly>>>>>you deserve respect for your "artistry!"

dollygirl
01-24-2008, 06:12 PM
Thanks lexi - coworkers can be difficult. It's why I love the show "The Office" so much. Every one of those characters is similar to someone I have worked with at one time or another. Cracks me up!

lexicon
01-24-2008, 06:23 PM
lol I watch "The Office", also. It also cracks me up. I also like Boston Legal, esp. the guy lawyer with the twitch.

We get lots of "customer issues", where I work just because we are a TOTALLY service oriented business, but my co-workers are great...we all support each other.

And I count my blessings.

Booktender
01-25-2008, 08:55 PM
Oh MAN that guy has a lot to learn. Wonder how long it's going to be now before his boss decides to "free up his future" for other employment opportunities?

Booktender
01-25-2008, 09:30 PM
I was just put to mind of the 3 most difficult coworkers I've had since becoming a denizen of libraryland. One was JPN. Best friend one minute, hated you the next. Oh well

The other two are oddly connected. I applied for a position that had recently been created. It was basically the same thing with electronic resource I'd been doing but a step up. I didn't even care about the step up. I wanted credit where it was due! And at the time I enjoyed the work.

This position was of great interested to the mayor because of all the overblown fear that a kid just *might* see something inappropriate on the internet. Not that it doesn't happen, just not that much. But so be it. Filters were turned on. That was the new part. I could handle it. So far as I knew, I was the only person who even tried for it. The supervisors involved wanted me there. My colleagues wanted me there. I even asked the witch who ended up getting it if she was applying. She said no. Witch. And there was a political maneouver there too that went way above the supervisors heads. Nothing to do with me at all not that I could see that at the time.

So a couple years go by and, credit where it's due, she did accomplish some stuff. But she also tried to get me to keep doing that job! BS on that, as I told her supervisor. So, she goes poof to greener pastures after a couple of years and boy did we find out what the witch didn't do. And I decided to move on to other tasks because it was time to let the young'uns take over that electronic stuff and 2) I was miffed enough still to let them hang with their own rope. So I didn't reapply to the position.

Now there was a young man who joined us a few years back and was a delight to work with until his probationary period was over. Once your probationary period is over you really have to try hard to get fired. Then he knew best about everything and, especially in the area of electronic resources, was hypercritical. This was pretty insulting to me and he would actually state as fact things I knew weren't true about the selection process and the products! And his patron interactions frequently made bad situations worse.

I tried modeling appropriate behavior. I tried "oh my goodness, where did you hear that? here's the truth..." I tried venting to my coworkers. I finally went to my supervisor. There was a heated discussion between him and my supervisor. Don't know what it was about but we all heard loud voices coming from her office and wouldn't you know we all had things to do on other floors...

Nothing worked.

So two things happened. There was a miraculous personality transplant in the guy, strangely coinciding with his dating a new hire and, hmm...the leaving of the witch.

So who applies to this electronic resources position and gets it? HE DOES! Oh, revenge is sweet. I did feel bad about the mess he was left and sat with him a couple of times and went over stuff. And, after a couple of weeks on the job he actually came to me and humbly apologized. Sincerely. He admitted his obnoxiousness. It was a freakin' miracle I tell ya.

And he and his (now) fiance are a joy to be around. Go figure that one out!

disclaimer: dollygirl's coworker may turn around or, with any luck, just go poof!

Joline
01-26-2008, 12:29 PM
This is not a situation that is appropriate to bring HR into. That's not their role (or shouldn't be). HR aren't the "relationship" police.

You have some choices:

Deal with the jerk directly. No uncertain terms that you're "on" to his attempts to undermine you.

Let your boss know you're doing it.

If that fails, go to the jerk's boss. The managers are responsible for putting any employee's behavior into "check" if they're making the lives miserable of good people around them.

Or you can choose to ignore the idiot and trust that others will see him for what he is. You can control how you respond to his idiocy and you can make a choice not to let him "get" to you.