Problem Co-Workers

How do you deal with them?

Page 1 of 1

8 Replies - 1701 Views - Last Post: 25 April 2008 - 06:45 AM

#1 Sonic88  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Head

Reputation: 3
  • View blog
  • Posts: 166
  • Joined: 19-February 08

Problem Co-Workers

Posted 23 April 2008 - 08:34 AM

So, Ive been in my new job for a little over 3 months now. I am doing Web Development (mostly ASP.NET and some static pages for now). I really love the work and all my coworkers are really great and helpful ... except one.

[Venting]
This one also happens to be the person I've been working with one on one for those first three months and she is awful. This is my first job out of college and there was no formal training, so any "training" came from her. She is the most negative person Ive ever met and any time I ask a question she is just awful and not helpful at all. And any time she has a problem with the way an app works and I remind her that that is the way she told me to do it, she lies and gets all puffy about it saying she didnt say that.. 99% of the time I just back down and dont comment on things like that, but the couple times Ive tried to stand my ground just a little (theres only so mush lack of respect one can take) and kindly and respectfully remind her what she had told me, she turns into a five year old and gets all pouty. I really love the job, but working with this woman is beginning to wear on me. I'd be OK if I didn't work with her 100% of the time, but I did. Things are better now as I have been working with the other Web Developer (there are 3 of us) and hes great and I love working with him but hes getting moved back to Windows App dev in a couple months and Ill be back with the pouty one. Im just not sure what to do. I dont know if I should discuss this with my boss , start looking for a new job (although I worked hard to get this job and not gonna let this person take that from me), or what being that I'm new to the professional world
[/Venting]

So, my question to everyone is how have you dealt with problem co workers in your job, both on personal and professional level?

This post has been edited by Sonic88: 23 April 2008 - 08:38 AM


Is This A Good Question/Topic? 0
  • +

Replies To: Problem Co-Workers

#2 Amadeus  Icon User is offline

  • g+ + -o drink whiskey.cpp
  • member icon

Reputation: 248
  • View blog
  • Posts: 13,506
  • Joined: 12-July 02

Re: Problem Co-Workers

Posted 23 April 2008 - 08:57 AM

Well, the first thing to note is that everyone is different, so what works for others may not work for you. Now that the caveat has been issued, I can tell you about my own view.

I have worked with people in the past that I did not like, that were problematic, that were unprofessional. My approach has always been that in the workplace, professionalism is key. i also like to speak to people directly. In situations similar to yours, I have approached the person in question, and asked if I could speak to them about our working relationship. I'd calmly explain my position and views, and ask them for theirs as well. If I could not reach an equitable agreement with the person, then it may be time to involve your HR team or boss. you have just as much right to a comfortable workplace as anyone else.

Remember though - your co-worker may have concerns about you as well. I'd suggest a direct approach, but remain calm at all times, and do not get hostile, even if presented with hostility. Professionalism is key.

That's my opinion, anyway.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#3 Martyr2  Icon User is offline

  • Programming Theoretician
  • member icon

Reputation: 4354
  • View blog
  • Posts: 12,160
  • Joined: 18-April 07

Re: Problem Co-Workers

Posted 23 April 2008 - 09:29 AM

I agree with Amadeus. Talk to the person first and try to come to an understanding. My guess is that she feels threatened by you and this can be caused by many things like insecurity in her own skills and knowing you are coming out of school with up-to-date knowledge, she may feel she is going to be out done by the snot nose punk.

She may also feel you are arrogant and again misplaced because she sees you as a competitor rather than a co-worker of equal level... especially if she is older than you. I find women are a little more guilty of this than guys in my own experiences, but right now I am dealing with a co-worker who I know is threatened of me. My problem is he is my supervisor as well... he not only is he pushing me down he is also making decisions that effect my work and I have no real avenue to go to.

But getting back to the topic at hand... talk to them first and see what happens. Be honest and non confrontational about it. Be willing to negotiate with her and ask "How can I better help you?" and if nothing changes (and really only half the time it will actually change) then you can go to the boss. Especially if you know other co-workers have gone to the boss about her as well.

Give her a chance with you. I find people like this tend to leave the company shortly afterwards anyways... they typically are unhappy with where they work. But do what you can to protect yourself and take it to her first rather than jumping over her head.. if nothing gets done, do what you must.

:)

This post has been edited by Martyr2: 23 April 2008 - 09:31 AM

Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#4 Sonic88  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Head

Reputation: 3
  • View blog
  • Posts: 166
  • Joined: 19-February 08

Re: Problem Co-Workers

Posted 23 April 2008 - 09:45 AM

Thanks for the input guys. I dont believe she is threatened by me. I am the one that is asking her how to do things. And she tells me to come ask her whenever I have question but when I do she is really condescending and when I try to ask her about an idea I have thought in the learning process ( which I feel should be encouraged) she cuts me off and just says "No" and nothing else. Its just frustrating because there was no formal training here, so its all on the job with her, however she is very impatient and not a very good teacher at all. I try to be as humble (and Ive always been a very humble person as I believe there is always something to learn) as possible whenever I communicate with her so hope she doesnt think I am arrogant, but she is just so so negative about everything.. I just dont know. I do have a review coming up so I may address it then with my boss and I will try and talk to her before then. Thanks for the input guys.

This post has been edited by Sonic88: 23 April 2008 - 09:46 AM

Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#5 MarkoDaGeek  Icon User is offline

  • Dirty Technophile
  • member icon

Reputation: 11
  • View blog
  • Posts: 11,158
  • Joined: 13-October 01

Re: Problem Co-Workers

Posted 23 April 2008 - 07:38 PM

There is a girl in the sales dept. at my work and she could pass for retarded person. She doesn't do her job and for some reason picks me to shove off her shit to most of it being completely unrelated to anything I do in my job.

She sits there and talks to people and watches videos online all day, when her phone rings she takes off to the back somewhere and if a person even utters a word about something outside of her 'position' she will transfer them instantly.

Worst of all, shes not very bright, even about her responsibilities which means she gets away with doing next to nothing.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#6 no2pencil  Icon User is online

  • Admiral Fancy Pants
  • member icon

Reputation: 5352
  • View blog
  • Posts: 27,310
  • Joined: 10-May 07

Re: Problem Co-Workers

Posted 23 April 2008 - 07:50 PM

View PostSonic88, on 23 Apr, 2008 - 11:34 AM, said:

So, my question to everyone is how have you dealt with problem co workers in your job, both on personal and professional level?

I am the problem coworker here, so I don't have to worry about one.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#7 KYA  Icon User is offline

  • g++ jameson.cpp -o beverage
  • member icon

Reputation: 3105
  • View blog
  • Posts: 19,144
  • Joined: 14-September 07

Re: Problem Co-Workers

Posted 24 April 2008 - 07:55 AM

Is coming into work with a gun not a viable solution?

joking--don't go all Virginia Tech at your workplace (too soon?)

I agree this might be my most tasteless posts ever
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#8 Programmist  Icon User is offline

  • CTO
  • member icon

Reputation: 252
  • View blog
  • Posts: 1,833
  • Joined: 02-January 06

Re: Problem Co-Workers

Posted 25 April 2008 - 03:30 AM

View PostSonic88, on 23 Apr, 2008 - 09:45 AM, said:

Thanks for the input guys. I dont believe she is threatened by me. I am the one that is asking her how to do things. And she tells me to come ask her whenever I have question but when I do she is really condescending and when I try to ask her about an idea I have thought in the learning process ( which I feel should be encouraged) she cuts me off and just says "No" and nothing else. Its just frustrating because there was no formal training here, so its all on the job with her, however she is very impatient and not a very good teacher at all. I try to be as humble (and Ive always been a very humble person as I believe there is always something to learn) as possible whenever I communicate with her so hope she doesnt think I am arrogant, but she is just so so negative about everything.. I just dont know. I do have a review coming up so I may address it then with my boss and I will try and talk to her before then. Thanks for the input guys.


Unless you are being incredibly dense and asking really dumb questions, which I doubt is the case, her reaction of being immediately impatient and condescending is pretty typical behavior of someone who has no confidence in themselves. Something that may help you is if you make a through attempt to answer the questions yourself, so that when you do ask her for help, you have a list of avenues that you have exhausted in an attempt to find the answer. She may still condescend to you (probably will), but at least you have something to show for it. And who knows - you may answer some of the questions without her help.

Now, as far as dealing with her behavior I agree with what others have said about being professional. Write down everything she tells you, so you'll have a record later. Do not let her see you recoil or react to her negative or condescending remarks. Just put on your poker face or smile and say, "Thanks for your help" when you're done. This may agitate her, but no matter how irritating she gets, do not let her get to you. When you get back to your desk, document the experience. Hopefully her behavior will change. If it does not, I would not recommend talking to her about it as others have suggested, unless you really feel you can pull it off. Were it me, I would talk to your manager and tell him/her that you are being made uncomfortable and have documented it. The reason you don't necessarily want to talk directly to her is because she has already proven herself to be someone who you cannot trust, so after you go to her she may turn it around on you and say you were the one making her uncomfortable. And, in a work situation, if two people are complaining and one of them is a woman, the woman often wins because male managers are afraid of getting slapped with a sexual discrimination suit. (Sorry ladies, but you know it's true.) And this is the kind of thing the woman you are talking about might exploit. So be careful and document everything.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#9 Sonic88  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Head

Reputation: 3
  • View blog
  • Posts: 166
  • Joined: 19-February 08

Re: Problem Co-Workers

Posted 25 April 2008 - 06:45 AM

Thanks Guys! I think its alright for now. She kind of slipped an apology in yesterday somewhat indirectly. Shes really not a bad person, just tough to work with sometimes.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

Page 1 of 1