My last blog post about my difficult coworker being difficult was back in late September. Things did get better. Except several months later, I am back there again.
To catch you up, a coworker that I have had quite a few problems with is moving. This means that my “difficult coworker” gets to move into her position – it is a promotion and one my “difficult coworker” has been waiting on since she started. At first I thought, “Yay! She’ll get off my damn back.”
Turns out that wasn’t the case. Instead, Thursday, I receive another essay like email from my “difficult coworker” explaining how the two other entry level people and I should write and format our emails. No one had a problem with, except for me. This time I played it safe though. I wrote to the “nice girl” in the office. She is part of training and coordinating with the manager of my department; also she is more advanced in the company than my difficult coworker. I showed the “nice girl” a separate format that I created (because in my opinion, the difficult coworker’s format sucked) and let her know what the “difficult coworker” wanted.
Well, turns out the “nice girl” and two other head people in my department liked my format.
The “nice girl” advised me to let the “difficult coworker” know about how I had used this format with the other people and they approved it. Well, I emailed my” difficult coworker” this, without letting her know I had checked in with the “nice girl”.
The difficult coworker shut me down and asked the two other spineless people that are entry level like me which one they liked the most. Of course, they liked hers. Not to mention the “difficult coworker” warned us that she will give us feedback on our formatting when she does read our emails (because tragically, with this new position, I’ll have to email the “difficult coworker” three times as much; sigh).
I let the “nice girl” know about this, who said since the other people in the department liked mine, we should use mine instead.
In fact she said, the “difficult coworker” should never even sent this email without checking in with her. Not to mention, my boss and the “nice girl” have no idea why the “difficult coworker” even sends these emails.
I’ll ignore the fact that this was basically admitting that my manager has allowed the “difficult coworker” to rule the nest for a while now.
Anyways, she also told me that the “difficult coworker” shouldn’t even be concerning herself with the jobs of the three entry level people anymore with this promotion.
Well, game on people. The “nice girl” emailed the difficult coworker about using my format instead or, at least, letting the others in the department decide. She also told me she would let me know what this difficult coworker said when she replied.
I never heard back from the “nice girl” and know for a fact that the difficult coworker stewed for a good five hours.
I feel like, though, I let this moment build for too long. I had ignored it since late September, because I had thought we reached an amicable agreement that she leaves me the hell alone, and I don’t tear her a new one. For a while this lasted. It helped that around October, someone else new came in. Yet somehow with this horrid email she sent, it made me realize that my problems with her will never go away. I’m trying to think of what I could have done differently early on, but I come up blank.
If you didn’t read anything in this post, I hope you read this – difficult coworkers will always be difficult. This situation proves it. The best you can do is meet the moment head on and get the hell out before the situation eats you alive.
How do you handle difficult coworkers? Does it ever get better? Have you ever met head on with a difficult coworker and did that make a difference?