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Posts Tagged ‘Difficult Coworker’

  1. Can You Change a Toxic Work Environment?

    April 8, 2016 by Lady Unemployed

    Does your work environment need this sign like mine does? : (license)

    Does your work environment need this sign like mine does? : (license)

    It’s been a long time since I posted here, hasn’t it? Not much has changed. I’m still at the job that I started a few years ago and I’m sort of in the waiting game on when to make the next move. I’m also unsure of what that will be.

    But I had a few observations of my work environment that I wanted to write about. It was inspired by a Google search that resulted in me finding my own blog post. (Do You Enjoy Seeing Coworkers Get in Trouble? circa 2013)

    To give you some background, it is in regards to a woman I worked with only once. It was my turn to prepare for these Friday meetings (a temporary job duty that rotated every few months). She stepped in when it was my turn (after I had done it several times) and gave me a list of things that I needed to improve on (delivery is everything and she did it in an underhanded way that was very mean). It turned my liking of her very sour and when I see her I don’t smile and neither does she back at me. We coexist without conflict mostly because we only had to work with each other on a temporary thing.

    Well, lately, I overheard this same person getting in trouble over something she had done wrong that incidentally ended up rubbing a supervisor from my department the wrong way. I would be lying if I said that I felt bad for this person I didn’t like. In fact, I was even mildly relieved. Relieved, because it was nice to see that just because this woman I didn’t like is inherently catty acting, doesn’t mean she will be able to get away from the cattiness of other people. Does that make sense?

    I did feel bad though that I took a secret enjoyment out of this woman getting in trouble. It’s pretty obvious that I’ve been working in a toxic environment for too long. I do make a point to NOT repeat the same behavior that has not only hurt people I didn’t like, but also has hurt me and others that I wished it hadn’t happened to.

    I’m not sure the take away from this except to say that I think I need a change.

  2. Can Ugly Competition At Work Kill the Office Environment?

    May 16, 2014 by Lady Unemployed

    This may be a strange post coming from me, especially because I am a big believer in a healthy dose of competition. In fact, I think it can improve your skills, increase your stamina, and motivate you to do better.

    competition at work

    But today I am wondering if healthy competition at work can turn ugly in the wrong work environment?

    I ask because a (newly discovered) disgruntled coworker got competitive with me over something I had been handling pretty much independently. I have no trouble working with someone but it took me by surprise to see her hand in it (and not exactly in a nice way).

    It reminded me a little bit of when I first started this job and I had trouble with my difficult coworker. I sort of got in her work territory a bit in order to compete for attention. Not to be mean, but mostly because I wasn’t getting recognized and to get that, I assumed I had to really be aggressive.

    I’m seeing it play out again with this disgruntled coworker, even though I’m not nearly as critical towards others as my difficult coworker was with me (and continues to be with everyone else).

    So, with difficult work environments where criticisms far outweigh the kudos, you generate a competitive atmosphere which leads to frayed and awkward work relations which results in zero comraderie between employees and creates an uptight, phony and possibly angry atmosphere.

    And they wonder why we have such high turnover.

  3. Coworker Hell Turned Joblessness Hell [An Anonymous Unemployment Story]

    February 7, 2014 by Lady Unemployed

    I wanted to post this story especially because I have been here before and so have a lot of people. Sometimes you just can’t stay at a job no matter how much you want it to work. When you reach that breaking point though and have to leave, there is a massive struggle to recover. I know that first hand. The rest of this post is written by an anonymous submitter who granted me permission to submit her story. I haven’t changed any word she sent me.

    I stepped away from a job several months ago because a troubled, unhappy co-worker was making my daily life hell. I let her problems become mine, instead of brushing off her anger. Leaving was a stupid decision – I know that now.

    I have never had trouble getting interviews before & typically get an offer if I get an interview, but all that has changed & I’m not sure why. I’ve had a couple of interviews, but mostly I’ve had phone screens. Every one of these left me feeling we would move forward to an offer. They tell me all the right things – that I have what they’re looking for in terms of qualifications, credentials and attitude. Then, I either hear nothing or I get a polite note saying they’ve decided another candidate is a better fit. The sheer law of averages should have worked in my favor at least once.

    One recruiter was so adamant about moving forward that I was sure I would get the interview and the offer. He said he would have the security officer call me to prep me for the clearance process (as this job called for getting a clearance). The security person called just a few minutes later & started by asking for my birth date, including the year. I didn’t feel I could decline since I knew a clearance would require that. The next day I got the brush off e-mail. I couldn’t help but feel they used that tactic to get my age & then I was out. My age is just a number and belies all that I have to contribute.

    My best theory is that they are finding younger & cheaper candidates. (I’ve stressed that money is not an issue, that the right position is most important, but so far it has not helped.) I am a high energy, reliable employee, but I’ve somehow ended up without a paycheck & it feels awful.(My husband joked that maybe the troubled co-worker had black-balled me but I’m not that paranoid & she could not have that kind of power.)

    I’m grateful my husband has a good job, but I want to contribute for at least another decade. I’m doing volunteer work at our local library – it feels good to be needed – but I’m a highly qualified administrative professional. I can’t believe there’s not a company out there that will give me a chance to show I’m still capable.

  4. Is It Bad Management Or An Employee With Low Tolerance?

    March 6, 2013 by Lady Unemployed

    I’ll always leave room for the fact that I might just be wrong (hey, quit laughing, I’m being serious). But I do believe that perception is reality. If you believe that I’ve hurt your feelings, that means that your perception is reality. I may not have intended to, but you feel that way and that is what matters. Yet, isn’t that where we go wrong as a society? Especially at work.

    45 minutes before I was set to go home, a “supervisor” that has barely spoken more than a sentence directly to me since the day I interviewed (I’m not exaggerating; this supervisor never really speaks to me during the day) asked to speak with me.

    We went into a conference room and she asked how things were going.

    As a background, yesterday I received an email from my difficult coworker about new addition to my job duties. This bothered because of the background her and I have. She has an intolerance to mistakes and while none of my coworkers may admit it – she also has desired for a long time to be a supervisor of the entry level people.  Which is awful because of how bad she would be at it. My opinion, of course.


    So, when I received this email from my difficult coworker, I promptly notified the “nice girl” in the office who is supposed to be the go-between for coworker issues and requested that anything related to my job duties get emailed by her.

    Apparently this set off a shit storm of conversations between the “nice girl” and management.

    Here we are back in this meeting between me and this supervisor I never speak to.

    How are things going?

    I do explain my wariness of the email I received the other day, explaining how our history of emails have never been good.

    Then she says, “Well “the nice girl” told me you were reluctant to email “the difficult coworker” anymore.”


    This is a “taken out of context” comment. The reason I was reluctant to send emails to my difficult coworker? Her sudden warning that she would notify the entry level people of their mistakes in formatting (an unnecessary part of her job).


    I go on to explain myself.


    I don’t feel comfortable in situations where I’m having to explain myself. It begins to move out of “explaining myself” and into “begging for forgiveness.”  This is my supervisor though so I try to remain as agreeable as I can without getting my back dirty from all the feet walking over me.

    Long story short – I begin to feel like I’m turning into the “difficult coworker.” I’m turning into the person with low tolerance who berates people unnecessarily. The real difficult coworker who I feel like an unwelcome f*ck up around is suddenly the wounded party. Since I have developed an intolerance to her rudeness, I am now the difficult one.

    I will always leave room the fact that I am wrong in this situation. But what I took from this meeting is that I would be better off keeping my mouth shut. If I get a nasty email, I will have to accept it.

    Have you ever been in a situation where you start out feeling like the victim and turn into feeling like the one at fault?