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Fight or Flight? Dealing with a Difficult Colleague!

Fight or Flight? Dealing with a Difficult Colleague!

Have you had or are in a situation where your colleague is making your life miserable? I have been in these types of jobs a few times in the past and let me tell you, it’s no laughing matter.

A reader recently asked me this question:

Saw your web page and felt that I want your take on my situation.

First of all I’ve worked for an organization as an admin asst for years and during this time I have seen many co-workers leave and have had to put up with a lot. Currently there is a clerical staff person, sitting in a cubicle right across from me who has made my daily work experience miserable. She has been here a little over 1 1/2 years and has recently been promoted to an Administrative Assistant.

This is a typical work day for her:

  • She comes in late EVERYDAY (not just a few minutes, but 15-25 minutes with an excuse for WHY she’s late – traffic – and she lives 10 minutes away).
  • Then she spends at least the first hour discussing what she did the day before at home; cooking, cleaning, shopping, gossiping, what ever she did after she left work.
  • Next she starts complaining about people around her, her friends, her spouse’s friends, kids, etc.
  • Now it’s time to begin the process of gossiping about co-workers, belittling co-workers, making snide comments about other staff.
  • Then it’s time to leave for lunch – a one hour lunch usually turns in to an hour and 15-20 minute lunch (usually with another person).
  • Now that she’s back from lunch then it’s time to complain about the co-worker she had lunch with that day.
  • As the clock ticks away, getting closer to quitting time, she decides to get busy and then claims overtime (when she mostly stands around and gossip after quitting time).

She is also the type of person who is “over friendly” face to face, but does not hesitate to tear that person apart once they have left the area.


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