Everyday Living, work

How to deal with toxic co-workers

Here’s a really weird blanket statement – barring that one red-eye flight I took from Las Vegas in my 20s, I haven’t really encountered any mean people since my freshman year of college. You know the kind of person that I’m talking about – it doesn’t matter if you kill them with kindness or give them a wide berth, they’ll find someway to piss in your Cheerios.

I have been pretty lucky up until this point – I’ve watched other people encounter these pleasant folks or I’ve been able to avoid them entirely. Up until now.

So yes – I still love my new job, it is filled with people who seem to really inspire me to do a great job and seem to really appreciate the job that I do. I wake up in the morning and I look forward to going to my job and seeing my new group of cohorts. All is hunky dory except for this one person who … I don’t know – I’m kind of at a loss for words except that 90% of the time he’s decent, but there’s this 10% where I seem to get in his crosshairs and he can either reduce me to tears or make me act like a stuttering idiot. Today I had to bring over a printout to his desk and he said “you know, when you bring this stuff over to me, it doesn’t mean that I’m going to get to it any faster.” And instead of some smart retort, I just stood there blushing. Last week, he had me crying at my desk for some other bitchy thing that he said. (Yeah – that was really classy. I’m still kind of pissed at myself for that …)

It’s time for you all to put your “Dear Abby” hats on. What do you do with toxic co-workers? Short of not doing a portion of my job, I can’t avoid this person. And although my co-workers’ advice of just telling him to bite me is tempting, but I’m trying to be slightly professional these days.

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2 thoughts on “How to deal with toxic co-workers

  1. Shelley,
    I was so hoping someone more qualified than me would have responded to this post by now. I’m no Dear Abby. I have two responses. One I learned from a Pastor in Colorado at a random church we stopped at on one of our hiking trips. He told a story about a restaurant that he and another classmate pastor met at once a year to catch up on old times. The waitress was rude, late and unattentive. To the pastors dismay, the other pastor left a large tip. He spouted off at him, saying that she deserved no tip. The classmate said, “You know, none of us know what kind of day she has had. We don’t know what her life is like. Maybe she has a disabled child to take care of or an abusive spouse, or……. I just want to give her the benefit of the doubt. what can it hurt.” My other response? You won’t get this for a few years, but at my advanced age I no longer take offense. I look at that person, thank God I’m not them and dismiss it. How unhappy is their life that they feel some sort of victory by putting down others? Since it is the workplace, if it gets too bad of course you can take it to your superior, but since you are new it’s probably a little too early for that. For now, you know who you are. Don’t let someone who knows nothing about you make you doubt yourself. Feel sorry for him, but don’t give him one more minute of your time or certainly not any satisfaction from your tears. You have way more important ideas floating around in that brain of yours. Dismiss him. Keep up the good work and go get em girl. Linda DeBuhr

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