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Got an Annoying Coworker? When to Take it to HR

Got an Annoying Coworker? When to Take it to HR

J.T. & Dale | CAREEREALISM.com

Dear J.T. & Dale:

I normally am a very happy, enthusiastic employee. Getting along with ANYONE has never been an issue. However, I now have a co-worker who has been very hostile and makes rude comments that he pretends are “jokes.” About a year ago, I began keeping a journal of these incidents. As much as I would like to go to HR, when the incidents are isolated on paper, it appears that I am whining about practically nothing. How would it be handled if I did go to HR? — Gloria

Dale:

Without enthusiasm. This is the sort of issue that HR people hate. I hope you’ll take a shot at handling it yourself. Learning to negotiate with co-workers is an important life skill, after all.

J.T.:

Besides, Gloria, in most HR environments, the reaction to your complaint would end up being just what Dale is suggesting: urging you to talk with your co-worker. Then, if that didn’t help, HR would guide you through how to talk things over with your manager. Finally, if that failed to help, or if HR believed there was danger of a harassment or discrimination lawsuit, they would step in and have a conversation with the other person and your manager. Unfortunately, you can expect a chilly workplace after that.

Dale:

But don’t get discouraged and think, “I’ll just quit and find a new job.” I have a friend, a star saleswoman, who felt her spirits were being ground down by a negative co-worker. She got frustrated one day and quit. She quickly found a new sales job, but a lesser one, and the following year the obnoxious co-worker made an income that was double hers, leaving her to laugh at herself, “I sure showed HIM.” Don’t let that happen to you. Treat this annoying co-worker as an opportunity to learn and grow.

J.T.:

Yes. Adopt the attitude that “we teach people how to treat us,” and you can learn to be a better teacher.



Jeanine “J.T.” Tanner O’Donnell is a professional development specialist and the founder of the consulting firm, jtodonnell.com, and of the blog, CAREEREALISM.com. Dale Dauten resolves employment and other business disputes as a mediator with AgreementHouse.com.

Please visit them at jtanddale.com, where you can send questions via e-mail, or write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th St, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10019.

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