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Difficult People, Your Job and the Employer, Stay or Go?

Updated on November 23, 2014

What is the Situation, What is the Solution?

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Unfortunately rudeness, incivility and bullying are alive and well in the North American workplaceGive it a lot of thought. Can the problem be solved with a difficult co-worker? Will it be better to go ahead and begin searching for another job?Is it a single person making your life a living hell? or is it just a little something that can be ignored? Are you alone, or will your industry use plans put into place to stop a workplace from being toxic? Stay or Go?
Unfortunately rudeness, incivility and bullying are alive and well in the North American workplace
Unfortunately rudeness, incivility and bullying are alive and well in the North American workplace | Source
Give it a lot of thought. Can the problem be solved with a difficult co-worker? Will it be better to go ahead and begin searching for another job?
Give it a lot of thought. Can the problem be solved with a difficult co-worker? Will it be better to go ahead and begin searching for another job? | Source
Is it a single person making your life a living hell? or is it just a little something that can be ignored? Are you alone, or will your industry use plans put into place to stop a workplace from being toxic?
Is it a single person making your life a living hell? or is it just a little something that can be ignored? Are you alone, or will your industry use plans put into place to stop a workplace from being toxic? | Source
Stay or Go?
Stay or Go? | Source

Tips: Dealing With Difficult People In The Workplace

This is not an easy answer.

There are many factors to consider when attempting to find a solution.

The trend of rudeness, and seemingly lack of compassion among human beings in North America, has creeped from that plug-in-drug; the television set, into our households, through the schools, and is finally setting up shop at your local place of employment.

It is with great sadness, to see a Nation that at least acted like it was based on the tenets of the Golden Rule, and 10 Commandments, has dropped all pretense, and let all the meanness boil over.

There was a time in not too ancient history when a business considered that ugly, stinky, over-made-up, under-dressed, too fat, too skinny, nice, mean, ignorant person who entered their establishment; the customer to be so important, that even if they were dead wrong, to be right.

In other words, that ignoramous with the fat wallet, chic charge card, or check, to be of upmost importance, and afforded excellent service, because their tender (money) is what pays the wages of the workers. Allegedly, it was customers who kept the lights on, the leases paid, and the ability to advertise.

These days, being treated with indifference, mean attitudes, and plain rudeness is the rule more than the exception. Complaints to management are met with an eye-roll which sends a stern message to the customer; shut your pie hole, check yourself out, and leave.

Is it any wonder that this is what can be expected in the workplace in 2015? It seems not.

The phenomenon of work place rudeness and bullying has only begun to be addressed. In such a tight economy, people are putting up with more bad behavior. It is hard to decide whether to stay in a place that is toxic to the spirit, body and mind, or risk certain poverty by hitting the road. There is a little information out there, but mostly people suffer in silence, and many businessess scratch their collective heads months down the road, wondering what ever happened to that pleasant man, who courteously made sure his supervisors had morning coffee first? How about that girl, who came to work everyday with a big smile, and kind heart toward her co-workers?

Dealing with Difficult People in the Work Place

I have taken courses in dealing with difficult people in the workplace. In these courses, as with most psychological counselling, the answer is always the person in the mirror. We cannot change any one else's behavior, the only person she can change is herself.

An uncomfortable truth is, that when it comes to dealing with difficult people, there is always the fact, that part of the problem lies within us. Unless we are newborns, or very inexperienced in life, we carry some mental, and emotional baggage with us wherever we go.

When someone seems to be difficult, or impossible to deal with, it is possible that they may remind us of a certain individual or personality from our past. A person who made our lives miserable, or hurt us terribly, can show up in the faces or actions of a co-worker or boss. When this happens; a type of Post Traumatic Stress, our fight or flight responses can activate, causing a reaction that may not have anything to do with the person we are having trouble with.

Employees, can gain clarity of the situation by realizing that at times, their strong reaction to a problematic person or work environment, may be likened to a school bully from the past, or a person who was a tormentor to them. If this turns out to be the true issue, it is easily solved. Give the new person a chance on their own merits, work through the grief felt from the past pain, and stick with it for now.

Having a strong reaction to certain personalities, can also be a mirror that reflects back to us, to a part of ourselves we do not like.

If the problem is that the person is rude, uncouth, mean, a bully, a monster, or a jerk, there are always choices to make. I had to learn the hard way and from personal experience, that choices are not always happy ones. Sometimes you just have to go.

Lateral Violence - Workplace & School

Deciding to Go

(The decision to stay or go is entirely your own. No one can predict, or make choices for you.)

One way to make decisions about staying or leaving, is to make lists.

  • Can I bide my time with this company, long enough to transfer to an area where I find a more comfortable fit?
  • If I walked out today, how would I live?
  • If determined to go; can I find another job, career, or position that will take care of my needs?
  • Can I break this contract?
  • Is it possible to get assistance from Human Resources to help me deal with this problem.
  • Do I still love my job, or my tasks regardless of others behavior enough, that I can take it?
  • If I stay, will I continue to feel sick, listless, and depressed?
  • What will happen to my family, home, community, if I leave.
  • How will I feel if I leave, or if I stay.

These are just a few basic things to consider.

If there is more than one income, perhaps staying home, making meals from scratch, car-pooling, taking in a little side work, can offer you the freedom to leave a volatile situation.

Are you be like a duck's back, and let it roll off? Then stay.

North American Society Reeks of Rudeness, Incivility and Bad Behavior

Keeping these things in mind, is another way to balance our well thought out decisions on whether or not we will remain at the particular workplace, and if it is possible, and worth the battle, to get a positive outcome or not.

Our North America society has become fraught with incivility, rudeness, bad behavior, and ruthlessness. Is there a collapse of the moral structure in North America? Are human beings, like the proverbial apple, going bad? Are ethics still important for today's world?

Is Television to Blame?

Although television shows such as the Bad Girls Club, Housewives of ____________, Basketball wives, and others can be used as examples of rudeness, incivility and deviance. An argument can be made that these are just forms of entertainment, and only weak individuals are affected.

Unfortunately, these examples of rudeness, incivility and bad behavior is fed at millions of pixels per hour, at North Americans sitting slack jawed in front of the brain-feed box.

What used to be entertainment is melding with human behavior, and it has for decades. Our society was affected by Seinfeld enough that some of their phrases, like "Soup Nazi", "Man-Hands" and "Yada-Yada" have made it into the was just entertainment.

Television, and movie producers create what the consumer wants. It sells, and makes a few people very wealthy. Is anyone really hurt by this type of entertainment?

North American businesses are hurt in an ever increasing avalanche of incivility, rudeness and deviant behavior which is the new norm.

What Is Your Problem, Don't Like My Attitude?

Businesses and employers spend a lot of time and money to be in business. Hiring employees, training and retaining them is costly.

Hiring employees with ethics, who are trainable, and who care about their employers' business is tough on a good day.

When an employer or business has "good" employees, who are considerate, to the extent of caring for the owners' equipment, who take care of paying customers, and are punctual enough to care and complete assigned tasks, the business will be profitable and a healthy place for everyone to thrive.

When caring and considerate employees are under a barrage of meanness, rude jerks, and bullies who do not care about the workplace, who do not give one thought to how other's feel, but live like they are starring in their own reality show, businesses lose. The economy loses, and good employees will move on, usually without saying anything - because they are no longer the norm.

Stay or Go?

No one can tell a capable adult what path they should follow in life, so whether you stay or go, will depend on many factors.

The video above has some good examples of ways different people manage and decide their lives based on incivility and rudeness in the workplace.

  • Is your job situation making you physically ill?
  • Do you dread going to work everyday?
  • Are you experiencing signs of depression?
  • Are you afraid?
  • Do you Love your job?
  • Does your company or business have a plan for dealing with incivility and rudeness in the workplace?
  • Does your employer offer Mental Health care, or counselling?
  • Are their self-help classes, or training offered by your employer or business?

Self Improvement and Mental Health Counseling

Self Improvement, and Mental Health counselling can offer a badgered employee a more neutral look at what is occurring at the workplace.

If an employee who is being bullied, or faces incivility at the workplace does not have an outlet at work, outside help and guidance can at least help you to make an informed decision regarding what is going on at work.

There is a lot of work being done it this area, because of the epidemic of incivility and lost ethics in North American society, so there are more remedies being brought to employers who care, and want to save good employees and very probably their business.

Forms of Workplace Incivility -

Credits & Citations

July 20, 2012 / CC photos all rights reserved

Lateral Violence - YouTube by Samaritan Hospital

Forms of Workplace Incivility -

© 2012 Lori J Latimer


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