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How to Handle the "Insane" in Your Workplace

Updated on October 30, 2011

bullies in the workplace are a reality of corporate america today.

stay away from the drama queen (or king) they will zap your energy and resources faster than a 24 hour flu.
stay away from the drama queen (or king) they will zap your energy and resources faster than a 24 hour flu. | Source

Everyone in the workplace isn’t as sane as you hope they would be. Believe it or not, when working in the office you begin to notice that some of your coworkers are not playing with a full deck. Every office has one and the bigger the office, the more you have.

These are some of the strange and bizarre people that you have to work with day in and day out and how to handle them and their whacky and off the wall behavior.

Who-the Drama Queen

Every office has a Drama Queen. He or she, keeps can be loads of laughs. The Drama Queen is there to entertain each and every day. They stomp their feet, throw tantrums, scream and cry. There always seems to be an issue.

The Drama Queen has a vocabulary to be rivaled and is generally very intelligent as well as flamboyant. They cannot work unless they are in a state of emotional distress. Whatever you do never ask how their day is going or is everything all right. If they don’t display body language that tells you specifically what’s going on at this moment, they certainly will tell you.

Meetings are a nightmare of revolt, taking the opposite side of whatever everyone else would like to see or hear and they absolutely love to keep the pot stirred after any commotion has settled down. Many Drama Queens are bright and knowledgeable, but so much energy is wasted on drama that they rarely work up to their potential.

What to Do

You can use the Drama Queen as a valuable resource. If you don’t want a meeting to complete a project or a decision to be made, send the Drama Queen an invite to the meeting. Nothing will be accomplished during the meeting if they attend. Most people who do want to accomplish something in their meetings with a Drama Queen in attendance will definitely have an agenda and leave questions until the end with five minutes of time left.

Don’t ever get into a personal conversation with them. They are full of advice and will broadcast anything that you would like to keep close to the vest to anyone within earshot. Keep it short and brief with the Drama Queen.


These are special someone in the office that must have every I dotted and every T crossed. They are perfection in the office and their families reflect that same perfection. They want others to treat them as the special person they are and always see themselves this way regardless of what anyone else may say.

They will continually make themselves special which is often at the expense of others in the office. If you work with a Superman or Superwoman you will always feel that no matter what you do, it’s never going to be more than they could ever do. If you work for one you will more than likely be constantly told how second place your ideas, concepts or thoughts are and you will never be as smart, intelligent or knowledgeable as the Superman.

What to do

Believe it or not the Superman is really insecure. They are afraid of failure at everything. You don’t have to show them their shortcomings because they will never believe you. Constantly show them people that are more successful or achieve more than they do.

Most Supermen cannot stand to be second to anyone and will transfer or quit. They need to be where they stand above the rest and would never tolerate someone else being better than they are.

Who-the Complainer

Pessimist through and through at every turn and every day they come to the office. They never feel satisfactory and are in constant need of reassurance of their ability to do anything, even get a cup of coffee. They are always in need of aid and are always sick, getting sick or getting over being sick.

They never see a solution to an issue because all of their energy and focus is on the problem. They usually don’t like their job, but rarely do anything about it. They whine constantly about everything.

What to Do

Stay away from them whenever possible. Most of their time is spent whining or complaining to the boss or supervisor as to why they cannot or didn’t do something they should have.

Unfortunately, the whiner will zap your energy reserves along with your sanity and optimism in a matter of minutes. A conversation with the whiner is like going several rounds with a prize fighter. Don’t attempt to boost their mood or their ego-it’s a waste of your precious time and strength.

Who-the Procrastinator

This is the office go-getter that never seems to get it done. They volunteer and will say yes to whatever is asked of them, but meet a deadline. When you ask them how things are going they always reply in the positive. Things are going okay. Things are going fine. However, as the deadline for whatever the project may be gets closer, you can never find them. The Procrastinator is always in need of time off after the deadline has come and gone because of all of the work they had to do. This doesn’t count how many people had to help them out of the crunch or how many late nights someone else may have stayed because of the work they didn’t get done.

The Procrastinator is the one in the office that a team cannot seem to count on to do their portion of the project or work. They leave everyone in the lurch, each and every time.

What to do

When working on a time frame with the Procrastinator have them meet mini deadlines. Contact them frequently by phone or email as the project is underway and carbon copy several people within the area. Having to answer to more than one person as to why they haven’t completed their share of the set project when they should have may make them actual meet a deadline or two. You can even set a deadline that is actually ahead of the actual deadline in a one on one email.

Who-the Bully

Every office has one. If you don’t have one, you did or you will. Unfortunately, they exists all over regardless of what type of work is being done. They are controlling and enjoy pointing out anyone’s shortcomings to a large group of people or everyone in the office. They are the voice in meetings that can be heard over everyone else’s attacking the person and not the issue.

Working for a bully is your boss is the number one reason people quit their jobs according to a Gallup poll. Having a bully for your boss or team leader will create physical illnesses such as ulcers and high blood pressure or mental illnesses such as stress and anxiety. They can leave you feeling isolated and lower your confidence even though you are doing a great job according to your team numbers and other outside peers.

Some bullies will select a few to bully while others bully anyone and everyone within reach. Whatever the situation having a bully on the team cannot be tolerated in the workplace.

What to do

Bullies will not stop until they have been confronted. Standing up to a bully puts the brakes on their behavior and stops your inner pain. The feeling of dread that comes over you every morning you step into the office. Bullies that have a rage to their conflict definitely must be stopped. If you are unable to do it, take the proper steps or channels within the organization to make sure it comes to an end. Maintain professional behavior while in the office and ask that everyone, especially the bully, do the same.

Who-the Protester

They protest everything all of the time. They protest any rule and regulation. They protest time constraints and deadlines. They protest when benefits change or when they don’t. They are constantly rebelling “against the man” just because. They also want to know if you are with them or against them.

The Protester loves negative attention and everything that comes along with it. They don’t want to do this and they shouldn’t have to do that. Every day there is something that has their panties in a bunch. Why don’t we have overtime? Why do we have overtime? They are always advising someone that they should take their issues or situations to HR or get an attorney.

What to do

Keep your distance from the Protestor. Keeping your distance won’t give them fuel for whatever fire they are fanning. Most companies don’t tolerate them for long and they will be transferred or let go as soon as they have been identified by someone in upper management.

Many Protestors will usually quit their jobs with a lot of flourish protesting something or other.

The chances of being able to choose the team of people you are able to work with is as likely as winning the lottery. Hopefully you will not have all of these people in one workspace, but a lot of them will come and go as you work your way through a company or up to retirement.

Being able to identify them and handle them is a benefit to you and your team.

Workplace Ethics


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    • smcopywrite profile image

      smcopywrite 6 years ago from all over the web

      caroline VABC- if you happen to work for a bully, you definitely want to follow the chain of command which will typically point you to your leader or supervisors boss or HR. generally your employee handbook will have instructions to follow if you have an issue with your immediate supervisor and cannot bring it to them.

      i would start with their boss and move to HR if you dont receive a response that you feel comfortable with.

      hope this helps.

      thanks for your two cents worth. i considered bolding both instead of bolding and italizing and i still may make those changes-good eye

    • CarolineVABC profile image

      CarolineVABC 6 years ago from Castaic

      Hello Smcopywrite!

      I was just wondering if I may share this? Thank you, in advance, for your reply! Take care. God bless!

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 6 years ago

      I Loved the last Ten Years of Working for I worked for a Doctor...It was just he and I and lots of Patients. And we got along GREAT! But I've also worked with "CRAZY" people in Office situations and it could be HELL! This was a Rich and Informative Hub Smcopywrite, it certainly will help others.

    • CarolineVABC profile image

      CarolineVABC 6 years ago from Castaic

      Hello Smcopywrite!

      What a very interesting article, and so true!!! I've worked in an office before and have encountered many of the type of workers that you've mentioned in your hub. Although I have one question: "What do you do when it's your boss that bullies you?" I'm not saying that I'm being bullied by my boss right now-that's not the case at all; they are actually very nice and considerate. I think I got lucky this time!:-). I'm just wondering though because I think it will be very tough to confront a boss. What do you think?

      Also, I have a couple of suggestions, if I may?

      -Please, make the different types of insane workers in BOLD to make it stand out next time.

      -Make the "What to Do" category in italics.

      These are just suggestions for better clarity, especially for longer hubs. Anyhow, there's my "two cents" worth!:-). Thanks for sharing your wisdom. Voted up (awesome/useful):-). Keep at it. God bless!

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 6 years ago from America

      Enjoyed your hub. See people like this everyday workplace or not.

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Great topic for a hub! I love how you broke everything down here.

    • profile image

      Sueswan 6 years ago

      I am lucky to work with a great bunch of people.

    • SUSIE DUZY profile image

      SUSIE DUZY 6 years ago from Delray Beach, Florida

      The best is to just do your job and don't get involved.


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