How do you deal with a DIFFICULT co-worker?
Everyone has that one person at work who is difficult to work with. Why are they difficult and what do you do to overcome it?
In the case of a transgender (man in dress) at work, he thought it was appropriate to sexually harass me, criticizing my hair, my clothing, mannerisms, etc, all to prove he was more of a woman than me. He asked a number of personal questions, which I outright said were between me and my husband. He intentionally wanted to use the bathroom when I did (I was one of the few women even working on that floor), commented on my period.
Due to political correctness, when I reported this repeatedly to HR, they said it was a spat between two women and - I kid you not - the manager told us to have a "coming to Jesus meeting" about this.
When a man had uttered far less severe things, asking when I'd get pregnant and quit like my mentor, he'd been reprimanded. When this man did it, he was politically protected, so his "rights" trumped mine.
He was mad after that meeting and started actively interfering with my work in IT, not just ignoring me as much as possible. When we had a system outage and I couldn't fix it, he wouldn't help, so I had to call in another system admin. THAT admin saw that my system permissions had been reduced from the appropriate level, and that's why I couldn't resolve the problem. Management noticed that the outage lasted this long and asked why. When I said it was my permissions being altered, the trans said I just didn't know what I was doing. When the other admin said it, now they stopped taking its constant criticisms of my lack of experience and expertise as seriously. Then I pulled up my screen shots of my restricted permissions.
They wouldn't fire it, but I did get reassigned on my request.
There are ALL types of personalities in the work setting. There are sweet people, mean people, amicable people, prima donna people, alpha people, beta people, venomous people, martyrs, manipulators, & others who are simply beyond indescribable. There are difficult people in this world, that is part of living on the earth plan.
There are difficult people from childhood. Children encounter other children who are deemed difficult from siblings to classmates, even friends. Children even have difficult parents &/or other adult family members. Difficult people are not only at work but everywhere, even in families. Now that being said, working w/ difficult people can be quite a challenge from co-workers to supervisors, managers, & even superiors.
With a co-worker, one just have keep things at a purely business level. Only discuss things that are work-related, don't go beyond that. One has to be totally no-nonsense. Establish firm boundaries w/such people, be assertive, & demand respect from them. There are many emotional & psychological reasons why some people are difficult at work but that is never here nor there. The main emphasis is to keep the relationship between you & that co-worker on a strictly professional level. If the co-worker is too difficult, alert your supervisor or manager regarding the situation to see if this situation can be remedied to your satisfaction.
If the difficult person is a supervisor or manager, one can request a transfer if the situation becomes too difficult for this supervisor or manager has a more controlling factor regarding your work environment & work quality of life. In other words, this supervisor or manager can make your work life a living lower purgatory to a psychically agonizing lowest pit of hell. Be businesslike at first for survival reasons but get out at the first possible opportunity. You really don't have to endure this beyond a certain point with a difficult supervisor or manager.
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