I Hate My Co-workers

Question: Dear Luise: The people in my office drive me nuts. They are disruptive and disrespectful. They make inane comments and ask stupid questions. I try to mind my own business but they won’t leave me alone and they don’t do enough work to bother coming in. I can’t afford to quit and I find working here getting more difficult every day. Any suggestions? Les

Answer:
Dear Les: This isn’t the kind of thing I can help with to any serious degree. You sound very angry and you also sound like you aren’t acting in a way that is supportive to the peace you say you want. I don’t know what you are doing, but I get the sense that you are bringing some of this on yourself, and that your contempt for your co-workers is no secret to them.

Some of this may be the result of very poorly supervised working conditions, and some of it may be an attitude that you need to address. To sort it out, you need a third party that is in your corner. Go to a therapist about this. See what you may be doing to antagonize the others and what you can do about it. If my gut-instincts are right, you have some work to do to modify and redefine your social skills.

When one person stands alone and a group stands against him, there are usually some serious dynamics at play. When it looks like it is totally their fault and you are just fine, beware. It’s never that simple. You have every right to have a pleasant working environment but until you address the underlying cause of this situation, you will probably take the problem with you wherever you go. Blessings, Luise

11 Responses to I Hate My Co-workers

  1. lc March 27, 2006 at 5:38 pm #

    I would like to say that I have co-workers that make me sick. The co-workers act as if the main office secretary works extremely hard. She does not. She leaves the main office more than she stay in the main office. The person that is suppose to open the building don’t come in until late in the morning, leaving me to open the door for the co -workers. Now a small percentage of the lazy co-workers vote on who the person that do more, but only a few deserve it. I work my butt off, but no more. I will not help out anymore. I am tired of being used. I will not be friendly in anyway and in the morning I will not open the door. Let the person who is getting paid do it. I work with some of the most selfish people in the world. They apparently do not appreciate anything. I will do less to help them.

  2. Lynn September 5, 2006 at 2:25 pm #

    I work for a small family owned business. Can you say Nepitism? Our main director just quit due to the complete stupidity of the owner’s son, who is 20 and thinks he knows how to run a business. Now every one is quitting right and left and here I sit with all the work piling up around me. The owners have been on vacation for almost 3 weeks and when they get back they are going to freak. Now I must stay just to see how this all pans out. I cannot quit I need this lame job!

  3. Luise September 10, 2006 at 8:56 pm #

    Dear Lynn: You are showing both wisdom and maturity. Even if you are sticking for financial reasons, you are going to be a very valuable employee when the owners return and find their business in shambles. Hang in there and know that you have no crystal ball, this may all work out in your favor. Blessings, Luise

  4. cindy December 28, 2006 at 6:32 am #

    I work for my brother. The company is growing by leaps and bounds. There is great potential there but I’m surrounded by people that he considers friends (whom he has hired) and are the laziest people I’ve ever met in my life! They complain about being broke and are paid very good money. They are constantly asking me about issues that have been given to them and that are their responsibility. 1 guy has been there years longer than I have! He is the laziest one of all. My brother recently hired an assistant and this guy does a disappearing act all the time; never has his head in the game and is constantly interrupting me asking me about things that I am not even around to hear b/c he is my brothers asst. and I’m not in the friggin meeting! They’re rude, they belch, cough w/out covering their mouths; personal calls – and that is just a few of the issues outside of being completely unaccountable. I feel like they’re milking my brother for everything. He says he sees it; but why won’t he make changes? Then if we say something; b/c my mom works there and my son (whom are dedicated and hard workers b/c they love their son and uncle as I love my brother and want to see him succeed) they say that we are picking on them b/c we are family. Number one; we are not family at work. It is business and it seems like we’re the only ones that get it. The guys are “his friends” and have been told that they’re going no where. (such as not being fired) Why would they step up to the plate if they know they can get away with this bs? My brother is under constant stress b/c they won’t step up. It’s a nightmare and we’re all miserable except the mooches. Please help.

  5. Luise January 3, 2007 at 7:50 pm #

    Answer: Dear Cindy: The truth is that no one can stop your brother from being his own worse enemy. If he chooses to wear his “nice boss” hat…he is going to lose his business. No one can make him see what he doesn’t want to see and all of the fine work his family is contributing is being undermined by his weakness. There’s no other name for it. You have to have backbone to run a company. You have to know how to call people on their stuff, how to write it up, how to put them on probation and how to fire them. The best interest of the company comes before any social issues. What’s going on is sad and the price is going to be very high. Even after it happens, he may not be able to admit what he did. Blessings, Luise

  6. Lois March 1, 2007 at 10:54 am #

    I work in a office with five other women. My work speaks for itself. My co-workers don’t do half the work that I do. Our supervisor require us to work as a team an help the other person out who ever completes their task first. I am the one who has to help out. I had to leave for a doctors appointment for a few hours. I ask one of my co-workers to finish a job that I was doing to meet a deadline, she would not. But my supervisor is requires that I help out. I informed her of this and nothing was said or done about it. I have now refused to finish my work in a timely manner, just so I don’t have to assist anyone else. Am I right or wrong for this.

  7. Luise March 8, 2007 at 5:04 pm #

    Answer: Dear Lois: I’m going to repspond to your comment as though it was a separate question. Blessings, Luise

  8. Bridget April 25, 2007 at 8:57 am #

    Hi Louis,

    I work in a small office made up of 6 women 2 of which are temp.

    3 of the staff have been working with the organisation for less than 6 months.

    Now it seems that they are all except the boss ganging up on me. Its very subtle, talking would stop when I enter a room. Office plans would be made for all without consulting me. And one co-worker (office Manager) keeps suggesting alternative roles I can pursue in the organisation to the Managing Director, that entails giving over my clients to my other colleague. I have reverting to communicating with all using emails, because verbal request goes unattended.

    I spoke to the Office Manager asking her if there was a problem. Everything she said was fine. I then spoke to the Managing Director about the situation and nothing has been done.

  9. Luise May 3, 2007 at 8:04 am #

    Answer: Hi: The dynamics you are describing are all too often present in an office situation. They almost resemble family pecking orders, don’t they? And those at the top are doing the “head-in-sand” thing. My guess is jealousy on your co-workers’ part and poor managing skills with the bosses. You can either stay on and probably outlast most of them or move on and hope for a better environment next time. Blessings, Luise

  10. M. May 1, 2009 at 9:04 pm #

    I dislike most of my coworkers. I’m new to the job and at every whim they let me know it. They are disrespectful and mean. They make snobbish comments and treat me as if I’m a child. The job is stressful enough and I’m having a difficult time adapting. I work with 90% women and they are the ones who treat me like crap. They hang in their cliques and make me feel as if I’m an outsider. Any advice, please help! M.

    • Luise May 1, 2009 at 9:16 pm #

      Dear M. You ARE an outsider…or at least a NEWBIE. And it’s always awful to have to learn a new job. Right when you want to look really great…you fall short because you don’t yet know what you’re doing. (At least that was my experience.) If it’s too ugly, move on. If it happens again…look to see what you might be doing to make it worse. Do you have a chip on your shoulder? Sometimes we’re our own worst enemy but usually if we can find a job that we like, we can weather the storm and adjust. Blessings, Luise

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