Tag: co-workers

It Ain’t Bragging If Nobody Cares

“I’m good just ask me.”

Yes, I actually heard someone make that comment for real and they were serious about it too. It came from a person that was probably the most arrogant person I have ever worked with. If I had a top ten list she was a runaway #1 on that list.  Working with her was the longest two years of my life. She was a terror and even proceeded to take over in the absence of my supervisor.  She thought very highly of herself.  I had more years of experience but that didn’t matter much to her.

This wasn’t the first time in my long career that I have had to deal with arrogant personalities.  I have dealt with many during my time.  I learned that it is just how things are. There’s no escaping it because every office has at least one arrogant person.

They are evil. The dark side of the force. Where do these people come from? Why do we hire them?

I used to pray that God would remove these people but I realized God had a sense of humor because He replaces that person with TWO of them. Yes very funny.  I have changed my prayer to focus more on helping me to cope rather than removing them.  Of course, I’m never sad when they move on but they certainly do seem to hang around.

You know who the arrogant ones. They are the know-it-alls.  The proud.  You can’t tell them anything they don’t know more about. They are good. Just ask them.

I used to work in a room full of sergeants when I was in the military and the arrogant one of the group thought he was the expert on every subject. He was notorious for chiming in on every conversation within earshot.  There was never an A-to-B conversation when he was around.  I would often walk in and just throw out a random subject, let him loose and leave. He would expound his knowledge on that subject for the next 30 minutes. It was a little joke I would play on the others who knew what I was doing.

You have to find a way to cope with the arrogant ones or they will find a way to get under your skin.  That is something that gives them more power.  I should know. I have made the unfortunate mistake of allowing it to happen. Once, in another office, the arrogant one called me out in a staff meeting. It wasn’t pretty.  I wasn’t a very good handler of that situation.  My defensive response ended up making me look bad.

Just a note here about arrogant people around you or in your group…if you look around and can’t tell who the arrogant person in your group is then it COULD be you. Just sayin.

We don’t like arrogant people. They make us work hard at suppressing our gag reflex. It takes a lot of effort to keep them from getting to you. Unfortunately, when they do get to you somehow YOU end up looking bad and they come out smelling like a rose and they have managed to make you look like — fertilizer.

So how does this happen? They somehow find a way to push our buttons. They seek it out like a bloodhound. They will even eat your lunch – literally. It’s the Hunger Games of arrogance.

One thing I have found that works is to not contribute to the inflation of their egos. If they brag about themselves ignore it. Blow it off. If they suck you in you will regret it.

Pride goes before the fall. I have always heard that and it’s true. Something I have always seen with arrogant people is that they will eventually burn themselves. In the end, they are their own worst enemy.  My only complaint has always been that it never seems to happen quickly enough. Sometimes it goes on for years. Never underestimate the power of the force of arrogance but be assured it will come to an end.

Without a doubt, arrogant people will look for ways to challenge you and show you up to make themselves look good. I should know. I have the tread marks of the many times I have been throw under the bus.  The best way to handle those situations is to not let them think they got to you. Just stay focused on what you do. Don’t let them get into your head or create self-doubt.

And you thought that work itself was a full time job. You have to almost have a degree in psychology to navigate the workplace or any place where you deal with large groups of people. Arrogant people care more about winning than about friendship. So beware.  Don’t let them get to you or walk all over you. They will use you as a means to get what they want. A friendship with an arrogant person will be a rocky and one-sided.

So, on that note, off to work I go.  Ready to battle the forces of arrogance.

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5 Ways To Deal With Lack of Planner People

911

I can’t begin to tell you the many times I have been forced into emergency situations because of the lack of planning of others.  This sign is funny because it doesn’t matter how many times people are reminded of it that there are still repeat offenders.  It’s pretty irritating.

I can’t really divulge any specific details but let me say I am a planner and I really don’t like working with people who don’t.  It drives me crazy yet I am still expected to bail people out.  It’s just like the times I have taken classes when the instructor waits a few extra minutes for people who can’t get there on time.  Seriously?  Why punish the people who do what they are supposed to do and are on time?  When I teach a class I don’t do that.  If you are late, you are late.  I’m not going to make people suffer who are there on time.

So back to this emergency thing.  There have been many days I thought I had my day planned out when someone calls, emails or walks into my office with their urgency which suddenly becomes my emergency.

Once I debated with a supervisor that the only way to teach the repeat offenders a lesson would be to not bail them out and stop enabling them.  I was overruled on the that debate and reminded about “customer service”.  Okay, I get the customer service thing but I do not agree with enabling those who are repeat offenders.  Somehow these folks need to learn a lesson right?  If you always bail them out then they will know they can always repeat their behavior and no one will tell them no.

I’m saying “no” a lot more these days.  Not for the sake of being mean but to simply keep order and balance in the work life.

Yes, we can quote that cute saying all we want but that doesn’t stop it from happening.  Co-workers want what they want when they want it and you become the necessary means to their end.  Sad, but true.  Go ahead and see how far it gets you quoting that saying.  You could wear the sign around your neck and it still wouldn’t do any good.  They would ask if you can put the sign down and get something out in FEDEX today.

So how can we deal with these people?

  1. Set Boundaries.  When I say this, you have to make it a boundary for everyone.  Don’t make allowance for your co-worker buddies.  Treat everyone the same.  You must also endure the fire of when someone challenges your boundaries.
  2. Talk to your supervisor.  Yeah, this one might not give you much success either but you need to let your supervisor know where you stand.  It’s best to give them a heads up than to have them dealing with the fallout.
  3. Negotiate with the person who necessitates the emergency.    Instead of talking to the person (which never works in my experience) offer options for them.  They will take it a lot better than saying no.  “No, I can’t do that for you but I can show you how to do it.”
  4. Ignore them.  Don’t answer their email or phone calls especially if you have other projects you are working on.  You know what I have found?  They will usually figure it out.
  5. Don’t apologize.  If you are enforcing your boundaries, do not apologize or be made to feel guilty.

I’m not saying to be mean and not to do your job but when it is ridiculous or totally off base, you need to stand up for yourself.  Don’t be the person that will cave in and agree to work the weekend simply because someone else was a slacker or didn’t plan.  They will never learn until they have to face it.

To me, it is a sign of disrespect to create an emergency on my part because of someone else’s lack of planning.  Everyone has a job they are doing and we should respect that.  Yes, legitimate emergencies come up but something has to be done with the repeat offenders who are always putting us in that situation.

If people need something done and you can’t do it, they will usually figure it out.