Mother always said to mind your manners. Surly, she would want this principle to be applied to workplace etiquette, too. The below six tips may provide a bit of relief, and a laugh, with regard to workplace antics.
As Cool as a Cucumber
I once worked a few steps away from a co-worker, who on several occasions bought sunflower seeds in bulk, cracked and discarded the hull one-by-one during her entire shift. I thought to myself, “wow.”
Only concerned with her own gratification, she did not look up once from her bag of sunflower seeds. It was abundantly clear that she did not realize she had been causing others to become distracted from working. I thought surely this is an episode of Punk’d and Ashton Kutcher would come running out shortly.
Then there was the co-worker who decided that it was the perfect time to groom his nails. And, so pulling out a nail clipper he did. As he clipped each nail, I could not help but cringe at the distracting sound. How do you deal with an annoying co-worker?
Diffusing the Situation
1. Have a hearty chuckle about the situation. You just may feel better going forward by being lighthearted, given your unique set of circumstances. If you can take the situation with a grain of salt, you may have saved yourself one fewer headache in the process. And, you might just discover that the situation is not as dreadful as you once perceived it to be.
2. Get up, stretch your legs and refocus. Taking a break by walking to the restroom or break room can allow you to redirect your attention to the real reason why you are at work, to accomplish tasks in a more than satisfactory manner.
3. If you think it’s possible, you can always go directly to the source. Done in a tactful and non-confrontational way, speaking to your co-worker about his/her habit in private may clear up the issue. You never know, you may get an apology followed by an explanation that the party did not know this was effecting you in such a way.
4. You may not want to revisit your problems on another person, but venting your frustrations to a trusted family member or friend is yet another option. Your confidant may have previously gone through the same scenario and may be able to offer you the much-needed insight that you never thought was possible.
5. Clear your mind. Perhaps you can bring noise-canceling ear buds, along with your favorite soothing music. This will allow you to create a great mental space while completing your assignments. You also can take a moment to close your eyes and visualize being on a white sandy beach. Ah!
6. As a last resort and if none of the above works, it may be time to address the issue at hand with senior staff. The last thing that an employer wants to know is that your work is/will become sub par because of an internal interference. It is quite possible that a mediator may be able to offer suggestions on how to make things better or lessen your contact with the person.
Working out the Kinks
Surviving hump day and every other day at your work is important. Ultimately, how you handle your work situation is entirely up to you. The former is merely a suggested list of how you can handle a difficult situation with a co-worker.
And, while nobody wants to be known as the person who threw a co-worker ‘under the bus,’ a compromised work ethic will eventually lead to unproductivity. Either way, why not nip the issue in the bud, now rather than later? What has been your experience with workplace dilemmas? Feel free to comment in the section below.