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Becoming less iritable


Applewhite

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I need advice on becoming less irritable.

 

Typically when I am stressed or doing something important, I will tend to be snappy. I don't like when I am like this and want to understand how I can control it.

 

Also I am dealing with a VERY difficult person in the workplace. She creates a hostile environment and tries to create drama about the simplest thing. Even though people are more or less aware of this, when I try to fix things with her, she resorts to trying to blame me anyway. (I am pretty sure they see through this as everyone seems to be aware of her general attitude - feeling better than others, putting others down etc) This bothers me. I should jsut get the job done and stop worrying about her false accusations, but I dwell on them and waste my time. How do I deal with this?

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As long as you're not getting in trouble by her accusations and the management is aware (or taking actions) I would do the best to smile and show her you don't care about her opinions. I agree with KG, that'll drive her nuts and eventually people like that will either leave or she'll end up getting fired.

 

We had a guy like that at work, just a complete jerk for no reason, went through my cabinet of parts once, asked him to let me know at least in advance, tends to blame people and even the machines for things not working right. Just last week I had to sign a card...sure enough he was leaving for another company. I think everyone was happy since the goodbye card had some of the shortest comments I've seen. No one wrote more than 'good luck xxx'.

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As long as you're not getting in trouble by her accusations and the management is aware (or taking actions) I would do the best to smile and show her you don't care about her opinions. I agree with KG, that'll drive her nuts and eventually people like that will either leave or she'll end up getting fired.

 

We had a guy like that at work, just a complete jerk for no reason, went through my cabinet of parts once, asked him to let me know at least in advance, tends to blame people and even the machines for things not working right. Just last week I had to sign a card...sure enough he was leaving for another company. I think everyone was happy since the goodbye card had some of the shortest comments I've seen. No one wrote more than 'good luck xxx'.

 

It is a slightly different situation in my case. She is 'tenured staff' and she has been and will be there for a long time. The academic faculty are aware of this, and one has even admitted to me that she does this to him too. I have also heard rumors that one professor left the department because of her. I am a graduate student.

 

She does have some control over the paperwork (basically because she is the one that handles it) and she acts like she is the god of the department. Because she has access to critical information and and routine processes she is harming me through this every chance she gets. Like missed paychecks, and discontinuing funding for no apparent reason etc. The faculty although aware and disapproving have no time, or patience to deal with her. So basically other than my employee union (which is behind me) and my thesis committee (which will back me up when necessary) I am alone in handling her. Even when there is written proof that I have done nothing wrong, she will continue with false accusations, and try to spin something on me.

 

She gets angry if people don't show her excessive respect. She always feels left out and unappreciated/disrespected and gets nasty. She is stuck up on titles etc. Signs her emails as 'Past President of bla bla..'. It is a little ridiculous really. But it takes time and patience that I don't have.

 

Several people suggested that I limit my contact to her only through e-mail (because she is very nasty in person since it cannot be documented). I have done this, and now she is angry that she hasn't seen me for a couple of years.

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^^^I guess just grin and bear it for the time being then. Sorry.

 

Really? KG Common, that is mean nasty advice!

 

Although the idea of shooting a mischievous grin her way when she is expecting me to be nervous and worried sounds like a good idea.

 

She once sat me in her office closed the door and looked at my (nervous) hands and asked me if she made me nervous (she was quite happy and pleased with the thought). So it may just drive her over the edge.

 

I hate to think this way, but sometimes I can't help but wish she would just resign, or disappear, or be kidnapped or something like this.

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With some people you can't win, so the less you play the better.

 

With people like this, i'm always OVERLY polite, while avoiding them as much as possible. Your politeness will satisfy her need for 'respect', and if she suggest you are avoiding her, her politely say, 'i'm so sorry, but i've been terribly busy and it has nothing to do with you'.

 

I know you don't think she deserves the respect, but if you think about what is best for YOU, then agitating her just isn't worth it, so just shower her in (phoney) politeness. There's an old expression, 'it doesn't pay to irritate a skunk...' Same here, if she's really nasty, it's not worth your while to irritate her, because of what it costs you.

 

Think of water rolling off a duck's back. Some people ENJOY sticking it to someone and getting a reaction, so the more you react, the more they will stick. She may enjoy baiting you, so don't give her the pleasure. Just be cool, polite, and avoid her as much as possible.

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It is just so difficult to be 'nice' even though it is phony when she is outright harassing me. I prefer not to 'be' anything to her. For instance when I see her, I try not to see her and not to say do/anything. I just avoid her. Anything else seems like such a waste of time and energy. And I feel like such a hypocrite even talking to her and trying to be nice, after the way she is acting. I am baffled at how and why anyone else is putting up with her.

 

I am very tempted to file harassment charges through the university or legally.

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I'm sure there's a loophole with her, something that's missing inside her that just needs to be flipped on and she just may stop being nasty towards you.

 

I know there are people (like the guy I mentioned) that are hopeless no matter what but hope you find a way to get through to her.

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The thing is there will ALWAYS be difficult people that you work with, and you need to learn to ignore them or get along with them.

 

And don't file a harassment claim unless she is genuinely doing something that is legally actionable. By that i mean, there are very narrow harassment laws related to sexual harassment or racial harassment, but if she just being a jerk, that is not illegal, especially if her own boss permits it.

 

HR is not there to dole out fairness (sadly), they are there to protect the interests of the company. So if they think you are making big waves over her bad personality, it will probably just irritate them and brand you as someone who doesn't get along well with other people (sorry again, but fairness is not a corporate goal, protecting the company is).

 

You should read some books on getting along with difficult people... there are plenty out there, because there are ALWAYS difficult people, no matter where you go.

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