Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Living in Switzerland > Complaints corner
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 30.12.2016, 05:14
Karl's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Here
Posts: 1,754
Groaned at 173 Times in 77 Posts
Thanked 2,555 Times in 829 Posts
Karl has a reputation beyond reputeKarl has a reputation beyond reputeKarl has a reputation beyond reputeKarl has a reputation beyond reputeKarl has a reputation beyond reputeKarl has a reputation beyond repute
How to deal with difficult co-worker

OK, I was going to say "Office b*tch", because that would be more accurate. In a nutshell, a 30-ish chronically unhappy woman who has been hostile to me from day 1. Doesn't return greetings, avoids eye contact, and jumps on every opportunity to make my life hell. Oddly, she is all sweetness and light to people she likes. Bipolar behavior from someone who is basically a miserable person. How to diffuse the situation? I have gone over the scenarios:

- Directly approach her and ask her why she is so unfriendly, and whether I said or did something wrong. I hesitate on this one as without a mediator, this could quickly go in a bad direction and make things worse.

- Ask the boss to mediate. This only puts him in an awkward situation and makes him wonder why I can't handle my own situation.

- Ask HR to mediate: from my experience, HR is equivalent to corporate gestapo and only gives them the opportunity to gather evidence/ammunition to lower raise and bonus.

- Ignore her: this I've been doing, but having her sit in the same area literally radiating hostility is slowly eating away at me.

- Ask a co-worker to mediate, one who I get along with, and gets along with her. I hesitate to do this as we work well together and I don't want to put her in an uncomfortable situation.

For my actual duties, I have very little to do with her as she has a basic admin function.

Any experiences or recommendations? I am afraid that maintaining status-quo (ignoring her) will only work for so long before tensions spill over.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 30.12.2016, 06:21
NotAllThere's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Baselland
Posts: 9,486
Groaned at 146 Times in 128 Posts
Thanked 13,110 Times in 5,328 Posts
NotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond repute
Re: How to deal with difficult co-worker

Find another job or ask her on a date.
Reply With Quote
The following 5 users would like to thank NotAllThere for this useful post:
  #3  
Old 30.12.2016, 07:08
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Vaud
Posts: 192
Groaned at 5 Times in 3 Posts
Thanked 179 Times in 82 Posts
chomp is considered knowledgeablechomp is considered knowledgeablechomp is considered knowledgeable
Re: How to deal with difficult co-worker

Instead of directly asking a coworker to mediate, perhaps you could very diplomatically ask someone what you have done to cause her upset. By asking very politely you don't risk it being misconstrued as you being unpleasant about her behind her back.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 30.12.2016, 07:36
bigblue2's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Glarus
Posts: 6,565
Groaned at 324 Times in 263 Posts
Thanked 10,520 Times in 4,237 Posts
bigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: How to deal with difficult co-worker

Man up and just ask her what's wrong, you really think getting a 3rd person involved would help the situation???
Reply With Quote
The following 12 users would like to thank bigblue2 for this useful post:
  #5  
Old 30.12.2016, 07:50
Island Monkey's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Wallis
Posts: 3,513
Groaned at 62 Times in 32 Posts
Thanked 3,098 Times in 1,533 Posts
Island Monkey has a reputation beyond reputeIsland Monkey has a reputation beyond reputeIsland Monkey has a reputation beyond reputeIsland Monkey has a reputation beyond reputeIsland Monkey has a reputation beyond repute
Re: How to deal with difficult co-worker

It's not bi-polar behaviour, but never mind

Is there any reason that she might not like you that you can't do much about? Ie Nationality, Language, Race, Religion etc? If it is that something like that (and even if it's not), talking about it probably won't help and putting her on the spot in front of co-workers and managers will probably get her back up even more.

I would be super nice to her (not ignore her). Bring her cups of coffee/cake/biscuits, offer to get her things/help her out, compliment her etc etc. Be so nice that she has to be nice back eventually.
Reply With Quote
The following 11 users would like to thank Island Monkey for this useful post:
  #6  
Old 30.12.2016, 08:01
J.Marple's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Wynental
Posts: 2,272
Groaned at 35 Times in 30 Posts
Thanked 5,298 Times in 1,690 Posts
J.Marple has a reputation beyond reputeJ.Marple has a reputation beyond reputeJ.Marple has a reputation beyond reputeJ.Marple has a reputation beyond reputeJ.Marple has a reputation beyond reputeJ.Marple has a reputation beyond repute
Re: How to deal with difficult co-worker

Quote:
View Post
Man up and just ask her what's wrong, you really think getting a 3rd person involved would help the situation???
That... except for the wording. Man up implies that men are braver and, well...
Reply With Quote
The following 8 users would like to thank J.Marple for this useful post:
  #7  
Old 30.12.2016, 08:06
VFR on top's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Basel
Posts: 848
Groaned at 26 Times in 16 Posts
Thanked 1,800 Times in 666 Posts
VFR on top has a reputation beyond reputeVFR on top has a reputation beyond reputeVFR on top has a reputation beyond reputeVFR on top has a reputation beyond reputeVFR on top has a reputation beyond repute
Re: How to deal with difficult co-worker

Quote:
View Post
That... except for the wording. Man up implies that men are braver and, well...
Didn't get a trigger warning first? The horror. Safe space is down the hall.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank VFR on top for this useful post:
  #8  
Old 30.12.2016, 08:32
slammer's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Lummerland
Posts: 3,965
Groaned at 86 Times in 62 Posts
Thanked 6,398 Times in 2,353 Posts
slammer has a reputation beyond reputeslammer has a reputation beyond reputeslammer has a reputation beyond reputeslammer has a reputation beyond reputeslammer has a reputation beyond reputeslammer has a reputation beyond repute
Re: How to deal with difficult co-worker

Maybe it´s you and the radiating hostility is only in your imagination and you are projecting your own frustrations on your co-worker.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank slammer for this useful post:
  #9  
Old 30.12.2016, 08:44
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Zürich
Posts: 72
Groaned at 3 Times in 3 Posts
Thanked 51 Times in 15 Posts
mkhisg has earned some respectmkhisg has earned some respect
Re: How to deal with difficult co-worker

Quote:
View Post
For my actual duties, I have very little to do with her as she has a basic admin function.
Then, why do you care that much about getting along with her? I think it's her right to not like you, and it's your right to ignore her!
Reply With Quote
The following 8 users would like to thank mkhisg for this useful post:
  #10  
Old 30.12.2016, 08:55
Corbets's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Zug, CH
Posts: 3,060
Groaned at 163 Times in 118 Posts
Thanked 5,994 Times in 2,022 Posts
Corbets has a reputation beyond reputeCorbets has a reputation beyond reputeCorbets has a reputation beyond reputeCorbets has a reputation beyond reputeCorbets has a reputation beyond reputeCorbets has a reputation beyond repute
Re: How to deal with difficult co-worker

As a manager myself, I won't get involved in any conflicts where my staff haven't tried to remediate the problems themselves. If you were to approach, my first question would be, "What did she say when you approached her about it?" Likely, HR's response would be "talk to your line manager," so bypassing like that won't help either.

It's a fact that people sometimes just don't get along, and sometimes one person really is the sole cause. Nonetheless, you need to own the problem yourself before you escalate, so set aside the "office b*tch" view and acknowledge that you may have inadvertently triggered her somehow. Set up a private meeting and ask her. Explain to her that you "feel" like she doesn't like you for some reason, and that you'd like to explore whether there's a cause for that and try to find a solution. Wording it like that takes the blame away from any individual and yet puts pressure on her to ensure that she change her attitude (if, indeed, she is aware that she is doing something).

Try that and then give it a few weeks. If it works and then she reverts, approach her gently again. If it doesn't work, note down a couple more egregious examples (don't do this for the first meeting as it makes you the aggressor!) and discuss those with her in a second meeting. After that, it's time to escalate to your line manager.

Of course, if she refuses a meeting within a reasonable time frame, then you can escalate as well, but understand that her schedule may not easily adapt to yours.
__________________
I'm likely typing from an iPad. Please disregard odd word usage.
Reply With Quote
The following 15 users would like to thank Corbets for this useful post:
  #11  
Old 30.12.2016, 09:22
Longbyt's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: ZH
Posts: 7,851
Groaned at 59 Times in 55 Posts
Thanked 12,264 Times in 4,504 Posts
Longbyt has a reputation beyond reputeLongbyt has a reputation beyond reputeLongbyt has a reputation beyond reputeLongbyt has a reputation beyond reputeLongbyt has a reputation beyond reputeLongbyt has a reputation beyond repute
Re: How to deal with difficult co-worker

I'm not a manager so haven't seen such situations 'from above' as it were, but I've had folk react agressively towards me or ignore me and I would try to avoid the 'you don't seem to like me'. I'd try something along the lines of 'I have the feeling we don't get on with each other as well as I would like. Do you have the same impression / what do you feel about it?'
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank Longbyt for this useful post:
  #12  
Old 30.12.2016, 09:31
Swiss Cheddar's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Zug
Posts: 2,095
Groaned at 45 Times in 29 Posts
Thanked 2,931 Times in 1,202 Posts
Swiss Cheddar has a reputation beyond reputeSwiss Cheddar has a reputation beyond reputeSwiss Cheddar has a reputation beyond reputeSwiss Cheddar has a reputation beyond reputeSwiss Cheddar has a reputation beyond reputeSwiss Cheddar has a reputation beyond repute
Re: How to deal with difficult co-worker

Just kill her with kindness.

cheers
SC
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank Swiss Cheddar for this useful post:
  #13  
Old 30.12.2016, 09:43
neddy's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Geneva
Posts: 1,628
Groaned at 22 Times in 16 Posts
Thanked 2,204 Times in 910 Posts
neddy has a reputation beyond reputeneddy has a reputation beyond reputeneddy has a reputation beyond reputeneddy has a reputation beyond reputeneddy has a reputation beyond repute
Re: How to deal with difficult co-worker

Doesn't matter where you work. There will always be someone you don't get on with. Take the bull by the horns & ask her.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank neddy for this useful post:
  #14  
Old 30.12.2016, 10:03
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: CH
Posts: 313
Groaned at 7 Times in 6 Posts
Thanked 223 Times in 116 Posts
Serk has earned the respect of manySerk has earned the respect of manySerk has earned the respect of many
Re: How to deal with difficult co-worker

Quote:
View Post
Just kill her with kindness.

cheers
SC
Someone I know tested this approach. It didn't work at all. Kindness was regarded as a weakness and hence intensified the negativity.
I still think it's a good approach though, an approach that should be coupled with prudence.
Reply With Quote
The following 7 users would like to thank Serk for this useful post:
  #15  
Old 30.12.2016, 10:10
Corbets's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Zug, CH
Posts: 3,060
Groaned at 163 Times in 118 Posts
Thanked 5,994 Times in 2,022 Posts
Corbets has a reputation beyond reputeCorbets has a reputation beyond reputeCorbets has a reputation beyond reputeCorbets has a reputation beyond reputeCorbets has a reputation beyond reputeCorbets has a reputation beyond repute
Re: How to deal with difficult co-worker

Quote:
View Post
I'm not a manager so haven't seen such situations 'from above' as it were, but I've had folk react agressively towards me or ignore me and I would try to avoid the 'you don't seem to like me'. I'd try something along the lines of 'I have the feeling we don't get on with each other as well as I would like. Do you have the same impression / what do you feel about it?'
Yeah, I wrote in haste, but that's the spirit I meant. Use words to take the blame off any one individual, and focus on resolution.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank Corbets for this useful post:
  #16  
Old 30.12.2016, 10:26
Tilia's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: ZH
Posts: 2,591
Groaned at 73 Times in 39 Posts
Thanked 2,308 Times in 1,055 Posts
Tilia has a reputation beyond reputeTilia has a reputation beyond reputeTilia has a reputation beyond reputeTilia has a reputation beyond reputeTilia has a reputation beyond reputeTilia has a reputation beyond repute
Re: How to deal with difficult co-worker

Since she is a woman and you are a man (I assume) my guess is that she has an issue with how you talk to/about women. In my experience, that is the most common reason for conflicts like this.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank Tilia for this useful post:
  #17  
Old 30.12.2016, 10:27
Sandgrounder's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: ZH
Posts: 10,345
Groaned at 86 Times in 79 Posts
Thanked 16,884 Times in 6,520 Posts
Sandgrounder has a reputation beyond reputeSandgrounder has a reputation beyond reputeSandgrounder has a reputation beyond reputeSandgrounder has a reputation beyond reputeSandgrounder has a reputation beyond reputeSandgrounder has a reputation beyond repute
Re: How to deal with difficult co-worker

Quote:
View Post

For my actual duties, I have very little to do with her as she has a basic admin function.

Any experiences or recommendations? I am afraid that maintaining status-quo (ignoring her) will only work for so long before tensions spill over.
I know you said your professional paths don't really cross but could you approach her on a professional level and "ask for help" on something? Pick something you know she can do (depending on her function, it could be something to do with operating a photocopier/printer or showing you were xyz is filed).

It takes a stone-hearted person not to respond to someone in need of help in an area she is well experienced in and it might break the ice enough to pave the way to broaching the subject of her being grumpy towards you.

Maybe you remind her of a ratbag ex or a horrible teacher from her past - something which might have freaked her out but is totally not your fault.

It sounds like she just needs to get to know you.
__________________
“A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom.” – Bob Dylan
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 30.12.2016, 10:28
bigblue2's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Glarus
Posts: 6,565
Groaned at 324 Times in 263 Posts
Thanked 10,520 Times in 4,237 Posts
bigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: How to deal with difficult co-worker

also sounds like she secretly loves you
Reply With Quote
The following 5 users would like to thank bigblue2 for this useful post:
  #19  
Old 30.12.2016, 10:32
Swisstree's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Hants/ZH
Posts: 2,018
Groaned at 27 Times in 19 Posts
Thanked 4,304 Times in 1,497 Posts
Swisstree has a reputation beyond reputeSwisstree has a reputation beyond reputeSwisstree has a reputation beyond reputeSwisstree has a reputation beyond reputeSwisstree has a reputation beyond reputeSwisstree has a reputation beyond repute
Re: How to deal with difficult co-worker

I certainly would have a word with her, however, in case the situation actually becomes worse, and she turns out to be a manipulative loon and goes on to complain and cause trouble for you, I would safe guard yourself by writing her a short e-mail first asking her for a work meeting and tell her why: your concerns you have upset her unintentionally in some way and wish to find a solution to work together etc.. If you do have a meeting, make her a coffee

You could also mention to your Boss re your concerns abut why you both don't get along, the effect on the team and your intention to have a meeting with her to clear the air.
__________________
"Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." Groucho Marx.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Swisstree for this useful post:
  #20  
Old 30.12.2016, 10:39
bigblue2's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Glarus
Posts: 6,565
Groaned at 324 Times in 263 Posts
Thanked 10,520 Times in 4,237 Posts
bigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: How to deal with difficult co-worker

blimey people are making this way more complicated then it needs to be, emails, meetings, covering arses, softly softly approach etc etc, just ask her if she has a problem with you, she'll say no and life moves on, or she'll say yes and you can take it from there.
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank bigblue2 for this useful post:
Reply




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How to deal with a Blackbird's nest? Slaphead Daily life 28 28.04.2015 09:51
How difficult it is to get apartment in Zurich, with PhD salary? Leonidas05 Housing in general 18 03.06.2013 12:53
How to deal with a complaining neighbour? i_like_turtles Housing in general 18 28.04.2011 16:17
how to deal with Gerance Anthony1406 Housing in general 4 16.03.2010 23:08
How to deal with telemarketers AbFab Jokes/funnies 4 30.10.2006 01:23


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 00:28.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0