Re: Problem Co-worker

Subject: Re: Problem Co-worker
From: "abby initio" <abby -dot- initio -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 26 Apr 2007 22:10:38 -0500

Thanks for all the terrific advice. Everyone. It's a sanity check, if
anything, since after awhile, as the behavior goes on (we're talking someone
who loudly berates non-native English speakers for failing to speak English
properly), you wonder why anyone is putting up with it. Silly question, I
know. They put up with it because no one complains and the work's getting

But on a funnier note, I have already implemented the "don't respond when
directed at the group" tactic. The result? Yup. She just keeps ranting away,
sighing loudly, demanding an answer, and griping about the non-response from
everyone else. She'll say things like, "I know everyone hears me. Who's been
in that file!"

No. I'm serious. So yeah Gene, true to your reputation as an observer of
human behavior, you have it pegged: sole participant in a ranting exchange.

Thanks again,


On 4/26/07, Gene Kim-Eng <techwr -at- genek -dot- com> wrote:
> Do NOT try to "have a calm, professional conversation" with this
> person. It's not possible unless you are in a position to fire her,
> and maybe not even then. In fact, do not talk to her at all except
> as absolutely required to get your work done.

Do not try to engage her in two-way conversation when she's being
> loud and accusatory, and do not raise your voice in response to her.
> Remember your mother's admonition about fighting when you were
> a child ("it takes two"). If she hollers at you over the cubicle walls,
> do not stand up, do not go to her. Remain at your desk, respond to
> her accusatory questions directed at you with one word replies in low
> monotone and do not respond to her "directed at the group" remarks
> at all. Do not try to "get a word in edgewise." She should not merely
> dominate a ranting exchange, but instead should be its sole participant.
> If this person has been there longer than you and the rest of the group
> has discussed the situation, odds are that your management already
> knows all about her and lacks the necessary backbone to do anything
> about it. If this is the case, the only thing you can do is ignore her
> and
> concentrate on your work. If everyone does this, there's a good chance
> that one day one of her rants will result in her popping a blood vessel
> and being carted off by the EMTs.
> Gene Kim-Eng

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Problem Co-worker: From: abby initio
Re: Problem Co-worker: From: Gene Kim-Eng

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