All Articles Tagged "coworkers"
Scenes from Awkward Black Girl come to mind: Nina the ‘fish-smelling’ office manager accosts ‘J’ and perpetually makes her life a living hell for any number of reasons. Sometimes, bosses and managers simply aren’t very friendly–sometimes it’s within their nature to remain withdrawn and to refrain from overly fraternizing with employees. But know this, and know this well: there is a clear and finite difference, however, between a manager being reserved or indifferent, and showing outright disdain towards an employee.
Everyone has been there, some live there and some can’t walk into their places of work without being confronted with an eye roll, insincere smile or a cold shoulder. Your manager can hate you for a number of reasons including, but not limited to, jealousy, arrogance, ignorance or attraction. Here are four major signs/scenarios so that you’ll know if it’s all in your head or if your boss wants you gone.
Smiles At Everyone But You
You arrive to work in a chipper mood, ready to take on the day; and just ahead, you see your manager. They’re moving through the office with a positive demeanor, smiling at every Tom, Rick (since the D-word won’t suffice on WordPress) and Harry, but when you approach them, giving a vibrant, “Good Morning,” all the energy drains from their face and the only response that is mustered up is a lackluster, “Hello” as he/she surveys you with their eyes. Trust, it’s not that you need that person’s approval or Kool-Aid smile, but when it’s clear that you’ve become the less than favorable employee and you don’t know why, nor are you told why, it’s clear that somebody doesn’t care for you.
You Catch Hell For EVERYTHING
You’re at your workplace and it’s a hot summer day. As it’s a business-casual environment, many women are wearing a skirt or dress–including your manager, yet they’ve singled out your attire as being “inappropriate.” He/she insists that they’ve spoken to you several times about your clothing (even though they have NOT), and they make a point of reminding everyone what they shouldn’t wear, just moments after publicly ostracizing you. You might think you look exactly like your colleagues, but to your boss, who can’t stand you, you walked in dressed like Joseline Hernandez, baby.
You Can Do No Right
Following a performance review, you’ve discovered that your manager is dissatisfied with your work. He/she does not share this privately, but instead they share their feelings with you in front of your colleagues. Because you want your manager and your fellow employees to see you as a an exceptional employee, you begin to work harder, struggling to put in extra time and extra effort, but when it comes down town to another evaluation, your manager only slightly acknowledges your “minor” improvements in front of your coworkers, but privately praises you later. Or even worse, you work hard and even go the extra mile, but your boss can only seem to point out what he or she doesn’t like about your work. Unappreciated much?
You’re The Example
There is a staff meeting, and all of the employees on your team are called into the room. The meeting, which is supposed to discuss progress and policies, almost immediately gets directed towards you. Going as far as to say your name, your manager spends more than half of the meeting time discussing you and your faults or talking strictly to you in front of everyone, stating that you routinely abjure rules–mentioning only one brief instance when you may have made a bad call. At the same time, he/she only briefly touches on the fact that some of your fellow co-workers have committed much heavier grievances, including losing very important accounts due to negligence. Things that could have been discussed in private are discussed around your colleagues in an attempt to “set you straight.”
Do you relate to any of these scenarios, and are you suddenly overwhelmed by feelings of resentment or angst? Well, try not to be. Know that the best defense against a manager who doesn’t like you is to kill them with kindness. While this may seem less desirable than, let’s say, punching your manager in the face, recognize that if you were to give your manager anymore cause for complaint outside of whatever arbitrary feelings he/she has for you, then that person may really strive to get you fired. And if that doesn’t work, if you fail to charm your manager despite all of your efforts, then strive to charm everyone else, including your manager’s superior, by doing great work and just being a bigger and better person. Also, if you find that your manager is also mistreating another co-worker of yours, decide that person is an ally and take notes, or at the very least, you’ll have someone to complain with.
During the first few months of that new job, everything was exciting: new clothes, new coworkers and new cubicle. You made it to work before your boss and had no problem staying late. However, after you’ve learned everyone’s names and conquered your first big project, the new job smell starts to wear off. The days of getting up before the alarm are now replaced with dreaded mornings and the snooze button.
The excitement begins to dwindle and procrastination starts to sink in. Chances are you are suffering from a work slump and are not alone.
Here are some tips from Christopher Lopez, diversity manager at U.S. Airways, on how to beat the boring work blues and to return to the motivated employee that you used to be.
Read the rest of this article at Black Enterprise.com.
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“Its rare to work for someone you like, and even rarer to work for someone whom you respect.” These were the words my cousin stated to me quite coolly as I droned on and on one night about my disenchantment with a supervisor. Her profound words immediately shut me up, forcing me to ponder about supervisor-employee relations. We’ve all been here once or twice in our career. We start a new job that we initially adore, only to realize one day that we are working with the boss from hell. Maybe it’s their bad attitude, or their laissez-faire conditioning, or maybe they are just incompetent — relying on you to do their job for them, holding you back from getting your own assignments done. Whatever it is, you know that if given the chance, you’d be much more reliable and productive in their position than they are. So, such an issue begs the question: How do you maintain professionalism in such circumstances? It’s so much more easier to talk about this conundrum than it is to deal with it. But I’ve found that there are a few things one should try to exercise to make every workday (until a better opportunity comes along of course) more bearable.
One of the first things one should do in such a predicament is to be mindful of your body language. True, you are not going off on your boss á la Evelyn Lozada, and I hope you haven’t told him or her to watch their step around you. But, body language says more than words can ever communicate. Do you turn your back while your supervisor addresses you? Do your eyes pay more attention to your new nail design you got Saturday than his/her’s face or report? Have you caught yourself giving him/her the I-can-care-less-about-what-you-have-to-say-right-now stare and/or rolling your eyes? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you need to check yourself. Although you may have the lowest opinion of your boss, you should always remain professional in your demeanor. In order to avoid conflict, awkward moments, or even losing your job (even though you may feel that that would be a blessing in disguise because things are so bad) you have to keep up a certain level of respect for your superiors. If you feel that you are a better worker than your boss, there is no better way to prove that then in your behaviors and conduct.
Boundaries. You must also set boundaries immediately and reinforce them as much as possible. Setting these confines for yourself will determine how many times you text your bestie or man a message that starts off with, “You won’t believe what they have me doing today!!” If you find that you are taking on too many duties that are not only stressing you out, but that are not within your job description, you must remedy this by redefining for yourself and your boss what your day-to-day activities are. Draft up a document that lists all the things you are responsible for in your capacity. Ask your Human Resources Director for a copy of the initial job posting for your position if need be. During a one-on-one meeting with your boss, respectfully discuss how you would love to take on new projects here and there, but don’t want to become too overwhelmed by tasks that weren’t designed for your title. Provide your boss with a copy of this job description so they won’t forget what it is that you do, or so they could at least find someone to help you. Communicating effectively on paper as well as verbally (i.e., “I am not comfortable completing these tasks as I feel that I am not properly suited to tackle them as of yet”) will allow you to protect yourself, and make your interactions with your boss somewhat bearable.
Americans are known for their career-centered lives. With most of us pushing 40-plus hours on our respective job sites, it’s hard not to build friendships and camaraderie with our co-workers. However, such friendships should not be worthy of us divulging our true feelings regarding our supervisors. I know how hard that can be. Your boss tried to embarrass you in a meeting. You want to run to your office bestie and let her know what you would have done in that boardroom if you weren’t a Christian. But, its not safe nor wise to do so. Your office walls may be solid, but I’ll bet my bottom dollar that they are not soundproof. You never know who is eavesdropping on your conversation; your boss might be right around the corner as you release your thoughts to your office buddy. And although I know she is your “girl,” you never know who you can trust for sure at work. People are always looking for a leg up, so it’s best not to provide anyone with information that can incriminate you or ammunition to start some drama.
When we’re being lectured about our careers by mentors, professors and parents, rarely do they bring up how to deal with the boss from hell. It’s the subject that’s lampooned on TV and in films, but rarely tackled in serious conversations. In this economy, I know how hard it is to feel stuck in a job where you feel unwanted and borderline abused. That stress is enough to make a sister want to big-chop her hair just to release some tension. Hopefully, these tips will help you from screaming to your boss, “I should be where you are!” as I’m sure that would create a scenario for which you and I both have zero solutions.
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There’s a little hater inside all of us, some much more so than others. Maybe you feel bad about it but despite your best intentions, the jealousy, envy and displeasure you have for others oozes out into the open.
Truth be told, it’s better to let it out in the open than let it fester in your heart and mind. But the last thing you want to do is make a spectacle of how much you’re hatin’ on someone, so here’s a few ways to dispense your frivolous displeasure for that she-creep at work or the jerk-in-law types, while keeping it moving, and most importantly–civil.
By Charlotte Young
We all go through times when we feel burn out and we just need a vacation. Too bad we’ve already gone through all that time-off. Here’s Plan B: Forbes.com offers solutions for how to sit at work and do nothing, but still get paid, and possibly even promoted. Not that we’re advocating that you consistently avoid doing your work.
According to Eric Abrahamson, a specialist in leadership and organizational problem solving and a professor at Columbia Business School, people that manage to do nothing at work while masquerading as a wonderful, hard-working employee are the “Michelangelos of work avoidance.”
If you’re going to be a Michelangelo of work avoidance, the first thing you must remember is that this type of employee always seems friendly and kind. Forbes gives the example of a colleague named “June,” who was always exceedingly pleasant, but could always be found in the bathroom talking or applying make-up. One person who sat next to her in the office speculated she only did about two hours worth of work a day. Not only did she stay in her position for over ten years, the only reason why she was laid off was because her job had been replaced by technology.
In addition to a positive and friendly attitude, one must remain “out of sight, out of mind.” Abrahamson details that if people don’t see you, they can’t thing about giving you work. In order to accomplish this, he recommends arriving at work at different, unpredictable times of the day. You can also set up your schedule that involves a frequent change of location or try to work from home.
If none of those schemes work, try keeping your voicemail full. When people call they’ll think you’re so busy with work, you have absolutely no time to delete your message. It’ll also ensure that your boss and colleagues, who see how busy you work, won’t leave you messages detailing work tasks.
Next on the list is distorting the time it takes to complete a job. For instance, if you have a specific task that is yours alone to complete, no one else knows exactly how long it actually takes to finish it. Perhaps it only takes five minutes; perhaps it takes a few hours…who knows?
There’s also a trick called “cyberloafing.” By programming your email to send messages early in the morning, you give the appearance that you’ve been up late working on a project. Or keep tabs up, so that while you’re reading another article on Madame Noire, it only takes a second to pull up an Excel spreadsheet.
If all else fails, get a partner. Abrahamson says that an alliance will make it appear you and your colleague are both working hard. When the boss suggests that Jackie can do an assignment, Debby says that Jackie is already busy with two other projects. When the boss is wondering where Debby is, Jackie says that she’s out on a lunch meeting with a client.
Again, all of these tricks are not to advocate slacking off on your job. Still complete those files and send out that document. But when you feel that you can take no more, every now and then, try to take a break and relax from the rigorous environment of the office.
They say that with family, you can’t live with them, yet you can’t live without them. Something similar can be applied to your co-workers. You often wish you didn’t have to share compressed cubicles or listen to corny jokes you just don’t get no matter how hard you try, but most businesses can’t survive as a one-man (or woman) show, so you’ve got to deal. But it would be a lot easier to get through a 40+ hour week if your counterparts didn’t have habits better suited for kids rather than suit-wearing, dossier toting, degree holding adults. From sloppy bathroom etiquette to an unnecessary use of slang, we call it, the things that make you go ugh.
Certain people in your life are almost impossible to shop for when it comes time for the holidays. Either your relationship with them makes it weird or that person has some kind of quirk that makes it difficult to think of a good gift.
From your situationship partner to your rich relative, we’ve got you covered with our Difficult People Gift Guide!
Check it out!
Inter-office dating has always been taboo. Emotionally charged as romantic relationships tend to be, it’s hard for many to keep a professional demeanor over the water cooler. But with almost 20 percent more singles in the workplace then ten years ago, some employers are turning their heads to office romances and they’re popping up everywhere.