Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Difficult coworkers and work relationships

It's taken me the better part of three decades to find a job I really like.  By like I mean I have the right balance of using my brain, earning a decent salary, good benefits and appropriate work-life balance.

That said its not perfect, nor do I expect it to be.  They call it Work for a reason.  It take a long time to learn the written and unwritten rules of each particular organization.  How things are supposed to be done, how things should be done and how things actually are done.

But there is one toxin that makes me dread coming into the office: The Difficult Coworker.  There's at least one at every company, usually one per department, group and team.  My DC  monitors my time meticulously.  It has become a game of cat and mouse.  If I am away from my desk too long, he reaches out and asks unusual questions that seem very odd.

From time to time, I get a message from an alleged friend who hasn't said boo to me in years, not a happy birthday on Facebook or a congratulations for unlocking any Life Achievements.  They reach out, like anyone else, because they want something and feel I am a path to getting it.  Usually it's a job but sometimes it's a work referral.  The irony is they are taking the lazy approach and trying to leverage a relationship that just isn't there because they were too lazy to do the easy social maintenance over the years.

I'm not saying they had to invite me into their personal lives and send me the holiday newsletter.  I'm just saying when you don't interact with someone on even the most minimal level, you have to have some set of balls to reach out to them and ask for help the requires actual effort on that party.

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