It’s 8 a.m. You’ve barely made it to your desk before one of your coworkers starts yapping to you about what happened on the Bachelor last night. Your manager magically appears hovering over your back, asking endless questions. Before you can pull out your headphones, the office playlist has already been turned up to full volume, a.k.a the voice of one of your coworkers talking, yelling, and complaining about the million things that must get done, but never will. Mornings in the office can simply suck. Lucky for you, many of us are in the same boat, dealing with all of the same kinds of people. Here are a few ways to cope with three of the most difficult coworkers in your office every morning:
Coworker: The Talker
Description: Regardless of whether or not this person genuinely is interested in talking to you or loves hearing themselves talk, this coworker doesn’t understand the definition of silence. Furthermore, no matter how many times you give a one word answer to “What’s up?” or “How was your commute?” they continue to pry for information from you the minute you sit at your desk. Still have nothing to say to them? No problem. This coworker will wash away the awkward silence with stories about their attractive spin instructor or how late their dinner delivery was.
How to cope: Muster up the strength to respond to their question with 1-3 sentences, then kindly excuse yourself to do your work and throw your headphones on. It also doesn’t hurt to appear as if you’re extremely focused on something occurring on your computer monitor.
Coworker: The Micromanager
Description: The title of this coworker is cringe-worthy enough in itself. As a “manager,” they feel they need to be pushing their presence and title on you the minute you step foot into the office. You haven’t even had a second for your word document or Photoshop program to open, and yet they are already hovering over you to ensure that you’re working on something in a specific way or giving their two-cents in whichever way they can. Not only is this driving you nuts, but it’s already beginning to reduce your motivation and productivity before it’s even 10 am.
How to cope: Be proactive. Since you’re aware that this nonsense is coming, have an email prepared with your daily to-do list that you can send either on your way to work or the minute you arrive. At the very least, this will buy you some time to open up your email and drink your soy milk latte.
Coworker: The Busy Body
Description: Don’t mistake activity for achievement; this is something we hear often from our higher-ups because, believe it or not, it’s true. There’s always that coworker that has something so pressing to deal with, or a situation that requires an infinite amount of time and energy in order to achieve the results they want. It takes days, months, even weeks for them to get anything done. Meanwhile, this coworker is busy eating a bagel, checking their new connections on LinkedIn, and looking up coupons for lunch. To put it simply, this coworker is busy doing nothing but being irritating.
How to Cope: Train your brain to allow this person’s voice to become background noise similar to elevator music.