It’s a jungle out there! Here are some tips for identifying and dealing with the worst office animals, courtesy of Yahoo jobs:
- The Loud Phone-Talker. The best way to deal with this beast is to straight-up ask them to lower their voice. If that doesn’t work, make up a sign that says, “Keep it down” and hold it up when needed.
- The Hang-Arounder. If you have a co-worker who stops by to chat when you have a deadline, the best defense is to stand up when they enter your office. That sends the message, “keep it brief” without being disrespectful.
- The Lunch Vulture. If someone helps themselves to your food without asking, leave a note saying, “To whomever keeps taking my lunch – please stop. I don’t help myself to your food and I would appreciate the same courtesy.” If that doesn’t work, disguise your lunch by putting it in an old grocery bag and sticking it in the back of the fridge. The older it looks, the less likely it is to be taken. Whatever you do, resist the temptation to set a trap by making a cat food sandwich and labeling it “tuna on wheat.” Lunch vultures are usually passive aggressive, so you’ll create more problems than you’ll solve.
Here’s the thing - in most cases, difficult people don’t know they’re being difficult, so just mentioning the problem can make it go away.