How do you deal with a coworker you don't get along with?

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I have a coworker (my boss) that I don't get along with. I know it's entirely my fault, I am not forgiving of his habits, and I'm honestly not that easy to get along with. My question is this: How do I learn to become more forgiving of him, or at least more tolerant? I need to make this relationship with him work, he is my boss, but I just don't know how. What stress reliever techniques do you suggest that I can do while at work?

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I'd have to say, it's a good time to look for another job. No-one needs to know you are doing that. Rarely, is it possible that one can overcome problems with a boss. If this dislike is mutual, you end up being singled out and dumped on, just for fun.

Of course if it is just petty annoyances that bother you, and the fellow is clueless about it, you can learn to look the other way, not make any comments and avoid the guy as much as possible. Exactly what does he do that upsets you?

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Everyone has something about them that irritates. No one is perfect. You say he has things that you are not very forgiving of, but yet you say you are not easy to get along with. So everytime he does something you don't like, why don't you just think of something you do that must irritate him and call it a draw? If there is abrasion between the two of you, you need a new job. If he just annoys you, consider it practice in tolerance to get over it.

We need more details in what exactly the problem is.

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He's the kind of guy that has had a secretary for everything, and now he doesn't. He's fairly new to the company and is having a hard time adjusting. I can empathize, as I remember having a hard time myself.

The things that I'm having a hard time with are that he's trying too hard to be a friend, not my boss. On a personal level I don't like him and don't want to be his friend. He seems to whine about tons of petty little stuff that doesn't bother anyone else. He thinks the world owes him something just because he's him. He honestly doesn't seem like a good person to me, so I don't want to be his friend.

As a boss he is lacking in a few areas. He can't make a decision to save his life, and that annoys me to no end. I don't care if it's right or wrong, just make a decision and stick with it. He's not at all versed in computer use, and our jobs really depend on the computer. He has told me more than once that it's my job to teach him how to use his computer. And when I mention that I can't teach him something I don't know (since I've never held his position), he thinks I'm holding out on him because I don't like him.

Recently he told me that he knows everyone likes him but me. While this may or may not be true, what does this have to do with me doing my job? I don't think I need to like him to do my job, I just need to respect his authority as my boss, right?

I only have a few more months with him as my supervisor, then I'll move onto a new project. I just need to get along with him until Aug or so.

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Ahhh. Ok.

Well, unless you were told specifically you had to teach him the computer, then it's not your job. Are there any colleges near by? Go online and print out a list of beginner classes he can sign up for and put it on his desk. You don't have to say it's you that did it. If he says something about it, act like you agree with whoever did do it and be excited for him to take a class. (Hey, that sounds like a great idea, which class are you going to take?)

Smile and say good morning. If he is trying to be chatty, change the subject. If he starts with what he did last weekend, wait for him to take a breath and say, that reminds me, what about this (whatever thing about what you are working on). Or, you can do like my daughter did with someone who went on and on about himself and she just burst out with 'I just can't concentrate on what you are saying, I have the most awful cramps today, flowing like crazy and I am all bloated'. She started to say more and the guy walked away after he shut his mouth and never talked about personal stuff again. Guys tend to panic when 'woman' issues come up.

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When he started working with me I suggested he take a computer course at the local college which is very close to where we work. I mentioned how I took a class there myself, the company paid for it and everything. He said it was insulting that I suggest such a thing.

I will definitly take the advice on trying to politely change the subject back to work. I think I do lack some finesse when it comes to being polite. What about when he invites me to lunch? He hates to eat alone and tries to get me to eat lunch with him daily. I am running out of errands to run!

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Are you sure he isn't trying to hit on you?

Tell him you have a phone date with DH, boyfriend. (No? Make one up)

How about that you don't want to cause a problem with the other coworkers by being singled out?

Tell him you have to study - start taking a book.

You have a prior engagement.

You are self conscious of eating in front of people.

Where do the other people eat? Does he ask them?

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Just take lots of deep breaths and think of something that you love....when you do that you can endure anything....as my granny used to say....you can draw more flies with honey than with vinegar....although for the life of me, I don't understand why one would want to draw flies but I never asked her......

Elicia

cold and sunny in South Carolina...

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Next time he asks you out for lunch tell him you're tired of his sexual harrassment. That should stop him dead in his tracks and make him stay away from you. At one place I worked one of my good female friends, I thought, told me while we were bull$h!##!@? about something that I was sexually harrassing her. Think she was kidding, but I wasn't about to take any chances and pretty much stayed away from her the rest of the time we worked together.

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It's not for a date, no questions about it. He has said that he can not eat lunch alone. There's only 4 of us in the office and if I say no, then he moves on to the other two. One always brings their own lunch and eats early, the other sometimes brings lunch, but always ends up going to lunch with the boss. I've tried saying I'm not hungry, I brought my food, I have errands to run, etc. How can I politely decline for the rest of the year?

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When he invites you out to lunch, if it makes you uncomfortable, then politely let him know that it makes you uncomfortable & would rather not have lunch with him. That should put an end to the invites. He's a big boy - can certainly eat lunch alone - the fact that he doesn't want to does not make it your problem to deal with :clap:

I am very fortunate - I couldn't ask for a better boss than the one I have right now. I'm not looking forward to his retiring in a few years.

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It's not for a date, no questions about it. He has said that he can not eat lunch alone. There's only 4 of us in the office and if I say no, then he moves on to the other two. One always brings their own lunch and eats early, the other sometimes brings lunch, but always ends up going to lunch with the boss. I've tried saying I'm not hungry, I brought my food, I have errands to run, etc. How can I politely decline for the rest of the year?

Hm... What would his reply be if you said "I understand how you must feel being new in a company and having to eat alone, however, I consider my lunch hour MY time, and I like to spend it decompressing from the job" The most important thing is to empathize with him and use 'I' statements to explain how you feel so you aren't attacking him. If he presses further suggest bringing a book or a handheld video game to pass the time during his lunch. If you think your position is going to be threatened by standing your ground and he's really in your space, do you have a HR person you can chat with? The worst part about this is that this guy seems pretty clueless as to his effect on others (no empathy filter). He probably irritates most people he meets and now it's just his MO to do so. Unfortunately, he isn't going to change.

I do a good job of compartmentalizing work. I keep work at work and home and home. If I get co-workers who want to be buddy buddy I can draw a fairly clear-cut line. I don't know what to say about the computer training. Is he trying to turn you into his secretary? Maybe you could generate a book of simple instructions - just the bare essentials so he can do the work he needs to do with the computer? It'll shut him up because he has an impersonal "guide" given by you, and you've done something that looks good anyway! Created a function manual!

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Instead of putting a list of computer classes on his desk maybe a copy of your company's sexual harassment policy or even your state's laws on sexual harassment might do the trick.

His not wanting to eat alone is NOT your problem and I'd tell him, "Look I really don't want to have to politely decline your invitation to lunch everyday for the rest of the year. Lunch is MY time and I don't have to nor want to spend it with a work person. Please stop asking me." You can always add...you know this is sexual harrassment and I'd hate to have to go that route.

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Thanks to all for the replies.

I think my biggest gripe is that this is a lonely old man (he and his wife are new in town and they don't have friends) and he just wants everyone to like him. He's miserable in his job and he may not realize it, but his misery is bringing the rest of the office down.

I suppose some sort of breathing technique and de-stresser is the next thing in line for me.

And I guess I will need to have the talk about "I'm not now, nor will I ever, eat lunch with you."

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You did state that in a few months he won't be your boss any longer, so if I were you I would grit my teeth and stick it out if you like your job. Don't do anything that may jeopradize your job either, because right now with the economy the way it is, it's not a good time to be without a job. And never quit and look for a job......it's always best to look while you still have one - just in case. Believe me in my life before when I was working full time, I learned you can't get along with everyone. We are all weird in our own ways!

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De-stressing techniques are great - I've had to work in an environment I've hated, for months at a time. Ugh. No fun.

If you don't want to make a huge issue out of not going to lunch, bring an activity. When I was with a bunch of people I hated at work or school, I took anything to avoid them - I read all the time. Crossword puzzles, Sudoku, knitting, cross-stitching, drawing, writing poetry, or, if you can do this during lunchtime, watch something on Hulu.com. They have a lot of TV shows that are great for a lunch break (I always catch a show during break).

If he really annoys you, it will help not to look him in the eyes when you talk to him - focus on something else. I tried this with someone I really disliked (the one person I've ever really intensely disliked) - I couldn't bear it if we were in the same room so I would go into another room with an activity and then if he approached me I'd keep my eyes on the activity and detach myself from the dislike and pretend it was someone else. :clap:

Good luck, I know it's tough working with someone who drives you up the walls.

I will agree that if you once mention female issues, at least for young guys, they will stay away for a long time! It's pretty hilarious.

hey, maybe suggest that he call his wife during lunch - maybe she could meet him or they could at least talk on the phone during that time - that would keep him busy. Or, you might try giving him an activity - book or puzzles or something.

Anyway - let us know how it goes, we are hoping you have an easier time at work soon!!

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*Would you like to go out to lunch with me?* he says

*Are you paying?* you say.

*Umm. well I do not know about that.* he says.

*I have no cash. You pay, I go.* you say.

*Okay. *he says.

Then off you go. If he allows you to pick the place..Make it something off the wall like Hungarian or Vegan. If he picks the place..Order like Sally in the movie When Harry Met Sally.

Everything on the side. Everything just so. Order whatever you want. Heck, get the souffle that will take an hour to cook! ROFL

Talk with your mouth full. Spittle of borscht splashing on his tie.

Talk about your last surgery, dental extraction, festering boils that you had to deal with. Try and muster up a really good trucker like BURP! Pick your teeth right in front of him.

Okay. this was all in fun. If he isnt going to be your boss for very long just grin and bear it. Tell him you cannot have lunch with him because you are having lunch with your boyfriend, husband, girlfriend. You have a dr, dentist, chiro appt.

Hope for the best..We will be pulling for you!

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Talk about your last surgery, dental extraction, festering boils that you had to deal with. Try and muster up a really good trucker like BURP! Pick your teeth right in front of him.

Ahh, that sounds like FUN!!! :clap:

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I agree with Wolfie and Heidi on this.

Since he's not going to be there too long,grin and bare it.

At least the poor guy is not trying to deliberately get you fired or something.

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One of my Nursing profs put it VERY well; you can do/ put up with ANYTHING when you know there's an end in sight. As for the lunch invites, a "No, thank you, I don't think it's appropriate. Please stop asking me." should do the trick, and then you follow whatever chain of command policy you have at work to deal with sexual harrasment.

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It's not for a date, no questions about it. He has said that he can not eat lunch alone. There's only 4 of us in the office and if I say no, then he moves on to the other two. One always brings their own lunch and eats early, the other sometimes brings lunch, but always ends up going to lunch with the boss. I've tried saying I'm not hungry, I brought my food, I have errands to run, etc. How can I politely decline for the rest of the year?

Ask him if perhaps his mother couldn't come and sit with him at lunch.

-Susanne

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Ask him if perhaps his mother couldn't come and sit with him at lunch.

-Susanne

:clap: I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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I certainly understand where you are coming from. I am sitting here at this moment being mad at my department head. DH says that she thinks I am a threat to her authority because I have as much experience as she does. But I know, this is just a mean and spiteful woman. She runs off special ed teachers as fast as they can hire them. She is also after the geometry teacher right now, and goes around school making fun of her, belittling her teaching ability, etc. I'm sure she's doing the same to me behind my back.

I sure can't afford to quit, not with the kids depending on me, and waiting to find out if DH has cancer! But I really think she is trying to get me fired at the end of the school year.

So I have decided to just ignore her, do my job to the best of my ability, and if I get fired, trust God to point me in the right direction. That's all I can do, I'm not going to feed into her sickness by trying to please with her-it's not possible. When she's in the mood to talk, I'll sit and visit with her. When she has one of her frequent 'stay away from me' days...I do!

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