Words by Samantha McMeekin.
That nasty co-worker we’ve all had. There’s always one.
The condescending tone when they address you in meetings, the passive-aggressive emails, their quickness to take credit for other’s work and loudly toot their own horn but never congratulate anyone else on their achievements. you know the one!
So how do you deal with their petty behaviour? Here are some of our favourite schoolyard and childish tactics. (Sorry to all the grown-ups out there.)
1. The poo-shamer.
This one works a treat if your bathrooms are in full view of the office. Time it so that you’re entering just as they’re leaving. Start with a big ‘PHWOAR’, screw up your nose and make hand gestures that suggest someone has done a big dirty deuce.
2. The ‘gotcha’ email.
The next time they’re demanding something earlier than first requested or trying to dob you in for something they stuffed up, find the original email with the agreed-upon terms or discussion, and copy and paste it into your response.
Make sure to include the dates and times and CC in anyone it concerns. Write a sassy sentence along the lines of, "Thanks for checking in, I will have it completed by 'X' as previously discussed with 'insert bully's name here' per the below email." Don't hate the player, hate the game.
3. The praise plan.
Just like the candy cane tactic in Mean Girls, hand out compliments to your fellow co-workers whenever they do a good job, preferably loudly and in front of everyone. But of course, the key here is to leave a certain someone out. And none for Gretchen Weiners, byeeee.
LISTEN: Mamamia Out Loud discuss open plan office etiquette. Yes, your loud chewing is annoying people.
4. The face-to-face.
If the bullying comes mainly in email form, don't stoop to their keyboard bashing level. Walk over and raise the issue in person. Quote the email if it was particularly rude and suggest a solution. That way you're not only calling out the bad behaviour but showing everyone that you're professional despite it.