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Old 07-03-2013, 07:45 AM
 
11 posts, read 9,203 times
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I am middle aged and have been in the workforce now for thirty years and thought I had seen it all.

Sometime I lay in bed and wake in a cold sweat after a nightmare about someone I used to work with. While most of the people I have worked with over the last 30 years are forgettable and passive, I just can't get over all the terrible people I have survived at the various jobs I have worked at. There are just so many terrible people out there in positions of authority in the workforce.

Few of my jobs have been the type I could just sit there and stare into a computer and ignore everyone and just do my work. Doing my work and being effective in my job involved interacting and gaining the assistance of some terrible people through the years. And have I experienced some terrible bosses through the years. They would step over their own mother to get ahead and lacked any humanity at all.

Do you have stories of terrible people that you had to work with in previous jobs?
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:57 AM
 
Location: Earth
3,653 posts, read 3,879,409 times
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While there are some truly nasty people out there, I think many people just want to go into work, do their job, get paid, and go home. I think dysfunctional environments are very often a product of poor management, constantly moving goalposts, favoritism,that creates the 'dog eat dog' workplace that so many speak of. People 'backstabbing' each other, gossiping and the like is more or less basic survival instincts. A workplace that promotes true teamwork and collaboration, objectivity and fairness, and promotes and rewards purely on performance has no place for the kind of 'nasty people' you describe above.
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:17 AM
 
Location: Matthews, NC
14,693 posts, read 23,128,863 times
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Ya, I have. If it were possible to go back in time and watch your life, you'd see that many more have been "nice" than "nasty". As you mentioned, most people only remember the nasty ones.
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:25 AM
 
11 posts, read 9,203 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bs13690 View Post
Ya, I have. If it were possible to go back in time and watch your life, you'd see that many more have been "nice" than "nasty". As you mentioned, most people only remember the nasty ones.
Yes most people that I worked with were passive and forgettable but the ones that were nasty had power to make my life miserable.
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:58 AM
 
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
12,584 posts, read 15,054,657 times
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Most that I have worked with are really nice and professional. There are a handful that I recall, who were: vindictive, moody, unhelpful and basically unprofessional.
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Old 07-03-2013, 09:10 AM
 
2,761 posts, read 4,141,329 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg1977 View Post
While there are some truly nasty people out there, I think many people just want to go into work, do their job, get paid, and go home. I think dysfunctional environments are very often a product of poor management, constantly moving goalposts, favoritism,that creates the 'dog eat dog' workplace that so many speak of. People 'backstabbing' each other, gossiping and the like is more or less basic survival instincts. A workplace that promotes true teamwork and collaboration, objectivity and fairness, and promotes and rewards purely on performance has no place for the kind of 'nasty people' you describe above.
IME, this post sums it up well.
My first job out of college, there was one guy in management that didnt belong there, and he made things miserable for the whole department and beyond. The company even knew he was a problem, but they chose to do nothing. There had been multiple complaints to HR against him over the years.
One of the senior guys and I got along real well, and he mentioned, "every company has a (bad guy) that you have to deal with. Find that person early on, and figure out how much/how to deal with that person."
I don't know if it is extreme competitiveness, or poor character, or intimidation tactics used to keep employment/get ahead, but there has been always that one person that was very difficult to work with compared to the others. Some were worse than others.
My first job had the most difficult person to work with I ever faced. He backstabbed, belittled, talked about everyone behind their back. I was in my mid 20's, and that job worked me up enough to have an ulcer. It was brutal.
My 2nd job out of college had a guy that wasn't management, but he was a senior guy, and he was difficult to work with. I guess I made a poor impression/did something wrong on him early on, as he really set me up and hung me out to dry pretty bad in a situation that could have been handled better. Perhaps if him and I started off better, things would not have gone the way they did, but it is hard to say. Politics played a pretty big role in that job.
My current job has pretty solid people around me. One guy is extremely tight, and shares as little information as possible. He thinks he is on track for management, and he only shares info with management type positions. I honestly believe this guy would he in huge trouble if he had to change companies, as some of his ethics and work procedures would rub some people the wrong way. But in this company, in his position, he fits in well, and the company values him. At the end of the day, that is all that matters.

The key regardless of the job or people around you is whether or not the company values you in your position. Can you do your job better than management feels someone else on the street would do it? Proving your value is the path to job security. Once you can convince management that you do you job better than most people could, management is willing to 'look the other way' on your communication and work tactics.

Even though many degrees require internships to complete the academics, the whole topic of this thread is severely overlooked in college education. Incorporating these challenges into a college course or workshop would be beneficial for most people. The problem is, how? Do you call it 'Dealing with problem employees 101' ?
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Old 07-03-2013, 09:17 AM
 
2,609 posts, read 3,844,923 times
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I can honestly only think of two truly terrible people I've worked with, I'm in my late 20's. I've worked with people I haven't particularly cared for and people that were a complete pain to deal with. But the only ones that really stick out to me are the ones who lost control. I worked for a psychiatrist who honestly probably should have been a patient. In fact, one of the other doctors thought it was a patient one night when he lost control (throwing things and screaming). The other was a supervisor who couldn't handle criticism and ended up sexually harassing one of the employees then firing him.

Unprofessional people who just gossip or are generally a pain in the rear I can handle and typically just ignore. It's only when people go a bit crazy that I have an issue.
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Old 07-03-2013, 09:24 AM
 
Location: Jollyville, TX
3,850 posts, read 9,441,266 times
Reputation: 4402
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justhiremenow View Post
Yes most people that I worked with were passive and forgettable but the ones that were nasty had power to make my life miserable.
This - it only takes a few to make a truly miserable work environment. I recently had a boss who was passive-agressive and very unsupportive. I was also working with meanest, nastiest customer I had ever encountered. They were not only bullies, but took it to a personal level. So unprofessional. I had been working in this industry, more or less with the same people, for 34 years and there were times I actually cried on the way to work. I threatened to quit (and was ready to walk) and they moved me to a different job thank goodness. I'm having to work with (but not for) that same boss again and he frustrates the dickens out of me!

I also once worked with an HR person I called Catbert (you know, from Dilbert, the evil human resources director). I don't know why she disliked me so much, but one day I decided that I had to find a way to work with her. It was a small company. I finally decided I would kill her with kindness. Instead of getting angry when I had to deal with her, I would just be as nice as I possibly could. It kind of worked. She quit harrassing me so much and we have stayed in touch through Linked In after we both moved on.
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Old 07-03-2013, 09:30 AM
 
Location: Stuck on the East Coast, hoping to head West
3,785 posts, read 9,236,571 times
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Oh yeah. I think the ones that bothered me most were the passive aggressives and those coworkers that I really liked (I was naive) who ended up stabbing me in the back. The manager who threw pots and pans? Eh, I knew what I was dealing with. The sweet coworker who hosted my baby shower and then set me up to take the fall for her screw-up? That one hurt.
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:20 AM
 
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
12,584 posts, read 15,054,657 times
Reputation: 12123
I think everyone has run into some bad people during their careers. I say: "what goes around, comes around".
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