Difficult People

Feel exhausted, even on a vacation day? That’s one sign you’re being bullied at work, according to a “you know you’ve been bullied at work when …” checklist by Workplace Bullying Institute. Other signs that you’re in the bully’s bull’s-eye:
Frustrated with her snooping co-workers, one anonymous admin wrote on the Admin Pro Forum: “I work with a group of people who always want to know what I’m working on, what I’m doing, what I’m looking at, who I’m talking to, who that e-mail is from, etc. How do I handle inquisitive co-workers?” What other admins advise:
As hard as it is to listen to two co-workers arguing, it’s even worse when people keep their opinions to themselves. Creative tension happens when people share constructive differences of opinion, which can ultimately lead to better work. Of course, not all arguing is constructive or productive. Here’s how to tell whether you should step in to defuse bickering:
Question: “After a recent promotion, I have two former peers reporting to me. Supervising them has been very challenging. ‘Terry’ frequently comes into my office to gossip, and ‘Ellen’ refuses to recognize me as her boss … If I constantly remind them that I am now the manager, I’ll look like I’m full of myself. How do I handle this?”
“My boss is a dictating micromanager,” one of our readers recently posted on our Admin Pro Forum, “and I’m having difficulty handling the situation. How can I let him know that I can manage most situations with little or no supervision? I don’t want to be insubordinate, but he needs to stop breathing down my neck.” Workplace expert and author Roxanne Emmerich outlines three steps to cure micromanagement:
Question: “I recently left a very toxic workplace. I never again want to work in such a fearful, backbiting culture. Next time, how can I make sure that I’m entering a healthy work environment?  Should I ask to take a tour or interview some co-workers?” — Cautious
Forget the tirade. Rather than huff and holler when overhearing a discriminatory comment, quash it with poise. Experts share their best strategies for dealing with inappropriate remarks:
Frenemies aren’t just found on reality TV shows; they’re everywhere. Even Apple has one: Google. If you have “frenemies”—colleagues with whom you have cordial, unproductive relationships—don’t give up. Before they become full-fledged enemies, take these steps:
Some online tools allow you to say something to work colleagues anonymously, such as Anonymous Employee or TxtEmNow.com. The trouble with this sort of anonymity is that it doesn’t allow you to fully resolve a problem.
A co-worker, Pam, argues with practically anything you say, she doesn’t hear what you’re trying to say, and she even lashes out sometimes. Working with a chronically defensive person is difficult, but there’s a secret to having better conversations:
There’s a common type of workplace theft, and it has nothing to do with missing office supplies, reports a recent OfficeTeam survey. Nearly one in three employees interviewed said that a co-worker has taken credit for their idea. “Being proactive in sharing your vision with your manager and colleagues early on can help ensure others know the concept originated with you,” says Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam.
An administrative assistant recently posted this dilemma on our Admin Pro Forum: “I know my office co-worker chats on Facebook most of the day … and now I have proof. Do I say something to the co-worker, or do I bring it up to the boss? I am usually not a tattletale, but there are times when I am overwhelmed with work and I know she’s chatting on Facebook and not getting her work done.” Forum readers weighed in with advice:
Question: “I’m not sure whether to trust one of my co-workers. ‘Amy’ is helpful and considerate to me. She provides useful information and makes friendly, encouraging comments. However, some co-workers say Amy stabs people in the back because she wants to climb the corporate ladder. If Amy really is a skillful manipulator, how do I avoid being hurt by her tactics, especially when management thinks so highly of her?”