How to deal with annoying co-workers in a friendly manner

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BobG

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This I have to start doing immediately. Side Story on this one. Once, I had to get a General Arrangement drawing out of the office by 4 PM and he had to review it. I gave it to him to review, he forgot about it, and at 3 PM I went to see if he was done making comments on it. He just started reviewing it when I walked in and was complaining that the drawing contained some incorrect dimensions. Somehow from that he ended up talking about slide rules and I (mistakenly) said "yeah, I need to learn how to use on of those one day" immediatly, he had his out of desk and was destined to show me how to use it. Now the whole time he knew this drawing had to go out and still couldn't stay focused on the simple task of reviewing the drawing.

That was the first time that I had to be rude to him and I felt bad about it, so I haven't done that since.
You're an idiot and the only general arrangement drawing management would trust with you was too trivial to matter whether it was actually accomplished on time.

And, yet, you were so self-absorbed that you failed to recognize an opportunity far more significant than whether your trivial drawing was accomplished on time or not. When it comes to learning slide rules, there's no time like the present.

Instead of being rude, you should have thanked him, you moron!

Anyway, what kind of slide rule did he show you? Do you remember the model number? Or at least whether it was duplex or simplex? Circular, cylindrical, or straight? (the cylindrical slide rules are very popular with the ladies - they always ask about it when you carry it around in your pocket). Was it 6", 10", or the 2 ft long?

And, yes, it's important to remember to subtract a power of ten when your answer wraps around from the left side to the right side and to add a power of ten when you wrap around from the right side to the left side. I can understand how a mistake like that could have resulted in incorrect dimensions on your drawing. It's an easy mistake and something you shouldn't be embarrassed about. It takes some practice to really become proficient at using a slide rule and I'm sure he'll be able to provide some invaluable hints.


I think the root misunderstanding is the difference between the words "inhale" and "breathe".

A fetus is oxygenated through the placenta. But it does inhale amniotic fluid. According to my midwife, it does this to strengthen the muscles needed to breathe...which it doesn't do until it's born.
My N4-ES has 2 scales for square roots and 3 scales for cube roots, so roots normally aren't misunderstood.
 

lisab

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You're an idiot and the only general arrangement drawing management would trust with you was too trivial to matter whether it was actually accomplished on time.

And, yet, you were so self-absorbed that you failed to recognize an opportunity far more significant than whether your trivial drawing was accomplished on time or not. When it comes to learning slide rules, there's no time like the present.

Instead of being rude, you should have thanked him, you moron!

Anyway, what kind of slide rule did he show you? Do you remember the model number? Or at least whether it was duplex or simplex? Circular, cylindrical, or straight? (the cylindrical slide rules are very popular with the ladies - they always ask about it when you carry it around in your pocket). Was it 6", 10", or the 2 ft long?

And, yes, it's important to remember to subtract a power of ten when your answer wraps around from the left side to the right side and to add a power of ten when you wrap around from the right side to the left side. I can understand how a mistake like that could have resulted in incorrect dimensions on your drawing. It's an easy mistake and something you shouldn't be embarrassed about. It takes some practice to really become proficient at using a slide rule and I'm sure he'll be able to provide some invaluable hints.




My N4-ES has 2 scales for square roots and 3 scales for cube roots, so roots normally aren't misunderstood.
Thanks, Sliderule Bob :smile:!
 

DaveC426913

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"You're an idiot .."

"...you moron!"
This is shameful behaviour from a PF representative.
 

DaveC426913

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Uh, it was a joke.
So it is. Complaint retracted.


Let's just hope I'm the ONLY reader that misinterprets it...
 
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You're an idiot and the only general arrangement drawing management would trust with you was too trivial to matter whether it was actually accomplished on time.

Uhhh .... What kind of response is that?


Instead of being rude, you should have thanked him, you moron!
Thanked him for what? Wasting my time on a lecture on how to use an obselete tool.

Maybe you two are brothers.

Thanks
Matt
 

seycyrus

So it is. Complaint retracted.


Let's just hope I'm the ONLY reader that misinterprets it...
Why should anyone care about how something is misinterpreted? Because of potential lost revenue?
 

DaveC426913

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Uhhh .... What kind of response is that?




Thanked him for what? Wasting my time on a lecture on how to use an obselete tool.

Maybe you two are brothers.

Thanks
Matt
I get it. BobG is being sarcastic. He's mocking your prof, not you.
 

seycyrus

Uhhh .... What kind of response is that?
A sarcastic one...

Note his avatar.

Note how he proceeds to "lecture" you in a manner that is exactly reminiscent of your complaint about your co-worker.
 
776
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Aww I get it.

Thanks
Matt
 

DaveC426913

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Why should anyone care about how something is misinterpreted? Because of potential lost revenue?
PF has ethics to uphold and an image to uphold. That includes real issues as well as perceived issues.

Not everyone is a long-term member, and not everyone lands on this page having had the opportunity to follow the thread closely enough to see that it was meant in jest (there is nothing in the comment itself that suggests it is in jest. The only indicator at all is blind faith that BobG would NOT have said something so callous).

It's just the risk of bad PR that PF will wish to avoid.
 

seycyrus

PF has ethics to uphold and an image to uphold. That includes real issues as well as perceived issues.

Not everyone is a long-term member, and not everyone lands on this page having had the opportunity to follow the thread closely enough to see that it was meant in jest (there is nothing in the comment itself that suggests it is in jest. The only indicator at all is blind faith that BobG would NOT have said something so callous).

It's just the risk of bad PR that PF will wish to avoid.
Eh, there's plenty of banter going around, not to mention the continuous breaking of the spirit of the law regarding implied insults.

Example (paraphrased): "I'm not like *you* seycyrus! I'm an intelligent, compassionate individual who uses his head for something besides a hatrack!"

etc.
 
776
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This thread has taken the same route that most conversations take with the person that I was trying to find help in dealing with.

We have an arguement about amniotic fluid, a non-implied sarcastic post (how is anyone supposed to know that BobG was being sarcastic?), and now an arguement about being sarcastic and insulting within PF threads.

?????

Someone please lock this thread. It has entered into the world where it can no longer benefit anyone to read further.

Many thanks to those of you who read the title of the thread and provided an answer that pertained to this thread. Also, to those of you who deal with similar situations I hope the best for all of you.

Again, lock this thread as it is now useless.

Thanks
Matt
 

seycyrus

...
Again, lock this thread as it is now useless.

Thanks
Matt
Maybe we were providing you with an opportunity to utilize some of the techniques that were presented to you by the earliest replies?

Yeah, that must be it.
 
776
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For heavens sake,

Maybe we were providing you with an opportunity to utilize some of the techniques that were presented to you by the earliest replies?
Are you for real? Did you read the rest of what I posted?

I don't need an example of how to be sarcastic. If you knew me in real life you would see that I am very sarcastic. The difference between here and real life is the fact that you can see my face and read my demeanor and know that I can being sarcastic. If I wanted to be a rude jerk to the person I wouldn't have asked for help with a "friendly" manner in which to deal with them.

What does this thread have to do with amniotic fluid and how a fetus breathes? What does this thread have to do with the public relations of the Physics Forum?

I am not asking the thread to be locked because I didn't learn anything, I am asking it to be locked because there is nothing more that I can gain from it. (Assuming the same useless posts about issues this thread was never inteded for continues forward.)

Thanks
Matt
 

DaveC426913

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This thread has taken the same route that most conversations take with the person that I was trying to find help in dealing with.

We have an arguement about amniotic fluid, a non-implied sarcastic post (how is anyone supposed to know that BobG was being sarcastic?), and now an arguement about being sarcastic and insulting within PF threads.

?????
You - the OP - had the same complaint in https://www.physicsforums.com/showpost.php?p=2391423&postcount=31": "Uhhh .... What kind of response is that?" - demonstrating that it was a good idea to correct it.

OK, so it took 7 posts (28 - 35) to tease out the misunderstanding. This is not an argument, this is what is known in a debate as a point of order. A debate sometimes has to pause while a correction is made to the process, then the debate resumes.

CFDFEAGURU is right though. Let's resume the original discussion - if anyone has anything else to add.
 
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... Let's resume the original discussion - if anyone has anything else to add.
DaveC426913,

Thank you very much.

Matt
 

turbo

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Matt, does your cell phone have an alarm feature? You can set if for about 5 minutes into your projected meeting with a really annoying co-worker, and when it goes off, look at the display and say "Sorry! I really have to take this call." No guarantee how many times you can get away with this, though.
 

DaveC426913

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Matt, does your cell phone have an alarm feature? You can set if for about 5 minutes into your projected meeting with a really annoying co-worker, and when it goes off, look at the display and say "Sorry! I really have to take this call." No guarantee how many times you can get away with this, though.
I keep thinking there's got to be a way to take this bull by the horns, rather than simply find some disingenuous way to escape.

I just haven't been able to think of it yet.

The key, I think, is to bring this guy up short by shining a spotlight on his behaviour (instead of ignoring the elephant in the living room), and then asking about the root case. In a friendly way.

In a way, what you do is pretend to yourself that you're reading between the lines of his nonsensical banter and hearing a plea for help with his social communication problems. You then you proceed to help him "resolve" them by asking insightful questions about his need for attention. Without ever saying a thing, you effectively appoint yourself as his therapist.

He's not about to take you up on it (since you will be getting him to talk about his fears), but I imagine we will stop gifting you with his gems pretty quickly. And who knows, he may just stop gifting other people too.
 

BobG

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More to the point, I think you did mention the guy has some valuable expertise.

On the other hand, he may not fit into the social fabric of your workplace (I assume there's some social fabric, such as discussion of sporting events, fashion, etc). The question is, is the expertise he contributes worth having to put up socially with a person that has practically nothing in common with you or your coworkers?

Many employers take prospective employees on a tour of the workcenter to get at least some feel for how he'll get along with the current employees before making a hiring decision, so how a coworker fits into the social fabric isn't downplaying the issue as trivial. Obviously, a supervisor probably won't fire a qualified employee because he doesn't fit in socially, but it is a consideration of savvy supervisors when making hiring decisions.



you answered your own question!

Q) How to deal with annoying co-workers?
A) In a friendly manner.

Only, I'd change friendly to polite. Being too nice or too mean will just deepen your relationship with them.
Yes, dealing with them in a firm, but polite manner is best. Ironically, many workers have more problems being firm, but polite to a coworker that they wish they never had to deal with at all than they do with workers they have friendlier relations with. There's a little more confidence that a worker you have a close relationship with won't get offended when you need something done fast.
 

turbo

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Yes, dealing with them in a firm, but polite manner is best. Ironically, many workers have more problems being firm, but polite to a coworker that they wish they never had to deal with at all than they do with workers they have friendlier relations with. There's a little more confidence that a worker you have a close relationship with won't get offended when you need something done fast.
Bear in mind that this can back-fire on you. I tried the polite but firm approach with some time-wasters only to have them run to the boss, so that my next evaluation contained helpful notes like "Needs to learn to interact better with co-workers."

Some people in that company found any number of reasons to wander around and buttonhole people who were actually trying to get some work done. Management actually encouraged some of that, in the name of "cohesiveness and company spirit". It was a colossal waste of my time to have some garrulous nut from accounting trying to entertain himself at my expense with the "excuse" of hand-delivering a routine, non-critical report that could easily have been put in the company mail system.
 

seycyrus

You should learn simply realize that there are different types of people in the world and and suck it up.

I had a professor who had a tendency to go on tangents. For me and everyone else, the correct way to deal with him was to realize that he answered your question in the first few sentences and the rest was ancillary material.

Now if I needed to go to him for an answer, I realized the price I would have to pay AND how to deal with the deluge of information.
 

BobG

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I had a professor who had a tendency to go on tangents.
That's always a bad sine.

turbo-1 said:
I tried the polite but firm approach with some time-wasters only to have them run to the boss, so that my next evaluation contained helpful notes like "Needs to learn to interact better with co-workers.
And, worse yet, when you do try to "interact better with coworkers" when they bring their silly problems to you, they complain about how you're wasting their time instead of focusing on solving problems they should have been capable of solving on their own.
 
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DaveC426913

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That's always a bad sine.
Why? Just cos he's a prof?


Bear in mind that this can back-fire on you. I tried the polite but firm approach with some time-wasters only to have them run to the boss, so that my next evaluation contained helpful notes like "Needs to learn to interact better with co-workers."
Perhaps. Though it does sound like, in this case, the boss is as aware as everyone else.

In fact, it might not be a bad idea to go to the boss simply to make him aware of the issue (not that you ask your boss to do anything about it). Afterall, this is a performance issue (your performance).
 
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I've spent years becoming more and more jaded by these situations until I finally stumbled upon the solution. I'd always wanted these idiots to get their comeuppance but it's never going to happen. The best you can hope for is for them to stop being your problem. Therefore I now have a policy of going to their senior manager and telling them how great they are, over and over. Once they start believing, find another senior manager from a different and hopefully geographically separated area convince them that this person is a key asset. The ultimate aim being to get them the hell away from you. Who cares if they get more money out of the deal? it may hurt my sense of what's right but in the big scheme of things.....
 

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