The Facts of [Working] Life

I wanted to write about the facts of [working] life. This is because you’re going to interact with multiple personalities in the workplace.

Your job is to do your job well. Not just to do your job.

As you buckle down with your shoes on the ground and your fingers flashing across the keyboard:

You’ll soon discover that a coworker or two are slacking off. Not doing the work required of them. Or doing the bare minimum.

Or that a coworker seems to have it in for you and is rude and hostile.

Too you might be called in to redo the work a coworker has screwed-up.

Your boss might think this person is a model employee. Ratting out your coworker isn’t the way to go.

Not all jobs are created equal. Even a union job can attract slackers who get by just punching the time clock and going home. With a union job an employee who shirks their responsibility won’t get fired.

Going to bat to your supervisor against this coworker might be a mistake. From firsthand experience I can tell you that rude and hostile coworkers–as well as staff members with garden-variety laziness–are often given red-carpet treatment.

What is the remedy?

Continue to focus on your own work and improving your performance. Be friendly. Lowering your voice is an old trick that allegedly gets the other person to lower their voice. Getting loud in response will only escalate the tension.

Remain calm and cool as best you can. Whether intentionally or not they want to get a rise out of you. When you fail to take the bait they’ll be upset. Soon they’ll realize it’s not work their while to upset you.

It’s double trouble when a rude coworker is also a lazy coworker.

I’ll end here with this maxim:

Do your level best to turn in next-level work at your job.

Be known as the person who gets things done.

I might add: do only your work. Refrain from getting roped into doing a coworker’s job or into fixing the mistakes that another coworker makes.

The person who screwed up often gets the promotion.

That’s a sad fact of [working] life too.

Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and athlete.

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