Working with idiots turns out to be tied together with heart problems possibly more than we think. Having to deal with dim-witted officemates on a daily basis can put a strain on your health, even worse than smoking, excessive caffeine intake, and even consuming junk food. Unfortunately, even if you have an option to move to another work, almost all jobs require that you interact not only with your boss, your coworkers, but also with clients.
You will still have to mingle with people that are unpleasant, hostile, or plainly stupid. Learning to work effectively with such people can greatly improve not only your work environment but more importantly, your health.
- Spend as little time as possible with your problem coworker. If and whenever possible, avoid interacting with coworkers who stresses you. Of course, this is not always an option especially when you work in the same department or assigned to the same project. Just try to step away from the group during lunch or coffee breaks. If your office allows it, wear headphones and listen to music while doing your work. If you can effectively block out your annoying coworker for even a few minutes a day, your stress level will surely go down.
- Make your instructions very clear. Avoid putting yourself in situations where you have to suffer from a stupid coworker’s mistake. If anything needs to be done, make sure that you make your instructions “idiot-proof” so that the other person will really have no cause to do things incorrectly. For example, instead of saying, “Please handle this contract,” state exactly what you want to be done with it. Say, “I need you to have this document signed by Mr. ____. Return it to me personally as soon as it has been signed.”
- Air out your grievances in a non-threatening way. If the situation between you and a coworker is getting out of hand and your work performance is starting to get affected, try talking to that person. Make sure that you approach him or her in a non-confrontational manner. Otherwise, your coworker could become defensive rendering your attempt futile. Conduct the conversation in a casual place, preferably outside the office to avoid causing the other person embarrassment. Provide constructive criticisms rather than barraging him or her with personal complaints. Make a few suggestions on how your coworker can improve his or her performance.
- File a complaint. If, after you have tried having a conversation, your coworker persists to drive you crazy from his or her mistakes, it is time to talk to somebody higher in the management ladder. This is a tricky step to take because you don’t want to sound like you are not a team-player. Additionally, if you do not have supervisory duties, you could be overstepping boundaries by pointing out your coworker’s mistakes.
If all else fails, prioritize your health and find a new job. Life is simply too precious to waste on work that could cause your heart to give out eventually. Who knows? Your next set of coworkers could prove to be better and smarter, or at the very least, less stupid.