How Do You Deal With Your Nightmare Coworkers?

plankton-from-spongebob-squarepants_9-best-cartoon-villainsI don’t go into the Billfold office so I only have to see my nightmare coworkers every few months*, but some are not so lucky. How do you cope?

Rhik Samadder at the Guardian has a few admirable suggestions. His first option is “Make friends” which is obviously NOT realistic so moving on. The third option is “War of Attrition” which I really respect but just isn’t for me. The second one, though, involves passivity and delusion, two things I am GREAT at:

Have a nemesis.

Now we’re talking. All real heroes (and by real, I mean fictional) have a nemesis. A bete noire, a Skeletor, a villain who vigilantly plots their downfall. Anyone can have a nemesis though, and a nemesis can be anyone. Spongebob Squarepants has one who is literally just a dirty bubble called Dirty Bubble. Having a nemesis makes your daily workplace struggle a private narrative of heroic overcoming. Barry keeps checking your work and sort of hovering, because he is waiting for you to trip up. Gunther has scheduled another meeting on this of all days because he wants you to feel overwhelmed and have a cry. But you will not succumb. Screw those blackhearted bastards!

NB Your boss is not your nemesis if she or he is routinely being a turd to everyone else you know and barely knows your name. A nemesis must be personal, fixated on you alone, like an evil butler. They are monogamously committed to your overthrow and destruction.

Now that I no longer have bosses or coworkers really, just lovely people to talk to on HipChat during the day, my nemesis is my landlord. Which is great! I mean he’s terrible but I’m glad to have someone slide into the role. Because we all know what happens when you don’t have a nemesis…

YOU ARE THE TRUE NEMESIS. THE NEMESIS IS YOU.

*(JK they rule)

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10 Comments / Post A Comment

wrappedupinbooks (#1,426)

my arch nemesis is my boss’s secretary

my lesser nemesis is the lady in accounting who always spells my name wrong, despite the fact that we communicate via emails, where sign my name spelled correctly. I have started intentionally misspelling her name when corresponding with her, and it brings me great satisfaction

andnowlights (#2,902)

I wouldn’t say she was my nemesis, exactly, since she really liked me, but one of my former workers was the most miserable person I’ve ever met in my life. Nothing in her life went according to plan and she was the most bitter person I’ve ever met. Absolutely horrible to be around because she complained about her whole life without doing anything about it (plus didn’t get along with my boss at ALL and acting like she didn’t know how to do things even though she’d been in the same job for 14 years). We 4 coworkers sat in a room with cubical, so I couldn’t even escape her! She was the #2 on the list of reasons I left that job. So I guess my advice is… leave your job?

ben_sez (#4,639)

@andnowlights what was number 1?

andnowlights (#2,902)

@ben_sez My boss! The best quality about my boss (who made $93k a year plus really good benefits) is that she thought coming in to work was optional, which means I didn’t have to deal with her 2-3 days a week. Her social skills were like this most of the time: when I turned in my two week notice, I went into her office and told her face to face that I was leaving. I felt like it was the right thing to do. After I finished my spiel, she stared at me for a good 20-30 seconds without saying anything, then turned back to her desk and didn’t say a word. It was one of the weirdest experiences of my life. I left my letter on the desk and went back to my office, where I told my coworkers.

Reason #3 is that the organization was doing layoffs and I kind of need my job.

bgprincipessa (#699)

@andnowlights …. it will never fail to amaze me how somebody with that poor of social skills could get that far in life. It’s something I think about almost every day at my job. Any time somebody blatantly gets my name wrong, asks ridiculous questions that are answered right there in the below email, has no gauge of the room and says off things, etc etc etc, I’m just amazed that they make so much more than I do.

andnowlights (#2,902)

@bgprincipessa She got this job entirely by luck. The person before her was leaving and she was in another department (accounting). The person leaving only knew her, so he recommended her and I guess they didn’t do due diligence!

deathcabforcutes (#6,237)

@andnowlights Same! I left a bank, so my manager just stood up and walked me back to my desk, watched me pack my things, and followed me out of the building without saying anything or making eye contact. The only thing that made me feel better was turning around to watch her struggle to pull the automatic door closed behind me.

hollanding (#6,076)

I just found out that my nemesis (in accounting, she who delays reimbursement checks by weeks) is on her way out. Who now?

I never had nemeses at all until I entered the working world, and then suddenly I accumulated like five. WTF offices?

HAHA, that’s a great link. Everyone in my office is their own brand of nuts, and not in the endearing way. I feel like your true nemesis has to be the person who is most like you, but like a terrible version, like bizarro-world you. However, I am more of the mind that my nightmare colleagues are “like people who eat and talk at the same time: it’s better to stand by their side than face them head on”, so I lay low and act like I am friends with everyone, when really I am friends with no one.

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