I work with a
person who has a very bad attitude. She is nasty to her boss and
to some of the other people she works with. I do not appreciate
the way she speaks to her coworkers. I work in a firm that is very
professional and I feel you must be professional at all times. She
hates to do anything! She is always playing games on the computer
and is always talking on the phone. What should be done?
During the entire 1980s, my stylist insisted that a stern pout,
severe heels, and short, stiff hair would communicate that I was
a woman in charge. Every time I walked down a runway or sat for
a photoshoot, they had to tape down the corners of my mouth to keep
me from smiling.
must take incredible discipline to feel bored and unmotivated for
any length of time. You have to keep thinking of ways to make the
time pass. Then there are the new attention-getting schemes you
must constantly perfect. Yet even as you carry out your elaborate
campaign to get noticed, you feel terrible the whole time, because
misery runs counter to everything you stand for.
coworker must be simply exhausted from all the exertion.
best response depends on the reason for her lack of motivation.
If she has been droopy and dispirited for years, your can do little
more than help preserve her illusion that the world is hopelessly
flawed. If this is a more temporary temperament, something may be
missing in her job, at home, or somewhere she'd rather keep private.
dog Dickie has long been the No. 2 sales representative in the Pacific
Rim for an exclusive-yet-populist line of cosmetics. A few years
ago, Dickie was depressed for a week when his supplier ran out of
its signature edible moisturizer/suntan lotion/insect repellent
just one week before the Burning
Man festival. I had to give him calves' liver tartare every
day until he seemed like himself again.
your coworker's demeanor is related to her work. She is clamoring
for someone to notice her suffering and ask what it's about. You
probably would prefer to ignore her and hope she goes away. But
the solution may be exactly the opposite.
you tell someone she's fabulous, you can sometimes make it come
true. That's how they got Norma Desmond to give herself up in Sunset
Boulevard. To be sure, your coworker is masking her inner glow
right now, but that's because she needs to be convinced that others
deserve to see it.
her why you and the rest of the office are worthy by acknowledging
her value. Pay her compliments; if you're in any position to do
so, give her something to do. Nominate her for a task force, a safety
team, or a committee. The next time she does something even remotely
useful, tell her boss about it.
of course, we can only spend so much time on philanthropy. You cannot
afford to wage your reverse psychology campaign at the expense of
your own credibility and fabulousness. You may simply need to move
on with your work, and hope she moves on with hers.