The Job Doc Blog

Between a rock and a hard place

Q. I work with someone whom I dislike intensely because of his work ethics and attitude. I donít socialize with him and pretty much ignore him unless it is work-related. He is lazy and always finds ways to argue himself out of work or the possibility of having to work any harder than he has to. Others in my office feel the same way, but for some reason he is still here.

Weíve had one serious "altercation." I emailed both the director of my department and my manager about his lazy work ethics and how he is not a team-player. I offered to resign. My bosses were very sympathetic and apologized for his behavior, but in a round-about way, suggested that I just ignore him.

Now it has happened again. Do I send another email to my bosses or just forget it or resign? I don't want to be a whiner but this person's work attitude stinks. How do I deal with someone like this without having my blood pressure hit the roof every time I hear his voice?
K. C., Ellsworth, ME

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A. Unfortunately you are between a rock and a hard place. If you stay, youíll probably have to work with this person. If you leave, youíll have to find a new jobónot a pleasant prospect especially in this economy. Without knowing your bossesí reasons for not dealing with this individual, itís difficult to comment on their course of action. As long as they tolerate this personís behavior, the situation isnít going to improve. You mention others feel as you do. Enlist their help and, as a group, ask to meet with your bosses. Lay out the particulars and request that they come up with a plan that addresses the situation and assures that if it happens again, there will be consequences. If they donít respond positively to your groupís request, itís a clear signal that the situation isnít going to change. At that point your best option may be to begin a job search. Remember, you donít have to resign first to explore options of other jobs.

More from this blog on: Etiquette at Work , Office Issues