Tolerance in the Workplace: A Guide to Coping with Coworkers 

Most working people have jobs that force them to interact with the same handful of people for about 40 hours a week. Unless you are one of the very few lucky, possibly delusional people, that enjoys their coworkers you spend at least 36 of your weekly working hours hating the people you are collaborating with.

You deserve a happier work environment. You have to be with this people and they bitching behind each other’s backs probably isn’t helping.

So how do you deal? Coping strategies depend on the type of dud you are working with, a few common ones can be found below.

The antisocial troll

This person is often kept in a closet in the basement because he is allergic to sunlight and social norms. He feels entitled to control the thermostat and gets miffed when people don’t include him in the office shenanigans, only to be further infuriated when he is included in the games. His stories are stilted and inappropriate and he refuses to be told so. His craving for interaction is so overshadowed by the awkward that is the backbone of his personality.

This is the person you avoid. He is likely the one that will do something crazy and end up on the news.

The one who does less than nothing

Every office has that one person who gets her bills paid, her daycare lined up, and plans her church picnic from her desk at work, yet she never manages to actually get any work done. On the days that you don’t do anything yourself, maybe this doesn’t bother you, but on the days where you drink your own tears to stay hydrated and she’s sitting there painting her nails, it gets to you.

The only thing you can do is shake all of her precious Cokes first thing in the morning, hopefully that bit of excitement will perk up your day. You could give her some of your work but you should probably just do it yourself, so that it gets done.

The work couple

Every morning one will bring in coffee and the other will bring muffins and they’ll sit and eat and titter about whatever. They have an extensive array of inside jokes and every time someone giggles along or ask what they’re on about, they give each other a knowing look and one will simply say, “it’s and inside joke, you won’t understand.” These people help each other and come to one another’s defense when that work is criticized. When one is out of the office the other mopes about sighing heavily and whining about being bored.

Basically, they are the happiest, most annoying people in the office. You have two options for ending your misery:

  1. Beat them
  2. Join them

Option 1, not a physical beating mind you, takes some effort. You have to infiltrate their relationship, start a work affair if you will. Bring coffee first, have lunches with just one, start your own inside jokes. Drive. Wedge between them so work will be miserable for them too.

Option 2, though I could have phrased it better, is not suggesting this work spouse set up go polyamorous. I’m suggesting you get your own work spouse, become the “it” couple at work. I’m sure you’ll be happier and blissfully oblivious to all of the nonsense swirling around you.

The middle aged, married, horny guy

This guy is experienced and well liked. He flirts and teases and builds his business the old fashion way, with booze and a deep understanding of his clients’ needs.

He’d be a great mentor for a new comer but he’s hard to track down. Between meetings and conference calls he can be found in the ladies room with his junk out hoping someone will catching him “finishing his tinkle” and lend him a helping hand. And you know this to be true because he’s told you as much while doing a two hand adjustment of his sticky business.

This guy can work to your advantage if you are willing to play along with him. Give him a hand when he needs it and he’ll sing your praises to the powers that be.

And by that I mean help him do his work, jacking off coworkers is rarely a strategy that will get you a promption, unless of course you are willing to wank yourself to the top. But it would be better to engage with guy instead of with his little guy.

The fairytale princess 

This woman is the cheeriest human who has ever lived. She shows up when she wants and leaves when she wants, but not out spite or laziness, she was outside literally chasing a butterfly.

It could rain piss and vinegar on this woman’s head and she would gleefully make pickles.

It may be tempting to burst the bubble of Goodness she lives in but I assure it is in everybody’s best interest that you don’t.

Do yourself the favor of never engaging in philosophical discussions with her, you don’t need that kind of stress in your life. And when she brings her homemade piss and vinegar pickles to share, eat them with a smile.


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