October 30, 2006

The Perils of Maturity

I have a co-worker who is consistantly a real pain in the butt. We shall call this person Snotty McDouchenozzle. Snotty is on a regular basis:

  • stubborn
  • contrary
  • self-absorbed
  • argumentative
  • combative

In addition to these characteristics, Snotty also rarely takes responsibility for Snotty's projects, servers and other daily tasks; Snotty even goes as far as putty Snotty's personal mail in the outgoing mail bin. Snotty also refuses to use the pain killer that is provided by the office, and insists that I get another type just for Snotty. And Snotty throws a hissy fit if there isn't any in the office. As a thumbnail sketch, I think that captures Snotty's essence.

Today, Snotty came into my office and proclaimed that I needed to do a task. In 48 hours. So I start the basics of the task. At one point, Snotty had the nerve to check on me:

Snotty: How are things going in here?
Me: Alright, I suppose.
Snotty: You also need to do this, that and the other.
Me: Well, that will make this task a lot more difficult.
Snotty: No it won't. It's not difficult at all.
Me: Yes, it will. There'll be wiring and fixing and a whole bunch of other things.
Snotty: (snottily) NO, IT'S NOT DIFFICULT. (storms out).

Now, I wasn't saying I wouldn't do the job. I was just saying that it would make things a lot harder for me -- considering my neck issues (which are acting up.) And if Snotty is so concerned about this, why isn't Snotty volunteering to help? It is Snotty's project after all. I was so angry at Snotty, it was all I could do to contain my rage and not go fish Snotty's personal correspondance out of the mail bin and throw it in Snotty's face and proclaim "I am not your personal assistant. If you insist on treating me like dirt, don't expect personal favors from me." I contained myself, barely. The problem is I keep bottling this up, and one day I am going to explode and rip Snotty a new one.

I've tried talking to my boss about this -- we'll call the boss Advoidance McClure. Avoidance says that there's nothing we can do about Snotty. That's just the way Snotty is. Even though Avoidance admits that Snotty is disruptive, argumentative and hard to deal with. A. has repeatedly asked me to just suck it up, for the sake of maintaining peace in the office. A. has also stated that if necessary, it can be arranged that I don't have to work directly with Snotty. Call me crazy, and maybe I'm just not getting it -- but if you have a known disruptive force in the office, offer to make it so I don't have to deal with them (and it was noted that it has had to be done in the past), maybe this person shouldn't be working there anymore.

Now, I'm not gunning for Snotty to get fired. What I am gunning for is a way to deal with Snotty. Defang Snotty as it were. I realized today that getting Snotty to change isn't a viable option. So I need to come up with a strategy of dealing with Snotty. I think a good first step is to stop any and all conversations that don't relate directly to work. A second step is to establish some boundaries -- what I will and won't do. A third step is probably to let Snotty know that when Snotty's snottiness ensues, it will not be tolerated. Say something like "I appreciate what you're saying, but you will not speak to me in that tone or manner." Finally, I'm going to let Avoidance McClure know of my plans, and ask for support.

What do you all think?


khouria jen said...

one warning on the second one: you can set boundaries but not everyone will respect them.

Neil Morse said...

A burlap sack and a rushing river. Problem solved.

Anonymous said...

50 bucks to the Tonya Harding's old boyfriend and photo of snotty.....

problem solved

J. De Scorpio said...

I am with Anonymous, But I know a guy who will do it for a donut.

AJ said...

mmmmm donut.