Good morning Dinks. Yesterday I witnessed a heated argument between two co-workers in my office. As I sat at my desk (a cubical with high walls) I could hear these two women having a disagreement about how to pitch a presentation they are supposed to work on together and have ready for our team meeting next week. It got me thinking, is the right time and place to be having this argument?
How to deal with unwanted co-workers
I didn’t know it at the time but apparently the bad blood between these two women goes back way longer than just yesterday afternoon. Apparently they’ve been feuding for several years. Now let me tell you, I’ve had my share of co-workers that I didn’t care for, but never have I actually got in a fight at the office.
Usually when I don’t care for a co-worker I just stay away from them and smile in passing. I’ve never actually had to work with someone that I didn’t like. However based on what I heard yesterday I have to say that working with someone you don’t care for must be extremely awkward and uncomfortable – it can also hurt your career.
Do you like your co-workers, should you care?
I told my best friend about the argument in my office and she told me “The biggest mistake I ever made was making friends at the office.” I started thinking she was right. Why do we have to friends with our co-workers.
Of course getting along with the people you work with makes the day go by a lot quicker. It must be hard to work in complete silence all day because there is no one you like enough to have a conversation with. But at the end of the day having a job is not personal, it’s just business.
Collaboration can help you get promoted
We don’t necessarily have to like the people we work with, but we do have to work with them. It may be hard to get promoted if you’re known as the office grouch. This brings us to the age old questions of “How social is too social for the office?”
On one hand we may not want to be forced to attend after-work parties and social events, but on the other hand isn’t that a great way to network? We may not want to be known as the office gossip or social butterfly but knowing what’s going on could help us learn about promotions. So where do we draw the line? Maybe it’s when it comes to our money.
I don’t mind being social at work because it makes the day a little more pleasant, but if having a friendship with someone affects my pay check then I’ll have to cut them off. I will collaborate with a co-worker that I don’t like if it makes me look good and helps me advance in the workplace. But if I get to choose who I collaborate with, of course I would pick someone I like. It just makes everything easier if you can work with people who are easier to get along with.
Have you ever had to work with someone you don’t like?
Photo from my Flickr