As the great Pat Benatar once said, love is a battlefield, but honestly she could have been talking about work.
Sometimes it seems like you are giving nothing but challenges and impossible situations. Work becomes a daily foot-in-mouth scenario.
However, even when it seems like you are given the ickiest of situations, there are ways to fix them. Here are a few very tough work situations and how to navigate your way out of them.
1. Your boss takes credit for your work
This is a rough one. But there are ways to try to work through it without having a Wicked Witch-type meltdown in front of your boss and coworkers.
If your boss says, “I did this project,” try to keep saying “we” to gently set the tone. This may help him or her get the message.
2. You have a very entitled coworker (or even worse, an intern)
You know the kind. They just think they are above the job and therefore don’t need to do certain parts of it or put in any kind of effort.
Though just yelling at them and telling them to get with the program sounds appealing, there are other tactics to take.
Try playing the good cop, which means you gotta play nice.
Tell them with compassion that you were once in the same position, and that you recognize their talent but they need to learn the duties and requirements of this role in order to be able to move forward. If you just yell at them, they will become defensive, and the situation will get even worse.
Tell them they have to focus on this role now so they can be ready for the next one.
3. Your boss is basically a movie villain
Maybe she isn’t throwing her coat at you, but she is asking you to pick up her dry cleaning and make reservations for her even though you are not her assistant.
Try having a calm talk with your boss in which you express your desire to become more involved with important, work-related projects. Also, remind your boss that you were not hired to be responsible for organizing their personal life.
4. A coworker is working against you
They contradict everything you say and look for any opportunity to make you look dumb and inefficient.
So what do you do? Well, first of all, realize that some of this may be in your head. And, remember you are the only one that matters and as long as you are doing your best and doing your job well, they don’t matter.
5. Your coworker and friend/assistant/intern dresses inappropriately
Yup. You are either in charge of or associated with the woman wearing the crop top on Casual Friday. First, you can try writing a general email about professional office attire.
If that doesn’t make a dent, then try having a face to face with them stressing that their attire may make people take them less seriously or underestimate them.
6. Your boss or manager wants to be your Facebook friend
Of course, some industries require you to be friends with people in your companies, but for others it is very inappropriate. Try ignoring the request until they bring it up then say casually you only let family and very close friends view your profile.
7. A coworker or manager makes a pass at you
Another tough one. First, tell them calmly and privately that you aren’t interested, and that this behavior makes you feel very uncomfortable and needs to stop immediately. You need to say you will file a complaint with HR if it continues. If the person is your manager, go directly to HR.
8. Your coworker shares way too much personal information
TMI alert! We all know them. Heck, sometimes we are them. You do become close with certain coworkers, but inevitably other people are always around and don’t want to hear about your breakup, wedding planning or new trendy diet.
A good rule to follow is if you wouldn’t want your boss to hear or read it, save it for after hours. Try to think about why you go to the office. What is the purpose? Is it to be social or to do a job?
9. A manager or colleague has done/is doing something wrong
Your first instinct may be to go straight to the top of the company but take a minute and breathe. If it is a colleague then go to your direct supervisor to make the complaint. If it is your manager then go their supervisor, not the CEO. Be sure to make it clear that you are concerned and not complaining.
10. Your bonus is not what you and your boss discussed
Don’t panic yet. There may have been a miscommunication. Calmly ask for a meeting with your boss and discuss the situation. Your boss may have a reasonable explanation and if he or she doesn’t then consider going to their manager. Be prepared to state your case for why you deserved that first agreed-upon number in the first place.