I once had a boss who berated me in a meeting for writing purchase orders wrong. When I pointed out that I, in fact, didn’t write purchase orders, he warned me to do it right the next time.

While I was working in HR, there was a woman who called out sick at least 4 times a month. That was bad enough, but then I was forced to listen to her cry over the phone about whatever new catastrophe had disrupted her life.

And now I work for Bill.

Bill, who has started an employee book club. Bill, who has started an employee book club that seems to revolve around self-help books. So far, I have read 1 and a half self-help books. Because I clearly have psychological expertise now, I have decided to take on the subject of difficult coworkers.

We’ve all experienced difficult coworkers (if you haven’t, then you just might be the difficult coworker…). There’s the lady who hides when a distasteful task comes up, there’s the guy who thinks it’s funny to repeat things told in confidence and then there are the negative people. The negative people are their own breed: you say, “good morning,” they remind you that it’s raining. You say that it’s great that everyone gets to go home a little early, they wonder loudly about the likelihood of a layoff.

I know it won’t surprise anyone, but we spend most of our time with people we have had no hand in choosing ourselves. If you can say that you are friends with your coworkers in real life, then you are a very, very lucky person. But what about the majority of the working world? Here are some tips that I’ve gleaned by being a regular work-a-day Jane:

1) Let it go. Sally said something offhandedly snotty. You brood and think about it days after it happened. Stop. You’re not affecting her and you’re hurting yourself. It is really not that important. Every time you start playing the incident over in your head in the middle of the night, think of a pink elephant instead.

2) Consider where your nemesis is coming from. There are not too many people who are inherently evil. Mike might be a defensive, overbearing so and so, but do you really know why? Maybe his home life isn’t the best, maybe his kid is going through bad times. Before you charge him as a bad person, remember that we all have our own perilous paths to wander.

3) Talk. If you have a coworker who is simply insufferable, I mean, no amount of Zen meditation will help insufferable, then talk. If you have to call in the human resources team, do it. If you have to call in your boss, do it. Generally, when people are forced to air their problems and discuss them in a civilized fashion, things get accomplished. If the meeting doesn’t go well, remember that beaning him in the head with a stapler still counts as assault.

I like my Bourke Accounting coworkers. Besides being talented and knowledgeable, Bourke Accounting experts are a pretty interesting group of folks. Not only are Bourke Accounting professionals willing to help and teach a fellow coworker, they go above and beyond with every client they handle. Hey, maybe your Bourke Accounting bookkeeper or tax professional will turn out to be your new best friend.

Come see us any time. Our number is 502-451-8773 and don’t forget to visit our website at www.bourkeaccounting.com. See you soon!

Written by Sue H.