Friday, August 29, 2008

Working Well With Others

I have never really been a social person. I have to work with many, many people. There are times when I am seen as "the enemy." I take things away from them. I deal with them and they deal with me.

When they break the rules, sometimes I have to take actions that they would perceive as an intrusion of privacy. Such is life. I deal with it and they deal with it.

I can handle myself well enough. I have never backed down even when it is an executive who is technically above me in rank. I'm not playing that off as a strength, I'm just saying that I do my duty. I deal with it, but it is stressful.

The way I burn off this stress is with silence and solitude. I don't explode in anger or go out drinking. Instead I step into my workspace, where it is quiet, fresh and relaxing.

One of my coworkers was recently fired and another was brought in to replace them. A kind, but loud replacement. This particular individual means well enough and works hard enough but their form of release clashes with mine.

I come in trying to achieve a near meditative state and they come in yelling up a storm with a total disregard to other employees nearby.

We had a loud employee warn us about this new replacement before they began which concerned me right from the start. Was I exposed to a negative preconception? Perhaps, but there is no denying that this individual has the power to ruin my day.

The disadvantages of close proximity employment are blindingly evident and my desire for a job that allows for telecommuting grows daily.

What would you guys do in my situation? I wouldn't want to bring Human Resources into it because it would just create animosity. I am looking for an internal solution. Someway I could train myself to deal with it. Any ideas? Experience a similar situation and find your way out?

Let me know.


Iris said...

If you don't want to create animosity, you should bring it up him in a way that isn't obvious.

Most people would probably suggest you say something like "Dang! You are LOUD!" But I imagine you don't want to go that route.

I would bring it up as a seperate topic: For example if the subject of stress and dealing with stress ever comes up, which it usually does frequently at work, respond with "I suffer from headaches, especially if there is too much noise in the mornings. I enjoy my quiet time. It prepares me for the stressful day ahead"

If he totally ignores what you just said, and goes on to talk about himself, reiterate it. People who are loud usually don't listen to what other people are saying.

Repeat it, say "Yeah that' may work for you, but for me, I REALLY enjoy my peace and quiet. It helps me concentrate and relax to handle my tasks ahead."

At every opportunity that you can, bring up the quiet time that you treasure, I think it will sit in EVENTUALLY. But it will.

HektikLyfe said...

This is definitely something I will try. The more comfortable the employee gets with our group, the louder this individual seems to get.

ryanmortinson said...

you could wear earplugs. :)

or as many people do... tune out the world with some tunes on your mp3 player.

Iris said...

I like ryans idea :)

HektikLyfe said...

Yeah same here. I think I will do that. I have a radio in here that the recently released employee left behind that I could use to drown out the background noise.

Anonymous said...

Iris and Ryan both have nice ideas.
I work at RadioShack now and there are some things that stress me out here as well. And you know how I deal with that stress? I ignore it. I've fully accepted the fact that no matter where you work, in a big organization with a large team or small organization with a small team, there are problems and stresses. So I let work throw as much stress on me as it wants to. And then I go home and completely forget about all work related stress and just relax the way I want to.
None of my co-workers are loud, but I still kind of feel out of place and weird around them. Why? All they talk about is sports and I don't have even 3 cents worth of knowledge about baseball or football. But hey, as long as team work is concerned though, we work well together.

HektikLyfe said...

>Farhan: Yeah we're in the same boat about the sports thing. The answer? Learn about sports. The sports "fetish" is in my opinion a direct result of man's competitive nature. I've never been competitive really so I can't get obsessed with any sport. I'll watch the Superbowl because I love barbecue's and I will on a rare occasional go watch a Dodger game because I like the ambiance. Knowing and talking about sports can bring you an amazingly unfair amount of success in your professional life. Seriously.

When you see those movies about a small town guy making friends with an executive over lunch and they discuss sports and seal the deal? That crap does happen. You should see how many people turn up their noses at me when then find out I don't like sports.

Friends are made over sports.

I don't have the desire to develop or fake an interest in it so that has kept me from making some good friends but what can you do?

Personally I would rather not lie to myself.

carlos said...

i know who you are talking about and suggest you take ryan's approach. i dont know who i will piss off but im gonna say it, this person has the traits that are common for his race, from my experience. he is arrogant and loud and i think that if you let him know he annoys you with his volume, instead of him toning it down, he will raise it. or you can do like the little old man in the group and find somewhere else to call "home base" away from this annoying person. the strategy I use, I dont encourage you to use... and that is be louder and more annoying than him. it works for me! although sometimes im just not in the mood. another bad thing about this person... management likes him. we all know how bad that can be.
-and to address your sports issue, sometimes you find OTHER things you have in common with those people. for me its cars, food, drinking, movies, motorcycles, travel... there are other things to share in common.