Coworker drives me nuts!! (vent)

posted 3 years ago in Career
Post # 2
2376 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Keep things cool, polite and short. When he tries to start random unending conversations with you, smile and nod for a minute, and then tell him you have to get back to work. The earbuds are a good idea, even if you can hear him over the music. Just tell him “I’m sorry, I was focusing on work”. Or when he throws things to get your attention, politely tell him that you’re working on a project. You can always say ” we’ve got to catch up when we all go out next ” when he starts in on his personal life. 

Unfortunately, it does seem like he lacks social skills. When he gets attention for his behavior, he keeps doing it. Stop giving him attention, nicely, and it should help. You just have to be consistent.

Post # 3
4302 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I’m guessing he’s socially whacked and has a crush in you. Headphones are a good way to sign to the world that you don’t want to talk. I think you should tell your manager that his antics are distracting and you’d like to be moved. This guy sounds like a total tool. Stop joking back and stop responding. Just say “I’m busy” and give short replies. He’ll try harder to get a rise out of you , but hopefully he’ll get the hint and knock it off. 

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by  .
Post # 4
1660 posts
Bumble bee

Have you tried actaully discussing it with him? I’d be tempted to say something like “I find it really hard to concentrate when you’re constantly making noise and visiting, i really need to focus on my work, and would appreciate it if you would respect that.” He might make a joke out of it or use it as ammo, but then at least you can go to your manager and ask them to talk to him, becuase you’ve already tried and it didnt work. I also agree with the others who suggested disengaging, I would wear ear buds without playing music and if he tried to get your attention anyways, just tell him you’re really trying to get work done. I dont know how desparate your you, but you could always fib and say you got in trouble for talking too much, so you really need him to let you focus on work lol.


Post # 5
1158 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

MrsSnapdragon:  Ugh, i have definitely been there. I think some socially inept people mistake their captive, paid-to-show-up-and-be-polite co-workers as people who actually want to be their friends no matter what blatant incompatibility is present. It’s the worst!

I spent a few years in an open office environment and I did the headphones with no music thing aaallll the time. It blows my mind he actually throws things at you — if that happened, I would LOUDLY, so a superior can hear, but calmly and firmly tell him please do not throw anything at you. If he walks over, make a show of not hearing him over your headphones, removing one (not both), and saying “WHAT?” a bit loudly. DO NOT engage with him at all — just say mmhmm, im busy right now, talk later IF i have time.

If you do this consitently enough even he will change his behavior eventually after not getting the reward he’s looking for. I would also check in with HR/office manager/whoever on a regular basis (maybe every other week?) to make sure you get the next available space so you can move.


Post # 7
290 posts
Helper bee

MrsSnapdragon:  Why not pull him aside and talk to him about it… be honest but polite. You don’t want to mix business and personal and you don’t want to be distracted. Tell him that if he can’t respect that and leave you alone to do your work then it will have to be the end of your friendship, whether in work or outside or work.

Post # 8
1487 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

MrsSnapdragon:  I think you have to be very direct and deal with the awkwardness. Like, “I do not enjoy working next to you because you are too disruptive. Please let me do my work in peace.”

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