Working Mom Special Report
September 2006

Saving You:
Time, Energy & Money!


When You Hate Your Job and Co-Workers Hate You

What to do When it Happens:

By Sabrina O’Malone

Author of Moms on the Job: 7 Secrets to Success at Home and Work


The average American will spend 40 percent of their lives at the workplace. 150,000 hours on average. Being ostracized at work is an intensely lonely experience that can cause stress to spill over into the other 60% of life. These are the Top 10 reasons people may find themselves receiving the cold shoulder on the job:

10. The Workaholic
Particularly the one who makes comments about people who don’t appear to work as hard as they do. This kind of workaholic reduces job satisfaction, quality of life and increases stress for everyone around them. Continue to work diligently and do your best, but be sure to avoid commenting on the work habits of others, it may go a long way towards improving group dynamics.

9. The Know-it-All

Frequently points out flaws and corrects things that most people would consider extraneous. “The window isn’t clear – it’s ‘pellucid.'” The 'Know-it-All' causes co-workers to lose face and risk embarrassment; therefore people avoid a Know-it-All to avoid potential humiliation. Resist the urge to correct someone in a group setting unless the mistake will significantly impact getting the job done.

8. The Challenger
Closely related to the Know-it-All. The Challenger feels compelled to thoroughly explore the possible downside to almost everything. Playing “the devil’s advocate” is a losing game – after all, nobody wants to interact with the devil’s attorney.

7. The Slacker
Comes into work late, takes long lunches and is the first one out the door at quitting time. Frequently found in the break room, at the water cooler or on a smoke break with an office buddy. Co-workers can’t help but notice this, and it probably makes them think you aren’t pulling your weight.

6. The Kiss-Up
HA-HA-HA-HA! That was a good one!” The Kiss-Up laughs too hard at the boss’s jokes, looks for any reason to hang around higher-ups and drops the names of VIP’s whenever it remotely fits into a conversation. Co-workers avoid interacting with a kiss- up because it’s difficult to stomach overt buttering-up.

5. Frank, the Mail Guy
Goes from workstation to workstation delivering monologues about whatever is on his mind. If co-workers are shuffling papers, not making much eye contact and their typical responses are one-word answers such as: 'Uh-huh” “Yeah” or “Unbelievable.” Then it is a hint - assume it’s not a good time for them to talk.

4. The Inside Edition
Has her finger on the pulse of the personal lives and careers of everyone in the office. The resident “File-o-Fax” when it comes to the inside scoop on office gossip. Please, avoid this besetting sin and be completely trustworthy with personal or sensitive information about other people. Keep secrets secret.

3. The Megaphone
HI, RITCHIE! I MADE IT INTO WORK…HOW’S YOUR DAY GOING?” If people frequently tell you that your voice “carries” or tell you that you don’t have to shout; then kick it down a notch (maybe two). Do yourself a favor and practice using your “inside-voice” or your “whispering-voice” while on the job.

2. Baby, Baby, Oh Baby…
This is the working mom who talks incessantly about her child. “Look at these pictures…” “Guess what he did yesterday…” “Let me tell you the funniest story about…” You’d be better off sharing your child’s developmental milestones with friends and family instead of co-workers. Children are an incredible blessing and gift from the Lord; nevertheless, don’t overdo the kiddy-commentary while on the job.

1. Odd Girl Out

You’re more talented, prettier, older, younger or just more optimistic about life than the rest of the office group. By no means should you allow your co-workers to bring you down or steal your joy. It’s possible their own insecurities have given way to plain old-fashioned envy and jealousy. Stay positive, pray for them and ask God to grant you peace in the midst of the storm. Remember, you have already been Accepted and Not Rejected by Someone infinitely greater than the group of people who work in your office.

* Note to anyone who is suddenly wondering if they’re one of these people. Remember this: all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. The Bible clearly states “There is none righteous - no not one!” Everybody has had at least one less-than-stellar moment. So don’t feel condemned if you can recall an incident or two where you have been like one of these characters. There is no condemnation in Christ. Instead, prayerfully ask the Lord to help you keep it from becoming a habit or a defining characteristic. All things are possible through Christ who strengthens you.

Related Articles:

Bullying Facts: What to do about Bullying

A Conversation with Sensei Yvonne Levy of Bully Busters ®

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By Sabrina O’Malone