Angela Claytor
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I have a question to throw out there...... How would you handle a co-worker that thinks she's your boss?? I've began to basically ignore her. I work through a temp agency where I am, so I'm looking for something else but just wondered what some of you out there would handle this?

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over 5 years ago
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Dorothy Smith

I was in a situation like this once. I halfway jokingly called her Miss Bossy Boots! I think hers was a control issue because apparently she felt out of control in other areas of her life. Aside from that we got along fine.

5y
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Linda Atkinson

Hi Angela, there will always be people at work who will taste the waters, especially when they have been on the job for a long time and you come in as a temporary worker, somehow you are looked at as beneath them when in many cases you may have more experience than they do (this has been the case in my situations). My advice to you is take whatever advice/suggestions, etc she may offer that can help you be as productive as you can and try to be cordial and polite but also remind her of your credentials and how you can add value to the role, she may start to respect you more and leave you be. As long as there is no disrespect on her part you can probably get around this. If it gets out of hand, have a conversation with your manager but try to avoid this if possible and come to a common ground with this women, I think once she knows how you work and you reiterate how you operate, etc. she may back off. Good Luck.

5y
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Mark Mynhier

I didn't write this, but I think that it has somer VERY sound advice as to how to handle difficult people in the workplace:

Nine Ways To Talk To Someone You Can't Stand

  1. Indulge Them (If Only A Little) The last thing you want from a name-dropping coworker is an account of his latest personal conquests. One coping strategy, care of Christopher Groscurth, an instructional consultant at the University of Michigan with a Ph.D. in interpersonal communication: Bypass the painful chitchat by steering the conversation to project goals and how the person's golden Roledex could help your cause. Groscurth did just that with one particularly annoying colleague. "Ultimately, this gave him what he wanted--some space to talk about himself--while sparing me from his indulgence," he says.

  2. Massage The Bruise There is always a reason people are disagreeable: insecurity, the poor-me syndrome, general selfishness--the list of foibles goes on. In many cases, you don't need a degree in psychology to zero in on the problem. Insecure people are some of the easiest to suss out. One classic trademark: They tend to turn into jerks when challenged. You can't live in fear of these meltdowns, but you can ease their intensity by stroking the person's ego a little more during those rare moments when they get something right. It's disingenuous and annoying, perhaps, but ultimately worth it.

  3. Control What You Can In most encounters, you can choose to escalate conflict or keep things civil. "The only response that you have control over is your own," says Groscurth. Humor helps. So does a positive attitude. When dealing with a Debbie-Downer type, for example, try spinning their complaints into questions: "That situation sounds tough, but what can you do to turn it around?"

  4. Look For The Good Surely the person you can't stand has some redeeming quality. Find it and focus on it all the way through the conversation, even it's just a physical feature or nice piece of clothing, advises Dr. Kathleen Hall, chief executive of The Stress Institute, a mental-health consultancy that works with corporations and nonprofit organizations. "For example, if you you're talking to a person who is incredibly rude, but she has good hair, just think about the pretty hair, smile, say what you need to say and move on with your day," she says.

  5. Find Common Ground Perhaps the person you can't stand is also a parent, a fan of the same team or an alumnus of the same school. "Focusing on what you have in common gives you more positive feelings toward them, as well as something connecting to talk about," says David Levin, author of Don't Just Talk, Be Heard!

  6. Empathize (Even If It Means Making Stuff Up) As with all noxious substances, toxic people should be handled with care. Difficult (and disconcerting) as it may seem, try to imagine that you were born in their similar uncomfortable circumstances. Or even go the extra step and imagine that they've been told, that very morning, by the one person they love, that it's all over. Who cares if it's true? The fictional scenario will reduce the level of toxicity in your body--and that's what counts.

  7. Avoid Blame People who are particularly difficult often seek to rationalize their actions. They don't want to be the bad guy, so therefore you must have provoked them. This tendency is called cognitive resonance: our nearly obsessive desire to appear consistent with what we have already done. With that in mind, avoid assigning blame to the blighter at all costs. Instead of saying, "You kind of screwed this one up," go with "Here's what would really help save the day."

  8. Let Them Save Face So the insistent boor won't back down, even though (you both know) his argument is somewhere between specious and laughable. Asking him to "reconsider"--implying that he had made a mistake--is asking for trouble. Instead, present a new dilemma based on new information and ask for his decision. That way, he can save face without admitting his mistake.

  9. Plan A Quick Exit Always go into these conversations with a plan. Know what you want to achieve during the talk and have an exit strategy once the mission is accomplished. "I'm waiting for an important phone call" or "I'm hoping to catch a client before they head out" work well. Plan for contingencies, too. "Be prepared to cut your losses and move on to something more enjoyable, or at least more manageable,” says Vlad Zachary, founder of CareerConceptZ.com, which offers resources and strategies for job interviews.

I know that that was a bit long, but it has helped me through many a difficult time at work! Good luck!

5y
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YVETTE JONES

I would step to her and let she knows, U didn't hire me so I can't fire me and I'LL report the matter to my supervisor,n also out of her way,

6y
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Diane Alman-Ostermeier

I would continue to let her think she is the boss. When something goes wrong does she still act as boss?

6y
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LaRoy Gibson

1st off follow your chain of command..if that gets you no results. Go to the higher ups,if you are union report her to your shop steward, other than that do you. Or put her in her place...period

6y
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Nadine Haley

I would talk clearly to clarify the problem, and if it persisted to happen 2 more times, I would have to fire her or him.

6y
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Arnell M Walker

There nothing to handle use it as experience which is part of your foundation and growth and be a much better person in deed and knowledge because you handled this experience well. Knowledge is power, Power is experience, Experience is growth and Growth begins.

6y
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Anthony Harrington

Angela:

What do you mean by she thinks you are her boss? Is she telling you what to do or offering you suggestions on how to be more proficient at your job?

Chances are she just has a superiority complex because she is permanent whereas you are a temp. If you like the job aside from dealing with her, just ignore her and do the best job you can do. If you become a permanent employee and God-forbid, she promotes to a leadership role, you don't want there to be any bad blood that could jeopardize your employment or happiness.

Be the best you possible and don't worry about your co-worker. You can't fix her so don't stress yourself out by trying.

6y
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