Can’t we all just get along? No. At least not at work.
An online poll of 2,000 adults revealed that 22% despise their colleagues. That’s strong language!
Cranky people obviously responded to the poll. Those who enjoy arranging staff birthday parties and NONE OF US IS AS STRONG AS ALL OF US teambuilding events are too busy for polls. Either way you slice the birthday cake, that’s a whole lot of despising.
There’s more: one third of the respondents had quit their jobs to escape undesirable co-workers. The word “obnoxious” was bandied about like helium balloons.
“The office is a lot like a family,” says Franke James with officepolitics.com. “And nobody knows how to push our buttons like a brother or sister.”
My siblings are scattered across several provinces. We all get along just fine. Then again, my sister isn’t stealing my three-hole punch and my brother isn’t dropping cruller crumbs into my computer keyboard.
But there have been a few I’d peeps I’d place in that 22 percentile. Please join me in the Wayback Machine, to when I worked at a sales job.
I watched a male co-worker slam down the phone and cartwheel across the room, ecstatic after closing a deal. I clapped and congratulated Dave as he bounced off walls. (I’m not exaggerating; he did a series of side kicks like the Lucky Charms leprechaun.)
Our boss walked past me and I blurted out, “Dave just made a big sale, isn’t that great?” This was followed by lots of rah-rahing and back patting. The mood was charged.
The minute our boss left the room, Dave strode over to me with a loaded index finger and a florid tinge to his face. Then he started to snort. “Who the hell are you to announce my news? I’ll make the announcements when I’m good and ready. Got it?” His resting bitch face scared me.
“Oh-kay . . . got it.”
The mood was no longer charged. Dave must have missed the inter-office memo on teamwork. Then again, I shouldn’t have rained on his Lucky Charms parade. Who knew being a cheerleader was so hazardous.
Cold comfort? My over-the-top colleague was soon fired for pulling the same explosive stunt on another supportive co-worker. This time the boss was watching.
Thanks to the dismal statistics and my tramp down memory lane, I’m nervous. When I show up for the next staff meeting I’ll wonder if 22% of the boardroom despises me. I’d better keep the lid clamped down on my cheerleading charm. Better yet, maybe I won’t go.
Nah, I’ll go, and not because I’m brave. There might be birthday cake.