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How to Handle a Rude Coworker

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Small, local businesses have owners, managers, and employees. Within the ranking system, those who have worked at the business longer should have seniority. Some owners honor this system, some ignore it. Employees have no say in how their bosses do business.

When rookies begin acting like the authority, then difficulties arise. Senior employees must somehow maintain control, both in their duties and their emotions. Rookies who act like they know the business better than everyone else are simply rude. Listed below is how to handle them.

Report to the Manager

No one likes a tattle-tale, but in the business world, employees have to look after their own interests. If the rookies slack off in their work or upset a customer and try to place the blame on the senior coworkers, then make sure the manager knows who screwed up. As long as the senior employees have proved faithful in their work, the manager should believe them. Only in doing this will the bosses know who to attribute blame to and who to praise.

Aggressive Coworker

When a Coworker Gets in a Senior Employee's Face

Rude Coworker
Credit: o5com

Be Kind to the Coworker

Acting like a jerk to the rookies will only ensure further negative treatment. Certainly the new coworkers will annoy and sometimes hurt their seniors, but having seniority means the employees must also maintain a certain level of emotional control. Adopting Cinderella’s motto is a great idea: Have courage, be kind. Smiling and talking to the rude coworkers requires both.

Do the Work Well

The more senior employees slack off in their duties, the more disdain the rookies will have for their senior coworkers. Do the required work, and then do some more. If the senior employees are proactive in their duties, then no one should question their judgement or authority. Higher authorities will root out and dismiss rookies who act disdainfully toward hardworking coworkers.

Good Work

Common Work Among Retail Workers

Good Work
Credit: Marcin Wichery

Remember to Take Care

Senior employees must remember to look after their own work. Rude coworkers will always blame their mistakes on their senior coworkers, act rudely despite the seniors’ kindness, and disdain their seniors regardless of their good work. To be good employees, senior employees must practice the above traits and have some faith that their bosses will understand the situation.

Making friends with the rude coworkers might be a stretch. Acting like a humane person is only good practice. Faith helps in this task, but faith in good people can work as well. It’s also good to remember this: the rookies are human, too.



Mar 11, 2016 4:33am
Good one!
Mar 11, 2016 7:52am
Thank you!
Apr 7, 2016 2:25pm
New employees don't have a monopoly on rudeness. In fact it's usually long term, established co-workers that can be the worst, and some have a habit of blaming mistakes on their subordinates or even stealing their ideas (new employees generally tend to be on their best behavior, especially if they are on probation).

One inconsiderate behavior I had a hard time dealing with once was a really enthusiastic junior employee who I shared an office with. She had a much more routine job that I did and had this amazing ability to work and talk at the same time. She just wouldn't stop talking, to the point that she interfered with my ability to think about the complex tasks that I was engaged in.
Apr 8, 2016 7:18am
I was thinking of a particular new employee I know when I wrote this, but I defer to you when it comes to rest of the working world. Thank you for your comment.
Apr 8, 2016 10:20am
I hope you managed to resolve your issue in the end. Nice article.
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