Karen White, a Tampa businesswoman, can relate to the 55 percent of Americans who find their job to be 'unpleasant'.
"A few years ago," says White, "I actually had a woman change her clothes in my cube." Keep in mind: White was still in the cube, too. "Yep, she pulled her pants down, changed her clothes...It was my boss."
That 55 percent number comes from a startling new joint study from Harvard, UCLA and Rand Corp. Twenty percent of those surveyed said their jobs were worse than unpleasant; they were threatening, hostile.
A frequent problem is a difficult, stressful coworker: the office bully, the office jerk... or maybe even a boss with no pants.
Before going to your boss or even HR, you can try and manage your workplace relationships:
- Be honest and open with difficult coworkers. Keep it brief, use humor, but let them know how you feel.
- Try "befriending" the office bully: smiles, compliments, even try asking for favors. Try and flip the script, change the pattern of annoyance.
- Change your real estate. One woman we talked to is a project manager for a Tampa construction firm. She was being irked by constant office chitchat. She let her coworkers know that she didn't like it -- then she moved across the office.
- Realize that it's not you -- it's them. The office bully isn't acting out because of you. Try to understand why they're doing this.
- If all else fails, it may be time to speak to someone in upper-management.