Autistic Female’s Top 10 survival guide to dealing with a difficult coworker

I think it is a sure bet to go ahead and say that at some point in our life time we will have to work with individuals who are not the easiest humans in the world. Although I am in the same situation as described above during my employment, I have come up with the top 10 rules to surviving a hard coworker.  If used correctly, these strategies will make your job less stressful and your enemy at arms length.

1) Get a Radio

For me this is the most effective strategy 99.9% of the time.  It blocks out the unwanted sounds and distractions from the person you are trying to have minimal contact with.  It allows me to focus on what needs to get accomplished before the day is over.

2) Use Selective Hearing

If you find yourself in a situation where a co-worker treats the day as an eight hour therapy session my best advice is to use selective hearing and only listen to what is relevant to your job.  In my case, the minute I hear her complaining about personal issues I put in my imaginary ear plugs until something  business related is thrown in.

3) Keep it Short

When you have no other option but to converse with your difficult fellow employee. get straight to the point and do not add any unnecessary information.  Remember, they are not your friend.  You do not want to give them ammunition to use against you and cause trouble.

4) Keep a Log of Every Problem

This is your best defense in the event you need to lodge a formal complaint to your boss or Human Resources.  Keep notes that are detailed and in chronological order.  By providing actual evidence instead of hearsay or “I think”.  If this happens your notes will serve you well. Choose a notebook that is discreet.

5) Stock up on Cleaning Supplies

No matter what part of the world you reside in at some point you will encounter people who do not practice good hygiene.  In the unfortunate event that such a person works with you than I strongly recommend stocking up on heavy duty cleaning supplies.  This has two purposes.  You kill bacterial viruses and eliminate any offensive smells in your work space or surrounding area.  Scented disinfected sprays and wipes are a good way to go.

6) Say Good Morning First

Simply saying good morning first puts you in charge of the length on the interaction.  If you let the other person initiate first you will be forced to endure a painful monologue of useless information.  I know from my own experiences this is the last thing people want to deal with in the morning.

7) Tell a Friend or Family Member

I find it helpful to discuss certain problems with a trusted outside source because they can offer unbiased feedback on the situation.  In addition, it can be beneficial to you because they may have different strategies to utilize.

8 ) Always Keep Your Armor On

If one day your rival starts being nice to you, this should be an automatic sign they are up to no good.  I do not care what the environment is but a bully will only be polite to use something to their advantage.  Only give enough detail to answer the questions that are work related only.

9)  Do Not Lose Your Cool

I know this is easier said than done when a person’s anger level is high but it is very necessary in the work place.  Also a lesson that my family always taught me is the minute you start screaming you already lost the argument.  Be professional and firm in what you say to the one who made you upset.

10) Take Breaks Throughout The Day

If you feel yourself getting ready to take a stapler to shut your office mates yapper the best thing to do ii to take a deep breath and walk away from your desk.  Take time to let go of your frustrations and regain your sanity.  Do not let them see that they drove you nuts.  I personally take about 5 breaks a day.

I hope these tips will work as well for you as they did for me.  Good luck!


Thank you for reading!

Autistic Female

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