Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Irrational Reactions

I had a former coworker that I just could not deal with. Anytime he asked me a question, or approached me for information, my hackles went up and I turned on my "defensive" mode. I gave short answers, tried not to volunteer information, and basically did everything I could to make the conversation as short as possible.

I would get frustrated when they didn't immediately understand something I'd told them, even if it was brand new to them, and it had taken me over a decade to master. It was an unreasonable and irrational expectation on my part, and it was limited to this one co-worker. With other co-workers, I would be excited that they wanted to learn, and would spend the time to educate them. I would make sure they understood, and would carve out time from my schedule to help them out.

I honestly don't know why I have that difference in reactions. I tried lots of different tips, tricks and techniques to be less antagonistic with this guy. He's not the most technical person I've ever worked with, and would frequently get things wrong on the projects he worked on. Maybe that's the root cause. I was burned several times, so I just didn't trust him.

But why couldn't I move past that? Why couldn't I spend as much time trying to educate him, and help him out, as I did other co-workers? Again, I really don't know. It was almost a visceral reaction. It didn't matter what, I was just not going to cut this guy a break.

I'm ashamed about it, to be honest. It wasn't fair to him, and it was a very poor attitude on my part. I hope I never have that happen again.

How have you dealt with a co-worker that just completely and irrationally rubbed you the wrong way?


  1. I can't tell you until the statute of limitations runs out. ;-D

  2. Platitudes I can give you. Real answers, not so much.