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*I* am the difficult co-worker

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*I* am the difficult co-worker

e1roy1
Please help me. I am the person everyone hates to work with. While I don't care what people think, I do want to be a good team player and have a successful team.

Problem:
1.) Short temper
2.) High expectations of people
3.) Sarcastic and demeaning (according to feedback)

Example: Because of my workload, I was asked to hand off a major project to a co-worker. I was ok with this. I handed and stayed in touch for a week or two to make sure the handoff went well. In the short term, I saw the co-worker drop the ball and misstate things to the customer and vendors repeatedly. I lost all confidence in the co-worker and re-inserted myself in the project. Of course, the co-worker fought that continually and we ended up in a horrible working relationship - every bad thing you can imagine about a person is probably true for me.

HOW DO I CHANGE? I am aware of my behavior, but struggle when I feel people are dropping the ball and can't figure out how to "help" them without alienating them. Please help...counseling is an option, I just don't know where to go.
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    Joe_R

    I might guess that your issue is all about control - specifically the need to control other people. Generally speaking, that's an effort in futility. When people get angry at others, it's because those other people do not meet the expectations you might place upon them, or perhaps because they don't perform to your standards. There might also be a trust issue, one in which you actually expect others to fail.

    Focus on how you perform and how you meet the expectations placed upon yourself. Let other people decide how they'll perform. Other people will succeed or fail, depending on a number of factors, but largely because of how they choose to perform. Just as you would resist other people injecting their preferences upon you, other people resent the same treatment.

    A key to good management (even if you're not a manager) is to find good people, give them a task, and get out of their way and let them do it. If they succeed, give them all the credit they deserve, and take none of the credit yourself. If they fail, then allow them the opportunity to learn from it. If they fall somewhere in-between, focus on the good and praise them for that.

    Without coming across as some sort of psychologist (which I'm not), I might suggest that people who continually belittle other people have a very low opinion of themselves. Whatever you project outwardly is only a reflection of what's going on internally.

    You're exactly the kind of person you choose to be. Decide to make a different choice.

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    TonytheTiger

    A key to good management (even if you're not a manager) is to find good people, give them a task, and get out of their way and let them do it.

    I'm going to link to your post in an email to my boss :)

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    Joe_R

    Let's send a link to all bosses!

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    The Scummy One

    A manager needs to not just get out of the way, but check up on progress and have some knowledge of what is going on. Or else, they are not doing their jobs.

    If all there was to being a manager was to hire, assign, and leave, why not have whole companies with 1 or 2 hiring managers, that periodically send out assignments and do nothing else?

    I can respect the independance of many tasks, but I also understand that managers need to be involved to some level.

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    TonytheTiger

    it can go overboard. Second-guessing, micromanaging, etc... If you have to tell me how to do my job at every step, you shouldn't have hired me in the first place (or at least you should be lobbying HR for my transfer or removal), and that looks just as bad on you.

    "Managing" is a two part job. You have resources, and you have demands on those resources. Balancing those as unobtrusively as possible is what makes a good manager.

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    The Scummy One

    I said to some degree. A manager does need to be involved and informed. Micro-managing is a different story, yes, many managers need to back off a bit. But, many do not really know what their employees are really doing, and are not there to 'help' when needed, or do not know how to 'help' when needed. And those are part of the managers functions.

    Your last statement is very well put. A good manager needs to play a 'balancing' role, being active enough, but distant enough as well.

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    Joe_R

    That doesn?t mean to ignore the process all together, nor was my comment intended to imply such a thing. Of course a manager has to keep his/her finger on the pulse of production. However, one doesn?t have to hover over, or micromanage someone in order to accomplish that.

    In a way, it?s about respect ? show respect to a person and give him/her enough credit that a task can be accomplished without constant monitoring. If a person can?t do that, then some manager (along the way) hired the wrong person. Why in the world would you want to hire a person (or ask for help) if you had to constantly monitor what they were doing?

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    The Scummy One

    but I thought it needed clarification.

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    TonytheTiger

    Every Wednesday, my boss asks me if I patched the servers (We can't do automatic on the servers because of processes which may or mat not be running that would cause problems were a server to spontaneously reboot). My answer is always "Yes, Dear!"

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    maecuff

    I think that the fact that you recognize that you have a problem is impressive. Most of the time, when people are abusive, or just plain jackasses, they don't know it. Or if they do, they won't admit it.

    Do you exercise? Take up Yoga. Work out every night. Get your aggression out that way. Not that it can take the place of therapy, but a hard work out can help alleviate stress and anxiety.

    How's your diet? A lot of junk, sugar and caffeine? you might want to take a look at that also. Maybe it's not just your mental outlook. Maybe you have unhealthy habits that contribute to your..well, less than sunny disposition. :)

    Good luck. I wish you well.

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    Hey, there's a reason most of us are in this field didn't majored in Social Work :-)

    I suffer from many of the same tendencies. Exercise helps a lot; maybe your workplace has a discount on membership a local gym. What really made a difference for me was eiminating caffeine and sugar. The problem with both wasn't the day I had them (well, okay; it was) as much as the "let down" the next day. Then I was Godzilla with hemorrhoids.

    Are you more amiable at a particular time of the day? Try to schedule your work so you interact with people during those hours. If you're allowed music in your work place, keep it on the light, calming side. Save the head banging metal for the drive to the gym.

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    maecuff

    I am the opposite. If I am REALLY stressed, I need loud music to calm me down. Rancid, The Clash, Nirvana, The Pixies.. If there is screaming, I want to hear it. It completely settles my nerves.

    You do realize, that I may be insane, so this method isn't for everyone.

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    e1roy1

    I do work out for just the reason you state and do watch my diet....although I do like sweets

    In general, I do have a sunny disposition and a majority of the people like me. One of the previous posters did mention my "control" issue. He is right. I do have a control issue. However, if the person steps up and does his job, I can let go without a problem. The difficulty is when *I* do not think the person is doing the job and there is a possiblity of hurting the program. Then control kicks in.

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    maecuff

    then you are right, it is something you need to work on.

    I can understand how you feel. I want to control (some) things myself and I usually fail and end up miserable/pissed/disappointed. So..best to just try to give up controlling.

    Easier said than done, right?

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    The Scummy One

    go to the manager.

    If you were told to unload a project on someone else, and you do, then it is not your responsibility anymore. If you see it being done improperly, that is for their manager to decide.
    In case it will hurt the program, you should voice a concern, but you should not aggrevate the situation by jumping in. Instead, take notes and pass the info along.
    It may take some time for someone to get deep into a project, especially if someone else started it.

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    e1roy1

    Pond Scum,
    I think you hit the solution. I really need to let go and if I don't like what I see, pass it to the manager and let him decide how to deal with it. I always want to "solve the problem by myself", but that just aggravates it. THANKS!

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    In one of Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker books, character Ford Prefect describes the 'S.E.P.' principle - "Somebody Else's Problem".

    You can't do everything by yourself. You rarely have the resources, time being the most critial one. Sometimes all you can do is bring the issue to the attention of someone with the resources to handle it and walk away.

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    The Scummy One

    never cut out the caffeine (for me at least). Once it stops, I hate people immensely.

    My fix, smoke a cigarette and have a coffee.
    there, all better now!

    of course, I dont just think I am crazy, I know it!

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    TonytheTiger

    :)

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    brianhemstreet

    I give you credit for having the personal insight to know
    you are "part" of the problem. You are not all of it--as
    managers we have all dealt with the "difficult" employee or
    supervisor. There are always too sides of the story--
    recongizing your own problems is a huge step in the right
    direction. I suggest that a great way to solve these kinds
    of problems is to surrender "the right to be right." You
    can be "right" and at war, or you can be "wrong" and be at
    peace. Which would you really prefer?

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    robo_dev

    You should inform your manager of the 'ball dropping' situation and delicately let him/her know about the situation. Be specific and use facts + documentation (not emotion, rumors, and your opinion).

    Offer to help fix the problem by picking up the ball. BUT, don't do anything unless your manager approves it.

    You need to document and CYA, not lay down in front of the train to try to save the day. What is under-performing co-worker learning from this? Nothing.

    If your manager has any sense at all, he/she will reward you for your dilligence, and work to develop the skills of the other employee, or find a replacement for them.

    Couple of show-stoppers: The manager is a ___hole, the manager is related to or sleeping with your co-worker (or both). Or if there is no trust relationship between you and this manager.


    "It's great to soar like an eagle, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines".

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    e1roy1

    Actually, my managers is extremely supportive. His concern is the way other people at work view me. He doesn't want me to get a bad rep. He has brought up good points and recognizes that the co-worker may not be 100% in the right, but he sees a need for me to learn to control my response to things I find annoying.

    That is what I need help with....what do I do when I am so pissed that I could eat tacks???

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    robo_dev

    an anger management class?

    Self-talk: "I only work here, they don't pay me to think"

    Self-control: If you are going to blast out a flaming email or letter, save the draft and let it sit for a day. (Abe Lincoln said that, well not the email part)

    Switch to decaf, watch the sugar, exercise, get enough sleep. If you're wired to the gills on starbucks and snickers bars, you're likely to snap at any loud noises near your desk.

    Take a break, gain some perspective. If you've got a hobby or pastime (that does not involve computers), get into it and get your mind less wrapped around work. (Note: do not get arrested, killed, seriously injured or some combination of the above with said pastime).

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    "If you've got a hobby or pastime (that does not involve computers), ..."

    Many of us are in this business because we start using computers as hobbies (or in school for our younger members) and chose IT as a career based on those early experiences. That can lead to building home networks, loading new OS's and apps at home, studying for certification tests, etc. I've found it very beneficial to do have a couple of interests that don't involve technology at all. These help me get completely out of the work mindset that otherwise gets carried over to my home technology toys. In my case they're gardening and birdwatching, but others here are into needlecrafts and playing musical instruments.

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    Tig2

    I am on this computer all day at least five days a week. I write news. For TR. TR used to be a hobby of mine. While I do watch the threads, I don't spend nearly the time with it that I used to.

    I regulate the time I spend on the computer at all and then I leave my office and close the door. I wouldn't survive any other way.

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    GSG

    If I get frustrated, or angry, or both, I sometimes just take a walk. Get away from the scene of frustration and remind yourself that you can't control the situation because you don't own the situation.

    I changed my job duties and gave up my old duties to the person across the hall. It's sometimes hard not to jump in and say, "No, do it THIS way!" I just remind myself that I have to be responsible for what I'm tasked with.

    If my co-worker's having an issue, I'll tell him that I overheard and that if he needs help, let me know. I'll even go get him a cup of coffee if he's stuck on the phone, which is something I don't do for just anyone. Now, he'll ask me to brainstorm an issue with him. It goes back to building that trust between us. I recognize that he's the "owner" and he recognizes that I'm a good person to bounce ideas off of.

    That also goes the opposite direction. If he hears me having an issue, he'll ask what's going on, and we can hash out a possible solution.

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    beat the feathers out of it when you get 'so pissed that you could eat tacks'. There is something immensely satisfying about watching feathers fly while getting in a few punches.

    Alternately, split wood manually in the evenings when you get home. Pretend the face of whoever is on the top of the log that your wedge is about to be driven into.

    Better still. Why do you get 'so pissed that you could eat nails' at other people's failings? What exactly do those failings have to do with you at such an intensely personal level?

    In reality, we have no control over anything. At best we have significant influence only. Why expend all your energy in an effort to control that which is not by nature controllable?

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    e1roy1

    I do go home and split wood and it helps a lot!!!

    For some reason, I form an emotional attachment to my projects. I feel like they are my kids and I can't stand to see them fail/falter (no, I don't have kids for this reason).

    These threads have really helped me to see that I can't control everything and moreover, I have no obligation to try. Thanks to everyone!

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    Locrian_Lyric

    I know, it's hard, but necessary.

    You have to let the sun set on some of these things or you will work yourself into an early grave.

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    The Listed 'G MAN'

    Who asked you to do this?

    If you just decided this despite being told by your boss to hand the project off they will no doubt have the exact same problem with you, that you are having with others.

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    e1roy1

    Technically, it was a "half-handoff". I was responsible for development of the product and the hand-off was for production. The problem was, the technical development wasn't complete, so there was a struggle between who made the calls - me, or manufacturing. One of the issues was that responsibilities were not well defined. However, I still need to learn how to deal in these situation.

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    LocoLobo

    It's hard to let go sometimes. But sometimes you have to. Especially if the boss told you to.

    In your example, once you handed off the project it was no longer yours but your co-workers. Especially from your co-workers perspective. When you jump back into the project uninvited it is natural the co-worker feels threatened.

    What to do about it? First try to see it from the other persons perspective, coworker, boss, customer or whoever. Second, do you have interests outside of work? That involve people? If yes practice your social skills. Listen, observe and always think before talking.

    Don't feel too bad. We all "lose it" from time to time. My solution is to go for a walk when I lose my temper. Even if you can't do it at work you can after. It's amazing how much good a half hours walk can do!

    Good luck.

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    e1roy1

    I try to get out every day at lunch and also recognize a complete difference in my personality when I do. Thanks for the other comments.

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    Fregeus

    And I can speak from experience.

    I am a control freak and a perfectionnist, not a good combination, let me tell ya! But knowing is half the battle, and knowing and acknowledging that you have a problem is a big big step. You are half way home buddy!!

    I've read and agree with most replies you got from your initial post. Here is my take on it. You seem to, like me, be afraid of looking bad and having something come back and bite you in the a$$ later on. So much so, that you look at your co-workers work to make sure it does not affect you. That is an unfortunate and hazardous chain of thought.

    For myself, I started concentrating on the fact that I could only control myself, my thought, my work. Everything else is up in the air. I am not a religious man, but i started thinking zen where everything needs to be balanced in life. You need the good AND the bad. If you did not have the bad, you wouldn't know how to enjoy the good. Will something you did not do come back and bite you in the a$$? Absolutely, why? Because that's life. No matter how careful you try to be, something unexpected will pop up. So just try to control your own little world and keep your customers happy. If you know you do good work, thats all you need to concentrate on.

    BTW, when you transfered your project to your co-worker. Your co-worker became your customer. If he was happy with what you gave him, but screwed it up anyways, you still did a good job. If you see him/her heading in the wrong direction, you might suggest a course change, but ultimatly, he/she is still at the helm and you need to work on accepting that.

    Its not easy, I will admit it. I still have difficulties swallowing my pride and overcoming my pet peeves. But in the end, I have a better life for it.


    Good luck

    TCB

    Edited for grammar and typos

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    e1roy1

    TCB,
    You hit (most of) the nail on the head. I was very concerned the the project failing. I have to say 20% of my concern was me looking bad, but I have screwed up before and am not afraid to own up to it. My bigger issue is that we are a small company and any failure hits the financial side very hard. I worked for 1.5 years to get this project into production and **did not feel that the production guy was going to hit the delivery date**. Again...my impression and maybe if I backed off, he would have come through.

    Still, I do have to learn to let go. I especially like your statement

    "I started concentrating on the fact that I could only control myself, my thought, my work."

    I will work on that.

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    Fregeus

    E1roy1

    I too have no problem with owning up to my mistakes, I have a serious issue with owning up to other people's mistakes, and I figure, you do too. Man, this brings back alot of stuff...

    I find it hard to work in a team settings because of my high expectations. I think it's comes naturally that you want others to answer to those same standards. It comes naturally, but it isn't right. I still find it difficult to just concentrate on doing MY best, and hope that other do theirs too. Expectations are a real burden on the psychological and emotionnal portion of ourselves.

    Letting go is difficult, but once you do, you feel so much better.

    Good luck


    TCB

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    JamesRL

    Was taking the "Seven Habits Course". You could just read the book to see if you want to go further. The course is interactive, you get personal coaching, and probably the best things is the prework, which involves asking peers, subordinates and supervisors to fill in a questionaire about you, and doing one yourself and comparing them.

    I know it sounds like business buzzword speak, but trust me when I tell you it helped me a great deal.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Seven_Habits_of_Highly_Effective_People

    James

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    DMambo

    Now, I know that's a sarcastic remark, but what I'm really trying to convey is that it's often a matter of the 4 P's - Patience, Priorities, Perception and Focus (round off the front of the F).

    Once I had kids (15 years ago to start), I realized that I had to turn my life over to suppressing a lot of my desires to their needs. I learned that I often had to wait for the "me" time. Work life often took a back seat.

    Priorities come into play when you learn that there are only a finite number of irons you can have in the fire. Do what you can, but don't allow others' behavior affect the things you can control.

    Try to view yourself from the perspective of your coworkers. Listen to what comes out of your mouth and think how it impacts others.

    Finally, focus on the good points before concentrating on what needs to be fixed. It'll help you to remember that it could be worse.

    It took a healthy dose of dope slaps before I got off the ****-em-off express, but look at me now!

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    e1roy1

    Dmambo
    I appreciate the advice, but NO KIDS. I think I would be a horrible parent....you should see my dogs lack of discipline.

    I do understand the point of your email though. Thanks.

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    Locrian_Lyric

    1)Use your high expectations as a method of motivation.

    Instead of "I expect this", try "I know you can do this".

    The expectations are the same, but it comes accross two entirely different ways: The former is demanding, the latter is acknowledging someone's skill.

    2)Let the ball drop occasionally.

    Believe me, a person learns far more from a good screwup than from someone rushing in to save the day. Don't insert yourself into things, but ask your coworkers if they need help.

    3)When you must correct people, do it indirectly and put the onus on yourself. "Hi Joe, listen, I was just looking at this and I am getting different numbers. Could you run over this with me?"

    Joe will likely then see his mistake, but you've let him save face.

    4)Follow the 24 hour rule:

    If something makes you angry, wait 24 hours before sending an email or talking to someone about it. This is CRUCIAL if you have a short fuse as you are likely to say things you don't mean or will regret.

    5)Practice with a tape recorder.

    If you are sounding sarcastic and don't mean to be, record your voice and listen to how you sound to others. You may be suprised. You may also wish to practice facial expressions in a mirror.

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    e1roy1

    Thanks to everyone for such constructive feedback. I have a much better idea of how to deal with these situations and it makes me feel better to know others have dealt with it in the past.

    I have one more question that is really just for my enjoyment.....does it make any difference that I am female?

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    The Scummy One

    Well, let me re-phrase, why SHOULD it?

    I guess it depends on where you work. Most larger companies it should not matter at all, but that is not saying that some departments, or smaller companies dont have the same grasp on reality

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    DMambo

    Unfortunately, yeah, it makes a difference (even though it shouldn't)

    Often, a surly man is thought of as aggressive or "type A". A surly woman, on the other hand, is thought of as....well, you know.

    Now, I'll probably get in hot water for this observation, but as it's related to this thread, I'll state it anyway. In my 25-year career of working in factories with many women line workers, my 20+ years of marriage and 15+ years as a parent of 2 girls and 1 boy, I believe that women, once offended, hold grudges longer and need more "closure" for incidents. Men, in my experience, will often tacitly move on in personal relationships after a perceived slight. Women often want to work it out, which, IMHO, only serves to bring the wound back into the open without promoting healing.

    Edit to add - I should have guessed that you were a woman. Most men would not have the self-awareness to even have started this thread. Or they wouldn't care enough to have started this thread.

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    Tig2

    Not even a little. And I can tell you that you have received a lot of this feedback from other women. Gender makes no difference in the work place.

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    JamesRL

    Gender shouldn't make a difference, and if we had an ideal workplace it wouldn't.

    But you have to be sensitive to the fact it may.

    Its easy to generalize. Don't assume your boss and coworkers are sexist. Don't assume they aren't, until they demonstrate consistent behaviour otherwise. Tread carefully is all I suggest.

    Many men don't take kindly to women exerting control over what they do. I never had that issue, but some do. Not suggesting you should encourage that or even accept that, but be aware of it.

    I've had a few bosses who've been called dragon ladies. They found ways of overcoming that handle.

    James

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    The Scummy One

    I think for many places you are correct. But there have been, and are still places around with just that mentality the Dmamo describes.

    That is why I said 'should' in my reply (body). There have been several TR members last year that complained about sexism in their workplace.

    Also, it may be going on, but behind closed doors as well. One can never truly tell. But, in a good run company, it SHOULD not be an issue.

    For me, it is all about the person. I have worked for women that were ditzes, men that were incompetent, and both that were very good at what they do. Currently my management structure puts me directly below 2 women, and I have no issues because I respect them both.

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    Tig2

    That I'm pretty blind to that. I simply refuse to see it. It tends to go away. Or it gets resolved.

    But I agree, it does occur.

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    Now there's one more woman around here to keep jdclyde in line...

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    mikeadams1137

    It depends...there are many ways to fix this problem...If you are looking for a true fix, a real good spiritual fix...so you can work yourself through future situations...I recommend a psychiatrist...this doesn't mean you are crazy.

    I bet though, you hold yourelf to standards, and expect those same standards from other people. What you have to realize is that not all people are on the same standards. A million different circumstances have befallen your life, making you who you are. Keep that in mind when approaching them and talking with them.

    I recommend breathing exercises and gym work-out, to relieve frustration and stress...short-tempers are usually lack of self control, or emotions you cannot control.
    There are also medications for this...which brings me to the "easy american fix"..

    This one requires insurance...Go to a psychriatrist, explain your situation, extend hand, and take prozac. I've listed the options below in easy step to step format.

    Option 1: Becoming a better, more understanding, mature adult and better person, seeking to help others, not yourself.

    1) Begin breathing exercises.
    2) Pick up subscription to Gym.
    3) Read a book, begin thinking about what you do, think more then 5 minutes ahead. What your holding these people too, how will it affect them..? Why would you want to hurt them?

    2nd option: American Easy Fix
    1) Schedule appt. with Doctor
    2) Approach Window with Insurance card
    3) Explain Doctor Problem, ask for prescription.
    4) Take prescription to get filled.
    5) Enjoy numb sense in mind for rest of your life.

    =)

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    e1roy1

    Just joking, but I think someone else said that most men tend to go home and let these things go. It just about kills me at night when I continually re-hash the incident over and over....No, I can't let go and closure is good. I will remember that men tend not to look for closure and I will try harder to "just let go". I have been doing that a bit, and it really does help.

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    Tig2

    "Play like a Man, Win like a Woman" by Gail Evans- SR VP at CNN. Excellent read and a good way to see yourself through another person's eyes and perspective.

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    Shellbot

    You've got a lot of good advice here..
    As for being a woman..well I don't think that it matters because your a woman..but maybe some of your reaction is enhanced because your a woman?

    I don't mean that in a negative way..being a girlie myself, I feel sometimes I have to work just that tiny bit harder, or make sure everything is perfect, because I want to "prove myself". But its really my own hang up. I need things to be done right the first time..so often I do them myself which then increases my stress and my workload..

    In regards to the post about "SEP" (Someone elses problem)..that book had a huge impact on me. When I read it I was stressed to the max, miserable in my job and suffered constand headaches... after the book i just thought to heck with it..if no one else cares about the projects, then why do i?

    Its still hard to let go when I see things been done differently than I would (AKA wrong :) )..but to keep sane and be a team player its something you have to do.

    At least you realise you act this way, therefore you can change it..

    :)

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    Ed Woychowsky

    In one hundred years nobody will remember any of this, or care.

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    oscar.lozano

    The truth is that there are professionals that they think are professionals in every aspect and professionals that behave professionally. That said, you need to decide in which end are you. Being a professional, requires some ethics, written or unwritten, you know that some attitudes or behaviors are destructive on some kind of way, so you step up, work with it and take them out of the equation. That's a kind of ethic. Unfortunately, not every one thinks that way, or perhaps the company culture isn't aligned that way. In a perfect world they might.

    I'm identified with your story, because somehow, I recently being exposed as the bad guy, when a little task weren't done as the customer expectations, even though, there was some meetings and email to get to a middle ground with clear expectations of everyone's responsability. I did my part as requested, but they thought it was my responsibility to do it all. Is not the first time, I perform such a task and I persistently look for collaboration within the parts involved and people usually collaborate in major or minor way, but that isn't matter because they thought it was my duty expecifically, therefore a was given a well-intended destructive feedback, and the manager who did it, copied to the major staff of the company. Obviously, when that happens, my boss is going to slap me in the face, for two obvious reasons, he's job is on the line and now he got the pressure on his back, because of the awareness of the major staff. Today, no matter how good I performed in general (my last performance evaluation was of 104% on Jan 2008), this feedback marked me badly within the organization. This issue didn't affected production nor quality of the product, it was just an upgrade to their quality procedures. In other words, I placed something they didn't have for their use. The manager even gave the credit to other people for the job. That isn't a professional behavior, because it isn't constructive. I explained my discomfort to my manager, he still thinks it was my fault only, but you already know why.


    The morale of all this story is one, no matter what issues you may have with people not living as your expectations or you not performing as their expectations, you are compelled to behave professionally at all times. That is to be constructive in both ways, if they think you are bad guy, play by their rules and demonstrate a good attitude toward a customer satisfaction and if the case is they are not living to your expectations, then construct and guide them toward a better performance. Lead by example. I will do and I will finish stronger than ever, that's what professionals do.

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    maecuff

    I think that the fact that you recognize that you have a problem is impressive. Most of the time, when people are abusive, or just plain jackasses, they don't know it. Or if they do, they won't admit it.

    Do you exercise? Take up Yoga. Work out every night. Get your aggression out that way. Not that it can take the place of therapy, but a hard work out can help alleviate stress and anxiety.

    How's your diet? A lot of junk, sugar and caffeine? you might want to take a look at that also. Maybe it's not just your mental outlook. Maybe you have unhealthy habits that contribute to your..well, less than sunny disposition. :)

    Good luck. I wish you well.

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    robo_dev

    You should inform your manager of the 'ball dropping' situation and delicately let him/her know about the situation. Be specific and use facts + documentation (not emotion, rumors, and your opinion).

    Offer to help fix the problem by picking up the ball. BUT, don't do anything unless your manager approves it.

    You need to document and CYA, not lay down in front of the train to try to save the day. What is under-performing co-worker learning from this? Nothing.

    If your manager has any sense at all, he/she will reward you for your dilligence, and work to develop the skills of the other employee, or find a replacement for them.

    Couple of show-stoppers: The manager is a ___hole, the manager is related to or sleeping with your co-worker (or both). Or if there is no trust relationship between you and this manager.


    "It's great to soar like an eagle, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines".

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    The Listed 'G MAN'

    Who asked you to do this?

    If you just decided this despite being told by your boss to hand the project off they will no doubt have the exact same problem with you, that you are having with others.

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    LocoLobo

    It's hard to let go sometimes. But sometimes you have to. Especially if the boss told you to.

    In your example, once you handed off the project it was no longer yours but your co-workers. Especially from your co-workers perspective. When you jump back into the project uninvited it is natural the co-worker feels threatened.

    What to do about it? First try to see it from the other persons perspective, coworker, boss, customer or whoever. Second, do you have interests outside of work? That involve people? If yes practice your social skills. Listen, observe and always think before talking.

    Don't feel too bad. We all "lose it" from time to time. My solution is to go for a walk when I lose my temper. Even if you can't do it at work you can after. It's amazing how much good a half hours walk can do!

    Good luck.

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    Fregeus

    And I can speak from experience.

    I am a control freak and a perfectionnist, not a good combination, let me tell ya! But knowing is half the battle, and knowing and acknowledging that you have a problem is a big big step. You are half way home buddy!!

    I've read and agree with most replies you got from your initial post. Here is my take on it. You seem to, like me, be afraid of looking bad and having something come back and bite you in the a$$ later on. So much so, that you look at your co-workers work to make sure it does not affect you. That is an unfortunate and hazardous chain of thought.

    For myself, I started concentrating on the fact that I could only control myself, my thought, my work. Everything else is up in the air. I am not a religious man, but i started thinking zen where everything needs to be balanced in life. You need the good AND the bad. If you did not have the bad, you wouldn't know how to enjoy the good. Will something you did not do come back and bite you in the a$$? Absolutely, why? Because that's life. No matter how careful you try to be, something unexpected will pop up. So just try to control your own little world and keep your customers happy. If you know you do good work, thats all you need to concentrate on.

    BTW, when you transfered your project to your co-worker. Your co-worker became your customer. If he was happy with what you gave him, but screwed it up anyways, you still did a good job. If you see him/her heading in the wrong direction, you might suggest a course change, but ultimatly, he/she is still at the helm and you need to work on accepting that.

    Its not easy, I will admit it. I still have difficulties swallowing my pride and overcoming my pet peeves. But in the end, I have a better life for it.


    Good luck

    TCB

    Edited for grammar and typos

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    JamesRL

    Was taking the "Seven Habits Course". You could just read the book to see if you want to go further. The course is interactive, you get personal coaching, and probably the best things is the prework, which involves asking peers, subordinates and supervisors to fill in a questionaire about you, and doing one yourself and comparing them.

    I know it sounds like business buzzword speak, but trust me when I tell you it helped me a great deal.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Seven_Habits_of_Highly_Effective_People

    James

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    DMambo

    Now, I know that's a sarcastic remark, but what I'm really trying to convey is that it's often a matter of the 4 P's - Patience, Priorities, Perception and Focus (round off the front of the F).

    Once I had kids (15 years ago to start), I realized that I had to turn my life over to suppressing a lot of my desires to their needs. I learned that I often had to wait for the "me" time. Work life often took a back seat.

    Priorities come into play when you learn that there are only a finite number of irons you can have in the fire. Do what you can, but don't allow others' behavior affect the things you can control.

    Try to view yourself from the perspective of your coworkers. Listen to what comes out of your mouth and think how it impacts others.

    Finally, focus on the good points before concentrating on what needs to be fixed. It'll help you to remember that it could be worse.

    It took a healthy dose of dope slaps before I got off the ****-em-off express, but look at me now!

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    Locrian_Lyric

    1)Use your high expectations as a method of motivation.

    Instead of "I expect this", try "I know you can do this".

    The expectations are the same, but it comes accross two entirely different ways: The former is demanding, the latter is acknowledging someone's skill.

    2)Let the ball drop occasionally.

    Believe me, a person learns far more from a good screwup than from someone rushing in to save the day. Don't insert yourself into things, but ask your coworkers if they need help.

    3)When you must correct people, do it indirectly and put the onus on yourself. "Hi Joe, listen, I was just looking at this and I am getting different numbers. Could you run over this with me?"

    Joe will likely then see his mistake, but you've let him save face.

    4)Follow the 24 hour rule:

    If something makes you angry, wait 24 hours before sending an email or talking to someone about it. This is CRUCIAL if you have a short fuse as you are likely to say things you don't mean or will regret.

    5)Practice with a tape recorder.

    If you are sounding sarcastic and don't mean to be, record your voice and listen to how you sound to others. You may be suprised. You may also wish to practice facial expressions in a mirror.

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    e1roy1

    Thanks to everyone for such constructive feedback. I have a much better idea of how to deal with these situations and it makes me feel better to know others have dealt with it in the past.

    I have one more question that is really just for my enjoyment.....does it make any difference that I am female?

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    Joe_R

    I might guess that your issue is all about control - specifically the need to control other people. Generally speaking, that's an effort in futility. When people get angry at others, it's because those other people do not meet the expectations you might place upon them, or perhaps because they don't perform to your standards. There might also be a trust issue, one in which you actually expect others to fail.

    Focus on how you perform and how you meet the expectations placed upon yourself. Let other people decide how they'll perform. Other people will succeed or fail, depending on a number of factors, but largely because of how they choose to perform. Just as you would resist other people injecting their preferences upon you, other people resent the same treatment.

    A key to good management (even if you're not a manager) is to find good people, give them a task, and get out of their way and let them do it. If they succeed, give them all the credit they deserve, and take none of the credit yourself. If they fail, then allow them the opportunity to learn from it. If they fall somewhere in-between, focus on the good and praise them for that.

    Without coming across as some sort of psychologist (which I'm not), I might suggest that people who continually belittle other people have a very low opinion of themselves. Whatever you project outwardly is only a reflection of what's going on internally.

    You're exactly the kind of person you choose to be. Decide to make a different choice.

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    TonytheTiger

    A key to good management (even if you're not a manager) is to find good people, give them a task, and get out of their way and let them do it.

    I'm going to link to your post in an email to my boss :)

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    Joe_R

    Let's send a link to all bosses!

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    The Scummy One

    A manager needs to not just get out of the way, but check up on progress and have some knowledge of what is going on. Or else, they are not doing their jobs.

    If all there was to being a manager was to hire, assign, and leave, why not have whole companies with 1 or 2 hiring managers, that periodically send out assignments and do nothing else?

    I can respect the independance of many tasks, but I also understand that managers need to be involved to some level.

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    TonytheTiger

    it can go overboard. Second-guessing, micromanaging, etc... If you have to tell me how to do my job at every step, you shouldn't have hired me in the first place (or at least you should be lobbying HR for my transfer or removal), and that looks just as bad on you.

    "Managing" is a two part job. You have resources, and you have demands on those resources. Balancing those as unobtrusively as possible is what makes a good manager.

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    The Scummy One

    I said to some degree. A manager does need to be involved and informed. Micro-managing is a different story, yes, many managers need to back off a bit. But, many do not really know what their employees are really doing, and are not there to 'help' when needed, or do not know how to 'help' when needed. And those are part of the managers functions.

    Your last statement is very well put. A good manager needs to play a 'balancing' role, being active enough, but distant enough as well.

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    Joe_R

    That doesn?t mean to ignore the process all together, nor was my comment intended to imply such a thing. Of course a manager has to keep his/her finger on the pulse of production. However, one doesn?t have to hover over, or micromanage someone in order to accomplish that.

    In a way, it?s about respect ? show respect to a person and give him/her enough credit that a task can be accomplished without constant monitoring. If a person can?t do that, then some manager (along the way) hired the wrong person. Why in the world would you want to hire a person (or ask for help) if you had to constantly monitor what they were doing?

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    The Scummy One

    but I thought it needed clarification.

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    TonytheTiger

    Every Wednesday, my boss asks me if I patched the servers (We can't do automatic on the servers because of processes which may or mat not be running that would cause problems were a server to spontaneously reboot). My answer is always "Yes, Dear!"

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    maecuff

    I think that the fact that you recognize that you have a problem is impressive. Most of the time, when people are abusive, or just plain jackasses, they don't know it. Or if they do, they won't admit it.

    Do you exercise? Take up Yoga. Work out every night. Get your aggression out that way. Not that it can take the place of therapy, but a hard work out can help alleviate stress and anxiety.

    How's your diet? A lot of junk, sugar and caffeine? you might want to take a look at that also. Maybe it's not just your mental outlook. Maybe you have unhealthy habits that contribute to your..well, less than sunny disposition. :)

    Good luck. I wish you well.

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    Hey, there's a reason most of us are in this field didn't majored in Social Work :-)

    I suffer from many of the same tendencies. Exercise helps a lot; maybe your workplace has a discount on membership a local gym. What really made a difference for me was eiminating caffeine and sugar. The problem with both wasn't the day I had them (well, okay; it was) as much as the "let down" the next day. Then I was Godzilla with hemorrhoids.

    Are you more amiable at a particular time of the day? Try to schedule your work so you interact with people during those hours. If you're allowed music in your work place, keep it on the light, calming side. Save the head banging metal for the drive to the gym.

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    maecuff

    I am the opposite. If I am REALLY stressed, I need loud music to calm me down. Rancid, The Clash, Nirvana, The Pixies.. If there is screaming, I want to hear it. It completely settles my nerves.

    You do realize, that I may be insane, so this method isn't for everyone.

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    e1roy1

    I do work out for just the reason you state and do watch my diet....although I do like sweets

    In general, I do have a sunny disposition and a majority of the people like me. One of the previous posters did mention my "control" issue. He is right. I do have a control issue. However, if the person steps up and does his job, I can let go without a problem. The difficulty is when *I* do not think the person is doing the job and there is a possiblity of hurting the program. Then control kicks in.

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    maecuff

    then you are right, it is something you need to work on.

    I can understand how you feel. I want to control (some) things myself and I usually fail and end up miserable/pissed/disappointed. So..best to just try to give up controlling.

    Easier said than done, right?

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    The Scummy One

    go to the manager.

    If you were told to unload a project on someone else, and you do, then it is not your responsibility anymore. If you see it being done improperly, that is for their manager to decide.
    In case it will hurt the program, you should voice a concern, but you should not aggrevate the situation by jumping in. Instead, take notes and pass the info along.
    It may take some time for someone to get deep into a project, especially if someone else started it.

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    e1roy1

    Pond Scum,
    I think you hit the solution. I really need to let go and if I don't like what I see, pass it to the manager and let him decide how to deal with it. I always want to "solve the problem by myself", but that just aggravates it. THANKS!

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    In one of Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker books, character Ford Prefect describes the 'S.E.P.' principle - "Somebody Else's Problem".

    You can't do everything by yourself. You rarely have the resources, time being the most critial one. Sometimes all you can do is bring the issue to the attention of someone with the resources to handle it and walk away.

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    The Scummy One

    never cut out the caffeine (for me at least). Once it stops, I hate people immensely.

    My fix, smoke a cigarette and have a coffee.
    there, all better now!

    of course, I dont just think I am crazy, I know it!

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    TonytheTiger

    :)

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    brianhemstreet

    I give you credit for having the personal insight to know
    you are "part" of the problem. You are not all of it--as
    managers we have all dealt with the "difficult" employee or
    supervisor. There are always too sides of the story--
    recongizing your own problems is a huge step in the right
    direction. I suggest that a great way to solve these kinds
    of problems is to surrender "the right to be right." You
    can be "right" and at war, or you can be "wrong" and be at
    peace. Which would you really prefer?

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    robo_dev

    You should inform your manager of the 'ball dropping' situation and delicately let him/her know about the situation. Be specific and use facts + documentation (not emotion, rumors, and your opinion).

    Offer to help fix the problem by picking up the ball. BUT, don't do anything unless your manager approves it.

    You need to document and CYA, not lay down in front of the train to try to save the day. What is under-performing co-worker learning from this? Nothing.

    If your manager has any sense at all, he/she will reward you for your dilligence, and work to develop the skills of the other employee, or find a replacement for them.

    Couple of show-stoppers: The manager is a ___hole, the manager is related to or sleeping with your co-worker (or both). Or if there is no trust relationship between you and this manager.


    "It's great to soar like an eagle, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines".

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    e1roy1

    Actually, my managers is extremely supportive. His concern is the way other people at work view me. He doesn't want me to get a bad rep. He has brought up good points and recognizes that the co-worker may not be 100% in the right, but he sees a need for me to learn to control my response to things I find annoying.

    That is what I need help with....what do I do when I am so pissed that I could eat tacks???

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    robo_dev

    an anger management class?

    Self-talk: "I only work here, they don't pay me to think"

    Self-control: If you are going to blast out a flaming email or letter, save the draft and let it sit for a day. (Abe Lincoln said that, well not the email part)

    Switch to decaf, watch the sugar, exercise, get enough sleep. If you're wired to the gills on starbucks and snickers bars, you're likely to snap at any loud noises near your desk.

    Take a break, gain some perspective. If you've got a hobby or pastime (that does not involve computers), get into it and get your mind less wrapped around work. (Note: do not get arrested, killed, seriously injured or some combination of the above with said pastime).

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    "If you've got a hobby or pastime (that does not involve computers), ..."

    Many of us are in this business because we start using computers as hobbies (or in school for our younger members) and chose IT as a career based on those early experiences. That can lead to building home networks, loading new OS's and apps at home, studying for certification tests, etc. I've found it very beneficial to do have a couple of interests that don't involve technology at all. These help me get completely out of the work mindset that otherwise gets carried over to my home technology toys. In my case they're gardening and birdwatching, but others here are into needlecrafts and playing musical instruments.

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    Tig2

    I am on this computer all day at least five days a week. I write news. For TR. TR used to be a hobby of mine. While I do watch the threads, I don't spend nearly the time with it that I used to.

    I regulate the time I spend on the computer at all and then I leave my office and close the door. I wouldn't survive any other way.

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    GSG

    If I get frustrated, or angry, or both, I sometimes just take a walk. Get away from the scene of frustration and remind yourself that you can't control the situation because you don't own the situation.

    I changed my job duties and gave up my old duties to the person across the hall. It's sometimes hard not to jump in and say, "No, do it THIS way!" I just remind myself that I have to be responsible for what I'm tasked with.

    If my co-worker's having an issue, I'll tell him that I overheard and that if he needs help, let me know. I'll even go get him a cup of coffee if he's stuck on the phone, which is something I don't do for just anyone. Now, he'll ask me to brainstorm an issue with him. It goes back to building that trust between us. I recognize that he's the "owner" and he recognizes that I'm a good person to bounce ideas off of.

    That also goes the opposite direction. If he hears me having an issue, he'll ask what's going on, and we can hash out a possible solution.

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    beat the feathers out of it when you get 'so pissed that you could eat tacks'. There is something immensely satisfying about watching feathers fly while getting in a few punches.

    Alternately, split wood manually in the evenings when you get home. Pretend the face of whoever is on the top of the log that your wedge is about to be driven into.

    Better still. Why do you get 'so pissed that you could eat nails' at other people's failings? What exactly do those failings have to do with you at such an intensely personal level?

    In reality, we have no control over anything. At best we have significant influence only. Why expend all your energy in an effort to control that which is not by nature controllable?

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    e1roy1

    I do go home and split wood and it helps a lot!!!

    For some reason, I form an emotional attachment to my projects. I feel like they are my kids and I can't stand to see them fail/falter (no, I don't have kids for this reason).

    These threads have really helped me to see that I can't control everything and moreover, I have no obligation to try. Thanks to everyone!

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    Locrian_Lyric

    I know, it's hard, but necessary.

    You have to let the sun set on some of these things or you will work yourself into an early grave.

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    The Listed 'G MAN'

    Who asked you to do this?

    If you just decided this despite being told by your boss to hand the project off they will no doubt have the exact same problem with you, that you are having with others.

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    e1roy1

    Technically, it was a "half-handoff". I was responsible for development of the product and the hand-off was for production. The problem was, the technical development wasn't complete, so there was a struggle between who made the calls - me, or manufacturing. One of the issues was that responsibilities were not well defined. However, I still need to learn how to deal in these situation.

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    LocoLobo

    It's hard to let go sometimes. But sometimes you have to. Especially if the boss told you to.

    In your example, once you handed off the project it was no longer yours but your co-workers. Especially from your co-workers perspective. When you jump back into the project uninvited it is natural the co-worker feels threatened.

    What to do about it? First try to see it from the other persons perspective, coworker, boss, customer or whoever. Second, do you have interests outside of work? That involve people? If yes practice your social skills. Listen, observe and always think before talking.

    Don't feel too bad. We all "lose it" from time to time. My solution is to go for a walk when I lose my temper. Even if you can't do it at work you can after. It's amazing how much good a half hours walk can do!

    Good luck.

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    e1roy1

    I try to get out every day at lunch and also recognize a complete difference in my personality when I do. Thanks for the other comments.

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    Fregeus

    And I can speak from experience.

    I am a control freak and a perfectionnist, not a good combination, let me tell ya! But knowing is half the battle, and knowing and acknowledging that you have a problem is a big big step. You are half way home buddy!!

    I've read and agree with most replies you got from your initial post. Here is my take on it. You seem to, like me, be afraid of looking bad and having something come back and bite you in the a$$ later on. So much so, that you look at your co-workers work to make sure it does not affect you. That is an unfortunate and hazardous chain of thought.

    For myself, I started concentrating on the fact that I could only control myself, my thought, my work. Everything else is up in the air. I am not a religious man, but i started thinking zen where everything needs to be balanced in life. You need the good AND the bad. If you did not have the bad, you wouldn't know how to enjoy the good. Will something you did not do come back and bite you in the a$$? Absolutely, why? Because that's life. No matter how careful you try to be, something unexpected will pop up. So just try to control your own little world and keep your customers happy. If you know you do good work, thats all you need to concentrate on.

    BTW, when you transfered your project to your co-worker. Your co-worker became your customer. If he was happy with what you gave him, but screwed it up anyways, you still did a good job. If you see him/her heading in the wrong direction, you might suggest a course change, but ultimatly, he/she is still at the helm and you need to work on accepting that.

    Its not easy, I will admit it. I still have difficulties swallowing my pride and overcoming my pet peeves. But in the end, I have a better life for it.


    Good luck

    TCB

    Edited for grammar and typos

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    e1roy1

    TCB,
    You hit (most of) the nail on the head. I was very concerned the the project failing. I have to say 20% of my concern was me looking bad, but I have screwed up before and am not afraid to own up to it. My bigger issue is that we are a small company and any failure hits the financial side very hard. I worked for 1.5 years to get this project into production and **did not feel that the production guy was going to hit the delivery date**. Again...my impression and maybe if I backed off, he would have come through.

    Still, I do have to learn to let go. I especially like your statement

    "I started concentrating on the fact that I could only control myself, my thought, my work."

    I will work on that.

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    Fregeus

    E1roy1

    I too have no problem with owning up to my mistakes, I have a serious issue with owning up to other people's mistakes, and I figure, you do too. Man, this brings back alot of stuff...

    I find it hard to work in a team settings because of my high expectations. I think it's comes naturally that you want others to answer to those same standards. It comes naturally, but it isn't right. I still find it difficult to just concentrate on doing MY best, and hope that other do theirs too. Expectations are a real burden on the psychological and emotionnal portion of ourselves.

    Letting go is difficult, but once you do, you feel so much better.

    Good luck


    TCB

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    JamesRL

    Was taking the "Seven Habits Course". You could just read the book to see if you want to go further. The course is interactive, you get personal coaching, and probably the best things is the prework, which involves asking peers, subordinates and supervisors to fill in a questionaire about you, and doing one yourself and comparing them.

    I know it sounds like business buzzword speak, but trust me when I tell you it helped me a great deal.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Seven_Habits_of_Highly_Effective_People

    James

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    DMambo

    Now, I know that's a sarcastic remark, but what I'm really trying to convey is that it's often a matter of the 4 P's - Patience, Priorities, Perception and Focus (round off the front of the F).

    Once I had kids (15 years ago to start), I realized that I had to turn my life over to suppressing a lot of my desires to their needs. I learned that I often had to wait for the "me" time. Work life often took a back seat.

    Priorities come into play when you learn that there are only a finite number of irons you can have in the fire. Do what you can, but don't allow others' behavior affect the things you can control.

    Try to view yourself from the perspective of your coworkers. Listen to what comes out of your mouth and think how it impacts others.

    Finally, focus on the good points before concentrating on what needs to be fixed. It'll help you to remember that it could be worse.

    It took a healthy dose of dope slaps before I got off the ****-em-off express, but look at me now!

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    e1roy1

    Dmambo
    I appreciate the advice, but NO KIDS. I think I would be a horrible parent....you should see my dogs lack of discipline.

    I do understand the point of your email though. Thanks.

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    Locrian_Lyric

    1)Use your high expectations as a method of motivation.

    Instead of "I expect this", try "I know you can do this".

    The expectations are the same, but it comes accross two entirely different ways: The former is demanding, the latter is acknowledging someone's skill.

    2)Let the ball drop occasionally.

    Believe me, a person learns far more from a good screwup than from someone rushing in to save the day. Don't insert yourself into things, but ask your coworkers if they need help.

    3)When you must correct people, do it indirectly and put the onus on yourself. "Hi Joe, listen, I was just looking at this and I am getting different numbers. Could you run over this with me?"

    Joe will likely then see his mistake, but you've let him save face.

    4)Follow the 24 hour rule:

    If something makes you angry, wait 24 hours before sending an email or talking to someone about it. This is CRUCIAL if you have a short fuse as you are likely to say things you don't mean or will regret.

    5)Practice with a tape recorder.

    If you are sounding sarcastic and don't mean to be, record your voice and listen to how you sound to others. You may be suprised. You may also wish to practice facial expressions in a mirror.

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    e1roy1

    Thanks to everyone for such constructive feedback. I have a much better idea of how to deal with these situations and it makes me feel better to know others have dealt with it in the past.

    I have one more question that is really just for my enjoyment.....does it make any difference that I am female?

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    The Scummy One

    Well, let me re-phrase, why SHOULD it?

    I guess it depends on where you work. Most larger companies it should not matter at all, but that is not saying that some departments, or smaller companies dont have the same grasp on reality

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    DMambo

    Unfortunately, yeah, it makes a difference (even though it shouldn't)

    Often, a surly man is thought of as aggressive or "type A". A surly woman, on the other hand, is thought of as....well, you know.

    Now, I'll probably get in hot water for this observation, but as it's related to this thread, I'll state it anyway. In my 25-year career of working in factories with many women line workers, my 20+ years of marriage and 15+ years as a parent of 2 girls and 1 boy, I believe that women, once offended, hold grudges longer and need more "closure" for incidents. Men, in my experience, will often tacitly move on in personal relationships after a perceived slight. Women often want to work it out, which, IMHO, only serves to bring the wound back into the open without promoting healing.

    Edit to add - I should have guessed that you were a woman. Most men would not have the self-awareness to even have started this thread. Or they wouldn't care enough to have started this thread.

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    Tig2

    Not even a little. And I can tell you that you have received a lot of this feedback from other women. Gender makes no difference in the work place.

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    JamesRL

    Gender shouldn't make a difference, and if we had an ideal workplace it wouldn't.

    But you have to be sensitive to the fact it may.

    Its easy to generalize. Don't assume your boss and coworkers are sexist. Don't assume they aren't, until they demonstrate consistent behaviour otherwise. Tread carefully is all I suggest.

    Many men don't take kindly to women exerting control over what they do. I never had that issue, but some do. Not suggesting you should encourage that or even accept that, but be aware of it.

    I've had a few bosses who've been called dragon ladies. They found ways of overcoming that handle.

    James

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    The Scummy One

    I think for many places you are correct. But there have been, and are still places around with just that mentality the Dmamo describes.

    That is why I said 'should' in my reply (body). There have been several TR members last year that complained about sexism in their workplace.

    Also, it may be going on, but behind closed doors as well. One can never truly tell. But, in a good run company, it SHOULD not be an issue.

    For me, it is all about the person. I have worked for women that were ditzes, men that were incompetent, and both that were very good at what they do. Currently my management structure puts me directly below 2 women, and I have no issues because I respect them both.

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    Tig2

    That I'm pretty blind to that. I simply refuse to see it. It tends to go away. Or it gets resolved.

    But I agree, it does occur.

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    Now there's one more woman around here to keep jdclyde in line...

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    mikeadams1137

    It depends...there are many ways to fix this problem...If you are looking for a true fix, a real good spiritual fix...so you can work yourself through future situations...I recommend a psychiatrist...this doesn't mean you are crazy.

    I bet though, you hold yourelf to standards, and expect those same standards from other people. What you have to realize is that not all people are on the same standards. A million different circumstances have befallen your life, making you who you are. Keep that in mind when approaching them and talking with them.

    I recommend breathing exercises and gym work-out, to relieve frustration and stress...short-tempers are usually lack of self control, or emotions you cannot control.
    There are also medications for this...which brings me to the "easy american fix"..

    This one requires insurance...Go to a psychriatrist, explain your situation, extend hand, and take prozac. I've listed the options below in easy step to step format.

    Option 1: Becoming a better, more understanding, mature adult and better person, seeking to help others, not yourself.

    1) Begin breathing exercises.
    2) Pick up subscription to Gym.
    3) Read a book, begin thinking about what you do, think more then 5 minutes ahead. What your holding these people too, how will it affect them..? Why would you want to hurt them?

    2nd option: American Easy Fix
    1) Schedule appt. with Doctor
    2) Approach Window with Insurance card
    3) Explain Doctor Problem, ask for prescription.
    4) Take prescription to get filled.
    5) Enjoy numb sense in mind for rest of your life.

    =)

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    e1roy1

    Just joking, but I think someone else said that most men tend to go home and let these things go. It just about kills me at night when I continually re-hash the incident over and over....No, I can't let go and closure is good. I will remember that men tend not to look for closure and I will try harder to "just let go". I have been doing that a bit, and it really does help.

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    Tig2

    "Play like a Man, Win like a Woman" by Gail Evans- SR VP at CNN. Excellent read and a good way to see yourself through another person's eyes and perspective.

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    Shellbot

    You've got a lot of good advice here..
    As for being a woman..well I don't think that it matters because your a woman..but maybe some of your reaction is enhanced because your a woman?

    I don't mean that in a negative way..being a girlie myself, I feel sometimes I have to work just that tiny bit harder, or make sure everything is perfect, because I want to "prove myself". But its really my own hang up. I need things to be done right the first time..so often I do them myself which then increases my stress and my workload..

    In regards to the post about "SEP" (Someone elses problem)..that book had a huge impact on me. When I read it I was stressed to the max, miserable in my job and suffered constand headaches... after the book i just thought to heck with it..if no one else cares about the projects, then why do i?

    Its still hard to let go when I see things been done differently than I would (AKA wrong :) )..but to keep sane and be a team player its something you have to do.

    At least you realise you act this way, therefore you can change it..

    :)

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    Ed Woychowsky

    In one hundred years nobody will remember any of this, or care.

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    oscar.lozano

    The truth is that there are professionals that they think are professionals in every aspect and professionals that behave professionally. That said, you need to decide in which end are you. Being a professional, requires some ethics, written or unwritten, you know that some attitudes or behaviors are destructive on some kind of way, so you step up, work with it and take them out of the equation. That's a kind of ethic. Unfortunately, not every one thinks that way, or perhaps the company culture isn't aligned that way. In a perfect world they might.

    I'm identified with your story, because somehow, I recently being exposed as the bad guy, when a little task weren't done as the customer expectations, even though, there was some meetings and email to get to a middle ground with clear expectations of everyone's responsability. I did my part as requested, but they thought it was my responsibility to do it all. Is not the first time, I perform such a task and I persistently look for collaboration within the parts involved and people usually collaborate in major or minor way, but that isn't matter because they thought it was my duty expecifically, therefore a was given a well-intended destructive feedback, and the manager who did it, copied to the major staff of the company. Obviously, when that happens, my boss is going to slap me in the face, for two obvious reasons, he's job is on the line and now he got the pressure on his back, because of the awareness of the major staff. Today, no matter how good I performed in general (my last performance evaluation was of 104% on Jan 2008), this feedback marked me badly within the organization. This issue didn't affected production nor quality of the product, it was just an upgrade to their quality procedures. In other words, I placed something they didn't have for their use. The manager even gave the credit to other people for the job. That isn't a professional behavior, because it isn't constructive. I explained my discomfort to my manager, he still thinks it was my fault only, but you already know why.


    The morale of all this story is one, no matter what issues you may have with people not living as your expectations or you not performing as their expectations, you are compelled to behave professionally at all times. That is to be constructive in both ways, if they think you are bad guy, play by their rules and demonstrate a good attitude toward a customer satisfaction and if the case is they are not living to your expectations, then construct and guide them toward a better performance. Lead by example. I will do and I will finish stronger than ever, that's what professionals do.

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    maecuff

    I think that the fact that you recognize that you have a problem is impressive. Most of the time, when people are abusive, or just plain jackasses, they don't know it. Or if they do, they won't admit it.

    Do you exercise? Take up Yoga. Work out every night. Get your aggression out that way. Not that it can take the place of therapy, but a hard work out can help alleviate stress and anxiety.

    How's your diet? A lot of junk, sugar and caffeine? you might want to take a look at that also. Maybe it's not just your mental outlook. Maybe you have unhealthy habits that contribute to your..well, less than sunny disposition. :)

    Good luck. I wish you well.

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    robo_dev

    You should inform your manager of the 'ball dropping' situation and delicately let him/her know about the situation. Be specific and use facts + documentation (not emotion, rumors, and your opinion).

    Offer to help fix the problem by picking up the ball. BUT, don't do anything unless your manager approves it.

    You need to document and CYA, not lay down in front of the train to try to save the day. What is under-performing co-worker learning from this? Nothing.

    If your manager has any sense at all, he/she will reward you for your dilligence, and work to develop the skills of the other employee, or find a replacement for them.

    Couple of show-stoppers: The manager is a ___hole, the manager is related to or sleeping with your co-worker (or both). Or if there is no trust relationship between you and this manager.


    "It's great to soar like an eagle, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines".

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    The Listed 'G MAN'

    Who asked you to do this?

    If you just decided this despite being told by your boss to hand the project off they will no doubt have the exact same problem with you, that you are having with others.

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    LocoLobo

    It's hard to let go sometimes. But sometimes you have to. Especially if the boss told you to.

    In your example, once you handed off the project it was no longer yours but your co-workers. Especially from your co-workers perspective. When you jump back into the project uninvited it is natural the co-worker feels threatened.

    What to do about it? First try to see it from the other persons perspective, coworker, boss, customer or whoever. Second, do you have interests outside of work? That involve people? If yes practice your social skills. Listen, observe and always think before talking.

    Don't feel too bad. We all "lose it" from time to time. My solution is to go for a walk when I lose my temper. Even if you can't do it at work you can after. It's amazing how much good a half hours walk can do!

    Good luck.

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    Fregeus

    And I can speak from experience.

    I am a control freak and a perfectionnist, not a good combination, let me tell ya! But knowing is half the battle, and knowing and acknowledging that you have a problem is a big big step. You are half way home buddy!!

    I've read and agree with most replies you got from your initial post. Here is my take on it. You seem to, like me, be afraid of looking bad and having something come back and bite you in the a$$ later on. So much so, that you look at your co-workers work to make sure it does not affect you. That is an unfortunate and hazardous chain of thought.

    For myself, I started concentrating on the fact that I could only control myself, my thought, my work. Everything else is up in the air. I am not a religious man, but i started thinking zen where everything needs to be balanced in life. You need the good AND the bad. If you did not have the bad, you wouldn't know how to enjoy the good. Will something you did not do come back and bite you in the a$$? Absolutely, why? Because that's life. No matter how careful you try to be, something unexpected will pop up. So just try to control your own little world and keep your customers happy. If you know you do good work, thats all you need to concentrate on.

    BTW, when you transfered your project to your co-worker. Your co-worker became your customer. If he was happy with what you gave him, but screwed it up anyways, you still did a good job. If you see him/her heading in the wrong direction, you might suggest a course change, but ultimatly, he/she is still at the helm and you need to work on accepting that.

    Its not easy, I will admit it. I still have difficulties swallowing my pride and overcoming my pet peeves. But in the end, I have a better life for it.


    Good luck

    TCB

    Edited for grammar and typos

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    JamesRL

    Was taking the "Seven Habits Course". You could just read the book to see if you want to go further. The course is interactive, you get personal coaching, and probably the best things is the prework, which involves asking peers, subordinates and supervisors to fill in a questionaire about you, and doing one yourself and comparing them.

    I know it sounds like business buzzword speak, but trust me when I tell you it helped me a great deal.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Seven_Habits_of_Highly_Effective_People

    James

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    DMambo

    Now, I know that's a sarcastic remark, but what I'm really trying to convey is that it's often a matter of the 4 P's - Patience, Priorities, Perception and Focus (round off the front of the F).

    Once I had kids (15 years ago to start), I realized that I had to turn my life over to suppressing a lot of my desires to their needs. I learned that I often had to wait for the "me" time. Work life often took a back seat.

    Priorities come into play when you learn that there are only a finite number of irons you can have in the fire. Do what you can, but don't allow others' behavior affect the things you can control.

    Try to view yourself from the perspective of your coworkers. Listen to what comes out of your mouth and think how it impacts others.

    Finally, focus on the good points before concentrating on what needs to be fixed. It'll help you to remember that it could be worse.

    It took a healthy dose of dope slaps before I got off the ****-em-off express, but look at me now!

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    Locrian_Lyric

    1)Use your high expectations as a method of motivation.

    Instead of "I expect this", try "I know you can do this".

    The expectations are the same, but it comes accross two entirely different ways: The former is demanding, the latter is acknowledging someone's skill.

    2)Let the ball drop occasionally.

    Believe me, a person learns far more from a good screwup than from someone rushing in to save the day. Don't insert yourself into things, but ask your coworkers if they need help.

    3)When you must correct people, do it indirectly and put the onus on yourself. "Hi Joe, listen, I was just looking at this and I am getting different numbers. Could you run over this with me?"

    Joe will likely then see his mistake, but you've let him save face.

    4)Follow the 24 hour rule:

    If something makes you angry, wait 24 hours before sending an email or talking to someone about it. This is CRUCIAL if you have a short fuse as you are likely to say things you don't mean or will regret.

    5)Practice with a tape recorder.

    If you are sounding sarcastic and don't mean to be, record your voice and listen to how you sound to others. You may be suprised. You may also wish to practice facial expressions in a mirror.

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    e1roy1

    Thanks to everyone for such constructive feedback. I have a much better idea of how to deal with these situations and it makes me feel better to know others have dealt with it in the past.

    I have one more question that is really just for my enjoyment.....does it make any difference that I am female?