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Dear Ari.

Dear Ari,
I have a co-worker who doesn’t do his fair share of work, and it bothers me because I actually give a shit about my job. I can’t talk to my boss about it though because he adores this co-worker. How do I stop this from driving me crazy?
Sincerely,
Frustrated Frank

Dear Frustrated,
While it can be extremely difficult to ignore when a co-worker doesn’t seem to be pulling their weight the way you are, you need to make sure that your focus stays on yourself. You can only control what you yourself do, and so it’s not exactly your place to determine whether or not your co-worker cares about their job.
That being said, if you have specific evidence of your co-worker performing poorly, you can bring that to the attention of your superiors. Where you feel uncomfortable speaking directly with your boss about the issue, if you have a supervisor or manager who works “below” your boss you may want to approach them first.
Consider the fact that your boss may have a faulty idea of who exactly your co-worker is. As front-line staff, you have a different perspective and different circumstances in which you deal with this person as compared to your boss. They may actually appreciate your point of view if you bring something to their attention of which they had been unaware. You should attempt to stay neutral, and let your professional evaluation of your co-worker have more resonance than your own personal opinion.
Shifting your focus back onto yourself and putting your energy and effort into your own performance will ultimately benefit you much more than allowing your co-worker to drive you crazy. Don’t let your co-worker have that much power over you. At the end of the day, you only have yourself to worry about.
Affectionately,
Ari

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