The androgynously renamed and unidentifiable Sam and Lexy work together at IHU Corp. (that's I Hate You). Sam has scaled up the ladder of the organization over the past gazillion years and Lexy has only been around one third as long. Both are in senior positions but Sam outranks Lexy. IHU has had several changes in ber senior leadership in recent years.

The economic downturn, local politics and scandals and internal upheavals caused by the frequent change in command has over the years slowly caused feelings of queasiness of the largely tenured staff . Sam and Lexy haveallowed themselves to be affectedthe most.

"I can'tlook at Sam, it makes me nauseous."

"Lexy knows how to push my buttons and enjoys doing it."

"Irefuse towork with Sam any longer."

I refuse to be at the same table as Lexy."

In the time of Genesis they got along swimmingly well. They lunched together, shared jokes and stories of their children as they grew up. They had confidence in each other's professional abilities. It all started with one grain of sand in the oyster's shell that encapsulated. The rest is history. It goes something like this....

Sam was promoted to a very senior level position. Lexy was OK with it because of the tenure Sam had. But Lexy started to feel like Sam was on a power trip and that communication was becoming strained and difficult. Lexy started to feel "ordered around". Lexy took this to the big boss who said, "Find a way to work with Sam or find another job". Thatdirective and the way it was deliveredpainted a picture in Lexy's mind, one that said, "I went from peer to slave and now I'm toast".

Bitterness started to boil in the cauldron.......

The quick succession of ber leaders swept it under the rug. Being the consummate introvert, Lexy internalized it and started to have back pain. Sam, the feeling extrovert, started having migraines, kept trying to reach out and failed attemptsonly madethem worse. To make matters worse, there was no HR department for anyone to turn to for guidance.

Doo doo doo doo doo doo do do...... A ticking time bomb waiting to explode. And it did.

In an unexpected turn of events, it was Sam that stopped talking about it and put it into a formal written complaint. Now it had to be addressed. The complaint contained serious allegations of bullying and a hostile work environment. These were 2 very valuable employees, it had to be addressed. For the integrity of the organization and to avoid an EEOC complaintfor Adverse Employment Action based on discrimination, retaliation and or constructive discharge.

Luckily in this case, an HR consultant was brought in and eventually one hired to staff. The situation was resolved via performance management, serious coachingand signed expectations documents. A best case scenario was had.

Well there's a rose in the fisted glove
And eagle flies with the dove
And if you can't be with the one you love honey
Love the one you're with

The days of gentleman's agreements in the workplace are over. I will be ever so grateful to the leader who pushed me to document, document, document early on in my career. It's a pain in the tohkes and I hate it. In fact, I'm still on the elusive hunt for the perfect digital scribe if you can recommend one. I have sent back the ones I have tried. I digress but oy vey, why can't they get it right?

So anyway, if you are in the cubicle with a co-worker from hell and identify with Sam or Lexy you need to try to work it out withone other, unless it's some type of gross conduct that needs immediate reporting to a superior and documentation from you. Here are 60 articles from Helium for your perusal and reflection to see if you can get somewhere on your own.

If your crack at pop psychology doesn't get you any relief you do need to say something to your manager and you need to document the conversation. The manager shouldtoo but do it anyway. It's never a waste. If nothing else, it will be the beginning of an intriguing novel you can complete in your retirement. Ask for next steps and a time table to resolution. Put that in your notes. Above all... don't whine. Just tell it like it is, say it is unacceptable and ask for resolution. See what happens...

Hopefully,the situationwill be handled with sensitivity, discretion and professionalism. If not, you have some tough choices to make. There is no law that obligates people to be nice to each other andHR departments deal with personality issuesperhaps more than any other. If you have made an earnest attempt to get along that didn't pan out and you are that irritated it might be the time to move on. Why allow yourself to be miserable and possibly your health to suffer? Start conducting a job search.

If you decide to look for another job please resist all temptation to discuss the personality conflict you have with a co-worker. It's not going to work in your favor. You'll need to give another reason for your motivation to change employment.

However, if you feel the situation goes beyond a personality conflict and has moved into the arena of harassment or bullying and your employer has not properly addressed the situation you may qualify to file a formal complaint to the EEOCif you are in the U.S.A. This is not to be taken lightly. Frivolous complaints are common and truthfully they cause a nightmare for employers. Don't be spiteful. Take a deep breath, read the FAQ's and analyze the situation according to the guidelines. Do you really have a legitimate complaint worthy of government intervention? If you do it is your right to file the complaint. Be ready to know it could get pretty ugly. It could mean court. Itwill air your dirty laundry if there is any. I'm just saying.

Like a bad marriage, if it's fractured andirreparable, usually the best remedy is a divorce. If both parties agree to counseling and this marriage can be saved maybe you can have a second honeymoon... maybe.

Get it together come on make it nice
You ain't gonna need anymore advice

Doo doo doo doo

Thanks Steven Stills for your talent. I love your music.

Karla Porter, DSL


Leave a Reply