‘JT & Dale Talk Jobs’ is the largest nationally syndicated career advice column in the country and can be found at JTandDale.com. Dear J.T. & Dale: I normally am a very happy, enthusiastic employee. Getting along with ANYONE has never been an issue. However, I now have a co-worker who has been very hostile and makes rude comments that he pretends are "jokes." About a year ago, I began keeping a journal of these incidents. As much as I would like to go to HR, when the incidents are isolated on paper, it appears that I am whining about practically nothing. Should I go to HR? How would it be handled if I did? — Gloria Dale: Without enthusiasm. This is the sort of issue that HR people hate. I hope you'll take a shot at handling it yourself. Learning to negotiate with co-workers is an important life skill, after all. J.T.: Besides, Gloria, in most HR environments, the reaction to your complaint would end up being just what Dale is suggesting: urging you to talk with your co-worker. Then, if that didn't help, HR would guide you through how to talk things over with your manager. Finally, if that failed to help, or if HR believed there was danger of a harassment or discrimination lawsuit, they would step in and have a conversation with the other person and your manager. Unfortunately, you can expect a chilly workplace after that. Dale: But don't get discouraged and think, "I'll just quit and find a new job." I have a friend, a star saleswoman, who felt her spirits were being ground down by a negative co-worker. She got frustrated one day and quit. She quickly found a new sales job, but a lesser one, and the following year the obnoxious co-worker made an income that was double hers, leaving her to laugh at herself, "I sure showed HIM." Don't let that happen to you. Treat this annoying co-worker as an opportunity to learn and grow. J.T.: Yes. Adopt the attitude that "we teach people how to treat us," and you can learn to be a better teacher. jt-dale-logo Jeanine "J.T." Tanner O'Donnell is a professional development specialist and the founder of the consulting firm, jtodonnell.com, and of the blog, CAREEREALISM.com. Dale Dauten resolves employment and other business disputes as a mediator with AgreementHouse.com. Please visit them at jtanddale.com, where you can send questions via e-mail, or write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th St, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10019. © 2010 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.
Get Some Leverage
Sign up for The Work It Daily Newsletter
Why "Buy My Product" Looks Desperate

If your marketing is focused on, “here, buy my product!” those days are over. For marketing to be effective, consumers need to understand much more about your brand before buying your product in this highly competitive world.

Read more Show less