• Zee

How Do You Handle a Difficult Coworker?

It’s always preferable to get along with your coworkers, perhaps even more so in retail as you spend so much time together confined in a small space. Dealing with customers all day is hard enough, but coupled with a coworker who is a nightmare to deal with? That’s just unfair! Thankfully, there are some tactics you can deploy to make it easier to get along with that difficult coworker:

1) Talk to them

Simple enough right? But it’s so often overlooked. Be direct, ask them why they’re being difficult. Once you understand the underlying thought patterns of this coworker you’ll be better equipped to deal with them. If they can tell you exactly why they have a problem with you can work towards a solution. The reason for their bad behavior or temper is often just down to something that can be easily addressed, so don’t be afraid to ask!

2) Keep yourself busy

Avoidance is never really the right solution, but in some cases it’s just not worth instigating more drama in the workplace. Avoid talking to this coworker by keeping busy at the store and spend as little time as possible with them. They might even get the hint eventually and change their behavior all on their own!

3) Speak to your manager

But snitches get stitches! Hold your horses, I’m not saying you should go and aimlessly complain about this worker. But it’s important for your manager or supervisor to know so if in future you have bigger problems with the difficult coworker they’ll be able to better understand what caused it.

In episode 2 of the Retail Rehab podcast, we discussed more tips and stories on dealing with difficult/always running late customers.

If all else fails, you could always egg that coworker’s house to send a message! (Just kidding, don’t do that 😉)

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