“Take a deep breath. Now smile. For the next five days you’ll be trapped at an eyesore of a work station letting your brain slowly turn to mush while your limbs soften with inactivity (aka office chic). The only way you will survive is to make the best of it.” This is my work life – make the best of it. Over the past eleven years, however, I’ve learned that there are many roadblocks in the game of work life that can easily taint an office/work environment. One of them being toxic coworkers. Luckily, I currently work with topnotch (aka complacent, middle-aged, vanilla) people who look at me as the office “fresh breath of youthful air.” A queen of sorts. Times were not always like this for me, however, and for those times I developed a healthy set of skills and coping mechanisms to deal with crappy coworkers.
Death eyes. One of the most effective ways to let a coworker know that you’d rather stab them with a hole puncher than work with them at the moment is to give them a healthy dose of death eyes. In order to achieve effectual death eyes, one must concentrate all of their irritable and hateful energy into their eyes by applying a soft squint and displaying a slight sphincter purse to their mouth. Perfecting your death eyes will take time, but with the right amount of practice and use your death eyes will successfully ward off unpleasant coworkers.
Walk away and don’t look back. Have a coworker who talks too much about weather patterns or how someone has too much time on their hands? Listeners beware! These conversation topics get old, real fast. In order to protect your mental health, give a courtesy head nod or shake (determined by the severity or pleasantness of the upcoming weather pattern) and then simply walk away and don’t look back. This method is most effective when your coworker is in the middle of a sentence as it subtly hints that they are too painfully dull to interact with.
Build a fart wall. At times they’re soul-revealing; other times, they’re downright shameful. But nothing says, “It’s best to stay away from me right now” better than a well-built fart wall. An unpleasant coworker won’t expect a fistful of last night’s bowel-gurgling chicken tikka masala and Dairy Queen MooLatte when they approach your desk to rant about the latest candy dish assailant.
Audibly mumble complaints “to yourself” so they’ll get the hint. Complaining “to yourself” is a great way to passively tell someone to shut the hell up or that you don’t like the task you’ve been demanded to do. This approach is helpful if you’re a more vocal venter or if your target doesn’t easily catch on to non-verbal queues.
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