How to Handle Challenging People in the Workplace

One of my best traits is my perseverance. I persevered and made it out of the educational system. This may not seem like a big accomplishment but when you consider I started out in the bilingual program and came from a blue collar immigrant family, it’s a big accomplishment. I realize I know when I see the devastating statistics depicting the abysmal low rate of Hispanic student graduation. You know what it makes sense? Nothing was ever handed to me in school. Looking back, I had to fight for everything. While my parents were supportive, I didn’t have my parents walking into the principal’s office demanding any special attention. A lot of my classmates’ parents were heavily involved with the school. I persevere. I figure out a way around roadblocks.

There’s always going to be roadblocks in life. Don’t give up. Find a way around them. There’s always a way. Well, you have to keep that mentality to find the way.

Let’s go back to the title of this post. I’m in the current, precarious situation of being in a feud with a co-worker. No, I did not start it. Nor I am a willing participant in this feud. This person just doesn’t like me. While it usually only causes me mild annoyance since I don’t work with him much, it’s now causing lots of annoyance.

Have you ever heard of lean six sigma? It’s a certification you can get in the business world that is great to have on your resume. Well, this person at work that doesn’t like me is the advisor or the person who holds the gate opened for this certification in our department.

So, I got a hold of this meeting invite. As it often happens in corporate, you almost have to invite yourself in order to get anywhere. Great manners! He approached me in person and asked me why I was going to this meeting. He tried to say oh you have to have a project so and so on. Except I didn’t let him tell me I couldn’t attend. So he finally said ok.

Except he then sent me a cancelled meeting invite. But in reality the meeting happened. Because I found out from another one of my coworkers this meeting still happened. She, also, sentme the invite to next one, which of course he saw. He probably said…”really, I thought I had gotten rid of her.” But alas no. I don’t give up so easily.

A better solution:

He’s not going to be a great advisor. He doesn’t like me. Obviously is immature in handling it. So, I found another advisor in another department who knows his stuff. Who’s agreed to be my advisor. I already have a great relationship.
So, hopefully, by the end of the year, I’ll be able to present my project and look at him in his face knowing with glory he did not get in my way. Evil laugh that’s not so evil.

I’m still unsure as to how to approach this. I think it would be best to tell him, point it out, but I know he is just going to deny it. He’s sneaky like that. I’m going to tell my boss in this manner.

I have found an advisor for my lean six sigma project. He is not in our department because my wonderful colleague did not want to be my advisor. Plus, my new advisor actually has a black belt, has experience in manufacturing and healthcare, and is plain awesome. Booyah.


Here are some tips when dealing with a precarious work situation:

  • Remain calm. Do not react immediately. Reacting when you’re mad is the worst. I have learned my lesson many times.
  • Take time to think your next move. It takes time to heal wounds. Don’t react harshly. Instead take time and plan what you are going to say and how you are going to approach it.
  • Find a way around it. Find an alternative. 

What have you done in similar situations?

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