Coworker Stress in the Times of COVID
I am having a problem at work and I hope you can help. My job is considered essential, so my colleagues and I have to be in the office a few days a week. There is one colleague I am having trouble with. She is normally very high strung and moody, and in the past has had meltdowns in the office over very small issues. She has been written up by management several times. Most of us tend to let her behavior slide, and I always try to be understanding. But sometimes she can get pretty ramped up and start accusing people of singling her out for persecution, trying to get her fired, even stealing. I guess I’m saying, I think she’s kind of nuts. Her moodiness has only gotten worse during the stressful times we’re experiencing lately.
A few days ago, she mentioned to me that she was sick of this workplace, and was going to quit. I didn’t know what to say, so I said I thought it was for the best if it would make her happier. I said nothing to anyone about the conversation. Well, today, she sent an email out to the whole company (we have other offices) saying that she is leaving because of me and that I’m always picking on her, and told her she should quit. I am floored by this accusation and don’t know how to react. What do you think I should do?
That’s What I Get for Being Nice
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Some people tend to shoot themselves in the foot. Sadly, they are the ones who feel that bad things happen to them all the time and that nothing is ever their fault. The reasons can be many, and probably not so much because they’re bad people, but because they have bad judgment, or bad self-control, or bad life experiences, or bad karma, or, well you get the picture. But all that is not really what you asked me about.
What should you do? I know you probably want to stand on your desk (if you have a desk) and defend your reputation or maybe confront her, or write a rebuttal email – somehow vindicate yourself.
But I’ll tell you what I would do – nothing. She sounds really unhappy, and my guess is that everyone already knows this about her and her unfortunate behavior. So wish her well, and take some deep breaths, and this will pass. And thank you for showing up at work while the rest of us are baking sourdough and cleaning out the hall closet.
Edda is not a medical professional but a local lady who loves to give out advice, even when it's not asked of her. Submit your question to email@example.com for Edda to answer.