Coworker Thinks She Works Harder Than Others

Question:

What happens when one person truly believes their job is harder than others and passes judgment on others?

Signed,

Judged


Answer:

Dear Judged:

It sounds as though you work with someone who implies his or her work is more difficult than yours or that she does more than you do. I don’t know what you mean by “passes judgment” but I would imagine the coworker makes statements or does something to get the message across.

You ask what happens when there is a situation like that. The easy answer is that it makes others angry. However, you know that already! A supervisor or manager should be noticing the situation and intervening to ensure that 1.) no employee is doing an unfair amount of work. 2.) No employee makes others feel bad about work allocation. 3.) All employees are communicating about positive things rather than focusing on negative issues.

Consider talking to your supervisor and asking for help in finding ways to stop the judgmental talk. Don’t just complain, sincerely want to make things better. You could also consider directly talking to the employee and letting her know that you think she’s wrong in her judgments and it’s hurting the workplace. The next time the employee sighs heavily or complains, offer to go to the supervisor with her and find out if the supervisor thinks her work is that much harder than others. Just say what you’ve been thinking, “Marge, it’s irritating to hear you imply that you’re doing more work or harder work than everyone else. If you think that, go to the boss and say so. I think you’ll find out you’re wrong. If you won’t go to the boss, then please just be quiet about it. It wears everyone down and makes work even harder.” That sounds pretty harsh, but maybe it needs to be said! I don’t think you should just ignore it, if it’s bothering you a lot. You’ll continue to feel badly about it and it will never get better. But, your only real options are to talk to your supervisor or talk to the employee.

Best wishes to you. If you have the time and wish to do so, let us know what you do to resolve this problem.

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.