06 Apr The Couch: Behavior or Personality?
The Couch is a place to exchange ideas and brainstorm, not only for its contributors but also for our readers who engage in the ensuing discussions. Today’s scenario comes from a colleague with a question many of us have been faced with before: intervene or grin and bear it? Thank you to this week’s contributor for the Couch idea.
What do you do about coworkers who just get under your skin in spite of your liking them? This might seem to be strange paradox, so allow me to explain. I have a coworker who seems like he’s just not trying. Either he’s overwhelmed, has too much on his mind and has stopped caring, or has some kind of disability that he is not sharing with other people. Each day, as a team, we have to select our daily interpreting assignments together and have to discuss extensively in our WhatsApp group for planning purposes. He often says things that show he clearly is not paying attention; didn’t read the discussion or just skimmed through it; or asking about things he could easily find out himself by looking at our shared calendar or reading the messages in the chat. His colleagues have expressed annoyance, but he takes it well.
To his credit, he does not hold grudges and has an overall pleasant attitude. By that same token, it also just seems as though he wants to allow others to do the extra legwork in organizing and making decisions as to scheduling and all the rest. “I’m fine guys, you decide; just put me wherever you want,” which actually just creates more work for others since it is each team member’s job to pick one’s assignments.
While interpreting, he also falls into word-for-word mode all the time. He’s been stopped by the client more than once: “Wait, what on earth are you saying?”
Do I simply tolerate, grin and bear it? Do I try to bring it up with him? He’s not a bad person and has not done anything egregiously wrong. The situation described here is just a recurring thing. But I hesitate to bring it up with him, because it may just be personality related and nothing he or I can do much about, and all it would accomplish would be to offend him needlessly. “Choose your battles,” as they say. Have you been through a similar situation? What did you do?
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