Question: I work for a government agency as a sole support person for about 25 people. With this many people also comes a wide variety of personalities. A handful of these people tend to take their moods or personal problems out on me when they give me work to do. I have talked to the head of our group about this problem and was told to remain even-keeled and not respond to their rude comments. One such comment: “I don’t want to hear about it; I just want you to do it.”
That came from a stressed-out employee who was demonstrating angry body language. A personal situation was causing the stress, and the employee even called in sick the following day.
If I can’t talk to the person giving me an assignment about the assignment, what am I to do? Things like this happen a couple times a month. When I mentioned that I thought these instances constituted verbal abuse, the head of our group told me that it would have to be witnessed, and the witness and I would have to document it. I’m currently looking for another position and, in the meantime, would like some suggestions on how to deal with these unpleasantries. -- Anonymous, Washington