Q: “Lately, I have become short and snappy with my co-workers. I am the secretary for a medical group, and this job is very frustrating. I have to answer the phone, respond to patients, transmit doctors’ orders, look up information, run errands and answer stupid questions. I don’t want to be rude, but it’s getting harder to bite my tongue. How can I stop being so irritable?” Not a Grouch
A: Kudos to you for examining your own behavior and resisting the temptation to blame others. Many people are not that mature. Now you need to recognize that your snippy remarks are actually a symptom of a larger concern.
The real issue here is your growing frustration with this job, which is creating resentment towards your co-workers. Although you try to be pleasant, your true feelings still manage to seep into your conversations. In short, this communication problem is actually a job satisfaction problem.
One possible solution is to talk with your immediate supervisor about strategies for making your work more manageable. However, you may just be temperamentally unsuited for such a chaotic environment. In that case, the ultimate answer is a job that better matches your personality.
Do you have some troublesome work habits that you'd like to break? Here are the steps: How to Change Your Behavior.