September 3rd, 2018

Starting slow

Hello everyone! Here’s to day 2 of blogging. Monday started off in a not so good way, as my congestion is stubborn and it seems it’s here to stay for a few days. Luckily, I work from home most of the time, so I didn’t have to push myself too hard. I started slowly, with hot lemon water and cleaning my sinuses with my neti pot. My sinus headache got too bad, so after breakfast, I gave up and took an ibuprofen.

By the way, my breakfast was formed of a protein smoothie with cashew milk, a couple of bananas, blueberries and a scoop of pea protein powder. Yummy! I took advantage of the post-smoothie energy and the ibuprofen’s effect to get some work done. I published yesterday’s blog post and edited some documents. Yes, in case you did not know, I work as a freelance editor. Let me know if you need any professional editing done! I mostly do academic work, but I have experience in a lot of fields.

When conflicts build up out of nowhere

At some point, I realized that since it was the 3rd, I was might need to be at work at 5 p.m. The thing was not certain, so I decided to call one of my co-workers. As a little backstory, this co-worker does not particularly like me. He knows about my side business and my dreams to go full freelance & become a digital nomad. He thinks I am not loyal to our workplace (which is totally false, as the job I do can easily be done from a distance).

This has lead to a lot of conflict between us. He is somewhat in a higher position than me within the company, but not high enough to kick me out. He is, however, influent enough to impede my promotions or stopping me from getting good projects. While in the beginning this was annoying and I argued with him a lot (always in a respectful tone), lately I’ve come to not really care.

The truth is, the fact that he won’t let me be promoted or get more projects, also means that I have more free time for my own business and freelance work. Long story short, today he decided to completely ignore my calls and messages. It’s not the first time he did that, so I decided I would go for the 5 p.m. meeting, just in case. I got there, and what ya know: there was no meeting, I could have stayed at home.

Now, normally, this would not bother me. But since I was sick and it was a real effort to get out of the house and drive to the office, I got a tad bit angry.

Conflicts at the workplace – what to do when ignoring is not an option?

Like I said, over the past months, I just chose to ignore this little conflict and see the benefits. And honestly, it is something I encourage anyone to do because having a full-on conflict with someone is not always the best choice. Fighting and yelling is ok at times, but just as well, ignoring a conflict, especially one you did not bring up by your own fault, might be a good solution.

For me…ignoring was not a real solution. It made life easier, but it didn’t make the issue go away. Yesterday, I decided to confront my co-worker. His answer: “he thought I could use a walk since I spend so much time inside”. Yeah, honey, exactly what I normally would’ve thought, just not today.

My solution

I explained to him all that had bothered me over the past few months – him talking about me behind my back, saying I don’t work, that I cause issues for the company, especially when none of that was true and I’ve had great results. Also, him ignoring every single call I make, but at the same time whenever we were with others such as our bosses he would act as if he were best friends. The idea was, that if I were to ever complain about it, the bosses would think I was crazy because they’d only seen him being nice to me.

He was completely taken aback by my confronting him and ended up apologizing. In the end, my ignoring the issue for months on end turned out to be actually good, because he thought that was just my style and I would never retaliate. When I finally had enough, he was caught by surprise and couldn’t come up with a proper excuse. We’ll see where things go in the next weeks and months, but yesterday was definitely a win for me.

Other options to get past conflicts at the workplace:

  • Talk about it – find out what’s bothering them or tell them what’s bothering you.
  • Focus on work, not on the other’s personality. You might not always like someone’s personality, but that doesn’t mean they don’t work well.
  • Compliments – it might feel like an effort, but making a compliment to the other person can go a long way to fixing problems between you too.
  • Find ways to point out your progress – both to the one you’re in conflict with and to others, make sure your progress is always visible. This will also help if the other wants to make false accusations like it happened to me.
  • Have a collaborative attitude. Yes, sometimes it is easiest to stick to your idea, and sometimes you don’t have a choice. But if possible, try to keep an open-minded attitude, one that allows you to look for solutions.

You can find even more ideas in this article.

Wrapping up my day

After my “productive” hour at the office, I went for a walk in the park with a friend. I was reluctant at first, especially since I was angry, but it turned out to be a good decision. Once I got back home, I did a bit of yin yoga, cleaning my sinuses again, turned on my diffuser and jumped into bed with a good book. See you tomorrow!

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