I know it seems a little late for me, considering I’m in college, but this summer I have my first real job. I work in retail at a really nice boutique on a gorgeous street, and I love the clothing I work with! As much as I’m learning at my job, there are a lot of downsides to working in retail, including the hours, sales quotas, and the sometimes rude customers. Something I never thought I would have to deal with is co-worker drama…
Much to my surprise, this drama came in the form of an older man, who accused me last week of trying to maliciously steal his customers. The words “commission hungry,” and “aggressive” came from his mouth. In the days that have passed, I’ve tried coming up with an explanation as to why this happened and how to deal with this situation.
I have read that sometimes collegues who have been working longer at a store can feel that a new employee’s success is due to luck, rather than her own talents. Or perhaps he felt insecure that a women could be as accomplished as he? Perhaps he felt that he needed to accuse me of being an aggressive seller because I’ve been doing well at my job and he felt insecure.
Whatever the motives are for these actions, the hurtful words co-workers say can really sting, especially if they’re unexpected and undeserving. However, it is important to deal with these situations in a professional manner. To begin with, DO NOT STOOP TO THE LEVEL OF YOUR CO-WORKER. Calling someone names and personally offending them is the worst way you can handle this scenario. These attacks make you look unprofessional and immature. Instead politely and calmly say, “If you have any issues with my conduct, I would love to continue this conversation with our manager.” The next step is to report to your manager/supervisor/boss what this co-worker said to you. Your manager is the best person to handle this situation; he or she will find suitable solution to deal with your offender. After talking to your manager, take a little break to regroup and collect your thoughts.
Finally, don’t let this situation get you down. It’s important to go back to work with your head held high, even though it may be really hard. If you don’t pick yourself back up, you’ve let your bullies win. It’s important to show people that you can be as successful as anyone else, even if others don’t believe so.
I’m not looking forward to working again with my co-worker, as I know that this may not be the last awkward situation I will face in the workplace. What’s important to remember is that no one can tell me how successful I can be. I plan to work as hard as I can and the results will pay off! Letting someone ruin my hard work isn’t worth it. Listen to yourself, and continue doing what you love.