The Help Files: How to NOT Kill Your Co-workers

This is OUR sandbox
If you work in an office, maybe you’re lucky enough to get along famously with all of your co-workers. That’s great, but this column is for the rest of us.

By “us,” I mean those of us who work in offices and have colleagues with whom we must collaborate, however reluctantly. Everyone usually has at least one co-worker who you wish would sleep through their alarm, have a flat on the drive in, or maybe their car won’t start. Anything to give you some time in the office without them there. This edition of The Help Files is here to dissuade you from strangling that idiot you must work with.

How to Handle a Co-worker Conflict

If you work with someone infrequently but regularly, say once a quarter, you should probably just suck it up and make an effort to get along. If you need to work with someone more frequently, Jennifer Winter has you covered with three suggestions in a post for The Muse.

5 Tips For Getting Busy Co-workers To Read Your Emails

It seems that every email message now is labelled “Urgent,” from the project-related message your boss sent you (read THAT one now!) to the message your cubicle neighbor sent regarding lunch. We are being machine-gunned with email to the point that most of it is being deleted unopened. So how are you supposed to get your harried co-workers to read YOUR email?  Emmie Martin has a few tips for you in a post for the Business Insider.

Co-worker Drama: How to Navigate the Office Minefield

Office drama is everywhere. You don’t even have to look for it to find it. From a flooded men’s room (what ARE they doing in there?!) to a jammed snack machine, life is rarely smooth. And we haven’t even mentioned the root canal Aunt Martha has to have re-done or the dog with the touchy stomach. Your co-workers are loaded for bear and ready to spill their guts to you as soon as they drag themselves in on Monday morning. In a post for the Brazen Careerist, Sarah Atkinson has a few ideas on dealing with the daily co-worker drama.

Dealing With an Overly Talkative Co-worker

Everyone needs to vent once in a while, but how should you deal with someone who is suffering from a bad case of verbal diarrhea, and simply doesn’t know when to shut up? In a post for The Muse, Sara McCord has three suggestions for keeping such exchanges as brief as possible. And no, these ideas do not include voodoo curses.

8 Steps for Dealing with a Toxic Co-worker

This slideshow by Fast Company gives common-sense, practical advice for dealing with a poisonous co-worker. These suggestions thoughtfully exclude slugging said co-worker with a tire iron (no matter how much you want to) or placing a voodoo curse on them.

How to Deal with Long-Winded Co-Workers

You see your co-worker, Joe Smith, round the corner, lay his eyes on you, and make a beeline for where you’re standing. You groan, because Joe will now spill his guts to you in excruciating detail regarding his drive home last night, the phone call from Great Aunt Maude that interrupted dinner, the mess his dog made on the carpet, and everything else that happened since 5 p.m. yesterday. In a post for Inc., Jill Krasny has some ideas for dealing with windbag co-workers. Strangely, none of these ideas involve strangling Joe, which is what you REALLY feel like doing.

Have some tips or tools to share with your fellow technical communicators, information developers, and content creators? Let’s network! Drop me a note: HelpFiles@TechWhirl.com.  Follow me on Twitter: @craigcardimon. Connect with me on LinkedIn here. Put me in your Google+ circles. I enjoy connecting with others in the industry.

Craig Cardimon

Craig Cardimon wears many hats and loves all of them -- technical communicator, content curator, and freelance copywriter. In his not-so-copious spare time, he reads, writes, runs on the local trail, and watches way too much "retro" TV.

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