05 April 2011

The Mad Plaidder

I would like to say that I am typically a pretty laid back person, at home as well as at work. Granted the people who have to work with me may have differing opinions, but I think with age, I think I've learned to stress less about things and just "expect" there will be change, grimace, then deal with it.

So I'd like to say that there are few people that I work with who rub me the wrong way. Actually until recently, none. So it was kind of surprise even to me when someone I have to work on a project with made me livid. And this may also be the first time I've ever even used "livid" to describe a personal emotion. But there it was, a sick to my stomach, heart palpitating, eye crossing, if-said-person-was-right-in-front-of-me-at-that-moment-I'd-pummel-them feeling.

Now I won't go into the gritty details, but I went from working with someone who was almost a second version of myself - in a good way - to another person who likes to move ahead with things without getting approvals on them (already reprimanded). Who likes to use ! ad-nauseum and J in e-mail communications with senior-level members (ignored with a grimace). Who is so darn perpetually cheery that she almost makes you feel like a grump for living - and who my boss passes off to me so he doesn't have to deal with her (sigh). Who works in an area where writing skills are a requirement but who does not seem to have any (completely redlined one of her docs).

And no, she does not work for me, or even work in the same company as I do, so there's little ability to really sit down and talk things through. And yes, I know she means well and is a nice person. So at this point, I vascillate between grinning and bearing it until this project is finally through, telling myself that I I need to work on my tolerance levels, and being up on her stuff like a sprinkle on a cupcake.

How do you gals deal with difficult people at work (or in life)? And what kind of people do you consider to be "difficult?"


IMG_2809  IMG_2828


Dress: Lands' End Canvas pleated tartan (now on sale - more cas version here)
Belt: H&M double buckle (worn here before - similar here or here)
Bracelets: Old Navy enamel / J. Crew studded (similar here and here)
Shoes: Seychelles ring in the new year / Anthro raines (worn here before - similar here or here)


  1. What a cute little plaid dress. You're as cute as a button Lisa!
    Difficult people are those that don't listen and think that they are always right. Then there are those who make you feel like everything is your fault when something goes wrong. Someone once told me that difficult people usually have personal issues of their own, so I don't really take things too seriously around those kinds of people.
    There's someone at my work who has just taken leave and has spelling mistakes all over in their out-of-office reply email. Erm, that's difficult to handle as well!
    If you're really concerned, seek advice from your HR department.

  2. I am fairly easygoing too. Sometimes it is difficult to deal with my colleagues though. My boss alone would take up a whole book to write about. Other than him, I have two coworkers. One coworker loves to gossip and say bad things about everyone (including me when I am not around). The other coworker seems to believe that she is being demeaned if she is asked to put down her personal projects (studying for school, etc.) and do the job that she is getting paid for.

    In the end though, I sit in my office and do my job and ignore everyone else. I am not unapproachable and I am professional and friendly to everyone, but I am busy with my own stuff. I do my own job well and that is all that I really need to be concerned about. At least in my case, minding my own business is the easiest way to deal with problematic coworkers.

  3. I really like this dress. It's a great print and I love the cut of the dress. I also really can't explain how much I love those shoes. I was crushing hard on a pair in DSW last month, when I really didn't have the cash to purchase a new pair of shoes. I ended up basically selling them to a girl who had been eying them up on me, just so I couldn't break down and get em.

    Now that my gushing is over. I absolutely have worked with people who bother me to the point of hating to work with them. People who think they are better than you, or know everything annoy the crap out of me. As a fostercare owner I constantly have people coming in to my home, all with their own ideas about how to run a fostercare, none who actually do. I don't really know how to deal with it, I talk (read vent) about it with family and really just try to ignore the negative parts as much as possible.

  4. First of all you look amazing. I adore this little plaid dress on you. Secondly, I'm sorry to hear about your troubles with that person. It's so hard sometimes having to deal with other people, and there's never a right way of doing so! I tend to be a stressful person, so I stress over things when I really should let it go. I've been learning to just take responsibility for myself because I'm really the only person I can control. I know I'm not giving you any good advice, but I wanted to chime in anyway :) Good luck, dealing with coworkers isn't always easy.

  5. Oh, I feel for ya. I've had some super frustrating work relationships and am so thankful to be in a better place now! I seriously had to pray that God will give me wisdom and grace in the siutation. I'm normally pretty level-headed but this particular situation made crazy! Hang in there.

  6. This is the second dress from Lands End I've seen you in and I've seriously got to put this store on my radar. I love it, and think it goes so perfectly well with these shoes!

    Don't even get me started about people at work that drive me complete bonkers. But I'm one of these people that holds in my emotions at work because I don't really know how to tactfully deal with them in a workplace environment. Conflict resolution is very difficult to manage inside and outside of the workplace. I often get confused. Especially when a person (I have one specifically in mind) is your superior. How do you confront this person without getting fired? I have fantasies that I unleash on this person and tell them what I truly think of them. If only life weren't so complicated...

  7. First off--that belt is freaking awesome! And that's so tough :( I definitely just try to grin and bear it (and maybe vent to coworkers/Steve/my sisters/Mom) when I get pissed at work. My supervisor said something really out of line a few weeks ago and I just bit my tongue and walked away. Better to be mad than fired, right?

    Melanie@Unravelled Threads
    Follow @UnraveldThreads on twitter!

  8. I just clicked over here for the first time, and now I'm kind of hooked :)

    I love this dress (and Land's End Canvas is one of my absolute favorites, too), and with the belt and the shoes? You look fantastic!

    And that work situation? It sounds no fun, at all, and I wish I could offer some advice, but I am TERRIBLE in those situations. I have a hard time hiding my feelings if I'm not thrilled to work with someone, so I usually just try to avoid them as best I can, and that's definitely not the best way to handle something. Good luck with this one!

    This Life, Redefined…stop by and say hi!

  9. First off, I love those shoes!!

    Ok, I have to deal with difficult people a lot. I deal with them in completely different ways though. As an Avon rep there are ALWAYS difficult customers. I kind of have to grin and bear it. If they become too difficult I essentially "fire" them as customers. Since it's something I do on the side I don't necessarily have the time to keep up with them. And as a business it has to be worth my time and effort so I sometimes need to "filter".

    At work...that's another story. There are many people here that make me livid. And it's not just personality clashes, it's moral and ethical decisions that I believe can't be compromised but for the sake of "business" aka $$$ decisions I do not agree with get made. I do not keep quiet about these decisions. I voice my opinion (which really doesn't matter b/c they go ahead anyway) and refuse to sign my name to anything. Maybe this makes me difficult to work with but I do not want my name associated with decisions I was dead set against. Those that constantly make these decisions in my work place know how I feel towards them and they tend to stay out of my way for the most part LOL!

    Phew - sorry , that was long winded!!!! Obviously I have a lot to get off my chest LOL!

  10. Love the belt and shoes with the dress! Totally Mad Men (you know I'm a huge fan)! Sorry to hear about the situation at work. I've gone through too many projects where one or more people I have to work with become people I have to DEAL with. The most difficult people are ones who refuse to learn anything new. There's ALWAYS room for improvement and innovation. In your case, I think you need to address it head on. Make a list of improvements for this colleague, and sit her down and have an honest chat. While she may not appreciate it, she may even cry, it will let you feel that you've done something about the situation. Then you can get back to focusing on being productive, rather than babysitting someone else. The other option is to ignore it, and just take deeeeep breaths everytime a mistake crop up. Don't know how long you have to put up with this, but I would choose the first option. Good luck :)

  11. I wish I could look as cute as you do every single day:) I'll have to settle for every once in awhile:P

    So sorry you're having this dilemma--I'm kind of like you: as I get older I'm feeling myself embracing a more "mellow" outlook on dealing with difficult people, but of course, just when I think I've reached a state of total peace and tranquility (haha) someone comes along who bursts my peaceful bubble and I also find myself wanting to stab them with a fork?! It's been a long time since I've worked in a typical office setting, and I've had all sorts of jobs and I can honestly say that in any type of job setting, there will always be ridiculous, silly and difficult people to deal with. They don't matter; what matters is how you go about your own work. I'd say, try your best to not "lose it" in front of this person or to even give any indication that she annoys you--that will just give her the upper hand. Looking like you're in control and maintaining exterior coolness will most certainly translate into feeling like you're in control of everything. And any other annoying thing this person does--I'd just ignore it and keep doing an awesome job!

    Good luck!

  12. Love that dress and those shoes and that belt! They are so perfect together!

  13. ugh i hear you loud and clear! and unfortunately there's nothing I can do about those individuals either except grin and bear it. although I can't say I'm easy going... haha.

    hopefully it's a temporary thing and she'll be gone sooner rather than later!

    on the positive side though, i love the pairing of that belt with that dress :)

  14. What a fun dress! You and plaid? Happy couple!

    I tend to like very few people, which helps with dealing with them, lol. No joke. I guess in "livid" situations, my defense mechanism (right or wrong, I'll leave that up to you) is to always question what's "wrong" with them. I tend to take a pitying viewpoint and think that they must have wolves as parents and grew up in a barn somewhere. Truth or otherwise, it helps me rise above the situation (despite taking a very unsubstantiated self-righteous position).

  15. I love your outfit today! The plaid dress is darling, and that BELT is amazing! I love it with the heels, too. And smiley Lisa being livid? I'm surprised! Luckily, all of the people I work with are pretty awesome, so I don't have too many instances of becoming incredibly aggravated. From my experience, though, the type of person I hate the most to work with are those who expect me to do all of their work for them and those who can't be bothered to carefully read through and understand an assignment before shooting me 1291084383 emails about it. I kind of lose my mind (internally) whenever I receive an email with a question that was CLEARLY answered in the original email. AUUUUUGGGHHHH.

  16. I worked w/a girl who had spelling issues and a host of other problems. Huge as we worked in customer service. We got her a dictionary and any other tool we could think of that would help her. She still sucked & never got fired because she was the daughter-in-law of a client. Some people just can't be helped. You said that ultimately you can deal with new things. So, if you're not her supervisor, just roll with the change of dealing w/this new person as-is. Years ago I never would have said that. I would have been an advocate of trying to have a heart-to-heart. I just think she won't listen to unsolicited advice. Someone else will tell her in a critical situation and you better believe she will remember.

    Detach! It will all work out. After all, things always change.

  17. Darling dress!! I have a really strong personality and used to bump heads with people who I worked with, I am a really upfront person and would generally just nail it head on. I have had to fire a few people and always hated that. Sometimes it's easier to grin and bear it than to deal with things if it will eventually go away!

  18. Love this outfit! I have the same dress in the green plaid (and the H&M belt as well). LOL Your post makes me want to order another colour. The shoes are just perfect.

  19. vintageglammz - I agree, there are those who make mistakes and admit to them and learn from them, and those who never admit to being wrong and continue to make the same mistakes over and over again!

    Anon - you and I must have had the same coworkers, haha. I had a gal who used to work for me and she told on me to HR because she felt that I was asking her private questions - when did asking an employee to let you know if you'll be taking a long lunch or leaving work early qualify as a private question? Turns out all her "appointments" ended up being manis and hair cuts!

    Melanie - ugh, that's rough too! My old department VP used to say out of line things all the time, so much that my director used to pull me aside and apologize for him!

    curls-and-pearls - re: your day job, wow, that sounds rough. I used to work for a company that ended up outrightly lying to people and they ended up losing a lot of good employees that way!

    Closet Crisis - totally different situation, but I'd had a gal who used to work for me totally burst into tears in a one-on-one meeting I had with her! She got so upset that she excused herself from the meeting - which ended up getting me upset later on when I realized that was just a ploy she likes to use to get herself out of situations where she knew she was in trouble! There are all types of people, huh ...

    violinista - nah, I haven't lost it in front of this gal yet, but I'm painfully grinned my way through situations!

    Pamela - heck, I always end up wondering if I am being snarky for no reason and start questioning myself - but it's really them and not me, right?!

    amy kelinda - I work with a lot of upper mgmt and sales guys - and as great and whip smart as they all are, they never read through anything! Argh! I've learned to just expect it.

    gigiofca - I may have to send this gal a "grammar for dummies" book for Christmas or something, haha! But I agree, I think I am going to "roll with it" especially because the project is ending soon and it is really not all in my head because my boss feels the same way!

    triciathomas - I wish I could be more assertive like you! Sometimes I think I grin and bear it too much, but no one's ever bothered me this badly either!

    overcaffeinated - I actually went back to try to order another color but my size is sold out now. Aw well. This is my kinda reed shirtdress replacement.

    Thanks to all your ladies for your advice and commiserating. We're not perfect and neither are other people and sometimes two imperfects just make a darn wrong!

    I just wanted to blog vent my frustrations a bit, so thanks for reading. I hope I am not seeming unnecessarily snarky - but I guess patience and tolerance are not my virtues!

  20. OMG I am so glad I quit my last job because my coworkers used to drive me insane. Not all, but some. Enough to absolutely relate to that exact feeling you describe.

    As for your outfit, I LOVE IT. I love it more than most outfits, so that means I love it a lot!

  21. Very pretty dress, lovely shoes and I need that belt in my closet.

    ps. I think in life I have learn to ignore certain people. My mom has always told me I have selective hearing..lol So I don't really pay attention to craziness I just pray for them and keep it moving.

  22. Everyone has said it already, but cute dress!

    Like many offices, the place I worked at had some pretty unpleasant people. It's a difficult question really because exactly how do you deal with them? My style was simply to have as little contact with them as possible (avoidance!). Like you, if I do have to speak to them, I'd just smile on the outside while I cringe on the inside. Terribly hypocritical I know, but that's life. I'm quite low on patience and I know that if they bug me on the wrong day, I would forget all office etiquette and have a right go at them.

  23. I have several pieces from Lands End canvas and I love them. I especially love your dress. It's adorable on you. Thanks for featuring my give a way.

  24. those shoes are stunning! and this outfit is just adorable, it's so casual and cute and comfy yet chic at the same time :)

  25. Ok first off, who knew Lands' End had such cute dresses?!? Definitely going to have to make a trip over to their website soon :)

    The people I find most difficult to work with are the ones who make mistakes, apologize, and then make the same mistakes over and over again. It's so frustrating, but I'm not a confrontational person, so I just deal with it :/

  26. LEC has such cute things!!! I even saw some cute LE pieces at Sears. Yes. I was at Sears. It was the only area of the mall parking lot that day that I could get a decent spot in the rain and the LE area is right near the mall entrance from the store.

    Your work issue sounds frustrating! The people at work that annoy and get under my skin are those that answer shop. UGH. Just thinking about this particular person is making my blood boil. She shops around for confirmation on things constantly and when some disagrees she questions them and then goes to the next person. Sometimes I say the opposite of what she is looking for on purpose. Is that mean?

  27. Lovely plaid dress! I haven't been over to the Lands End Canvas site in a while, so I definitely need to check out their latest goodies!

    How frustrating with your work situation?!? I have some co-workers who are hard to handle, but I chalk it up to a learning experience. I can only hope they are somehow teaching me to better handle difficult personalities and situations!

  28. ugh...there's enough going on at work to have to deal with inept people! I tend to assume people are absolutely competent until they prove otherwise, and then try and figure out what they can be trusted to do...

    The plaid of this dress is great- so pretty and casual. Your shoes rock!

  29. Love the dress! So surprised to see it was from Lands End. It reminds me of Claire McCardell. xo style, she wrote

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  31. I LOVE your dress! That is so cute! It's hard to be patient in work situations, especially when you have already been frustrated by the people on a regular basis. I try to recognize that my desire for organization isn't something that everyone executes. And I try to be patient but mostly I try to make sure I have a well stocked liquor cabinet at home. haha

  32. I have that exact same dress...did yours shrink a bit in length when you washed it? Just curious...I think mine did ;o( But I still love the dress. I bought it when I couldnt get the reed plaid version, and I got this for under $20!

  33. Oh gosh, Lisa...Ii'm so sorry that you have to deal with a difficult person. I've had my fair share of asses but one particular one was so obnoxious, I literally wanted to pill her ovaries out!!! Someone like her should never have babies, and thank god she doesn't yet. She was a client of mine in San Jose and just so demanding...and a liar. I just dealt with her the best I could by listening to her needs even though it's hard to be at her beckoned call. At the end of the day, I knew that after the project I was going to move on. And she'll be out of my life, but she'll still be that miserable person that she is for the rest of her life. I know I'm a better person than her and that was how I got through it. I was laid off from my job before finishing the project though and I must have made an impression because she told my Senior Manager that she liked me and was sad to see me go!

  34. You look so great in this dress...and I love that belt with it. Picture perfect!

  35. Love your title, and your plaid cuteness. I'm pretty laid back too, and people who are list-makers, must-get-it-doners-today drive me bananas. I would keep it short and simple with her, whenever possible. And correct her grammar mistakes with a big, red, fat marker! (I'm sure she'd love that...hehe.)


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