Dear Leah B.,

I have a situation at my job! I have two team members that I work very closely with but they can’t seem to work with each other! Candace and Tanya cannot stand each other and it’s starting to affect our work. 

 Candace refuses to collaborate with Tanya on projects big and small alike, Tanya is super defensive and belittling whenever Candace attempts to talk with her about work related tasks. As a result they often use a middle man to communicate pertinent details and needless to say, it isn’t working. Their boss acts as if she doesn’t’ see the behavior that is clearly obstructing productivity and allowing the behavior to terrorize the entire floor. Meeting environments are often tense as they argue in meetings; attempt to embarrass each other with minor oversights and changes. Petty emails and shady comments about each other to various people are becoming uncomfortable for our other colleagues that are beginning to notice the dynamic between the two of them. 

Of notable mention, Tanya is not very liked by many people in the entire company and is often avoided. I’ve witnessed different people try to be friendly with her but she has such an abrasive and off-putting demeanor, those attempts are often fleeting. I’m not sure what to do, I have to work with both of these people but I can’t stand even dealing with the both of them at the same damn time! I sooooo need my damn job but these bitches are out of control! Please Tell Me How to deal with these women?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? Sincerely,

I Can’t With Them…

Dear I Can’t With Them…, 

Speaking from the perspective that you need your job… The first thing that you’re going to do is nothing. 

The second thing you’re going to do is communicate your unwillingness to engage in any behavior that does not promote the objective of the tasks at hand whenever you even think they are attempting to pull you in or use you as a pawn for pettiness. This is one of the most important things you can do; you can’t teeter on the fence and agree with some things or empathize with either lady on any issue. You MUST remain neutral AND communicate your zero tolerance for bullshit policy. If not, you will find yourself aggravated, irritated and frustrated with dealing with such childish behavior. 

 Third, in communicating your unwillingness for bullshit, instruct them to communicate with each other. This will be met with whining and complaining. Do yourself a favor and shut that shit down, don’t let it go on too long because then you become the sounding board and could be perceived as taking sides, NOPE! Take that shit over there; I like to eat and shop so I can’t have y ’all messing with my paper! 

 Finally, If the consensus on the floor is that these two are just too toxic for the “culture” of the company, speak with their boss collectively. Avoid going in by yourself and notifying the boss of the situation by yourself because now you’re the spokesperson, NOPE! Y’all all got a problem with them, y’all all go in (people are good for making one person the spokesperson because they may be more outspoken). Either complain collectively or suffer individually…

Leah B.