Irritants, Aggravations & Pestilence in the Office

Getting along with our fellow humans can be quite the challenge.  Sometimes it is amazing that we accomplish anything at all as a group when there can be so many competing priorities, preferences and opinions.  It is hard enough to agree on the proper temperature for the thermostat, let alone the best means to keep an organization running.


Years ago I read an article quoting a woman whose marriage had achieved a long-term milestone.  She mentioned advice she had received early on for a long and happy marriage- make a list of 10 irritants the other person does that you will forgive.  She added that she always meant to get around to making that list, but life intervened as it will with so many things to do that she never actually wrote the list.  So when her husband did anything that was particularly irritating, she told herself that must be on the list.


I loved that piece because of the real life part where she never actually got around to making a list of 10 things.  Had I been the interviewer, I would have asked her if her husband was similarly forbearing in some manner, otherwise the marriage was a bit one sided in beneficence.


We are similarly challenge to find a balance between our own wishes and needs and those of all of our co-workers and the key is compromise.  A word that seems to have fallen out of favor in our political arena, but a word which is very much needed whenever people gather.  If we are not willing to compromise on basics, then we will subject ourselves to an ongoing spiral of escalation – as I diligently attempted to get my children to understand while they grew.


If the majority in the office agree that 68 degrees is optimal, but you are cold then perhaps you should adjust your wardrobe.  If there is a general need for something within the office, find a pleasant way to get the point across to senior management that this would benefit the organization.  If the majority don’t understand how decisions are made within the organization, get together and create a suggestion to develop a more democratic decision process for points that affect productivity and employee engagement.


In other words, address your level and ability to control the situation, including your right to participate in the process.  First address this with yourself, before you take it to the group to determine the cause of your grievance.  Is it something that you should just accept as the long married woman did, or is it truly something that should be addressed?


© 2013 Practical Business | Reasonable Expectations


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Filed under Personal Growth, Work Life

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