Get advice on how to deal with jerks at work Check out the book 'Jerks At Work' and other titles by Ken Lloyd Ph.D. Return to the JerksAtWork.com homepage Learn more about Ken Lloyd, Ph.D. Submit a question to Ken Lloyd, Ph.D.
 

Need help dealing with a jerk? Meet Ken.

Ken Lloyd, Ph.D., is widely regarded as the ultimate expert on jerks at work.

Widely sought as a speaker at corporations, associations, and universities, he is also a best-selling author and a frequent television and talk-radio guest.

On this website you can enjoy a sampling of some recent advice he's given on workplace issues. Topics are listed along the left side of the page. To read Ken's advice on any item, click on the link "Read Ken's Answer."




Do you think you work with the biggest jerk of all -- that one person who sets the gold standard when it comes to ridiculous workplace behaviors and antics?

If so, we have just the contest for you! You probably feel that you deserve a prize for working with this jerk, and now that opportunity has arrived.

In 100 words or less, tell us about your jerk. No names please -- just the gory details. We'll post all of the jerk tales and pick a new winner every month.

The prize is a Jerks at Work™ T-shirt!

If you have a perfect jerk in mind, just click here to enter the contest. Good luck with your jerk! And good luck in the contest, too!


The latest advice


I work in a small office environment. My current boss is related to the part time worker who is her sister-in-law. Her sister-in-law is a part time worker who doesn't have to work holidays or weekends as I and the other full timer have to do. She is supposed to be a "Fill in" when one of us full timers can't make it to work, but the manager will work the hours for her instead, when this is not the company plan. For some reason, the manager is very loyal to this relation she works with, and that is why in the past the former company before the merger kept them apart. It may seem petty, but I am tired of this woman getting away with murder and feeling she can take off at the drop of a hat, while I have to account for every minute. I would think that full timers would get more consideration. Confronting her about the problem has done no good. She gets upset and says we're stressing her out. She hates the idea of being firm and fair with her in-law. Should I go to HR?
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A very rude and scheming co-worker was recently promoted over me by our senseless boss. She is switching to a more subtle rudeness after the boss kind of told her to "cut it out" (but without any firmness). What she now does is make statements to me that just cross the line between normal instructions and condescending, harsh reprimands. Her speech and emails carry a tone that implies that I do not pull my weight which is far from the truth. She enlists the help of other employees in mobbing me in this way. Management does not understand the subtleties of communication and I fear that if I cannot assert myself properly against this continuous onslaught, my anger will build to explosiveness (the bullies' goal). I am afraid that she will get huffy and take a complaint to management that I am unable to take instructions or criticism and that they will review the facts and side with her. They might say that I am "taking it the wrong way" or "reading into things incorrectly" and blame me. This is something that is happening after the bully has made a pattern of treating me with great rudeness and disrespect. She is a jealous, insecure baby but has been with the company for 7 years where I have only been there 2-1/2 years. They love the little ass-kissing fool. Any advise on how to handle this?
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At a recent meeting, management used some words that I thought were questionable as they might have a negative impact on staff members. Words and phrases such as "gives a reason for people to snitch on others", "I hope future meetings won't result in violent arguments", and "one person complained and HE doesn't think it's fair" lead me to think that such language will make staff members feel intimidated from raising issues in fear of being called a "snitch" or that dissension amongst staff may rise now that the idea that there is a "snitch" has been implied. Also, it may create a sense of fear that violence is a potential issue at work between employees and that people that have raised concerns in private are now being identified openly by pointing out key characteristics. Is there an issue to be had with the type of vocabulary management is using?
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Reader comments

Got something to say about jerks at work? Here's what Ken's readers are saying about the jerks featured in his advice column. These are the three most recent comments. Check them out, and post your own!

Responding to this item, Website visitor recently said:
Believe it or not your coworkers may act like they don't care but I can assure that they do. It is hurtful, disrespectful and uncalled for. In fear of their job, they just keep their mouth shut but words and yelling hurt and no one should have to deal with it. How would you like to be humiliated like that. If they blew up at you they would be reprimanded. Enough said!

Responding to this item, Website visitor recently said:
The owner just yelled at me at work and even told me yo get out of here so I left. He screamed at me in front of every mormi g crew after I failed to put a sign at the front where Li mopped thefloor and he almost slipped. I was told to clean earlier. In the morning before the employees arrived. Still the owner who should know I am trying to make the place look good for him manages to come around when he could go anither way. The company thinks I take drugs. Givenme random drug tests because I drive their vehicle. I don't do drugs.

Responding to this item, Eduardo recently said:
Everyone feels stress to some dergee. It is important to develop successful coping strategies. This is something we should teach regularly to our kids. Learn to handle stress when we are young in order to deal with it as adults.