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Cliques Conflict Teamwork Communication

I am 28 and the youngest employee in my office of 35. All the others have more experience, yet I make the same money. Many of them have poor attitudes and don't put forth much effort. They treat me as a threat and make bad remarks about me. I do not know if I should ignore the comments of these slackers, confront them, or go to my boss. What's a rookie to do?

It is often pleasant to work in an office that is united, but not when it is united against you. When situations like this develop, there are often at least two sides to the story, and the story will not have a happy ending if you do nothing about it. If you try to ignore the remarks, they may well increase in frequency, volume, and nastiness. And, you will be increasing your isolation.

As a second option, you suggest confronting your co-workers. Not surprisingly, if you confront them, you are going to have a confrontation. A better approach is to meet with the informal leader of the group and ask for his or her thoughts as to how to deal with the present problem. If you establish an amicable relationship with the leader, the group will follow. As a side note, when you label fellow employees as "slackers," you tend to treat them in a way that generates this type of behavior and ill will.

If the work relationship remains strained, then you should meet with your boss, but not in a tattling or battling mode. Rather, describe the situation and ask for his or her suggestions. Most managers want to know about these types of problems, and effective managers want to find solutions.

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