Weird Coworker


This guy needs your help, people.

I work in a small office.  There’s about 6 people that work in this office, and I work in one room with another employee that I can’t stand.  We get along fine on paper because I know how to keep my mouth shut — and I am a friendly, lively, funny person that most people appreciate.  This person I work with has no friends, has a weird view of the world, is constantly talking about topics as if he’s the authority on everything, is constantly wanting to talk to me about personal things that are happening to me, goes on and on about his kids and financial problems, wants to hang out with me —  and has started to touch me — like hands on shoulders, etc. like he’s my buddy or something.  I see this person — I cringe.  I’ve taken to wearing earphones (music playing or not) or just backing out of the room (bathroom or smoke break) whenever this person get’s on his soapbox and won’t shut the hell up.

From an HR perspective, what’s a good way of dealing with this sort of person in the workplace?  Any magic words that have worked in the past??

I want to poll the PRHR community. What does everyone think? How should the guy with the weird coworker handle this situation? Have you dealt with this situation personally?

I think there are two ways to deal with this.

  • The Cesar Millan way, which involves being clear & direct with your coworker. Look at his behavior, determine what’s inappropriate, and tell him to stop. No discussion. No negotiation. Be kind, be clear, and be timely.
  • The Toby way, which involves being all passive-aggressive and asking Human Resources to intervene.

I always go with Cesar Millan. Be calm-assertive at work.

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