How to Deal with the Work Jerk

Ever had the pleasure of working with an absolute jerk? Yeah, it makes you fume.

The way they wander the hallway looking for a short fuse to light, their use of the last tea bag without a care for the biscuit-parched world around them, or when they raise issues in a meeting that should have been iron out hours ago.

But, fume no longer friends, because here’s your four step guide to gliding through your busy work day without taking the bait or stabbing someone in the eye.

Always smile and speak slowly

Even when someone is yelling at you, the best thing to do is look better than them.

Let those pearly whites shine for all to see and even if your blood is boiling on the inside, at least you have annoyed them with your unwillingness to break down in tears or throw a tantrum like they have. You are the cool and collected one.

A good slow shake of your head after they are done will help make them feel like the moron they are, because we all know there’s nothing more infuriating that yanking someone’s chain and getting no response.

Keep them on your radar

The Godfather’s hot tip was to keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Great advice when it comes to the work jerk.

Play to their blindness and stupidity and you will have them eating from the palm of your hand. Boss jerks will promote you over all the other people they hate and you will be savvy to any juicy information which you can secretly share to your true work buddies.

In some circles this is referred to as kissing arse, but hey, it works.


11 Simple Ways to Make Stress Disappear


Be Switzerland

If your work jerk is speaking with you about office news or even unrelated topics, it’s wise to be like Switzerland and keep your opinion to yourself.

Failing that, be North Korea and divide the region with a We Hate the Work Jerk group.

Subtly find out who and how many other work colleges hate the same person, band together and stick up for one another. Just like at school, if they’re bullies then they need to be put in their place.

Don’t let them win

In the end, if you are leaving the office in tears and shedding more once you are in the safety of your home, then you’ve got to step things up. Start a diary and record every incident with the person giving you grief at work. This will become a weapon of evidence if it comes to blows.

Even if it’s your manager being the jerk, no one deserves to be yelled at or bullied at work, so talk to HR about addressing the issue, stat.

If you’re suffering from bullying at work, visit the Fair Work Ombudsman for an external hand up.


Get smart about your career. Join The Hip Pocket Weekly.