Workplace Enemies

enemiesI work at a place where there are 3 separate offices on the same land.  All walking distance accessible.  

In my office we have about 20 employee’s. Since I have worked here, there have been these two ladies who do not get along.  They are constantly picking at each other and arguing. It never ends. They fight in front of people no matter who is there.

Nobody ever says anything.  Not the owner and not the president of the company.  Apparently this has been going on for 10 years!  Can you even imagine?

I want to yell at both of them to grow up and get along, this is NOT a daycare.  I get along with both of them but now I’m beginning to feel somewhat in the middle.  How can they not see that this is uncomfortable for the rest of us?  You know how it feels to be sitting with people who are constantly snipping at each other.  It’s so immature.

HELP!!!  I can’t handle it anymore and need suggestions as to what to say to them to get them to smarten up.  We aren’t kids and these guys act worse than mine.  

What would you do?

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6 Responses to Workplace Enemies

  1. I’d stay away from them as much as possible when they’re being snippy with each other. You could also be a bit pointy about it – for instance, if you’re standing there with both of them making coffee for yourself or whatever, and they start to snip, then you can playfully say “Alright, if you start that then I’m outta here” and then go. Maybe they’ll get the message in a while?
    Short of that, I don’t know if there’s anything that CAN be done. They’re grown women and I’m sure they know in some part of them that they’re ridiculous, but they still choose to act this way, and if it’s been going on for so long, there might not be a way to stop it.

  2. Gma says:

    Sadly, the fact that these two women have been like this for ‘ten years’ tells you a lot about how management works at that company. You didn’t say how long you had been there, but you may want to be wary about how similar things are handled by the management group. Are problems in general quickly and effectively handled, or do things tend to be overlooked to fester?

    Slightlyignorant sounds savvy to me. There may not be much you can do about this situation–except to steer clear of it. And above all, do not allow yourself to be placed in the middle–or some day you might find that those two will band together to attack YOU.


  3. Joy says:

    I kind of think you should just ignore it or like SI said, make fast tracks away from the situation and let them know when their “lovers quarrel” is over, you’ll be back.

    They are either attention seeking, really do hate each other or believe it or not, may really like each other inside. I would ignore it. If it’s been going on this long, it may even just be a pattern with these two. I also agree if you take a side, it will come to bite you in the butt.

    I think they are also very immature to put other adults through this kind of thing.

    Walk away FAST!!! Don’t get involved.

  4. Tessa says:

    I’d tell them exactly what you’re telling us! Tell them you think it is immature to gossip about others, or they should get the hint if you just sit there as they talk to you and not respond to the gossip/slams. Get up and leave as soon as you can…they must each like giving a show, and if there is no audience they should stop or get the hint. Try to get yourself out or talk about how uncomfortable it makes you and others feel. Good luck!

  5. Amber says:

    I would not say a thing. Simply, “Im really sorry you are feeling that way, it sucks. Unfortunately there is nothing I can do to help this situation. It is best that you talk with that person regarding your feelings and clear the air”. Then change the subject. That way you don’t get dragged in, and you are not the bitch either. You aren’t playing anyone’s games or politics. You are neutral. Period.

  6. SKL says:

    I don’t know. Once I had a coworker on the other side of my cubicle who had a loud, obnoxious voice and he’d air all his family’s and friend’s laundry and gossip on the phone, for all to hear. I heard him bitching out his wife and telling her he wanted a divorce. I even heard him tell someone something personal about me – which wasn’t even remotely true. Well, one day I got on the phone and, speaking loudly enough for him to hear me, told whoever I was talking to (not a business contact) that the guy who sits in the next cube loudly spews gossip, lies, and dirty laundry on the phone, and gave a couple of examples. Then I pretended that I had no idea he was there. Well, magic amaze-o, he stopped doing that, which was quite a relief.

    With people constantly yelling at each other around me, my style would be to quietly ask them to calm down, showing through body language that I was getting stressed out by their behavior. If that didn’t work, I might come right out and say they were making it hard for me to concentrate on my work, or aggravating my headache. (Politely: “sorry to inconvenience you, but would you mind not yelling, I have a splitting headache.”) Or: ladies, have you ever requested to have your offices moved farther apart, so you don’t get on each other’s nerves so much? Talking to a supervisor would be an option unless it’s obvious that management wouldn’t act.

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