A Word Of Advice About Bad Coworkers

Starting a new job can be scary. It’s not always easy being thrust into a new environment and having to learn your way around on the first day. 

One evident aspect of the first day is getting to know the coworkers. You will find that most are very nice, some even become your very close friends, and there’s maybe one or two that weren’t nice. In fact, at every job I’ve ever had, I’ve had one coworker in particular that I really didn’t like. 

The first job I ever had was a dance instructor. I danced from the time I was three until the end of high school. There was a dance teacher in that school who I didn’t see much when I was little, but started coming around more when I became a teenager. She even started calling herself a “mentor” for the teenagers. However she wasn’t much of a mentor; she was very critical of our every move. It’s not like we were a competition dance school like Abby Lee Dance Company. We were just a small dance studio that didn’t compete, and our main goal was for students to succeed and to have fun while doing it. 

When I became a dance teacher my senior year of high school, I was excited to teach an intermediate tap class all that I learned throughout the years. Sometimes, the terrible instructor I didn’t like (who some may consider now my “coworker”), would barge in on my class and take it over as if I couldn’t do my job. I assume it was probably was she had “mentored” me for so long and thought she still had power over me, even in my own classroom. 

Last summer, I got my first job in food service. While it was different than teaching dance, I still had a coworker I didn’t like. She was even worse than that dance teacher. I never met a person in my life who was miserable all the time. Not miserable to the point where I felt sorry for her, but to the point where she was cruel to everyone. Because I was new, it seemed like she was looking for every little mistake I made. When I did, she would make the biggest deal about it. I rarely made mistakes, even the store manager said I was great at my job and learned my way around quickly. I liked working there at first, but this coworker made my life a living hell so I started to like the job less and less. 

At the time, having to work with these two terrible coworkers seemed like the biggest deal. However, now that I’m at Penn State, I don’t dance at that studio anymore. My food service coworker has been fired since. They are both out of my life, so even though they mattered so much to me at the time, they are irrelevant now. As much as they believed they were better than me, I know that I’m successful and thriving in college. While I’m shy and was always afraid to stand up to them, I always stood tall and never let them defeat me. Here’s the best part: I never, ever quit. 

Here’s a word of advice, collegiettes: don’t ever let a bad coworker make you quit. You are going to meet terrible people in your life, but the best revenge is to never let them get the best of you. Coworkers in small jobs like food service are great practice for this. 

I just started a new job, and my friend warned me about the manager and told me she was fake. She said if I wanted to turn down the job because of that, I could. A strong, independent woman like me never quits, especially in wake of a bad coworker. 

Work your hardest and never give up, collegiettes!