Why hello, Polar Vortex. Nice for you to drop by. What better way to start the new year than some weather that just makes you want to curl up next to a space heater and watch Orange is the New Black peaking out from 10 layers of blankets.
This weather, among other things about the new year, may put your colleagues or peers in an interesting mood. Everyone is officially freezing, others may be starving from their juice cleanses, still others may be sleep deprived from holiday hangovers.
Another side effect of the Polar Votex… some put-off co-workers
While you may be inclined to become defensive (“it’s not MY problem she had decided to live off beets and kale for the next three days…”), this is a great exercise in your problem solving skills and management. Here are a few ways to handle your friends who are hot headed in cold weather:
Hold your tongue – You may be ready with some sarcastic quip to battle their snarkiness, but keep it to yourself. Sarcasm isn’t taken as light-hearted or funny when someone is really in a terrible mood. Answer clearly and calmly, and then keep to yourself for the next hour or so until they chill out
Be understanding and offer a smile – A grumpy co-worker can’t stay grumpy for too long (unless there are other issues you need to discuss with your manager). Volunteer to run for coffee, send around a fun link or offer help on a dreaded assignment that they seem to be struggling to finish. Chances are they will return the favor when you’re having a less than sunny day
If you need help, ask, but be empathetic – Hey, we’ve all been here. Don’t take it personally. Put yourself in their shoes. If you need to let the person vent about how her head is killing her or she’s got a pile of work she can’t see over before you dive into your question or conversation, let them go. You can’t fix everything for her, but you can be a listener when she needs one
Be sure to bundle up tonight, ladies and gents! Xo