So, you want to know how to get back at a coworker? According to Professor J. Bies, a Georgetown Professor, revenge is a factor in the workplace. Most people at one time or another have felt this way and a few that have acted on those emotions without a real strategy have let their coworker get the last laugh; while they were swimming in the pool of unemployment. In order to get back at a coworker, you have to do it in a way that does not break company policy, nor implicate yourself.
- Know your coworker's strengths and weaknesses regarding their work ethics. Is this person on time for work each day? Do they return from lunch and breaks in a timely manner? Do they abuse company policies? Does this coworker instigate conflict between other workers?
- Know your coworker's likes and dislikes. This could be things such as: what kind of food they like to eat, what are some of their favorite television programs or what type of hobbies they are interested in. These can be a culmination of both work and personal interests. The more you know the easier it will be to get back at your coworker.
- Use pure mental strategy to create continuous angst between you and your coworker. This will be accomplished by using the information you've obtained; as you are now armed with harmless tools that will make your efforts to get back at your coworker come alive.
- Arrive to work before and leave work after they do. This will make them wonder what the heck you're doing, especially if this is not characteristic of you. Are you discussing or meeting about something or someone? Are you purposely staying after hours in order to scheme to get back at them?
- Purposely be at your desk/workstation immediately after breaks and lunch. If your coworker is one minute late, verbally announce (not to anyone in particular, but so that your coworker can hear), "I can't believe it's 1:01." Your coworker may not care that they are one or two minutes late from break or lunch, but it will irritate them to know that someone else is paying attention, especially you.
- Does your coworker have a favorite parking space? One great way to get back at a coworker is to change-up their parking routine. If you have first-come, first-served parking you may want to consider parking in one other than the one you've been parking in.
- Purchase a small bottle of St. John's Wort and offer it to your coworker. Tell them it's good for stress and anxiety. While it may seem as a nice gesture, if you've practiced steps one through six, chances are your coworker will know this is another attempt to get back at them.
If the suggestions above don't give you the results you thought you were after, or if they have people asking if you're psychotic, try these instead:
- Does your coworker use coupons? Clip all kinds of coupons and ask friends and relatives if you can have coupons they don't use. Give them to your coworker (keep any that you could use).
- Bring them a newspaper on occasion. Yes, this is a nice gesture, which is either going to irritate them or make them wish they'd never done anything to you. The guilt trip is on!
- Send them a card in the mail.
- Consider purchasing a cheap potted plant for their office space.
- Offer your help or assistance. Ask your coworker if there's anything that you could do to help them out.
- Get your coworker a soft-drink or a cup of coffee. It's a gesture that shows you really do care.
- Ask your coworker what type of movies they like and ask them to a movie after work or on the weekend. There really is truth in, 'kill them with kindness'.
- Offer to take your coworker out for lunch or for coffee after work. This would be a good time to get to know each other better. Chances are, the two of you are more alike than you thought and may even become best friends!