The Workplace Isn't The Place For Rude Behavior

Posted: July 20, 1999

An epidemic of coarse and obnoxious behavior is in full swing in the workplace.

Examples are the boss who begins a meeting late, then takes phone calls while his subordinate sits and waits, and the co-worker who drains the last of the coffee and fails to start a fresh pot, according to Training magazine.

Some advice for the civil-minded who find themselves confronted by obnoxious office behavior:

* Watch your language. Avoid vulgarities, sarcasm and dismissive responses like "whatever," which implies "I don't care."

* Don't escalate the conflict. If you are on the receiving end of an accusatory remark, refrain from responding in kind. Instead, "repeat, rephrase and reflect back" what you think the person is trying to tell you, forcing a clearer explanation of the allegation.

* Don't stifle yourself. Use the rush of adrenaline that accompanies anger to give you the energy to deal directly with a situation.

* Deal with the behavior. Instead of allowing frustration to fester, confront the co-worker in question and involve him or her in determining a solution to the problem.

A surplus to ponder

There's plenty of debate in Washington over what to do with a projected $2.9 trillion in federal budget surpluses over the next decade, but corporate executives also have ideas of their own.

In a survey by the Financial Executives Institute and Duke University, 43 percent of the 321 chief financial officers queried said the money should go toward reducing the $5.54 trillion public debt.

Thirty-seven percent said the surplus should be used to lower taxes, and 27 percent said the money should be used to shore up Social Security.

Many of the CFOs believed the money should be used for more than one purpose, so those figures add up to more than 100 percent.

How to grow your money

Better Homes and Gardens Family Money magazine has a list of suggestions for people wanting to increase their financial worth.

Among them:

Be systematic about investing - have a set amount automatically deducted from your paycheck and put into investments.

Start learning about investing, either by reading or by hiring a financial adviser or lining up a stockbroker.

Cut your debts and watch your credit card use.

Stay in a job longer, and in so doing, increase the pension you'll get.

Contributing was the Associated Press.

Send e-mail to meltzem@phillynews.com

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