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     Volume 7 Issue 30 | July 25, 2008 |

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Write to Mita

Dear Mita,
I'm having trouble with one of my colleagues. He thinks he can run the place and is always arguing with me in front of people who work under us. I'm beginning to lose my temper. I'm often irritable and snappy and this is affecting my work and it shows. He's playing power games and I don't know how to deal with it. What should I do?

Dear Grrr,
You are right, he is playing the power game and unfortunately is winning. First of all, don't let him know that he is getting the better of you. Don't ever lose your cool no matter what the provocation. You have to beat him in his game and there is no better way to do it than performing better than him. Show him that merely arguing or showing off does not mean a thing and that you can out perform him in substantive ways. Once you do that I am sure he will back off.

Dear Mita,
I work in an investment bank. One of my male colleagues hardly does any work but gets paid more than me. He is very close to my boss who is also male and gets away with things no one else would be able to. I wonder if it's because he's a man or just that he's very persistent and knows how to get what he wants. Either way, I think it's really unfair and I don't know what to do about it. Please help.

Dear PI,
This is because he is a man and also he is clever about getting into the good books of the boss. However, a person will only go only so far by making a boss happy. To get ahead in life and in any profession one requires substantive knowledge and hard work. There is no substitute for this and a person who does not have either will pay for it sooner or later. As for your present problem, you should address it head on. Talk to your supervisor about your expectations and your contribution to the organisation. There is no need to point out that so and so person is getting more by working less. Just focus on your strengths and achievements. I am confident you will be able to get the message through.

Dear Mita,
One of my senior male colleagues makes subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, passes at me. I've told him I'm not interested, but I don't like being too rude, and, to be honest, I'm not very assertive. I don't really want to complain to the authorities but I'm wondering if I should. I don't want to ruin the work environment/atmosphere, but it's also annoying for me and makes me uncomfortable. Should I just bear it or do something about it?

Dear Uncomfortable,
This is called “Sexual Harassment”. You should neither tolerate this nor remain silent. If you have given him enough hints that you are not interested then it is time for you to come out in the open and tell him directly. If that does not work then warn him that you will tell the boss and even then if he does not stop then you should tell the boss. Please remember, you are not ruining the work environment, he is. There is a code of conduct on how colleagues of either sex should behave with each other. Making passes is certainly a big offence and should be dealt with without delay.

Dear Mita,
I work in an organisation where writing is key and recently I've been suffering from serious writer's block. If I'm not in the mood, I just can't write. I am just able to meet deadlines and don't do as good a job as I think I could have. How can I get out of this, write faster, better and just be more productive in general?

Dear Blocked,
This is a very difficult question which only you can answer and fix. Good writing comes from practice as well as creativity. I don't think there is a short cut to this. If you are not being productive then you need to find out the reason. Perhaps you are not motivated or not satisfied with your present job. Please remember, the ability to express oneself, verbally or in the written form is a great skill. If you have such a skill then don't lose it by being lazy or unmotivated. Just tell yourself that in order to move ahead in life you just have to write more and write well.

Write to Mita is published every other week on specific themes. For the next Mita column, readers are invited to send queries regarding parent-children relationships.

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