The Problem:

To be honest, there isn’t one. Let’s call it an annoyance, rather than a problem.

I work with someone whose self-importance and self-promotion is out of control. She’s not in my department, and we have little contact. But she’s quite adept at trumpeting her achievements, and she’s annoying as hell. To be fair, she is a hard worker.

So…if there is no problem, why do I find her so irritating? I don’t envy her and I don’t want to be her. I kind of just want her to go away and never again say to me, “I know I should get out of here, but I’m not like some people. I get the job done, no matter how long it takes!”

The Answer: You don’t have to like your coworker, but you might end up feeling somewhat sympathetic. The evidence is in Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice.

Model #1: Elinor Dashwood, who is sympathetic and pragmatic and modest and efficient and gets things done.

Model #2: Mary Bennet, who is pedantic and annoying. The essential feature about Mary, though, is that she has to compete with her sisters. Four of them are beautiful and two are intelligent and accomplished. Poor Mary doesn’t stand a chance. So she pushes herself forward and does all she can to distinguish herself.

Possible Solutions:

  1. Tell your coworker that an intelligent hare will beat a poky old tortoise 100% of the time.
  2. Buy her a pair of those hoody, footy pajamas. At least she’ll be comfortable.