Skip to main content

Dealing with Co-workers who Drop In On their Day Off

This morning, our grade schooler asked a question she found printed on a tube of Gogurt: Which one are you more scared of, spiders or a day off?

Hmm. I went with spiders as I sipped my morning coffee because only a raging workaholic could be scared of taking some much-needed time off. This realization (courtesy of yogurt in a tube...) got me thinking about past colleagues who always seemed to drop in to the office on their days off. "Dropping in" could last anywhere from minutes to hours.

Shouldn't these co-workers be somewhere else, doing something fun? Why are they just sitting there, yammering on about next week's project as they spin around in their office chair? Don't they have anything better to do on their day off? Apparently not.

via GIPHY


These questions might cross our minds as we watch this co-worker wander around the office and tell anyone who will listen how it's their day off. But how can we miss them if they never leave?


As colleagues, we can have one of two reactions to this employee. On the one hand, we might begin to feel a self-imposed, subtle pressure to drop by on our days off, too. So-and-so always shows up and we've noticed that the boss seems to dig this co-worker's extra sense of "dedication," if you know what I mean.

On the other hand, we might tell ourselves there's no way in hell we're coming within five miles of the office on our days off! We've earned the change of scenery, and nobody is going to guilt trip us into trekking to the office unless it's an all-hands-on-deck emergency.

Why This Co-worker Can't Stay Away From Work
You know where you stand on this workplace issue, but we still need to discuss why this colleague can't seem to stay away from the office on their days off!

For starters, this colleague might think they're earning brownie points for showing up when they're supposed to be off the clock. In their mind, always being there shows dedication! They might also be quietly fearful. After all, out of sight means out of mind, and they don't want the boss to forget about them or give a project to somebody else. Perhaps they lack hobbies, or the ability to relax and binge watch their favorite show.

The problem is, their presence can become a distraction unless they are actually there to work, which they probably are not going to do because it's their day off! No, they want to shoot the breeze, wander the hallways, and, you know, just hang out. Some who wander are, in fact, lost. Meanwhile, they're all talk while you're all action because you have work to do. So how do you tell this employee to leave and have some fun?

Well, you can always ask: "Hey, why are you here on your day off?" Of course, they may say how they "have something they needed to do for a few minutes" at work, and they've been here for at least one hour.

You can also tell them straight away that you're too busy working to talk right now. Maybe another time? You might also become a local event directory to redirect this employee in an out-of-office direction. Have they heard about the new art show at the local museum, the new coffee shop that opened yesterday just up the street, or the drop-in Zumba class at the fire station?

They ought to go check it out. In my experience, this co-worker can be a creative thinker as an employee but lacks a sense of creativity in planning their own down time. Their job, quite literally, is their life. It happens, and even more so in our competitive, 24/7/365 work culture. So help them out (and yourself out!) by suggesting fun stuff to do around town. It might get them to try it. Or not.

This post goes for working online, too. A co-worker keeps texting us about work stuff on their day off, and we wonder why they aren't enjoying their downtime. The lines have certainly blurred in the workplace between work and relaxation, and it can become a real problem. Ultimately, you'll need to kindly remind this co-worker that you are busy working, and how they should be relaxing somewhere else. Hint, hint.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Seven Tips For Dealing With A Jealous Co-worker

Look at you, doing so well at work! We're so happy for you. Well, most of us are happy for you and refuse to spend the entire work day talking behind your back. Let's talk about how to handle our jealous co-workers!Like every other professional, you've no doubt experienced your share of failures and successes. Lately, however, things seem to be going your way at work. And how! Perhaps you've managed to ace an important project this quarter, been instrumental in landing a huge client, earned some well-deserved rewards for this and that, or -- egads! -- been given a slight promotion or additional work responsibilities (e.g., the work responsibilities you actually want).You're quietly chuffed, but somehow your co-workers seem none too pleased with this rapid turn of events. Oh no, what should you do now?It's a workplace tale older than the disjointed last season of Mad Men. The playing field in the department was even, cozy and overall very friendly -- until so-an…

Is Your Co-worker Always Late For Work?

You've started the workday, but where is your co-worker? Oh, she's running late again, just like yesterday. And the day before. And the day before that. Let's get an early start on solving her tardiness problem, shall we? Working with someone who is consistently late is one of the most annoying aspects of office life, and also one of the most common, unfortunately. It's a universal theme of the workplace that everyone will get to work on time (give or take a few minutes...) except for the employee who is egregiously late nearly every day. And the excuses can get pretty amazing. Employees became more punctual as the Great Recession lingered, at least according to surveys. Everyone, that is, except for your able-bodied but habitually-tardy co-worker. It's bad enough dealing with tardiness when you're a manager, but it can be even more frustrating when you're a rank-and-file peer without any magical "shape up or ship out" managerial powers. So you…

How To Handle Farting At Work

Nancy Grace farted on national television. Or was it a tummy grumble? Either way, viewers heard it and now it's gone viral.



Which brings up an interesting question: How should you handle embarrassing bodily malfunctions at work?

We all fart, we all get stomach gurgles, we all burp and hiccup, and usually at the worst possible moments. Maybe you "sneezefarted," meaning you sneezed so hard you let one rip at the same time. So awkward and embarrassing. Whatever happens, it's how we handle these situations that counts. The first and trickiest step is whether or not to acknowledge the obvious. Rule of thumb: the more obvious the bodily malfunction, the more you should just own it. If you fart in a staff meeting and everyone heard it, point the finger at yourself (or have someone pull it) and have a sense of humor about the whole thing. Maybe you shouldn't have had those Cajun rice and beans. Yes, feel free to reference lines from the Russian Unicorn if you must. Throw i…