I think i've found a few ways that suit me though that really ameliorate or defuse situations that really can otherwise suck donkey ballz.
- Make friends: this i think is the single biggest thing that has eased my relationships with seniors. if your senior is actually in your demographic, has a similar background or generally someone that is actually you think would be a potential friend, except for the fact that you work together, this is your in. there are a few people i had to work for who, even though were 5-10 years older than me, were still in my 'generation' so to speak, and not from a completely different culture or country or on crack or socially fucktarded (unfortunately, the sheer number of these dingnuts makes doing this quite difficult). previously i wd just dodge these like the plague or just get pissed off when their work styles become overbearing, but then i just tried being friendly - talking to them about things other than work. holy fuck. ppl like it when u listen to them whine about shit. who knew. the thing is, when u think someone cares, u naturally are nicer to them because if u were to act shitty towards someone that is being nice to you and trying hard, well, it makes u feel like shit. and most people...okay most normal people, like not feeling like shit better than feeling like shit. by befriending your senior colleagues you are seizing this shit by the balls. and on another level, u never know, getting someone to open up to you,you might just discover another monkey u can conspire with. by now, i've completely figured out everyone in my office and fit them into certain categories: (1) friendly - good to work with (2) fellow monkey - good to "work" with (3) bitch - keep the fuck away.
- Avoid: what i did for a long time was just avoid certain people. Literally, not walk by their office, turn around when i saw them, avoid forced interactions like 'weekly meetings' or shit like that. it really works - out of sight, out of mind. occasionally, when there was no central staffing mechanism, people may just come up to you to ask for your help - unless it's a partner, it usually means it's just something minor, so i just made up something - like i was too busy with other deals, or have an upcoming vacation, my dog got gingivitis or something. it will save you heartache. when there are people that make u just think...why hasn't someone punched you yet?...this is the best u can do. and it works. remember when u were young and there was alwasy that one fucking annoying kid that no one liked cuz he always followed u around or talked to u at awkward times and shit, and what did u do? ignore him? bam.
- Aim to be average: in fact, i think this is a pretty good mantra for your entire attitude towards work - any job - unless you really love it. there's no reason you should really be dedicating your sanity and good years to something you dislike or only mildly like. if you are working for someone that you just can't get along with - their personality or working style - just completely do a par job - the bare minimum. only do exactly what they ask, nothing more. send things back as late as possible without jeopardizing any real deadlines. push back on little things. you'll make it so unpalatable to work with you, that they'll next time think twice about asking for you. Anyway, i'll have a whole post about this later.
- Aim to be excellent: okay so this is the opposite of the above. i think this applies in a few situations though. for example, one time i had to work with someone that i didn't really like - not because he was difficult to work with or a dick - very nice - but his working style was very old school - everything paper, lots of manual scanning, untrusting of technology, remote working, etc. i was on a deal with him - just me and him, and i had most of the responsibility for executing the deal. on a previous deal, i had helped out a lot using all of my efficiency techniques to streamline execution, do things remotely, and generally make things simpler and better. so on this deal, because he had seen how well i was able to take care of things on the last deal, he just let me go and didn't interfere with how i did things. i think this worked in this case because i wasn't changing his personality, just his working style. ever been asked to set up physical closing folders for a deal, print shit out, and put them, when on one actually is going to come by and ever fucking looka t it again? what fucking waste of time fore u, paralegals, everyone! WHY?! i'd create more value taking a shit than making closing folders. as soon as u get things in via email just save them in what's called a 'folder' on a 'computer' its just like the real thing but takes less time and is smarter. anyway, the more u do a cometent job, the more people will TRUST u and let u do ur own thing. effectively u become a "boss" urself sooner. then, just remember to pay it forward and maybe ull get someone who does good shit for u.
- Short-circuit: go above and beyond your senior. unless you are in a tiny office with one or two senior people, there will be plenty of possible people you could work with, all in different areas. My office only does cap markets and M&A, but there are some people in both groups i don't like and some that i do. If i were ever to get stuck with one, i could easily go to someone in the other group and ask for some work and perhaps i could get restaffed. you could also 'express an interest' in doing something you know someone does. for example if i got stuck on a debt deal with someone i could not stand, i tell the partner that i really wanted to do a registered deal and there's a good chance i'd get restaffed. in a similar vein, you could also go above your bitchy boss and to their bosses or colleagues and express your concerns. if the person is in fact difficult to work with (and you are reasonably normal), chances are that person has left a wake of shit behind them that the partners and others can smell from a mile away too, and you'll maybe be able to get out of the deal or (in one case) get the other person kicked off or out. this actually happened to one dude i worked with .
- Discuss: you can always try talking to the person point blank about what it is you don't like. confrontation is not always bad; they may not even know that there are certain things that bug you so you can try discussing it. or if they just dont jive with ur style, just tell what u wanna do and do it. what r they really gonna do? like i know one dude - some bitch tried to get him going on another deal full throttle right after he'd been up all night closing some shit, and he told the bitch pooint blank - im going home for three days. talk to me after. and he did. and she did. it was fine.
- Stay Calm: lastly, if you ever get into a real fight or blow your lid when dealing with the person, don't get into a fight, make smart comments or retort emotionally or even academically. If they are really senior, chances are they will be smarter and whether they suck or not can out-wit you. If you've never talked to them about their working style, then they have no reason to know why you'd be angry, and it'll just reflect really poorly on you. If you need help de-stressing - smoke a bowl.