Feature Archive

Dealing With the Jerk at Work

You can confront the office jerk and reclaim your sanity at work. Human resource pros show you how.

By Elizabeth Heubeck
WebMD Medical News

Reviewed By Louise Chang, MD

Did you ever stop to wonder why the television sitcom The Office, which features a first-class office jerk—the boss, no less—is so popular? Simple. For starters, it's a theme to which so many of us can relate. If you've ever worked in an office, chances are you've encountered an office jerk—that annoying co-worker whose ridiculous antics or downright inappropriate behavior wreaks havoc on the productivity and morale of every other office employee. It's also a lot easier to laugh at the office jerk whose cubicle is nowhere near yours.

It's an entirely different matter when you're stuck working with an office jerk day in and day out. When you're at the receiving end of the office jerk's bad behavior—whether it's bullying, backstabbing, egotism, or just downright annoying behavior—there's little humor in it, especially when you feel helpless about changing it.

But there is hope, say experts. Understanding why the office jerk continues unabated to get under co-workers' skin and learning how to confront the creep head on can make the work environment a whole lot more tolerable. WebMD asked human resource pros to share the inside scoop on what makes an office jerk tick, and how to dismantle the ticking time bomb.

Office Jerks Operate in Oblivion