Sharing & Caring With Friends

Coffee With Clare

, / 23

Hi Friends – Welcome back to Coffee with Clare!  I am delighted that you are here today!

Dear Clare:

I have a work problem. I normally get along with all my co-workers, supervisors and staff. I work as an administrative assistant in a small firm and about 7 months ago our firm hired “Karen”. Karen’s desk is right next to mine in the adjoining cubicle, and I really dislike Karen. She is chatty, obnoxious, argumentative, and a “know-it-all”; and frankly, she rubs me the wrong way.  I have been at this firm for over six years with a decent salary and good benefits.  I don’t want to have to change jobs over this single person, but I just loathe going to work every day now since they hired Karen … Until Karen, I used to like my job.  I have talked twice with my office manager, Julie, who says that they like Karen’s work performance, and there isn’t much they can do.

Signed –

Cubicle Hell

Screaming woman



Dear In Cubicle Hell:

Well, since this is a small firm, it doesn’t really sound like the firm, or your office manager, is going to do much to move Karen away from you. If there is any type of a transfer you can make to a different department in your office, I would tell your office manager you are interested in the next available position and be clear the reasons why.  In the interim, I would be friendly with Karen, but don’t “egg her on”.  Don’t let her get under your skin.  She may just be trying to dig in and take cheap shots at you because she sees it as a sport.  If you have to talk to her, just keep the conversation short and to the point.  If she starts gabbing uncontrollably, tell her “I really have to get back to work now.  They (whatever your company is) don’t really like us talking excessively while we are supposed to be working.”

Unfortunately, you may have to do the best you can and try to make the best of a bad situation. Do not let “Karen” ruin your life – because you certainly don’t deserve it.  Hopefully, if nothing changes, maybe Karen will find a position somewhere else.  In the meantime, keep reinforcing to your supervisor and/or office staff you would like to be moved out of your department (or away from her) the next available opportunity.

Last, if you are truly miserable, you might consider checking the job market to see if there are other firms you may be interested in working at.  Life is too short to be miserable every day. If the situation doesn’t improve, a change of scenery to another employer may be just what the doctor ordered. Before taking this route, however, consider letting your supervisor and office manager know why you are thinking about a career transition; they may not have realized you were serious until this point. 


Thank you for stopping in today and I would love to hear from you!  I invite you to email your questions, problems and “life challenges” directly to me at:   I would love to hear from you!

Until next time~


Clare is a 57-year-old fun loving Italian-American self-proclaimed “Jersey Girl” who believes, “Life ain’t easy street. Life is one of those crazy little city streets, complete with potholes that could swallow your car.” With one foot planted in fun and the other planted firmly in her Christian faith, Clare enjoys making people laugh while helping them navigate life’s “crazy little city streets”. Clare has raised two girls (now grown young adults) with her husband, Michial, Clare is ready to take on the challenges of making new friends through her blog, Life Ain’t Easy Street. With an aim to entertain while addressing topics important to women, Clare’s focus on the positive power of good stories, good friends, inspiring women, and strong faith will have you looking forward to reading the next post. Clare is a freelance writer who lives a real life in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.

Related Articles


  • Kam Kay says:

    Great advice. I hope she starts getting along with Karen. After all, work is where we spend most of the day. If she dislikes going to work because of Karen, there must be something that can be done to make her situation better!

    • Clare says:

      Really, really – it can be so hard when you hate going to work…. especially over one person! Thanks for stopping and sharing your thoughts! I hope it gets better for her, too!

  • Shann Eva says:

    Great advice Claire! I’m not sure how I would handle that situation…it sounds very uncomfortable being in a small office. I guess I would just make the best of it, and try to find a way to get along with her…or be out of the office as much as possible. 😉

    • Clare says:

      Thanks, Shann, I have been in this situation once or twice and eventually usually it worked it self out… but it’s tough when you have someone right up under you that you don’t really care for! I hope her life gets better for sure!

  • andi says:

    i wish i coulda had this advice all those years ago

    • Clare says:

      Well, we all live and learn… that’s for sure… and these work situations are all different – with different people and personalities!!! Thanks for stopping in!

  • Tori Gabriel says:

    What a brilliant idea for a post. I love this!

    I totally agree with your point that life is too short to be unhappy everyday. X

    • Clare says:

      Thanks Tori – glad you like “Coffee With Clare”! Life is too short and I certainly hope this situation resolves and gets better for this gal!

  • Tori Gabriel says:

    What a brilliant idea for a post. I love this!

    I totally agree with your point that life is too short to be unhappy everyday. X

  • Paola says:

    This is great advice! Well done for helping people out like this, it is awesome to know there are wonderful people out there like you, I wish the world had more of you! 😀

    • Clare says:

      Thanks, Paola – I’m glad you like Coffee With Clare! I’m not so wonderful….. ha ha ha – at least certainly not all the time but I appreciate your kind words! Check back on Thursdays!!!! 🙂

  • Farrah says:

    This is really great advice! It’s hard to work with people who are so abrasive, but I hope things work out! I limit my contact with extremely negative people to an absolute minimum whenever possible.

    • Clare says:

      Thanks, Farrah – it is tough to work with people that are right next to you/ us – that rub us the wrong way – I’ve had to do this once or twice myself for sure. I hope truly, too, that things work out!

  • Susannah says:

    I worked a job for far too long that had people involved that I could do nothing about. I should have found a new job long before I did.

    • Clare says:

      Really, Susannah – I get it – I do. Thanks for sharing that. Sometimes, unfortunately, it is best to move on – if we can move on to a comparable job that we like, and the other variables are good, too! I appreciate your thoughts!

  • I’ve never been in this situation personally, but I have heard stories from close friends experiencing similar situations. Will definitely be forwarding this post to them.

  • Clare, you gave this reader great advice. I too think that she should only converse with her co-worker when necessary, and make it short and to the point. I also think she should update her resume and keep an eye out for other jobs with similar or better pay. I firmly believe that there are no coincidences in life. This “Karen” gal might be exactly what’s needed to push your reader into looking and finding an even better job at a larger company that has more opportunities for advancement.

    • Clare says:

      Yes, I agree – it’s best for us all to keep our options open. I hope if she has to – she will seek out and get a better job! Such a great point and I appreciate your sharing with the readers, too, your thoughts!!!!!

  • Great advice, Clare! I think many of us have been there before. It’s so hard when your safe, happy place is interrupted by “change.” Praying for both of these women’s hearts. <3

    • Clare says:

      Thanks, Kelsey. It is hard when just one person (sometimes more) disrupt our whole work environment and wreck our day! And change is hard! Thanks for the prayers and thanks for stopping in!

  • Dia says:

    Omg I have a Karen at my office. I refer to her to my friends as Patrice (as in how I met your mother, ‘Nobody asked you Patrice’) it’s hard because sometimes I just have to be quiet and short with her on some days when I have a lot of work because she rambles on and on. She isn’t a horrible person but we just clash. I’ve thought about it and considering everything she isn’t worth leaving my job over at this point

    • Clare says:

      Oh Dia… I am so sorry you are going through this. Good for you – you weighed both sides and you made your decision. I know it could go either way and hopefully you will be fine! I appreciate your sharing your experience – because this helps others, too! Thanks!

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.