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How to Deal With The Worst Types of Coworkers on Work Messenger (Slack, Teams, Etc.)

Before we get into this article, a quick caveat – every goddam time I make a joke on Instagram like this one, the comments are a nightmare. If it involves Slack, the comments say “Slack?!?!?! HA! Microsoft Teams is for REAL professionals” and every time I make a comment about Teams, you morons say “Ummmm I use Slack at my company. Who uses Teams anymore?!?!?!”

Guys, you don’t pick the messaging service your company uses. Why are you taking pride in this? Shut up, you’re letting Big Business win.

Quick breakdown of which industries use which work messenger service so you guys can leave it alone

Slack: Fun Companies (advertising/media , tech, startups)

Microsoft Teams: Boring Companies (big corporations, software / IT firms, enterprise sales)

Bloomberg Terminal: Rich People (finance guys bored at their jobs)

G-Chat: Fake Companies (very early stage startups, Google.)  

I’ve used most of these at one point or another, but we’ll make this article a little more general so it’s relatable to everyone, even though the title ends up being clunky.

Everyone happy? Moving on. Let’s get into today’s blog.  

How to Deal With The Worst Types of Coworkers on Work Messenger (Slack, Teams, Etc.)

Actually like this costume a lot! Good work my guy

5. Only On My Terms

It seems that this person will only open one of the most essential work communication tools at your company when they personally need something. And you almost have to admire that.

They don’t seem to care how selfish, inconsiderate or hypocritical it makes them – if they have a question for you, no matter how minor, they will ping you at least 3 times within 5 minutes. But the second that you need something from them, they’re absolutely nowhere to be found.

Here’s how a sample conversation would look.

You (Monday, 2:06 pm): Hey Bob – are you joining the invoice meeting? Team is waiting on you.

You (Tuesday, 11:01 am): Client is saying they never were invoiced – do you know anything about this?

You (Wednesday 1:25 pm): Are you available for a quick call? Want to iron out the invoice thing.

Complete crickets. Then all of a sudden…..

Bob (Friday 3:47 pm): what is my email login

Bob (Friday 3:48 pm): @YOU – hello???????

Bob (Friday 3:49 pm): did you take today off???? You’re out of vacation days.

Bob (Friday 3:51 pm): @YOU – I remembered it, but now I just made all the font white in an Excel file and can’t read any of it. Come to my desk to fix.

Bob (Friday 3:53 pm): assistant dominating boss porn hot dominatrix fetish

Bob (Friday 3:55 pm): sorry thought this was Google please delete that.

How to Deal with Them: Give them a taste of their own medicine.

Next time you send an important question, and they ignore you, just go ahead and move forward without their input. If they complain that you should have run something by them, you have the receipts to prove that you reached out multiple times to complete silence.

Conversely, wen they send you a manic string of 7 messages in the span of 10 minutes, wait at least 45 minutes before replying. Tell them you were in a meeting and are just seeing this (call yourself on Teams with your cell phone to make it look believable.) Then ask them which of the 7 messages they want you to respond to first. Either they already figured it out themselves or they’ll hopefully feel embarrassed, quit their job and move to Alaska to hike and find themselves (shoutout Maggie Rogers.)

Damn i really regret being so hypocritical about my Slack response times. I’m gonna make some changes in my life

4. After Hours Messenger

The name says it all. You work 60 hours a week, but this motherfucker has the nerve to hit you up during the miniscule amount of time you have during adult existence that you can call your own.

It seems like every time you’re at a dinner with friends, you’ll get a quick buzz on your phone, glance down and see a Slack notification from them. Every Saturday when you’re wasted at bar and open your phone to call an Uber, you’re hit with a barrage of notifications in the group channel. Even on Sunday (the LORD’S DAY), when you’re brave enough to open your computer to check your schedule for the week, all you get are messages and a wave of anxiety.

How to Deal with Them: Mute Their Ass

Fix your settings so you pause all your notifications after 6 pm and on weekends. Better yet, delete the app off your phone. Actually, you know what, just throw your phone into the ocean. It probably just gives you cancer anways.  

It’s also important to remember that if this person is sending you messages on weekends or late nights when they should be enjoying themselves, you’re probably the one who’s winning in life. You actually have things to do besides check for a project update when the Jets are on and that should be celebrated.

3. Beats Around the Bush

Can this person get to the goddam point already? Every message they send starts out with ‘Hey!’ followed by a 4 message exchange that’s a thinly veiled attempt to seem friendly but ends up a waste of everyone’s time. We both know that you didn’t hit me up on Microsoft Teams to just chat about our weekend. Tell me what you want and let’s move on with our lives.

How to Deal with Them: Two Options

Option 1: Play along. Two can play at this game. Give them a ton of detail about your personal life. REALLY tell them how your day is going. Tell them you’re so happy they reached out because no one ever asks how you’re doing and REALLY cares to know the answer.

The goal here is to make them feel so guilty about asking you for something that they never get around to doing it.

Option 2: Just don’t reply. Play a little Slack chicken. Wait for them to follow up their “hi happy Friday!!” slack with another one asking you a direct question 19 minutes later. That’ll teach them to greet you like a person!!

Beats Around The Bush. This came to be in a dream

1. Rampant Shit Talker

Generally a friend or ally at work, this person LOVES gossiping and talking shit about other people in the office which in small doses, is absolutely fine and honestly, pretty fun. Unfortunately, there’s a limit to what you can take and it’s starting to get in the way of doing the job that you need to pay for your rent and poor fashion choices.

Every time you open your computer, you’re greeted by a wave of notifications. You’re genuinely terrified to share your screen at work because there’s a 75% chance they’ll Slack you something hilariously mean about someone and the entire group will see it. God forbid you’re in person and in the same meeting –  they’ll spend the entire time messaging you shit like “wtf is he talking about rn” or “I dare you to punch Jason in the throat right now. How funny would that be??”

You appreciate it but at best, it’s distracting and at worst, it’s something that could get you in actual trouble at work.

How to Deal with Them: Don’t Leave a Paper Trail

I’m all for shit-talking but you don’t want to actually face the consequences of it professionally. Your best bet is to take it offline. Book a conference room and you can get all your snark and gossip out in person with the added bonus of looking like you’re busy.

If you’re in more of a remote situation, just hit them with a lot of emoji reactions or GIF responses to their messages. This way you can’t technically search any names and find evidence of your tomfoolery and chicanery (how about that vocabulary? 35% chance I used that correctly.)

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