How To Handle The Ignorant Colleague

It can happen at any time: the supposedly sane colleague (maybe one of the few you relied on for your sanity in the workplace) says something stupid. And not on the level of “White chocolate is the best” but more of something out there, like “Our country is being destroyed by immigrants.” What to do? Behind the cut, some helpful options in no particular order.

  1. Say something stupid in return. I, for one, like “So weird how they put crumbs of the moon into dog food, right?” If the colleague is really very ignorant, they will just continue talking because ignorance doesn’t need replies or support. If they realize that you said something stupid and ask about it, reply that you thought you were playing a game of saying nonsensical random things. Offer another one (“Green apples are painted that color by leprechauns,” for example) to help them along. Keep smiling, because isn’t this the most fun?
  2. Walk away. Don’t say a word, don’t finish what you’re doing, just walk. If walking isn’t an option, turn your chair away from your colleague. It’s better to be rude than to be ignorant.
  3. Get the Doctor involved. Make sure you don’t end up in a job with colleagues like these. Do extensive research. It will keep him from making a mess of the universe as well. Everybody wins.
  4. Go along with them. Discover how long they have to hear how right they are until they give up. Don’t use any arguments, just nod and say yes a lot. Afterwards, bleach the memory from your brain by looking at someone sexy while muttering, “I completely agree.” This way, whenever you have to insincerely utter those words again, at least your mind will reward you with sexy.
  5. Say you disagree and try to make them understand why. Stay patient and calm and move on to another argument if you have to repeat the same one thrice. In case of insults and curses, wonder out loud how that would support either your or colleague’s case. Don’t stop until:
    • the colleague disappears.
    • both of you can say, “Let’s agree to disagree” without smirking.
    • the colleague sees the error of their ways.
    • your boss comes by, demanding to know why neither of you are working.

    After surviving this, go get yourself a lottery ticket. Because surely the universe will turn these brownie points into something useful.

To prevent all this, you could walk around with headphones on. Claim you can’t hear stupid opinions or admit that your parents don’t want you hanging out with idiotic people.

If it can’t be prevented, know that it’s not on you. This colleague and working in the same place as them doesn’t make you supportive of their ideas. It’s a colleague, leave their opinions behind as soon as they stop talking.

Also: I completely agree.

By freckle [M]

Freckle can't decide between writing fact or fiction, so she does both, on a very regular basis, and sometimes even for money.

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