Many of us have experienced him or her ... the co-worker who either outwardly dislikes us or shows her dislike in subtle, passive-aggressive ways.
When you’re a traveler working a temporary assignment, dealing with such a colleague can make you feel like you're back in junior high. That can be doubly true if she seems to have no legitimate reason for her attitude. That said, here are some things you can do to alleviate the tension during your tenure with a salty co-worker.
Resist the urge to obsess. You can mull her reasons indefinitely, but chances are they don’t make logical sense — or else she’s overreacting to some small, perceived slight. Trying to figure her out may be a waste of time, especially if your assignment tenure will be short.
Strategize whether to confront the issue. If you can both be functional enough to get your work done without affecting others, you may be better off ignoring her issue rather than risking a big confrontation. Then again, you might defuse the tension early by taking her aside and asking what’s bothering her; it's possible a misunderstanding is involved. Say something like, “I sense tension between us, and I’m just trying to do my job here. What can I do to make our working relationship easier while I’m here?”
Stay calm and professional. Focus your attention on your job and resist the urge to make snarky remarks about her to other co-workers. When it comes to your work history, the last thing you want as a travel nurse is to be perceived as a troublemaker.
Mention the problem to your supervisor. If your detractor's actions are seriously impacting your performance, you may need to privately ask your boss to intervene — or at least to provide some insight. Your boss may be able to get her to back off, or he or she may share information that helps you better cope with her attitude.
Work now, vent later. Maintaining a professional persona during your shift may feel frustrating, but you can always vent to a disinterested friend or family member after hours.