I’ve been at this internship for a few months now, and I’ve had some obstacles that I’ve overcome. But there’s one that seems to get worse day by day. For the first month, a coworker and I seemed to not get along well. We just had differing personalities and bumped heads regularly, but it was never personal. Over the last month, this clashing of personalities seemed to get more and more serious. We were getting into arguments a few times a day, and I admit this person really pushed my buttons. There were many things about their work ethic and attitude that I really hated, but in the end that wasn’t even the problem. Sometimes it really seemed that they were going out of their way to get me riled up. Eventually this was noticed my boss and I was pulled aside. Because I had a tendency to get heated, while my coworker enjoyed calmly instigating things and aggravating me, I was the one who called more attention to it, so I was the one who was reprimanded. I realized that the only way to keep this professional was if I did my best to avoid all contact with them, unless it was strictly related to the work we had to collaborate on. I was even willing to go through other people to communicate with them to decrease some of the tension. I thought this would be the end of it. I was wrong.
It seems as if, now that my coworker doesn’t have more casual opportunities to push my buttons, they let this aggression out during work-related interactions. They’ve become rude, stubborn, and entirely unprofessional. I’m growing increasingly frustrated because my boss seems to think that internships should allow people to make professional mistakes and work out their issues and learn from them. But they have been wearing down on me so badly that they are turning my internship into a horrible experience. At this point, I don’t even care how much more work I get done than them or how long they disappear from their desk every day. I just want them to behave towards me in a professional manner. I should be able to ask them to do a part of a project we are all contributing to while they are out doing other things without a rude and insulting refusal. I should be able to provide input on plans without being shut down like an unruly student interrupting class. At this point I really don’t know what to do. I’m going to try to talk to my boss one more time but any advice would be greatly appreciated.
I know in the real world you have to deal with coworkers that you don’t like, but I also know that in the real professional world he would have not lasted at this company as long as he has.