Tips for dealing with an Overzealous New Colleague

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I think that it is harder on a long time veteran employee or manager to be give someone in close proximity who is either brand new to the company and wants to prove themselves or the glazed over employee whom everyone wonders about; because everyday this person gets even more cheery and chipper. So, you do your best to bite your tongue and maybe even take up gum chewing because you have “been there, done that” too many times and this person does not even seem in touch with the day to day reality of your business. The new coworker can be the hardest to bear because they are just trying to be one of the gang, to do everything right, to learn all they can, etc. And, well, you know, that somehow they will be hitting a brick wall if they keep up all of this rah, rah, rah, activity. 

Most people who are new and overzealous are that way for good reasons. Management, advertisements, their brother in law, someone has filled them with some grand ideas about either the business or the company or something. These days it could be that someone has been laid off for a long time and finally has a job again! If you can see this in them; it may just be innocence and like an innocent child once they’ve had a few days of this overzealous energy zapped out of them, they may calm down a bit. 

There are some things your can do in the meantime: Mainly keep them busy, and use that energy that they have wisely. Give them some projects or research that they can sink their teeth into and that they can handle independently so they can stay busy with for a long time. This also means they will not be bothering anyone else with all kinds of questions or chit chat. But also don’t be surprised if everyone in the office is thrilled by this persons energy and drive, and you are worn out by it; it just means the other people are not actually working closely with the overzealous one. 

It may take a lot of patience and a lot of biting your tongue, but it is much worth it to just wait it out for this person to calm down to a normal level of interacting. If it is the case of the person, whose nickname is Sunshine Suzie, and they have been at the company now for 20 years and their eyes are still just glazed over with gratitude that they get to use the copy machine again, well, my advice is distance, hiding and avoidance, just in case it’s contagious, you never know!

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