“Can you believe it? The water cooler is empty again!”
“Jean asked RALPH to do it instead of me. Clearly I must not be good enough!”
“Lunch at 12:15 today? But my lunch hour is supposed to be at 12:00! I cannot get OVER this manager I’ve got!”
Turn off your TV. Unsubscribe from your cable. Put down those books. This person has enough drama in her (his) life to entertain you for a lifetime. In addition to the ongoing crisis’s in her life (and there’s always one or two), it seems as though everything that happens at work is a Big Deal. With all your other coworker’s, you start the day with a “Hi, how are you?” But not with this one – because she’ll tell you! She doesn’t have problems, she has Catastrophes.
She doesn’t just have a cold, she has a serious upper respiratory problem with an irrepressibly pounding headache.
The bad news is that there is really very little you can do to change a Drama Queen’s behavior. It’s an integral part of her personality which manifests itself both at home and in the office. You do have to be careful, however, that you don’t get caught up in one of her embellishments. Always double-check the information you get from her before you repeat anything or take any action.
If she tries to get you to corroborate one of her puffed-up stories, don’t contradict her (or you run the risk of being her next topic), but make it clear that you perhaps saw things a little differently. For example:
Drama Queen: “I can’t get OVER the foul language Ralph used at the meeting. Every second word was a profanity! (To you) Wasn’t he awful?” You: “He certainly did use a few choice words.”
Other than that, as long as the Drama Queen isn’t being too disruptive or hurting morale, your best approach is to just get some popcorn, sit back, and enjoy the show!