Whining colleague is making my working life hell

I work in an open-plan environment with about 60 people. Most of my colleagues are great. I love my job, earn well and most days I manage to have some fun in between my duties.

The problem is the woman who sits next to me.

She is in her 40s, single and a real moaner. She complains about everything. She never has a good word about anybody and everything gets her down.

She complains about the weather, the traffic and the chair she sits in. She makes nasty comments about our colleagues, she snipes at the bosses and complains about the company.

She says she never married because she didn't meet the right man, but I suspect she chased all the candidates away with her negative attitude to everything.

Every Monday she goes on and on about how lonely she was over the weekend, then makes nasty comments if she finds out that some of us met at the weekend.

It never occurs to her that we don't invite her because she would spoil our fun. I am sick of her. I can't take it for another minute. Others have tried to talk to her but it has not helped.

Do you think I should talk to her, or should I just ask to be moved to another desk, as far from her as possible?

Sick and Tired, Gauteng

If others have spoken to this whiner and nothing changed, why waste your time by repeating the exercise?

If you feel you have to try, approach her as a group to tell her that she is a pain to work with. Two or three of you can invite her for a cup of coffee and chat to her about her negative attitude.

Or ask one of the bosses or supervisors to call her aside to discuss her constant moaning.

In the meantime, try to drum up some sympathy for her. Can you imagine being trapped in her head? It must be a very lonely existence.

Encourage her to seek therapy and read self-help books to improve her attitude to life? If that doesn't help, then ask to be moved.