Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => All In A Day's Work => Topic started by: snugasabug on September 28, 2012, 06:53:23 AM

Title: Self Centered in the workplace...
Post by: snugasabug on September 28, 2012, 06:53:23 AM
I'm sure we all work with one or two self centered people in our places of employment.

What strategies do you use to maintain your composure and grace while dealing with these people?

I work with someone who is extremely self centered in every way possible. She feels that the earth revolves around her. She will attend meetings that start at 1pm, with a full and complete take out meal.  She chomps away on her McD's french fries in the board room, where the other 10 people in the room are sipping on water.  When confronted or asked to refrain from eating, she will whine "but I'm HUnNnnNnnNnnnngry!!!!!"

I'm having a hard time staying polite with her. I want to scream "It's NOT ALL ABOUT YOU, ALL OF THE TIME!!!!!" 

She is an only child....and acts like a 30 year old toddler, complete with temper tantrums, tears and the works.

My current method is to interact as minimally as possible, and let someone else do the complaining about her for now.  I have to work closely on a project with her, and I think I will take the "First Snugasabug will do this...THEN SelfishOne will do THAT..." and be positive and directive.   I think sharing the work is asking for trouble.

Any other tips from my likeminded friends?  My lip biting is starting to hurt!
Title: Re: Self Centered in the workplace...
Post by: RebeccainGA on September 28, 2012, 08:02:16 AM
I have decided not to acknowledge the insanity. We have a few of those sorts around, and they make me insane - especially with the eating and drinking in inappropriate places. I mean, I sort of graze at my desk most of the day. This is better for me than eating a great big lunch. But I do it AT MY DESK, never with a bunch of stuff spread out even, and NEVER anywhere else. Eating in a meeting? That's INSANE.

I usually just pretend they aren't there. If they speak, I imagine they're on the conference call line and not in person. I just totally act like they aren't there, doing what no one would do.

Good luck!
Title: Re: Self Centered in the workplace...
Post by: Yvaine on September 28, 2012, 08:21:30 AM
Eating in a meeting isn't inherently insane--at our department meetings, for example, everybody eats. Sometimes they all bring their own food, sometimes we order as a group. But you have to take your cues from the rest of the office, and if nobody else eats during meetings, one has to take care of that before or after the meeting. It's an office culture thing.
Title: Re: Self Centered in the workplace...
Post by: O'Dell on September 28, 2012, 08:27:03 AM
acts like a 30 year old toddler, complete with temper tantrums, tears and the works.

If she pulls that on you, you might try "Oh dear. I'll give you some time to compose yourself. Come find me once you have done that." And then leave the area. If you can't leave, then direct her to somewhere private or back to her desk.
Title: Re: Self Centered in the workplace...
Post by: Cami on September 28, 2012, 08:36:46 AM
I'm sure we all work with one or two self centered people in our places of employment.

What strategies do you use to maintain your composure and grace while dealing with these people?

I work with someone who is extremely self centered in every way possible. She feels that the earth revolves around her. She will attend meetings that start at 1pm, with a full and complete take out meal.  She chomps away on her McD's french fries in the board room, where the other 10 people in the room are sipping on water.  When confronted or asked to refrain from eating, she will whine "but I'm HUnNnnNnnNnnnngry!!!!!"

I'm having a hard time staying polite with her. I want to scream "It's NOT ALL ABOUT YOU, ALL OF THE TIME!!!!!" 

She is an only child....and acts like a 30 year old toddler, complete with temper tantrums, tears and the works.

My current method is to interact as minimally as possible, and let someone else do the complaining about her for now.  I have to work closely on a project with her, and I think I will take the "First Snugasabug will do this...THEN SelfishOne will do THAT..." and be positive and directive.   I think sharing the work is asking for trouble.

Any other tips from my likeminded friends?  My lip biting is starting to hurt!

For the record, my dd is an only child and hasn't acted that way since she was 2. For the record, the most narcissistic and immature coworker I've ever had was the oldest of six. Being an only child has little to do with narcissistic and/or immature behavior.
Title: Re: Self Centered in the workplace...
Post by: AustenFan on September 28, 2012, 08:40:14 AM
Eating in a meeting isn't inherently insane--at our department meetings, for example, everybody eats. Sometimes they all bring their own food, sometimes we order as a group. But you have to take your cues from the rest of the office, and if nobody else eats during meetings, one has to take care of that before or after the meeting. It's an office culture thing.

Right, but in OPs office her coworker is the only one eating and has been asked to stop. This goes beyond office culture.
Title: Re: Self Centered in the workplace...
Post by: Yvaine on September 28, 2012, 09:02:47 AM
Eating in a meeting isn't inherently insane--at our department meetings, for example, everybody eats. Sometimes they all bring their own food, sometimes we order as a group. But you have to take your cues from the rest of the office, and if nobody else eats during meetings, one has to take care of that before or after the meeting. It's an office culture thing.

Right, but in OPs office her coworker is the only one eating and has been asked to stop. This goes beyond office culture.

Absolutely. I was only addressing the idea that it's insane to eat in a meeting. In this case she should definitely not be doing it.
Title: Re: Self Centered in the workplace...
Post by: Twik on September 28, 2012, 09:08:26 AM
Eating in a meeting isn't inherently insane--at our department meetings, for example, everybody eats. Sometimes they all bring their own food, sometimes we order as a group. But you have to take your cues from the rest of the office, and if nobody else eats during meetings, one has to take care of that before or after the meeting. It's an office culture thing.

Right, but in OPs office her coworker is the only one eating and has been asked to stop.

I must ask, why? The meeting has been scheduled at what is, for many people, lunch time. It seems unfair to take up CW's lunchtime, and forbid her to actually feed herself. Is she actually eating at the only time she is allowed?

One might argue that the rest of the group are being special snowflakes by trying to force her not to eat. They sound rather puritanical - "We only sip water in this meeting, not even coffee! How dare you EAT?!?!"

The only solution I see is asking her to take her lunch before the meeting. But she may well feel that this way she is actually benefiting the company by not taking a separate lunch break.
Title: Re: Self Centered in the workplace...
Post by: Shoo on September 28, 2012, 09:11:23 AM
Eating in a meeting isn't inherently insane--at our department meetings, for example, everybody eats. Sometimes they all bring their own food, sometimes we order as a group. But you have to take your cues from the rest of the office, and if nobody else eats during meetings, one has to take care of that before or after the meeting. It's an office culture thing.

Right, but in OPs office her coworker is the only one eating and has been asked to stop.

I must ask, why? The meeting has been scheduled at what is, for many people, lunch time. It seems unfair to take up CW's lunchtime, and forbid her to actually feed herself. Is she actually eating at the only time she is allowed?

One might argue that the rest of the group are being special snowflakes by trying to force her not to eat. They sound rather puritanical - "We only sip water in this meeting, not even coffee! How dare you EAT?!?!"

The only solution I see is asking her to take her lunch before the meeting. But she may well feel that this way she is actually benefiting the company by not taking a separate lunch break.

I agree with this.  Is she taking a lunch break in addition to the meeting?  If not, then when is she supposed to actually eat? 
Title: Re: Self Centered in the workplace...
Post by: NyaChan on September 28, 2012, 09:19:19 AM
Eating in a meeting isn't inherently insane--at our department meetings, for example, everybody eats. Sometimes they all bring their own food, sometimes we order as a group. But you have to take your cues from the rest of the office, and if nobody else eats during meetings, one has to take care of that before or after the meeting. It's an office culture thing.

Right, but in OPs office her coworker is the only one eating and has been asked to stop.

I must ask, why? The meeting has been scheduled at what is, for many people, lunch time. It seems unfair to take up CW's lunchtime, and forbid her to actually feed herself. Is she actually eating at the only time she is allowed?

One might argue that the rest of the group are being special snowflakes by trying to force her not to eat. They sound rather puritanical - "We only sip water in this meeting, not even coffee! How dare you EAT?!?!"

The only solution I see is asking her to take her lunch before the meeting. But she may well feel that this way she is actually benefiting the company by not taking a separate lunch break.

I agree with this.  Is she taking a lunch break in addition to the meeting?  If not, then when is she supposed to actually eat?

Add me in as well.  Drives me crazy when people schedule things right around lunch time.  I either have to scramble to find a sufficient snack right before, eat during, or just sit there and feel embarrassed while my stomach loudly rumbles.
Title: Re: Self Centered in the workplace...
Post by: Bexx27 on September 28, 2012, 09:30:39 AM
I'm sure we all work with one or two self centered people in our places of employment.

What strategies do you use to maintain your composure and grace while dealing with these people?

I work with someone who is extremely self centered in every way possible. She feels that the earth revolves around her. She will attend meetings that start at 1pm, with a full and complete take out meal.  She chomps away on her McD's french fries in the board room, where the other 10 people in the room are sipping on water.  When confronted or asked to refrain from eating, she will whine "but I'm HUnNnnNnnNnnnngry!!!!!"

I'm having a hard time staying polite with her. I want to scream "It's NOT ALL ABOUT YOU, ALL OF THE TIME!!!!!" 

She is an only child....and acts like a 30 year old toddler, complete with temper tantrums, tears and the works.

My current method is to interact as minimally as possible, and let someone else do the complaining about her for now.  I have to work closely on a project with her, and I think I will take the "First Snugasabug will do this...THEN SelfishOne will do THAT..." and be positive and directive.   I think sharing the work is asking for trouble.

Any other tips from my likeminded friends?  My lip biting is starting to hurt!

For the record, my dd is an only child and hasn't acted that way since she was 2. For the record, the most narcissistic and immature coworker I've ever had was the oldest of six. Being an only child has little to do with narcissistic and/or immature behavior.

Yes, let's please not perpetuate pernicious stereotypes of any group on this site. Here's an interesting article about the myths surrounding only children: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2002530-1,00.html

This coworker is whiny and self-centered because it's worked for her in the past. I agree with O'Dell's strategy of disengaging immediately if she starts to throw a tantrum; she  needs to learn it won't work with you. If she acts like a toddler, treat her like one, using the equivalent of timeouts and "I can't understand you when you use that voice." I would communicate by e-mail whenever possible and definitely divide up tasks instead of working together.

As for eating lunch during the meeting, her supervisor or the meeting organizer should clearly state that eating is not allowed during the meeting. If that's an unofficial policy, make it official if the majority agrees. So what if she whines? If she knows that people won't confront her about bad behavior because she'll whine, that makes whining a winning strategy for her and perpetuates the problem.
Title: Re: Self Centered in the workplace...
Post by: Outdoor Girl on September 28, 2012, 09:32:58 AM
I would definitely eat my lunch at a meeting scheduled over my normal lunchtime.  But I wouldn't eat McDonalds!  (or any other exceedingly smelly food)

And when people protested my eating, I would let them know that if they wished to schedule the meeting for a time that was not over lunchtime, I'd be happy to comply.  But until that happened, I would be eating as necessary.  (Unless, like Bexx27 says, they make a rule about it.)

But then, I'm not a whiney self centred person in other ways.  I just need to eat when I need to eat.  Or you're looking at passed out Outdoor Girl.

I'm so glad my office is pretty laid back.  Everyone brings snacks to meetings; I bake for our monthly meetings - usually a loaf cake or scones or something reasonably easy to eat.  And if a meeting is scheduled over the lunch hour, usually food is provided.
Title: Re: Self Centered in the workplace...
Post by: TheaterDiva1 on September 28, 2012, 11:30:59 AM
She will attend meetings that start at 1pm, with a full and complete take out meal.  She chomps away on her McD's french fries in the board room, where the other 10 people in the room are sipping on water.  When confronted or asked to refrain from eating, she will whine "but I'm HUnNnnNnnNnnnngry!!!!!"

So what does everyone else do?  I'm guessing they take lunch before the meeting?  Why doesn't she do that?
Title: Re: Self Centered in the workplace...
Post by: lilfox on September 28, 2012, 11:42:07 AM
acts like a 30 year old toddler, complete with temper tantrums, tears and the works.

If she pulls that on you, you might try "Oh dear. I'll give you some time to compose yourself. Come find me once you have done that." And then leave the area. If you can't leave, then direct her to somewhere private or back to her desk.

This.  I don't think the issue is that she's eating in a meeting, it's the tantrums and childish responses to what are probably reasonable requests.  I also vote disengage as above, or redirect ("Let's move on from Tantrum-Inducing Issue, what does everyone think about Neutral Issue?"  and ignore the undesirable behavior as best as possible.
Title: Re: Self Centered in the workplace...
Post by: BeagleMommy on September 28, 2012, 12:16:46 PM
If she's going to behave like a toddler I'd be sorely tempted to treat her like one.  Example: (said in a sing-songy preschool teacher tone)  Okay Annoying One, you have to do this, this and this and be sure to show it to me before you do anything else.  I know you're hungry, but we don't eat in the meetings.  You need to eat your lunch before the meeting starts.
Title: Re: Self Centered in the workplace...
Post by: AustenFan on September 28, 2012, 12:22:59 PM
This isn't a matter of her working through her lunch, since OP states that the meeting starts at 1pm and the coworker obviously had a break during which she went to purchase the food. Everyone else OP works with manages their time effectively enough that they don't need to eat an entire meal during a meeting, and coworker had been spoken to about it and refuses to stop.

I would be ticked off by the distraction someone eating lunch provides, especially since fast food bags aren't exactly quiet. It shows a lack of respect for everyone attending the meeting.
Title: Re: Self Centered in the workplace...
Post by: Shoo on September 28, 2012, 12:29:00 PM
This isn't a matter of her working through her lunch, since OP states that the meeting starts at 1pm and the coworker obviously had a break during which she went to purchase the food. Everyone else OP works with manages their time effectively enough that they don't need to eat an entire meal during a meeting, and coworker had been spoken to about it and refuses to stop.

I would be ticked off by the distraction someone eating lunch provides, especially since fast food bags aren't exactly quiet. It shows a lack of respect for everyone attending the meeting.

This is true if, in fact, she does get a lunch break before the meeting. 
Title: Re: Self Centered in the workplace...
Post by: Need to Change on September 28, 2012, 12:51:55 PM
The McCo-Worker is handling it badly.

But sometimes, even in the same workplace, not all lunch breaks are created equal.  Employees who most directly work with the public may not be allowed to eat at their desks, for example.  Also, I've known too many direct supervisors who insist on a working lunch, or none at all, until a certain task is complete -- and, for various reasons beyond a worker's control, the task cannot be completed earlier in the day.

If this is the case, it's also normal and understandable that even the most reasonable co-workers may be oblivious to this one person's situation.

I don't know the food or food storage situation in this workplace, but perhaps she only gets enough time to pick up lunch, but not to eat it.

All that said ... once again, she's handling it badly.  Is she whiny in other areas, or just this one? 

But IF she's in a genuine tough spot, is there any way the meeting time be moved back to 1:30 or so?
Title: Re: Self Centered in the workplace...
Post by: Twik on September 28, 2012, 01:23:56 PM
It could be that she picks up something very quickly - I could get fast food before a meeting in 10 minutes or less, and some workplaces it may be less than that.

If she is allowed to take a lunch before the meeting, her superior should tell her to do that, so she won't be hungry during the meeting. If she is not allowed (say, she has to cover while everyone else grabs lunch), she has to eat sometime, and the meeting should be moved, or she should be allowed to eat.

I actually feel like tantrumming when my blood sugar gets low. If I were told I had to work until two or later without being allowed to have lunch, one might notice me getting a little waspish.
Title: Re: Self Centered in the workplace...
Post by: RegionMom on September 28, 2012, 07:02:35 PM
There was a commercial for some heat up lunch item that showed two young lawyers taking a quick lunch before the client arrived.  The young man dashed off to a street vendor, sweated, hectic, and rushes back in as an older professional walks in.  The young woman calmly strolls to the office kitchen and casually looks at a magazine as her lunch heats up in the microwave.  She polishes off the last bite as the older professional and the young man appear at the door.
"Oh, good, you are both here.  The client arrived early and you are both here.  Let's go!"
The young man is all disheveled, yet the woman who had the advertised heat and eat item was cool, calm, collected, and ready. 

All that to say, rushing off to grab fast food when you know you have a late lunch time meeting is poor planning.  Keep back-ups in your desk, pack a lunch, plan ahead.  Once is ok, but every time?  Annoying, and apparently looks bad, also.  Plus, McD's has a strong smell.   :-\
Title: Re: Self Centered in the workplace...
Post by: snugasabug on September 28, 2012, 08:05:42 PM
This isn't a matter of her working through her lunch, since OP states that the meeting starts at 1pm and the coworker obviously had a break during which she went to purchase the food. Everyone else OP works with manages their time effectively enough that they don't need to eat an entire meal during a meeting, and coworker had been spoken to about it and refuses to stop.

I would be ticked off by the distraction someone eating lunch provides, especially since fast food bags aren't exactly quiet. It shows a lack of respect for everyone attending the meeting.

OP here....this is exactly what I was meaning.

I gave the 1pm meeting time, to indicate that the meeting took place after lunch. If meetings go from 11-1pm, lunch would be included and encouraged.  When the meeting starts after the lunch hour, and the other 9 people used their lunch hour to eat and do what they needed too, then McSpecialPants should too. 

It's one thing to show up to a meeting and needing to eat, it's an entirely different thing to hear the constant rattle rattle of the bag, the fast food scent wafting through the board room. Oh and the occasional slurpppppppp from her ice cubes in her coke that she drank too quickly. 

It would be different if someone was having a discrete snack - or if someone truly needed to eat. I am convinced that she does this so that she isn't bored during the movies.  Also, if someone was truly running late that day and needed to eat, in my experience they are as discreet as possible and apologetic too.  With McSpecialPants, it's now a habit, and we all race to sit together so we don't have to be right beside her during the meeting.

I see nothing at all wrong with anyone having a nibble or quietly munching on an almond or something. 

Sorry for the jab at only children....I didn't think that through clearly. My apologies if I have offended anyone. 
Title: Re: Self Centered in the workplace...
Post by: bonyk on September 29, 2012, 06:35:48 AM
Can you tell your supervisor this:

It's one thing to show up to a meeting and needing to eat, it's an entirely different thing to hear the constant rattle rattle of the bag, the fast food scent wafting through the board room. Oh and the occasional slurpppppppp from her ice cubes in her coke that she drank too quickly. 
Title: Re: Self Centered in the workplace...
Post by: cheyne on September 30, 2012, 08:37:53 PM
It sounds like McSlurpy is a peer, not a subordinate.  Talk to your manager about the distraction of her eating during the meetings.  If your manager isn't bothered by McSlurpy or is bothered and won't do anything about it, you have two choices:

1.  Say nothing to McSlurpy and deal with it as best you can.
2.  Privately with a firm but polite voice tell McSlurpy that her eating in the meetings is a distraction for you.  Ask her to refrain from eating her lunch during that time.

You can't force her to stop eating during meetings, but a polite and firm request may get her to stop.  Has anyone taken her aside and asked her to stop eating at meetings?  Or does the office just complain about it behind her back?

As to the working together, I would do what you posted in your OP.  Each of you is responsible for a portion of the project.  I would avoid actually working together at all costs.  She sounds like the type of person that would let you do all the work and take most of the credit.

~OT general board question~ Since when did it become acceptable to only drink water during meetings?  We drink water (and tons of Gatorade) because we work outside and are thirsty.  A meeting is time to sit inside in the A/C (or heat) and enjoy a coffee or soft drink.  Are people actually looked down on for drinking something other than water? ~OT
Title: Re: Self Centered in the workplace...
Post by: Yvaine on September 30, 2012, 09:04:20 PM
~OT general board question~ Since when did it become acceptable to only drink water during meetings?  We drink water (and tons of Gatorade) because we work outside and are thirsty.  A meeting is time to sit inside in the A/C (or heat) and enjoy a coffee or soft drink.  Are people actually looked down on for drinking something other than water? ~OT

It sure didn't become unacceptable to drink coffee at a meeting anywhere in my universe.  ;D We practically hook up IVs of the stuff. And the non-coffee-drinkers tend to drink tea.
Title: Re: Self Centered in the workplace...
Post by: CookieChica on September 30, 2012, 10:26:00 PM
Quote
Quote
~OT general board question~ Since when did it become acceptable to only drink water during meetings?  We drink water (and tons of Gatorade) because we work outside and are thirsty.  A meeting is time to sit inside in the A/C (or heat) and enjoy a coffee or soft drink.  Are people actually looked down on for drinking something other than water? ~OT

It sure didn't become unacceptable to drink coffee at a meeting anywhere in my universe.   We practically hook up IVs of the stuff. And the non-coffee-drinkers tend to drink tea.

I think it's just another different work culture. For some of us, eating in meetings is normal (at my company, a meeting that you aren't leading is often the only possible time to grab a bite!) and some of us refrain from anything outside of water in a meeting.
Title: Re: Self Centered in the workplace...
Post by: Yvaine on September 30, 2012, 10:28:52 PM
Quote
Quote
~OT general board question~ Since when did it become acceptable to only drink water during meetings?  We drink water (and tons of Gatorade) because we work outside and are thirsty.  A meeting is time to sit inside in the A/C (or heat) and enjoy a coffee or soft drink.  Are people actually looked down on for drinking something other than water? ~OT

It sure didn't become unacceptable to drink coffee at a meeting anywhere in my universe.   We practically hook up IVs of the stuff. And the non-coffee-drinkers tend to drink tea.

I think it's just another different work culture. For some of us, eating in meetings is normal (at my company, a meeting that you aren't leading is often the only possible time to grab a bite!) and some of us refrain from anything outside of water in a meeting.

I'd think that even if eating weren't permitted, though, what harm is done by drinking a different beverage? Even working in an office where people eat in meetings, I can see the argument that eating is disruptive. But I can't quite wrap my head around drinking coffee being more disruptive than drinking water.
Title: Re: Self Centered in the workplace...
Post by: Hillia on September 30, 2012, 10:44:01 PM
Quote
Quote
~OT general board question~ Since when did it become acceptable to only drink water during meetings?  We drink water (and tons of Gatorade) because we work outside and are thirsty.  A meeting is time to sit inside in the A/C (or heat) and enjoy a coffee or soft drink.  Are people actually looked down on for drinking something other than water? ~OT

It sure didn't become unacceptable to drink coffee at a meeting anywhere in my universe.   We practically hook up IVs of the stuff. And the non-coffee-drinkers tend to drink tea.

I think it's just another different work culture. For some of us, eating in meetings is normal (at my company, a meeting that you aren't leading is often the only possible time to grab a bite!) and some of us refrain from anything outside of water in a meeting.

I'd think that even if eating weren't permitted, though, what harm is done by drinking a different beverage? Even working in an office where people eat in meetings, I can see the argument that eating is disruptive. But I can't quite wrap my head around drinking coffee being more disruptive than drinking water.

I'm reading 'sipping water' as shorthand for 'anything other than a large fountain drink being slurped noisily'...like water, coffee, tea, juice, whatever can be consumed quietly.
Title: Re: Self Centered in the workplace...
Post by: doodlemor on September 30, 2012, 10:51:26 PM
I worked with a very self centered person in the past, snugasabug, and can commiserate with you. 

She tended to sit and do paperwork during meetings as a bit of a power play, I think.  I believe that she did this to show our supervisor that she didn't feel that the meetings were important, or that the supervisor's directives were important. 

Perhaps your co worker is consciously or subconsciously showing everyone that she doesn't have to follow the same rules as everyone else does, when she eats at the meetings.

My co worker also used tears and other manipulative devices to further herself to the detriment of others.

The best way for me to deal with her was to distance myself as much as possible, and to remain very polite.  She changed jobs, finally, when the supervisors started documenting some of her behaviors. 
Title: Re: Self Centered in the workplace...
Post by: shadowfox79 on October 01, 2012, 04:59:43 AM
~OT general board question~ Since when did it become acceptable to only drink water during meetings?  We drink water (and tons of Gatorade) because we work outside and are thirsty.  A meeting is time to sit inside in the A/C (or heat) and enjoy a coffee or soft drink.  Are people actually looked down on for drinking something other than water? ~OT

It sure didn't become unacceptable to drink coffee at a meeting anywhere in my universe.  ;D We practically hook up IVs of the stuff. And the non-coffee-drinkers tend to drink tea.

We always have tea, coffee and water at meetings. In fact, on one occasion when the drinks I'd ordered didn't show up, a two-hour meeting was abruptly halted after twenty minutes. Never deny our managers their coffee.
Title: Re: Self Centered in the workplace...
Post by: rashea on October 01, 2012, 08:04:55 AM
I worked with a very self centered person in the past, snugasabug, and can commiserate with you. 

She tended to sit and do paperwork during meetings as a bit of a power play, I think.  I believe that she did this to show our supervisor that she didn't feel that the meetings were important, or that the supervisor's directives were important. 

This is possible, but I will admit I often use meetings to catch up on paperwork because it is literally not possible to do my job in the hours I'm alloted. So, I can either use that time to multitask, or not attend many meetings. I'm saying this just as a caution that not everyone is doing it to be "special".

I think in this case, either her supervisor can choose to handle it, or you can accept that she's rude and unlikely to change.
Title: Re: Self Centered in the workplace...
Post by: Twik on October 01, 2012, 08:32:46 AM
I'm reading 'sipping water' as shorthand for 'anything other than a large fountain drink being slurped noisily'...like water, coffee, tea, juice, whatever can be consumed quietly.

 I don't know, I would have expected the OP to say something like "the others are drinking their beverages quietly," if that were the case.

If the company is really so uptight that people believe that a cup of coffee in a meeting is offensive, perhaps the Annoying Coworker is one of those people who feel that the greatest thrill in life is pushing boundaries. Maybe she once felt frowned upon for nibbling on a cookie during a meeting, and is thinking "You don't like *that*? Get a load of THIS, baby!"
Title: Re: Self Centered in the workplace...
Post by: weeblewobble on October 01, 2012, 12:36:07 PM
Yes, and unfortunately, it was the guy that ran the company. Anything you had going in your life, whether it was pregnancy, death of a relative, weddings, etc., was secondary to whatever he needed RIGHT.THAT.SECOND.  It was common knowledge that if you were on maternity leave or  your honeymoon, you were to keep your phone on at all times, in case he needed something.  My coworkers learned to take their vacations out of state to avoid being called in on their days off. I still remember the time boss had a snit in the middle of the office, because a coworker (who was attending the funeral for his grandfather across town) wouldn't pick up his cell phone. 

My solution was to quit, which may not be the route you wanted to follow.
Title: Re: Self Centered in the workplace...
Post by: weeblewobble on October 01, 2012, 12:38:08 PM
Actually, I understand not wanting people to eat during meetings.  The smacking, clinking, rustling and general noise of eating, combined with food smells and having to deal with potential stains, spills and mess- none of that adds up to productive work time.


That said, the hungry coworker should be allowed to eat right before or after the meeting if it is scheduled during her lunch break.
Title: Re: Self Centered in the workplace...
Post by: Lynda_34 on October 01, 2012, 02:46:36 PM
acts like a 30 year old toddler, complete with temper tantrums, tears and the works.

If she pulls that on you, you might try "Oh dear. I'll give you some time to compose yourself. Come find me once you have done that." And then leave the area. If you can't leave, then direct her to somewhere private or back to her desk.

I'm working with a special snowflake, I'm one of her supervisors and if she starts crying and telling me how badly she wants to have this career I'm not sure what I"m going to do.  She also plays the single parent card and she lives with the father of her child.  They are not married.  But let me tell you her behavior is getting tedious.
Title: Re: Self Centered in the workplace...
Post by: bah12 on October 01, 2012, 04:44:01 PM
I find eating during meetings to be incredibly distracting and unprofessional.  If it's a working lunch, and everyone is eating, that's one thing, but even then, I find the meetings to be overall, not nearly as productive.

I have to attend lunchtime meetings all the time.  Sometimes, that's just the only time that everyone can get together.  I manage my schedule as best as I can.  Some days I have so much going on, that I don't have 30 minutes out of a meeting to eat.  And while there are definitely times when things are sprung on me throughout the day, for the most part, I know when meeting will occur ahead of time and can plan for them.  If they occur during a time where I might be hungy, then I make sure to arrange to have lunch earlier, or to have a snack just before so that it will hold me over until I can eat afterwards.  I have snacks in my office as an emergency stash for the days where everything goes haywire and unplanned meetings occur.

All this to say, is that the coworker is an adult and she shouldn't expect that she can eat her lunch wherever she pleases simply because she's hungry.  Unless she has a medical condition that requires her to eat at certain times of the day and she can't avoid it, she has no real excuse to bring lunch to a 1pm meeting. Bringing a loud, smelly lunch there is just that much worse.  If she really has an issue where she isn't getting breaks during the day to eat, she needs to bring that up to her supervisor and they need to take care of it.  It seems that everyone else is able to manage their workload, so I don't see it as a company culture thing.

Finally, my DD is an only child and she's 3.  She doesn't act like the OP described.

If confronting the coworker about eating during meetings doesn't work, then I'd suggest talking to your (OP's) direct supervisor and focusing on the distraction part.  Ask him/her if there is any company policy about eating in meetings and if not, perhaps someone can at least suggest she eat something quieter and less smelly.
Title: Re: Self Centered in the workplace...
Post by: doodlemor on October 01, 2012, 08:51:27 PM
I worked with a very self centered person in the past, snugasabug, and can commiserate with you. 

She tended to sit and do paperwork during meetings as a bit of a power play, I think.  I believe that she did this to show our supervisor that she didn't feel that the meetings were important, or that the supervisor's directives were important. 

This is possible, but I will admit I often use meetings to catch up on paperwork because it is literally not possible to do my job in the hours I'm alloted. So, I can either use that time to multitask, or not attend many meetings. I'm saying this just as a caution that not everyone is doing it to be "special".

I think in this case, either her supervisor can choose to handle it, or you can accept that she's rude and unlikely to change.

I agree that not everyone who does paperwork during a meeting is being a SS.  I have caught up on stuff at meetings myself. 

I'm not able to give sufficient information publicly to describe the whole situation.
Title: Re: Self Centered in the workplace...
Post by: AfleetAlex on October 16, 2012, 01:46:06 PM
I'd be sorely tempted to start helping myself to McSpecialPants' french fries. "Well, you brought them to the meeting, I thought they were for everybody!"  >:D

(Okay, no, I really wouldn't do this, but I would be very tempted, especially as I love McDonald's french fries.)