Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Family and Children => Topic started by: KimodoDragon on January 20, 2015, 01:22:08 PM

Title: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: KimodoDragon on January 20, 2015, 01:22:08 PM
This morning, a lady from the neighboring department (New Mom) returned to the office from mat-leave.  She has been going on a cubicle-by-cubicle circuit showing pics of newborn “King Midas” (yup).  She can be heard from several aisles over stating he has the golden touch, that he is extra special and he is THE most adorable baby ever.  I personally have not seen the pics.

I was just in the kitchenette washing my dishes and New Mom walked over to two ladies having their lunch.  She pulls out her phone with, “look at my baby!  isn’t he adorable?”.  One lady says, “ohh . . . nice . . . aww”.  The other lady looked at the phone, smiled and handed it back.  New Mom said, “well?”  New Mom then put the phone to the other lady’s face and said, “LOOK!”.  It was an uncomfortable moment.  I would imagine the other lady didn’t find the baby adorable and didn’t want to say so, so she didn’t say anything.

Is it rude to remain silent when asked this question?  How about just a small smile and beandip?  Or do you just say yes even if you don’t agree?
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: #borecore on January 20, 2015, 01:28:08 PM
I think remaining silent is responding to rudeness with rudeness and I would not advocate it at all.

There are plenty of ways to say something without lying:

"Aren't you just the luckiest?"

"I bet you (and partner) are so proud!"

"Awww."

"He looks so healthy and happy!"

"And I love that onesie you put him in, too."

"Have you talked to (co-worker with a little one)? I bet the two of them could have some fun together in a year or so!"

That said, I do think it's 100% OK to say, "Yeah, what a cutie!" even if the baby kind of looks like Uncle Myron in his wrinkly years or a chimp baby or whatever.

It's a social nicety like saying, "Fine!" to "How are you doing?"
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: rose red on January 20, 2015, 01:35:54 PM
"Breathtaking" (Seinfeld moment). And, well, it's not only cute things that take your breath away ;) >:D.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: MindsEye on January 20, 2015, 01:37:03 PM
I was just in the kitchenette washing my dishes and New Mom walked over to two ladies having their lunch.  She pulls out her phone with, “look at my baby!  isn’t he adorable?”One lady says, “ohh . . . nice . . . aww”.  The other lady looked at the phone, smiled and handed it back.  Jessica said, “well?”  New Mom then put the phone to the other lady’s face and said, “LOOK!”.  It was an uncomfortable moment.  I would imagine the other lady didn’t find the baby adorable and didn’t want to say so, so she didn’t say anything.

I have run across a few of "those" women, and my stock response is to cheerfully say "Yup!  It's a baby alright!"  (Which may or may not be retaliatory rudeness, I am not sure.)


I think remaining silent is responding to rudeness with rudeness and I would not advocate it at all.


Why? 

I would have thought that silence is the best option, especially if you don't want to engage further.  It is certainly a stance that I have seen advocated here before for other situations.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: #borecore on January 20, 2015, 01:49:37 PM
MindsEye:
I do think silence is sometimes called for, certainly, but silence in response to someone showing you a picture of something they're ecstatically happy about seems like serious overkill. Even if it truly bothered you rather than you just not preferring it, I don't think a reaction more severe than, "Whoa, back the cell phone up about a foot! I can't even see it when you show it like that" is called for.

There's also the co-worker dynamic to be considered, and going straight to the silent treatment doesn't seem like a good workplace option to me, either.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: camlan on January 20, 2015, 01:50:46 PM

Somewhere, a long time ago, I heard a saying, "All babies and brides are, by definition, beautiful."

Even if you don't say, "Oh, what a beautiful baby!" you can say that the baby is cute, adorable, sweet, charming, looks healthy, has Mom's/Dad's eyes/ears/nose. Something that isn't necessarily agreeing with the mom's claim that Baby is adorable, but is still a positive comment. My fallback comment is usually something like, "Oh, look at his eyes! He looks so alert and interested in what's going on around him!" (Which, granted, doesn't work if the baby is sleeping in the photo.)

New parents just want to share their joy. And it's kind of mean to rain on their parade.

Now, the new mom in the OP was definitely being overbearing, and once she demanded a response, rude. But I don't think it would have hurt the other woman to say something nice about the baby.

I do feel for the other woman, though, if she has been struggling with infertility issues and just couldn't deal with seeing yet another baby picture. But even in that case, she should come up with something to smooth over the social situation and not create a fuss about seeing a baby picture. In the long run, it would make things easier for her.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: Yvaine on January 20, 2015, 02:06:46 PM
Even if you don't say, "Oh, what a beautiful baby!" you can say that the baby is cute, adorable, sweet, charming, looks healthy, has Mom's/Dad's eyes/ears/nose. Something that isn't necessarily agreeing with the mom's claim that Baby is adorable, but is still a positive comment. My fallback comment is usually something like, "Oh, look at his eyes! He looks so alert and interested in what's going on around him!" (Which, granted, doesn't work if the baby is sleeping in the photo.)

I find myself squeeing about tiny footsies no matter how cute the baby is. There's just something so...almost surreal about how teensy a newborn baby is, to me. And it just occurred to me that it would also be a safe thing to coo about if the baby looks like Winston Churchill.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: artk2002 on January 20, 2015, 02:14:06 PM
I don't find silence to be rude at all. There's nothing in etiquette that requires us to respond to every demand made of us. Not the beggar on the street, and not the new mom in the kitchen.

I might respond to "Well?" with "Well, what?" and to "LOOK" with "I did." With a totally bored, zero-affect. I can gush over babies, but not if someone demands it.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: Cherry91 on January 20, 2015, 02:15:27 PM
Even if you don't say, "Oh, what a beautiful baby!" you can say that the baby is cute, adorable, sweet, charming, looks healthy, has Mom's/Dad's eyes/ears/nose. Something that isn't necessarily agreeing with the mom's claim that Baby is adorable, but is still a positive comment. My fallback comment is usually something like, "Oh, look at his eyes! He looks so alert and interested in what's going on around him!" (Which, granted, doesn't work if the baby is sleeping in the photo.)

I find myself squeeing about tiny footsies no matter how cute the baby is. There's just something so...almost surreal about how teensy a newborn baby is, to me. And it just occurred to me that it would also be a safe thing to coo about if the baby looks like Winston Churchill.

This may sound weird, but it's baby nails that always get me. They're so small and perfectly formed compared to my claw ended sausages...
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: LonniesMom on January 20, 2015, 02:19:21 PM
The new mom was out of line, for sure. But, just say the baby is cute, adorable, beautiful - whatever. Even if it isn't. Tell a white lie. Who cares?

Imagine a MOB, at a wedding, gushing about how beautiful her daughter, the bride is. Or even showing pictures after the wedding. It would be rude and downright mean to say anything other than a positive comment about the bride's appearance.

Do people really need to be so right all of the time that they can't just say a baby is cute, even if it isn't?
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: BeagleMommy on January 20, 2015, 02:22:54 PM
I've only had this happen once.  My response was "Yes, he/she is certainly something else".  Meanwhile, my evil brain was going "Yep, something else, not sure what, but something else".  Like I said, thankfully only had to use this once.

For me it's baby shoes that get me squealing like a twelve year old.  So tiny and so utterly precious.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: cicero on January 20, 2015, 02:23:24 PM

Somewhere, a long time ago, I heard a saying, "All babies and brides are, by definition, beautiful."

Even if you don't say, "Oh, what a beautiful baby!" you can say that the baby is cute, adorable, sweet, charming, looks healthy, has Mom's/Dad's eyes/ears/nose. Something that isn't necessarily agreeing with the mom's claim that Baby is adorable, but is still a positive comment. My fallback comment is usually something like, "Oh, look at his eyes! He looks so alert and interested in what's going on around him!" (Which, granted, doesn't work if the baby is sleeping in the photo.)

New parents just want to share their joy. And it's kind of mean to rain on their parade.

Now, the new mom in the OP was definitely being overbearing, and once she demanded a response, rude. But I don't think it would have hurt the other woman to say something nice about the baby.

I do feel for the other woman, though, if she has been struggling with infertility issues and just couldn't deal with seeing yet another baby picture. But even in that case, she should come up with something to smooth over the social situation and not create a fuss about seeing a baby picture. In the long run, it would make things easier for her.
I agree. And I agree that the new mom was acting weird, but i don't understand what the big deal is about saying "oh, cute" or "i love his [smile/nose/shirt]" or "look how you captured his [grin/burp]". i think of it like telling someone you like their haircut (even if you don't), or "yes the wedding was lovely" even if it wasn't perfect - a social nicety.

"Breathtaking" (Seinfeld moment). And, well, it's not only cute things that take your breath away ;) >:D.
And I keep having that Elaine "the dingo ate your baby" moment running through my head.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: Surianne on January 20, 2015, 02:24:39 PM
The new mom was out of line, for sure. But, just say the baby is cute, adorable, beautiful - whatever. Even if it isn't. Tell a white lie. Who cares?

Imagine a MOB, at a wedding, gushing about how beautiful her daughter, the bride is. Or even showing pictures after the wedding. It would be rude and downright mean to say anything other than a positive comment about the bride's appearance.

Do people really need to be so right all of the time that they can't just say a baby is cute, even if it isn't?

I usually try to be polite-but-not-enthusiastic because gushing will only encourage more baby photos...and I'm not that into babies, especially at work (we get moms bringing babies in for visits all the time, and I'd much rather just get my work done than coo over babies). 

So that's a possible reason for not saying the baby is beautiful.  It's not about being right, but about hoping the mom will recognize I'm not the best target audience!

I have run across a few of "those" women, and my stock response is to cheerfully say "Yup!  It's a baby alright!"  (Which may or may not be retaliatory rudeness, I am not sure.)

I am so borrowing this!
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: ------ on January 20, 2015, 02:41:45 PM
We don't know the backstory of this woman.  Is this just a one-off where she just returned from maternity leave and is so excited that she can't help herself this one time? Or, is this something she frequently does, interrupting conversations to insert herself with irrelevant demands for attention (like I recently read in another thread about an obnoxious co-worker)?

Personally, if it were me, I'd be deeply annoyed if that happened. 

The other thing is, did she go around to all the men in the office demanding that they squee over her new baby, or just the women? Since I am a woman, am I required to find all babies adorable? Of course not, and I don't. 

It would be one thing to be asked (at an appropriate time, if I'm not otherwise too busy) if I'd like to see a picture of her baby (once!), but to be interrupted when I'm in conversation with someone, or eating, or reading, or busy working, or whatever I'm doing, and literally have the phone/picture shoved in my face with a demand to be excited and happy is asking too much.  I personally think the woman who didn't respond acted with great restraint and dignity.  She had every right, in my opinion, to tell her to back off and tell her "no, I don't want to look at your baby.  Leave me alone."

Also, did she bust into meetings to demand that people look at her baby pictures? Did she interrupt people working to do this? Is it okay that she did this to someone on their lunch break? I think no. 

I don't think silence in response to this behavior is unreasonable; in fact, I think it's the most polite thing to do.  Depending on the history of this co-worker, it might be the best solution ever to not only not encourage, but to help shut it down.  Because it needs to. Immediately.  Especially at work.  This is not appropriate work behavior at all.  Period.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: bah12 on January 20, 2015, 02:55:51 PM
I don't find silence to be rude at all. There's nothing in etiquette that requires us to respond to every demand made of us. Not the beggar on the street, and not the new mom in the kitchen.

I might respond to "Well?" with "Well, what?" and to "LOOK" with "I did." With a totally bored, zero-affect. I can gush over babies, but not if someone demands it.

I do think it's rude to not answer a question directly asked of us.  "Isn't he adorable?" is still a question, regardless of how annoying it is or how rude of New Mom it is to impose baby gawking on her coworkers.  To just not say anything in return, when a simple "Congratulations" will diffuse the situation, seems to do nothing but make an awkward situation more awkward. 
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: poundcake on January 20, 2015, 03:10:41 PM
My aunt was not one to mince words, and had a bit of an unspoken personality, but even she understood that you can't tell another parent that their baby is ugly. But we all knew exactly what she meant when we heard her say "Oh! What a... sweet baby!"
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: Arila on January 20, 2015, 03:23:44 PM
Somewhere, a long time ago, I heard a saying, "All babies and brides are, by definition, beautiful."

Yep, as we were discussing in the wedding section, when someone tells you they are (getting) married you congratulate them, when someone shows you a photo of their baby, you  compliment them.  It's part of the "social contract".
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: gmatoy on January 20, 2015, 03:26:18 PM
My aunt was not one to mince words, and had a bit of an unspoken personality, but even she understood that you can't tell another parent that their baby is ugly. But we all knew exactly what she meant when we heard her say "Oh! What a... sweet baby!"

All of you are on notice: If I hear anyone say the above, I will try to find out if you are an E-Hell member! (Quietly, and not to call you out in front of the mother!)
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: Kimberami on January 20, 2015, 03:33:49 PM
Questioned coworker looked at the picture and smiled.  To me, this is a response.  It is both complete and polite.   The New Mom's actions were obnoxious.  I wouldn't have wanted to engage her any further than a polite smile.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: tinkytinky on January 20, 2015, 03:38:54 PM
Brings to mind the Donna Reed Show when her husband, the doctor to every baby in town, was commandeered to be the judge of the baby contest at the town social. Every time a parent would talk with him about their baby (along with bringing cakes, sweets and other bribes), would ask him what he thought of their baby. His response was always the same: "The first time I saw you child, I told Donna, 'now THAT's a baby!". he would say this in such a way that of course the mom's would think they had the brightest, most advanced, prettiest baby in the world.

I have a tendency to look at their pictures and say something like "Oh, my! How proud are you! :) isn't parenthood fun?" and then if pressed, focus on a feature, long fingers, tiny ears, so much hair, etc. There are ways stroking the new parent's ego without telling them that their baby looks like Yoda.

But on the other hand, the new parent can be proud and show pictures, but it is pushing a little far to demand an answer. They need to remember that when demanding an answer like that, they might not like the answer that they get!
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: ------ on January 20, 2015, 03:45:45 PM
I don't know, it doesn't bother me to give a complement to someone; I can always find something positive or at least neutral to reference.  What personally bothers me is the interruption and demand for attention that I object to. 

In the situation the OP described, if I were in the position of the woman at the lunch table, I would have figured my response of smiling and handing the phone back was enough.  The way I read it, it seemed to me that the issue of whether the baby was cute or not is moot; the woman was annoyed at being interrupted and told that her response wasn't "good enough."

That's just my interpretation, though.  I just think what the New Mom did was disruptive behavior, and hope that this was a one-off, and not typical behavior, because then that could be a problem.  The baby, imho, is a non-issue.  It could have been anything she was proud of/excited about: new car, new outfit, vacation photos, whatever.  Her behavior is what I'm concerned about, and I can see how irritating it would be to others.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: Sharnita on January 20, 2015, 03:46:17 PM
Lots of response options:
"You must be missing him already."
"Look at that hair!"
"How is he sleeping?"
"Those cheeks!"
"He's going to be happy to see you."
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: doodlemor on January 20, 2015, 03:52:25 PM
"Breathtaking" (Seinfeld moment). And, well, it's not only cute things that take your breath away ;) >:D.

At least the other lady didn't react the way Kramer did when he saw the breathtaking baby.  I think that other lady was quite unkind.  Everyone is always so proud and excited to show off their babies - it wouldn't have hurt her to play along and say something nice about the child. 
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: poundcake on January 20, 2015, 04:03:02 PM
My group of close friends had an outspoken agreement that we would not lie and tell the others that their babies were not ugly if they were ugly. Sadly, several of them ended up having ridiculously cute-to-beautiful babies and spoiled all our fun. We do still totally make fun of them (the kids, that is), though. And a couple were the first to say, "Guys, no. S/he's not beautiful. S/he looks like an alien."
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: LonniesMom on January 20, 2015, 04:04:10 PM
"Breathtaking" (Seinfeld moment). And, well, it's not only cute things that take your breath away ;) >:D.

At least the other lady didn't react the way Kramer did when he saw the breathtaking baby.  I think that other lady was quite unkind.  Everyone is always so proud and excited to show off their babies - it wouldn't have hurt her to play along and say something nice about the child. 

Exactly. How hard is it to just say something kind about the child. If the woman persists, one can say "Mary, your baby is adorable but we must get back to work now!"
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: dawbs on January 20, 2015, 04:12:16 PM
My group of close friends had an outspoken agreement that we would not lie and tell the others that their babies were not ugly if they were ugly. Sadly, several of them ended up having ridiculously cute-to-beautiful babies and spoiled all our fun. We do still totally make fun of them (the kids, that is), though. And a couple were the first to say, "Guys, no. S/he's not beautiful. S/he looks like an alien."
I'll just leave this here:
http://www.pinterest.com/pin/74942781271531146/

Because I have no idea what my kid actually looks like :)
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: Hmmmmm on January 20, 2015, 04:19:06 PM
Lots of response options:
"You must be missing him already."
"Look at that hair!"
"How is he sleeping?"
"Those cheeks!"
"He's going to be happy to see you."

Agreeing with this. Social contract says you say something nice about a baby.

The easiest "Oh my, you must be so proud!"
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: Lynn2000 on January 20, 2015, 04:23:02 PM
It's a very awkward situation. I do agree with mrkitty that the baby is kind of a red herring, and it's obnoxious of New Mom to interrupt someone's conversation and lunch break to shove a photo in their face and demand a response.

On the other hand, I wonder if the whole thing would have been over with faster and smoother if the other person had just said, "You must be so proud!" or something else that acknowledged New Mom in a positive way. Even if there's a backstory of New Mom being obnoxious about other things, you don't really come off well by refusing to say something positive about her new baby. Sometimes we just say the expedient thing to get people to leave us alone, you know?
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: rose red on January 20, 2015, 04:23:27 PM
My group of close friends had an outspoken agreement that we would not lie and tell the others that their babies were not ugly if they were ugly. Sadly, several of them ended up having ridiculously cute-to-beautiful babies and spoiled all our fun. We do still totally make fun of them (the kids, that is), though. And a couple were the first to say, "Guys, no. S/he's not beautiful. S/he looks like an alien."
I'll just leave this here:
http://www.pinterest.com/pin/74942781271531146/

Because I have no idea what my kid actually looks like :)

According to my mother who loves to tell this story of when I was born, my (evil) grandmother took one look and laughed.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: menley on January 20, 2015, 04:37:13 PM
To be perfectly honest, most newborns look like wrinkly aliens to me. There are very, very few that I find objectively beautiful, at least until they reach about 6 weeks. But it's not hard at all to find something to say, like many previous posters have suggested.

Still, I think I agree with the previous poster who wanted to know how often the new mom has done this. I would be really annoyed to have to stop my conversation on a daily basis to coo over someone's baby.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: Kiwipinball on January 20, 2015, 04:46:25 PM
Questioned coworker looked at the picture and smiled.  To me, this is a response.  It is both complete and polite.   The New Mom's actions were obnoxious.  I wouldn't have wanted to engage her any further than a polite smile.

I agree. That's exactly what I was thinking. Especially when there were two of them and one already said something. I think a smile says a lot (or should say a lot). I think she thought she had responded adequately and wasn't refusing to say something nice, but just happened to not say something, especially given nice comments had already been made.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: Ceallach on January 20, 2015, 04:54:47 PM
To be perfectly honest, most newborns look like wrinkly aliens to me. There are very, very few that I find objectively beautiful, at least until they reach about 6 weeks. But it's not hard at all to find something to say, like many previous posters have suggested.

Still, I think I agree with the previous poster who wanted to know how often the new mom has done this. I would be really annoyed to have to stop my conversation on a daily basis to coo over someone's baby.

My son was a cute baby from birth.  But my daughter - phew she was ugly!!   She looked like a mini jabba the hut.   Four months on and she's turned into the most gorgeous little girl with the sweetest dimple when she smiles, she's quite the charmer and really is super cute now.   But those first couple of weeks I felt like rolling my eyes at my friends who would say "Oh she's just gorgeous!"  because I'd much rather have a sincere compliment than gushing.    Of course I adored my baby, but I wasn't blind!   There were many other great things to say about her - she's such a good sleeper!  Look at that hair colour is it ginger?   Oh those tiny feet and toes, so sweet!    But I guess some people lack imagination.    ;D

So yes I'm agreeing with PPs that there's always *something* sincere one can say.

On the other hand, the mother is absurd going around soliciting compliments this way.   I might make a comment the first time but after that I'd be tempted to use silence just because how many times can you keep pandering to that desperation for validation?  Particularly at work when busy!
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: JeanFromBNA on January 20, 2015, 05:16:22 PM
What's your objective here: To tell the Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth, or to get rid of her and get back to work?  How hard is it to do a quick look, gush, and beandip?  Not every question is literal, and not everyone really wants your honest opinion.  Sorry!

But I would have been hard pressed to hide the gobsmacked look if she told me the kid's name was "King Midas."  Please tell me that's not true.  :o  Or that baby is really an AKC Golden Retriever.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: cross_patch on January 20, 2015, 05:28:04 PM
I don't find silence to be rude at all. There's nothing in etiquette that requires us to respond to every demand made of us. Not the beggar on the street, and not the new mom in the kitchen.

I might respond to "Well?" with "Well, what?" and to "LOOK" with "I did." With a totally bored, zero-affect. I can gush over babies, but not if someone demands it.

I do think it's rude to not answer a question directly asked of us.  "Isn't he adorable?" is still a question, regardless of how annoying it is or how rude of New Mom it is to impose baby gawking on her coworkers.  To just not say anything in return, when a simple "Congratulations" will diffuse the situation, seems to do nothing but make an awkward situation more awkward.

Yeah, I actually think that's super rude. I really don't think *everything* needs to be turned into a stand off. She's just being enthusiastic, admittedly in an irritating way but why can't you just suck it up and just say 'oh, adorable'.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: Mrs. Tilney on January 20, 2015, 05:58:36 PM
What's your objective here: To tell the Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth, or to get rid of her and get back to work?  How hard is it to do a quick look, gush, and beandip?  Not every question is literal, and not everyone really wants your honest opinion.  Sorry!

The problem with this attitude is that it just encourages the new mother to continue forcing pictures of her child onto coworkers. If I play along once, how many more times am I going to have to see pictures of this baby? A nice smile seems like enough, to me.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: ------ on January 20, 2015, 05:59:34 PM
I don't find silence to be rude at all. There's nothing in etiquette that requires us to respond to every demand made of us. Not the beggar on the street, and not the new mom in the kitchen.

I might respond to "Well?" with "Well, what?" and to "LOOK" with "I did." With a totally bored, zero-affect. I can gush over babies, but not if someone demands it.

I do think it's rude to not answer a question directly asked of us.  "Isn't he adorable?" is still a question, regardless of how annoying it is or how rude of New Mom it is to impose baby gawking on her coworkers.  To just not say anything in return, when a simple "Congratulations" will diffuse the situation, seems to do nothing but make an awkward situation more awkward.

Yeah, I actually think that's super rude. I really don't think *everything* needs to be turned into a stand off. She's just being enthusiastic, admittedly in an irritating way but why can't you just suck it up and just say 'oh, adorable'.

Once? Twice? Sure, I'll play, for the sake of office harmony and to get her off my back.  But if it keeps happening, then, no, I'm not rewarding that.  Now, the OP never said whether it was a one time thing or happens frequently.  If it's a one time thing, then sure, say something nice and get on with your day.  But if this is the fifth time the woman has interrupted your conversation/work/phone call/activity/whatever, then I don't think it's inappropriate to say "knock it off," or, failing that, not responding, or more specifically, not responding the way she wants.

But really, this woman is going to another department to solicit complements for her baby? Seriously? Were I her supervisor, I'd be wondering about her work getting done, and whether she's interrupting the work of others....
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: ------ on January 20, 2015, 06:00:17 PM
What's your objective here: To tell the Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth, or to get rid of her and get back to work?  How hard is it to do a quick look, gush, and beandip?  Not every question is literal, and not everyone really wants your honest opinion.  Sorry!

The problem with this attitude is that it just encourages the new mother to continue forcing pictures of her child onto coworkers. If I play along once, how many more times am I going to have to see pictures of this baby? A nice smile seems like enough, to me.

Well stated. Exactly. Don't reward obnoxious behavior.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: Sharnita on January 20, 2015, 06:01:20 PM
What's your objective here: To tell the Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth, or to get rid of her and get back to work?  How hard is it to do a quick look, gush, and beandip?  Not every question is literal, and not everyone really wants your honest opinion.  Sorry!

The problem with this attitude is that it just encourages the new mother to continue forcing pictures of her child onto coworkers. If I play along once, how many more times am I going to have to see pictures of this baby? A nice smile seems like enough, to me.
Well, that strategy doesn't seem to be working too well. Now you are a challenge and she doesn't want to give up. Once she has "won" and admiring word she can move on. You can make it a battle of wills but those usually turn into really long wars.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: ------ on January 20, 2015, 06:04:25 PM
What's your objective here: To tell the Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth, or to get rid of her and get back to work?  How hard is it to do a quick look, gush, and beandip?  Not every question is literal, and not everyone really wants your honest opinion.  Sorry!

The problem with this attitude is that it just encourages the new mother to continue forcing pictures of her child onto coworkers. If I play along once, how many more times am I going to have to see pictures of this baby? A nice smile seems like enough, to me.
Well, that strategy doesn't seem to be working too well. Now you are a challenge and she doesn't want to give up. Once she has "won" and admiring word she can move on. You can make it a battle of wills but those usually turn into really long wars.

Seriously? This is an office. A place of business. Instead of being polite and asking someone if they would like to see the picture, she busts in on a conversation and demands cooing over her picture?  When on this board do we ever encourage people to tolerate rude/obnoxious behavior? Is this any different than standing there silently when someone cuts in front of us in a line? Because I think they are the same level of rudeness.

And in an office setting, I think it's particularly obnoxious to go from cube to cube, to people you may not even know (different department) to interrupt their work to demand attention. Rude, rude, rude.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: Sharnita on January 20, 2015, 06:11:19 PM
What's your objective here: To tell the Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth, or to get rid of her and get back to work?  How hard is it to do a quick look, gush, and beandip?  Not every question is literal, and not everyone really wants your honest opinion.  Sorry!

The problem with this attitude is that it just encourages the new mother to continue forcing pictures of her child onto coworkers. If I play along once, how many more times am I going to have to see pictures of this baby? A nice smile seems like enough, to me.
Well, that strategy doesn't seem to be working too well. Now you are a challenge and she doesn't want to give up. Once she has "won" and admiring word she can move on. You can make it a battle of wills but those usually turn into really long wars.

Seriously? This is an office. A place of business. Instead of being polite and asking someone if they would like to see the picture, she busts in on a conversation and demands cooing over her picture?  When on this board do we ever encourage people to tolerate rude/obnoxious behavior? Is this any different than standing there silently when someone cuts in front of us in a line? Because I think they are the same level of rudeness.

And in an office setting, I think it's particularly obnoxious to go from cube to cube, to people you may not even know (different department) to interrupt their work to demand attention. Rude, rude, rude.

I am indeed serious. The people in line are not people I need to spend hours, days, weeks, years with. In most workplaces I benefit from contributing to pleasant or at least tolerant relationships. If I cut somebody off at the knees, it makes it awkward for everybody from then on. So an innocuous pleasant comment about a baby who hasn't transgressed against me certainly serves me better than scoring points against a coworker.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: kategillian on January 20, 2015, 06:16:50 PM
Oh, for the love of Pete. How hard is it to say, oh my goodness, what a beautiful bundle of love! Oh My heavens, I want to bite his toes! He's the most specialist cutest fluffernutter on the face of the earth! Come on now people, this may seem like a sarcastic post, but I'm serious. Babies are all beautiful.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: kategillian on January 20, 2015, 06:21:44 PM


Still, I y.

My son was a cute baby from birth.  But my daughter - phew she was ugly!!   She looked like a mini jabba the hut.   Four months on and she's turned into the most gorgeous little girl with the sweetest dimple when she smiles, she's quite the charmer and really is super cute now.   But those first couple of weeks I felt like rolling my eyes at my friends who would say "Oh she's just gorgeous!"  because I'd much rather have a sincere compliment than gushing.    Of course I adored my baby, but I wasn't blind!   There were many other great things to say about her - she's such a good sleeper!  Look at that hair colour is it ginger?   Oh those tiny feet and toes, so sweet!    But I guess some people lack imagination.    ;D

S

Um, I don't think we lack imagination, I think a lot of people would find it offensive if we say they think their baby is ugly but a good sleeper. Or, your baby looks like Jabba the Hut, but I bet she has a good appetite!  Again, all babies are beantiful.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: ------ on January 20, 2015, 06:22:07 PM
I don't think this is about "scoring points."  I think everyone has a responsibility to contribute to office harmony, and I think the woman interrupting people incessantly is responsible for contributing to office disharmony.

I'm sure that the person in question isn't begrudging the baby.  True, the baby hasn't committed any transgressions against anyone, but the mother is.

Were it me in the situation, if I were in the middle of a conversation with a coworker and was interrupted, I'd be slightly annoyed.  I'd probably smile and hand the phone back, not because of what I thought or didn't think about the baby, but just out of confusion and being surprised/thrown off.  It wouldn't be about the baby, but about my *personal* reaction to being interrupted mid-sentence.   If the woman reacted by demanding I coo about her picture, I'd be confused and flummoxed, and my response would probably be "what? Huh? Okay, your baby is gorgeous," and then get back to my conversation and hope the interruption is over.

If it happens subsequent times, then office harmony will certainly NOT be achieved, I can guarantee that.


Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: Two Ravens on January 20, 2015, 06:31:48 PM
I was just in the kitchenette washing my dishes and New Mom walked over to two ladies having their lunch.  She pulls out her phone with, “look at my baby!  isn’t he adorable?”.  One lady says, “ohh . . . nice . . . aww”.  The other lady looked at the phone, smiled and handed it back.  New Mom said, “well?”  New Mom then put the phone to the other lady’s face and said, “LOOK!”.  It was an uncomfortable moment.  I would imagine the other lady didn’t find the baby adorable and didn’t want to say so, so she didn’t say anything.

Is it rude to remain silent when asked this question?  How about just a small smile and beandip?  Or do you just say yes even if you don’t agree?

I think it would be incredibly rude and insulting not to say anything. In fact, I would think less of a person who couldn't drum up something nice to say about someone's baby.

If she wanted to shut New Mom down, she could have said bluntly "Sorry, I don't have time to look at pics" or "I saw them yesterday" or "Sorry, do I know you?" or whatever. No need to bring the baby into it at all.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: ------ on January 20, 2015, 06:39:54 PM
If I were New Mom's supervisor, she'd be written up for not performing her duties as assigned and for disrupting the work of others.  Unless her job description states that her job is to spend the day going from department to department showing her baby pictures, she is not performing her job and is being disruptive, and potentially harassing co-workers.  I'm sorry, but shoving something into someone's face is disruptive and possibly harassing. 

This is an office, not a social club or baby shower.  She does not have a business need to shove her photos (or any other object) in the face of others.  At the very least, she could ask if someone would like to see her pictures.

She needs to be written up. 
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: GreenEyedHawk on January 20, 2015, 07:03:43 PM
Questioned coworker looked at the picture and smiled.  To me, this is a response.  It is both complete and polite.   The New Mom's actions were obnoxious.  I wouldn't have wanted to engage her any further than a polite smile.

I agree. That's exactly what I was thinking. Especially when there were two of them and one already said something. I think a smile says a lot (or should say a lot). I think she thought she had responded adequately and wasn't refusing to say something nice, but just happened to not say something, especially given nice comments had already been made.

I'm in this camp too... my reaction would be about the same as Questioned Coworker's...I understand why people get worked up about babies and I definitely understand that a new mom is going to be enthralled with her new baby, but to me babies are all about as distinct as loaves of bread.  (I could find differences if I looked long enough, but they're all generally the same to me.)   I can look at a baby picture with a nod and a polite smile, but   I Can 't gush. it feels fake.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: EllenS on January 20, 2015, 07:06:27 PM
If I were New Mom's supervisor, she'd be written up for not performing her duties as assigned and for disrupting the work of others.  Unless her job description states that her job is to spend the day going from department to department showing her baby pictures, she is not performing her job and is being disruptive, and potentially harassing co-workers.  I'm sorry, but shoving something into someone's face is disruptive and possibly harassing. 

This is an office, not a social club or baby shower.  She does not have a business need to shove her photos (or any other object) in the face of others.  At the very least, she could ask if someone would like to see her pictures.

She needs to be written up. 

Really? In the kitchenette while the other workers were heating up lunch?

Yes, she was rude but to not say anything is like spitting in her eye. Why escalate the rudeness just to make a point?

"Precious." All babies are precious, no matter what they look like.
"Aww, bless" is also good. Then you can beandip. It certainly doesn't take any longer than having a stare-off.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: Sharnita on January 20, 2015, 07:08:55 PM
If I were New Mom's supervisor, she'd be written up for not performing her duties as assigned and for disrupting the work of others.  Unless her job description states that her job is to spend the day going from department to department showing her baby pictures, she is not performing her job and is being disruptive, and potentially harassing co-workers.  I'm sorry, but shoving something into someone's face is disruptive and possibly harassing. 

This is an office, not a social club or baby shower.  She does not have a business need to shove her photos (or any other object) in the face of others.  At the very least, she could ask if someone would like to see her pictures.

She needs to be written up. 

Really? In the kitchenette while the other workers were heating up lunch?

Yes, she was rude but to not say anything is like spitting in her eye. Why escalate the rudeness just to make a point?

"Precious." All babies are precious, no matter what they look like.
"Aww, bless" is also good. Then you can beandip. It certainly doesn't take any longer than having a stare-off.

Not to mention that writing up employees every time they have any sort of non-work related conversation seems really unrealistic.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: Bales on January 20, 2015, 07:22:59 PM
I'm really surprised at the responses saying the smiling woman was rude for not complimenting the baby, as if an appreciative smile is not adequate.  It really feels like folks think she was insulting the baby somehow? It's not like she gave a disgusted look and called the baby ugly for goodness sake. 

Why does this person deserve more than perfunctory politeness (and a pass for her own rude behavior)  just because she has a baby?  How do you know that woman didn't have other things going on and a smile was all she could muster so she wouldn't cry?  And even if not the case, I still don't think she was rude in the slightest. 

Could she have said, "How nice" as she handed the phone back?  Sure, but perhaps she didn't feel she needed to add anything more.  Sounds to me like this mom just wanted everyone to gush over her "achievement" (that's how it comes across to me) and there's no social contract I signed that says I have to feed into that. 
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: Two Ravens on January 20, 2015, 07:26:59 PM
I don't think any kind of smile is an adequate response to a direct question, be it "Isn’t He Adorable? " or "How are you?" or "Do you have the time?"
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: ------ on January 20, 2015, 07:27:32 PM
Spending the day going from department to department, interrupting employees working? Disturbing someone at lunch having a private conversation? Not doing one's job, but walking around doing irrelevant and non-pertinent things?

I am looking at the pattern of behavior, not one specific indecent.  Having a private social interaction where both parties willing participate is not worthy of writing someone up.  But a pattern of disruptive behavior is.

In a social interaction, I would have no problem saying "aww, how cute."  But that's not what this is about, at least to me.  Clearly, the woman who was interrupted was uncomfortable, and her response clearly indicated that. 

If you spend all day going from one department to another and not doing your job, and disrupting other people, and you can be heard from several aisles away while you do it...yes, you need to be given a warning.  This is not appropriate behavior, nor is it professional, nor remotely polite.

Talking to someone who wants to talk to you in the breakroom? Fine.  But this was not a two-sided interaction where both parties were willing partipants.  People do have a right to do their work, or have a conversation, or eat their lunch, or do whatever they want/need to do without having phones put in their faces.  That is crossing a line.  So is forcing (or trying to force) other people to do something they don't want to do.  The baby is a red herring.  It has nothing to do with this.

Irritating colleagues is disruptive, and is not acceptable.  If I were a co-worker of this woman, I wouldn't go out of my way to report it...but if I were her manager and witnessed it...there would definitely be a conversation about this, and a verbal warning, documented.

Nobody owes anyone any compliments.  Going around soliciting them is tacky.  Interrupting someone is rude. Shoving an object in someone's face is actionable.  And in my professional circles, disrupting someone on deadline when they're working to get an assignment done* is a terminable offense.

*Granted, OP did not mention that co-workers were on a deadline, but the implication is that people in their cubicles (who were, I hope, doing actual work) and that New Mom was interrupting what they were doing.  Maybe most people don't mind, and I personally wouldn't, but if I were on deadline and taken away from what I was doing for anything less than a medical/criminal/bomb scare emergency to look at (anything not related to what I need to get done) then there would be words.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: bah12 on January 20, 2015, 07:31:27 PM
I have learned in life that immediately trying to cut off unpleasant (to me) behavior the second I experience it, does nothing but cause more problems.  Yes, New Mom seems annoying.  Yes, it's possible that she's going to show you another picture of her baby at some point.  So what?  Not saying anything to her certainly didn't make her go away this time and I doubt that saying "Hey, your baby is not cute and I don't want to look at it" will do much good either. 

We don't always have to be right and we don't always have to call out bad behavior for fear that it will perpetuate.  Someone shows me a picture of a baby I say "Oh, cute!"  If they assume that I then want to see more and I don't, it's not that hard to say "He's adorable, but I don't have time to talk right now.  I'm in the middle of something else." 

I think anyone can expect that a new mom might trip up and overly gush about her baby and want to talk about her baby.  She's human. I've definitely tolerated annoying behavior from someone that was a little over excited about something and am pretty sure that I've probably been over excited about something before and unintentionally annoyed someone else.  I would think far less of a person who couldn't muster up enough compassion to throw out a "so adorable!"than I ever would about a new mother, who is maybe too annoying when it comes to talking about her baby.   This is not the time to right the annoying wrong
.

I'm really surprised at the responses saying the smiling woman was rude for not complimenting the baby, as if an appreciative smile is not adequate.  It really feels like folks think she was insulting the baby somehow? It's not like she gave a disgusted look and called the baby ugly for goodness sake. 

Why does this person deserve more than perfunctory politeness (and a pass for her own rude behavior)  just because she has a baby?  How do you know that woman didn't have other things going on and a smile was all she could muster so she wouldn't cry?  And even if not the case, I still don't think she was rude in the slightest. 

Could she have said, "How nice" as she handed the phone back?  Sure, but perhaps she didn't feel she needed to add anything more.  Sounds to me like this mom just wanted everyone to gush over her "achievement" (that's how it comes across to me) and there's no social contract I signed that says I have to feed into that. 

I think she was rude because she was asked a direct question and did not answer it.  Smiling is not an answer.  I'm sure there could be circumstances that would make her silence understandable and passable, but that doesn't mean that it's ok to not answer a question.  I mostly disagree with those that say that she was justified not to answer the question because New Mom was wrong for asking it.  It's retaliatory rudeness and it also smells of "I need to teach you a lesson"...neither of which I think is ok.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: EllenS on January 20, 2015, 08:04:29 PM
Like most things in etiquette/human behavior, it's not just about the principle. It's also about what works.

If it's obvious that NewMom wants compliments, the quickest way to get rid of her is to punch that ticket so she will go away. It's one day we're talking about.

And really, from a management perspective what is going to cause more disruption/loss of morale (especially if it's a heavily-female work environment)? Letting NewMom have a day to gush, or get all righteous and write her up? Coming down heavy on her is just more time lost, and fodder for gossip.

The other women who work in that department are going to remember if management blasts a new mom on her first day back from maternity leave. If a valued worker is teetering on the edge of deciding whether to stay home or not, management being unfriendly to work-life balance could be the deciding factor. Bad for retention.

In any event, yes I think a wordless smile in response to a baby picture is rude because it heavily implies that the person can't think of one single nice thing to say about the baby. Which is pretty insulting.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: cross_patch on January 20, 2015, 08:14:37 PM
Spending the day going from department to department, interrupting employees working? Disturbing someone at lunch having a private conversation? Not doing one's job, but walking around doing irrelevant and non-pertinent things?

I am looking at the pattern of behavior, not one specific indecent.  Having a private social interaction where both parties willing participate is not worthy of writing someone up.  But a pattern of disruptive behavior is.

In a social interaction, I would have no problem saying "aww, how cute."  But that's not what this is about, at least to me.  Clearly, the woman who was interrupted was uncomfortable, and her response clearly indicated that. 

If you spend all day going from one department to another and not doing your job, and disrupting other people, and you can be heard from several aisles away while you do it...yes, you need to be given a warning.  This is not appropriate behavior, nor is it professional, nor remotely polite.

Talking to someone who wants to talk to you in the breakroom? Fine.  But this was not a two-sided interaction where both parties were willing partipants.  People do have a right to do their work, or have a conversation, or eat their lunch, or do whatever they want/need to do without having phones put in their faces.  That is crossing a line.  So is forcing (or trying to force) other people to do something they don't want to do.  The baby is a red herring.  It has nothing to do with this.

Irritating colleagues is disruptive, and is not acceptable.  If I were a co-worker of this woman, I wouldn't go out of my way to report it...but if I were her manager and witnessed it...there would definitely be a conversation about this, and a verbal warning, documented.

Nobody owes anyone any compliments.  Going around soliciting them is tacky.  Interrupting someone is rude. Shoving an object in someone's face is actionable.  And in my professional circles, disrupting someone on deadline when they're working to get an assignment done* is a terminable offense.

*Granted, OP did not mention that co-workers were on a deadline, but the implication is that people in their cubicles (who were, I hope, doing actual work) and that New Mom was interrupting what they were doing.  Maybe most people don't mind, and I personally wouldn't, but if I were on deadline and taken away from what I was doing for anything less than a medical/criminal/bomb scare emergency to look at (anything not related to what I need to get done) then there would be words.

Honestly, this is just ridiculous speculation. No one said anything about deadlines, and this is just normal office interaction.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: TeamBhakta on January 20, 2015, 08:20:52 PM
Did she also go around the office after getting married and push for "don't you think my man is hot" ?
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: ------ on January 20, 2015, 08:24:02 PM
Spending the day going from department to department, interrupting employees working? Disturbing someone at lunch having a private conversation? Not doing one's job, but walking around doing irrelevant and non-pertinent things?

I am looking at the pattern of behavior, not one specific indecent.  Having a private social interaction where both parties willing participate is not worthy of writing someone up.  But a pattern of disruptive behavior is.

In a social interaction, I would have no problem saying "aww, how cute."  But that's not what this is about, at least to me.  Clearly, the woman who was interrupted was uncomfortable, and her response clearly indicated that. 

If you spend all day going from one department to another and not doing your job, and disrupting other people, and you can be heard from several aisles away while you do it...yes, you need to be given a warning.  This is not appropriate behavior, nor is it professional, nor remotely polite.

Talking to someone who wants to talk to you in the breakroom? Fine.  But this was not a two-sided interaction where both parties were willing partipants.  People do have a right to do their work, or have a conversation, or eat their lunch, or do whatever they want/need to do without having phones put in their faces.  That is crossing a line.  So is forcing (or trying to force) other people to do something they don't want to do.  The baby is a red herring.  It has nothing to do with this.

Irritating colleagues is disruptive, and is not acceptable.  If I were a co-worker of this woman, I wouldn't go out of my way to report it...but if I were her manager and witnessed it...there would definitely be a conversation about this, and a verbal warning, documented.

Nobody owes anyone any compliments.  Going around soliciting them is tacky.  Interrupting someone is rude. Shoving an object in someone's face is actionable.  And in my professional circles, disrupting someone on deadline when they're working to get an assignment done* is a terminable offense.

*Granted, OP did not mention that co-workers were on a deadline, but the implication is that people in their cubicles (who were, I hope, doing actual work) and that New Mom was interrupting what they were doing.  Maybe most people don't mind, and I personally wouldn't, but if I were on deadline and taken away from what I was doing for anything less than a medical/criminal/bomb scare emergency to look at (anything not related to what I need to get done) then there would be words.

Honestly, this is just ridiculous speculation. No one said anything about deadlines, and this is just normal office interaction.

There is nothing ridiculous about getting work done (and on time).  Deadlines are not part of a professional office environment? Crosspatch, I don't think it is at all ridiculous to speculate that not everyone likes to be disturbed when they're working, or interrupted when they're having a private conversation.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: Sharnita on January 20, 2015, 08:28:54 PM
There didn't seem to be anything about her spending the day doing this. There was nothing about going from department to department (no indication there ARE multiple departments). Adding that to the narrative as if it is fact does seem a bit - OTT if "ridiculous" makes you uncomfortable.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: rose red on January 20, 2015, 08:34:42 PM
While it may be annoying and she may be interrupting, going from cubicle to cubicle doesn't mean she spent all day doing it and neglecting her job. Also, being back from leave and showing pictures doesn't mean that this behavior has been a pattern. I, for one, have visited coworkers with non-work related stuff. So have all my coworkers. So has my boss. If she is bothering you, speak up and tell her you have to get back to work, but I can still understand her being excited to be back at work and showing off her baby.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: TaterTot on January 20, 2015, 08:36:45 PM
This morning, a lady from the neighboring department (New Mom) returned to the office from mat-leave.  She has been going on a cubicle-by-cubicle circuit showing pics of newborn “King Midas” (yup).  She can be heard from several aisles over stating he has the golden touch, that he is extra special and he is THE most adorable baby ever.  I personally have not seen the pics.

I was just in the kitchenette washing my dishes and New Mom walked over to two ladies having their lunch.  She pulls out her phone with, “look at my baby!  isn’t he adorable?”.  One lady says, “ohh . . . nice . . . aww”.  The other lady looked at the phone, smiled and handed it back.  New Mom said, “well?”  New Mom then put the phone to the other lady’s face and said, “LOOK!”.  It was an uncomfortable moment.  I would imagine the other lady didn’t find the baby adorable and didn’t want to say so, so she didn’t say anything.

Is it rude to remain silent when asked this question?  How about just a small smile and beandip?  Or do you just say yes even if you don’t agree?

Ugh. I see a special snowflake in-the-making.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: TaterTot on January 20, 2015, 08:39:23 PM
Did she also go around the office after getting married and push for "don't you think my man is hot" ?

Or going around the office with her wedding pictures and asking "Wasn't I the most beautiful bride ever?" :P
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: ------ on January 20, 2015, 08:41:58 PM
Actually, the OP said New Mom was from another department.  What about that statement indicates that she didn't go to another department to solicit compliments? Or have I suddenly forgotten to read English?

What is OTT about expressing the opinion that people should be working instead of putting one's phone to co-worker's faces (from another department)? 

Maybe she didn't spend all day doing this.  But maybe she did.  I know one thing - going from cubicle to cubicle and into another department to do this sounds like while she was doing it, she wasn't working.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: Sharnita on January 20, 2015, 08:47:08 PM
Actually, the OP said New Mom was from another department.  What about that statement indicates that she didn't go to another department to solicit compliments? Or have I suddenly forgotten to read English?

What is OTT about expressing the opinion that people should be working instead of putting one's phone to co-worker's faces (from another department)? 

Maybe she didn't spend all day doing this.  But maybe she did.  I know one thing - going from cubicle to cubicle and into another department to do this sounds like while she was doing it, she wasn't working.

Maybe she was twirling a flaming baton. Yet I don't think I will assume that she was.

My guess is that she is entitled to a break sometime during the work day. It seems pretty feasible that she is allowed a few minutes somewhere in her day to do something other than her job. I kind of doubt that even you have managed to be entirely productive every second you are at work.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: Bales on January 20, 2015, 08:52:10 PM
For me, the question isn't whether it was rude for her to not directly answer the question aloud as it was acknowledged and a response provided.  Body language and gestures are communication tools; a nod, thumbs up, or extended middle finger all convey specific meaning within a culture. 

I'm imagining two women sitting there having lunch when a work acquaintance comes up and interrupts their conversation.  The "question" is asked of both women eating lunch in general and while the phone is being passed from one to the other, one answers out loud while the other just smiles in agreement and continues passing the phone back.  Then the new mom goes even more overboard pushing the phone in the other woman's face and raising her voice (caps were used in the OP implying shouting.)

I'm not paying attention to it being a baby at all - it could have been a new skirt she wore that day or a new paint swatch of a color she was considering for her living room.  Would everyone be so adamant that the person rudely interrupting a private conversation deserved more of a response from everyone at the table and was therefore herself treated rudely not to get a verbal response from both women?  What if it had been a table of 6 - was she tracking everyone's words? 

I guess I'm in the minority, but I do think the response given was adequate for the situation.  She wasn't shunned, ridiculed,  or called out for her rudeness in interrupting them.  And her reaction tells me she was likely obnoxious in the first place.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: rose red on January 20, 2015, 08:53:28 PM
Did she also go around the office after getting married and push for "don't you think my man is hot" ?

Or going around the office with her wedding pictures and asking "Wasn't I the most beautiful bride ever?" :P

Having a new baby is no proof she's this way. I don't know one new mother who doesn't think their baby is the most special/smartest/cutest* and want to show them off. Most calm down after a while and are not raising special snowflakes.

*I always secretly laugh because all my friends brag about how Junior learned this and that and how smart and advanced they are, but every single one of them are saying the exact same thing.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: Kimberami on January 20, 2015, 09:07:51 PM
I can come up with many reasons why Questioned Coworker smiled instead of responded.  I think this is the simplest one is:  What if Questioned Coworker had just taken a bite of food?  She was eating lunch at the time of the ambush.  She's chewing, and New Mom didn't even give her time to swallow and answer. 
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: Ceallach on January 20, 2015, 09:11:11 PM


Still, I y.

My son was a cute baby from birth.  But my daughter - phew she was ugly!!   She looked like a mini jabba the hut.   Four months on and she's turned into the most gorgeous little girl with the sweetest dimple when she smiles, she's quite the charmer and really is super cute now.   But those first couple of weeks I felt like rolling my eyes at my friends who would say "Oh she's just gorgeous!"  because I'd much rather have a sincere compliment than gushing.    Of course I adored my baby, but I wasn't blind!   There were many other great things to say about her - she's such a good sleeper!  Look at that hair colour is it ginger?   Oh those tiny feet and toes, so sweet!    But I guess some people lack imagination.    ;D


Um, I don't think we lack imagination, I think a lot of people would find it offensive if we say they think their baby is ugly but a good sleeper. Or, your baby looks like Jabba the Hut, but I bet she has a good appetite!  Again, all babies are beantiful.


You have missed the point of my post entirely.  My point is that if people don't want to say a baby is cute (because they are uncomfortable lying if they don't think that) then there are many other nice things they can truthfully say, it actually requires very little imagination to come up with an alternative compliment.   

Yes of course I would be offended if somebody told me my baby was ugly - that would be incredibly rude.  Polite people don't point out flaws like that, they find something nice to say instead.   "She has lovely eyes" would be a truthful compliment for example.    If you think "all babies are beantiful" then of course to ahead and say so, I'm sure the parents will love you for it, but we don't all have to agree.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: bopper on January 20, 2015, 09:17:09 PM
"So precious!"
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: cass2591 on January 20, 2015, 09:39:43 PM
Actually, the OP said New Mom was from another department.  What about that statement indicates that she didn't go to another department to solicit compliments? Or have I suddenly forgotten to read English?

What is OTT about expressing the opinion that people should be working instead of putting one's phone to co-worker's faces (from another department)? 

Maybe she didn't spend all day doing this.  But maybe she did.  I know one thing - going from cubicle to cubicle and into another department to do this sounds like while she was doing it, she wasn't working.

It's quite clear you haven't forgotten to read English. You have more than made your point clear to all, so I really think you should stop posting in this thread.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: gramma dishes on January 20, 2015, 09:53:25 PM
My mother, who thought 99.9% of all babies ever born were just the cutest, most adorable things ever, once used the phrase "Aww ...  That's SOME baby!"

But honestly, if some new mother I didn't even know (or barely knew) stuck a phone in my face I'd probably do just what the "other" woman here did.  I'd probably just smile and hand the phone back.  A smile is a way of speaking too.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: nolechica on January 20, 2015, 10:12:35 PM
A kind smile is the best you'll get from me over baby pics. I normally try never to see them/meet them at work.  Grandmothers are a bit more understanding than new mothers though.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: poundcake on January 21, 2015, 05:01:36 AM
I can come up with many reasons why Questioned Coworker smiled instead of responded.  I think this is the simplest one is:  What if Questioned Coworker had just taken a bite of food?  She was eating lunch at the time of the ambush.  She's chewing, and New Mom didn't even give her time to swallow and answer.

No kidding. Not everyone is going to want to comment positively on a new baby, for a variety of reasons, both innocuous and far-fetched. Maybe she hates babies. Maybe she thinks the baby is ugly, or looks like a friend's kid that she doesn't like. Maybe she's trying to have a baby and struggling, or just had a miscarriage, or just ended a relationship that she thought would lead to happily-ever-after-with-babies. Maybe she has twelve friends and relatives who have just had kids and is burnt out on showers and babies and pictures. Maybe she has issues eating in front of other people and is trying not to be painfully self-conscious about it. Maybe she didn't have her glasses on and didn't really see the picture. Maybe she had a pending migraine and looking at a phone screen wasn't possible. Maybe she found the question tacky and offensive, or too needy, or something, and was setting a personal boundary with communication by responding with a smile. Maybe- So what I'm saying is that no one is owed the same level of enthusiasm (or even enthusiasm at all) about something from everyone. That's also just not possible.

While I don't think this is a write-up-able offence or anything, I don't see anything wrong with a smile in response to this person demanding "Well?!" about her baby's adorableness.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: Jemima Puddleduck on January 21, 2015, 05:02:21 AM
If I were New Mom's supervisor, she'd be written up for not performing her duties as assigned and for disrupting the work of others.  Unless her job description states that her job is to spend the day going from department to department showing her baby pictures, she is not performing her job and is being disruptive, and potentially harassing co-workers.  I'm sorry, but shoving something into someone's face is disruptive and possibly harassing. 

This is an office, not a social club or baby shower.  She does not have a business need to shove her photos (or any other object) in the face of others.  At the very least, she could ask if someone would like to see her pictures.

She needs to be written up.

While I'm not a fan of babypushers, I think that's taking it a bit far. I haven't been on this board long, granted, but some of the workplaces described here seem utterly joyless. Are you not allowed to do or say anything that isn't work-related? How awful. People are not automatons.

And calling it harrassment is just ridiculous.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: TaurusGirl on January 21, 2015, 06:25:51 AM
I have to chime in on this one.

I'm a motorcycle enthusiast. If you get me going, I can talk about my bikes and riding for hours. I'll show you photos of me working on my bike, parts I've bought, and all sorts of ride-related stuff... and if you aren't interested, I can tell - and that's perfectly fine! I'll tone down my enthusiasm and move on.

No, I'm not saying babies are the same as motorcycles; I'm saying that not everyone is passionate about the same things. I don't care for babies, they all look the same to me, and I have zero interest in baby photos. I won't be rude about it, but a polite smile, maybe a nod, is all you'll get from me. Same as if you start talking about football or baseball or anything else I don't know about or am not interested in. There's absolutely nothing wrong with not being interested in someone else's passion/hobby/whatever.

Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: MrTango on January 21, 2015, 07:16:21 AM
If someone insisted that I actually comment on how adorable their baby/puppy/kitty/whatever was, I think my response would be something like "Yep, that's a baby/puppy/kitty/whatever."

What I'd want to say is, "No, I don't think your baby is cute or adorable.  Please leave me alone."
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: veryfluffy on January 21, 2015, 07:27:43 AM
Babies, particularly newborns, look extremely unappealing to me. I cannot think they are cute. If someone forces a picture at me, I will look toward, but not at, the photo, and (unless they are being really aggressive about it, in which case all bets are off), manage something along the lines of "Really sweet," but I will not feign enthusiasm -- I don't agree that there is any obligation to gush, and it only risks fostering a delusion that everyone is actually interested, resulting in more pictures being foisted again in future. If any more comment is demanded, I have been known to say, "Show me an update in about 18 years, and let me know how things work out."
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: Mustard on January 21, 2015, 07:32:54 AM
I think lots of people made the 'right' noises over my daughter, but the one I've remembered for some 35 years is 'what a beef-y baby!'
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: Hmmmmm on January 21, 2015, 07:39:16 AM
OP, how did the encounter end? You say the woman looked at the phone, smiled, and handed it back. Then pushy mom said "well" and shoved the phone back and said "LOOK". Did reserved co-worker respond then?
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: Winterlight on January 21, 2015, 07:48:00 AM
What's your objective here: To tell the Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth, or to get rid of her and get back to work?  How hard is it to do a quick look, gush, and beandip?  Not every question is literal, and not everyone really wants your honest opinion.  Sorry!

The problem with this attitude is that it just encourages the new mother to continue forcing pictures of her child onto coworkers. If I play along once, how many more times am I going to have to see pictures of this baby? A nice smile seems like enough, to me.
Well, that strategy doesn't seem to be working too well. Now you are a challenge and she doesn't want to give up. Once she has "won" and admiring word she can move on. You can make it a battle of wills but those usually turn into really long wars.

Seriously? This is an office. A place of business. Instead of being polite and asking someone if they would like to see the picture, she busts in on a conversation and demands cooing over her picture?  When on this board do we ever encourage people to tolerate rude/obnoxious behavior? Is this any different than standing there silently when someone cuts in front of us in a line? Because I think they are the same level of rudeness.

And in an office setting, I think it's particularly obnoxious to go from cube to cube, to people you may not even know (different department) to interrupt their work to demand attention. Rude, rude, rude.

I am indeed serious. The people in line are not people I need to spend hours, days, weeks, years with. In most workplaces I benefit from contributing to pleasant or at least tolerant relationships. If I cut somebody off at the knees, it makes it awkward for everybody from then on. So an innocuous pleasant comment about a baby who hasn't transgressed against me certainly serves me better than scoring points against a coworker.

I agree. I'm fine with a polite social lie, if you think babies are ugly, or a "What tiny fingers! So cute!"  or whatever floats your boat. I don't see this as a hill to die on. If she keeps it up for the next couple of years, maybe, but as it's her first day back, I'd let it go.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: Gyburc on January 21, 2015, 08:00:47 AM
I think I'm with Winterlight and the other PPs on this one. I agree that NewMom seems from the OP to be really very pushy, but since it's her first day back, I would give her a pass and make some polite comment. However, I'm not sure that Silent Lady did anything terribly wrong either...

I was thinking about this. I'm a first-time mother (Little G is 14 months old now) and I remember getting back to work last summer - everyone wanted to know how Little G was doing and see pictures, even the people who aren't really interested in babies. I answered the questions and showed pictures around, but I tried to make sure not to keep on doing it too long. Now I keep any updates for the people I know best, and the people who genuinely seem to want to know. But to start off with, it really did seem that people expected me to show the pics and tell the stories, and I think they would have been disappointed if I hadn't.

Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: Goog on January 21, 2015, 08:29:05 AM
I think NewMom was rude for shoving the phone in the coworker's face.  However, yes, I do think that coworker could have mitigated the damages by saying something verbal.

My impression?  NewMom hasn't been away from her baby, and is now going cold turkey.  She's compensating by forcing other people to talk about him, so she can still feel close to him even when he's not by her.  My own first thought was that she probably should have eased back into her work routine by starting with half-days or something.

I think NewMom still has baby-brain (where her world centers around her baby and she doesn't realize that not everyone feels the same way). And maybe, just maybe, depending on her family/friend situation, she got used to having a lot of attention because of the baby, and now she wants to make sure that attention continues so she's parading the photos around the office and is demanding accolades for producing this wonderful thing.  I could easily see how if you put those possibilities together, they add up to a  NewMom-Pushy-SS Coworker. 

OP, how was she after her first day back?  Did she get it out of her system?
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: KimodoDragon on January 21, 2015, 08:37:46 AM
OP, how did the encounter end? You say the woman looked at the phone, smiled, and handed it back. Then pushy mom said "well" and shoved the phone back and said "LOOK". Did reserved co-worker respond then?

OP here.

When New Mom held the phone to the other lady's face and said "LOOK", I turned my head, thinking wow.  I finished my dishes and walked out.  I didn't hear the other lady say anything to New Mom after the LOOK comment.

I have never interacted with her other than to say good morning or good night, so I don't know if this pushy behavior is the norm.   This morning, she had the entire left side of the kitchen counter taken up with her breast pump, carry bag, empty bottles and nipples, and a measuring cup.  She was talking to someone about how none of her girlfriends breastfeed and it is such a shame, even a working mother can do it.  The lady she was talking to asked if she breastfed with her 3 other children.  New Mom said no.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: Minmom3 on January 21, 2015, 08:49:36 AM
One of my former co-workers has a baby.  Baby looks a lot like daddy.  Baby is a girl.  Baby girl is not pretty at this time.  She does, however, consistently have a sweet smile on her face in the pictures, and she always looks like a really happy baby.  So, I always comment on what a sweet face she's got, or how happy she looks.  You (generic you) never want to be rude, and there ways to say something nice without breaking your moral bank!

OP's story has 2 issues - what to say about a baby you have no interest in, and what to do about an interruption forced by the picture holder.  Different responses are needed, and I think both need a delicate touch.  No need to burn bridges in the work place, after all.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: rose red on January 21, 2015, 10:12:29 AM
I read a few posts that suggest the new mother is going up to employees she barely knows. Since she haven't shoved her baby on the OP, perhaps she's only going around to people she *does* know (who here doesn't know people from other departments?) Annoying as she is, we are making a lot of negative assumptions about her. And I'm someone who can't stand and is very(!) bored talking to parents who has nothing/zero/zip/nada in their lives except their children.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: Thipu1 on January 21, 2015, 10:26:25 AM
I agree with the old, I believe Jewish, saying that all brides and all babies are beautiful.  Even if the child resembles W.C. Fields, there's nothing lost by saying something along the lines of, 'Aww!  God bless her!'

However, it can get annoying when new Moms (or Dads) act like rhe sun rises and sets on their little one.  The display of all the breastfeeding gear in the break room does seem a little overboard. 

Still, I don't think that silent co-worker did anything terribly wrong. 

Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: daen on January 21, 2015, 10:50:43 AM
Regardless of the circumstances under which New Mom is showing off pictures, and regardless of Silent Co-Worker's reasons for smiling and saying nothing, New Mom is rude for not accepting the smile as a response and moving on.

I would be quite taken aback to have anyone shove a phone in my face at any time and demand a response. I would find it understandable if it was, say, a significant other who was frustrated with me because I was avoiding acknowledging something impacting our relationship. But over a lack of comment on a co-worker's baby's picture? No.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: EllenS on January 21, 2015, 12:01:12 PM
...(snip)...This morning, she had the entire left side of the kitchen counter taken up with her breast pump, carry bag, empty bottles and nipples, and a measuring cup.  ...(snip)...

Well, was she actively washing it or unpacking things for the fridge, or just leaving it around? If she was using the kitchen counter and sink for the purpose they were intended (preparing and washing food-related items) then I don't see how this is a "display" as characterized by a pp. If she had eaten an extra-large salad for lunch and was washing the bowl, or was making a sandwich on the counter, she would have taken up just as much space.

If any of the employees have the right to use the breakroom to refrigerate/store food and wash dishes, then NewMom has just as much right to wash and store pump parts and milk. The fact that she is talking with the foolish zeal of a "new convert" is another matter.

If she was leaving it lying around so that nobody else could use the counter after she finished, then that is both inconsiderate and unhygenic (for the baby).
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: rose red on January 21, 2015, 12:20:02 PM
Another phase can be "You must be happy/thrilled/proud." That has nothing to do with the baby's appearance or how the speaker really feels about babies in general.

Although there's nothing wrong with just a smile. Like PPs said, there are those who may be trying to hold it together due to personal reasons.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: squashedfrog on January 21, 2015, 12:24:57 PM
Did she also go around the office after getting married and push for "don't you think my man is hot" ?

Actually there was a girl in my office when we were all in our early 20s who did exactly this, showing her large framed photo of him to everyone in the office and demanding "here he is! He's just do gorgeous isn't he? Isn't he just amazingly good looking??"

He wasn't though, he kinda looked like a grumpy potato with tattoos.  Apparently my answer "I'm sure you guys make a fab couple" meant I was "well jealous".  She was nuts.   
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: bah12 on January 21, 2015, 03:20:17 PM
OP, how did the encounter end? You say the woman looked at the phone, smiled, and handed it back. Then pushy mom said "well" and shoved the phone back and said "LOOK". Did reserved co-worker respond then?

OP here.

When New Mom held the phone to the other lady's face and said "LOOK", I turned my head, thinking wow.  I finished my dishes and walked out.  I didn't hear the other lady say anything to New Mom after the LOOK comment.

I have never interacted with her other than to say good morning or good night, so I don't know if this pushy behavior is the norm.   This morning, she had the entire left side of the kitchen counter taken up with her breast pump, carry bag, empty bottles and nipples, and a measuring cup.  She was talking to someone about how none of her girlfriends breastfeed and it is such a shame, even a working mother can do it.  The lady she was talking to asked if she breastfed with her 3 other children.  New Mom said no.

If you've never interacted with her before and she didn't "demand" that you look at pictures of her baby, I think it might be fair to say that she isn't expecting that *everyone* in the workplace feed her compliments.

As for using the kitchen counter for her pump, empty bottles, etc.  She does have a right to use the kitchen the same as everyone else.  She was in there at the time, so again, I think a fair assumption is that she was working with the items (washing them out, etc) and wasn't planning on leaving them there on display.  She was also having a private conversation with someone else.  I think we can all get annoyed and roll our eyes when we overhear a conversation where an opinion we don't agree with is expressed.  It doesn't mean she doesn't have the right to the conversation.

Honestly, New Mom sounds to me like any typical, excited, new mom freshly back at work from maternity Leave. I will give you that talk of baby, baby, baby, breast feeding, baby is annoying.  I will give you that interrupting another conversation to talk about baby is rude.  I still don't think that warrants rude behavior from others.  I know that many feel that a smile is an appropriate response to the question "Isn't he adorable?"  But unless that smile came with a head nod, I disagree.  Sure, there could be extenuating circumstances and especially if this person isn't one to often deliberately not answer questions, I would give her the benefit of the doubt.  However, for the purposes of this discussion, I think it's rude not to answer a direct question, even if the person that asked the question was, herself, rude first.  It's always better to respond to annoying/rude/unpleasant personalities with grace and kindness and I think that responding any other way is unnecessary. 
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: Happy2BCF on January 21, 2015, 03:22:22 PM
To the "isn't he adorable?" I would have whipped out my phone, found a picture of my dogs & said "now this is adorable!!".
Ask me politely if I'd like to see a picture of your kid & I may agree.   Shove a picture in my face demanding I call him/her adorable?  You're probably not going to like my answer.   Sorry, not everyone thinks babies are adorable nor do they want to see pictures of babies.

nolechica, I'll look for you next time I'm hiding out from babies in the office!!

Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: TheaterDiva1 on January 21, 2015, 04:01:37 PM
I get that it's annoying, but if she's just come back from maternity leave, this really isn't any different than coming back from vacation/honeymoon/getting engaged/any major life event. When I go engaged, I we around showing the ring to everyone. When I first adopted my cat as a kitten, I went around showing photos of her. After vacation, I happily showed photos and told stories to anyone who showed interest. That only lasted a day - two days, tops - before the excitement wore off. If this is a one-time thing with New Mother, let her have her day. If she's coming in every other day shoving new photos in people's faces, then THAT'S a problem and may need to be told directly that while her baby may be the center of her universe, it's not the center of anyone else's.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: Hillia on January 21, 2015, 04:17:40 PM
She's not asking for an objective judgement on her baby's attractiveness, she's asking g for you to share, for five seconds, in her excitement and happiness.  Yes, she's overstepping, but how awful would it be to utter two words before continuing with your day.  'Very cute!' is all you need to say.  If she persists, then sure, more definite measures are called for, but why are people so determined to treat her like some sort horrible pest who's ruining their day?  Just because something Kimi s technically right doesn't mean it's kind,and this is an act of kindness that takes literally seconds and costs nothing else.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: Alicia on January 21, 2015, 04:22:25 PM
My favorite answer.  " baby looks just like you"
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: Happy2BCF on January 21, 2015, 04:30:38 PM
She's not asking for an objective judgement on her baby's attractiveness, she's asking g for you to share, for five seconds, in her excitement and happiness.  Yes, she's overstepping, but how awful would it be to utter two words before continuing with your day.  'Very cute!' is all you need to say.  If she persists, then sure, more definite measures are called for, but why are people so determined to treat her like some sort horrible pest who's ruining their day?  Just because something Kimi s technically right doesn't mean it's kind,and this is an act of kindness that takes literally seconds and costs nothing else.

I wouldn't want to do anything that would make her think I would want to see pictures in the future.  I would be like the second co-worker - smile politely & push the phone out of my face ASAP.   And it does cost something - I don't like telling
lies so I would have to put my own morals aside or tell her the truth - I don't find babies adorable.  Better to just keep my
mouth shut I think.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: bah12 on January 21, 2015, 04:42:39 PM
She's not asking for an objective judgement on her baby's attractiveness, she's asking g for you to share, for five seconds, in her excitement and happiness.  Yes, she's overstepping, but how awful would it be to utter two words before continuing with your day.  'Very cute!' is all you need to say.  If she persists, then sure, more definite measures are called for, but why are people so determined to treat her like some sort horrible pest who's ruining their day?  Just because something Kimi s technically right doesn't mean it's kind,and this is an act of kindness that takes literally seconds and costs nothing else.

I wouldn't want to do anything that would make her think I would want to see pictures in the future.  I would be like the second co-worker - smile politely & push the phone out of my face ASAP.   And it does cost something - I don't like telling
lies
so I would have to put my own morals aside or tell her the truth - I don't find babies adorable.  Better to just keep my
mouth shut I think.

Why do you feel like you have to lie?  Just say "Congratulations" or "He's a blessing" or "Cute outfit" or a million other phrases many of which have already been mentioned on this thread.

As for making her feel that you would want to see a picture in the future.  If this is the first time she's shown you a picture, I think it's an unkind assumption to insinuate that she would find you to show you pictures in the future.  And maybe she will and maybe it will be something that you have to address with her...when it happens.  I don't like the thought that because someone does something annoying once, that any response you give will invite them to pester you or take advantage of you or whatever in the future. 

There are people that I don't want to talk to unless I have to.  Yet, sometimes one of them will pass me in the hallway and say "Hi, how are you?"  I don't ignore them.  That would be rude.   I just say "I'm fine, thanks" and move on.  It takes two seconds out of my day, has not yet resulted in any of these people hunting me down and forcing me to have a conversation with them, and has generated enough good will that when I need something from them (which happens in work/life), I have at least enough rapport to work with them.

I'm all for setting your boundaries and sticking up for yourself, but I really really think that it's overkill to use an innocent (even if annoying) and normal interaction with another person as the match you're going to burn the relationship bridge with.  I think it makes you (generic) look unpleasant, unkind, impatient, and even rude. 

Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: Hillia on January 21, 2015, 04:43:09 PM
If your conscience is so tender that you can't go along with a social convention for the sake of absolute honesty, there have been plenty of suggestions of other things you can say. In my experience, the baby pictures don't get shown around much after the first day, especially when the first is greeted with a total lack of enthusiasm.  The excitement is gone, mom has settled back in to her routine, no one else cares and she knows it.  I doubt if one polite, conventional comment would subject you to having to look at pictures again.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: whatsanenigma on January 21, 2015, 05:20:15 PM
Questioned coworker looked at the picture and smiled.  To me, this is a response.  It is both complete and polite.   The New Mom's actions were obnoxious.  I wouldn't have wanted to engage her any further than a polite smile.

I agree. That's exactly what I was thinking. Especially when there were two of them and one already said something. I think a smile says a lot (or should say a lot). I think she thought she had responded adequately and wasn't refusing to say something nice, but just happened to not say something, especially given nice comments had already been made.

This is my opinion also.  It's not as though she looked at the picture, shuddered, and covered her eyes.  She smiled.  In response to a relative stranger shoving a picture in my face like that, I might likely have done the same thing, especially because someone else had used some actual words.   

I'm in the "all babies are beautiful" camp (though I fully respect the opinions of those who don't agree) and I actually love to see pictures of them, but in that situation, where I didn't know the person, and because I'm kind of shy anyway, with words coming with difficulty when strangers catch me off guard like that, I might very well have just smiled in response.  Though if she followed up with a direct question, I might have added a nod.

Also, I would have assumed that any original question about "isn't my baby adorable" was more or less rhetorical, KWIM? That she wasn't expecting a literal response of "yes" or "no", but instead, that something like "oh, you must be so proud of him" or some such thing would do.  And if that was the case, then a simple, warm smile would be more than enough of a response, I think.  Especially if you don't know the person so well and don't want to try to engage further with them.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: EllenS on January 21, 2015, 05:24:29 PM
She's not asking for an objective judgement on her baby's attractiveness, she's asking g for you to share, for five seconds, in her excitement and happiness.  Yes, she's overstepping, but how awful would it be to utter two words before continuing with your day.  'Very cute!' is all you need to say.  If she persists, then sure, more definite measures are called for, but why are people so determined to treat her like some sort horrible pest who's ruining their day?  Just because something Kimi s technically right doesn't mean it's kind,and this is an act of kindness that takes literally seconds and costs nothing else.

I wouldn't want to do anything that would make her think I would want to see pictures in the future.  I would be like the second co-worker - smile politely & push the phone out of my face ASAP.   And it does cost something - I don't like telling
lies
so I would have to put my own morals aside or tell her the truth - I don't find babies adorable.  Better to just keep my
mouth shut I think.

Why do you feel like you have to lie?  Just say "Congratulations" or "He's a blessing" or "Cute outfit" or a million other phrases many of which have already been mentioned on this thread.

As for making her feel that you would want to see a picture in the future.  If this is the first time she's shown you a picture, I think it's an unkind assumption to insinuate that she would find you to show you pictures in the future.  And maybe she will and maybe it will be something that you have to address with her...when it happens.  I don't like the thought that because someone does something annoying once, that any response you give will invite them to pester you or take advantage of you or whatever in the future. 

There are people that I don't want to talk to unless I have to.  Yet, sometimes one of them will pass me in the hallway and say "Hi, how are you?"  I don't ignore them.  That would be rude.   I just say "I'm fine, thanks" and move on.  It takes two seconds out of my day, has not yet resulted in any of these people hunting me down and forcing me to have a conversation with them, and has generated enough good will that when I need something from them (which happens in work/life), I have at least enough rapport to work with them.

I'm all for setting your boundaries and sticking up for yourself, but I really really think that it's overkill to use an innocent (even if annoying) and normal interaction with another person as the match you're going to burn the relationship bridge with.  I think it makes you (generic) look unpleasant, unkind, impatient, and even rude.


POD. There's a reason these interactions are called "pleasantries". Because they make life more pleasant for everyone around you.

Obviously someone who is in emotional distress/grief over a personal tragedy is not held to the same standard as people in ordinary times of life. But intentionally being unpleasant in order to demonstrate to a co-worker that you do not like them, do not like their baby, and do not wish for them to ever speak to you again?

That is not good manners, nor is it conducive to a cooperative work environment.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: Surianne on January 21, 2015, 05:44:02 PM
I personally don't see smiling at the photo as "intentionally being unpleasant." 

Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: Loruaus on January 21, 2015, 06:32:33 PM
This whole thread reminds me of a conversation in Discworld's Making Money between Moist Von Lipwig and Dr Hicks.

Are you interested in the theatre at all?’ he added, in a hopeful voice.

‘I go when I can,’ said Moist guardedly, because he recognized the hope.

‘You didn’t by any chance see ’Tis Pity She’s an Instructor in Unarmed Combat at the Little Theatre recently? It was put on by the Dolly Sisters Players?’

‘Uh, no, I’m afraid not.’

‘I played Sir Andrew Fartswell,’ said Dr Hicks, in case Moist was due a sudden attack of recollection.

‘Oh, that was you, was it?’ said Moist, who’d met actors before. ‘Everyone at work was talking about it!’

I’m okay just so long as he doesn’t ask which night they talked about, he thought. There’s always one night in every play when something hilariously dreadful happens. But he was fortunate; an experienced actor knows when not to push his luck.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: nolechica on January 21, 2015, 06:41:42 PM
To the "isn't he adorable?" I would have whipped out my phone, found a picture of my dogs & said "now this is adorable!!".
Ask me politely if I'd like to see a picture of your kid & I may agree.   Shove a picture in my face demanding I call him/her adorable?  You're probably not going to like my answer.   Sorry, not everyone thinks babies are adorable nor do they want to see pictures of babies.

nolechica, I'll look for you next time I'm hiding out from babies in the office!!

I also hide from puppies though. ;)
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: bah12 on January 21, 2015, 06:44:22 PM
We'll never know if the woman in question was being intentionally unpleasant when she chose to hand the phone back and smile vs. say something to New Mom.  Because we don't know, I would assume that she was trying her best to be pleasant and didn't intend for her actions to come across the way the OP interpreted them (i.e. Baby was not adorable and/or she had no interest in engaging with New Mom).

That being said, I also think we should assume that New Mom is just over zelous right now because she's a new mom and just returning from maternity leave and is also not intentionally trying to be unpleasant or communicate that anyone that looks at a picture of her baby wants to see millions more pictures of her baby.

Yet, I think they both could use some improvement.  New Mom for soliciting compliments and assuming others care to hear about her baby and coworker for not saying something in response.  I can give both of them a pass...their actions being understandable does not mean their responses were the best.

When would a smile be "intentionally unpleasant"?  When it is given purposely to communicate that baby is not cute, that New Mom's presence is unwanted, as a response to the assumption that New Mom will then continue to subject others to pictures of her baby, etc. 
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: EllenS on January 21, 2015, 07:12:35 PM
I was responding specifically to HockeyNut's post - that he/she would wish to make it quite clear that NewMom's presence/conversation was unwelcome. That's intentional, and in my view, unecessarily adversarial.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: Surianne on January 21, 2015, 07:36:36 PM
I was responding specifically to HockeyNut's post - that he/she would wish to make it quite clear that NewMom's presence/conversation was unwelcome. That's intentional, and in my view, unecessarily adversarial.

Ah, I interpreted the post quite differently then intentionally making the coworker feel unwelcome. 

I wonder if some of us are just coming from very different workplaces.  I work in a cubicle, and my work often involves high amounts of concentration.  I'm also, unfortunately, in a workplace with a lot of women in the new baby age group.  So it's pretty frequent that someone brings in baby photos or a live baby for everyone to squeal over.  It gets pretty exhausting. 

I really like most of my coworkers, and I'm not all work all the time, but also I'm not a baby person, and sometimes I just need to get my work done.  So I do have a tendency to be pretty non-committal about baby photos and babies.  A polite smile and turning back to my work (or tea-making, if I'm in the kitchen) is often the best I can manage, especially if I'm feeling stressed, and if I do offer anything more (like a question about the baby, or a comment on how cute it is), then it turns into more baby photos or an offer to hold the baby, because I'm 32 so I *must* be so excited about the babies of my own I'm going to have any day now!

It's the same as a coworker telling me about her wedding plans, or showing off an engagement ring -- I care a little bit because my coworker is a nice person, but I really, really have zero interest in diamonds or white gowns, and I have deadlines!  So I'll do the polite smile and move on. 

I really just can't see that as rude. 
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: LifeOnPluto on January 21, 2015, 08:19:49 PM
I'm in the camp that says it's rude not to reply when someone asks you a direct question. Obviously there are exceptions - if someone asks you an extremely rude or offensive question (eg "Why are you so ugly?") it's fine to respond with Complete Silence.

In this case, the co-worker's smile mitigates her rudeness somewhat, but it still (to me) comes off as a bit dismissive. (And yes, I have no doubt that she WAS trying to dismiss New Mum, but that still doesn't make it right!).

That said, New Mum was extremely obnoxious to shove the phone in co-worker's face and demand a verbal response. And am I correct in reading the update as saying this is her fourth child? So it's not like she's "new to motherhood".
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: Peppergirl on January 21, 2015, 09:36:06 PM
Just POD'ing Surianne's post above.  I don't think it was at all rude to smile and hand the phone back. I think a smile was a perfectly acceptable response and that the mom was beyond rude to push it with the 'well?'

And yes, I've been a mom and have had baby brain.  I've suffered when I first went back to work and was excited to show pics, etc..but I would have accepted a smile easily.  Despite being all about babies at that point, I think I also would have also had the foresight to realize that not everyone is..and therefore would not have needed the validation of insisting she tell me how cute he was. 

Seriously, it's not as though the woman made a face or said something rude.  She smiled and handed the phone back. 

I know babies are sometimes a polarizing topic here but, respectfully, I'm honestly surprised that so many are seemingly making excuses for this new mom's pushiness. 
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: AnnaJ on January 21, 2015, 10:56:42 PM
I'm surprised also, and do not understand the persistent belief that smiling isn't sufficient to acknowledge that the person has looked at the picture and find it pleasing.  If I saw this exchange I'd just assume that the woman who smiled was agreeing with her friend who had had said "nice...awww." 

Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: mmswm on January 21, 2015, 10:58:57 PM
"Breathtaking" (Seinfeld moment). And, well, it's not only cute things that take your breath away ;) >:D.

At least the other lady didn't react the way Kramer did when he saw the breathtaking baby.  I think that other lady was quite unkind.  Everyone is always so proud and excited to show off their babies - it wouldn't have hurt her to play along and say something nice about the child. 

Exactly. How hard is it to just say something kind about the child. If the woman persists, one can say "Mary, your baby is adorable but we must get back to work now!"

I haven't read the whole thread, so I don't know if this has been discussed, but I couldn't not respond.

You have no idea just how excruciatingly painful it can be to have a picture of a healthy newborn shoved in your face.  Had this happened to me when my babies were newborns and the few years after, I'd have been running for the hills trying to fight the tears and emotional meltdown that would have been certain to follow.  You see, while I have three kids, I should have seven.  I also have no idea what it's like to go home from the hospital with a baby in my arms.  I have no clue what it's like to be able to take a picture of a newborn that shows more baby than tubes and machinery.  Healthy newborns and exuberant new mothers were very difficult for me for a very long time.

You have no clue what somebody's history is.  You don't know if they're dealing with sick babies, or the heartbreak of infertility.  Every response that says "just say something and move on-it isn't that hard" just makes me want to scream.  Yes, for some of us, it is absolutely that hard.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: poundcake on January 22, 2015, 04:33:46 AM
I'm surprised also, and do not understand the persistent belief that smiling isn't sufficient to acknowledge that the person has looked at the picture and find it pleasing.  If I saw this exchange I'd just assume that the woman who smiled was agreeing with her friend who had had said "nice...awww."

Exactly. I don't want to repeat what I posted earlier about there being dozens of possible reasons, from miscarriage to illness to whatever, why a person would smile instead of "going along with social convention" and saying something specific. For me, it was the "WELL?!" that took this interaction from "social convention" to "personal boundary." Don't demand a specific kind of answer from me, or anyone.

Perhaps the Smiler was deflecting a potential continued conversation, too. Because I cannot tell you how many times a casual acquaintance or a stranger has responded to an innocuous "Oh, a baby" interaction with six dozen personal details about how many inches she dilated, how her nipples are cracking and bleeding, her hemorrhoids, the size, shape and consistency of the contents of the baby's diaper, the fighting she and her husband are doing over who does what when-

I'm not saying New Mommy deserved shunning or rebuking. But the smile WAS the response. If she wants hosannas over her baby's looks from everyone, she's in for a rude awakening. Pun intended. 
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: Peppergirl on January 22, 2015, 07:08:19 AM
^^^ Perfectly said, Poundcake!!
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: EllenS on January 22, 2015, 08:05:49 AM
Oh, I absolutely believe that NewMom was rude, pushy, annoying and OTT.

I also think that some of the reactions suggested/implied here are OTT, which leads me to say, 'hey, wait a minute, it's not that bad."

She wasn't harassing or assaulting people, she (apparently) was not approaching people she did not normally talk to, since she did not approach OP. Being OTT with people you normally chat with is different than trying to draw near-strangers or people you know only by sight into a personal conversation.

I understand that some people have painful circumstances that make it difficult for them to participate in ordinary social niceties. But that does not change the fact that merely showing pictures of a new baby is a social nicety.

If the problem is the violation of personal space, by shoving the camera to close, then address that for what it is - "yes, I saw it" or "hey, back up please" or "yikes, too close" or whatever. Merely offering to show the picture, or holding it up in your general eyeline is not a "boundary violation". It's normal behavior among friendly colleagues.

Yes, the polite smile should have been enough, and NewMom should not have been demanding with her "well?". However, refusing to speak in reply, is a very pointed statement.

It doesn't even have to be about babies. As pp mentioned above, it could be a wedding picture or a new home, or a precious rescue animal, or climbing Everest or cutting an album. Refusing to make nice with a co-worker when they tell you about the most important thing that's happened in their lives in the last year, is not some kind of bold stance of honesty or dedication to your work. It's ungracious.

Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: catwhiskers on January 22, 2015, 10:42:44 AM
I'm surprised also, and do not understand the persistent belief that smiling isn't sufficient to acknowledge that the person has looked at the picture and find it pleasing.  If I saw this exchange I'd just assume that the woman who smiled was agreeing with her friend who had had said "nice...awww."

Me too. The other thing that everyone seems to have overlooked... OP says the two woman New Mother approached were eating lunch. Maybe she didn't say anything because her mouth was full. Either way, I see nothing wrong with a smile when her lunch companion had already complimented the baby. New Mother, on the other hand, was extremely rude.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: bah12 on January 22, 2015, 10:43:08 AM
Just POD'ing Surianne's post above.  I don't think it was at all rude to smile and hand the phone back. I think a smile was a perfectly acceptable response and that the mom was beyond rude to push it with the 'well?'

And yes, I've been a mom and have had baby brain.  I've suffered when I first went back to work and was excited to show pics, etc..but I would have accepted a smile easily.  Despite being all about babies at that point, I think I also would have also had the foresight to realize that not everyone is..and therefore would not have needed the validation of insisting she tell me how cute he was. 

Seriously, it's not as though the woman made a face or said something rude.  She smiled and handed the phone back. 

I know babies are sometimes a polarizing topic here but, respectfully, I'm honestly surprised that so many are seemingly making excuses for this new mom's pushiness.

I want to respond to the bolded specifically.  I think that New Mom was rude.  Just like those that are making excuses (if that's the right word) for the coworker who didn't answer the question asked of her, some of us are pointing out that new mother can be and often is over-excited about her baby and maybe pushes the topic a little over-zelously.  That doesn't mean that she wasn't rude.  She was.  It also doesn't mean  that just because she is talking baby now and showing pictures now, that any amount of kindness or tolerance shown to her will result in this behavior continuing or will invite her to harrass you (general) in the future.  While New Mom's behavior is clearly OTT, so is, I think, a lot of the reaction to it.


You have no idea just how excruciatingly painful it can be to have a picture of a healthy newborn shoved in your face.  Had this happened to me when my babies were newborns and the few years after, I'd have been running for the hills trying to fight the tears and emotional meltdown that would have been certain to follow.  You see, while I have three kids, I should have seven.  I also have no idea what it's like to go home from the hospital with a baby in my arms.  I have no clue what it's like to be able to take a picture of a newborn that shows more baby than tubes and machinery.  Healthy newborns and exuberant new mothers were very difficult for me for a very long time.

You have no clue what somebody's history is.  You don't know if they're dealing with sick babies, or the heartbreak of infertility.  Every response that says "just say something and move on-it isn't that hard" just makes me want to scream.  Yes, for some of us, it is absolutely that hard.

Actually, I do know.  I should have five kids.  I have one.  And she was a premie and didn't get to come right away.   And because I had her, it is now too dangerous for me to even try having another.  I understand the pain.  There was a time when my sister and I were pregnant at the same time.  Then my pregnancy ended in hearbreak and I watched her through every milestone...reminding me of the ones I was missing.  To this day, I look at my neice and think about the child who's not here.  I get it. 

I still think that we need to muster up the energy to say something.  I've done it what seems like a million times.  I watched my close friend get engaged and get married on the heals of a huge break-up for me.  I've watched friends, family members, coworkers have baby after baby while I struggled just to have one. And yet, I still managed to say "cute" when I was shown a new baby.    When I had DD, I was just two months ahead of another friend of mine.  This time, she had the miscarriage, where I didn't.  I understood her pain...yet, she enthusiastically came to my baby shower, she knitted blankets and stockings for DD.  She has not missed one birthday.  And I know it's not easy for her.  Like I see my neice, I know that's how she sees my daughter.  Yet, she doesn't make my joy about her pain.  If she can do that a coworker can say "adorable" or "congratulations."

Like I said, I actually think that the coworker in question probably wasn't trying to communicate anything unkind when she chose to only smile and not say anything.  Yet, the OP certainly interpreted her action as communicating that she thought the baby was ugly or that she didn't want to see or talk about the baby at all.  If her smile communicated that to the OP, then it's possible, that depsite her intentions, she communicated that to New Mom.  That is why saying something is usually better.  It's easier to interpret and when asked a question, words are usually expected in return.  Yes, New Mom was rude first and she was rude to push the issue after coworker didn't say anything.  Her being rude, however, doesn't matter for my feelings.  When asked a question, we need to answer it.  Life doesn't guarantee that we are only in situations that makes us happy and part of life is dealing with 'pleasantries' we find largely unpleasant.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: knitwicca on January 22, 2015, 01:09:48 PM
Quote
The lady she was talking to asked if she breastfed with her 3 other children.  New Mom said no.

If I read the update correctly, this is baby number 4?
I wonder if she has been this demanding of attention when each of the previous babies were born...

As for shoving a cell phone in someone's face and demanding a response, I would have not reacted well.
I have reasonably well-controlled PTSD. Anything shoved too close to my face is likely to produce an adverse reaction.

ITA with the PP who is a motorcycle enthusiast.  If this had been a demand for praise of a new hairstyle, shoes, car...people might not be defending NewMom so strongly.
If it were NewMom's first baby, even I could give her a pass. But for baby #4?  Nope.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: Allyson on January 22, 2015, 01:16:24 PM
Yeah, I think a smile is plenty of acknowledgement! It's not like the coworker gave the new mom an evil glare or anything, she looked at the picture and smiled! Asking for a specific type of acknowledgment (verbal) is a bit over the top I think. I get that she was excited and I don't think she was rude to show the pictures, but especially while someone's eating, I think smiling is plenty fine.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: KenveeB on January 22, 2015, 07:21:07 PM
Oh, I absolutely believe that NewMom was rude, pushy, annoying and OTT.

I also think that some of the reactions suggested/implied here are OTT, which leads me to say, 'hey, wait a minute, it's not that bad."

She wasn't harassing or assaulting people, she (apparently) was not approaching people she did not normally talk to, since she did not approach OP. Being OTT with people you normally chat with is different than trying to draw near-strangers or people you know only by sight into a personal conversation.

I understand that some people have painful circumstances that make it difficult for them to participate in ordinary social niceties. But that does not change the fact that merely showing pictures of a new baby is a social nicety.

If the problem is the violation of personal space, by shoving the camera to close, then address that for what it is - "yes, I saw it" or "hey, back up please" or "yikes, too close" or whatever. Merely offering to show the picture, or holding it up in your general eyeline is not a "boundary violation". It's normal behavior among friendly colleagues.

Yes, the polite smile should have been enough, and NewMom should not have been demanding with her "well?". However, refusing to speak in reply, is a very pointed statement.

It doesn't even have to be about babies. As pp mentioned above, it could be a wedding picture or a new home, or a precious rescue animal, or climbing Everest or cutting an album. Refusing to make nice with a co-worker when they tell you about the most important thing that's happened in their lives in the last year, is not some kind of bold stance of honesty or dedication to your work. It's ungracious.

I don't think anyone has a problem with "merely" showing a picture of a new baby. If the coworker had responded to that with a rude remark, then yes, she's rude. But a polite smile is a perfectly fine response, especially following on another person's response that a smile was probably intended as an agreement with. But New Mom didn't accept that perfectly normal response and followed up with aggressive actions of shoving her phone in her coworker's face and twice demanding an additional response. That's rude. It's not merely a social nicety. New Mom is the problem here. I don't see that Coworker did anything wrong. Just because her response wasn't as effusive as New Mom wanted doesn't make her rude.
Title: Re: “Look At My Baby! Isn’t He Adorable? Well?”
Post by: Sharnita on January 22, 2015, 08:06:45 PM
Actually, babies aren't the only topic that a person might have a sensitivity to. A previous poster mentioned a love of motorcycles. O have never loved motorcycles and since two family friends have died in motorcycle accidents my instinct is to recoil. However, if PP or a coworker was really geeked and showed me a pic of a new bike, I'd come up with some sort of positive response. Maybe "Looks shiny" or something similar.

ETA: I have had people show me their new bike/jacket/helmet.