Author Topic: Coworker with boundary issues-- How should I have handled it?  (Read 13284 times)

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portabella

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Re: Coworker with boundary issues-- How should I have handled it?
« Reply #15 on: July 26, 2012, 09:39:40 PM »
CW’s questions ARE out of line.  OP continued to engage in discussion about the topic, which was a mistake.  People like this CW need to be cut off quickly and firmly.

Other than hello, goodbye, thanks, excuse me, and mandatory interaction I would not interact with this CW.  Forget about her being “nice”.  Boundaries?  That's just a buzzword.  Her background is here nor there.  She's nosey, she has hidden agendas, and she is t-r-o-u-b-l-e.

OP will only have more stories IF she allows this CW to pull her into her web, so to speak.  Watch your step, OP.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2012, 09:42:00 PM by portabella »
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gramma dishes

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Re: Coworker with boundary issues-- How should I have handled it?
« Reply #16 on: July 26, 2012, 09:50:02 PM »

...   Yesterday she asked me to list employees and patrons of the company who are gay. ...

... She's nosey, she has hidden agendas, and she is t-r-o-u-b-l-e.

...  Watch your step, OP.



Wow!!  Agree with Portabella completely!  Her original "request" is TOTALLY out of line.  Do not respond in any way to such nonsense.  If you do, it will come back to haunt you, I guarantee it.

portabella

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Re: Coworker with boundary issues-- How should I have handled it?
« Reply #17 on: July 26, 2012, 10:28:54 PM »
I think sometimes (well, actually lots of times) in situations like this people look for a reason as to why the person is behaving inappropriately (their childhood or “she’s just that way”) and they get lost in all the excuses and armchair analysis.  It doesn’t really matter.

This CW reminds me of a few former CWs I worked with.  I always took pride in  being able to ‘read’ people extremely well.  When a new employee starts out by plopping down at my desk wanting to know the ‘scoop’ in this person or that person and gives me some convoluted rationale, I learned to cut them off so fast their head spun like Linda Blair in The Exorcist”.   And they learned to move on.
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ShanghaiJill

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Re: Coworker with boundary issues-- How should I have handled it?
« Reply #18 on: July 26, 2012, 10:55:06 PM »
"How the Hell would I know?" >:D

BC12

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Re: Coworker with boundary issues-- How should I have handled it?
« Reply #19 on: July 27, 2012, 06:03:08 AM »
Yesterday she asked me to list employees and patrons of the company who are gay.

"Ah. Haha. No, I'm not going to do that. So, are you a Methodist, or perhaps from Louisiana?"    :D

That's basically what I've done in situations like this. But I honestly don't know the right way to handle it. On one hand, if you don't say it then it seems like you're kind of hiding it? But if you do say it, then you're outing someone who maybe doesn't want to be outed to the person asking? What's the etiquette there?

O'Dell

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Re: Coworker with boundary issues-- How should I have handled it?
« Reply #20 on: July 27, 2012, 08:32:03 AM »
CW’s questions ARE out of line.  OP continued to engage in discussion about the topic, which was a mistake.  People like this CW need to be cut off quickly and firmly.

Other than hello, goodbye, thanks, excuse me, and mandatory interaction I would not interact with this CW.  Forget about her being “nice”.  Boundaries?  That's just a buzzword.  Her background is here nor there.  She's nosey, she has hidden agendas, and she is t-r-o-u-b-l-e.

OP will only have more stories IF she allows this CW to pull her into her web, so to speak.  Watch your step, OP.

I agree. Pick one of the generic phrases (Why would you ask? or Why do you need to know? or other) and repeat as necessary. Don't engage with her nonsense.

(FWIW, I would have already done that were I you...she sounds immensely annoying with that arguing with your answers.)
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whiterose

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Re: Coworker with boundary issues-- How should I have handled it?
« Reply #21 on: July 27, 2012, 08:39:24 AM »
Pardon my naivete, but why would a person need to know the sexual orientation of a third party whom he/she is not romantically interested in and who simply works with him/her? It is not like someone's sexual orientation will affect his/her ability to do the job- or should be the concern of a third colleague.

I would reply "I do not know". And if the other one persists, I would say "It is none of my concern, since it does not affect me in any way".

Which of course, is a nicer, kinder, gentler way to say "Who cares?". 
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portabella

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Re: Coworker with boundary issues-- How should I have handled it?
« Reply #22 on: July 27, 2012, 09:23:33 AM »
CW’s questions ARE out of line.  OP continued to engage in discussion about the topic, which was a mistake.  People like this CW need to be cut off quickly and firmly.

Other than hello, goodbye, thanks, excuse me, and mandatory interaction I would not interact with this CW.  Forget about her being “nice”.  Boundaries?  That's just a buzzword.  Her background is here nor there.  She's nosey, she has hidden agendas, and she is t-r-o-u-b-l-e.

OP will only have more stories IF she allows this CW to pull her into her web, so to speak.  Watch your step, OP.

I agree. Pick one of the generic phrases (Why would you ask? or Why do you need to know? or other) and repeat as necessary. Don't engage with her nonsense.

(FWIW, I would have already done that were I you...she sounds immensely annoying with that arguing with your answers.)

Picking a generic phrase and asking CW a question – any question - invites more discussion about the matter.  That’s a mistake.  As you said, she would argue with the answers.
The first time someone shows you who they really are, pay attention.

portabella

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Re: Coworker with boundary issues-- How should I have handled it?
« Reply #23 on: July 27, 2012, 09:27:35 AM »
Pardon my naivete, but why would a person need to know the sexual orientation of a third party whom he/she is not romantically interested in and who simply works with him/her? It is not like someone's sexual orientation will affect his/her ability to do the job- or should be the concern of a third colleague.

I would reply "I do not know". And if the other one persists, I would say "It is none of my concern, since it does not affect me in any way".

Which of course, is a nicer, kinder, gentler way to say "Who cares?".

There is no reason someone would need to know that information.  None at all.  That's why I've been saying all along that CW is nosey and she is trouble.

The first time someone shows you who they really are, pay attention.

bopper

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Re: Coworker with boundary issues-- How should I have handled it?
« Reply #24 on: July 27, 2012, 10:18:52 AM »
"How is that relevant to work?"

TootsNYC

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Re: Coworker with boundary issues-- How should I have handled it?
« Reply #25 on: July 27, 2012, 11:06:52 AM »
There's also, "WHAT?!?!?"


gramma dishes

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Re: Coworker with boundary issues-- How should I have handled it?
« Reply #26 on: July 27, 2012, 11:32:46 AM »
"I have no way of knowing that, nor any reason I'd need to know."

JenJay

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Re: Coworker with boundary issues-- How should I have handled it?
« Reply #27 on: July 27, 2012, 11:40:53 AM »
I think the way you handled it was perfect but you could also make a point with "I'm not really sure, you'd have to ask everyone themselves."

It seems to me that if she feels it isn't a big deal to ask, she'd be comfortable asking everyone directly, right? "Hi. I'm New Coworker, I just started. I like to dance and take long walks in the rain. I'm straight. Are you gay?" If not then she knows it's inappropriate to ask a person directly, so why would she think it's okay to gather the intel any other way? It reminds me of that rule "Don't say anything behind someone's back that you wouldn't be willing to say to their face." I think it applies to questions about them, too.

Of course it's possible she'd say "Okay!" and go around with a notebook, asking away.  :P

TootsNYC

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Re: Coworker with boundary issues-- How should I have handled it?
« Reply #28 on: July 27, 2012, 12:02:57 PM »
I think the way you handled it was perfect but you could also make a point with "I'm not really sure, you'd have to ask everyone themselves."

It seems to me that if she feels it isn't a big deal to ask, she'd be comfortable asking everyone directly, right? "Hi. I'm New Coworker, I just started. I like to dance and take long walks in the rain. I'm straight. Are you gay?" If not then she knows it's inappropriate to ask a person directly, so why would she think it's okay to gather the intel any other way? It reminds me of that rule "Don't say anything behind someone's back that you wouldn't be willing to say to their face." I think it applies to questions about them, too.

Of course it's possible she'd say "Okay!" and go around with a notebook, asking away.  :P

Actually, I would want to make the statement to  her, and the world at large, that I think this is inappropriate. So I personally wouldn't want to do that.

JenJay

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Re: Coworker with boundary issues-- How should I have handled it?
« Reply #29 on: July 27, 2012, 12:17:51 PM »
I think the way you handled it was perfect but you could also make a point with "I'm not really sure, you'd have to ask everyone themselves."

It seems to me that if she feels it isn't a big deal to ask, she'd be comfortable asking everyone directly, right? "Hi. I'm New Coworker, I just started. I like to dance and take long walks in the rain. I'm straight. Are you gay?" If not then she knows it's inappropriate to ask a person directly, so why would she think it's okay to gather the intel any other way? It reminds me of that rule "Don't say anything behind someone's back that you wouldn't be willing to say to their face." I think it applies to questions about them, too.

Of course it's possible she'd say "Okay!" and go around with a notebook, asking away.  :P

Actually, I would want to make the statement to  her, and the world at large, that I think this is inappropriate. So I personally wouldn't want to do that.

Well, I was mainly relying on the hope that she'd know asking personally would be inappropriate and, therefore, realize that asking in a gossiping way would also be inappropriate. You have a point, though. I don't suppose it's a safe bet considering it took OP several tries to get it through to Coworker that she was out of line and it seemed only to sink in half way at that.  ::)