Author Topic: Coworker with boundary issues-- How should I have handled it?  (Read 13405 times)

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Kess

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Re: Coworker with boundary issues-- How should I have handled it?
« Reply #30 on: July 27, 2012, 12:24:15 PM »
I have to agree with your nosy coworker on one point though (and disagree with several people here) - being LGB isn't (all) about scrabble.  You can be sworn to celibacy and still be gay.

You could try "Why do you need to know?"

Note, not 'want' to know but 'need' to know. Make it about work: if she needs to know, for work, she can ask HR. Refuse to understand her if she says she just wants to know. "If that's data you need, you should ask Marian. She's Head of HR. You can put it as a formal request through the department manager if you don't want to go to Marian herself."

Love this!

Winterlight

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Re: Coworker with boundary issues-- How should I have handled it?
« Reply #31 on: July 27, 2012, 12:37:11 PM »
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?".

Because she's nosy and doesn't get/care that the answer is none of her business.

And I think your responses are spot on.
If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
Caroline Lake Ingalls

portabella

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Re: Coworker with boundary issues-- How should I have handled it?
« Reply #32 on: July 27, 2012, 01:36:59 PM »
Quote
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.

I also like the referral to HR reply.  But whatever the response, OP should make it fast and firm.  I realize CW caught OP off-guard, but engaging in ANY further discussion with CW (even answer her questions) about the matter is a huge mistake.  These types are slick.  They will dig and dig and then carry twisted information.

For example:  (this actually happened)

CW (who was relatively new):  I hear that Nancy is having an affair with the boss and it's best to stay on her good side.
Me:  (stunned) Hmm.  That's a strange thing for you to say.
CW:  What do you mean?
Me:  Well, how is that anyone's business?
CW: (continues to blather)
Then later it got back to me that CW was going around saying "Portabella feels that Nancy and the boss's affair is no one's business." . . . .making it appear that I brought it up!!   >:(

In reprospect, I should have simply looked at her and not responded/reacted at all.

In OP's situation, any reply/discussion may come back to bite her.
CW: OP was talking about which employees are gay.

Again:  she is t-r-o-u-b-l-e. 
« Last Edit: July 27, 2012, 02:47:01 PM by portabella »
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lowspark

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Re: Coworker with boundary issues-- How should I have handled it?
« Reply #33 on: July 27, 2012, 01:48:12 PM »
The first response that pops into my mind for such a question is, "I'm not the one to ask". If she asks, "who is?", my reply would be, "Well, the person you're wanting to know about.". If she instead asks, "why not?" my reply would be, "Because it's none of my business", the implication being that it's none of hers either.

Sounds to me like she just wants to be privy to some gossip. I absolutely abhor that.

RingTailedLemur

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Re: Coworker with boundary issues-- How should I have handled it?
« Reply #34 on: July 27, 2012, 01:53:37 PM »
I have to agree with your nosy coworker on one point though (and disagree with several people here) - being LGB isn't (all) about scrabble.  You can be sworn to celibacy and still be gay.



Do you mean chastity?

Redsoil

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Re: Coworker with boundary issues-- How should I have handled it?
« Reply #35 on: July 27, 2012, 01:59:06 PM »
"That's a very strange question.  Why would it matter to you?"
Look out... 
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artk2002

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Re: Coworker with boundary issues-- How should I have handled it?
« Reply #36 on: July 27, 2012, 02:44:20 PM »
"I don't know and I don't care. Why do you need to know?"
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

artk2002

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Re: Coworker with boundary issues-- How should I have handled it?
« Reply #37 on: July 27, 2012, 02:46:24 PM »
I have to agree with your nosy coworker on one point though (and disagree with several people here) - being LGB isn't (all) about scrabble.  You can be sworn to celibacy and still be gay.



Do you mean chastity?

Celibacy would be the right word. Chastity is somewhat different. Celibacy means never engaging in scrabble, while chastity means engaging only in specific circumstances (i.e. being married.)
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

RingTailedLemur

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Re: Coworker with boundary issues-- How should I have handled it?
« Reply #38 on: July 27, 2012, 02:47:55 PM »
I have to agree with your nosy coworker on one point though (and disagree with several people here) - being LGB isn't (all) about scrabble.  You can be sworn to celibacy and still be gay.



Do you mean chastity?

Celibacy would be the right word. Chastity is somewhat different. Celibacy means never engaging in scrabble, while chastity means engaging only in specific circumstances (i.e. being married.)

Celibacy means being unmarried.
Chastity means not playing scrabble.

You could be celibate without being chaste.

Jones

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Re: Coworker with boundary issues-- How should I have handled it?
« Reply #39 on: July 27, 2012, 02:50:16 PM »
I have to agree with your nosy coworker on one point though (and disagree with several people here) - being LGB isn't (all) about scrabble.  You can be sworn to celibacy and still be gay.



Do you mean chastity?

Celibacy would be the right word. Chastity is somewhat different. Celibacy means never engaging in scrabble, while chastity means engaging only in specific circumstances (i.e. being married.)

Celibacy means being unmarried.
Chastity means not playing scrabble.

You could be celibate without being chaste.

I think you have that backwards.  ;)

RingTailedLemur

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Re: Coworker with boundary issues-- How should I have handled it?
« Reply #40 on: July 27, 2012, 02:52:36 PM »
I have to agree with your nosy coworker on one point though (and disagree with several people here) - being LGB isn't (all) about scrabble.  You can be sworn to celibacy and still be gay.



Do you mean chastity?

Celibacy would be the right word. Chastity is somewhat different. Celibacy means never engaging in scrabble, while chastity means engaging only in specific circumstances (i.e. being married.)

Celibacy means being unmarried.
Chastity means not playing scrabble.

You could be celibate without being chaste.

I think you have that backwards.  ;)

I don't understand?

EDIT
Okay, my apologies - my OED has both meanings for the word "celibate".  That's what happens when you rely on Bill Bryson for dictionary definitions.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2012, 02:54:58 PM by RingTailedLemur »

portabella

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Re: Coworker with boundary issues-- How should I have handled it?
« Reply #41 on: July 27, 2012, 02:55:47 PM »
"I don't know and I don't care. Why do you need to know?"

Agree with bolded, but asking her a question invites discussion.  These types are skilled at twisting things.

OP - instead of answering CW's gay question, you might ask "Do you need more work to do?  I can talk to (supv) - there are several people who could use some help."

(Message:  I'm not getting involved in your garbage, AND whenever you bother me with such nonsense ;I'll see that you get more work to do.")
« Last Edit: July 27, 2012, 02:59:56 PM by portabella »
The first time someone shows you who they really are, pay attention.

Jones

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Re: Coworker with boundary issues-- How should I have handled it?
« Reply #42 on: July 27, 2012, 02:57:18 PM »
I have to agree with your nosy coworker on one point though (and disagree with several people here) - being LGB isn't (all) about scrabble.  You can be sworn to celibacy and still be gay.



Do you mean chastity?

Celibacy would be the right word. Chastity is somewhat different. Celibacy means never engaging in scrabble, while chastity means engaging only in specific circumstances (i.e. being married.)

Celibacy means being unmarried.
Chastity means not playing scrabble.

You could be celibate without being chaste.

I think you have that backwards.  ;)

I don't understand?

http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=580770

FlyingBaconMouse

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Re: Coworker with boundary issues-- How should I have handled it?
« Reply #43 on: July 27, 2012, 03:01:19 PM »
The first response that pops into my mind for such a question is, "I'm not the one to ask". If she asks, "who is?", my reply would be, "Well, the person you're wanting to know about.". If she instead asks, "why not?" my reply would be, "Because it's none of my business", the implication being that it's none of hers either.

Sounds to me like she just wants to be privy to some gossip. I absolutely abhor that.

Why do I get the feeling this sort of response might lead to the coworker approaching these people with "[OP] said I should ask you if you were gay!"?  :(
I don't kill threads, but I do seem to stun 'em pretty good. :-)

RingTailedLemur

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Re: Coworker with boundary issues-- How should I have handled it?
« Reply #44 on: July 27, 2012, 03:02:55 PM »
I have to agree with your nosy coworker on one point though (and disagree with several people here) - being LGB isn't (all) about scrabble.  You can be sworn to celibacy and still be gay.



Do you mean chastity?

Celibacy would be the right word. Chastity is somewhat different. Celibacy means never engaging in scrabble, while chastity means engaging only in specific circumstances (i.e. being married.)

Celibacy means being unmarried.
Chastity means not playing scrabble.

You could be celibate without being chaste.

I think you have that backwards.  ;)

I don't understand?

http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=580770

I already edited my post to admit my mistake.  Sorry, I'm not going to read a long catholic discourse but thank you for finding the link.