General Etiquette > All In A Day's Work

Why Does She Even Care? (Sorry, a bit long)

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--- Quote from: MrTango on January 10, 2013, 08:57:49 AM ---
--- Quote from: GrammarNerd on January 10, 2013, 08:55:12 AM ---"Did you have a work related question?"

--- End quote ---

This is perfect, and could have been used at any point during the conversation.

AC: "Weren't you wearing a skirt before?"
OP: " Do you have a work-related question?"

It's cold, but not rude.

ETA: Given the past history with Annoying Coworker, I think the OP would be okay with responding to any non work-related question or comment in that manner.

--- End quote ---
I like this one or say, 'No, anything you need help with?"  If she asks for more details then say, "Can't chat, I need to finish up here." and turn back to your work.

She was way, way over the line. 

Don't answer any more of her non-work related questions.  It puts you on the defensive, and she feels entitled to ask even more.

I'm sorry that you have to deal with such a pill, and I hope that the therapy works for your shoulder.

I think these are really good suggestions, BeagleMommy.

Without knowing all the details, backstory, social dynamics of your office or all the people, I have the impression that annoying co-worker is trying (too hard!) to befriend you. Again, it's just a theory and without knowing all that other stuff I can't back up what I'm saying. It's just an impression I have.

Is she very young? Because maybe she just doesn't know how to make appropriate small talk with office mates. I'm trying to think about what's underlying her behavior with the intention of trying to figure out a longer-term solution, because I think I have read that she's done stuff like this lots of times in the past. Was there an incident where she kept badgering you about eating bagels that she ordered just for you? Or was that a different thread by a different member of the board?

Because this lady sounds like she is either very immature (and I'm not trying to be ageist here, really. I know a lot of people in their early 20's who are social experts!) and just doesn't know yet the nuances of office communication, or she could just be really clueless, or even have certain other social anxiety issues which I cannot get into without getting the thread locked.  :o

Unless you want to take the time to get to know her and maybe "mentor" her in terms of office etiquette (and it sounds like you really don't - not that I blame you), maybe the best thing to do is respond in the manner suggested by the PP's in this thread, every. single. time. you interact with her. You know, like kind of give her the cold shoulder and only interact with her when your job requires you to do it...maybe she will eventually get the hint, (some people never do) and if not, at least maybe trying to "reach out" to you will be so unfruitful/unpleasant that she will cease the annoying behavior. I mean, I don't know if you can come right out and confront her about her communication style...I don't think it would work. It sounds like this is just her personality and she maybe thinks she is being cute or charming.

I guess it's best to just try to limit your contact with her as much as you can. This sucks, BeagleMommy. You sound like such a warm and kind person - maybe she sees that in you and is trying to reach out but just doesn't know how to do that effectively. Or, maybe she knows you don't like her much and she's overcompensating, thinking if she just tries harder you'll like her and everything will be wonderful, only you're just not interested. I've seen it happen.


--- Quote from: BeagleMommy on January 10, 2013, 08:47:59 AM ---The problem I had surgery for in my right shoulder last year has now migrated to my left shoulder.  My doctor is sending me to physical therapy for the problem before deciding if another surgery is necessary.  I made arrangements with my director that I would schedule my therapy sessions for the last appointment of the day and he would allow me to eat at my desk and leave an hour early so I don't have to use up my leave.  He's very generous.  My sessions will be three days per week.  I've also made sure to notify other coworkers so they know I won't be available.  No one is affected by this since it is so late in the day.  Also, since nothing needs to be done with payroll, Annoying Coworker doesn't need to process anything.

About 1/2 an hour before leaving I change into jeans, a T-shirt and sneakers (also approved by my director) because my office wear is not appropriate for therapy.  I never wear old or torn jeans or T-shirts with inappropriate things on them.

It takes me 15 minutes to drive to the therapists office so I usually arrive 10 minutes before my appointment.

Yesterday, Annoying Coworker came by my desk and said:

AC:  Weren't  you wearing a skirt before?
Me:  Yes, but I'm leaving for my therapy appointment in 10 minutes.
AC:  Can't you change there?
Me:  No.
AC:  Why can't you just wear your work clothes?
Me: I have to get this work item finished. Was there something you needed? Then you turn away from her when she says "no, I was just curious."
Me:  Because I can't move properly if I do.
AC:  Don't they have scrubs that you can change into?
Me:  No.  (This is an outpatient office; not in a hospital)
AC:  Why?

At this point I just kind of blinked at her.  Would I have been rude to say "Why does this concern you?"

--- End quote ---

Your problem is that you answer her questions, which lets her know that it's ok to ask them. Either refuse to answer or give monosyllabic answers to retrain her. She's nosy and you're just feeding her nosiness by giving more detailed answers. You are JADEing. Stop. If you want her to stop asking annoying questions you have to stop answering them.

Edit: In re-reading your post, I realized that you are JADEing to us. Get out of that habit. You have permission to dress as you do and leave when you do. Don't try to justify things. Whether you are wearing nice jeans and a clean t-shirt or dirty tar-covered overalls doesn't matter to your interaction with her (or us.) She doesn't have the right to question you and you need to stop letting her do that.

And no, it wouldn't be rude to ask "why does this concern you?" Asking idiots like this to explain themselves is a good approach. It turns the JADEing around on them -- they have to justify themselves.


--- Quote ---Your problem is that you answer her questions, which lets her know that it's ok to ask them.
--- End quote ---

Yes, this.

Stop answering her and stop worrying about "why" she cares.  She's nosey, pushy, and it's none of her business.


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