Author Topic: How to nicely tell a coworker to stop flirting and get back to work  (Read 8688 times)

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TurtleDove

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Re: How to nicely tell a coworker to stop flirting and get back to work
« Reply #45 on: March 13, 2013, 11:27:14 AM »
I think everyone HAS said, "leave out the flirting stuff."

Much of the suggested wording definitely included the flirting, chatting, perching on desks and socializing.  In my opinion, management would not care about this and would at best be annoyed to be told about it.  Management WOULD want to know that Flirty is not getting her work done, for whatever reason. The reason is unimportant and gossipy.  The fact that the work is not getting done is the point.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2013, 11:29:10 AM by TurtleDove »

TootsNYC

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Re: How to nicely tell a coworker to stop flirting and get back to work
« Reply #46 on: March 13, 2013, 01:52:29 PM »
I rise to a point of information.

I went back through the thread, post by post.

8 people said specifically, "do not mention the flirting aspect; focus on chatting or the fact that she's not working."

7 people gave specific advice that focused on chatting without mentioning flirting, though they did not specifically *say* "do not use the word flirting." So if we were going to force them into a category, they really should go into "no mention of flirting."

19 posts gave advice about going to the manager or asked questions or expressed frustration and did not say EITHER "don't mention flirting" or "do mention flirting."

The other posts were either administrative (pointing out a misreading) or the OP's updates or some other sort of "administrative" comment.

In fact, not one single post said, "you should specifically mention that she is flirting."

People using the nickname "Flirty" is not the same thing as saying, "you should call her Flirty in real life."
« Last Edit: March 13, 2013, 01:54:48 PM by TootsNYC »

TurtleDove

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Re: How to nicely tell a coworker to stop flirting and get back to work
« Reply #47 on: March 13, 2013, 02:05:22 PM »
Toots, I think you misunderstand me.  I am saying not to mention any of the descriptions of what Flirty is doing instead of working.  I am not focused on the flirting as opposed to chatting as opposed to perching, etc.  I am saying that in my opinion and experience it doesn't matter to a manager what their employees are doing so long as they are getting their work done.  If the employee is NOT getting her work done, they would want "proof" of that, not gossip about what she is doing instead of her work.

In fact, I know of several situations where managers provide negative feedback to people who focus only on their work and are not "friendly" or "team players" with their coworkers.  It isn't about what Flirty is doing so much as it is about the work she is NOT getting done.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2013, 02:08:57 PM by TurtleDove »

Surianne

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Re: How to nicely tell a coworker to stop flirting and get back to work
« Reply #48 on: March 13, 2013, 02:25:33 PM »
I agree with you on this, TurtleDove.  The focus should be on the outcome, which is a fact, rather than the behaviour, which can be speculation.  So: Flirty is not getting her work done, which leads to OP working overtime, rather than Flirty is chatting/spending too much time with other people.

(Also as an aside, the latter version seems to blame Flirty for something two people are doing -- Flirty and the guy she's talking to.  So it might seem odd to a manager that the OP is only focused on one person.  Remember, the guy she's talking to has agency here.  He can say "Flirty, I have to get back to work now."  He's choosing to chat, too.)

JenJay

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Re: How to nicely tell a coworker to stop flirting and get back to work
« Reply #49 on: March 13, 2013, 04:17:23 PM »
I'd normally agree, however, it sounds like the boss has taken Flirty under her wing so she may think Flirty is just having trouble catching on and legitimately needs a hand. I think boss needs to know that the work isn't getting done because Flirty is spending a lot of time socializing away from her desk and not because she's struggling to get everything done despite putting in a full 8 hours.

Surianne

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Re: How to nicely tell a coworker to stop flirting and get back to work
« Reply #50 on: March 13, 2013, 05:28:24 PM »
I definitely see where you're coming from on that, JenJay.  I wouldn't lead with it, though, and especially not in an email -- maybe if she were meeting with the boss in person, and could test the waters  first with "Flirty's work isn't getting finished" and see where the boss went with it.

Sounds like a good update, though, and that the higher ups are possibly aware.  Hope it works out!  I've been in this situation before and it's incredibly frustrating.