Author Topic: Rude To Say "Please Stop This"?  (Read 5193 times)

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KimodoDragon

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Rude To Say "Please Stop This"?
« on: May 09, 2013, 09:30:32 AM »
The scenario in my office is this:  there are 8 ladies in our group who work in 2 aisles of 4 cubes - no walls and we can all see and hear each other.  It's actually a quiet environment and pleasant for the most part.  Except for one blight.

Two of the eight women had a bad falling out last year.  So much so, that "Harriett" will not acknowledge, look at or speak to Karen.  Harriett begrudgingly talks to Karen when it involves business issues and that is at a bare minimum.

Since this falling out happened last year and Harriett has been on her no-speaking campaign, every morning-without fail, Karen will arrive and give a hearty loud, "GOOD MORNING, HARRIETT" as she walks past Harriett's cube.  Then Karen will address everyone else with, "good morning ladies".  It's almost as if Karen is taunting Harriett.  Another lady has asked Harriett why does she put up with it and Harriett says she just ignores it.  For the rest of us it makes for an uncomfortable setting when Karen does this.  Karen sometimes snickers or rolls her eyes after her loud greeting to Harriett.

Some days, I think about asking Karen to please stop doing this.  Harriett obviously is not interested in exchanging pleasantries so why keep doing this?  Then I think to just mind my own business.  One of the other ladies said this is considered a "hostile working enviornment".  I don't know if that is true, but the way Karen does her thing, makes me feel she is taunting and teasing, like she is trying to get a rise out of Harriett.

Would it be rude if someone told Karen to please stop doing this?

Venus193

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Re: Rude To Say "Please Stop This"?
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2013, 09:36:11 AM »
I think someone in HR should address this grade-school behavior.

Virg

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Re: Rude To Say "Please Stop This"?
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2013, 10:12:15 AM »
Agreed with Venus193.  Report this to HR, ask them to keep it anonymous, and ask them to put a stop to it.  Karen is needling Harriet and I can't imagine that her superior(s) are interested in a blowup between them due to this childishness.

Virg

Zizi-K

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Re: Rude To Say "Please Stop This"?
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2013, 10:14:22 AM »
I actually think that Harriet is complicit in this. It's not acceptable in a work environment to simply ignore or never speak with another coworker. They have brought their personal issues into the work environment, when what they need to do is leave them at the door. Harriet should respond with "Good morning" and that would be the end of the drama.

Winterlight

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Re: Rude To Say "Please Stop This"?
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2013, 10:21:04 AM »
I actually think that Harriet is complicit in this. It's not acceptable in a work environment to simply ignore or never speak with another coworker. They have brought their personal issues into the work environment, when what they need to do is leave them at the door. Harriet should respond with "Good morning" and that would be the end of the drama.

Agreed. They both need to knock it off.
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cwm

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Re: Rude To Say "Please Stop This"?
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2013, 10:32:52 AM »
I agree with what's been said. They both need to get over it. Leave your home issues at home and don't bring them in to work. But if nothing gets any better, HR does need to at least know about it. I wouldn't take this one on myself, lest I somehow invoke the wrath of Karen or Harriett and get pulled into all the drama.

Twik

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Re: Rude To Say "Please Stop This"?
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2013, 10:45:17 AM »
They're both acting like children.
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NyaChan

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Re: Rude To Say "Please Stop This"?
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2013, 11:22:00 AM »
They're both acting like children.

Yup.  And I blame both of them, and actually I am more irritated Harriet because her behavior includes all of the office indirectly into their personal problems while it seems Karen was willing to put on a facade for the work place.  This happened in group of ladies I was living abroad with.  One decided to pretend the other didn't exist, never mind that we lived together, ate together, attended class together.  The ignored one came off looking like roses in my eyes even though I did not like her personally because she just sat down with us anyways and would chat to whoever would respond.

Oh Joy

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Re: Rude To Say "Please Stop This"?
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2013, 11:39:56 AM »
...

Would it be rude if someone told Karen to please stop doing this?

How frustrating!

I wouldn't suggest asking Karen to stop.  A specific order regarding how an adult greets another adult isn't necessarily ours to make.  However, I would suggest semi-privately telling Karen that it makes you uncomfortable listening to Harriet being greeted separately from the rest of you being greeted together.  Knowing that the two of them don't get along, you feel as though you're being brought into their issues, and that's not the kind of professional you want to be.  (Or some such thing that's relevant and natural for you)

It may also be the start of a culture shift for your department.

I would hope that a supervisor or Human Resources are brought in to any extent that their dynamics are impacting performance or overall culture (as it seems to be).

Best wishes.

BeagleMommy

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Re: Rude To Say "Please Stop This"?
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2013, 02:24:58 PM »
The funny thing is Annoying Coworker stopped talking to me for nearly a year.  She would communicate via email regarding work things, but nothing else.  Suddenly, she's become really friendly.  Suspiciously so.

I found out that my director told her to stop being a donkey and act like a grown up.  I still don't trust her so I'm being professionally polite but nothing beyond that.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Rude To Say "Please Stop This"?
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2013, 02:52:50 PM »
They're both acting like children.

Yup.  And I blame both of them, and actually I am more irritated Harriet because her behavior includes all of the office indirectly into their personal problems while it seems Karen was willing to put on a facade for the work place.   This happened in group of ladies I was living abroad with.  One decided to pretend the other didn't exist, never mind that we lived together, ate together, attended class together.  The ignored one came off looking like roses in my eyes even though I did not like her personally because she just sat down with us anyways and would chat to whoever would respond.

I disagree that Karen is putting on a facade. She is openly taunting Harriet. The OP says she comes in and loudly says hello to Harriet by name but then does a general "good morning ladies". She is either trying to imply that Harriet is not a lady or she is trying to taunt her knowing she won't get a response.

The OP doesnt' imply there is any other times that Harriet's position of "business only" communication to Karen creates discomfort for others. If Karen would stop her childish antics on a daily basis, the other's would probably even forget to notice that neither one exchanges pleasentries with the other.

YummyMummy66

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Re: Rude To Say "Please Stop This"?
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2013, 02:53:56 PM »
Tomorrow morning, I think I would have to be the one to speak up.   Ater Karen says her spiel, "Would you two please grow up already?  Karen, you need to stop needling Harriet and Harriett, you need to either say Hello, or nip this in the bud.  The rest of us are getting tired of being back in high school."

If Karen or Harriett say anything, "I understand that on a personal level, you two are no longer talking, but both of your actions or inactions are beginning to affect everyone in here.  If you cannot stop or be civil to one another, HR is the next step.  (Then I would turn my head and state, "Agreed everyone?" because it sounds like everyone is tired of their behavior).

Onyx_TKD

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Re: Rude To Say "Please Stop This"?
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2013, 03:53:53 PM »
They're both acting like children.

Yup.  And I blame both of them, and actually I am more irritated Harriet because her behavior includes all of the office indirectly into their personal problems while it seems Karen was willing to put on a facade for the work place.   This happened in group of ladies I was living abroad with.  One decided to pretend the other didn't exist, never mind that we lived together, ate together, attended class together.  The ignored one came off looking like roses in my eyes even though I did not like her personally because she just sat down with us anyways and would chat to whoever would respond.

I disagree that Karen is putting on a facade. She is openly taunting Harriet. The OP says she comes in and loudly says hello to Harriet by name but then does a general "good morning ladies". She is either trying to imply that Harriet is not a lady or she is trying to taunt her knowing she won't get a response.

The OP doesnt' imply there is any other times that Harriet's position of "business only" communication to Karen creates discomfort for others. If Karen would stop her childish antics on a daily basis, the other's would probably even forget to notice that neither one exchanges pleasentries with the other.

I agree that Karen is behaving badly and not putting on a facade (or at least putting on a very bad one). However, the OP says:
Two of the eight women had a bad falling out last year.  So much so, that "Harriett" will not acknowledge, look at or speak to Karen.  Harriett begrudgingly talks to Karen when it involves business issues and that is at a bare minimum.

To me, this implies that Harriett is not interacting with Karen in a professional manner. I don't care how much Harriett and Karen hate each other. They both need to deal with whatever business interactions are required to do their jobs well (not the bare minimum) and to handle those interactions professionally. If it's obvious to those around them that they "begrudge" the minimum interactions required to perform their jobs, then they're dragging everyone around them into the feud and making an uncomfortable atmosphere. If the other person is harassing them (as Karen seems to be harassing Harriett), then it's probably time to go to HR or the boss or something. But the harassee's position would be better and more sympathetic if she has remained professional and has done her best not to let a personal feud impact her job or disrupt her coworkers--it doesn't sound to me like Harriett has.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Rude To Say "Please Stop This"?
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2013, 04:28:36 PM »
^^
I guess it's your perception of bare minimum or begrudging.

If Harriet says "Karen, send your update for the end of year report by Tuesday." then I don't have a problem.

If she says it with a sourpuss tone, then she isn't being unprofessional.

But Harriet is the one who is making sure to draw attention on a daily basis and doing eye rolls and snickers.

I had a boss once who didn't like me and I didn't like her. We only conversed when business required it. We were actually very productive because we never got sidetracked and we always made sure to be completely accurate because we wouldn't dare make a mistake for the other to find. It was emotionally exhausting to me but didn't impact others in the office.

LEMon

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Re: Rude To Say "Please Stop This"?
« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2013, 07:54:22 PM »
^^
I guess it's your perception of bare minimum or begrudging.

If Harriet says "Karen, send your update for the end of year report by Tuesday." then I don't have a problem.

If she says it with a sourpuss tone, then she isn't being unprofessional.

But Harriet is the one who is making sure to draw attention on a daily basis and doing eye rolls and snickers.

I had a boss once who didn't like me and I didn't like her. We only conversed when business required it. We were actually very productive because we never got sidetracked and we always made sure to be completely accurate because we wouldn't dare make a mistake for the other to find. It was emotionally exhausting to me but didn't impact others in the office.
I believe you meant Karen.

I wish there were a way to tell Karen she is making herself look bad.  Perhaps that might change things.

I would be hesitant to deal with this in a direct confrontation of both since neither has shown maturity in dealing with problems.  I would go with HR, or a polite conversation with each privately letting them know that their interactions are affecting the department and how they are view by others.