Author Topic: Rude To Say "Please Stop This"?  (Read 5094 times)

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Mental Magpie

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Re: Rude To Say "Please Stop This"?
« Reply #15 on: May 09, 2013, 07:59:20 PM »
I feel like this will continue until someone speaks up either to HR or both Harriet and Karen at the same time.

While Harriet may be passively trying to ignore all of this, what Karen is doing is affecting everyone.  I wouldn't address just one or just the other, as then it would seem like you were taking sides.  I think without more detail I will have to hold back judgment on Harriet: does she actually complete her job by minimally interacting with Karen (ie: would an outsider notice?) or does it seem like they just don't get along.

Karen, on the other hand, is being plain old aggressive.  I think it would be OK to quietly say, "Please stop doing that, it is very disconcerting."  Don't tell her she's being childish or rude, just that it affects you.  Make sure your voice is neutral and not accusatory.
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mrkitty

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Re: Rude To Say "Please Stop This"?
« Reply #16 on: May 10, 2013, 04:09:06 AM »
I think both of them are behaving completely unprofessionally and need to be disciplined by HR or fired. I think both of them are creating a hostile environment for each other and everyone else. I, for one, would find it difficult to tolerate an environment like that. It sickens me that people play the "silent treatment" game - it's petulant and immature. It is equally immature and obnoxious, in my opinion, to harass someone like Karen is doing.

I hope there's a way for you to complain to HR anonymously about this. I can appreciate your frustration.
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wx4caster

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Re: Rude To Say "Please Stop This"?
« Reply #17 on: May 10, 2013, 07:37:21 AM »
This has been going on for a year?  :o  I would have snapped long ago and told them both to act their age while in the office.  Any protests of innocence would be denounced with a detailed explanation about why their behavior was so childish.  I'm sure it would have earned me a complaint to HR but I've been there before and now I have the reputation as a person to not to be annoyed.
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KimodoDragon

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Re: Rude To Say "Please Stop This"?
« Reply #18 on: May 10, 2013, 09:56:48 AM »
Thanks to everyone for your responses.

By way of clarification . . .

Harriett and Karen do not have much interaction for business purposes.  But on the occasions they do have to interact, Harriett's demeanor is very dry, but professional enough where they get the work completed.  Karen's demeanor is always sing-songy and naa-naa-boo-boo, KWIM?  Like she relishes in the fact that she will make Harriett talk to her, even if it is just for business.

Karen is also a bit of an instigator.  Outside of this situation, she has the tendency to make snarky comments about random things.  She will say something like, "you didn't hear this from me, but I think that new girl from accounting took three donuts this morning". 

When it comes to these type of office situations, I am known as neutral.  In general, I never give an opinion unless I am asked and if I do respond, it is en masse - where everyone can hear it.   And I don't believe in having side conversations with someone about someone else.  That way, nothing is misconstrued.

One of the other ladies made a point that if Harriett doesn't care enough to escalate this to a manager or HR, then we all should just ignore it.




bloo

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Re: Rude To Say "Please Stop This"?
« Reply #19 on: May 10, 2013, 10:14:23 AM »
One of the other ladies made a point that if Harriett doesn't care enough to escalate this to a manager or HR, then we all should just ignore it.

But that only applies if the problem affects Harriett and Karen only.

But that's not the case. It's affecting the morale of the entire office.

Tabby Uprising

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Re: Rude To Say "Please Stop This"?
« Reply #20 on: May 10, 2013, 11:01:01 AM »
This issue is the responsibility of your manager.  It really touches on a pet peeve of mine: managers who do not manage.  Manage your people!  Yes, HR is there to happily assist managers with these issues, but we're not the police/principals office of the corporation.  Managers need to handle their people.

Karen sounds unpleasant and like someone I wouldn't relish having in my department, but not every unpleasant situation is an HR issue.  We're there for (at least in the U.S.) Title VII violations, sexual harassment claims, FMLA, ADA issues and of course, helping managers counsel employees and address employee issues. 

If an employee came to me with a concern of this nature I would be sympathetic, but I'd tell them to go to their manager with their concerns because it is the managers responsibility to handle it.  If the manager does not, go to their manager and if it still doesn't change, then you have to deal with the situation as it stands. 

KimodoDragon

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Re: Rude To Say "Please Stop This"?
« Reply #21 on: May 10, 2013, 11:35:23 AM »
This issue is the responsibility of your manager.  It really touches on a pet peeve of mine: managers who do not manage.  Manage your people!  Yes, HR is there to happily assist managers with these issues, but we're not the police/principals office of the corporation.  Managers need to handle their people.

Karen sounds unpleasant and like someone I wouldn't relish having in my department, but not every unpleasant situation is an HR issue.  We're there for (at least in the U.S.) Title VII violations, sexual harassment claims, FMLA, ADA issues and of course, helping managers counsel employees and address employee issues. 

If an employee came to me with a concern of this nature I would be sympathetic, but I'd tell them to go to their manager with their concerns because it is the managers responsibility to handle it.  If the manager does not, go to their manager and if it still doesn't change, then you have to deal with the situation as it stands.

This is what I am thinking.  It's an issue that could be handled at manager level, not as high as HR (yet).  If I am asked, I will say just this. 

Thanks!

rose red

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Re: Rude To Say "Please Stop This"?
« Reply #22 on: May 10, 2013, 04:13:13 PM »
I don't blame Harriet for just having the bare minimum with Karen. 

eta: I don't see Harriet doing anything wrong just keeping to herself.  If this gets brought up with the manager, it should be mostly about Karen. 
« Last Edit: May 10, 2013, 04:17:02 PM by rose red »

Mental Magpie

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Re: Rude To Say "Please Stop This"?
« Reply #23 on: May 10, 2013, 04:45:02 PM »
I don't blame Harriet for just having the bare minimum with Karen. 

eta: I don't see Harriet doing anything wrong just keeping to herself.  If this gets brought up with the manager, it should be mostly about Karen.

I agree.  Harriett probably acts as such because she thinks if she does say anything, Karen will only escalate the instigation.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

TootsNYC

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Re: Rude To Say "Please Stop This"?
« Reply #24 on: May 10, 2013, 04:56:25 PM »
If you decide to say something to Karen, make it be, "you're making me uncomfortable. I know that it irks you, and I know that you think Harriet is petty or whatever. But I have never done anything wrong to you, and the two fo US are on good terms. I am asking you as a favor to me--because it makes me uncomfortable and starts MY day out unpleasantly--to simply drop the needling of Harriet. Because I asked you to. As a favor to me."

Jocelyn

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Re: Rude To Say "Please Stop This"?
« Reply #25 on: May 10, 2013, 11:38:58 PM »
This needs to be stopped now. 
It will only get worse, affecting everyone, and when it's 'solved' years from now, people are going to be very, very unhappy with the 'solution'.
Trust me, I'm living through this situation, 5 years later, at my current job. It isn't pretty and someone is going to get hurt very badly, and it may be several innocent parties who end up being hurt, too.

*inviteseller

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Re: Rude To Say "Please Stop This"?
« Reply #26 on: May 11, 2013, 01:35:49 PM »
I don't see Harriet as doing anything wrong.  She will talk business if necessary, but chooses to outright ignore Karen and her childishness.  Just because you work with someone does not mean you have to like them or pretend to like them.  As long as Harriet is going about her day and not stirring up trouble (like Karen is) and it is not affecting anyone's work, there should be no problem giving the cut.  Karen should be told by someone in the supervisory position to knock it off because to me, what she is doing is harassment.  I have worked with people that I only interacted with professionally but did not chit chat with or put on a fake for for.  It was fine, nobody's work suffered and had I been told I had to be friends with someone, I would not have been able to do that because a fake friend is worse. 

veronaz

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Re: Rude To Say "Please Stop This"?
« Reply #27 on: May 13, 2013, 12:35:52 PM »
First of all, based just on the information given, we don’t know that it’s a personal issue.  We were only told they had a bad falling out and it could be due to a job related issue.  (Salary differences, unfair workload distribution, favoritism, finding out someone said negative things about them, taking credit for another’s work, or any number of other work related issues.)  In fact, KimodoDragon may not really know what the real problem is.

Even though I don’t know the specifics of why Harriett doesn’t want anything to do with Karen, the information about Karen being an instigator and her snarky gossip gives me a clue.

KimodoDragon, sorry but I don’t think it’s up to you to tell another employee how to behave.  Where is the supervisor when all this is going on?  Has anyone complained to the supervisor (or HR) about the childish antics and the tension it has created (apparently for a long time)?

Aside from needling Harriett, Karen also seems to be trying to cover herself (“Hey, I’m just trying to be civil”) and doing so in a junior-high school way. While I don’t condone Karen’s behavior, Harriett is not completely innocent.  Being civil with other employees is a requirement in the workplace.  While Harriett doesn’t have to be friends or even chat with Karen, the silent treatment is unacceptable.  Karen’s “say good morning to me or I’ll keep harassing you” game is also unacceptable and needs to stop.  Someone in management or HR needs to intercede and pull both Harriett into a conference room and explain that to both of them.  Until someone officially complains it appears nothing will change.