Author Topic: Stop Whining Already!  (Read 5012 times)

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Janice

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Stop Whining Already!
« on: June 12, 2013, 03:58:15 PM »
Does anyone have any etiquette-approved phrases for dealing with "The Whiny Co-Worker"?

I work with Whiny Co-Worker (hereinafter referred to as "WC"). While we aren't in the same department, our desks are next to each other and our work very occasionally needs some cooperation. I've been hearing a constant stream of complaints about assorted issues. While some of the complaints are justified, they are being addressed and I am totally sick of the sighs, eye rolls and emails about it. I'm not even responding, as I think it makes both of us look bad to waste time griping, and at this point I could care less that his poor little feelings are hurt about the latest "outrage".

What really annoys me is that this guy seems to think that I should sympathize and support him in his complaining, and that's just not happening. It doesn't help that he's also a slacker, which irritates me to no end, and removes pretty much any sympathy I might have had. He's not somebody I'd be interested in being friends with anyway, so I really am not interested in conversing with him unless it's work related.

Recently I've been so fed up and so busy at work that I've just been putting on headphones whenever he's around to avoid speaking to him. Does anyone have any approved phrases in case he brings it up directly? So far I've just been saying "you need to take it up with Manager X" and lather, rinse, repeat.

MrTango

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Re: Stop Whining Already!
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2013, 04:11:17 PM »
Don't be even the slightest bit nice.  I'm not saying to be rude, but politeness doesn't require you to be pleasant and/or nice.

"Co-worker, I have too much work to do to spend my time listening to you whine about your work.  If you have a problem, bring it up with the boss.  Otherwise, unless you need something work-related from me, I need you to stop interrupting me."

Also, I'd bring it up with the boss.  Tell your boss that Co-worker's behavior is distracting you from being able to give your full attention to your work.

NyaChan

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Re: Stop Whining Already!
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2013, 04:14:26 PM »
"I can't help you with that."
"So what do you plan to do about it?"
"Coworker, I really need to focus now."

If it is a little less formal,  "Coworker, you are killing my good day!"

TootsNYC

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Re: Stop Whining Already!
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2013, 04:19:41 PM »
Every time he whines:
"You sound unhappy. Maybe you should look for a new job."

Don't make it a question, and don't use a friendly tone of voice. Use the tone of voice that says, "I'm tired of the same stuff all  the time." Not a *rude* tone, or a snide one.

Sort of "bored matter-of-fact" is what you're aiming for.

TootsNYC

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Re: Stop Whining Already!
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2013, 04:20:12 PM »
And there's always, "I'm sorry. I need to concentrate." Feel free to interrupt him to say this. (Even if it is technically rude.)

Amara

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Re: Stop Whining Already!
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2013, 04:40:10 PM »
How about "Please stop whining already." Stretch out the "please" with a long sigh so it would sound something like pleeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaasssssssssssseeeeeeeeee and say it in a firm, tired tone so he understands that you really mean business.

I would not add "I'm sorry" to whatever phrase you use because it will take away from the firmness you need to convey.

*inviteseller

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Re: Stop Whining Already!
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2013, 10:12:21 PM »
The slackers are always the biggest whiners.  Just go into complete ignore mode.

veronaz

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Re: Stop Whining Already!
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2013, 10:54:40 PM »
Whiners are sooooooo draining.  ::)  They are Emotional Vampires just waiting to pounce.

Quote
"So what do you plan to do about it?"

This.

Or:  "Well, when you come up with a list of solutions, present it to (the boss).  I have my own work to do."
« Last Edit: June 12, 2013, 10:56:54 PM by veronaz »

WillyNilly

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Re: Stop Whining Already!
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2013, 11:07:58 PM »
I would probably say something like "please stop with the constant complaints. I'm not interested in comiserating or focusing on negativity. I'd to just do my work in peace."

cwm

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Re: Stop Whining Already!
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2013, 01:04:59 PM »
I would look at him and in the most confused tone of voice, say "That's odd, I never even noticed it. I guess it's not worth me worrying about." Then go back to your work. If he brings it up again, use variations.

"Huh, that's interesting. But since there's nothing I can do about it, I guess I won't stress out about it."
"Thanks for bringing that to my attention, but boss is the one who should be dealing with stuff like that."

"You sound unhappy. Maybe you should look for a new job."
< snip >
Sort of "bored matter-of-fact" is what you're aiming for.

This exactly. And if he still doesn't catch on that you're deflecting and not sympathetic at all, put up a sign like the one from Peanuts, that says the doctor is out. Or in, and you'll charge $5 per complaint to listen.  >:D
 
I'm gonna go stuff Evil Cwm away for a bit now.

Auntie Mame

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Re: Stop Whining Already!
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2013, 01:15:16 PM »
My Mom's a chronic whiner, she can find the gray cloud no matter what the silver lining.  My tactic is to respond to every complaint with something positive then bean dip. 

For example, one Christmas she bought us tickets to a musical I had been dying to see and I was super excited.

She complained about everything:

Mom: I thought the seats would be better, I can't believe we are stuck up here.
Me: I can see the stage just fine, I always prefer to be in the balcony, you have a better view of everything.  oh I can't wait until they do "big number", that's my favorite.

Mom: That set is really plain, I thought the set would be more elaborate.
Me: That's how the play is classically, I think it's cool, it highlights all they great singing and dancing, you aren't distracted by an overly done up set. Didn't you love the costumes from "second number"?

Mom: Blah blah blah, whine whine whine.  (after awhile she starts to sound like the adults in the Peanuts cartoons)
Me: Mom, I have having a great time and I really appreciate these wonderful present you got me.  Oh hey, after the show, let me buy you a cocktail from "cool bar" they make the most amazing "fun cocktail".

Lather, rinse, repeat.

I keep my tone light, I don't disagree with or attack anything she says, I simply smile and say something positive then change the subject.  Shuts her down everytime.
Auntie needs fuel, black coffee and a side car.

whiskeytangofoxtrot

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Re: Stop Whining Already!
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2013, 01:38:30 PM »
Oh Janice, I feel your pain! I have the displeasure of dealing with a SS too. It's too hot in here, oh em gee there are bugs everywhere, the desk doesn't face the right way, expert on everything (just ask), everybody else is jealous, other people are soo stuuupiddd, and why do those people make life soo haaarrrd? ::) And it's everyone else's fault that SS got fired from the last job. Right...

The more attention you give CW, the worse he gets, I'll bet- so don't feed the beast. I use the cold shoulder/headphones on approach, both to keep my inside inside voice from becoming the outside voice, and to not play along with SS's attention-seeking tantrums. It hasn't stopped them, but I'm a little less irked, so that's something. Eventually, the higher-ups will tire of the crap, or both of our SS's will seek fresh audiences. I hope.

siamesecat2965

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Re: Stop Whining Already!
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2013, 03:29:10 PM »
Not me, but a friend and her boss. She works in a supermarket bakery, and so she comes in early, works and gets out earlier than most. She recently had surgery so was out for a couple of months, and during that time, her boss took over her hours, which he now claims he's "keeping" since it means he gets out much earlier and has time to spend with his boyfriend. which as the manager he could do, except he needs to be there during most of the day, to deal with the day to day operations of the dept. So he whines and moans and complains, and my friend, even though she says its really hard, ignores him, which makes him madder.

Janice

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Re: Stop Whining Already!
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2013, 01:59:08 PM »
Thanks for the ideas!

WC has been "working" from home for the past few days (if he' s actually working, that is), so I've been spared the constant wahwahwahwah. His latest tactic has been to come to work, piss and moan about the issue, and then say he's "working from home", stomp off in a snit and not come back in. He's gotten away with it so far because his direct boss is located across the country and is a complete slacker too from what I've seen, but it is being noted by our VP.  >:D

Phrases like "so what are you planning to do" will just invite more whining and I'd rather not use some of the more confrontational phrases, much as I love them, as I think they'd just enlarge his already massive sense of grievance.

So for now I'm sticking to the icily polite/disinterested phrase of: "You need to talk to Manager X about that"  followed up with complete silence and a refusal to engage.

Headphones...gotta love 'em!

gramma dishes

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Re: Stop Whining Already!
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2013, 02:33:36 PM »
My Mom's a chronic whiner, she can find the gray cloud no matter what the silver lining.  My tactic is to respond to every complaint with something positive then bean dip. 

For example, one Christmas she bought us tickets to a musical I had been dying to see and I was super excited.

She complained about everything:

Mom: I thought the seats would be better, I can't believe we are stuck up here.
Me: I can see the stage just fine, I always prefer to be in the balcony, you have a better view of everything.  oh I can't wait until they do "big number", that's my favorite.

Mom: That set is really plain, I thought the set would be more elaborate.
Me: That's how the play is classically, I think it's cool, it highlights all they great singing and dancing, you aren't distracted by an overly done up set. Didn't you love the costumes from "second number"?

Mom: Blah blah blah, whine whine whine.  (after awhile she starts to sound like the adults in the Peanuts cartoons)
Me: Mom, I have having a great time and I really appreciate these wonderful present you got me.  Oh hey, after the show, let me buy you a cocktail from "cool bar" they make the most amazing "fun cocktail".

Lather, rinse, repeat.

I keep my tone light, I don't disagree with or attack anything she says, I simply smile and say something positive then change the subject.  Shuts her down everytime.

I confess to smiling a little as I read your post.  It almost sounds like your Mom has learned to say negative things knowing full well that you'll counter with a positive:  "I just love this!"  "Isn't this beautiful?"   "This is my favorite part."  Each of those answers are, in a way, complimenting her on her wisdom, great taste, generosity, etc. in giving you the tickets as a gift. 

Do you think there's a possibility that she's just trying to elicit a compliment or at least a statement of gratitude from you?   :)