Author Topic: rudeness by coworker -- WWYD?  (Read 5591 times)

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songbird

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rudeness by coworker -- WWYD?
« on: September 24, 2013, 04:06:09 PM »


Coworker (we will call him "John") was on a 6 month leave of absence due to medical issues (unrelated to his employment).  Prior to his leave of absence John had been written up several times  for deficiencies in his work and was in danger of losing his job.  When John returned to work two weeks ago, the office rumor mill said he had asked for additional leave time but his request was denied.


The day he returned to work, John was extremely rude to everyone.  When i saw him in the reception area, reading his paper,  I said something along the lines of "Welcome back, I'm glad to see you."    He  looked up at me, rolled his eyes, then went back to reading his paper.  Everyone else got similar treatment.

John and I were never really friends.  We are in the same department, but report to different supervisors, and I have no business reason to interact with him.  He sits a few cubicles away from me, so I hear him chatting with our coworkers from time to time -- apparently he got over what ever was causing the rude behavior that first day back.

So the question is...sooner or later I will find myself in a situation where John and I will need to talk to each other.  Do I simply ignore the rude behavior and move on, or do I say something to him about it?

gramma dishes

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Re: rudeness by coworker -- WWYD?
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2013, 04:21:08 PM »
...   Do I simply ignore the rude behavior and move on, or do I say something to him about it?

Do you think it would do any good for you to say something to him about it? 

I have a feeling that it would not.  If I were you, I think that for the time being at least I'd just stay away from him as much as possible without being downright rude. 

If he behaves like this often enough and around enough different people, chances are it isn't going to be a problem for long.

alice

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Re: rudeness by coworker -- WWYD?
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2013, 04:24:25 PM »
I would give it a pass the first time.  If it happened a second time, I might call him on it

EllenS

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Re: rudeness by coworker -- WWYD?
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2013, 04:29:48 PM »
I think this is exactly what the strata of polite behavior known as "civility" and "professionalism" were invented for.  If you must interact with him in order to do your job, do so in a calm and professonal manner, with absolutely no reference to his prior behavior.  You need not make any overtures of friendship, or be warm or chatty in any way.  By the same token, you need not be rude in return.   Whenever you do not need to interact with him, avoid him.

I don't think snarky looks deserve the "cut direct", so if you encounter him in the hallway or he speaks to you, you should respond with neutral, conventional phrases ("good morning"), or a nod.  Again, no friendliness required.

If he apologizes or excuses his rudness in manner satisfactory to you, or if enough time passes that you feel he should be given another chance, you can become as cordial as you were previously. But there is no specific obligation, or time frame when you are "supposed" to do this.

Shoo

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Re: rudeness by coworker -- WWYD?
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2013, 05:05:38 PM »
I would be cold to him, myself.  Not unprofessional, but certainly not friendly either.  At least not until he apologizes for his rudeness to me.  After that, I'd still be professional, maybe less cold, but I doubt I'd ever feel friendly toward him.

TootsNYC

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Re: rudeness by coworker -- WWYD?
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2013, 05:06:38 PM »
I'm w/ EllenS, completely.

I wouldn't be cold to him--I think that's creating drama.

I'd be civil.

EllenS

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Re: rudeness by coworker -- WWYD?
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2013, 05:31:34 PM »
It's a subtle point, because a lot depends on how friendly you were previously.  cold, civil, collegial, friendly, warm - it's a spectrum, and what feels appropriate in one situation or to one sort of temperament, may seem overdone to someone else.

I think if you are just matter-of-fact and not trying to make a point or "show" you are bothered, you'll be fine.

BeagleMommy

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Re: rudeness by coworker -- WWYD?
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2013, 02:47:57 PM »
I think you can go with "professionally polite".  I use this with Annoying Coworker.  I'm polite, but I don't talk to her about anything other than work.  I will say "good morning" when she comes in, but not much else.

Luci

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Re: rudeness by coworker -- WWYD?
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2013, 02:51:54 PM »
I think you can go with "professionally polite".  I use this with Annoying Coworker.  I'm polite, but I don't talk to her about anything other than work.  I will say "good morning" when she comes in, but not much else.
I'm w/ EllenS, completely.

I wouldn't be cold to him--I think that's creating drama.

I'd be civil.

Yup.

SoCalVal

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Re: rudeness by coworker -- WWYD?
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2013, 03:21:05 PM »
I think you can go with "professionally polite".  I use this with Annoying Coworker.  I'm polite, but I don't talk to her about anything other than work.  I will say "good morning" when she comes in, but not much else.

Pod.  I've had people I really will only interact with professionally but don't deal with otherwise.  I had a coworker who did that to me (I'm guessing she was PO'd because I reported her for making an offensive and racist comment); she did eventually start talking to me again (outside of professionally, which was the only time she'd talk to me -- wouldn't respond when I'd say "good morning" and "good night").  I let the bad behavior go unaddressed.  I figured it was her cross to bear, not mine, so I wasn't going to acknowledge it.

There's another employee who refuses to acknowledge anyone other than supervisors in non-work-related interaction.  I had to learn to consciously keep myself from greeting her because I got tired of, essentially, greeting a wall.  She walked through my office today to see one of the supervisors.  I noticed out of the corner of my eye her actually smiling at me as she walked in (I was looking at my computer screen).  I've been so "trained" to ignore her that I ignored her.  You can't spend, literally, years, treating fellow employees like poop then expect them to start acknowledging you when you decide you want to be polite after all.  I noticed one of my coworkers used to greet RudeEmployee when she came in but finally stopped (I'm guessing she realized that RudeEmployee was never going to respond and might've noticed that the rest of us never greet RudeEmployee).

So, I say, ignore the guy's bad behavior and be professional.  However, being professional doesn't mean you have to interact with him beyond that.  If he pressed for being social, I would actually call him on his rude behavior earlier on.



bopper

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Re: rudeness by coworker -- WWYD?
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2013, 09:36:32 AM »
Personally I would give him a week and then see how he interacts with me. If he is excessively rude and/or isn't doing his work I would have a talk with the boss.

SplishFish

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Re: rudeness by coworker -- WWYD?
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2013, 02:10:29 PM »
Coworker (we will call him "John") was on a 6 month leave of absence due to medical issues   ... snip ...

The day he returned to work, John was extremely rude to everyone.  When i saw him in the reception area, reading his paper,  I said something along the lines of "Welcome back, I'm glad to see you."    He  looked up at me, rolled his eyes, then went back to reading his paper.  Everyone else got similar treatment.
Just a thought, but maybe he was embarrassed by receiving attention after a medical condition and/or you were the 50th person that day that brought it up? Not that it excuses rudeness, but it may be an explanation.

I'd say let this instance pass and see if the rudeness repeats itself. Treat him professionally but not friendly.

songbird

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Re: rudeness by coworker -- WWYD?
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2013, 01:58:03 PM »
Coworker (we will call him "John") was on a 6 month leave of absence due to medical issues   ... snip ...

The day he returned to work, John was extremely rude to everyone.  When i saw him in the reception area, reading his paper,  I said something along the lines of "Welcome back, I'm glad to see you."    He  looked up at me, rolled his eyes, then went back to reading his paper.  Everyone else got similar treatment.
Just a thought, but maybe he was embarrassed by receiving attention after a medical condition and/or you were the 50th person that day that brought it up? Not that it excuses rudeness, but it may be an explanation.

I'd say let this instance pass and see if the rudeness repeats itself. Treat him professionally but not friendly.

No, it was more like he was mad as heck that he had to be back at the office and was taking it out on all of us...the first person who saw him that morning got the same treatment as everyone else.

veronaz

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Re: rudeness by coworker -- WWYD?
« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2013, 03:47:42 PM »
In a way, I'm a bit surprised he's acting openly surly since it sounds like he's already on thin ice.  But that's his problem, not yours or other co-workers.

Forget about an apology.....not gonna happen.  I'd be polite when/if we HAVE to interact.  Not overly friendly, not chatty because he'll just grunt and make you feel frutrated.  Minimal interaction, then ignore him.

If his refusal to communicate impedes your work, talk to the boss.  Also, be careful not to discuss him with others or to participate in discussion about him.

misha412

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Re: rudeness by coworker -- WWYD?
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2013, 06:44:58 PM »
I think you can go with "professionally polite".  I use this with Annoying Coworker.  I'm polite, but I don't talk to her about anything other than work.  I will say "good morning" when she comes in, but not much else.

Start with professionally polite and see how he acts. He may get back to being a sane human being or he might go the other way. Respond in kind. If the rudeness continues and makes things uncomfortable, I would speak with HR or a supervisor about it.