Author Topic: The playpen at work...better known as the office....  (Read 4437 times)

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happygrrl

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The playpen at work...better known as the office....
« on: November 01, 2013, 01:28:26 PM »
I've noticed that another manager has seemed very aloof and distant for the past several weeks, although we are just co-workers, not friends-outside-of-work. I haven't paid a lot of attention to it (due to being busy and distracted myself), but it was brought to my attention today that she is miffed at me b/c she thinks that I snubbed her one Friday when I was swamped and a mutual coworker asked me to go to lunch. I was in the middle of a messy, must be finished by the end of the day project and asked who was going (thinking that if it was a large group, it would take more time to order, pay-up, etc...) and it was. So, I declined (told her i was busy) and that was that.

Or so I thought. A week or so after that, us managers were told that we were to be given a series of free management effectiveness classes over the course of a couple of months. All of the other managers were invited, but not me. When I asked, i was told that there wasn't enough room for me (10 mangers in a room meant to hold 80 people), and the pissed-off co-worker was the one that made that decision. I let that go b/c I was/am so busy, but now I've heard this.

I have no clue as to what to do. This woman is thistight with our boss who thinks she can do no wrong. Any thoughts? (I swear I work in a playpen!!)
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Kaypeep

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Re: The playpen at work...better known as the office....
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2013, 01:43:36 PM »
Ignore all this drama. But, in the spirit of friendly coworkerness, ask that woman to lunch who you turned down back then. Don't make it about righting a wrong or trying to get back into good graces.  Just go to lunch like nothing ever happened.  Don't play their game, but since you didn't snub her and might have ordinarily gone to lunch anyway, doing so now shows you harbor no ill will towards her (then or now.)

veronaz

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Re: The playpen at work...better known as the office....
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2013, 02:14:50 PM »
The problem seems to be you're being told by others that the manager is mad at you and why.  Red flag!  Junior high school potstirrers.  Steer clear of THEM.  Don't comment to them about the situation.

Meanwhile, I agree that it might be a good idea to invite her to lunch.

momof2weenies

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Re: The playpen at work...better known as the office....
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2013, 03:30:15 PM »
Snip . . .

Or so I thought. A week or so after that, us managers were told that we were to be given a series of free management effectiveness classes over the course of a couple of months. All of the other managers were invited, but not me. When I asked, i was told that there wasn't enough room for me (10 mangers in a room meant to hold 80 people), and the pissed-off co-worker was the one that made that decision. I let that go b/c I was/am so busy, but now I've heard this.

You do need to check with your boss on this though.  "Boss, I understand that apparently there isn't enough space for me to attend the management effectiveness classes with the other managers.  When can I expect to be scheduled for make-up sessions?"

Because of course you're not being denied this opportunity that every other manager is getting, surely it's only been delayed for you - and since you're a team player, you're cool with it and just following up.
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peaches

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Re: The playpen at work...better known as the office....
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2013, 03:39:39 PM »
I was in the middle of a messy, must be finished by the end of the day project and asked who was going (thinking that if it was a large group, it would take more time to order, pay-up, etc...) and it was. So, I declined (told her i was busy) and that was that.


I think this is where things might have gone wrong. You asked a question that might have been misinterpreted. If you didn't explain why you asked who was going (size of the group, therefore too much time involved), your decision not to go could be seen as a snub.

I'll be honest - getting along with other employees, even the difficult ones, is an important part of any job. It's just as important as getting the actual work done. 

Given that this person is in the good graces of the boss, it's all the more important to get along with her.

I'd make an effort to get to know this person better, and I'd take the initiative to do it.


sammycat

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Re: The playpen at work...better known as the office....
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2013, 07:00:23 PM »
You do need to check with your boss on this though.  "Boss, I understand that apparently there isn't enough space for me to attend the management effectiveness classes with the other managers.  When can I expect to be scheduled for make-up sessions?"

Because of course you're not being denied this opportunity that every other manager is getting, surely it's only been delayed for you - and since you're a team player, you're cool with it and just following up.

I agree with this.

Sweettooth

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Re: The playpen at work...better known as the office....
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2013, 09:25:46 AM »
I agree with momof2weenies that you ought to follow up and ask when your training will be scheduled, and I also agree with peaches--regardless of your personal feelings for this woman it would be a good thing to invite her to lunch, stop and chat with her, and otherwise get to know her better. You might even be really direct and tell her you've heard she was upset about the lunch "snub," explain why you didn't go, and tell her you're sorry it hurt her feelings. She might be disarmed enough to start being nice again.

*inviteseller

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Re: The playpen at work...better known as the office....
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2013, 11:43:12 AM »
I disagree about inviting this woman to work to 'make it right'.  OP was swamped with work, explained she was too busy to take the time for lunch and went about doing her work (what we are paid to do for 8 hours) and now this woman has a bee up her butt about it?  Time for her to grow up and act like an adult in a work environment.    I worked with a woman just like this..I would be racing around, barely able to make a trip to the ladies room just to make a deadline and she would get her nose out of joint if I didn't take time to sit and chit chat about all the reality shows that are on.  I finally told her "Sorry co worker, I am so busy, I wish I could chat but I will get in trouble if I don't finish this."  She went to the boss lady, who gave me a talking to about being rude..I told her if she wanted to pay people to sit around for an hour talking about reality tv, which I loathe and don't watch, fine, but I have work to do."

happygrrl

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Re: The playpen at work...better known as the office....
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2013, 04:05:51 PM »
Thanks for the replies--I truly do not have any beef with the co-worker, although I waver between being amused and irritated about the management classes. (Unfortunately, this is a one time deal, so I can not make up the classes.)

And Peaches, honestly, that's what I thought too. I can completely see, in hindsight, how my question could be misconstrued. It never even crossed my mind any of this; i was just judging he size of the group.

I didn't realize that we had a pot-stirrer in the company; I don't know what possessed the asker to go back and tell this woman that I didn't want to go to lunch because she was going. Apparently some people have a lot of time on their hands. Wish I did. :) However, I now know who to avoid like the plague.
"I am the laziest person on Earth. I want to learn to photosynthesize so I can buy a sun lamp and survive without getting out of bed."  M-theory 11/23/10

PastryGoddess

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Re: The playpen at work...better known as the office....
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2013, 05:23:50 PM »
Since you know when the class is scheduled, why can't you just attend?  Would it be worth it to send a message cc'ing your boss asking WHY you weren't scheduled to attend. Point out everyone else who is at your management level that is attending as well.  maybe even point out the fact that the class is being held in a room 8X the space needed, by asking if the class had a cap of X number of people.

Maybe something like
"Hello Snippy,

I was made aware of ManagmentClass being held in Conference Room A on X date.  I understand that all managers on my level will be attending, so this sounds like a class that I definitely need to attend.  Are there any additional spots available in the class?  I know that room will hold 80 people, and it doesn't sound like the class has a limit.  I'll be talking to BossLady regarding moving things around in my schedule to attend.  I'll follow up in a couple of days if I haven't heard back from you.

Best,
Super Chipper Happygrrl"

Brisvegasgal

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Re: The playpen at work...better known as the office....
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2013, 05:42:25 PM »
I agree with asking about the classes. I also wouldn't assume that the limit is about space though. I'm a workplace trainer and we often limit class sizes to improve the effectiveness of the training and I often train 10 people on a room big enough for 40.

BTW people who act like they're in high school in the workplace drive me crazy, so I hope your situation works out for the best.

shhh its me

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Re: The playpen at work...better known as the office....
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2013, 01:44:54 PM »
I disagree about inviting this woman to work to 'make it right'.  OP was swamped with work, explained she was too busy to take the time for lunch and went about doing her work (what we are paid to do for 8 hours) and now this woman has a bee up her butt about it?  Time for her to grow up and act like an adult in a work environment.    I worked with a woman just like this..I would be racing around, barely able to make a trip to the ladies room just to make a deadline and she would get her nose out of joint if I didn't take time to sit and chit chat about all the reality shows that are on.  I finally told her "Sorry co worker, I am so busy, I wish I could chat but I will get in trouble if I don't finish this."  She went to the boss lady, who gave me a talking to about being rude..I told her if she wanted to pay people to sit around for an hour talking about reality tv, which I loathe and don't watch, fine, but I have work to do."

But that's not what happened here.  We know what OP thinking was because she told us what she actually did was say " WHO is going?"  hears list of people " Oh , I'm too busy." . OP didn't say " I can if it will be a quick lunch because I'm busy , how many people will be going?" or "OH I'm really busy with that many people it wont be a quick lunch."  To someone overhearing OP choice not to go  was based on Who was going not the amount of time it would take.

OP I would go with PPs suggestions of asking about when you will be getting the training and inviting her to lunch.

happygrrl

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Re: The playpen at work...better known as the office....
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2013, 04:51:59 PM »
^ Exactly. I'm afraid that I didn't word my question in a very good manner, but so help me, I didn't mean it the way it sounded/was taken. :)

Thanks for the advice, everyone!
"I am the laziest person on Earth. I want to learn to photosynthesize so I can buy a sun lamp and survive without getting out of bed."  M-theory 11/23/10

AnnaJ

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Re: The playpen at work...better known as the office....
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2013, 06:08:29 PM »
I disagree about inviting this woman to work to 'make it right'.  OP was swamped with work, explained she was too busy to take the time for lunch and went about doing her work (what we are paid to do for 8 hours) and now this woman has a bee up her butt about it?  Time for her to grow up and act like an adult in a work environment.    I worked with a woman just like this..I would be racing around, barely able to make a trip to the ladies room just to make a deadline and she would get her nose out of joint if I didn't take time to sit and chit chat about all the reality shows that are on.  I finally told her "Sorry co worker, I am so busy, I wish I could chat but I will get in trouble if I don't finish this."  She went to the boss lady, who gave me a talking to about being rude..I told her if she wanted to pay people to sit around for an hour talking about reality tv, which I loathe and don't watch, fine, but I have work to do."

It sound as though sociability is an issue in OPs workplace, given that she was excluded from a training session based on what another person saw as a snub.  I work in a field where people can lose their jobs based on a lack of congeniality, so it can be a very important skill - and yes, we're all adults.

OP, I agree with asking her to lunch and trying to redefine your relationship (otherwise known as smoothing over the rough edges), particularly since she is close to your boss. 

TootsNYC

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Re: The playpen at work...better known as the office....
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2013, 09:55:11 PM »
I disagree about inviting this woman to work to 'make it right'.  OP was swamped with work, explained she was too busy to take the time for lunch and went about doing her work (what we are paid to do for 8 hours) and now this woman has a bee up her butt about it?  Time for her to grow up and act like an adult in a work environment.    I worked with a woman just like this..I would be racing around, barely able to make a trip to the ladies room just to make a deadline and she would get her nose out of joint if I didn't take time to sit and chit chat about all the reality shows that are on.  I finally told her "Sorry co worker, I am so busy, I wish I could chat but I will get in trouble if I don't finish this."  She went to the boss lady, who gave me a talking to about being rude..I told her if she wanted to pay people to sit around for an hour talking about reality tv, which I loathe and don't watch, fine, but I have work to do."

But that's not what happened here.  We know what OP thinking was because she told us what she actually did was say " WHO is going?"  hears list of people " Oh , I'm too busy." . OP didn't say " I can if it will be a quick lunch because I'm busy , how many people will be going?" or "OH I'm really busy with that many people it wont be a quick lunch."  To someone overhearing OP choice not to go  was based on Who was going not the amount of time it would take.


I agree w/ shhh's assessment.

That's a very hard skill to learn--to say what you *really* mean. All of us, I think, mentally skip over steps and then actually verbalize about halfway through our thought process.

(I once asked my boyfriend why he had trouble getting up in time. "My brother has two alarm clocks," he said. WHAT?! Oh, he'd loaned his alarm clock to his brother.)

But it's useful. Or, it's useful to explain afterward, once we realize how we sounded.

I don't have any suggestions for the OP, though--except maybe to say "be aggressively cordial to her, so you can demonstrate that you don't have the slightest negative reaction to her. Choose a few strategic moments to be specifically friendly now and then."

I've done that and had it "right the sinking ship" of an "off on the wrong foot" work relationship.