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Author Topic: Being too agreeable?  (Read 11611 times)

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CakeBeret

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Being too agreeable?
« on: December 01, 2013, 01:05:33 PM »
BG: Right now I'm working at the Temp Job from Hell. My last day is Wednesday, thank goodness! My boss is pretty much impossible to please--she's gone through 4 temps already for this position and always find something to criticize.

However, she recently criticized me for being too agreeable and I'm wondering if that is a legitimate complaint that I should work on.

She will tell me things that don't really require any input, such as "I took your pad of sticky notes", "Please email the custodian and ask him to take out the trash", or "I put the TPS report in your inbox." I was apparently saying "okay" in response too frequently because one day she let loose and chewed me out for using the word "okay" so much.

Since she expects a response every time (and this happens a dozen or more times a day) I started trying to switch up my word choices. I started saying things like sounds good, sure, will do, all right, okay. It's a pretty casual environment so I thought this would be okay.

Friday she said "I put your sticky notes back in your drawer." I responded "Sounds good." She started ranting, "Does EVERYTHING sound good to you? What DOESN'T sound good to you? What if I tell you you have to work late tonight? Does THAT sound good to you?"

I'm still kind of baffled, but it's made me wonder if there's something that would be better to say in these situations? Is there such a thing as being too agreeable at work? I'm starting a new, much better job next week, so if this is something I should work on, I want to make sure I'm aware of it.
"From a procrastination standpoint, today has been wildly successful."

RingTailedLemur

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Re: Being too agreeable?
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2013, 01:15:07 PM »
I think this is her issue, not yours, frankly.

Amara

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Re: Being too agreeable?
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2013, 01:18:10 PM »
Quote
Is there such a thing as being too agreeable at work?

Not really. I mean, I guess you could be too agreeable but it would likely take some real effort. What you really have here is a woman who is apparently determined to hate everyone and everything. You can't fix that so congratulations on getting out of there in three days.

>:D If you really wanted to leave her irritated you could begin giving her huge smiles as often as you can manage while chirping in the cheeriest voice possible "great!!!" to everything. Would I do that? Well ...

DollyPond

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Re: Being too agreeable?
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2013, 01:18:38 PM »
She sounds like a whack-a-loon to me.  One of those perfectionist people who is not happy unless everything is 100% perfect and nit-picks everyone to death.

Thank the deities that you only need to put up with her until Wednesday.  Until then you can just be Little Miss Sunshine and drive her nuts.

FauxFoodist

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Re: Being too agreeable?
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2013, 01:43:02 PM »
BG: Right now I'm working at the Temp Job from Hell. My last day is Wednesday, thank goodness! My boss is pretty much impossible to please--she's gone through 4 temps already for this position and always find something to criticize.

However, she recently criticized me for being too agreeable and I'm wondering if that is a legitimate complaint that I should work on.

She will tell me things that don't really require any input, such as "I took your pad of sticky notes", "Please email the custodian and ask him to take out the trash", or "I put the TPS report in your inbox." I was apparently saying "okay" in response too frequently because one day she let loose and chewed me out for using the word "okay" so much.

Since she expects a response every time (and this happens a dozen or more times a day) I started trying to switch up my word choices. I started saying things like sounds good, sure, will do, all right, okay. It's a pretty casual environment so I thought this would be okay.

Friday she said "I put your sticky notes back in your drawer." I responded "Sounds good." She started ranting, "Does EVERYTHING sound good to you? What DOESN'T sound good to you? What if I tell you you have to work late tonight? Does THAT sound good to you?"

I'm still kind of baffled, but it's made me wonder if there's something that would be better to say in these situations? Is there such a thing as being too agreeable at work? I'm starting a new, much better job next week, so if this is something I should work on, I want to make sure I'm aware of it.

You're fine; your boss is being that word we females hate so much.  Just continue to be pleasant and agreeable, don't let her get to you and count down the days until you get to leave.

I had a coworker somewhat like that five years ago.  She was extremely contrary and, frankly, mean.  I almost quit once because of her (I was temping and still seeking permanent employment so I needed to stick with the job).  Still, I'd take a break, take my cell outside and vent to someone's voice mail then go back to work and deal.

On my last day, I made the mistake of completing a task that she preferred to handle herself (I regularly did the task for her counterpart).  When I went to hand the paperwork back to her, she lit into me about how she prefers to do the task herself.  I apologized for the error.  She then had the audacity to tell me that, next time, I needed to leave her to do it herself (audacity because she knew darn well I was leaving for good that afternoon so what, really, was the point to lambaste me other than to get in one last dig?).  Anyway, at that point, I thought, "You're really an idiot and just feel the need to pee on everyone else's day because YOUR life sucks."  What I did outwardly was look at her and say, "Well, you can convey that to the person who comes afters me" and went back to my office.

Someone like your boss I view as the type of person who doesn't like the fact you're not as miserable as she is.  I actually was that person once, 25 years ago.  I had a new coworker who, actually, was one of the most agreeable individuals I'd ever met at that point.  I couldn't stand her.  I knew how I felt was completely asinine and that I had no logical reason to dislike her.  I knew I didn't like her because she was such a happy person and nothing got to her.  I, OTOH, was a horribly miserable person with a rather negative outlook and demeanor.  It's a wonder I made it past that point in my life.  I did finally start to like her...after I saw her get irritated about something.  It was just that stupid.

I see your boss as similar to how I was back then.  Hopefully, you don't let her see she's getting to you.  Continue to smile and be pleasant to her -- not for her sake but your own.  What an awful person!

mrs_deb

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Re: Being too agreeable?
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2013, 01:56:54 PM »
There is nothing wrong with being pleasant and agreeable.  Thank goodness you're out of there next week.

I had one of those once, too.  (Your boss's initials aren't J.S., are they :-)?)  Among every awful thing else she did, she told me I was too nice on the phone, and to people who came into our office.  "You're too nice.  They're only consultants.  You don't have to be so NICE to them."

I was never so happy as the day I left that hellhole.

Harriet Jones

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Re: Being too agreeable?
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2013, 02:06:16 PM »
Maybe you *do* say ok too much, who knows?  However, the boss's reaction is way over the top and she sounds impossible to please.

It doesn't sound like you need to work on anything, OP. 

Mergatroyd

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Re: Being too agreeable?
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2013, 02:18:42 PM »
If you really want to annoy her, take a page from my math teacher and make "Super!" Your go-to response. Bonus points for being really enthusiastic.

As to being agreeable, are you being agreeable about things that you really don't like? Are you saying "Ok" when its not ok? When she went into your drawer to get the sticky notes, would you have rathered she didn't? "next time please ask and I'll give them to you." Might have been a option. When she put them back, "Leaving them on the desk would have been fine, thank you."
Of course, if you really don't care either way, then what you did is fine. But at your future job, maybe just be aware? you can be agreeable without being a doormat, :)

Library Dragon

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Re: Being too agreeable?
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2013, 03:28:10 PM »
Ms. Cranky Pants isn't going to be happy unless she's making you miserable. 

For what it's worth my usual response is 'Thanks for letting me know.' Quick acknowledgment that is IMO better than "okay".

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JenJay

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Re: Being too agreeable?
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2013, 03:32:23 PM »
She sounds like a nightmare. You know darn well she wouldn't like it if you simply stared at her without saying a word, so what did she want?! This is totally bratty but I'd make darn sure the last thing I said to her before walking out the door was "okay".  ;D

Amara

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Re: Being too agreeable?
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2013, 03:37:41 PM »
I don't suppose you could start coughing on Monday afternoon, escalate it to sniffling and blowing your nose on Tuesday and call in sick on Wednesday?

CakeBeret

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Re: Being too agreeable?
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2013, 03:54:56 PM »
Thanks for your responses. Social cues don't come easily to me so I wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something.

I suppose it would be rude for me to spend the next three days chirping "Sounds good!" at every possible moment?

If you really want to annoy her, take a page from my math teacher and make "Super!" Your go-to response. Bonus points for being really enthusiastic.

As to being agreeable, are you being agreeable about things that you really don't like? Are you saying "Ok" when its not ok? When she went into your drawer to get the sticky notes, would you have rathered she didn't? "next time please ask and I'll give them to you." Might have been a option. When she put them back, "Leaving them on the desk would have been fine, thank you."
Of course, if you really don't care either way, then what you did is fine. But at your future job, maybe just be aware? you can be agreeable without being a doormat, :)

Oh lord, I think "Super!" would annoy her even more. :P As to whether it is or is not actually okay with me, honestly, it's things that wouldn't even occur to me to care or have an opinion about.

Amara, tempting, so very tempting! I've debated endlessly on whether I actually should stay through Weds, and I've decided that I will. As a temp I don't get paid holidays, and with the office being closed half of last week my paycheck is already going to be quite short, so I don't want to lose out on more hours.
"From a procrastination standpoint, today has been wildly successful."

veronaz

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Re: Being too agreeable?
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2013, 03:58:27 PM »
Boss is a nut.  Be glad your last day is Wednesday.

Aren't you starting a new job soon?
« Last Edit: December 01, 2013, 04:02:58 PM by veronaz »

Peppergirl

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Re: Being too agreeable?
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2013, 04:19:28 PM »
I'm parking my POD with the others who say it's definitely not you, but her.

I'm especially with veronaz who advised she's a nut. 

Seriously - the fact that she goes through temps like other people go through tissues should speak volumes.

Congrats to you for getting away from that.  Don't let her erode your confidence.

CakeBeret

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Re: Being too agreeable?
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2013, 05:27:41 PM »
Boss is a nut.  Be glad your last day is Wednesday.

Aren't you starting a new job soon?

Believe me, I am VERY glad! I start my new job on Thursday.
"From a procrastination standpoint, today has been wildly successful."