I have a question regarding interactions with a co worker that I am not sure how to deal with. I am part of a small team at work. There are only two women (one other woman and me). There are about eight men.
I've been a part of the team for almost 4 months and in that time I've been "scolded" three times by the team's head because of this type of interaction with the other woman on the team. She is very close to the team's head, they've been working together almost as long as I've been alive. I don't have that relationship
with the team lead, so maybe I am just taking things too seriously.
The other woman on the team is a self-proclaimed fashionista. That was one of the first things she told me about herself. If I come into work in some article of clothing that she hasn't seen or forgot I'd ever worn she'll make a comment about it. And the comments never seem to be kept to an appropriate time. She just spits it out as soon as she notices. I don't mind that she says "Hey, Ayla, I like your shoes, are they new?" when we meet in the break room. But sometimes it happens when is shouldn't.
For example: today we were about to test a product we'll be using in a demo tomorrow and she came in, saw that we were about to start and then saw that I was wearing something I hadn't worn before. She said "Hey, Ayla, I like your shoes, are they new?" I said "Yes, they were a gift" and then wanted to redirect the conversation to something work related. As I tried to think of something she made some other small comment. And then we successfully go back on track. Unfortunately it was too late. The boss said, very sternly, "Ladies!
Can we focus on this? And stop talking about shoes, this is important!"
I've never heard him use this tone of voice for anything
else. He seems rather easy going most of the rest of the time. But, as I've said, I've been caught out on this three times. I don't even have anything to say in these conversations. I am generally trying to get back to work related stuff because other than thanking her for her compliments I rarely have anything to say about my clothes. "Thank you, it was a gift" and "Thank you, it is one of my favorites" are about the extent of my knowledge on the matter
The thing is, this woman is the one who warned me when I came on that in our field in this area the workforce can be dominated by WASP men and to be careful about how girly I act. I'm annoyed that I keep getting scolded in front of the rest of the team whenever she does this at an inopportune time.
Is this something I should ignore/let go? If not ignoring it, how should I address this? I can't just ignore that she said something, but boss seems to be quicker to scold than I am to redirect. So I'm not sure what my next step should be.