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Author Topic: How to say "I don't want to hear it" at work  (Read 6589 times)

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snugasabug

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How to say "I don't want to hear it" at work
« on: July 20, 2014, 09:50:08 AM »
Nitty Gritty:

How can I say "I really don't want to hear it!" at work, to teammates, in an EH approved manner? 

Back Story, if needed:

I changed offices at work last week, due to structural reorganization within the agency. Our (2) programs are merging. I was formerly on the "Youth" team and I am moving into a small office with members from the former "Adult" team.

Youth Team Details: 9 people, all in their 30's.  Bigger office size, decent desk size. People get along reasonably well.  Most of us on the lower end of seniority list.

Adult Team Details: 3 people, all in their 50's and 60's. Seasoned staff that have worked in their current position for 15+ years.  High seniority.  One "top dog" that is the oldest staff in the room, who has a loud personality. Other two people seem friendly and reasonable.   All people in the Youth Team and Adult Team have the same job title and the same pay grade.  Top Dog and one of the others has been in that office space for 15+ years.

The Adult team is not accepting the reorganization very well. They seem resistant to the change. "Top Dog" has made it very clear that they prefer their room to remain with the 3 of them, (said so very loudly before she knew it was me moving in, so I am confident it isn't personal)  they have cleared a very small space for me. (I get about 1/3 of a wall)  Top Dog has her own computer and wants the 3 of us to share the other one. There is some control at play here, and Top Dog told me that I could not bring in my small 2 drawer filing cabinet.    Top dog went on holidays last week and demanded that I not move in until Monday (21th)

The powers that be moved me in last Wednesday when she was off.  I brought my filing cabinet and a very very small desk. I am anticipating an issue tomorrow.  People keep saying to me that the office held 4 people before (16+ yrs ago) and it's driving me nuts. Someone told me that when the office held 4 people, each person had a wall and they worked together.  Now Top Dog has  half of the room to herself.  When she found out I was coming, she kept saying "They had 4 people in here before  You will be fine in that spot.   It's happened before."

I just smiled and did not respond.  I am certain that we can all work in there, if everyone compromises and if the room is divided  fairly.  I can even work with what I was given, so long as I can keep the small filing cabinet  - i need the drawers and the surface space for my work.

I am looking for some support on how to remain friendly and not defensive while holding my ground for the minimal space I was given.     Any advice would be helpful.  The saving grace is my job isn't an office job, and I can set my own schedule.  I am hoping to pick up the flow of the office quickly and make my office time when Top Dog is out of the office. 

Jelaza

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Re: How to say "I don't want to hear it" at work
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2014, 10:00:39 AM »
If Top Dog complains about how much space you take up, maybe something like "This is the minimum space I need to do my job." and if they continue "Excuse me/Pardon me (whichever phrase is more polite in your region), I need to finish up this work."

NyaChan

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Re: How to say "I don't want to hear it" at work
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2014, 10:12:11 AM »
I'd probably redirect her to the people who made the decision to move you in.  "SoandSo has asked me to work out of here and I need these items to do my job.  If you need more room than this for yours, you should probably talk to your boss about it."  I'd say it in a sympathetic, but detached tone so she stops looking to you to fix her problem.

JenJay

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Re: How to say "I don't want to hear it" at work
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2014, 10:54:27 AM »
It sounds like she's stressed about the changes and harping on about any and everything. I'd probably ignore it as much as possible for a week or two, in the hopes that she settles down. If she doesn't, I'd say "You've made it very clear that you don't want me in here. I'm doing the best I can to share the half of the room you've alotted the three of us, but I need a desk and cabinet to do my job. If that's a problem you'll need to discuss it with Boss."

I'm guessing that will shut her down because if Boss comes in to assess the complaints and sees three of you squished on one end of the room, sharing one computer, while she has half the room and the other computer to herself, I imagine there will be a fresh round of reorganizing.  ;)

Edited to clarify that I mean Boss will say "Well, if you move these desk here, and that stuff there, you'll all have more room!", not that I think TD will be transferred out of that office.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2014, 10:56:01 AM by JenJay »

YummyMummy66

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Re: How to say "I don't want to hear it" at work
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2014, 05:11:43 PM »
I say you take your "quarter" space.   When top dog mentions something, you say, "I am not the one who decided to reorganize.  Why don't we go talk with them now and you can tell them why you need more space in this office than the rest of us, who are all doing the same job?".

Do not let her be a bully. 

Someone needs to stand up to her. 

She has gotten her way so far, because people have let her. 

MrTango

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Re: How to say "I don't want to hear it" at work
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2014, 05:25:25 PM »
^ Agreed.

Focus on doing your job.  If TD starts bugging you, I'd respond to the interruption to your work, rather than what she says.  "I'd love to talk, but I need to get these reports out."

If she really starts to dig in, I'd be pretty direct and refer her to HR or your boss.  "I'm sorry you don't like having an extra person in here, but you'll need to take it up with [Higher Ups].  He/She/They made this decision, not me."

sammycat

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Re: How to say "I don't want to hear it" at work
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2014, 07:27:35 PM »
I say you take your "quarter" space.   When top dog mentions something, you say, "I am not the one who decided to reorganize.  Why don't we go talk with them now and you can tell them why you need more space in this office than the rest of us, who are all doing the same job?".

Do not let her be a bully. 

Someone needs to stand up to her. 

She has gotten her way so far, because people have let her.

Totally agree.

SamiHami

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Re: How to say "I don't want to hear it" at work
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2014, 09:21:37 PM »
Seems like you missed a golden opportunity to arrange the new office space fairly in her absence, especially since you said that the other two seem to be more reasonable. Ah, well.

Since you didn't do that, I agree with other posters who say you should take your quarter of the office. It doesn't matter if TD doesn't like it; it's not her decision to make. TPTB decided you should move in there and that means you all get equal space to do your work unless there is a legitimate work-related reason for it to be otherwise.

If she dares to say anything about you bringing your filing cabinet with you, I would strongly suggest having a conversation with TPTB about it.


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cicero

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Re: How to say "I don't want to hear it" at work
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2014, 11:21:05 PM »
I say you take your "quarter" space.   When top dog mentions something, you say, "I am not the one who decided to reorganize.  Why don't we go talk with them now and you can tell them why you need more space in this office than the rest of us, who are all doing the same job?".

Do not let her be a bully. 

Someone needs to stand up to her. 

She has gotten her way so far, because people have let her.

Totally agree.
me too.
it's not your fault that you had to move into her office - everyone has to make adjustments, so does she.

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bopper

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Re: How to say "I don't want to hear it" at work
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2014, 10:53:07 AM »
Management has made the decision...you should talk to them. I am just doing what I was told.

As I have said, I have nothing to do with the decision. Complaining to me won't do anything.

Big Dog, did you ever read that book "Who moved my Cheese?" 


Aquamarine

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Re: How to say "I don't want to hear it" at work
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2014, 11:43:23 AM »
I say you take your "quarter" space.   When top dog mentions something, you say, "I am not the one who decided to reorganize.  Why don't we go talk with them now and you can tell them why you need more space in this office than the rest of us, who are all doing the same job?".

Do not let her be a bully. 

Someone needs to stand up to her. 

She has gotten her way so far, because people have let her.

I like this solution.  Force her to own her behavior and speech in front of the powers that be.
Always be polite, even to nasty people. Not because they are nice, but because you are.

mime

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Re: How to say "I don't want to hear it" at work
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2014, 12:27:11 PM »
I say you take your "quarter" space.   When top dog mentions something, you say, "I am not the one who decided to reorganize.  Why don't we go talk with them now and you can tell them why you need more space in this office than the rest of us, who are all doing the same job?".

Do not let her be a bully. 

Someone needs to stand up to her. 

She has gotten her way so far, because people have let her.

Totally agree.
me too.
it's not your fault that you had to move into her office - everyone has to make adjustments, so does she.

I like it too. Take the space and supplies you need. When TopDog addresses her problems with you, make a meeting with TPTB to
address how resources and space should be divided so everyone in the room can get their work done.

I'm curious, though: does seniority mean much where you work? At my brother's job, it means a lot. Doesn't matter if you're in the same job title or pay grade; if you've been there 5 more years than the next guy, you're considered to be favored over him. Where I work, it doesn't matter at all how long you've been there; if you're in the same title and grade, then you're equals. Clearly, TopDog thinks just being there has made her more important. It would be good to know how the higher-ups feel.

snugasabug

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Re: How to say "I don't want to hear it" at work
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2014, 09:16:54 PM »
OP here....

Thanks everyone for your suggestions.. They were all ringing through my mind as I faced my day.  The day ended off a lot better than it started.

I figured out how Top Dog Ticks....if I can make her think it's her idea, then it will work!  She was happy and dancing by the end of the day and actually moved some of her things herself to make the office a little more even.

It's exhausting to be around people like this....but I think we can work it out.    I have to let most things just slide off my back...and choose my battles wisely.

Thanks again!

SamiHami

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Re: How to say "I don't want to hear it" at work
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2014, 01:02:14 PM »
Well done! It's so much better when you can get them on board, especially in a situation like yours where you have to share space. Great update!

What have you got? Is it food? Is it for me? I want it whatever it is!

postalslave

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Re: How to say "I don't want to hear it" at work
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2014, 03:53:51 PM »
I Truly think in this scenario you can simply say "I don't want to hear it" and go back to your work.

If they press for more, direct them to management.

Don't feed trolls.