You can say that I shouldn’t sweat the small stuff, but small stuff can be extremely annoying and counter productive when you’re in a small office. I work in one where a colleague’s rude behavior and negative disposition not only bring down the overall morale, but cause additional work to be dumped on me. When she’s in one of her moods, she not only makes announcements in staff meetings that everyone better stay away from her if they know what’s good for them, but she also posts notes on her office door with similar messages. She makes it so people won’t go to her for help of any kind because they don’t want to catch her wrath or be made to feel stupid. Because she can be so mean, I end up having to respond to a lot of questions and doing things that should be handled by her. We don’t have an HR person and our General Manager chooses to not deal with this issue because she doesn’t like conflict, so when I’ve tried to say something to this colleague, it falls on deaf ears. Is there anything else I should do?
Mean girl at work
Dear Mean girl at work:
I applaud you for trying to handle the issue on your own and directly with the mean girl. The way I see it, you have a couple of other options. You can either respectfully tell your other colleagues that you will no longer be able to assist them with the matters that the mean girl should be handling for them, or you can take the issue to the GM, preferably with one or more of your colleagues accompanying you. Provide the GM with substantive information verbally and in writing, which not only identifies the problems with the mean girl but lays out exactly what you want the GM to do to remedy them. Be sure you tell the GM of your attempt to take care of the situation on your own. Best of luck!
It has become clear to me that an email I sent to someone was misinterpreted. I tried to clarify things with another email and even left a verbal phone message with his assistant requesting him to call me, but he hasn’t responded to either one. I don’t work directly with this guy but we’re in the same line of work, so it’s not out of the question that we could be a help to each other with contacts or even partner up with each other for future projects. I’m not sure what I should do. Should I go see him?
Dear Email misunderstanding:
I suggest that you drop the matter; let things lie. You have already tried to explain the meaning of your communication. Hopefully, this person just needs some time to digest all the information you provided him.
Your situation reinforces my belief that many of us have become too reliant on emailing and texting. Oftentimes, these types of communications are not interpreted in the manner in which they were intended. Such communications get lost in the translation. If you ever think that an email or text may be taken the wrong way, pick up the phone or have a face-to-face meeting.
I need to vent! A retirement celebration for my office’s Executive Officer (#1 honcho) is going to be held at a real swanky restaurant. It costs $40.00 per person for heavy hors d'œuvres with a cash bar, not even a full meal. There are so many other places he could have had his affair, but he chose a very high-end establishment. I’m just a grunt employee with a wife and two kids to support and I’m not a real big fan of the EO, but because of office politics, I’ve made the decision to attend. So, I don’t need your advice on whether or not I should go, but I’d really like for you to publish my issue so other soon-to-be retirees will read it and possibly think about being more considerate of the people they want and expect to attend their retirement festivities.
Rant over retirement celebration
Dear Rant over retirement celebration:
I understand your need to vent and I respect your decision to attend the celebration. This is the type of situation where one would hope that the celebrant would be more cognizant of and sensitive to the fact that every one does not have a lot of expendable income, especially during these tough economic times. That being said, it is a personal decision for the celebrant as well as the individuals who must decide whether or not to attend.
© 2011 Rozanne R. Worrell