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coworker is posting about being “the opposite lady,” I cried when my coworkers gave me a birthday cake, and extra — Ask a Supervisor

I’m on trip. Listed here are some previous letters that I’m making new once more, somewhat than leaving them to wilt within the archives.

1. I dated a coworker, and one other coworker is posting about being “the other woman”

I beginning courting somebody I work with over a yr in the past. There’s a lady who additionally works with us once in a while who has proven apparent curiosity in him. I ought to level out that she used to work at my location full-time, however has since moved to an on-call place. She texts him often and brings him espresso. Regardless of vocalizing my frustrations to him quite a few instances, it nonetheless appears that they’ve some type of relationship. I lately broke it off with him, and her social media conduct earlier than and after my breaking apart with him has been questionable. She retains posting about “being the other woman” and issues like that. I don’t need this to have an effect on my work as a result of, relationships apart, I actually love what I do. How do I deal with the passive aggressive conduct and the truth that I nonetheless work with my ex?

Impeccable professionalism. She’s doing the other of that along with her “other woman” posts. You’ll be able to keep above any fray by treating her and your ex with good professionalism. Be totally civil and well mannered. There’s no must name both of them out on what’s occurring and also you not have motive to be invested in something both of them could be doing, so simply intention to be pleasantly indifferent. Anybody watching this play out will see you behaving completely, and that may be deeply satisfying when there’s drama round an ex.


2. I cried when my coworkers gave me a birthday cake

I had a crying meltdown at work and it was so dangerous that I needed to go dwelling, and I nonetheless felt like crying the following day and even now after I take into consideration what occurred. I didn’t cry as a result of something dangerous occurred. I cried as a result of my coworkers and boss received me a birthday cake and a card. You see, I used to be within the foster care system as a ward from my start til I turned 18. I lived in 27 completely different houses and I don’t have a household or anybody who adopted me.

I by no means had a birthday cake or celebration. Nobody stated comfortable birthday or sang to me or did something for it ever. So when it occurred, I used to be simply so comfortable and stunned that I couldn’t assist it.

I don’t know what I ought to say to my coworkers and boss. I’m actually grateful for them stunning me and doing one thing for my birthday. Somebody instructed me they do a birthday celebration as soon as a month and that month mine was the one birthday. I don’t need them to assume I’m upset or unbalanced. I wish to have relationship with everybody right here. They have been good sufficient to provide me an opportunity after I by no means labored earlier than and am nonetheless engaged on my GED. How can I clarify to them why I had such an emotional response with out wanting silly? None of them know that I used to be the primary time anybody celebrated my birthday.

Oh my goodness, in fact you had an emotional response! Anybody who knew what you defined right here would perceive in a second why you reacted the way in which you probably did. (I’m having an emotional response.)

Are you keen to share that with them? You definitely don’t need to — you’ve got each proper to maintain your historical past personal for those who choose to — however whether it is one thing that you just have been comfy sharing, I feel it might actually transfer individuals and make them really feel actually nice about having been ready to do this for you (and it might make your response make good sense).

When you’d somewhat not, that’s tremendous too! In that case, you could possibly say one thing like, “Hey, excuse my emotional reaction to the cake the other day — I was having an oddly emotional day!” Say it breezily, and I doubt anybody will dwell on it.

And comfortable birthday!


3. Does “I don’t understand why we’re doing X” actually imply “I don’t like that we’re doing X?”

Is it generally identified that saying “I don’t understand why we’re doing X” really means “I don’t *like* that we’re doing X,” or is that simply somebody being passive aggressive?

Some context: I handle loads of course of enchancment, and once we’re rolling out a New Factor to workers, I usually hear “I don’t understand why we need New Thing.” I normally assume they’re asking for clarification, as a result of they *need* to know. So I’ll attempt to be useful and clarify the issue we’re making an attempt to unravel, or why we determined to do X as a substitute of Y, and so they simply repeat “yeah but I don’t *understand* why we’re doing that.” Generally I even attempt to clarify once more, being cautious to be extra clear or use higher examples or no matter. However then I notice that they don’t actually wish to *perceive*. They only don’t need New Factor to occur in any respect, however they don’t wish to say “I don’t like the way that we’re doing this New Thing.”

It’s occurred sufficient that I’ve to marvel if the issue is me; I’m a fairly direct individual and in addition not nice with subtext, so this would possibly legitimately be a type of delicate social cues that most individuals perceive however that I’ve by no means been nice at selecting up on.

Yeah, “I don’t understand why we’re doing X” usually does imply “I don’t like that we’re doing X and don’t understand why someone thinks it’s a good idea.”

Not at all times. Generally it genuinely means ““I don’t understand why we’re doing X and would like to — can you explain it to me?” Typically you may inform the distinction by the tone the individual is utilizing, or by the remainder of the dialog. (When you clarify precisely why you’re doing X and the individual continues to be saying they “yeah, but I don’t understand why,” there’s an honest probability that they imply “that reason doesn’t make up for my dislike of this change.”)

In some instances, you may say, “It sounds like you’re saying you have concerns about the change. Do you want to tell me what your concerns are, and I can make sure we’re trying to account for them in our planning?”

However this can be a large factor whenever you’re engaged on course of enchancment; it’s not unusual to get loads of push-back. Generally that’s based mostly on basic dislike of change, however generally it’s based mostly on reputable and essential considerations. So most often, it’s price drawing individuals out about what their considerations are; you might not be capable of change issues to please them, however generally you’ll get essential views you wouldn’t have in any other case had. Plus, change normally goes down higher when individuals really feel they’ve had a possibility to provide suggestions and really been heard.


4. Paging a coworker along with his first, center, and final names

We have now a paging system at work that we consistently use to web page coworkers to find them on the ground. I lately paged a coworker by his full title — first, center and final. I then received in bother with my supervisor and was instructed it was unprofessional. The rationale we all know his center title is as a result of he has instructed us. I used to be actually confused after I was instructed to not do it and received reprimanded. Are you able to shed some mild on this for me?

I’m guessing your supervisor assumed you have been joking round (since that’s what it sounds prefer to me), and doesn’t need the paging system used for mirth.


5. Persons are stealing my pens!

I’m pretty new to my job, and if I’m being sincere with myself relating to my scenario, one of many lowest within the hierarchy at my office. It’s not a super place for me, however I’m making an attempt to make the very best of it.

One of many issues that I’ve discovered makes my work much more fulfilling is utilizing pens that I like, i.e. good gel pens (not fountain pens or Mont Blancs or something loopy). I purchase these personally, and have by no means requested a office to provide them for me, it’s simply one thing I put money into for myself. I’m a reasonably conscientious individual and take excellent care of my belongings, so it’s definitely worth the expense to have an honest writing instrument helpful.

The issue is that I’m not the one individual round right here who enjoys good pens. I simply had two stroll off — one my direct supervisor borrowed and by no means returned, however for diplomatic causes I used to be keen to let that one go. However at present I noticed one across the work ID lanyard of a coworker that undoubtedly was simply taken off my desk. (Sure, the pens are distinctive sufficient that the prospect could be very distant that he would immediately have the identical one proper when mine disappeared). How would you advocate addressing this for the longer term? Ought to I put money into the pen equal of a locked lunchbox? 🙂

Persons are so used to pondering of non-Mont-Blanc-quality pens as communal workplace property that you just’re going to have an uphill battle with this one, however I’d no less than attempt holding them in your desk somewhat than on your desk. It’s rarer for individuals to open somebody’s desk and take issues out of it.

And for those who occur to identify one with another person, exclaim with the identical pleasure you’d use upon recognizing your misplaced canine, “My pen!” After which reclaim it.


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