Irritating Co-Worker

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The New Me!

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Irritating Co-Worker
« on: October 31, 2020, 08:07:12 PM »
Hi,

I'd be interested in people's thoughts on the following:

I work with a woman and it's not something I can quite put my finger on, but I can't seem to warm to her.

She can be obstructive and often treats me like an office junior.  She is on the same grade as me and is 20 years younger than me.  On Friday at work, I asked her if she had any post as I was taking mine; she replied that she had some forms to take to another department, which wasn't near the post room.  I explained I was going to the post room, she said words to the effect of it's fine if you don't want to take them.  I repeated I was going to the post room and I didn't take the forms.  Later on she asked her boss to take them as she was going in that vicinity.  There have been other things which have happened, but I find she acts superior and generally she just irritates me.

I don't know whether to say something to her about her attitude or to just bide my time, because I will be moving to another department in March, as my role is covering maternity leave.  I work part-time over 3 days and she is full-time.  I just felt so annoyed when I got home on Friday.  I really don't know what her problem is, I suppose only she knows that!

Any advice please?  :)

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Thru the Rain

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Re: Irritating Co-Worker
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2020, 02:50:16 AM »
Since you have a light at the end of the tunnel when you transfer back in March, maybe just wait it out.

Be an observer, like a scientist with a clip board - paying attention but emotionally detached.

On the other hand, if she does anything clearly inappropriate, document everything.

And above all trust your gut. If the co-worker or the situation FEELS off, then it IS off.

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Boat Babe

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Re: Irritating Co-Worker
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2020, 06:41:57 AM »
Yeah, she sounds like a nightmare! However, you know what to do now you are Out of the FOG. Don't give her any supply and she'll soon move on from you. See this as good practice with the tools. Note your own emotional reactions and examine them with self compassion.

I have started using the tools with someone in my life (thankfully not a close person but an unavoidable one) and it's almost funny seeing them not succeed in winding me up. You can see the perplexed look at times!

It gets better. It has to.

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clara

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Re: Irritating Co-Worker
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2020, 10:59:50 AM »
This boundary pushing is an attempt to see what you'll put up with from her.  People who do this will often work their way around the "room" to find a willing victim, then when they do, ratchet up their demands.  They do it to feel better about themselves, to feel the power they think they have by being able to control you.

I agree that it's best to just ignore her as much as you can, don't respond when you don't have to, if she pushes or prods give her no explanations, be neutral and bland and she'll get tired soon enough and seek out more willing victims.  And yes, document anything inappropriate although she probably knows her limits and is just trying to get as close to them as she can (without getting into trouble).   Remember, your job isn't to cater to her.   A simple nope, sorry, can work wonders in getting such co-workers to leave you alone.

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The New Me!

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Re: Irritating Co-Worker
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2020, 12:55:16 PM »
Hi, thanks for your helpful replies. :)

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Wilderhearts

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Re: Irritating Co-Worker
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2020, 10:15:31 PM »
I supervised a junior employee who liked to undermine others by acting about four levels above her rank.  There was a lot of cattiness similar to what you've described, sulking, and reactivity to criticism, no matter how respectful and constructive (it's a supervisor's job to give feedback on work, after all).  I eventually concluded she was a covert narcissist.  I would also just wait it out, and disengage in whatever way possible.