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  1. #1
    Junior Member Saffrogen's Avatar
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    Default How should I talk to her?

    My coworker, who happened to be a good friend pre-highschool until her legal guardians moved away, is mad at me. She left me a passive-aggressive note which detailed my offense (which I was unaware of), and how she almost got back at me, but ultimately opted not to. She had been holding in this anger for almost a week, even though she had three good opportunities to talk to me about it throughout the work week.

    I left her a note for when she comes in on Monday, in which I request that she please talk to me directly should she have any future issues with me, rather than leave me a passive-aggressive note. I also apologize for the offense, and explain that I wasn't aware that I had committed it. I still care about her, but have been thinking that I don't like the person she's becoming for a while.

    I want to follow the note up with a conversation, but don't know how to start it. She's pregnant, so worst case scenario, she'll be quitting by September, because she'll then have a newborn and a 1-year-old to deal with. So, this drama has a time limit. In the meantime, though, I have to work pretty closely with her, and want our interactions to be as positive as possible.

    This is somewhat off-topic, but I also feel the need to vent about the choices she's made that are making me lose respect for her.

    Some background: She didn't come from a good family situation. When I met her, she was a pre-teen living in a two-bedroom, one-bathroom house with her year-older sister, adult half-sister, half-sister's creepy husband, and baby nephew. Her dad was in and out of jail for drug charges. I'm not sure why exactly her mom didn't have custody, but I do know that her mom had nine (yes, nine) kids by multiple men, and it wasn't a leap to realize that she was involved in drugs too.

    Despite all this, she was sweet, caring, and genuine. We were good friends until her adult half-sister got pregnant with a second child, and moved the family to a larger house in a different city. This was right before we started high school.

    Fast forward thirteen years: I get a job at the company she works for. Although we didn't really rekindle our old friendship, we still reminisce sometimes and are friendly. She is pregnant with her first baby, and unfortunately the baby's father is not in the picture. (He has two other children by two other women who had their babies around the same time that my coworker found out she was pregnant.) Her year-older sister is now married and a stay-at-home mom, and offers to take care of my coworker's baby so my coworker can work and hopefully go back to school. I'm supportive of her, and am glad that she has what seems like as good a plan as possible in place.

    Three months after my coworker has her first child, a son, she gets pregnant AGAIN by a DIFFERENT man. She admits to not using contraceptives. Keep in mind that she works for barely more than minimum wage (she makes about $10/ hr in California). I find out that she refuses to take Baby Daddy #1 to court for child support because she still loves him and doesn't want to make him hate her.

    Meanwhile, her year-older sister has stated that she can't take care of both my coworker's son and this new baby. So, my coworker is going to quit her job once it's time for the baby to be born.

    Thankfully Baby Daddy #2 is in the picture, and wants to take care of my coworker and both her children, but he doesn't really make enough money to do this. At the very least, things are going to be really tight. My coworker doesn't love Baby Daddy #2, and laments that he was supposed to just be a one-night stand. Baby Daddy #2 loves her, though. For her and her family's own security, she's leading him on and playing the part of dutiful girlfriend, even though her heart belongs to Baby Daddy #1. This has disaster written all over it.

    Then, I find out that on top of having back-to-back pregnancies, my coworker has also had three abortions! (When she was pregnant with her first child, she decided that abortions are wrong.) She should know how babies are made by now, and avoid making kids she can't support!!! Also, she of all people should understand the hardships of growing up in an unstable family situation, and do what she can to break the cycle!

    So, yeah. I'm disappointed that my coworker won't fight for her son's child support because of her selfish and ill-placed feelings for the father. I'm angry that she took no precautionary measures to prevent another pregnancy, and seems to be continuing the cycle of a disfunctional family. I'm appalled that she's leading on a man who loves her. I'm shocked that she contemplated getting back at me for almost a whole week for a pretty minor offense that I wasn't even aware I had committed. Obviously she lacks maturity, and yet she's going to be mothering two babies, and who knows how many more to come. Awesome.

  2. #2
    As Long As It Takes.... Redbone's Avatar
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    You can...Ask her did she think about what you wrote in your note and is there any way the both of you can settle it amicably. That you have to work together and you still care about her so you want things resolved between the two of you. You can let her know that you have been open to listening to her and "getting back" at you was unnecessary on her part. Ask her why she even felt the need to take that route instead of just talking to you so that next time maybe this can be avoided.

    I don't understand the rest of your post though. Is that what is mainly bothering you? I agree it is a bad situation and it's a perfect storm for suffering but how does it involve you? Has she asked you for help or something like that?

    Then again, you may find she cannot work out things with you in a mature way. Then it's best to just do your work, keep it business-like, and let the rest go.

  3. #3
    Junior Member Saffrogen's Avatar
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    I agree that asking her if she thought about what was in my note is a good idea, should I go about seeking a discussion... Let her talk first, and then go from there.

    Honestly, the second part of my post is more of a vent than anything else. She hasn't asked for help, but she does talk about her situation all the time. It's depressing and frustrating for me to witness, especially given that I knew her once upon a time as a good friend. I'm not going to talk to her about the situation she's in because I don't know her that well anymore, and I doubt my thoughts would be well-received.

    I definitely do wonder if she can work things out in a mature way. I'm debating whether or not I should even talk to her at all, the more I think about it. Leaving an "elephant" in the room would be awkward, but trying to reason with an irrational and immature person might lead to more awkwardness. I don't think she's likely to confront me directly about anything, but I'll probably be in for more passive-aggressive crap.

  4. #4
    is indra's Avatar
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    So, how did you offend her?

    I presume you'll have seen her in the work week, I don't know why you left a note complaining about leaving notes.

  5. #5
    Junior Member Saffrogen's Avatar
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    I didn't leave a note complaining about her leaving a note; I left a note complaining about her passive-aggressive way of handling the situation.

    I offended her by forgetting to do something that isn't that important anyway.

  6. #6
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    personally, I would have chosen to talk to her face to face instead of leaving a note... a good portion of communication is non-verbal and something always gets lost in translation when notes are left


    however, you probably shouldn't take my normal method of face to face confrontation... "do you have a problem with me?"

    saying one of those nice and non-confrontational things that other people somehow manage would probably work a lot better
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  7. #7
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saffrogen View Post
    I offended her by forgetting to do something that isn't that important anyway.
    It may not be important to you, but it may be to her. If you approach it with that dismissiveness, then nothing will get solved. You must make some effort to understand why, if your intent is a resolution. Any apology like "Im sorry you are offended" is not a true apology, and it is better left out if you truly cannot be sorry.

    I understand your distaste for this person and her poor life choices. I personally like to keep such people at arm's length also, because they can be emotionally taxing but dont seem to learn anything. That said, maybe she is picking up on your disdain, even if you think it's well-hidden. That could be amplifying her offense at anything else you may do.

    I agree that it's best to keep things strictly business and to distance yourself from any kind of friendship or personal discussion. Perhaps becauase she was a friend once, you still care a bit, and it is hard not to care about people's general well-being, but the less you can care about her situation, the better (since it seems unavoidable for you to not hear her talk about it). The more you can cultivate a genuinely benevolent indifference, the less she may get offended by little things, since you've broken any personal dynamic.
    Often a star was waiting for you to notice it. A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past, or as you walked under an open window, a violin yielded itself to your hearing. All this was mission. But could you accomplish it? (Rilke)

    INFP | 4w5 sp/sx | RLUEI - Primary Inquisitive | Tritype is tripe

  8. #8
    Member Chickennugget's Avatar
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    Wow. Maybe go up and talk to her. Tell her you're sorry and why. Maybe offer support for her and her family...
    Hey! Take this bomb survey about human happiness. It's pretty open-ended, and it's for a fun project I'm doing because why not?

    Link:
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  9. #9
    Senior Member INTP's Avatar
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    Try talking to her like a pirate
    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
    — C.G. Jung

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    Likes Wind Up Rex, Opal liked this post

  10. #10
    my floof is luxury Wind Up Rex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTP View Post
    Try talking to her like a pirate
    Arrrrgggg you kidding me?
    And so long as you haven’t experienced this: to die and so to grow,
    you are only a troubled guest on the dark earth

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