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  1. #21
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    When I transferred departments from my old one, they were the first ones to reach out to me and be nice to me. I didn't know anyone on my floor and they were the people closest to my age group. Individually they are very nice people; buying cards and decorating cubes for birthdays, sending out funny emails all day, very congenial.
    Sigh. It would ALWAYS be much easier if the enemy was downright EVIL. When they're just human and very nice in some ways, it's hard to maintain a good burn.

    .. Once we were sitting at lunch (with them) and she said "your boyfriend must not love you that much if he bought you cubic zirconia." The people who didn't laughed had the food drop out of their mouths. She's criticized my friend's clothes, hair, eating habits, relationship ("he should marry you after three years") and everyone just laughs along...
    So basically, you know that she's not "just kidding around" because of the pervasiveness and consistency of her put-downs? Some people do have abrasive personalities and make jokes at other people's expense, without actually desiring to put the other person down (they are just clueless and do not know another good way to interact)... but it sounds like she has made a long-term, consistent assault on your friend through her criticism, and might have a particular tone in her voice and play out the conversation in such a way that you know she's just trying to belittle her?

    (I am just asking.)

    We're trying to figure out a way to deal with this problem. It's not as easy as it looks. None of what she's doing is outright harassment, it's very subtle. And she says things in such a joking manner and so covertly that you have to be smooth replying to her, so you don't look like you're overreacting.
    Exactly. Those are the worst problems to deal with (to me), because if you get angry or make it in to a serious fight, YOU look like the villain, and they look like the poor innocent victim...

    Quote Originally Posted by niffer View Post
    Lol! High school redux. Actually, we don't have crap like this in our high school. In my opinion, the biggest problem here is that if violence is used, then she'll get fired. Otherwise it would be over pretty quickly.
    Hmm. Can you give us a location, PM, so that we can airdrop Niffer into the middle of this? I bet she could take care of them!
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  2. #22
    Senior Member 563 740's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    Y'all, this well is deep.

    When I transferred departments from my old one, they were the first ones to reach out to me and be nice to me. I didn't know anyone on my floor and they were the people closest to my age group. Individually they are very nice people; buying cards and decorating cubes for birthdays, sending out funny emails all day, very congenial.

    When you finally get comfortable and feel like you can strike out on your own is when the problems begin. I started hanging out more and more with one of them because I felt like we could bond. We would eat lunch together without them. Like I said, I'm not in that department but my friend is. They're very strategic, the alpha female wants to make my friends life miserable at work. Once we were sitting at lunch (with them) and she said "your boyfriend must not love you that much if he bought you cubic zirconia." The people who didn't laughed had the food drop out of their mouths. She's criticized my friend's clothes, hair, eating habits, relationship ("he should marry you after three years") and everyone just laughs along. I'm surprised at the one who got away because I always thought she was a very high ranking official.

    We're trying to figure out a way to deal with this problem. It's not as easy as it looks. None of what she's doing is outright harassment, it's very subtle. And she says things in such a joking manner and so covertly that you have to be smooth replying to her, so you don't look like you're overreacting.
    Jesus Christ, it's like Office Space meets Mean Girls...

    Could you just start going out for lunch? Brown bag it at a local park or something? Maybe if you're not in the same lunch environment she/they'll forget about you after a while.

  3. #23
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 563 740 View Post
    Jesus Christ, it's like Office Space meets Mean Girls...

    Could you just start going out for lunch? Brown bag it at a local park or something? Maybe if you're not in the same lunch environment she/they'll forget about you after a while.
    Play or pay. This isn't something that you can just ignore and hope goes away. I've seen people who opt out and they get the worst of it. They sit in their offices with the door closed don't talk to anybody or very few people for whatever reasons they don't fare much better.

    In an office environment you have to remember the stakes are higher. These are people's careers, they need to have the right connections and the right people on their team to advance them. It's not what you know, but who you know. Somebody likes someone and they get promoted.

    I see it more like "Survivor" than "Mean Girls."
    Relationships have normal ebbs and flows. They do not automatically get better and better when the participants learn more and more about each other. Instead, the participants have to work through the tensions of the relationship (the dialectic) while they learn and group themselves and a parties in a relationships. At times the relationships is very open and sharing. Other time, one or both parties to the relationship need their space, or have other concerns, and the relationship is less open. The theory posits that these cycles occur throughout the life of the relationship as the persons try to balance their needs for privacy and open relationship.
    Interpersonal Communication Theories and Concepts
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  4. #24
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    They sit in their offices with the door closed don't talk to anybody or very few people for whatever reasons they don't fare much better.
    What do you mean when you say that they don't fare any better? Do you mean that they get insulted by these three lovely sounding specimens? If that's it, well, not to sound glib, but whoopty-fucking-do.
    Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the Stuff Life is made of.

    -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, June 1746 --

  5. #25
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    What do you mean when you say that they don't fare any better? Do you mean that they get insulted by these three lovely sounding specimens? If that's it, well, not to sound glib, but whoopty-fucking-do.
    In my old department there was a guy who told me he didn't like the games the CFO was playing and she played many. People would compete for her favor. Whenever we'd have an office lunch or birthday party, he wouldn't participate. Many people commented on his lack of involvement with the rest of the department and he seemed a bit stand-offish. I admit that the only way I got over my reluctance to deal with him is that I had to go to him for key components of my job.

    Less than two months later he told me the CFO gave him a poor performance evaluation that was the nice way of telling him "you're fired." She said he didn't work well with the others in the department. I agree, most people were afraid to go to his office and get what they needed from him so it was very inefficient. This is one of the effects of not playing.

    Many business deals aren't made in the conference room but over lunch and a golf course. If people exclude themselves from these informal gatherings, there's a lot of opportunities they're missing out on. If a supervisor can barely remember who you are then you're not as likely to be remembered when it's time for promotions or raises. When you layer that with people actively seeking to destroy you and you don't have any allies then you're basically screwed.
    Relationships have normal ebbs and flows. They do not automatically get better and better when the participants learn more and more about each other. Instead, the participants have to work through the tensions of the relationship (the dialectic) while they learn and group themselves and a parties in a relationships. At times the relationships is very open and sharing. Other time, one or both parties to the relationship need their space, or have other concerns, and the relationship is less open. The theory posits that these cycles occur throughout the life of the relationship as the persons try to balance their needs for privacy and open relationship.
    Interpersonal Communication Theories and Concepts
    Social Penetration Theory 1
    Social Penetration Theory 2
    Social Penetration Theory 3

  6. #26
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Whoah there partner. This is the first you mentioned about her being the CFO.
    Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the Stuff Life is made of.

    -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, June 1746 --

  7. #27
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    No, no I was giving an example of what happens. The women in the OP aren't in any position to fire anyone although they can make your working day quite unpleasant.
    Relationships have normal ebbs and flows. They do not automatically get better and better when the participants learn more and more about each other. Instead, the participants have to work through the tensions of the relationship (the dialectic) while they learn and group themselves and a parties in a relationships. At times the relationships is very open and sharing. Other time, one or both parties to the relationship need their space, or have other concerns, and the relationship is less open. The theory posits that these cycles occur throughout the life of the relationship as the persons try to balance their needs for privacy and open relationship.
    Interpersonal Communication Theories and Concepts
    Social Penetration Theory 1
    Social Penetration Theory 2
    Social Penetration Theory 3

  8. #28
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    You could always quit.
    Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the Stuff Life is made of.

    -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, June 1746 --

  9. #29
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    I'm curious to know how this has progressed... any updates?

  10. #30
    homo-loving sonovagun anii's Avatar
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    What I don't get is, wasn't the queen bee demoted due to an inability to work well with others?

    If that is common knowledge, then why are other staff continuing to give her power?

    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    The correct general strategy will involve transformation (change the battlegrounds so her defenses have no value) and negation (counterattack in sharper attacks to prevent pack mentality from overwhelming her).

    These are only two strategies that I see after that email.

    Change where you challenge her and smile through the rest. The normal one is that you are there for work - change the battlefield to that. Set the alpha up for professional punishment. Call her on everything she does late, everytime she causes you to come up short. Document it well. And smile through it all.

    The second requires taking her on her own turf. Find out what she is insecure about. Find her weaknesses. Practise lines that push them. Then start using them. Use them on her, use them on her friends.

    Any other solution would involve avoidance - change jobs, positions, etc.

    There is no nice solution, which is why I don't think she'll be able to come back after that email. It will require a very hostile attitude.
    How do you know this? Is there a book or something? I've always felt blindsided when confronted with workplace bullies. For once I want to be armed in advance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    If I was in that woman's position, I would play. I don't manipulate people I care about (at least not intentionally). But when I work with assholes, especially people who act like they're in some sort of high school clique, it's game on! I always win.
    So how do you play, and how do you win?

    What are your techniques?
    Last edited by anii; 10-07-2007 at 12:01 AM. Reason: combine

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