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  Topic Review (Newest First)
05-31-2005 09:34 PM
rabid_child As someone who is actually training people who don't know jack about vet-med, it can be VERY VERY VERY frustrating and stressful, and I can understand how she might be feeling, but I never take it out on the people I'm training. I answer the same questions over and over and over again. I think the rudest I get sometimes is just to say "You have to just trust me and do whatever" because I don't always have the time to go into a big long explanation.



That being said, I don't think its out of line to stand up to her a bit. You could remind her that you've always treated her with respect and you'd appreciate the same from her. I've found with really patronizing people sometimes, if you yes them to death and kill them with kindness, then suddenly they snap into being really nice to you back. Its another method you could try at least if you're not prepared to be a little pushy back.
05-31-2005 08:45 PM
Cassiel Thanks, everybody. I may try simply allowing my inner smartass shine through (it is there, though carefully controlled) as suggested. In a totally unconfrontational way, of course. I guess I kind of feel bad for her in a way, though. I've observed her over the past 2 months I've been working there and we've had some extracurricular workplace activities, too - and in those, especially, I observe she has very poor self esteem. So whatever I do, I really want to avoid tearing her down. Maybe if I can allow my inner smartass to come through, and do it in a way that makes both of us laugh, that will be constructive.
05-31-2005 08:27 AM
Thalia I can't remember if this book speaks to this kind of situation, but I really liked it:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...books&n=507846



There are a lot of books out there now on workplace bullying. I do think it is a form of verbal abuse (albeit mild) but if it's enough to cause people stress, to quit, or avoid important questions, she is potentially putting patients in danger with her attitude.



I wish you luck. If you are unable to adjust your style a bit, my advice is to quit and then tell your boss why.
05-31-2005 07:51 AM
pseudo_vegan You should just whack her with a kitty-litter scoop...







Seriously though...FT and other have good advice that you should let her know that you are trying to ask a REAL question (because "joke questions" are so awesome or something )...



My personality type would totally clash because I have a fiery smart-mouth on me and I'd flat out tell her she's being an a$$hat...best of luck though. Keep posting about what happens...



Cheers.
05-31-2005 06:45 AM
Elena99 I had a problem like that once when I worked as a cashier at a store, with a customer service representative. The CSR thought she was well above and beyond the intelligence of the cashiers, or at least that's how she acted, and frequently bossed us around. I wrote a note to her superior, and so did a few other cashiers (not a nasty one, just saying that I felt her attitude was a problem and a few examples of her behaviour). Her superior spoke with her, and I noticed improvements after.



Does your problem co-worker have a superior that you can talk to? It might be worth checking out. This person may think she is being a good leader, and is not realizing how she's coming across.
05-31-2005 05:40 AM
Dirty Martini
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassiel View Post

I dream of responding in that manner! But it isn't really my style. No matter what, I will probably have to keep working with her, so I'd like to take a slightly more zen approach, I guess. Something that will help her see our side of things without making her feel attacked. I need to keep our relationship marginally harmonious, if possible.



Cassiel, you can say it in such a way that it isn't confrontational (not like "UMMM OMG HELLO I wasn't kidding pffff!"). Act humble and say it -- "oh... actually I was serious. I am looking for your advice/input/guidance."



Not that you have to further inflate her ego, but you can at least make it seem more like you are seeking her guidance rather than pushing back.
05-31-2005 01:49 AM
astro
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassiel View Post

I dream of responding in that manner! But it isn't really my style.



Cassiel, if you want your colleagues behaviour to stop you're really going to have to make it your style. Saying what Krista suggested is perfectly reasonable and is simply being assertive. As long as you say it without any anger, sarcasm or aggression in your voice, this woman will have no right to feel that she is being attacked by you.



If her behaviour continues you should go to her supervisor about it because from what you've described, it's bordering on workplace bullying and hospitals usually have a policy in place to deal with it.
05-30-2005 11:39 PM
brahmacharya I'm usually the person being patronizing, sadly. The best way to shut me up is to be SO gracious and ask the kinds of questions that FreshTart is suggesting, like "Why is it necessary to laugh? I'm asking an honest question" and skewer me with my own grumpiness, because on some level I know I'm out of line.



Now, I've kind of made it a project to NOT be that person. If you hit your coworker where she lives [her grumpy defense] and it's part of some fancy scaffolding she's erected to hide a low self-esteem or some such thing, she's going to lash back, so again I'd like to echo FT's warnings. I like your Zen approach though. Use the weapons and force of the enemy against them. Like the Karate Kid.
05-30-2005 08:15 PM
FreshTart I don't think that is rude. She is behaving rudely. If I asked a serious question and someone laughed at me, then i would say that. Or, something like, "I'm being serious." You can speak w/ your supervisor, but that often then involves you and the person having to discuss this, so you need to be prepared for that.
05-30-2005 07:43 PM
Cassiel
Quote:
Originally Posted by FreshTart View Post


I always found, "My question wasn't a joke" really shuts up people like her.





I dream of responding in that manner! But it isn't really my style. No matter what, I will probably have to keep working with her, so I'd like to take a slightly more zen approach, I guess. Something that will help her see our side of things without making her feel attacked. I need to keep our relationship marginally harmonious, if possible.
05-30-2005 04:49 PM
FreshTart Does she laugh at you around other people?



I always found, "My question wasn't a joke" really shuts up people like her.



Be warned, though. In my experience, women like that do NOT take well to being stood up to. Complain, make a fuss, stand up for yourself - but know what you are getting into.
05-30-2005 04:27 PM
Cassiel I'm having a hard time dealing with a girl I work with. She really knows her stuff and has seniority over me, so I want to cooperate with her. My problem, however, is that she can be very patronising. Another girl is quitting essentially because she can't deal with her. I won't be doing that, but this is making work somewhat unpleasant on days she's around.

She tends to act like we're idiots, to put it bluntly. She laughs if we ask a question she considers stupid (ok, our questions may well reveal our ignorance in a huge way, but if we could figure it out on our own we wouldn't have asked). Despite the fact that I have experience and the other girl has education in this field, she acts as if we're complete novices. If we do things in a way different than she would, she seems to take this as evidence we don't know what we're doing, rather than that we have a different method.

Now, granted, there are tons of things we don't know. And mostly I'd rather be told twice about something than not be told at all because it's assumed I know. It's just her attitude when she does it. She's always sighing about how she's the only one who knows how to do things and she hates her job and she shouldn't have to do everything (one reason she "has to" do everything is that she won't allow us to learn how to do things she does. These are not field-specific things, they are workplace-policy things.). She also tends to blow things way out of proportion when they go wrong. Granted, we are a hospital, so mistakes are potentially serious. That doesn't make us any less human or prone to them, no matter how careful we are. She has gotten seriously heavy handed with other workers over very honest mistakes. I held my tongue at the time, but I'm starting to wish I'd said something (I was a newbie at the time - I've still only been on for 2 months right now). Next time I probably will. But I want what I say to be productive and not destructive. Does anyone have experience to share, advice, etc? Thanks!

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