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Should I confront them? Issues at work.. Semi long.

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hey all,
I'm having some problems at work. We share office space with another company, so there are always one or two other women up at the front desk with me (I'm a receptionist). I'm part time, so my employers have another receptionist who comes in days that I don't and on Fridays at the same time as me.

My issue is that the ladies from the other office clearly, CLEARLY prefer her over me. And it's more than that.. it's like they don't want to make even the slightest effort to talk to me or converse with me. It's almost to the point where they don't like me, it feels.

I come in, am always the first to say "Good morning!" and they politely say it back.. Ask how they are, "oh, good".. Ask what's new "Oh, nothing.." Really? Nothing at all? "Nope!"

So then we sit in silence. Now on FRIDAYS when the other girl comes in and I'm up front, they give the other girl an enthusiastic "Hey! How are you doing? How did this that and the other thing go? I bet it went well!" Chit chat chit chat. Such a contrast to my crickets.

I'll point out some intersting news story I'm reading and all I get are one or two word answers.. The other girl makes a statement "Oh my gosh! McCain picked a woman candidate! Wow!" And explosion of chit chat ensues.

It's bothering me to no end. I am wondering if I should ask them if there is something I can do/not do to make them more comfortable with me, if there is some issue they're not mentioning, but.. I know I have to see them every time I come to work. If that went badly, that could be awkward!

I realize there's a bit of an age difference, the women at the other office being 35-45, and I'm 19.. but the other receptionist in my office is only 23. I think they connect better because she has an 8 year old child, but.. well, I don't know.. It doesn't seem like it should be this one sided, child or not, in the connection department.

Does anyone have any advice in this situation?
post #2 of 12
My view on this (as someone who is often the outsider or the workplace oddball) is that you can't make people like you. Their reasons for preferring your colleague are personal, can't be helped, and as long as they remain polite and professional with you, no unacceptable boundaries have been crossed.

Just remain polite and professional yourself, there's really nothing you can do about it, and confronting them about it is likely to make things worse. No-one can help who they like and dislike, these aren't usually conscious decisions that people make. It's certainly not your fault, but it's not really their fault either, it's just one of those unfortunate things.
post #3 of 12
I probably wouldnt bring it up, you dont want to make the situation worse. But maybe you could bring in a plate of cookies or something like that as a bribe Its worth a shot!
I hope it works out for you
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
A plate of cookies might not be a bad idea, except who knows, then they might be mad at me for trying to break their diets!

This is SO frustrating! I'm not sure why most women can't just be pleasant and nice since we have to work together!
post #5 of 12
Y'know, I really suspect it's exactly what you said: the other girl has some life experiences in common with these (slightly) older women, while they see you as still a child yourself. I imagine they just don't know what to talk about with a 19-year-old!

As others have said, just be cheerful and pleasant, and don't try to force anything. If they discuss their kids and husbands in your presence, listen and show an interest... and try not to bring up subjects that they can't relate to. Eventually, they'll see that they can include you in their conversations.

And cookies couldn't hurt!
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Epona View Post
My view on this (as someone who is often the outsider or the workplace oddball) is that you can't make people like you. Their reasons for preferring your colleague are personal, can't be helped, and as long as they remain polite and professional with you, no unacceptable boundaries have been crossed.

Just remain polite and professional yourself, there's really nothing you can do about it, and confronting them about it is likely to make things worse. No-one can help who they like and dislike, these aren't usually conscious decisions that people make. It's certainly not your fault, but it's not really their fault either, it's just one of those unfortunate things.
My thoughts exactly.
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Epona View Post
My view on this (as someone who is often the outsider or the workplace oddball) is that you can't make people like you. Their reasons for preferring your colleague are personal, can't be helped, and as long as they remain polite and professional with you, no unacceptable boundaries have been crossed.

Just remain polite and professional yourself, there's really nothing you can do about it, and confronting them about it is likely to make things worse. No-one can help who they like and dislike, these aren't usually conscious decisions that people make. It's certainly not your fault, but it's not really their fault either, it's just one of those unfortunate things.
I agree. My advice is to go to work, do your job, be polite to everyone and then go home. Work is a place to do just that, it's not a place to go and socialize. Save socializing for outside of work hours.
post #8 of 12
Sounds like my work place. Just do what I do, smile grit your teeth and realize you have better things to do then worry about people who don't like you for their own reasons.
You have friends outside work, why worry about people you don't see outside work? Shoot they come and go, your friends are there to stay.
Just be polite and leave it at that. It's not worth worrying about.
post #9 of 12
While I agree with the others I do believe your age and not having children can have a part in their silence. When I was at my prior job I was the only woman that didn't have kids and well that was much of their conversations-their kids.

Just a thought do you evey complement any of them? About their hair/clothes?? Or even if they mention an accomplishment of theirs or their family??? Might be a conversation starter.
post #10 of 12
I think it's just a difference in life stages as well.

And you know what? Your boss probably looks out and see you working hard, and looks out when the other girl is working, and sees her gossiping constantly to the other girls. I know it makes the days boring, but hey - you get brownie points for being a hard worker!
post #11 of 12
If I were you I wouldn't take it to much to heart..Whether or not they like you or want to be sociable with you is up to them and there is very little that you can do if they refuse to be friendly...

That said however doesn't mean that you should be anything but polite..Say hello, how are you, inquire as to how things are going for them and then simply go about your work..don't take it personally because at the end of the day you'll be going home to the people who actually do matter...
post #12 of 12
I can't really help you out here because I have the exact same problem at work. I can change me, but no one else. I suspect it is for the same reasons you are having it. I'm not married nor do I have children so in reality, I can't relate to any of them in either way. So often I feel left out. There is always someone out there that won't like you and there isn't anything you can do about it. Just keep doing what you are doing and remain professional. I don't think bringing it up will help.
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