Crazy colleague's child taking over the office an inch at a time

(61 Posts)
Welshtinsel Tue 11-Dec-12 12:14:24

Since my work colleague returned from maternity leave she has tried to turn the office in to some kind of shrine to her child.

If she is not talking about her DD then she is showing someone a picture of her DD. Every conversation devolves into one involving her spawn. Rather than working she'll sit around discussing how 'cute' her DD is. Just last week she used up all of the color ink in the print printing a picture of her DD. Any current event always strikes a cord with whatever crap her DD did last night.

AIBU to say that no one gives a shit about her kid and she should just shut up and do her job?

Chanatan Tue 11-Dec-12 12:20:36

yabnu for refering to her child as spawn.

OnTheBottomWithAStringOfTinsel Tue 11-Dec-12 12:21:05

Noooo! you need to fight fire with fire!

Introduce your own gifted and talented DC's/nieces/nephews into conversation at any and all opportunity.

If you can get someone to play also, set points for delivery of outrageous claims with straight faces (i.e. "3 yr old Montgomery is getting bored with his Suzuki maths lessons as he is too advanced for them" "darling Flora corrected my spelling of digeridoo last night, and do you know what, she was right!")

Please don't be too obviously unkind though, I'm sure we all were a bit like this at some stage. She'll grow out of it when DD becomes a teenager and HATES her (like mine when I confiscated her mobile phone at the weekend - you'd have thought I cut off a limb)

The novelty will soon wear off I am sure.


Psammead Tue 11-Dec-12 12:24:42

Aww. She's proud of her child. She should be doing her job and not using up company resources, but have a heart, OP!

HullyEastergully Tue 11-Dec-12 12:24:54

She probably misses her terribly

don't be an old cow

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Tue 11-Dec-12 12:26:32

Give her time. She's getting used to being back at work and probably feels hugely guilty. (no need for her to, but I know many people do)

Just get on with your work, bring her back to topic but don't be too hard on her. She'll get back to normal presently.

Janeatthebarre Tue 11-Dec-12 12:28:03

YANBU. Obviously, people are going to talk a bit about their children at work. That's normally. But going on and on and on and on about them is not only boring it is also very insensitive as you don't know what issues other colleagues might be having either ttc or coming to terms with the fact that they won't be having children for one reason or another.

Welshtinsel Tue 11-Dec-12 12:28:20

She actually came back maternity leave six months ago, so any slack she might have had has long gone.

Janeatthebarre Tue 11-Dec-12 12:28:32

That's normal, not 'normally'.

Welshtinsel Tue 11-Dec-12 12:29:35

I meant came back FROM maternity....Stupid fingers.

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Tue 11-Dec-12 12:41:54

Oh. I assumed that she must have just come back!


6 months is quite a long while to still be in full boast mode grin

Sokmonsta Tue 11-Dec-12 13:46:12

You are both being unreasonable. Ok so it's been 6 months, but she probably feels incredibly guilty and by going on about dc all the time and the things they've accomplished will help her feel less like she's abandoned them to childcare. But, no one wants to hear it all day everyday. I suggest you just stop her when she tried to talk to you about dc with 'I'm sorry but I really need to do this piece of work' and others who find it boring do the same. It's gentle but she should get the message.

MamaMumra Tue 11-Dec-12 14:48:43

YABU and a curmudgeon!

TreeDecoratingAndPresents Tue 11-Dec-12 14:52:12

oh gosh, I had no idea it was bothering you. I'll try and reign myself in, really.


EverlongLovesHerChristmasRobin Tue 11-Dec-12 14:55:10

Don't be a misery.

Could be worse.

She could be going on a Peter Andre all day.

Ephiny Tue 11-Dec-12 15:04:54

Can you just ignore or change the subject when she starts going on about her kid? She might get the hint. Or maybe not, but then part of working in an office is putting up with annoying people!

Does she not have enough work to do?

SaintNiChaolas Tue 11-Dec-12 15:28:25


Going on a Peter Andre all day.

Think I'd rather have the boasting than a sex show.


Janeatthebarre Tue 11-Dec-12 15:54:15

Anyone who bangs on about the same topic over and over, whether its their kids, or their new house, or their bad back, or how busy and overworked they are is booooooooring!

AmberSocks Tue 11-Dec-12 15:56:27

stop being such a miserable old bag.

MrsKeithRichards Tue 11-Dec-12 15:58:28

Yawn!! People like this need to realise how boring they are!

Janeatthebarre Tue 11-Dec-12 16:00:16

I don't think you're being miserable Welsh. It is boring if someone keeps going on and on about their child. A little bit of conversation is fine. Showing the odd photograph to your closer friends in the office is fine. But someone constantly bringing every conversation back to their child is going to get on people's nerves. It can also, as I said upthread, be quite insensitive if a colleague is unable to have children.

rainrainandmorerain Tue 11-Dec-12 16:22:52

have you got kids, welshtinsel?

Janeatthebarre Tue 11-Dec-12 16:25:24

What has that got to do with it Rain?

Lottapianos Tue 11-Dec-12 16:31:23

YANBU at all OP. Yes fine,she misses her DD but no-one wants to hear about it all the livelong day. And you're right - she's at work so should probably be doing a bit of work now and again rather than boring the living daylights out of all of her colleagues.

I have a colleague who does this. She talks about her son in every single conversation. Today we were talking for about 10 minutes and she mentioned him 5 times (yes I counted). Do I look like I give a shiny little fig about what he wants for Xmas? Well I got the whole story, in absolute mind-numbing detail. And by the way, he's 12, not a baby hmm It drives me potty. People, even parents, should have a little bit of self-awareness and realise that the earth does not actually revolve around them and their children.

'What has that got to do with it Rain?'

I would also like to know what the OP's parental status has to do with the price of eggs

rainrainandmorerain Tue 11-Dec-12 16:32:16

Just curious.

I'm not saying that parents don't mind child-talk because they are parents. That would be incredibly stupid. As someone else said upthread, someone being repetitive is irritating whatever the subject.

There's just something odd for me about the use of 'spawn' and 'no one gives a shit about her kid and she should just shut up and do her job.' I've only heard things like that from misogynist childless male colleagues, tbh.

SomeTiggyPudding Tue 11-Dec-12 16:57:35

The next time she shows you a picture of her DD just say "You must have shagged a squid to get one looking like that!" She will never ever talk to you again.

EverlongLovesHerChristmasRobin Tue 11-Dec-12 16:59:19

I could go on about Dave Grohl all day wink

StuntGirl Tue 11-Dec-12 18:42:47

tiggy grin

JesusInTheCabbageVan Tue 11-Dec-12 19:02:27

Heh. Starting to think every office has one of these. Our one is quite handy in that she keeps the rest of us from talking about our DC - the minute anyone mentions something offspring-related, we're treated to a 20 minute high speed information dump about what hers has been up to in the last hour. Don't know how she keeps tabs, but she does.

babythrashling Tue 11-Dec-12 19:22:50

You don't sound very she loves and misses her daughter, why does that bother you so much? Referring to her child as 'spawn' is just nasty.

PS I bet you don't have children.

Gigondas Tue 11-Dec-12 19:27:50

I would probably take the baby bore I over the health bore or even worse the I am divorced bore (given she had divorced 4 years previously I was never sure why I had to hear her phone messages from her ex to analyse them).

Op- yanbu - office bores can make you lose all perspective .

ChaoticforlifenotjustChristmas Tue 11-Dec-12 19:36:36

I love and miss my daughter too but I don't bang on about her every second of the day to anyone close enough to listen hmm


ilovesooty Tue 11-Dec-12 19:51:42

Just last week she used up all of the color ink in the print printing a picture of her DD

Surely using workplace resources for personal use is monitored?

SugarPasteSnowflake Tue 11-Dec-12 21:16:22

Been there! Her desk was so covered in pics of the kids that you could barely see her screen. When she ran out of workstation space, the kids finger paintings used to be stuck to the nearest printer and filing cabinet.

We just tuned it out. Her first was a proper PFB and a wonder baby. It helped that the second wasn't quite so perfectly behaved, so we were spared the lengthy advice sessions second time round, about how good parenting produced happy, cooperative babies.

SugarPasteSnowflake Tue 11-Dec-12 21:18:10

I don't have children btw, which obviously makes me a bitter old hag,



Dromedary Tue 11-Dec-12 21:31:14

Lotta - have you tried to get the message across to your colleague? Or is it easier just to put up with it?
I sympathise -I don't usually mention my DCs at work unless someone asks. My boss doesn't have children and it became obvious very soon after I started working for them that the topic of my children was of no interest (fair enough). Not sure why some people don't pick up on that kind of lack of interest. I have to say I also find being at work more of a break if my office is a child free zone.

thebody Tue 11-Dec-12 22:12:42

I have 4 kids and deny them regularly...

She's a freakin bore.. Yawn and turn away..

BlackholesAndRevelations Tue 11-Dec-12 22:19:02

Everlong- dave is mine!! And everlong is my favourite song ever ever ever grin

PickledInAPearTree Tue 11-Dec-12 22:22:27

My boss used to be like this with her fucking bloody cat.

Get a bloody fucking cat and do similar.

Are you sure it's this bad though or are you hamming it up?

queencat Tue 11-Dec-12 22:38:26

I had one at my old work, our children were the same age and this is absolutely true; we worked a shift pattern and I was granted annual leave on Christmas Eve and she wasn't. She complained because I had two children one being from a previous relationship (my eldest went to his dad) 'it didn't matter if I was away from them on Christmas Eve because we weren't a proper family anyway',

She also used to get jealous that her mum paid more attention to her brothers son because he was severely autistic and she felt he was getting 'special treatment'

It used to drive me nuts so no yanbu

Goldenbear Tue 11-Dec-12 23:12:06

Isn't that part of office life - putting up with the office bores? In my old office we had the following:

-Dog bore (my boss)
- planning a wedding at work bore (got sacked eventually)
- Ego as big as the globe bore (moved into management consultancy)
- Bitch bore (bitching about everyone and everything)
- Foodie bore
- Lover of musicals bore (went in his extended lunch time and on his return filled you in on how great the show was)

How do you know you're not a bore in some way?

In contrast to your office, lots of people were falling over themselves to meet the babies and young children of employees if they happened to be passing with the other parent. My office was in central London so sometimes children would be on holiday visiting a museum and pop by if nearby. I never took my DS in to meet them and they were mostly cross about it. At my brother's office there was a, 'bring your child to work day', imagine how you would feel in that situation with your colleague?

LucieMay Wed 12-Dec-12 00:59:35

Being single I actually find it more annoying when women blather on about their boyfriends or partners. Having a son, I don't mind kiddy talk but I just want to vomit when women dribble on about their other halves, in particular their weddings. Oh my god I hate wedding talk!. But I can't expect them to shut up just cause I don't like it so I just politely disengage and get on with my work.

Arthurfowlersallotment Wed 12-Dec-12 09:11:38

YANBU to find her irritating. Though until she breeches some employment code you'll just have to deal with it.

Though I find your words about her child disgusting, and therefore I'm glad she wrecks your head.

JessieMcJessie Wed 12-Dec-12 10:07:07

Ooh I wish we had a lover of musicals bore in my office, I would monopolize him and not be bored at all! However you forgot the sports bores- have lost count of the times I have had to remind them that I don't give two hoots about rugby.

Surprised at the level of indignation about the expression "spawn"- lighten up ladies wink

Gigondas Wed 12-Dec-12 10:30:03

Oh pickled that reminds me of someone I knew who left my friend working late on a big project on bonfire night as had to get home to his cats as they might be scared (he was married so wasn't even like cats were out/alone etc).

Do you work with me?

PickledInAPearTree Wed 12-Dec-12 10:46:01

I could tell you so many stories about it but I'd be scared of outing myself! There can only be one woman like her in the while world.

Totally agree lucie wedding stuff is the worst! It's so bloody boring! Especially when you get a real stickler for detail and they are showing you photos of napkin rings and the like.

DeckTheHallsWithBartimaeus Wed 12-Dec-12 10:59:50

Nah, I can beat that - I once worked with a golf bore. My god that was boring. Blow by blow account of each swing of her weekend games <yawn> every bloody day of the week.

She literally only stopped talking to take another breath. And you couldnt just not listen because she would ask you stuff and keep trying to get your attention.

My ears bled.

The worst was that you'd hear each story a million times as she'd tell you plus any other poor sod who came near the office.

PickledInAPearTree Wed 12-Dec-12 11:00:57

Shit that's brutal. grin

GreatUncleEddie Wed 12-Dec-12 11:03:35

There's a poster on here whose sister has a dog but no children and refers to the dog as the poster's nephew. She is expected to buy doggie Christmas presents.

You should bring in photos of a puppy and go on about it ad nauseum.

iamapushymum Wed 12-Dec-12 11:09:51

would do my napper in!

SolomanDaisy Wed 12-Dec-12 11:23:47

I used to manage someone who did this. She had three, there was never an occasion when she didn't have a very dull story to relate about them. Other people talk about their children in moderation, when they have done something amusing or have been awake all night. She was just at it all the bloody time. People actually used to raise it with me in 1:1s and ask me to make it stop. I discussed it with her (subtly pointing out the several people with fertility/miscarriage issues sitting near her) and it would stop for a little while and then be back to normal. She had a very loud, irritating voice as well, so there was no escape. The manager of another team in the open plan office had to speak to me about it once. God, I am glad I never have to see her again.

Atthewelles Wed 12-Dec-12 12:15:39

I work with a woman like this. If she's not talking about her children she's on the phone reminding them in a loud voice to do their homework, be good for granny etc etc. It has got to the stage where people try to time their coffee breaks so that they won't be in the kitchen at the same time as her because, no matter what the topic under discussion, she will bring it back to her kids. angry

Lottapianos Wed 12-Dec-12 13:30:31

'Lotta - have you tried to get the message across to your colleague? Or is it easier just to put up with it?'

Dromedary, I have tried several approaches smile I have tried to make a few polite comments about her son, then move the conversation on to something else - she brings it back to him. I have tried initiating a converstaion about a topic that has nothing to do with family - the US elections, winter coats, favourite foods/drinks etc - she ends up talking about her kid or her parents every single time. It's mind-numbing and sometimes quite upsetting, as I have massive family issue of my own and could do without someone else's Disney-like set up being shoved down my throat.

There was a thread a while back about how to handle colleagues that just won't shut up - someone suggested you should hold a hand up and say 'can I just stop you there?', then when they pause to let you speak, just get on with your work and ignore them from then on grin Definitely not brave enough to try it though!

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Wed 12-Dec-12 14:04:29

i suppose if all else fails, you could let out a scream, throw your head onto your desk and yell oh GOD if I have to sit through another minute of this I am going to throw myself onto my letter opener


lovelyladuree Wed 12-Dec-12 14:21:52

If she is chatting and printing photos she is not working. Highlight this fact to her boss. She is not giving the company value for money and there are plenty of people out there willing to take her place so she can be a SAHM.

Mumsyblouse Wed 12-Dec-12 14:41:11

I think it depends how extreme it is. I have a colleague who loves her dogs, and from time to time, she calls me in to look at pictures of 'the girls', or tell me if one of them is sick, or to relay something funny they did. I tell her about my children from time to time, but hopefully not every time I see her, or to the detriment of my work (indeed, I know not as I work very hard).

So, a little conversation can be a nice thing in a boring office, but once someone starts to dominate it is hard.

ReindeerHooves Wed 12-Dec-12 14:49:39

DH used to work with someone like this, only the ds was in his 20's. She'd be on the phone to him several times a day, micromanaging his life for him. Unsurprisingly he had no idea how to function as an adult and was constantly in trouble with the police.

There are a few of us in my office with children and we do discuss them as they're part of our lives, but no-one's a bore shit does that mean the bore's me?

AngelOne Wed 12-Dec-12 17:16:54

There's someone like this at my work.

Her first child was born 4 years ago and she still hasn't got over it <eye roll>

Most other people in the office have young children too, but they manage to talk about many different topics. She ALWAYS brings it back to her children, she talks at length about breastfeeding, nappies, potty training long after everyone has stopped listening. She is also the perfect mother and knows best about every child related subject.

It's got to the point were newly pregnant first timers in the office are scared of announcing their pregnancy because they know she'll pounce on them every few minutes with 'advice' and anecdotes about her own pregnancy and birth.

NorksAreTinselly Wed 12-Dec-12 17:33:07

diet bores sad

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now