To have sent this email?

(42 Posts)
NoobyNoob Fri 14-Jun-13 15:30:21

I work part time in an office, I've been there for about 8 months now. I work on a small team who I get along with well apart from one.

We talk, but she's very abrupt with me, often given one word answers if I ask her if she had a nice weekend etc. She talks quite openly to everyone else but me, and she only talk to me if she has to. She's very very pretty, lots of confidence and says what she thinks.

Today it got to me, I asked her if she was up to anything and she said no. So I asked if she was going to see her mum and she said no.

So I sent her an email, asking if I had done anything wrong and that if she disliked me then it's OK to say, I'd rather know TBH. I said that this week it's been really hard to make conversation with her and I'd really like us to be able to get along.

She didn't reply at all, and muttered under her breath that she wasn't bothered. I don't know the girl very well, but it's hurt my feelings even more.

So no doubt now, she's told the other woman who works on the team and I bet they think I'm a right twat - sorry don't know how to swear!

I know not everyone can like everyone, but I'm only in the office three days a week, and for those three days I'd really like to enjoy it.

Was I unreasonable?

NoobyNoob Fri 14-Jun-13 15:30:49

Oh - it doesn't filter it anymore!

YDdraigGoch Fri 14-Jun-13 15:33:08

You need to learn to ask open questions (questions it's impossible to answer with a yes/no answer).

But, in all honnesty, does it really matter? As long as you can work together, there is no need to make small talk with everyone in the office.

YABU to have sent the email - bit childish I think.

Pagwatch Fri 14-Jun-13 15:34:28

I wouldn't have tried to smooth things over via email but to be honest you haven't lost anything. I woud just accept she is rude and leave her to it.

What do you mean by filter? Mn has never had a swear filter.

NoobyNoob Fri 14-Jun-13 15:37:08

I thought you had to do something to be able to swear! I go on NM too so maybe that's where I'm thinking.

Yeah it was childish, I try to do the right thing and it doesn't end up going to plan...and no I guess it doesn't matter it's just that things like that upset me and I like to smooth things out, just maybe go about it the wrong way!

Why do people think that emails or texts are a better way to communicate than speaking to people? I know it seems less confrontational but it doesn't work.

Try this:

Acknowledge something good about the person
Describe the issue unemotionally
Express your feelings
Specify what you want
Consequences (positive for her)

So, "hey co-worker, I really appreciate that you like to keep your head down and work hard. I'm finding our communication isn't the greatest and this is making me feel bad about work. Could we try to work on communicating and the atmosphere might be much better in the office." Try that only less junior Social Worker and see if it works.

Pagwatch Fri 14-Jun-13 15:44:18

It's hard to give sensible advice without sounding harsh, and I agree that it must be really awkward that she isn't friendly with you, but she is allowed not to like you.
It's a bit shitty. It's unreasonable of her. But unless you missed that info in your op she is just short with you - not talking about you or causing trouble - just not chatty.

I think you might have had more success if you had just asked face to face but that ship has sailed. I would honestly just let it go.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Fri 14-Jun-13 15:44:51

She's not your friend and that's ok. It honestly is.

you work together.

As long as you can do that, and maintain a professional relationship, it doesn't matter that she doesn't chat.

Just do your job, chat to the others and accept that not everyone wants to be pals in the workplace.

Onesleeptillwembley Fri 14-Jun-13 15:49:57

You absolutely need to let it go now. You've asked and then emailed. Any more and it's verging on harassment. You don't hit it off. She's abrupt. As long as she isn't openly rude then accept she doesn't want to go any further with you, however childish she is.

PeppermintPasty Fri 14-Jun-13 15:50:32

I agree, you have to let it go now unless you instigate a stand up row with her of course I would wink

I don't think you were being childish-don't be so hard on yourself. It sounds to me like you aren't keen on face to face stuff like this.

However, IME it is always best to talk to the person, see the whites of their eyes etc. That way you get more of the measure of them, even if you don't resolve it completely.

She sounds a bit of a beast, if it's any consolation.

orangepudding Fri 14-Jun-13 15:56:26

It sounds like she isn't keen on you, some people dislike others for no reason, but she is a least civil as she does answer and acknowledge you. Accept you will never be on friendly terms, try to find more friendly people in the office.

I can imagine it's hard but she's not worth getting upset over.

Unfortunately, some people are just like that.

A little while ago my team consisted of me, one full timer and one part timer.
The full timer never spoke, she too would give one word answers. It was incredibly draining just the two of us stuck in a corner hardly speaking sad The other team member (part timer) had the same issue with her so it wasn't as if It was just me she had the probkem with. However, neither of us were deemed cool enough as she would happily talk and laugh withthe younger colleagues across the other side of the office (I'm 34 BTW so not exactly ancient!!!).

Unfortunately, I have nothing constructive to add except that I feel for you. this situation only resolved itself when she left and was replaced with someone else who was a breath of fresh air to the team! smile

I think just let it go and stop making all the effort - I've worked with people before (normally women tbh) that are really aloof and I've really made an effort as I feel the need for everyone to like me. It was when I thought 'screw em' and stopped trying so hard (was still polite obvs) that they seemed to warm up a bit.

MrsRhysMeyers Fri 14-Jun-13 16:04:54

I wouldn't have sent the email, but I can see why you're upset. It's horrible that she is nice to everyone except you. Is she a bit of a queen bee type?

quesadilla Fri 14-Jun-13 16:12:24

I don't think you are BU exactly but I'd be wary of putting anything emotional down in emails... particularly with people you don't know very well.

I've learned the hard way that there can often be a massive disconnect between the way you intend something to come out and the way the recipient reads it.

Often stuff that's meant to be flippant or light-hearted sounds can come out sending really harsh.

Generally I'm inclined to agree with the others -- generally with people like this the best policy is to ignore. She is either a) passively aggressively trying to get a rise out of you and has now succeeded with this email or b) is inexplicably irritated by you for reasons beyond your control and you will probably have irritated her even more by trying to get her to rationalize it.

I understand that its hurtful when someone takes an irrational dislike to you but its generally not productive to try to counteract that.
The best strategy in these situations is just to ignore and look like you don't care, even if you do. People who don't look like they care much what others think about them give off a sense of self-confidence which those who appear to care a lot about it lack. Nine times out of ten people like this will come round to you if you just back off and don't react.

NoobyNoob Fri 14-Jun-13 16:13:50

I won't be sending her any more emails that's for sure! DH say's I come across as desperate, not just with her but with everyone. He says I try too hard


Just trying to make friends, it's my first job since having the children and I guess I thought it would be lovely and great and I'd make lots of friends! Truth is I haven't and I guess it hit me today. She is a bit of a queen bee, the men give her lots of attention and she loves it when she's the center of attention

NoobyNoob Fri 14-Jun-13 16:14:56

...and thanks for the advice, it's all good and I will accept that not everyone likes me haha!

quesadilla Fri 14-Jun-13 16:19:43

Nooby I do understand and I think your instincts are admirable. I'm a veteran of offices, having worked in them for nearly 20 years and have become a bit hardened to behaviour like this, I'm afraid.
I think the thing you have to remember is that there are lots of reasons to do with office politics why a person might be miserable or embittered at work which have nothing to do with you personally but which might colour the way they react to you.
You will make friends at work but you have to have a bit of a front a lo of the time too and not allow people to get to you if they are shitty.

spondulix Fri 14-Jun-13 16:27:54

"DH say's I come across as desperate, not just with her but with everyone. He says I try too hard"

That's a harsh thing to say. I feel your pain about trying to break into office life and friendships. The only thing you can do is keep your head held high, act confident and be friendly without looking too over eager.

Pagwatch Fri 14-Jun-13 16:28:47

Aw, you are feeling blue!

You might well be trying too hard. It's really easy to do but sometimes people just want to keep things a bit distant in a close office situation to avoid getting sucked into a situation they then want to back off from a bit.

And you have to be a bit more sensible. Yes, you want to make friends but from your description of this woman you don't like her at all. So you are investing energy in a woman who you think is a queen bee and a shallow show off. That's a huge waste of time.

Can you take a bit of a step back and try and figure out who you actually like and then gradually try and let a friendship develop.

WuzzleMonkey Fri 14-Jun-13 16:30:33

I am wondering why you included the information in your op that she is very very pretty. It seems an odd thing to say. Do you have an issue with that? Do you think she has an issue with you because of your looks?

I am not criticising you for inluding that info - its just that yiu said you have no idea what her problem is and I wondered if subconsciously you think its to do with that?

But back to the question - yes ywbu to send that email. I think it was a little unprofessional and wasnt the appropriate forum to address the issue.

WuzzleMonkey Fri 14-Jun-13 16:35:14

Oh sorry, the thread moved on whilei was tyoing forever on my tablet!

She sounds like a bit of a cow, I would ignore her. If your dh says you come across as desperate...I hate having to ask this but are you sometimes a bit annoying? I have met a few people who are utterly lovely but are also a bit 'too much' at times and that can get peoples backs up.

You say you go to work and want to enjoy it but maybe she doesny see it as fun and just wants to get on withmit.

Either waynshe doesnt sound like a very n7ce person so I wouod just happily ignore hermfrom now on!

Nerfmother Fri 14-Jun-13 16:37:05

I work in a small team. I am not that sociable. I am extremely busy at times and don't want to chat. One word answers acknowledge the person but don't allow for chat to develop. It's not shes wrong, you're right. Leave her to it, there could be a hundred reasons she doesn't want to chat. And don't bring your own insecurities into work emails unless its a serious bullying or other work issue and you need a paper trail.

adeucalione Fri 14-Jun-13 16:41:44

She sounds very rude - she doesn't have to like you, but one-word replies to your questions are unecessarily unpleasant I think.

It is quite obvious that she considers herself socially superior to you - bet she wouldn't speak to her boss like that, or the most popular person on the team.

I think you were daft to tip your hand with an email - never show these people that they are bothering you.

And I don't think you need to worry about her telling your colleagues - most will think that you did a nice conciliatory thing and that she is horrible for both ignoring it and then talking about it.

Be civil, be polite and ignore - she's really not worth it.

FeegleFion Fri 14-Jun-13 16:47:34

I actually don't think YWBU - just naive, unfortunately.

I used to be really sociable with all of my colleagues, and believed we were genuine friends, one in particular, (think nights out/ weekends away/ staying over at my place).

Then this particular 'buddy' started seeing someone (I was really happy for her) but as a singleton, I continued dating. I, too, hoped to find a lovely chap to get to know better but for a while, I seemed to have 'a lot' of first dates.

I found out my 'friend' had been gossiping about me and calling me quite unnecessary and untrue names.

From then on, work was work. I don't socialise with anyone, I don't engage in chatty banter.

I am civil and pleasant but I go to work, keep my head down and decline all social invitations from everyone.

I learned a lesson about office politics the hard way.

The point of my novel post is, don't try to make friends with the people you work with. It's not worth your time, energy or your upset.

Nerfmother Fri 14-Jun-13 16:54:33

But one word answers aren't rude in context. Maybe she is thinking o god please don't start talking at me and is actually trying to work? The office isn't a social event unless its lunch or a break or whatever. It's nice when you are all free to chat, but that's not always possible.

Elquota Sat 15-Jun-13 20:53:52

OP, think about who you like, rather than who likes you. Do you really want to be friends with someone like that anyway? She sounds really immature and may be jealous of you for some reason. Is it possible to talk to your boss/team leader about the atmosphere?

frutilla Sat 15-Jun-13 21:00:41

I wouldn't have sent the email, I may have written it but I would have deleted it. YABU to expect a good result from this kind of communication with someone who is clearly just nasty and trying to make you feel bed. Maybe you could have talked with a third party in the office instead, she would have found out just as quickly!

LessMissAbs Sat 15-Jun-13 21:08:21

*Today it got to me, I asked her if she was up to anything and she said no. So I asked if she was going to see her mum and she said no.
So I sent her an email, asking if I had done anything wrong and that if she disliked me then it's OK to say, I'd rather know TBH. I said that this week it's been really hard to make conversation with her and I'd really like us to be able to get along*

tbh I think you should keep work for work-related interactions, unless invited to join in something social. ie you shouldn't expect it as a perk of the job. You are wasting work time and resources by sending an email. Its not school, you are not there to enjoy yourself (always a bonus) but to work.

Elquota Sat 15-Jun-13 21:15:26

Unfortunately with an email like that I think you've played right into her hands. She wants you to feel insecure. Best thing is to rise above it and be breezily cheerful.

LessMissAbs Sat 15-Jun-13 21:15:38

Oh and btw OP, I tend to resort to one word answers when I get constantly interrupted by inane chit chat. I've only had to do it once in the workplace (I actually spoke to my line manager about being interrupted by someone wanting to constantly chat when I was trying to work and was told that everyone said the same thing but due to room shortages he tried to give everyone a year max in the same room as that person). I once had a flatmate who felt compelled to fill every moment with inane jabbering. It almost drove me mad, and I'm quite a chatty person.

The inference from the one word answers is that you are busy, you don't want to be interrupted, and you are talking too much. Its a social cue - its more polite than telling someone to shut up.

whatisyourview Sat 15-Jun-13 21:21:04

Most certainly not! You have rights.

<You are wasting work time and resources by sending an email. Its not school, you are not there to enjoy yourself> hmm Sorry Teach!

OP, just try and ignore her. She's being a bitch for the sake of it.

whatisyourview Sat 15-Jun-13 21:21:58

Another thing you must consider are the woman's feelings. Ask her round for tea. Start to be open minded

candyandyoga Sat 15-Jun-13 23:11:02

Never leave a paper trail at work!
Just be polite but don't ever again try to chat to her unless you need to. She's a twat. The best thing you could do is show you aren't bothered by her.

HollyBerryBush Sat 15-Jun-13 23:32:50

You need to make the distinction between friends and colleagues.

I see you were trying to make polite conversation but I would be take your line of perpetual questioning as quite invasive - I don't discuss home life at work and I wouldn't expect to be interrogated.

I do think the email you sent was either juvenile or needy, maybe both - depending on the style in which you wrote it, it could be quite harassing if she chose to use it that way.

internationallove985 Sat 15-Jun-13 23:56:52

No I don't think you're being unreasonable as you did what you thought was right at the time. You're right to be upset. No-one likes it when someone takes dislike to them, I most certainly don't, but sadly not everyone will like us I agree adeucalione just be polite. You can't say you haven't tried, can you. xxx

Numberlock Sun 16-Jun-13 05:45:45

Most certainly not! You have rights

What rights are those then in this situation?

OP - what your husband said was harsh but there's probably an element of truth in it.

Try to see it from your colleague's point of view.

ShadowStorm Sun 16-Jun-13 16:32:32

I think you're just going to have to let it go. I know it's hurtful when people don't seem to like you for no reason whatsoever, but as she seems intent on not being your friend, I'd just stop trying so hard. Be polite, keep interaction mostly work related, but it sounds like a waste of time to keep on trying to engage her in social conversation.

And I agree that e-mail wasn't the best way to handle this. I think having a face to face conversation would have been much better. It's too easy for people to misinterpret e-mails.

marriedinwhiteagain Sun 16-Jun-13 16:54:26

I don't think you sent the e-mail out of malice but you were hurt and misjudged but that isn't a crime.

Work is work and we all have to rub along at work accepting each other's differences. Occasionally we meet a true ffriend.

I chat at work but I never give feelings away or personal info. not like on mumsnet might go out occasionally to a work do but it stays entirely that.

I made one huge error of judgement when I went back to work c years ago. I had a young colleague (aussie girl in the UK about 25 lonely and having a tough time). I invited her home for supper and all seemed lovely. After that she turned and bitched continuously about how we lived, criticising how I laid a sheet of paper on the desk after. Learnt a hard, valuable lesson - private life and work don't mix.

Anthracite Sun 16-Jun-13 16:59:35

People you work with do not need to be your best friends. The important thing is that you can work together productively, not do small talk.

I have a similar relationship at work (I am the cold one). It gives me the heebie-Jeebies everytime the colleague tells me that she wish we could be friends. She is so needy.

TheRealFellatio Sun 16-Jun-13 17:11:33

You were being a bit U, yes.

It's a tough fact of life that you cannot make everyone like you. Most of us manage to disguise the fact that someone doesn't float our boat, and we can be civil and pleasant and friendly-ish in a non-commital way, for the sake of a good working atmosphere, so it's tough when you come up against someone who makes it clear they are irritated by you, when you know you've done nothing specific to deserve it.

But the thing is, what do you do now? she emails back and says what? Actually yes, you bore the tits off me, and I can't be bothered to hide it?

Or: You are crap at your job and I'm sick of having to cover for you?

Would you really feel any better for knowing any of that stuff, or worse? Best to just pick up on the signals that she's not interested in you, or that she's taken against you for some silly reason, and doesn't even have the good grace to try to hide it, and get on with your job and treat her with the same polite yet aloof level of disdain and disregard she affords you. Don't look needy - there is nothing to be gained by an awkward showdown over this.

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