Receptionist at work seems to hate me(52 Posts)
Posting for traffic...need advice!!!
I started a new job two weeks ago, and I don't know what I did to earn the ire of the receptionist. I always make it a point to greet her, and she returns it either with a grimace or completely doesn't answer.
Our only interactions were during a work lunch, where she was invited by my team. We were very civil, I thought it went fine. Another time was when I asked for help to figure out a lock, and I was very nice about it. It turned out the lock was broken (after several times/a day of me trying to figure it out!), and she even said sorry for assigning me the broken lock.
What should I do? I don't want her to be mad at me, as I know she can make things difficult for me.
Unless you want to drive yourself crazy you need to stop caring. Whatever her issue is you didn't cause it and you really can't make her change.
Just always smile at her and keep interaction to a bare civil minimum.
She’s a receptionist which means she probably by now hates most people. It’s a horrible job of constantly having to be nice to clients no matter how you feel.
Kill her with kindness. Give her a big happy smile and 'hello' every day. It will soon become genuine. Maybe try the odd compliment (but not too OTT) such as 'That's a lovely blouse. The colour really suits you'.
In my experience people usually find it very difficult to be nasty to someone who is being nice to them.
Depending on how many people work there maybe she is a bit set in her ways and doesn't like change?
Well she shouldn't do the job then, Karigan. I'm sure there are people with impeccable manners on the dole who would happily and keenly do the job.
I'm not going to tell you not to care op. Not giving a shit who likes despises or adores you will come in its own time, as I have found.
Sadly you can't win em all.
Kill her with kindness.
Completely disagree. People who are rude to someone for no reason seem to get some kind of childish power trip our of it. The only way to kill their 'fun' is not to care. Just say 'hi'. Quick, neutral smile. Definitely don't put on some fake nicey-nicey thing, giving compliments or try to be friends. She will (irrationally) despise you even more for it.
Did she apply for your job and not get it?
I would just carry on as you are doing. Don’t kill her with kindness, why waste the effort.
She doesn't hate you. The two times you've actually interacted she's been perfectly fine with you and even went so far as to apologise for something. Someone who hated you or was angry with you wouldn't have behaved that way; in fact someone who disliked you would have found a way to blame you for the lock.
Maybe she's not herself in the mornings. Maybe she's thinking about tasks she must take care of. Maybe she's lost the will to exchange greetings with every employee who passes her desk. Maybe you're misinterpreting her facial expression or maybe the grimace is for those tasks she must take care of.
It's a very small matter and I hope you can stop worrying about it. Good luck.
We interacted twice, but everyday I say hi and she always returns a grimace or completely doesn't answer or look at me.
Did she apply for your job and not get it?
I don't know, but I think she wants my job because in her Linkedin, she represents herself there as not a receptionist, but with my job title.
And if it matters, in that office, I'm the lowest in the totem pole.
Maybe she prefers to be left alone, she probably gets enough necessary interaction with other people. (Though that may mean she's not the ideal person for her type of job...)
Maybe. She's very chatty with other people though. And whenever I am with my boss, she smiles at us.
I really probably shouldn't care, but I'd love to know what's the best way to go about it. Do I stop greeting her, do I not, etc.
Personally I wouldn't bother saying hi anymore. Don't be rude but don't go out of your way to acknowledge her at all. If anyone should ask, just tell them simply that you're staying out of her way as you seem to have upset her and she doesn't like you. You don't wish to make her day worse, do you?
Why do you think she despises you? It isn’t clear from the OP.
Does this always happen in the morning?
Maybe she's in the middle of setting herself up for the day and doesn't have time to say hello nicely to every single staff member that comes in the door. Maybe she's not a morning person. More than likely, she doesn't realise she's doing it.
I used to have a boss like this. He'd waltz in past me every morning and not even look at me. I hated it. Thought he hated me. Turned out he had no idea he was doing it and was just caught up in his own stuff (and hadn't had coffee yet).
She's nice to you in other interactions. Surely that's more indicative of what she thinks of you?
She was nice to me during the first two times (two interactions) but after those two times, she changed. It doesn't matter what time of the day, we'd walk towards each other, I'd greet her, and either she'd grimace or she wouldn't answer or not even look at me sometimes.
Ok, just remembered something. This wasn't face to face interaction. I had my free company phone delivered to the office because the courier was supposed to look for me, and I was supposed to show my valid ID. For some reason, the courier just dropped it off and the building guard I think accepted it.
After a few days I tracked the parcel and it showed delivered so I inquired and I was told a certain M (not her initial) accepted it. I sent her a message and she said the parcel was in the mailbox.
Surely it shouldn't be this incident right? I was thinking, could it be that she thought I was giving her more work by having the phone delivered to the office? But the courier was supposed to call me and not release the parcel to anyone else.
I tried the ‘kill with kindness’ before. I agree it doesn’t work.
Ignoring and being just polite works better. For me it meant I reduced to a minimum interactions with that person. And stay polite but that’s it. Nothing more. It seems to work much better and she is now civil again.
A word of warning, it took months for her to move back to being civil. (And I’m still keeping a nice distance just in case)
Stop worrying about it. Greet her politely and civilly and then stop letting this occupy brain space.
Is this your first job? Because you will meet all sorts of people throughout your career, lots will like you, some won’t. As long as you are decent and polite and professional person you just accept this as life.
I’d just keep being polite and stop thinking about it. It’s obviously her problem unless you’ve omitted something from your op.
Try saying hello when you’re with a higher up and see what she does then, but generally I’d just leave her to it.
The people pleaser in me always used to try to "killing with kindness" approach. It's never worked.
I changed me perspective and decided that since they were rude and unkind they did not deserve any additional effort on my part. I no longer greet rude people and I don't interact with them unless I have to. I do return greetings and I do still have my manners to thank them but that's it. It's a much better approach as I'm no longer seeking their approval (and being rejected).
I agree with QuenieInFrance and Funnelfanjo. You will come across people like this all the time. Be neutral about it. Don't drop your standards, which should be civil and professional, but don't worry too much if they cannot be bothered. It shouldn't change your behaviour but neither should you worry about it or think its due to you. I do remember this feeling of having to run the gauntlet of being dissed by a rude person every day at work but all you can do is say good morning and breeze in without caring about the response until it becomes routine and you don't notice it anymore. By the same token, you only have to have this interaction once on your way in, but she has to do this repeatedly with the entire building, and that must be hard too, trying to make responses that satisfy everyone, because some people wont even want a "stop and chat" and probably just brutally ignore her, so give her a bit of a break and try not to invest too much thought into it. I wouldn't even mention it to your new work mates either as it could go straight back to her.
She is being incredibly unprofessional. It's easier said than done, but try not to give her too much head space. Be professional - acknowledge her politely when you see her. Other people will eventually notice if she is rude to you.
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