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Was this offensive?

(27 Posts)
FlowerpotLilly Tue 07-Nov-17 03:31:40

I am quite confused at the moment because DP is upset with me over something i said. He recently got promotion at work and he is now supervising three of his coworkers. He was texting me today about how one of them is taking advantage of DP friendship (within work)with him and doesnt do his job properly and how that looks bad for DP because it makes him seem as he can not do his job properly. I replied back that he can see this as a learning opportunity to figure what ways/attitudes dont work very well and how they can be improved . All i was thinking wile texting this was how i matured and changed since i started my current job ten years ago. He went quiet and then replied along the lines that he is always having managing positions (not true) at work and he is always the best. I figured that something bothered him but wasnt sure what and later tonight he started arguing with me because according to him i think that he doesnt know how to do his job and i have no trust in him and i think that he isnt good because i am jealous. Was it really that offensive what i said?

Smitff Tue 07-Nov-17 03:51:54

I think the phrase “learning opportunity” could be heard as being quite patronizing really...

LaBelleSausage Tue 07-Nov-17 04:03:33

It does sound a bit like you don’t think he knows how to do his job properly.

Seeing as he’s new to it, that may be true, but I wouldn’t say it like that to my DP

treaclesoda Tue 07-Nov-17 04:09:30

I think you were really patronising and I can see why he'd be annoyed.

But on the other hand, I think anyone who insists that they are always the best sounds like they have a seriously inflated opinion of themselves.

FlowerpotLilly Tue 07-Nov-17 04:17:41

It seems that i messed up then. I used the "learning opportunity" because in my mind i would avoid an argument. I was trying to point that he favors this person because they are friends but if i had said it this way i know he d be upset. Well it seems better not to talk at all , then i can not get it wrong

FlowerpotLilly Tue 07-Nov-17 04:19:06

Thank you for pointing it out, i hadnt realized that it was bad

TheStoic Tue 07-Nov-17 05:03:59

Sometimes people just want to whinge, they don’t want you to provide feedback.

I don’t think it was a bad thing to say, but he’s obviously already sensitive about the situation.

Cupoteap Tue 07-Nov-17 05:40:42

I think it’s just that youve got a nerve. It’s hard to manage friends, especially if you worked along side then before a promotion.

OliviaStabler Tue 07-Nov-17 05:45:25

Sounds like he wasn't prepared for actual feedback and you upset him when your reply wasn't 100% 'you're amazing'.

I don't think you said anything offensive.

Oilyoilyoilgob Tue 07-Nov-17 06:20:54

It’s all perspective isn’t it? For example, some people thought you were patronising and I don’t think you were at all.
Myself and my husband are self employed and when we chat about our work this often crops up (For me more as I’m new to it) but I say it about myself-lots!
Everything in the world of work, especially managerial/dealing with friends/self employed business decisions are a minefield of new, learning experiences.
I think you’ve hit a raw nerve but I think you gave good, honest advice. Hopefully he takes it on board, and gives you an apology for kicking off!

ShizeItsWeegie Tue 07-Nov-17 07:03:56

Text messages are shit for stuff that needs an actual conversation. I have learned the hard way.

Cricrichan Tue 07-Nov-17 08:25:59

I don't think your reply was helpful. You didn't come up with any ideas and your message would have been better phrased: I'm sure that you'll figure out a way of managing friends and business relations.

Fwiw - my advice to him would be to treat his friends like any other person he was managing at work and to always be fair and consistent.

AnonEvent Tue 07-Nov-17 08:38:14

Although ‘learning opportunity’ can sound pretty patronising, it really depends on the person you’re saying it to.

I’m senior (ex VP of a large organisation, now co-founder of another company) and I welcome and relish learning opportunities, I’m always pleased to come across one and wouldn’t mind someone telling me that what I was facing was one. It gives me. Sense of evolution and excitement, and no one is expected to know everything.

Some people are a little closed-down to that kind of language, and see it as a criticism. It says more about them and their fears than you.

Jellyheadbang Tue 07-Nov-17 09:43:49

I don't think that was patronising or bad at all. It is factual and we all have something to learn every day.
He's obviously feeling vulnerable and ego struck.

HarmlessChap Tue 07-Nov-17 10:39:38

Poor reaction from him IMO, if he sees the phrase learning opportunity as a criticism.

There are always new situations, better ways of handling things etc. so your best to recognise opportunities to learn when they present themselves and make full use of them.

broccolicheesebake Tue 07-Nov-17 10:43:13

I think what you said was completely reasonable and he completely overreacted. Maybe he's just stressed and took it the wrong way.

Ttbb Tue 07-Nov-17 10:46:08

Sorry, did you say your DP or a five year old? Because no grown man acts like that.

Iris65 Tue 07-Nov-17 10:50:17

I agree that 'learning opportunity' sounds very patronising.
We all mess up sometimes. I upset a friend on Friday when he said to me 'The cold's a surprise isn't it?!' and I replied (without thinking) 'Not if you'd read the weather forecast.' He looked as if I'd slapped him.

Appuskidu Tue 07-Nov-17 10:52:17

I don't think what you said was particularly bad!

Well it seems better not to talk at all , then i can not get it wrong

This is a bit of an overreaction though. Do you argue a lot? If so-I wouldn't say things he might take the wrong way by text.

K0729P Tue 07-Nov-17 11:14:43

Oh dear. People need to stop being so precious.

There is nothing wrong with what you said to your OH. If he hasn't managed a friend before then this is a learning opportunity. Not patronising at all.

He needs to get his act together and stop taking his frustration at lack of control over his new role out on you.

TaylorTinker Tue 07-Nov-17 11:26:05

I think what you said was fine but then I like a bit of self improvement gobbledygook.

From his feedback it seems he doesn't want direct feedback! Or at least not put in those terms. Maybe he does just need to vent about it?

(Slightly connected : My DH went through all sorts of workplace communication development on negotiating and at each iteration I tell him to stop using it on me. The repeating a phrase ad infinitum was a real relationship killer.)

Find a vocabulary you are both comfortable with.

anewjourney Tue 07-Nov-17 12:21:04

He sounds ridiculously immature confused

What you said was a bit patronising but I would have said something like “Yeah, I guess you’re right”.

FlowerpotLilly Tue 07-Nov-17 14:50:10

Thank you all for the perspectives. DP favors this friend a lot and treat him differently than the other two and the friend takes advantage of it. In my opinion this is unprofessional but in an effort not to upset him i though i d say it in that way. I have changed and learned through situations at work , i saw what works best and what doesnt, i improved so i wouldn't get offended by this.
@Cricrichan i do come up with ideas but he gets offended even more if he perceives that i think he does something wrong
@Appuskidu well it is overreaction but he gets so upset so often and i can not find way to talk to him (as you see from post) that may as well dont talk at all to save arguments

Isetan Tue 07-Nov-17 15:33:43

He wanted a whinge, not constructive support. He’s projecting his obvious insecurities onto you because you’re convenient and because he thinks you’ll take it.

Management is a skill and he will either grow into the responsibility or he won’t but if he sees everyone else (including you) as the ‘problem’ and himself as the victim, then I don’t like his chances.

You did nothing wrong, it was a miscommunication and I’d leave him to calm down but in future, don’t be available the next time he wants someone to blame for his inadequacies.

dorislessingscat Tue 07-Nov-17 15:40:35

I think texting your girlfriend about a problem colleague is unbelievably unprofessional. If he’s got problems at work he needs to use his own line manager to discuss them.

And yes, like everyone else said, it’s best not to have nuanced conversations over text.

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