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To think that none of my colleagues ever want to sit near me?

62 replies

ChillingAndImpressing · 23/06/2015 18:40

I have worked in my current job for just under a year now. There have been a few things that have made me feel a bit excluded by colleagues, such as not being invited on nights out, but I have always put this down to me being new in the role and them all having known each other longer.

Our office has a hotdesking system. There are 4 separate offices with several desks in each and it is a case of getting to work, finding a desk wherever you can and sitting there.

I have noticed that quite often if I sit near most colleagues, they will be all nice to me but after a while will find an excuse to move elsewhere in the offices. I will then later see them perched on the end of another colleagues desk or sitting somewhere where there is no desk!

Today for example I grabbed a desk in an office where one woman, I'll call her Jane, was already sitting. We said hello to each other and she was fine with me. I sat down and started working and after a while she said "I need to go and sit with Tom as I have to go through some work with him, sorry to leave you alone in this office". I said fine, no problems at all. Only to see later that she wasn't sitting with Tom (not his real name, obviousy), but had gone into another office that was crowded full and was sharing a desk with someone else (their roles are totally different so they would not have needed to work together). It can't have been that she wanted to be in a crowded office rather than a quiet one as she was perfectly happy in the empty one before I got there!

I am baffled about this, and also quite upset about it. All of the female colleagues are like this with me, and some, but not all of, the male colleagues.

I do not know what I have done wrong; I absolutely do not smell or have bad breath. I'm not super loud or painfully quiet, just a normal sort of personality. My boss has said I'm good at my job and he's happy with how I do things.

AIBU to be upset about it?

OP posts:
rollonthesummer · 23/06/2015 19:11

Where did the previous popular girl go? Was she sacked to accommodate you, the boss's daughter? ;)

Joke-but do they blame you for her departure?

DarthVadersTailor · 23/06/2015 19:11

OP is there anyone at work who you do/can chat to and ask why they think this is happening? Because as a PP has said only someone with the inside track can really tell you why this is happening to you.

It mustn't be very nice for you, you have my sympathies. If it gets to you that much though (and it would me) then I'd maybe think about another job.

DarthVadersTailor · 23/06/2015 19:13

Kinda crossed posts there but yeah might be the previous colleague thing. Been there myself and it's shit. Didn't stay long there either.

SoldierBear · 23/06/2015 19:14

That is so sad. It's like they are bullying you

Timetoask · 23/06/2015 19:19

Op, do you smoke? I couldn't sit in a room with a smoker, they really sink without realising it

ChillingAndImpressing · 23/06/2015 19:20

No, not a smoker but most others are!

OP posts:
maria543 · 23/06/2015 19:23

I am in a similar situation to you Chilling. I took over from a woman who was retiring after having been in the position for almost 30 years. I feel that the rest of the team are very slightly hostile towards me, as though I am an impostor. It doesn't help that they all still meet up with my predecessor outside of work, but of course, I don't know her. They also all have older children so can get out in the evenings much more easily than I can, with younger ones. They also all live in the same town and their children go to school together, whereas I live in a different town. My manager never seems able to commend my work because it seems she never wants it to be as good as, or better than, my predecessor's.

I've been there 18 months, and still feel like the outsider, and as though I am simply the stand-in for my predecessor. I don't think it will change to be honest and am starting to look around for something else. I also wonder if there was another person they preferred for the job, but that maybe they were overruled by the more senior person who interviewed me (who has now retired also!).

SelfconfessedSpoonyFucker · 23/06/2015 19:23

I'd pick the nicest one of the lot and pull him/her aside and ask them to be frank and that you are worried you are doing something antisocial without knowing and that you would really appreciate a head's up. That if they can't think of something would they email you if they do.

SycamoreMum · 23/06/2015 19:24

Are you a good looking lady?

At my old work place I was excluded by some colleagues until our company day trip and we were having drinks by the bay to round things off. A few of the girls were sat across from me and I was on my phone keeping my distance so not to be seen to be wiggling on their little chat. One of the girls says, 'You always look so glamourous Sycamore how do you find the time?' The other girls gave her daggers and left!!!! She was slightly pissed anyway and kept prattling on about how she wished she could spruce up every now and then.

Amazing to think something so small and vain could lead to making a person feel like they don't belong. ????

Meepandyoup · 23/06/2015 19:26

Your line manager needs to do better than that. You're being bullied and he knows it.

hollieberrie · 23/06/2015 19:26

Oh dear OP, i really feel for you. I am changing jobs after something a bit similar. I don't know what to suggest, but ultimately work is where we spend so much of our time, its not worth being unhappy there. If you cant get it sorted out then maybe start to look for a new job? Sorry, i know thats a bit defeatist, but if its been this way for nearly a year then it may be hard to change it.

27inmyhead · 23/06/2015 19:28

It could simply be that they have established friendships if they have been there longer than you. I used to work somewhere very cliquey and it was difficult to infiltrate the 'in' group.

27inmyhead · 23/06/2015 19:30

Things tend to change when a key person leaves or when a few new people arrive or when there is a new manager.

Timetoask · 23/06/2015 19:34

Op, you say you've been there almost a year, has this behavior always been like this or did it gradually change?

Jenoftheweek · 23/06/2015 19:35

They sound like a bunch of shits. It might be herd mentality. If someone sees two others ostracise you, then they instinctively want to stay with the pack and then this behaviour becomes their norm.
I see it going two ways: ignore and just get on with it: identify pack leader and challenge (discuss?) behaviour.
Good luck!

cleanmyhouse · 23/06/2015 19:38

I'd be inclined to come out and ask someone straight out. Nothing to lose, plenty to gain.

Or go back to your line manager and say you're considering moving on because of the way people are ostracising you.

Andrewofgg · 23/06/2015 19:40

We have someone like this. She is very obese - and the result is that she grunts with every breath which is distracting. I am one of four who get in very early and take the same pod so we avoid her - and truthfully I don't feel guilty about that; first come first served. But I do feel sorry for anyone who ends up next to her.

Superworm · 23/06/2015 19:48

We have a similar set up at work.

There's one woman who is very nice but has the loudest voice on the phone. I can't concentrate at all in there, so will sit elsewhere or move once a space becomes available. I'm now hoping she hasn't noticed as I would hate to make her feel bad!

RinkRashDerbyKisses · 23/06/2015 19:49

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sandsnake · 23/06/2015 19:50

To me it sounds like there's obviously a gang that are friends and they want to sit and chat together. The fact that someone would rather share a desk (what?!) or just perch on the end chatting gives the impression that they see it more as a social situation than a workplace. This is obviously unprofessional (and inefficient too I would think) and I'm surprised that your management haven't done something about it!

It obviously sucks for you. This group of people - as well as taking the piss at work - are being supremely insensitive as to how it might make you feel. I suppose you have three rough options a) try to join in and be part of the 'gang' Confused b) ignore it, don't take it personally and sit there doing your job or c) raise it in a more serious way with your management.

Good luck. Tbh they sound like a bunch of children!

quietbatperson · 23/06/2015 19:55

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

derxa · 23/06/2015 20:04

Unfortunately I think they are excluding you because of the previous woman. How long do you want to put up with it? The manager has obviously noticed what is going on but is too weak to deal with it. Good luck. I feel for you.

MoreBeta · 23/06/2015 20:11

Hot desking is something that is generally imposed on people but most people want their own space near friends and work colleagues. I suspect that actually people are waiting for a desk to come free so they can sit where they like to sit.

In other words its not you - its the hot desking that is the issue. You don't have an established location so it may be they are not moving away from you but towards the place and group of people they really feel they prefer to sit.

You may also be accidentally sitting in a desk that everyone else knows is 'where Paul usually sits'.

Andrewofgg · 23/06/2015 20:25

If there is some genuine reason - coughing, loud on the phone, grunting, or the colleague I had years ago who wore ear-rings with little bells in them and would shake her bloody head to hear them jingle - then that's not bullying, whether it's something you can help or not.

Sazzle41 · 23/06/2015 20:30

I think after what your manager said, its them being the problem tbh. Have they have all worked together a long time with no newbies for aeons? That makes people less accepting of newcomer IME , they feel uneasy as the dynamic has changed. I'd give it a year then if its still same, move on tbh as it sounds a bit grim. You can say you learned all the job could teach you and you want to extend and learn new skills, not sit still.

I have this where i work. One half of the floor include me/ they are great. The other half are hostile: if i even say good morning i get daggers. Their loss, when the free weekly cake from our restaurant comes and they're in a meeting they dont get saved a slice like my nice colleagues. If there are unofficial treats round the corner in Marketing & their EA says help yourself, i dont tell them. I also stopped forwarding the freebies that go round from other EA's - we get invited free to a lot of openings of new hotels and restaurants as they want our firm's business.

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