CLICK HERE to leave a question for Hottywood. _________________________________________________
Every day my coworker tells me all about her relationship problems. Not only do I believe it’s inappropriate conversation for the office, but I really just don’t care! What can I do to make her stop?
First I have to challenge your comment about the office being an inappropriate place to discuss relationship problems. People do it all the time [at work]; in the bathroom; at the water cooler; in staff meetings. Work and Relationship Problems kind of go hand in hand. At any rate, you’ve already stated what the real issue is. You don’t care about her problems.
I won’t give you the rundown of how your listening ear can be a savior to someone who may be in desperate need to talk or vent. Nor will I tell you that your way of thinking can be considered selfish and somewhat hypocritical when it comes time for you to lay down your burdens to anyone who’s not standing on the other side of the mirror. And I won’t bother to tell you that karma always come back to bite you in the ass. I won’t tell you these things because I’m pretty sure you already know.
Realistically speaking, some people just can’t help themselves. No matter how much of a disgustingly uninterested face you can muster up, a person with that much self-absorption is usually more consumed with hearing words come out of their mouth than they are with focusing on the blood that’s dripping from their ears, in a preposterous notion that your ears are bleeding because of them. This act isn’t uncommon and it doesn’t just happen in the work place. Outside of honesty and risking the possibility of breaking someone’s heart by letting them know that you don’t give a damn about what they’re confiding in you, you have a couple other options.
Option 1) Offer a one-night stand word of advice. …a “hit it then split it,” type deal. Tell her that “all fish are forgotten when they’ve either been flushed down the toilet or fried in a skillet.”
Option 2) Defend yourself. The next time your coworker comes to you with her problems, arm yourself with a scorching hot cup of coffee. Toss it on her and start speaking in tongues. Dance frantically in place and spin around in circles. Tell her, “Somebody in this room has been possessed!” and then run like the wind.
Option 3) Death by appetizer. Take her out to lunch. Once you’ve been seated, scotch-tape her to her chair and shoot her to death with the crossbow you made from an asparagus tip and onion ring appetizer. If she’s still alive and kicking after that, do yourself a favor and dive head first into the nearest pitcher of water and drown yourself until the only voice you hear is God’s.
If you’re too soft or too scared to tell her that you’d rather not discuss her problems [in the office or at all], then your last resort is to tell her that you’re super busy and request that she emails you her story. That way, you can read the first and last paragraph and sum up what she’s whining about.
Having her email you her problems is also a perfect setup for a paper trail leading back to her, which has all the promise of showing her employers that she’s A) bringing her problems to the office, B) is distracted by outside influences, and C) distracting her fellow employees from doing their job…all of which brings down the high rate of percentage of the progress of work in the office.
REFERENCE: Office Etiquette: Listening to Death
Lemme know how all that works out for you!