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edogxxx

Wilmington, IL

#1 Aug 23, 2013
DEAR AMY: I work at an independent coffee shop. The only thing I don't love about my job is my co-worker. He will not communicate with me at all, unless I have a work question. Then he is condescending.

At first I tried to make conversation with him, but he would give one-word answers or sometimes not even respond at all. Finally it was making me feel so bad that I just gave up. Now we work in frozen silence.

The thing is, he is very chatty and affable with the customers. I can think of nothing I've said or done to offend him. I am a competent worker, helpful and friendly.

I can't talk directly to him about this because anything I can think to say sounds foolish or is deniable.

Now I am thinking of telling the owner, "I like everything about working here except the hours I have to work with this person. In fact, I dislike working with him so much that it's making me want to quit."

But what is she supposed to do with that? He has been there a long time, and he's a good, reliable worker. She's not going to fire him, and if she speaks to him about this, it will make things even more uncomfortable for me.

I feel as though my only option is to quit, which I don't want to do.

Any ideas?-- Barista

DEAR BARISTA: Your co-worker is doing his job, which is to serve customers. He may be gaslighting or deliberately trying to bully you by freezing you out, and you are doing an awesome job of taking the bait to the extent that you are considering quitting.

Your co-worker doesn't want to be your chatty friend. Obviously your day would be much more pleasant if you two were buddies, but this is not a requirement of the job, unless his treatment has a direct impact on customers or services.

I suggest being brave enough to confront this yourself, without involving the boss. Tell him, "You don't seem comfortable with me. Is there a problem?"

If he blows you off, you should tell yourself that he is just a curmudgeon. Poor guy. Do as "Mr. Sunshine" does, and save your charming and enjoyable interactions for the customers.

DEAR AMY: I receive many emails from friends -- jokes, stories, etc.-- but also many politically oriented ones. I really don't care about their political beliefs. Additionally, the emails are often downright offensive.

How do I stop them from sending these types of emails without offending them or negatively affecting our friendship?-- Politically Neutral

DEAR NEUTRAL: I have learned from professional (and personal) experience that you cannot stop people from sending whatever mail they want to send.

The beauty of email is that you can control the process from your end. You can choose to selectively delete an email based on its subject line without opening it, or if there are people in your life who only send this sort of objectionable mail, you can create a "rule" in your email system, consigning all mail from a particular address to a specific folder -- or straight into the spam file.

DEAR AMY: You recently printed a letter from a young woman, "Of Sound Mind," who felt strongly that she would never want to bear children.

You subsequently followed up with another letter from a woman who suggested that "Of Sound Mind" might change her mind about wanting children, as she herself had.

I must share my own experience on this topic. At 17 I felt certain that I would never want children. People lined up to tell me that I would change my mind.

When I was married, many people encouraged us to have children, even though we didn't want them, because they were sure that we would one day regret our decision.

It took me years to find a gynecologist willing to perform a tubal ligation. But it was absolutely the right decision for me. I'm 62 years old now and have never for one minute regretted the decision to live happily child-free.-- Happy

DEAR HAPPY: Thank you for presenting this important point of view.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#2 Aug 23, 2013
1- So he finds it easier to talk to strangers than coworkers. Big deal. Leave him be.

2- Liberals get so offended by the truth.

3- Can we abort this rehash?

Since: Feb 10

Location hidden

#3 Aug 23, 2013
L2, why would you want to keep a friendship with someone who would be that offended by you asking to be removed from their political email list?
I have had people cut me off completely after I asked/told them to knock it off (from both right and left extremists) but it wasn't much of a loss. Most people just said OK and stopped sending it.
Facebook helps with that. More people share their opinions there and have stopped sending out so many emails, and I am free to skip over those posts.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#4 Aug 23, 2013
1 Listen you little drama queen, He does not owe you anything. Consider the fact that every customer you handle is money out of his pocket and maybe you will understand why he does not want you there. Or maybe you just do not shut up and he is tired of your noise. Either way, quit and do everyone a favor.

2 You should respond to every email you receive and send out a thank you email as well.(eye roll)

3 Or, she could become a nun.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#5 Aug 23, 2013
L1: Or maybe the guy HATES all this human interaction (or simply finds it exhausting) and he saves it for customers and turns it off for everyone else.

You're overthinking this. JUst do your job. Stop trying to be his buddy or to chat with him. Maybe if you keep things work-only, he'll change his condescending tone.

L2: I get email jokes, etc., from a former employee of where I work (I actually never knew her, but I got on her email list voluntarily), and once in a while there's an obnoxious, false thing about liberals/Democrats/Obama. Her emails have a disclaimer: SHe doesn't want to hear one single complaint. Don't like what she sends? Tell her you want off her list. I stay on it because she sends some gems, and she's not a bad person, just a sometimes oboxious person who happens to be Republican. She also is rich and retired and uses her time and money to rescue greyhounds, so she's good people in my book.

L3: I think sometimes people blab about their procreation plans then don't like it when others weigh in.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#6 Aug 23, 2013
RACE wrote:
1 Listen you little drama queen, He does not owe you anything. Consider the fact that every customer you handle is money out of his pocket and maybe you will understand why he does not want you there. Or maybe you just do not shut up and he is tired of your noise. Either way, quit and do everyone a favor.
2 You should respond to every email you receive and send out a thank you email as well.(eye roll)
3 Or, she could become a nun.
L1: I do think she's chatting his head off in the mornings and it drives him crazy.

L2: Over at the Wapo, someone said that every time a certain relative sent her obnoxious political emails, she responded with a picture of her cat. Relative: "Why are you sending me pictures of your cat?" Person: "Well, you seem to think I care about your political views, I figured you must care about cat."

“Colorful Beyond Words”

Since: May 11

"Always On The Go "

#7 Aug 23, 2013
1 No law that says co-workers have to be chatty friends. Leave the POS alone and do your job and go home. Easy !

2 Email servers have advanced greatly with catching spam ... check your spam filters and your block lists.

3 There are many who should never have children, glad you recognized you were one of them.
Anonymous

Saint Petersburg, FL

#8 Aug 23, 2013
LW1 makes me think of Spongebob and Squidward.

LW2: Learn to use delete. My dad accidentally sent something political to my brother after being asked not to. Honest mistake - the man is in his 80s for heaven's sake. Brother assumed it was my mom that sent it (I guess he didn't see the "from" right) and sent my mom this horrible, terrible, evil e-mail (actually several) about it and started saying all kinds of untrue (personal) crap. It was REALLY very low of him. But I think he has a lot of other issues. Still, he literally destroyed his relationship with my parents forever over an accidentally sent Obama e-mail. Again, there are obviously other issues going on with him (and his bio mom is a nut job). My mother cried for weeks over this. All because he couldn't hit delete and keep his mouth shut.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#9 Aug 23, 2013
LW1: Quit or shut up and do your job. I think he doesn't like because you're a breeder.

LW2: Set the filters and/or ignore if it's really that bothersome.

I have a FB friend who posts political stuff from the other side of the aisle. Most of it is stupid (and false) but I keep him around to see what "the enemy" is up to.

LW3: I've decided that I never want to have rehash, but I can't seem to find an advice columnist who will comply.

“What's it to ya?”

Since: Mar 09

Location hidden

#10 Aug 23, 2013
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
<quoted text>
L1: I do think she's chatting his head off in the mornings and it drives him crazy.
L2:

This might be accurate. Most mornings the last thing I need is someone being all chatty. Since most coffee shops open around 5 am or so he may not be awake really.

Lots of people working coffee shops are students. Maybe he stays up late studying, has to get to work by 5 or so, and when he's not dealing with customers he's running equations through his head...but she needs to be all chatty.
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
<quoted text>Over at the Wapo, someone said that every time a certain relative sent her obnoxious political emails, she responded with a picture of her cat. Relative: "Why are you sending me pictures of your cat?" Person: "Well, you seem to think I care about your political views, I figured you must care about cat."
Love, love, love this.

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#11 Aug 23, 2013
LW1: So long as it is not hostile and abusive, just do your job and make friends elsewhere.

LW2: Better to just not read them than dictate what folks can and canít send you.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#12 Aug 23, 2013
Sublime1 wrote:
LW2: Better to just not read them than dictate what folks can and canít send you.
I agree. Because that way, you won't miss out on emails you may WANT to see, like family gatherings, family news, whatever.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#13 Aug 23, 2013
L1: Had a coworker almost like this but maybe not as bad as what this LW is describing. I'm at work to do a job and could ignore the person/issue because I knew if I said anything it would be deny, deny, deny. So ignore and move on; however, it makes for a very long day (plus I had other more normal coworkers).

L2: Seriously? Delete and/or route to spam. Why couldn't you figure that one out?

L3: Are people THAT interested in other's reproductive side of life? Pls stop the letters, Amy.
Kuuipo

Salinas, CA

#14 Aug 23, 2013
LW1: You are letting your co-worker control how you feel. Just stop. Be your own, happy, cheerful, contented self. Greet him with a cheery "Good Morning" and then go about your business. I read this the other day: "Inner peace begins the moment you choose to not allow another person or event to control your emotions." And do NOT tell the boss. I guarantee you that this will reflect poorly on YOU and solve nothing.

LW2: Team Red.(Good one!)

“It made sense at the time....”

Since: May 09

Schaumburg, IL

#15 Aug 23, 2013
Toj wrote:
L1: Had a coworker almost like this but maybe not as bad as what this LW is describing. I'm at work to do a job and could ignore the person/issue because I knew if I said anything it would be deny, deny, deny. So ignore and move on; however, it makes for a very long day (plus I had other more normal coworkers).
L2: Seriously? Delete and/or route to spam. Why couldn't you figure that one out?
L3: Are people THAT interested in other's reproductive side of life? Pls stop the letters, Amy.
yes, workign with surly-to-you co-workers can make for a long day. one doesn't have to be all little mary sunshine, but doesn't ahve to be all doom & gloom iether. tehre used to be another group on our floor that woudl all but run into and not say anything - no "sorry", "whoops, didn't see you", etc. fine, whatever, don't have to be BFFs, but lets be civil.

“It made sense at the time....”

Since: May 09

Schaumburg, IL

#16 Aug 23, 2013
Kuuipo wrote:
LW1: You are letting your co-worker control how you feel. Just stop. Be your own, happy, cheerful, contented self. Greet him with a cheery "Good Morning" and then go about your business. I read this the other day: "Inner peace begins the moment you choose to not allow another person or event to control your emotions." And do NOT tell the boss. I guarantee you that this will reflect poorly on YOU and solve nothing.
LW2: Team Red.(Good one!)
tahnks for the saying on inner peace. my passive aggressive twitter campaign needs a boost.:-)
Kuuipo

Salinas, CA

#17 Aug 23, 2013
Aisle Sitter wrote:
<quoted text>
tahnks for the saying on inner peace. my passive aggressive twitter campaign needs a boost.:-)
You're welcome. I need that often. I'm going to print it out and post it everywhere.

Here's one from my mom that applies, to, "You're going to have to learn to work with all kinds of people." Yup. Thanks, Mom.
liner

Patchogue, NY

#18 Aug 23, 2013
L1: You sound like you need to try some decaf.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#19 Aug 23, 2013
liner wrote:
L1: You sound like you need to try some decaf.
Ha! We needed this post first thing this morning! It's perfect and brilliant!
cheluzal

Plant City, FL

#20 Aug 23, 2013
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
L1: Or maybe the guy HATES all this human interaction (or simply finds it exhausting) and he saves it for customers and turns it off for everyone else.
That's me! I an very introverted--oddly--and cannot stand idle chit-chat with people. I wish all my co-workers would stop trying to ask how my day is (they don't care--you're expected to say fine and it's annoying, lol).
But in front of a class of kids, or with parents on conference night, I come alive.

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