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Since: Mar 09

United States

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#1
Nov 29, 2012
 
Dear Amy: I have a problem with a co-worker. We work in an industry that provides services to children.

I commit my life to the job, at work and at home. I go above and beyond to make sure that the services I provide are geared toward the individual and of high quality.

My co-worker, who sits next to me, does the bare minimum required to stay employed. She doesn't give a single thought about work from Friday afternoon until Monday morning.

She comes in late, admits that she doesn't care about the clients and chats on her cellphone all day. It upsets me that our superiors see us and treat us the same because what they see is the final product of our work, not the process behind it.

Since I can't change my co-worker, I know that I have to change my own feelings and perspective, but my resentment is starting to interfere with my happiness. I'm really obsessing over the discrepancy between our efforts.

I like my job and I'm happy to be industrious. It's difficult, however, when the bosses do not acknowledge the difference between those of us who devote our life to this job and those who are just in it for the paycheck. What can I do to get over it?— Upset Co-worker

Dear Upset: If your bosses see the results of your work and the work of your co-worker, and if these results are equivalent, then you should not expect them to treat you differently.

You know that you cannot change them
or her. Because you work on behalf of children, you should tell yourself that their well-being is your reward. Undoubtedly, you build caring relationships with your clients that bring you satisfaction and joy. Your co-worker doesn't get to enjoy this.

Your compensation cannot be measured by a typical office yardstick. Write this down and stick it over your phone: "It's all about the kids." Post pictures (if possible) of your most memorable clients.

You should be willing to step away from this work to pace yourself for the long term.

Dear Amy: I recently got engaged to "Carol," who will eventually be stepmother to my 9-year-old son. We are madly in love but want to take our time setting a date. We're not in a rush, and no one is pushing us, except my ex-wife.

On Saturdays she insists on making herself at home in our kitchen when she drops off our son for the weekend. We're friendly, but then she'll start butting into my personal business. For instance, recently she insisted that we shouldn't wait to get married.

She stated her opinion several times, but bringing it up in our kitchen on a Saturday morning crossed the line! It was obvious that Carol was uncomfortable, but we let it go, knowing that my ex and I should be peaceful toward each other. How can I set a boundary around my personal life without upsetting my ex?— Conflicted Ex

Dear Conflicted: I'm stuck on the concept that you are worried about setting a boundary for fear of upsetting your ex-wife. Why should her feelings take precedence over your feelings or those of your fiancee?

If your ex-wife starts making suggestions about your romantic life, you should tell her, "When we're ready to discuss our marriage plans, we'll let you know."

Do not play this out in front of your son.

Since: Mar 09

United States

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#2
Nov 29, 2012
 
L1: Your industry has nothing to do with anything. You're acting all high and mighty and consider yourself a more caring person than your co-workers. If indeed you're both getting the same results from such drastically different levels of effort, YOU are the one who's doing something wrong. Work smarter, not harder. And the workplace isn't a contest to see who cares more, it's about results.

L2: Well, this is a switch - your ex wants you to hurry up and get remarried. Why are you and Carol in no rush? Indefinite engagements smack of commitment issues, maybe your ex wants a stable life for her son and that's why she wants you to poop or get off the pot.

Since: Oct 09

Wagner, SD

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#3
Nov 29, 2012
 
j_m_w wrote:
L1: Your industry has nothing to do with anything. You're acting all high and mighty and consider yourself a more caring person than your co-workers. If indeed you're both getting the same results from such drastically different levels of effort, YOU are the one who's doing something wrong. Work smarter, not harder. And the workplace isn't a contest to see who cares more, it's about results.
THIS. I cannot STAND co-workers like the LW, who think EVERYTHING in life should be about your work. So she doesn't give a single thought to work from Friday afternoon to Monday morning? Unless you're a doctor or lawyer (and please, no jokes, they DO do a lot of work on weekends and it's often not at all a nine-to-five job), who the hell DOES think about it? And just what is wrong with enjoying life on the weekends instead of thinking about work? And how, exactly, does she know just what her co-worker is thinking about all the time?

I've had the misfortune to work with people like this and they're a royal pain in the azz, all of them. I was getting as much work done as they were, but because it wasn't at the 24/7 level THEY thought it should be, it wasn't good enough. Never mind that our bosses thought it was just fine and that they made fools of themselves when they complained.

People like the LW remind me of the "tattletale" children I dealt with both in grade school and now when I sub at the schools; always worrying about what others are doing and telling on them, never just concentrating on their own work.

Since: Dec 07

DuPage County

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#4
Nov 29, 2012
 

Judged:

1

1

1 Well good for you, you've proven that you aren't efficient at work. Relax, do your job and get off your high horse. Years ago I was a Social Worker and I worked with a PITA or 2 like you.

2 Tell your to get the heck out of your kitchen and your business. Draw some boundaries cupcake.

Since: Dec 07

DuPage County

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#5
Nov 29, 2012
 
Judge Janie wrote:
<quoted text>
I've had the misfortune to work with people like this and they're a royal pain in the azz, all of them. I was getting as much work done as they were, but because it wasn't at the 24/7 level THEY thought it should be, it wasn't good enough. Never mind that our bosses thought it was just fine and that they made fools of themselves when they complained.
ITA. I once told a co-worker "Congratulations! You won the contest for who works the most! Pardon me, but I won't be participating going forward." It shocked her, but in the end we built a strong team together.

“What's it to ya?”

Since: Mar 09

Tacoma, WA

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#6
Nov 29, 2012
 
1: You are a royal PITA. Eyes on your own paper!

2: Simply tell your ex to MYOB. Really. It's not that hard.

Toj

“Equality”

Since: Jul 12

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#7
Nov 29, 2012
 
L1: Purchase a firearm. Invite her over but make sure there's no evidence of that invitation. When she's inside your home, shoot her dead. I hear it's perfectly fine to shoot for a kill if someone is in your house.

L2: Let me guess -- your ex pays alimony?

Since: Jan 10

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#8
Nov 29, 2012
 
L1: Your complaints about your coworker are, for the most part, reasonable. But this:'She doesn’t give a single thought about work from Friday afternoon until Monday morning." That is 99% of the people I hang out with. Our jobs are our JOBS. They're not careers. They pay our bills, pay for our fun, pay for our lives. But we work to live, not live to work. I don't even see a benefit to devoting your life to your job. I believe strongly in work/life separation. Go home and recharge and have more mental energy for the next day. But hey, your job will hold your hand when you're dying, right?

L2: Did your first wife not return your b[e]lls upon your divorce? No way would my boyfriend tolerate his ex (1) taking a personal interest in his love life or (2) plopping her self down in his kitchen on a Saturday morning. I bet your ex expects to be invited to the wedding, too.

L3: I almost always check with parents. I'll email a link to a toy idea. I did this last night and friend said "It looks cool, but I Think he'll play with it for five minutes then be done." So he's getting Duplos, not the toy guitar shaped like a puppy (I know, it sounds both horrible and awesome at the same time, doesn't it?). I'll get the puppy-shaped guitar for boyfriend's 2.5yo niece. She'll love it.

Since: Jan 10

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#9
Nov 29, 2012
 
Saluki Rod wrote:
1 Well good for you, you've proven that you aren't efficient at work.
No doubt. LW works that job 24/7 and the "slacker" coworker gets the same results. LW: Work smarter, not harder.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

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#10
Nov 29, 2012
 

Judged:

1

1 Well aren't you precious! Bet you have lots of cats too.

2 Duh, collect you kid at the door and dont let her in your kitchen. Oh, and tell your X to give your fiance your balls.

Since: Oct 09

Wagner, SD

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#11
Nov 29, 2012
 
Saluki Rod wrote:
<quoted text>
ITA. I once told a co-worker "Congratulations! You won the contest for who works the most! Pardon me, but I won't be participating going forward." It shocked her, but in the end we built a strong team together.
That was a great idea, glad it worked! For most people it would work, but there are still some who are as thick as a slab of concrete.

“Licensed to Ill”

Since: Aug 08

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#12
Nov 29, 2012
 
LW1: Not everyone lets their job monopolize their life like you do. If she’s meeting the requirements of her supervisors, MYOB.

LW2: I would just say that’s a decision for us to make and not make a huge issue out of it.

Since: Oct 09

Wagner, SD

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#13
Nov 29, 2012
 
[QUOTE who="RedheadwGlasses ")
L3: I almost always check with parents. I'll email a link to a toy idea. I did this last night and friend said "It looks cool, but I Think he'll play with it for five minutes then be done." So he's getting Duplos, not the toy guitar shaped like a puppy (I know, it sounds both horrible and awesome at the same time, doesn't it?). I'll get the puppy-shaped guitar for boyfriend's 2.5yo niece. She'll love it.[/QUOTE]

A puppy-shaped toy guitar? Hmmm. You're right, that does sound both horrible and awesome. It seems like every year brings something different like that, just when you think you've heard it all the last holiday season. Anyone remember the singing/talking teddy bear craze about twenty or so years ago? I thought we'd never get away from those things!

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

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#14
Nov 29, 2012
 
LW1: I think you're just pissed because she gets the same amount of work done with a quarter of the effort you put in. It's lovely that you take such care but not everyone has to do the same to be competent at the job; please remember that.

Now if your work is being evaluated as a team, then we have a different story, but that's not the way your letter reads.

Oh, and take a weekend off once in awhile, it will improve your attitude.

LW2: It's great that you are trying to get along with the ex for the sake of your son. But as others have stated, you need to take your balls back from whomever has them and tell your ex to MYOB. That's also good for your son to see.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

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#15
Nov 29, 2012
 
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
L3: I almost always check with parents. I'll email a link to a toy idea. I did this last night and friend said "It looks cool, but I Think he'll play with it for five minutes then be done." So he's getting Duplos, not the toy guitar shaped like a puppy (I know, it sounds both horrible and awesome at the same time, doesn't it?). I'll get the puppy-shaped guitar for boyfriend's 2.5yo niece. She'll love it.
Ooo, we get to play guess that question!

I don't have kids and frankly, I really don't like them. So consequently I have no idea what to get for the little beasties in my life. Should I just get gift cards to Toy'r'us?

Dang, that's not nearly as funny as I'd like it to be. Guess I'll lose this round...

Since: Jan 10

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#16
Nov 29, 2012
 
Judge Janie wrote:
<quoted text>
A puppy-shaped toy guitar? Hmmm. You're right, that does sound both horrible and awesome. It seems like every year brings something different like that, just when you think you've heard it all the last holiday season. Anyone remember the singing/talking teddy bear craze about twenty or so years ago? I thought we'd never get away from those things!
here is the guitar:

http://www.target.com/p/b-woofer-hound-dog-gu...

(I remember Teddy Ruxpin!)
Sam I Am

Huntingdon, TN

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#17
Nov 29, 2012
 
1. You sound really annoying. Like it or not, it is the final product that matters. If your co-worker can produce the same end result as you and still have a life outside of work, I say good for her. You need to get laid or get a hobby or just shut up and deal.

2. Without upsetting your ex?!?!? Who gives a frick?! Worry about the one you're with. Pull the ex aside and tell her that...you know what? Never mind. Break it off with Carol and give her a chance to go find a man who won't be such a spineless goob. Oh, and what with the horrible role model you are, be prepared for your son to be walked over by women for the rest of his life.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

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#18
Nov 29, 2012
 

Judged:

1

RedheadwGlasses wrote:
<quoted text>
here is the guitar:
http://www.target.com/p/b-woofer-hound-dog-gu...
(I remember Teddy Ruxpin!)
OK, it's cute and my kids would have loved it and I would have had daily fantasies about bashing it on the ground ala Pete Townshend.

Since: Dec 09

Smalltown, Colorado

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#19
Nov 29, 2012
 
RACE wrote:
1 Well aren't you precious! Bet you have lots of cats too.
2 Duh, collect you kid at the door and dont let her in your kitchen. Oh, and tell your X to give your fiance your balls.
I resemble the cat comment.
Jimmy John

United States

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#20
Nov 29, 2012
 

Judged:

1

Go get yourself a horse and some vaseline, go up to the mountains and quit bothering everyone.

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