{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Was a bitch? My coworker routinely asks me how I am doing, what I’m working on, if everything is ok, joking that I’m starting my week on Wednesday because I’ve been remote for two days, etc etc. I find it distracting and invasive so today I told them to please stop asking questions that put me on the spot. Was I a bitch?", "post_id": "614b99e5dec5090022a24807", "reply_count": 14, "vote_count": 3, "bowl_id": "5df70ed2f7169f002b172d3f", "bowl_name": "Big Law" }

Was a bitch? My coworker routinely asks me how I am doing, what I’m working on, if everything is ok, joking that I’m starting my week on Wednesday because I’ve been remote for two days, etc etc. I find it distracting and invasive so today I told them to please stop asking questions that put me on the spot. Was I a bitch?

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Sure sounds like it

likefunnysmart

Op it’s probably best to just shrug this stuff off. I used to work with colleagues that did this every day. I just roll with it lol.

likesmart

Would’ve told them I’m good and that I’m on a tight deadline so I’ll see them next week when I dig myself out and smiled until they left. Your delivery was hurtful and could impact your relationship with annoying coworker and others they talk to. I have an assistant who annoys me like that so I just always look busy and on the move or give her busy work I don’t need her to do so she leaves me alone

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I totally agree. I just don’t know if this person would have understood subtlety. I really do appreciate your input because it is true that snapping undermines me at the firm.

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I think your request is fair but sounds like the delivery has room for improvement. Likely because you bottled up and suppressed your discomfort until you were too stressed and they caught you at a bad moment and you let it out. Maybe you could use this as an opportunity. Apologize but then explain where you are coming from and maybe come up with a lighthearted and playful way to solve for the problem going forward. Like a traffic light system on your desk (green, yellow, and red) to indicate how open you are to small talk and chitchat based on your level of stress and busyness. You can make it into an inside joke with the colleague. While also communicating more honestly and transparently. I’m more sympathetic to you (and am often in your shoes), but we can’t expect others to be mindreaders. Also not that big a deal so don’t sweat it. I was once stormed back, full of righteous indignation, to a coworker’s desk, and told him “he had a lot of f’in nerve.” Which was true, but my reaction was unprofessional and backfired. He was in the wrong big picture. But refs give Ts for the reaction not the original foul.

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I wish my old coworkers said hello every so often when I was in big law. I passed many a day where I wouldn’t talk to any of them and would have loved a 5-10 minute respite. While I can certainly relate to not wanting to be bothered constantly (also had coworkers like that in the past) I’ve found it more effective to close your door or conveniently have a call to hop on when it’s time for a convo to end. Keep in mind this person may be lonely and see you as a friend and outlet (or maybe he/she is a creep, hard to say with limited info). But someone asking how you’re doing or what you’re working on hardly sounds invasive. I would just work to set boundaries with coworkers while also embracing some limited interaction as mutually beneficial. Important to remember everybody is also re-learning social skills post-covid.

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Update - the chatterbox called in sick. I broke them :-(

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