Need wisdom


#1

Hi Everyone,

I really hope that people can offer me some wisdom or at least prayers. There is a girl at work who can sometimes drive me NUTS. She is very smart and good friends with my manager. I have to do the grunt work and she oversees some of my stuff. We have VERY different organizational methods. Since I do most of the grunt work, I tend to organize things my way. But when I need her help, she will act like my organizational method is wrong when in fact it is just different most of the time.

She is an OK person and she is smart. I am not blaming her I am simply trying to learn to work with different people. Well, every time I organize something differently and she asked about it she will say 'Why did you do it that way' Every time I hear 'Why' out of her I know it is coming. Her voice goes high and obviously FULL of annoyance and she makes me feel like I am stupid. So of course I get defensive (but try my best to be polite).

Well, today I had a stressful day where things just weren't working out. I needed her help and now I feel a bit stupid because if I had more time, I probably could have figured it out.

Well, we got into a big argument about what to name a file. She didn't see the point in renmaing it and I tried to explain to her, the name was not clear and that is why if we rename it, I never would have probably made the mistake in the first place. Well..... she kept saying it was a waste to rename it and I really did NOT see anything wrong with take 30 seconds to rename a file. Finally she gave up.

Well, as luck would have it, by renaming the file, the process further down the line got messed up. So I had to put it back to the original name. All I could think was 'Why didn't she say that in the first place instead of barking 'Why' for 10 minutes.

Nontheless, I felt I should let her know I was not going to change the name. So when I went to tell her, I said 'I stand corrected, I just realized we can't change the name because of blah blah . She said in a smug tone 'I know'. All I could think is 'Why didn't you say so'

So I want to be professional with her. I don't want to be intimidated, threatened or the opposite angry and snobby with her.

Any suggestions?

Thanks

CM


#2

This post sounds like a spoild child saying "nanner nanner"....learn to work with people...she may have had her good reasons, too. Just because you do the physical part dosnt make your way better even if its better for you.


#3

I don’t have any solutions, but I will be praying for you.


#4

I don't have much advice. It just sounds as though the two of you just don't really click too well. This happens. Workplaces are simply full of unique people and the variations of personalities, interrelationships etc are always dynamic - and mostly interesting.

Put bluntly - you are always going to have people you get along with and those you don't,

All that said, I think that you should look a bit at how you are approaching things. For instance, you explained how she argued for 10 minutes about the file name change...What you neglect to mention is that you also argued for 10 minutes about this same thing. Regardless of the ultimate outcome, was it really worth the argument?

I understand a bit more where organization is concerned (though I don't know the specifics of your tasks) but if you are going to ask her for help, I think you should be prepared to listen to her input. After all she may actually have some good ideas.

As for her "style" of communication....there probably is little you can do about it. Just say a prayer for patience before asking her help.

Peace
James


#5

I doubt she knew.

I would simply catalog this kind of stuff and go to HR. That is why they exist.


#6

have you approached her, on a good day, when there hasn't been any issues, and maybe said something like this?

"I've realized that lately we bicker way too often. It makes me reluctant to ask for your input, and I'm sure you don't want to be bothered all the time. I've decided to make more of an effort to be patient and think more about your suggestions before commenting, and I would really appreciate if you could do the same. Sometimes your help comes across in a condescending manner, and while I'm sure you don't intend to make me feel bad or stupid, I do. I get defensive as a result, and then you get defensive, which doesn't help the situation. I would like to have a better work relationship with all my coworkers - I don't like being stressed."

I think this is the best you can do. from her point of view, maybe your questions are stupid and are interrupting her other work, so she's automatically annoyed to begin with. you can't do anything about that besides maybe spend another minute or two really thinking about if you need her "help".

then again, maybe she's just a bully, and no matter how legit your question, would still try to make you feel like an idiot. I'm leaning more towards this, being that she's good friends with the manager and is probably a little drunk on that power - I've worked with people like that before. also, I feel that if she had known about the renaming issue, she would have made sure to point it out ("um, duh, if you rename this, it'll screw up every other path that uses this current filename..")

and like others have said, pray about it.


#7

[quote="cmscms, post:1, topic:233458"]

I have to do the grunt work and she oversees some of my stuff. We have VERY different organizational methods. Since I do most of the grunt work, I tend to organize things my way.

Every time I hear 'Why' out of her I know it is coming. Her voice goes high and obviously FULL of annoyance and she makes me feel like I am stupid. So of course I get defensive (but try my best to be polite).

Well, today I had a stressful day where things just weren't working out. I needed her help and now I feel a bit stupid because if I had more time, I probably could have figured it out.

Well, we got into a big argument about what to name a file. She didn't see the point in renmaing it and I tried to explain to her, the name was not clear and that is why if we rename it, I never would have probably made the mistake in the first place.

Well, as luck would have it, by renaming the file, the process further down the line got messed up. So I had to put it back to the original name. All I could think was 'Why didn't she say that in the first place instead of barking 'Why' for 10 minutes.

Nontheless, I felt I should let her know I was not going to change the name. So when I went to tell her, I said 'I stand corrected, I just realized we can't change the name because of blah blah . She said in a smug tone 'I know'. All I could think is 'Why didn't you say so'

[/quote]

I am sorry to say this, but your post came across as being full of pride. You sound resentful of having to do your job, as if it is somehow unfair that she is not doing things your way. In fact, you did make a mistake in renaming the file, as it later would not work out. And still, you believe that you should "let her know you were not going to change the name."

You say that you want to be professional and polite, but it seems that you are not doing so if you argued for ten minutes and then later, you found you were wrong.

What I would suggest to you is that you approach your job in a way that is less of a contest as to who is right or better or smarter. Perhaps instead of trying to go figure things out on your own, you should sometimes ask for someone else's opinion, or a suggestion of what they think is best. Stop "feeling a bit stupid" when you are corrected. Yes, there are many ways to do things, but sometimes, for the sake of getting a job done, and getting along with the people you work with, you have to learn to bend a bit too. It isn't always fair, but like the playground, you have to learn to play nice sometimes. :)


#8

My suggestion would be to say something like this when she asks why you do something a certain way: Inform her that the way you have been proceeding has been effective for you and your methods of work and then politely ask her to explain why she does the work or organizes things in her manner. Don’t be defensive or judge. Just have her explain so you can see her point of view. Whether you disagree or not, let her explain fully without protesting or questioning her. When she is finished just thank her for sharing that info with you and say you’ll keep that in mind in the future. At this point, if you like what she said, maybe you can incorporate it into how you do things, if not, well you can continue as you have been (assuming it is effective).

As for the file name - does your company not have version control or a document owner? I know in many cases I cannot change file names or version numbers because it will go against my project/company’s version control procedures. I can request an update to the file name or inform someone a new version is ready, but then the doc owner will have to change the file name or post it in a repository under a new heading.

Maybe you can rename files on your local computer to help you out, but when you send them out to others you’ll need to revert it back to the original file name.

Your co-worker seems to be a bit of a know-it-all. Just be cordial with her and don’t argue. Arguing with know-it-alls can be very unpleasant and even if you are right, it doesn’t go well. If she is going on saying you should do something a certain way or what not, just listen and then say thanks and move on. If you do know she is blatantly wrong about something, it would be best to capture that in writing rather than verbally. Such as sending an e-mail just to her (so she doesn’t lose face with the manager) and indicating her mistake - but only do this if necessary, not just to show her she is wrong. This way later on you can refer back to this e-mail if needed.

All in all, don’t sweat the small stuff. Just to be the best team member you can, even if people are annoying. Don’t worry about feeling stupid or asking too many questions or who is right or wrong. You are all working together to achieve a common goal. It is just as important to contributing to a positive team environment as it is doing quality work.


#9

[quote="Jay82, post:8, topic:233458"]

(Snip)
As for the file name - does your company not have version control or a document owner? I know in many cases I cannot change file names or version numbers because it will go against my project/company's version control procedures. I can request an update to the file name or inform someone a new version is ready, but then the doc owner will have to change the file name or post it in a repository under a new heading.

Maybe you can rename files on your local computer to help you out, but when you send them out to others you'll need to revert it back to the original file name.

Your co-worker seems to be a bit of a know-it-all. Just be cordial with her and don't argue. Arguing with know-it-alls can be very unpleasant and even if you are right, it doesn't go well. If she is going on saying you should do something a certain way or what not, just listen and then say thanks and move on. If you do know she is blatantly wrong about something, it would be best to capture that in writing rather than verbally. Such as sending an e-mail just to her (so she doesn't lose face with the manager) and indicating her mistake - but only do this if necessary, not just to show her she is wrong. This way later on you can refer back to this e-mail if needed.

All in all, don't sweat the small stuff. Just to be the best team member you can, even if people are annoying. Don't worry about feeling stupid or asking too many questions or who is right or wrong. You are all working together to achieve a common goal. It is just as important to contributing to a positive team environment as it is doing quality work.

[/quote]

In the above you sound as if you have a background in the Quality profession. I do too and likewise I noted this in her post. I did not say anything initially because I thought too little detail given and the specific example being only a symptom of the larger and more spiritual issue.
However, as you rightly note, changing file names may or may not be acceptable, under document control procedures, and given that she said it caused problems later in the process, it seems that it is not, or should not be, acceptable procedure.

Peace
James


#10

I've read the OP several times and still can't figure out what the fuss is about. Much less why there was a 10 minute argument about what to name a file.

Unfortunately, I just think you need to get over it and move on - it's really not worth being mad at someone for not responding in a nice, gentle manner after you had inconvenienced them and argued for 10 mins about a very unimportant detail -- which you happened to be wrong on! A bit of humility goes a long way, especially in this case.


#11

My dear cmscms,
I just looked back at some of your recent threads and it appears you are having a tough time in your personal life - especially as it relates to interpresonal relationships (business, dating, friends etc.).

Also, some of the responses to this thread seem to indicate that perhaps you are overreacting somewhat.

Based on this, it appears that you may have deeper issues going on and you would likely benefit from some deepre, one on one councilling with a good priest or spiritual advisor.

Just something to consider....

Peace
James


#12

[quote="JRKH, post:9, topic:233458"]
In the above you sound as if you have a background in the Quality profession. I do too and likewise I noted this in her post. I did not say anything initially because I thought too little detail given and the specific example being only a symptom of the larger and more spiritual issue.
However, as you rightly note, changing file names may or may not be acceptable, under document control procedures, and given that she said it caused problems later in the process, it seems that it is not, or should not be, acceptable procedure.

Peace
James

[/quote]

James - to some extent yes. I work as a consultant and the majority of clients I have performed work for have required standard file naming conventions and quality control. In instances where it wasn't required, I (the team) would use its own naming conventions so everyone would know exactly what version/date they were working off of at the time.

I also agree this is just part of the larger issue.


#13

[quote="SeaShoreGirl, post:2, topic:233458"]
This post sounds like a spoild child saying "nanner nanner"....learn to work with people...she may have had her good reasons, too. Just because you do the physical part dosnt make your way better even if its better for you.

[/quote]

You know, it is very easy to say 'learn to work with people'. Did the though ever occur to you that is why I posted this. Because I am very well aware that I need to work with people and was looking for advice. But to genuinly ask for help and be given a rude response was not very nice.

Could you please try and be a bit more charitable.


#14

[quote="JRKH, post:4, topic:233458"]
All that said, I think that you should look a bit at how you are approaching things. For instance, you explained how she argued for 10 minutes about the file name change...What you neglect to mention is that you also argued for 10 minutes about this same thing. Regardless of the ultimate outcome, was it really worth the argument?

[/quote]

I see what you are saying. Perhaps I didn't make myself clear. I was asking for help about something else and she noticed I had changed the file name. I was not asking about naming convention. Nonetheless, at the time it was worth the outcome because I was trying to prevent future mistakes with a more clear name. Had I know changing the file name was going to cause other mistakes, I would have agreed immediately

CM


#15

[quote="beth40n2, post:3, topic:233458"]
I don't have any solutions, but I will be praying for you.

[/quote]

Thank you


#16

[quote="fermat, post:5, topic:233458"]
I doubt she knew.

I would simply catalog this kind of stuff and go to HR. That is why they exist.

[/quote]

I don't think it is that bad that I should go to HR. After all, I think I should try to learn to work with her or give it sometime to make an honest effort before taking that route

CM


#17

[quote="insideitall, post:6, topic:233458"]
have you approached her, on a good day, when there hasn't been any issues, and maybe said something like this?

"I've realized that lately we bicker way too often. It makes me reluctant to ask for your input, and I'm sure you don't want to be bothered all the time. I've decided to make more of an effort to be patient and think more about your suggestions before commenting, and I would really appreciate if you could do the same. Sometimes your help comes across in a condescending manner, and while I'm sure you don't intend to make me feel bad or stupid, I do. I get defensive as a result, and then you get defensive, which doesn't help the situation. I would like to have a better work relationship with all my coworkers - I don't like being stressed.".

[/quote]

That is definetely good advice but I think I would have to choose my moment. If she has a lot of work to do, I don't think she would want that kind of interuption. Also, she doesn't stirke me as the type who is comfortable with communication.

[quote="insideitall, post:6, topic:233458"]
I think this is the best you can do. from her point of view, maybe your questions are stupid and are interrupting her other work, so she's automatically annoyed to begin with. you can't do anything about that besides maybe spend another minute or two really thinking about if you need her "help"..

[/quote]

I agree with this that she probably finds the interuptions annoying. And I do have a tendency to panic and ask before thinking of an alternative way of doing things

[quote="insideitall, post:6, topic:233458"]
then again, maybe she's just a bully, and no matter how legit your question, would still try to make you feel like an idiot. I'm leaning more towards this, being that she's good friends with the manager and is probably a little drunk on that power - I've worked with people like that before. also, I feel that if she had known about the renaming issue, she would have made sure to point it out ("um, duh, if you rename this, it'll screw up every other path that uses this current filename..")

and like others have said, pray about it.

[/quote]

I would not call her a bully in the sense she would be purposefully cruel on social issues. However, I would call her more impatient when it comes to work issues and maybe out to prove herself

Thanks for your response


#18

There is nothing wrong with speaking the truth in love. If I came accross as prideful, then it is ok to say so with love. I just want to explain that I needed to let her know that I was not going to change the file name in case she ever wanted to use it, she should know the name. But if that is pridefull then maybe I shouldn’t do it.

Had she point out that I was wrong because later down the road it would mess things up I never would have argued. She was simply saying it wasn’t worth the time to rename it (she never told me it would causee problems later) and I was simply trying to make the point, worth the time was irrelevant because it was already done and I was pointing out all the future mistakes it would save. At the time I was clueless to the fact the mistakes it would cause was not worth the mistakes it would save and I was MORE than willing to listen to that

Thank you this was good advice


#19

It sounds like her job is to oversee some of your work, as you said in the OP, and so she is an informal supervisor. I had a job where my team leader who oversaw my work was different from my actual supervisor. I found him difficult to get along with b/c he did not share my sense of priorities and was arbitrary and changed his mind a lot. Other people found him hard to work with also but in the end he was the team leader and I had to do things the way he said. It turned out to be frustrating enough that it was a factor in my leaving the job. Not everyone knows how to give feedback graciously, and some people seem to think that if their job includes overseeing work, they should just state their opinion without a reason and the other person just needs to do it. That just do it attitude can be annoying but since that's her job you may need to pick your battles, unfortunately, and just do what she wants without arguing. That is really difficult when she does not explain and/or there are better ways to do things, but I found that was the only way to get along with the person I was dealing with.


#20

[quote="Jay82, post:8, topic:233458"]

As for the file name - does your company not have version control or a document owner? I know in many cases I cannot change file names or version numbers because it will go against my project/company's version control procedures. I can request an update to the file name or inform someone a new version is ready, but then the doc owner will have to change the file name or post it in a repository under a new heading.

.

[/quote]

I think the whole owner thing is the problem. The guy who first started most of these procedures although still in the department does other duties now. He is the guy who trained me 4 years ago and I still do things the way he has instructed me. Since then, the department had gotten bigger and there are a lot of new people. Not all the new people were trained by him and have developed their own style. The original guy wants to get us to do things in a consistent manner but that will take a while to do.
So I try my best to follow what he has taught me since I think that will be very similar to what he wants to move towards while at the same time accomodating others view points. For example, if there is a certain section that has always been doing something a different way, I will do it that way since a lot of people do it that way and wait for the big guy to say it is time to change it. However, if I have been doing something the way he taught years ago, then I am a bit slower to change the method.


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