Posted by: thewoobdog | July 10, 2008

Interpersonal Relationships

Rather a dry subject, don’t you think?

I’ve decided that this will be my ‘secret’ blogsite – I’ll copy over my Xanga blogs, but I’ll also write the blogs I can’t write over there because too many people know about that one (the people in question being, of course, the people I’ll be writing about over here).  I’ll have to remember to never mention this blog over there, though…  Arrrrr.  So much to keep track of.   Of course, since no one will know about this one, it also means no one will ever read it and I probably won’t get any comments and so will be completely unmotivated to ever blog, so maybe that’s not the best idea…

What do you do when you have an immediate coworker (or friend or relative or whatever you can relate to) who is excruciatingly irritating but also a relatively nice person?  Honestly.  This guy (the one who inspired this blog) will come over to my desk randomly while I’m in the middle of something and park himself behind my shoulder for a chat – often a loooooong chat.  I’ve tried the subtle stuff – not turning to acknowledge him, only giving preoccupied monosyllabic grunts in response, picking up the phone as if needing to make a call – and it doesn’t make any difference.  He’ll tell me about the book he’s writing/reading or his garden or his gaming or the latest baseball stats (I never ever [ever!] watch baseball) or read me some random news headline or bellyache about our office procedures/equipment/clients or tell me all about the assorted injustices he has suffered at the hands of friends/former employers/clients or anything.   If he’s out of work or has a question, he’ll hover over my shoulder and peer at whatever I’m doing (this is problematic in itself because much of the time I’m working on private company business that is none of his concern).  I’ve tried ignoring him when he does this but he won’t. go. away.  I should mention that he and I are the only ones who work at the satellite location of our office, which is only about a block from our main office – not too much of a hassle workwise but it makes it all the more important to keep a friendly relationship with this guy since we’re kind of stranded on this island together. 

The other employees all avoid him as much as possible (because of the aforementioned tendencies to hover and/or talk endlessly), but since he’s rarely at that office I get the brunt of the aggravation.  My husband has offered to roundhouse-kick him in the head (I love being married to a third-degree black belt sexy ninja-stud!) and has advised me to just tell him I’m busy and can’t talk on those occasions when it’s really an issue.  The problem is, this guy has a healthy ego and is very touchy about actual or imagined slights.  I’ve seen the way he holds grudges for the littlest things and it ain’t pretty.

Now, mind you, in the above paragraphs he sounds like a bit of a jerk, but he really isn’t.  Those are just the irritating aspects of his character.  Other than those (admittedly aggravating) character issues he is a nice guy and we actually get along very well – he’s hardworking (if a bit too eager and not quite as detail-oriented or accurate as he needs to be yet), he’s self-motivated, he has a great family and tries to be the best father and husband he can be, he’s generous and considerate (for the most part), he has a great sense of humor, and he typically has a very upbeat and positive attitude and outlook (except in the case of grudges/ego slights).  We have a lot of superficial interests in common and when I have time I enjoy talking with him – we like the same kind of books, we are both amateur gardeners, we love coffee, etc, etc.

It’s kind of a delicate situation.  I have no idea what I’m going to do, if anything.  I’m far too passive-aggressive to deal with these kinds of things…  *sigh*  In fact, this is what I’m doing about it, in all likelihood – bellyaching via weblog so I can vent some of the pressure, suck it up, and go back to the preoccupied smile/nod routine that has failed me thus far.

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Responses

  1. I gotta go 4 for 4!

    Hmmm…I have no advice. If he’s really not a bad guy, you’re probably best off going with the preoccupied smile/nod routine. Or maybe you could invest in a whoopie cushion—would that be likely to deter him any? Or maybe you could take to chewing garlic cloves?

    Nope. I got nothin’.

    But vent away! That’s why we’re here. Or I’m here. Has anyone else been here? Hello….Hello…….Hello…..

  2. bythelbs – Nope. Nobody else. I’m all alone. I got nobody and nuthin’. Well, except the guy 10 feet away who inspired this post (and will never ever know about it).

    Actually, it has gotten better, although I find myself obsessively examining past interactions with friends to see if I’ve ever been this aggravating (and, much to my shame, I think maybe [just maybe] I’ve BEEN this guy in some of my friendships – self-awareness is a harsh and painful thing…). Ack.

  3. Oh no, no, no. You have never been THIS guy. I simply can’t believe it. Except for the part about him being cool, right? 😉


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