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Office politics or people's evilness?

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Cuchu
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Office politics or people's evilness?

Postby Cuchu » Sat, 16 Jun 2007 9:26 pm

I have a very annoying colleague from Uzbekistan who joined not so long ago and have been having a problem getting IT to set up a phone for him, and since his desk is next to mine, he has been using my phone which I do let since I symphatised with his situation.
But often, no actually always, after using my phone, it's probably such a hard work, that he never returned it to the previous position at least to face my seat to make it easier for me to just pick up the receiver to make or receive call.
Till 2 days ago, I just kept my mouth shut and told myself it's not a biggie and I probably should just let it go. So I always returned it back whenever I saw the phone changed position.
But since this colleague is the kind of guy who has a big mouth and often took the piss out of me that made me annoyed actually by his bad jokes, I just thought enough is enough. I don't reckon I should be nice anymore and start to put the boundaries.
So today, again he used my phone when I was away in fact, and when I returned I saw the phone's back was facing my seat instead!
I groaned saying,"Please put back the phone to the previous position after using."
He just waived his hand and said,"That position is ok."
I just replied,"That's kind of rude of you actually I find."
He didn't say anything back and I sat down, going back to work, didn't want to make a scene out of a small thing.
But I must admit something I learned that sometimes you have to make something you don't or do want to happen, actually happen! So I moved the phone to the other side of my desk, to be farther from his desk.
He later realised I moved it and asked why I did so.
My reply was,"If you can't move it back, you're not going to use this phone then!"
His reply was,"You'll see tomorrow I'll put it on the floor even!"
I said,"Don't you dare!"
He said,"Why daren't I?"
I couldn't say anything smart to say and decided to act on the principle: silence is gold (in times). I thought I will see if he would be such a guy with no manners.
Later on he made a comment that sometimes he found it unbelievable that I'm going to be 30 this month (yeah, not really excited about it actually), since I'm acting like a 20 year-old!
I just commented back saying that I took it as a complement regardless what he really meant, which I'm sure it was a sarcasm.
I was printing something at that time anyway, and by the time I went back to my seat, I just asked which was supposed to be rhetorical in a way,"Just because I want my phone to be put where you found it?"
He was going to make an international call using the computer so he gestured he couldn't hear me.
I just said at the end,"Never mind!"
Apparently he later reported to this other colleague on his right what happened.
So the next day, she called me looking annoyed and asked why I said that he and she were close.
I was quite flabbergasted with this reaction and told her what happened and emphasised that I already explained that I meant the distance.
I later then asked even if I meant that the two were close I would mean as 2 people who just clicked and got along well.
She said that still it would not be an appropriate remark to make and especially when she was not present.
I still think it was an over-reaction if what is meant is about being friendly but didn’t want to pursue so I re-emphasised that I explained my remark was about the distance anyway.
She took it ok and that’s the end of it.
Last edited by Cuchu on Sat, 16 Jun 2007 11:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby Cuchu » Sat, 16 Jun 2007 9:50 pm

Mind you this is actually a 55-year old colleague who has an eldest son about the male colleague’s age, so I don’t reckon anybody in a right mind would make a twisted remark about their friendliness to be other than 2 people who just click.
I must admit it’s very funny when you think that this is the attitude an Uzbeck guy who has been living in Sweden for some time and travel in other parts of Europe with a dream to work in a big consulting company when he couldn’t even do a small common courtesy such as putting things he borrowed to where they were. I wonder how the competitive sharks in a big consulting company bark to him if he did something like this.

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Postby Cuchu » Sat, 16 Jun 2007 9:52 pm

So bearing a suspicion that this male colleague was twisting what I said, when he came to the office, I asked him to talk outside.
I then asked what he told the female colleague.
He replied that he said exactly what I said. I asked again for him to tell me with his own words.
He told me the same thing, made me annoyed with this reply as if he’s playing a game, and then he asked why.
I replied obviously looking annoyed that because the older female colleague called me to talk to her and looked upset about what he told her.
He then said to him it sounded I did imply that he and the female colleague were close personally.
I told him that I already explained what I meant which is about distance that was heard by another colleague who was also present even.
He walked away and refused to talk to me.
His final words were that he didn’t like the way I talked to him the previous day and that I could enjoy my phone.
My final words were that I couldn’t understand why he refused to listen to my explanation even though clearly I stated what I meant and made it worse by reporting to a 3rd person to have this misunderstanding as if like fishing in a dirty water.

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Postby Cuchu » Sat, 16 Jun 2007 9:53 pm

I don’t mind not having him talking to me to be honest, since I do find him annoying recently.
He didn’t show this true colour a few months ago however, and I became trusting to tell him something he had an experience in. But I don’t want this to be heard by anybody else in the office and he promised he wouldn’t tell anybody and kept his word so far.
But with this argument happening, I am now worried that if he could play this little dirty thing twisting things to another person, what can I do to have his mouth shut about what I told him that I don’t want others to hear at least for some time as I need to buy time.
I do know he has been looking for another job somewhere else, but this is expected by others as well since the institution messed up with his contract.
If you were in my position, what would you do?

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Postby rhino » Sat, 16 Jun 2007 11:33 pm

Errr... I'm finding your post, and three replies... well... a little confusing. :???:

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Postby Cuchu » Sat, 16 Jun 2007 11:56 pm

Something's wrong with the internet here so I had to cut a long post into several posts, sorry :(

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Postby Wind In My Hair » Sun, 17 Jun 2007 12:05 am

rhino wrote:Errr... I'm finding your post, and three replies... well... a little confusing. :???:

Ha ha, rhino, obviously you're not a woman. We have a tendency to talk to ourselves and go on and on... :wink:

Cuchu, haven't read through all your posts but hope things get better soon.

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Postby rhino » Sun, 17 Jun 2007 12:23 am

Ah... you've edited the first post... when I read it the first time I think half of it (the intro) was missing! Now it makes sense.

Maybe as a start see if you can get your desk moved somewhere else, or maybe his?? Its not going to benefit either of you sitting next to one another if you don't get along.

As for his attitude, even people who are professionals can be rude, opinionated, self centred, painful etc etc. In this case him making an ageist comment about you demonstrates this. Jeez, if he is having a go at you about being 30, he is going to be one very insecure individual when he hits middle age! I try to have as little as possible with people like this in my working life, but its not always possible (especially if you are sitting next to them).

Hopefully it might just blow over soon...

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Postby earthfriendly » Sun, 17 Jun 2007 5:21 am

Wind In My Hair wrote:Ha ha, rhino, obviously you're not a woman. We have a tendency to talk to ourselves and go on and on... :wink:



Ha, ha, ha, you are so witty! Do you always have internal dialogue with yourself? If so, remember not to say it out loud or others think you ki siao :P . BTW, do you know Hamlet? He was well-known for his procrastination which eventually caused his downfall :P .

Welcome back and hope all's well at the home front.

Cuchu,

I can understand how you feel and though it may sound trivial, such interpersonal unpleasantness and inconsiderate behaviours (the cause of some expats complain about Singaporeans in this forum!) can put a damper in your day. Worse if it affects your professional standing at your workplace. One way to deal with it is to have all 3 talk it out face-to-face, between yourself, male and female coworkers over the misunderstanding. Helps to clarify things up and minimize manipulation of facts behind someone's back. If it is not too confrontational or unpleasant, that is.

Or else just decide whether it's a battle worth fretting over. And perhaps move on.

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Postby Splatted » Sun, 17 Jun 2007 3:33 pm

How about just give him the phone & ask for a new one for yourself.

You will probably get it much faster than the 'new guy'

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Postby Wind In My Hair » Sun, 17 Jun 2007 4:22 pm

earthfriendly wrote:Ha, ha, ha, you are so witty!

Thank you.

Do you always have internal dialogue with yourself?

Not always, but yes. Don't you?

BTW, do you know Hamlet? He was well-known for his procrastination which eventually caused his downfall :P .

Your point?

Welcome back and hope all's well at the home front.

Thanks, home front still holding up for now.

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Postby Marlowe » Sun, 17 Jun 2007 8:52 pm

sorry to hear you're in a tough situation.

so here is the thing... you are not at all "wrong" here. i think you mean well, but i also think that you're trying hard to balance being nice and not letting yourself be a doormat.

the problem is, if you don't say anything now, it will fester slowly, and will become bigger and bigger issue. so, even though it may not be fair that you are the one who has to take the first step, i think you should.

you don't have to admit that you did anything wrong here, but you need to have another talk with him. you need to pull him aside, and say, "look, i feel like we got off on the wrong foot and i feel tension between us. it must really suck to join the company and feel like they haven't treated you properly and still haven't given you a phone. that must be really frustrating for you. why don't we try to start over. i hope we can get along together and be friends, but regardless, we have to work together and near each other so we're going to have to find a way to get along. so, how about we start over?"

if you say something like that to him, then maybe you can get a "do-over" on your relationship. if he responds negatively to you when you say this, then you should NOT play his game and just say, "okay, i guess you're not in the same place right now, but please just remember that i want to get along, and hope we can".

if you do this, you've just done more than 95% of people would in your same situation, but you have also not compromised yourself by being a doormat for him. some people just have a lot of issues, and if this doesn't work then at least you gave it a good shot.

good luck -- i know how much it can suck to work with difficult people, so i hope you can work it out.

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Postby earthfriendly » Mon, 18 Jun 2007 12:37 am

Wind In My Hair wrote:
Do you always have internal dialogue with yourself?

Not always, but yes. Don't you?

Sometimes but not all the time as still need to engage in real dialogue with a another human.

BTW, do you know Hamlet? He was well-known for his procrastination which eventually caused his downfall :P .

Your point?

No point at all. He tends to pop up in my mind whenever someone mentions about self-conversation. We had to study the play for A levels and it was as torturous for him as it was for me to read it. If I ever see him in person, I would tell him what Nike says "Just do it" and get the play over with!


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Postby Cuchu » Mon, 18 Jun 2007 6:46 am

rhino wrote:Ah... you've edited the first post... when I read it the first time I think half of it (the intro) was missing! Now it makes sense.

The internet was really slow the day I posted my case above here in Dublin. Even now I still can't access my google and hotmail accounts :(

Maybe as a start see if you can get your desk moved somewhere else, or maybe his?? Its not going to benefit either of you sitting next to one another if you don't get along.

I'm thinking about that, but well I suppose it's not that bad yet to make such an obvious move that will be questioned by people around. So far only 4 people know about it and I must admit I'm actually rather embarrassed to be involved in this seemingly childish situation and don't really want others to be involved and make it even worse.
We'll see. If he's really unbearable, I might do that though.

As for his attitude, even people who are professionals can be rude, opinionated, self centred, painful etc etc.

Very true.
Well this guy is very young, 25 or the most 26 and actually is still inexperienced, only have about 1 year working experience so far I think. He is highly educated, got 2 master degrees from Sweden so he is quite proud of himself and another colleague who was present during my little argument with him said that probably his pride was hurt somehow cause I denied him the phone, even though to me it doesn't make sense, but I'm not that proud :) Maybe it's an Asian thing. I do consider modesty a virtue too actually.

In this case him making an ageist comment about you demonstrates this. Jeez, if he is having a go at you about being 30, he is going to be one very insecure individual when he hits middle age!

Hahaha, ah cheers for that. That line made my day considering my b'day is about a week from now!

I try to have as little as possible with people like this in my working life, but its not always possible (especially if you are sitting next to them).

Yeah, me too. But a lot of times you can't choose whom you're working with unfortunately :(
I actually now just want to be left alone especially by this guy. This is actually not the first argument I had with him.
He called it cultural difference, I saw it as an inconsiderate attitude.
One of the things he and I had an argument with was when he asked me to use my Japanese skills to translate his friend's resume. Since I was busy and kind of stressed out actually, I told him I couldn't translate the whole thing, but I could give him my Japanese resume that I made very general and put English remarks where his friend can then put say his university's name, year in alphabets since this friend didn't go to school in Japan anyway, unlike me, so I did have to put everything in Japanese in my Japanese resume.
But yeah, he basically then called me being a smart arse, I said he was trying to take advantage *sigh*, some people...

Hopefully it might just blow over soon...

I hope so, we'll see. I might do what Malowe suggested to have a talk.
Well that is if he would like to. It takes 2 to talk :(
Cheers for the symphatetique post :)

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Postby Cuchu » Mon, 18 Jun 2007 6:48 am

Splatted wrote:How about just give him the phone & ask for a new one for yourself.

You will probably get it much faster than the 'new guy'

Cause I can bug the IT over and over again so they'll get tired of me asking? :D
Hehehe, well I would do that if I were in his shoes and I suggested that.
But he didn't like that advice and asked me,"Do you think you're smart?"
Well, with that kind of attitude, I then decided from then on, I'm not doing any more favours for this guy!


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