How to Deal With a Nosy Co-Worker – Businessweek

My friend Megan has an office stalker. She works at a library in Nashville, where one of her co-workers walks by her desk so frequently that one day, Megan started keeping a tally. “She passed by my cubicle 17 times between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m.,” Megan says, “and almost every time she’ll be like, ‘Hi!’ and pop her head in. I can’t stand it.”

If Megan’s surfing the Web, the co-worker will ask what website she’s visiting. Is that a project Megan’s working on? What is that YouTube (GOOG) video? “She’ll point to the screen and ask, ‘Oh, what’s that?’” Megan says. “And I’ll be like, ‘Uh, databases.’”

Megan has tried everything—averting her eyes, pretending to be busy, acting as if she didn’t hear the question—but the co-worker is both oblivious and persistent. Other people in the office have also fallen victim to the woman’s pop-ins and questions. “Every conversation we have about her always starts with: ‘She’s so nice, but …’” Megan says. “There’s always a ‘but.’”

Megan’s problem is a distressingly common one. Every office has at least one nosy co-worker, and they come in a myriad of irritating forms. Laura in New York once had a colleague ask if she was pregnant. She wasn’t. Amy in Michigan has a boss who has asked several times how much she weighs. When I was a teenager, working as a Starbucks [SBUX] barista, a woman asked me—in front of other employees and several customers—why my parents were getting divorced.


But why do we have to mess with them to begin with? Don’t they realize what they’re doing, how much social anxiety they’re causing the rest of us as we struggle to figure out the most polite way to ask them to shut up? What is wrong with these people?

via How to Deal With a Nosy Co-Worker – Businessweek.

Strange Random Nosiness Quote:

“Translation: She was perishing with nosiness.” ― Alan Bradley, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie


Posted on July 2, 2012, in Article and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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