Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Office drama...

I felt proud of myself yesterday.

And now I don't know if I should've.

I got 10 new colleagues this summer as management decided to move one group from this building and replace it with another. The short version of how it's been since they moved in: frustrating.

And last week, on Thursday to be exact, I was in one of the other rooms on this floor, talking to the two women occupying it. We had the door shut so we wouldn't disturb anyone else with our talk. And suddenly the door was janked open and their boss barged in, interrupting our conversation to ask for a document. She didn't knock. She didn't excuse herself. She just barged in like it was the most natural thing ever for her to be allowed to be rude.

I was surprised at her behaviour and it kept nagging me after I had left the room. And on Friday. And over the weekend. I wanted to say something to her about it. I mean, a grown woman knocks on a closed door, doesn't she? Isn't it normal curtesy to respect a closed door and to make sure it's okey for you to enter before you do? Even if you happen to be the boss of the people in the room?

Anyways, yesterday I talked to her. I told her I had been disturbed by her charging into the room like that without knocking. I told her I didn't know how they used to handle a closed door in the building they used to work in, but that I thought a knocked door required at least a knock. She told me her group had always worked like that "we enter each other's offices all the time without knocking" and when I asked her if she thought it was okey for me to barge into her office if she had the door closed, she said it "happens all the time".

Now, I know this isn't true. She is the only one who doesn't knock.

So I said I felt more comfortable knowing that people would knock on the door to the room I'm in and that I expected that from now on. At least when I was behind the closed door. To which she cleverly answered that she couldn't know if I was in a room or not as she couldn't see through the door, to which I suggested that she'd always knock "just in case".... (I thought that was kind of clever, wasn't it?)

She was upset with me. She looked a bit crossed.

But I felt good about myself for actually going in there to talk to her. Too often I let it simmer and boil in my head without action... And it builds up to an annoying frustration. This time I didn't let that happen.

So, what's the problem?

Well, when talking to her, I made sure I talked about me. I said I felt uncomfortable. That I wanted her to knock. That I expected that from her.

And this morning I was greeted by an email from one of the women in the room in which all the action took place last week. She thanked me for talking to her boss. It turns out that their boss had told her that if she, or the other woman in the room, had any problems with how things worked in their group, they should come to her themselves and not send me...

So, it turns out that me telling her how I felt about her not knocking, turned into something else in her brain. And she now thinks that the two women "sent me". That they had talked about her behind her back and then asked me to do something...

(Anyone else get highschool vibes?)

I didn't mean for my two (very nice) colleagues to get in trouble with their boss. Sure, their relationship hasn't been the best but I feel bad about the potential of adding negatives to it. But what can I do? I can't very well talk to their boss again as that would be a certain give away that my colleague had told me what the boss thought. And things would turn out even worse...

Now I'm all mixed up emotionally. I still feel good about not letting this disturbance simmer in me for too long, but I feel sorry for my colleagues and the tension we have in the house.


Swedish said...

Wow! Good for you! Occassionally I'll shut my door to change in the office (for field work) and I'm always so paranoid someone will open it. People generally knock in my office, but not always. When they do knock, they generally don't wait for a reply and just barge in. Ugh!

Geek Knitter said...

Oh dear, that does sound like highschool.

I think you did the right thing by talking to her. It's better than letting it gnaw at you for weeks and weeks.

brownishcoat said...

I think you did the right thing, too. If we don't let people know that something bothers us, it sends the message that it doesn't and that they are free to do it again.

I'm sorry their boss misinterpreted the situation, but you can't let that be your problem. Kram!

Stiney said...

Wow, sounds like the boss has issues and it isn't your fault! I think you did the right thing, and hopefully she'll learn to be more considerate.

Anonymous said...

I'm so proud of you, sis...change is not always sweet...remember that the tension will subside over time...it will all work itself out.

essjay said...

What a tough situation - it is hard to not say anything and hard to say something! I too am proud of you for saying something it is only fair that she understand where you are coming from!