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a “thought experiment” is inflicting a chilly warfare in my workplace — Ask a Supervisor


It’s “the place are you now?” month at Ask a Supervisor, and all December I’m working updates from individuals who had their letters right here answered up to now.

There will likely be extra posts than ordinary this week, so preserve checking again all through the day.

Bear in mind the letter-writer who labored in an workplace the place a lunchtime “thought experiment” had prompted a chilly warfare (first replace right here)? Right here’s the replace.

I noticed it’s replace season, so I assumed I’d accomplish that yet another time. Issues have gotten lots higher since that unique replace I despatched in. The main ringleader of the “Carrie is bizarre/robotic” discourse was let go in September. I didn’t know why at first, however Steve confided in me that he talked about to one among our bosses in a personal chat that that particular person actually had a poisonous impact on the office (along with simply not being nice at her job). I think about it was a mix of these issues that led to the termination. Her closest pals grew to become a lot quieter typically virtually instantly, maybe hoping to keep away from being perceived the identical approach. For all I do know, our bosses reprimanded them. I do need to say I imagine the “robotic” nickname began as a result of that little group felt her reply to the Shakespeare query was chilly/inhumane. It wasn’t something to do together with her have an effect on. Not that that makes it higher, however I noticed some commenters feeling fearful about their very own method of talking/interacting with individuals and the way that might goal them for that type of identify calling (and those that had truly been focused). I simply needed to make clear, and say be your self even if you happen to really feel such as you sound lower than enthused/gregarious at work if it’s secure/in any other case skilled for you to take action. Horrible individuals will likely be horrible regardless, so there’s no cause to police your self that approach.

Carrie is definitely on her honeymoon depart proper now. We gave her a piece bathe proper earlier than her wedding ceremony, as we’d for anybody else right here for a marriage or child (not a giant manufacturing, only a sheet cake and group present from her registry). I used to be a bit nervous about it, to be sincere, as a result of I needed it to be good for her however I knew that a couple of individuals in attendance could be those who’d talked about her behind her again earlier within the yr and I simply thought the hypocrisy could be awkward. It wasn’t, although, actually — these of us had already been appearing chastised after the opposite coworker’s termination, so that they have been as soon as once more quiet and gentle. Our bosses attended Carrie’s wedding ceremony and so they mentioned it was beautiful.

I’ll say that in my opinion there was a LOT of projection within the feedback primarily based on figuring out with Carrie. I’m not making an attempt to decrease anybody’s private experiences with feeling ostracized at work or in different social settings for any cause, however respectfully, not one of the commenters actually know something about her or any of the remainder of us. She is a pleasant, critical, quiet particular person and nobody ever deserves to be talked about like that behind their again for simply being a bit outdoors workplace tradition (or for any cause I can consider barring precise felony habits!). However the concept that some commenters have been fantasizing about Carrie being promoted to supervisor after which instantly firing the remainder of us was so weird to me as the one that is aware of her and our office. Nonetheless, I settle for that I couldn’t probably embrace every bit of context that appeared related to me to go off that kind of remark, and even when I despatched in a complete novel (as an alternative of a novella, haha) and also you have been prepared to publish it, some individuals would learn into it what they needed to and there’s nothing I can do about that. I misplaced management of the narrative after I wrote in, which I felt I used to be ready for, however possibly not as a lot as I assumed.

Thanks once more in your unique response. I’m nonetheless grateful you urged me to contemplate this wasn’t actually in regards to the thought experiment in any respect. I couldn’t see past that one occasion as a result of it loomed so giant in my thoughts on the time. And really, thanks to these commenters who engaged with my scenario the identical approach and shared their tales of feeling alienated for any cause, particularly in the event that they’re neurodivergent. I didn’t assume it was wholesome for me to attempt to reply in actual time however I learn all of them.

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