Yesterday I got into the most horrifying situation at work. One of my coworkers came up to me and started talking to me about my recent slight weight loss. That was no big deal, weight is one of the things we have talked about in the past. The horrifying part is that me and this woman are both very small, and sitting out of sight (but not out of earshot) in the cubicle behind me, was another woman, who is large. My small co-worker said some really tactless things, such as jokingly reminding me what a “porker” I was when I weighed 120. She also chirped, “I guess we’re just lucky, not like…” and she mouthed the big woman’s name as she jerked her head in that direction.
I tried to discourage the conversation by not really responding (my usual tactic, though it never works), and also by trying to convey through body language the fact that the other lady was hearing her.
During the whole thing, I could hear the other lady moving stuff around on her desk, and when the first coworker was done talking to me, she moved on and talked to her too! The big lady (a much classier act) gave no sign that she had heard anything, but I know she did.
I don’t think the small co-worker meant to hurt her, but she’s one of those people who never has a thought that doesn’t spill right out of her mouth. (The salt of the earth. The common clay of the new West. You know…a moron.) Maybe she didn’t know the big lady was sitting there at first. However, first thing this morning she got right back on the same topic, albeit briefly, as she had a meeting to go to, thank Heavens.
Now I’m feeling really awkward with this other lady, but I can’t just go up and say anything to her about it. I’m trying to show her in other ways that I like her just fine, but what damage control can I really do?