Did I say something really mean without realizing it?

This morning I was in my manager’s office with my manager, our AA and another co-worker. We were all joking around with each other because we were filling out cards for some of the attorneys. We decided to give a few of them a small gift because they’ve been really supportive of us. So, our AA comments with a laugh that her brain isn’t working and she’s not feeling creative since she stayed up so late last night. She works at a bar part-time, and has told me that that is where she spends most of her earnings. So I chuckled and said, “Did you work too late, or did you just drink too much product?” She abruptly turns to me and tells me to fuck off. In front of my manager and another co-worker. The comment may have been somewhat obnoxious, but I don’t think that such a reaction is warranted, particularly from someone who freely tells all and sundry that she stays out late on weekdays drinking and doesn’t want a serious relationship with any guys, so she just dates as many as she can.

Did I say something incredibly mean, and just don’t have the social skills to know better?

I’d say she was cranky because she stayed up too late.

If you all were joking around and teasing each other, then your remark was not out of line.

Now, if she’d come to you for some aspirin and you said it, then you would be out of line.

What did your manager say when she told you to f— off?

What’s your relationship been like with her in the past? Does she consider you a threat (job competition)?

If not, me thinks she doth protest too much. Sounds a bit overly sensitive about the subject.

She may have been sensitive to suggestions that she drank too much because the manager was around. It’s one thing to joke about drinking around peers, but another to joke about it around management.

She may have been sensitive to suggestions that she drank too much because the manager was around. It’s one thing to joke about drinking around peers, but another to joke about it around management.

I don’t think so, that sounds like the kind of “what, hung over again?” - type joking comment that we make to each other around here all the time.

No-one takes it that seriously. Usually the worst you’d get is a rueful grin or a comeback like “you should know”, or what have you.

Maybe your joke just didn’t come out right. Did you maybe forget to smile when you said it?

Eh, I said something like this–almost exactly like this–to a friend of mine, who does frequently drink too much, but I said it in a joking manner. I am a person who does verbal gibes this a lot, sometimes I go too far, that time I did and my friend was hurt. I think she was a little oversensitive but really, I didn’t mean to hurt her feelings . . . that’s just how I am. One wisecrack too many.

Sounds like your AA might have been in a sensitive mood, or maybe it was the presence of your manager that prompted her response? Anyway I would say not, not really mean.

Thanks for the confirmation. I was just really confused. As to any questions regarding a history of our relationship, we’ve had a mixed history. She’s been written up on several occaisions for attitude problems, and as recently as last week, she barged into my office during a meeting because I had pointed out some items that needed to be corrected on her work. The person I was meeting with, my manager’s counterpart in our other office, was apalled, and must have reported it to my manager. However, when she’s not in a bad mood, we get along really well. But it’s just not professional for someone’s work to be dependent upon their mood.

Anyway, on further recollection, this person has a history of missing work due to hangovers, so maybe she’s received a warning for that, too. But I’ve always considered that her business. I just didn’t think about it at the time, because it’s been a while since it happened, and since then, my manager has made similar jokes to her that haven’t made her mad. Maybe it’s just because she’s the manager and I’m not.

Upon writing this, it sounds like this girl has a lot more issues than just attitude. I had no idea I would strike a nerve with an off-hand, jokey comment. I was smiling when I said it, and everyone else laughed, too. While I probably should be more careful in the future, I don’t think that I should apologize for this particular incident or bring it up with our AA. She’s not exactly the most reasonable person.

I think I would have a talk with her privately, and then make notes of the conversation and stick them in a drawer somewhere, to the effect of “I’m sorry if my comment was distressing to you. I hope that if in future I say something you find distressing you will fell free to come to me about it. However, I would appreciate in future if you would refrain from responding with profane and abusive language.”

You haven’t made any jokes lately about your “AA” and AA meetings, have you?

Nope, but it’s tempting. :smiley:

I suppose I could talk to her, but I have done so on at least three separate occaisions, most recently after she barged in during that meeting last week. I asked her to please come to me in private if she has any personal issues with me, and indicated that I would be more than happy to try to resolve them. The reaction I got? “Are you done yet? Because I really have a lot of work to do.”

I would talk to my manager about it; however, the last time I did, she asked that I resolve this myself. Even though she knows I’ve talked to her before. One of my biggest roadblocks is that my manager is very close with our HR assistant, who is very close to this AA. In fact, the HR assistant got the girl this job - she’s known her since grade school. I get the feeling that my manager doesn’t want to offend our HR assistant by disciplining our AA further (one verbal and two written warnings in about 3 months), nor does she want to deal with this problem. It’s very frustrating, and this clubby atmosphere is getting very tedious.


OK. You’ve tried every reasonable approach and she cursed you down in front of your boss. Sounds exactly like someone I used to work with (and that’s not good). Unless you want to quit, Everything that she has done & does from now on needs to be documented and brought to HR In Writing. Send it by Email, return reciept, and Save the correspondence in a seperate email file. Have a sitdown with HR and explain what has happened and what resolution steps you’ve tried. Ask up front “Do you feel that you’ll be able to address this without a conflict of interest?”. She’ll either commit herself towards being professional and impartial, or it will be escalated to someone higher who can be (thats a win-win for you.) Whomever you end up working with needs to be updated daily…and Everything must have the names, dates & actions taken by both you and the AA . Document Everything.

You think HR will be offended? Let Them. This woman is playing you into a harrassment complaint and the only way out is to beat her to the punch. She is Not playing and the sooner you realize that, the better off you’ll be

Rent ‘Disclosure’ with Demi Moore & Michael Douglas…if you’ve seen it before, Force yourself to watch it again. You need to know what you’re up against.

Her language to you was really over the top. It sounds like she’s really oversensitive on this issue since she’s missed work due to hangovers and felt put on the spot when you made a drinking-related quip in front of her manager. You may have hit her in a vulnerable area.

I doesn’t sound like you meant any harm. However, I try not to make jokes that may put another employee in a bad light in front of their manager–even if it’s obviously in jest. There’s still no excuse for what she said though.

As for her not getting upset when her manager makes similar jokes, that just happens. For the same reason as everyone keeps laughing like hyenas at my manager’s really lame jokes. (People just react differently to the boss.)

I think you should grab her by the throat and twist her arm behind her back and proceed to tell her drunken behind to watch her tone in the future because you and everyone else at work are sick of her slack ways.

Then, if that doesn’t change her attitude towards you, grab the ulnar nerve in her arm, kick her instep, drop an elbow on the top of her head and be done with her(all this must be done outside the office o fcourse). Show her that she isn’t the only one who can over react at the slightest provocation.

Well, if your comment was out of line then I would be in same boat.

I think she was way outta line with her come back. I would of got a laugh out of the comment.

I also think you hit too close to home and she was defensive…

Govindha, that’s the second very offensive/excessively violent post from you I’ve come across tonight. The first rule of the SDMB is “Don’t be a jerk.” I’m warning you, don’t CONTINUE to be a jerk. You aren’t funny.

For the Straight Dope

I’m not looking to get banned over that so I’ll relax. However, lynn, I beg to differ. I am willing to bet that many find it funny and unoffensive. If I must explain myself then you truly misunderstood my point. Lets all relax shall we and have a great night…

Heh, I thought it was funny, but I also laughed out loud at the scene in May where the blind children are crawling over broken glass.

At the risk of getting BANNED like Govindha, I want to ask if she really said “Fuck Off”, or if it was something you took as being similiar to “Fuck off”.

There could be a big difference.

What did she really say?

p.s. Lynn it was obviously a joke, funny or not.