Is being called 'not rational' an insult?

My team Leader and I were talking about an incident at work. I was discussing something with a colleague when he walked over and told me that our call board showed one call waiting. I told me I was a aware of that.
I walked in a specialised role, but we also have to take phone calls from internal staff- there is a board showing our team on calls and any calls in the queue. One call waiting is no big deal - will almost certainly get answered by a colleague in a few minutes.
He brought me into a room and said that I did not treat him with respect in my answer. In the course of this talk he called me ‘not rational’. I am not really sure why - I did ask him but he did not respond.
At a subsequent meeting I asked him if he understood what calling someone ‘not rational’ meant. He did not respond. When I asked him if he realised it was an insult, he said it is not an insult to call someone ‘not rational’ if he had a reason. I could not get out of him the reason.
Is being called ‘not rational’ an insult?

It’s insulting. Also proof that all Team Leaders are alike. Has the company been giving him some kind of management training or was he born an asshole?

It’s sounds like a generic insult that had nothing to do with the situation (as you describe it). I guess he could have called you ‘irresponsible’ for not answering that one call–though if it would typically have been answered by someone else, then it’s really not all that irresponsible to fail to jump on it right away.

But “not rational” seems quite inapplicable and irrelevant.

It’s not necessarily an insult. In the instance you describe, what he said doesn’t seem to make sense, so you could say he wasn’t being rational.

Maybe when you said that a colleague would surely take it, he misheard. I’d certainly think you were being irrational if you told me a collie would surely take the call.

They’ve got no opposable thumbs for christ sakes!

It can be an insult. A perfect opportunity to tell him you are not the kind of person who takes BS.

In the context, or what we know of it, I’d call it an insult.

Usually I go straight for the ‘ok, what is rational/not rational in this situation’ approach and try to leave off going straight to being insulted.

“I was aware of the call but was in the middle of a discussion with a co-worker. Please tell me what part of my response was not respecting you and please do explain how this was ‘not rational’.”

Hm, am I the only one who thinks that going to a message board to ask whether feedback on how you do your job from a superior is an insult is not the most rational course of action?

Does seem an odd thing to say. And I agree that being called “not rational” or “irrational” is usually an insult. The layman’s connotation is that it is synonymous with being insane, hysterical, or otherwise mentally incapacitated.

I can think of very few instances in which being “not rational” could even be used in a neutral sense. Religion? Normative ethics? Maybe?

Sounds to me like he either doesn’t know what the word means, or he mis-spoke and wants to double down on it because conceding the error would be perceived to invalidate his criticism.

Sick burn.

I’d be hard pressed to come up with a NICER way of saying you are not thinking logically than being called “not rational” in that particular instance.

Whether you were/weren’t or he was/wasn’t is a whole nuther issue.

You can only sugar coat wrong/stupid so many ways.

It would be easy to come up with a better way to phrase. How about, “I don’t think you have considered all the relevant information”. Or how about, “you are attributing more weight to certain aspects of the decision criteria than is common practice”.

Too wordy.

Bolding mine.

You were irrational to answer his question by answering yourself. Especially if it was via internal dialogue.

He was probably trying to get you to take bs.

Not if the reason you’re being called irrational is because you’re leaving some poor sap in the call queue!

Let’s see.

Part of your job is to answer calls.
You’re talking to a colleague when a call comes in.
The call is holding long enough for your supervisor to notice it, notice you aren’t moving to take it, and to walk over and tell you.
You respond that you’re aware there is a call that you aren’t answering, even though your job is to answer calls.
Your supervisor then tells you your reply to him was not respectful.
Your response to him is to nitpick whether he used the term “not rational” correctly.

Yeah, I’d say you weren’t being rational.

Not rational means only one of two things to me:

[ul][li]You are suffering from mental illness or defect[/li][li]You are temporarily letting your emotions take primary control of your thinking and/or actions[/li][/ul]
Given that, if I was in your situation I would most definitely make a point of explaining that you were in fact acting* perfectly rational *and I would complain to someone else that your boss is not doing his job correctly and should go back to manager school… :smiley:

It’s obviously a bit late now but you should have smiled and replied, “My goat doesn’t eat cheese at all.”

Next time, eh?

My sister sure seemed pretty insulted.