Work Friends: The High Road

High Road Please!

High Or Low Road Directions courtesy Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

So it finally happened. I managed to reach through the corporate veneer and offend someone… I’m actually surprised it took this long.

Maybe it’s because I’m really rather blunt. Maybe it’s the Smart Woman Syndrome attacking. Maybe it was just an off day for both of us.

It was last week, and this colleague asked me for advice – she was getting an error and didn’t know what it meant.

So I asked a few questions and tried to figure it out with her. Once I had a better grasp, I advised her on what she should do from there.

I’m looking at her while I’m explaining the process, and she’s getting all flushed, and she keeps interrupting to make defenses and her voice is starting to raise.

So I said, “I’m not attacking you.”

And she said, “But in a way, you are.”

And I said apologetically, “No, I’m just trying to advise you of the best practice in this situation. I’m never attacking you. Not ever.”

So I wrapped up as quickly as I could and got the heck out of there.

And she hasn’t spoken to me since. Even when we meet face to face in the kitchenette or bathroom. Worse, I think she’s encouraging other members of the team to avoid me.

I am acting as though it is all in my head. I continue to greet her, and try to remain unfazed by her stony silence.

Fortunately, she’s leaving the position for another within the company in twenty days, otherwise I might push to hash out our differences and resolve the communication problem (I like to hash things out). Part of me still really wants to ask her for feedback, so that I can grow my communication skills, but the bigger part of me says that would be opening a can of worms bigger than I can control, so….. no.

Anyway, I just really don’t get the silent treatment. I mean it doesn’t particularly bother me, because, well, I have work to do, but this is someone I did consider to be a friend. I don’t understand why she wouldn’t just tell me, “Hey, here’s where I think you were out of line. I’d like an apology.” Or even, “I don’t feel comfortable talking with you right now, so unless it’s work related…”

But this nothing??? It smacks a little of sixth grade. Which is maybe why I don’t mind so much, because really? Really??

Oh well, while she’s sulking, I’m getting lots of work done.

How would you handle a work situation like this?

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