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On Some Advice for Young People

@Jeff Patterson@facebook Eh. I can see your argument if a young person is in a serious job that they can parlay into their future career, where it would be important to forge connections you can use as references later. But if they're in the sort of common dead-end retail job that is just there to pay the bills while they work on school/training for the career they actually want - the kind of job MOST young people have in this economy - is there any reason to need to be particularly warm to your co-workers? Be nice, yes, but keeping to yourself a bit doesn't cost you much, and if you're already really uncomfortable in your job, staying out of the drama of coworker relations is a good survival strategy. For me, in my shitty retail job I had in college, a lot of it was just staying away from the assholes, and I really could have used some of the advice here - especially on vampire coworkers, who did a lot to make my time at that job more miserable than it needed to be (see my comment downthread).

Posted on July 21, 2012 at 3:12 am 0

On Some Advice for Young People

"You must not encourage these people; they'll follow you around for years, even when you no longer work together. You must 100% not engage, and let them have no traction. Eventually they will wander off."

I disagree somewhat with the "100% not engage" part; if they're really going above and beyond and being a nuisance in their assumption that you are closer than you are, sometimes you really need to do something to put a stop to it and make it clear what your relationship really is. I had a "vampire" coworker who decided that my being nice to him not only meant that we were close friends, but also that we were destined to be together, and he took his crush on me to the point that he started recruiting coworkers in the scheme of tricking me into going out with him. He was constantly looking for excuses to ask me out. It was super-annoying, but ignoring him wasn't working. So eventually I had to start talking to him again and find a way to slip in that I had a boyfriend (which was true, but of course, he didn't know this because, you know, we weren't ACTUALLY friends) and it died down. I doubt that just putting it off would have been fine, though, because he was one of those extremely awkward people (I know, I used to be one) who just doesn't get any sort of a hint, but also was too afraid of rejection to directly state his feelings and thus allow me to turn him down. I would say in general if you suspect that your vampire coworker's behavior is going to drive you insane far sooner than it would take for them to get the hint that you are not best friends/potential lovers, you should probably just nip it in the bud. Especially if it's a job you already can't stand, as this was.

Posted on July 21, 2012 at 2:58 am 0