Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Pissed off

I guess this blog is turning out to be a venue for my rants and vents with life's happenings. So, without further ado, a narration of something that happened towards the close of work day yesterday that still has me pissed off.

Being the sort of sole HR person in my office, one of my job duties is to put together events, parties etc. With Halloween coming up at the end of the month, every year, we have a grand costume party, lunch etc. at work that is organized by me and our Operations Coordinator. So, usually the emails on such upcoming events etc. are sent to the group from me or sometimes by our Ops Coordinator.

C is our Finance person who not only keeps track of our budget, but also thinks that she controls the money that we spend. In some ways, it is good that she has a tight control over our spending so that we are well within approved funds etc. According to me, C is a control freak who always keeps saying that she wished she had more power around the work place to do more things. C, Ops Coordinator and myself all report to the same manager.

Yesterday, right before the end of the day, I see an email that comes from C to the group about the upcoming Halloween party etc. My first reaction was maybe our manager had asked her to send it, for some reason, though I knew that wasn't the case. I was so pissed to see C step on my forte by sending out the email to the group, more so, since it was I who had brought up the topic of Halloween at our last team meeting. She should have atleast checked with me before sending it out, so typical of her want to have power over things. I never interfere in her area, Finance and have no clue as to what gives her the right to poke her nose in my domain. Granted, we are a team and we all come together to do things, but, we do have separate portfolios and it is so annoying when someone steps on your toes.

On the pretext of checking something with C, I emailed her and added a line mentioning that I was surprised to see this email come from her. Thought, she would respond to it, but nope. Spent a significant time venting to K about this last evening. I also emailed my manager venting off about this. Finally, decided to go directly to C and ask her about this in the morning. I had to take several deep breaths and calm myself before going to her, since I didn't want to lose my temper and say something regretable (which is so typical of me). But, at work, I am a whole different self, so when I asked C as to why she sent the email, she had some story about how she was thinking about our big boss (whose favorite event is Halloween and recently how she had a death in her family and was still recovering), so, in order to cheer her up, she sent the email on a whim without checking with me. C had absolutely no remose, even when I told her that I was feeling bad about it etc. She said that I could maybe do a follow-up email/evite for the event if I wanted to, since I was going to be doing the logistics of planning etc. The cheek and nerve she has to say that to me, I just put on my professional smile and said, No, that is fine, you can do it, if you want to and came back to my office.


A-kay said...

Mitr, take a deep breath and unfortunately you will see more of these kind of people at work, and you will have to learn to deal with it.

My 2 cents will be to make sure that your boundaries in terms of your work responsibilities are well-defined and communicated to your team (if this is not in place already, sit down with your manager and resolve it first) and then if someone enters your turf, make it very clear to them and your manager that this is unacceptable. Whenever you think your boundaries are compromised, raise it with your manager, then and there, preferably in a one-on-one meeting instead of an email. Written words sometimes, do not communicate our emotions very well.

Also make a note of all these issues and bring it up during your review (and peer review); it is very normal for us to vent about this now and forget it 2 months down the line and come review time, we don't have any memory or reference points for all these.


mitr_bayarea said...


Thank you very much for all those pointers, very helpful.

SASA said...

I have encountered such a trespass situation and I find it very hard to deal with too,seeing more of "me" in you in this aspect.
I would always like to tell 'em "mind your damn business!"
but try and calm myself..
a-kay is perfectly right!
we are bound to see such people in our work-life, social-life, to learn how to deal with it.
Take care Mitr!

Cham said...

Great thing that you went to talk with her this morning and stayed calm too. Definetly, that should have bring some relief! People always wait such an opportunity to cross their boundaries, better to warn them in a polished professional manner!

na_an said...


All this is a part of workplace saga. So calm down and do not say or do something you will regret later. The best thing is to talk to your manager face to face like Akay suggested and express your concerns, since you already directly confronted C, there is no point approaching her again trying to make her understand. She had no right to send that email without referring with you, as thats your area. She could have requested you to send the email if she wanted. Anyways, take it easy, it is not worth upsetting yourself about it. I had to deal with control freaks too at work and I know it is annoying, but it is good experience dealing with different types of personalities. :-)

anudivya said...

Nothing more to add to what A-kay suggested. Keep your cool.

Spillay said...

I too agree with what A-kay said. And yes - there's so many of 'these type of people' out there that, you will just have to find the best way for YOU to deal with them. (There is no one right recipe that suits all). You did the right thing by expressing your views on it to C, and not just keep quiet about it. And what about that excuse she gave??? Doesn't even make sense at all! (How does that (the reason) give her a right to step over her boundries???)

Me said...

I am sorry to hear that you are in such a bad mood and venting it on your blog sounds just fine for the moment...but looking from a future point of view...writing about work doesn't sound well. Just my thoughts.

Krishnan said...

Blogs are akin to personal diaries. I guess blogs are good platforms to rave and rant and what more, you get people giving you suggestions and tips aplenty. In this particular incident, C overstepped her limits and the matter would have ended amicably if she has just apologized. Control freaks are part and parcel of every organization and they meet their match sooner or later.

Mavin said...

Office Politics...........this game of one upmanship.

Not fair but that is how life is.....not fair.

I guess without reacting you must have a talk with your senior and see that this intrusion is properly handled.

A firm response is warranted such that future trespass is discouraged. You will also know in the process if the Senior Manager plays the game fair and square or is taking sides.

Lakshmi said...

Such people are there evrywhere..grin and bear and ignore

mitr_bayarea said...

sasa- Thanks, somewhat consoling to know that there is someone else who has a smilar reaction like mine.

Cham- Thanks.

Na_an- That was valuable advice, thanks a lot.

Anudivya- Yes maam!

Spillay- Glad you could be my sounding board for this one.

Me- Agreed and will take your advice on that for the future.

Krishnan- Very true and well said.

Mavin- yes, the manager seems to take the blame upon herself and apologize to me, rather than addressing the issue with C, so can already see the outcome.

Lakshmi- Yes, have to try hard to do that for my own peace.

Reviewer said...

How frustrating for you ....take a deep breath and continue to keep your cool as you already have been doing so far............

Uma said...

Yep, be cool and face such situations wth a calm mind. I totally agree with what a-kay has said. Such kind of persons are everywhere in the wide world. Take care dear! Don't spoil your good mood with sucy petty things.

Laavanya said...

How frustrating.... I think you dealt it pretty well. But don;t let her off too easily or she won't think twice abt doing it again.

I'm like you.. at my workplace, I am unimaginably composed and reasonable but at home, am quite short tempered.

Sachita(india) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sachita(india) said...

I agree with what A-Kay said (that was so well put:)).

This is from a venting-expert, Venting is good, but please dont get stuck in rut of venting, do smething abt it. use the venting session with others as a brainstorming session for what you can do about it.

And your co-worker, is clearly stepping into your area, extremely unprofessional behavior which I know for a fact will lead her into trouble.