Readers react: on bosses, co-workers, homecomings

WORKING WOMAN

March 06, 1994|By Niki Scott | Niki Scott,Universal Press Syndicate

It's time for the readers of this column to have the last word, and this month many of your letters were about pesky co-workers, bumpy homecomings and stressed-out bosses.

After a column about resolutions for people who work together, a reader in New Orleans wrote, "Thanks for the resolution about telling co-workers how you feel when your feelings are hurt.

"I had been starting all my sentences [to myself and others] with 'That so-and-so did this,' and 'That . . . did that,' instead of saying to her, 'This is how I feel . . .'

"I put a copy of your article on this co-worker's desk, circled what you had written, and wrote beside it, 'My feelings are hurt. Can we talk?' We managed to work through a misunderstanding that had poisoned our formerly good working relationship."

A reader from Syracuse, N.Y., liked the resolution that began, "I will put in my fair share of overtime and working on holidays -- even if I'm married and/or a parent and you're not."

"I'm the only single person in my office, so I'm the one who's always tapped to work overtime or come in on Saturdays, the assumption being that no plans of mine could possibly be as important as everyone else's."

And a reader in Tampa, Fla., wrote, "Thanks for sticking up for those of us who are single and routinely are taken advantage of by those who have chosen to marry and/or work and have children."

A reader from Atlanta wrote to say she liked the resolution about not gossiping. "When you suggested we refuse to spread gossip or listen to it, you were talking right to me.

"Our office is a hotbed of gossip and back-stabbing, something that's always made me uncomfortable. You reminded me that I am responsible for my own behavior in this matter.

"Yesterday, after trying in vain to change the subject while my colleagues busily assassinated still another victim behind her back, I walked away rather than listen."

After a column about bumpy homecomings between spouses who have been away at work all day, some of you wrote to say, "You ain't heard nothing yet!"

From a long-suffering reader in Phoenix, Ariz.: "Every night my husband walks through the door, throws his coat on a chair, grabs the newspaper and heads for the bathroom.

rTC "There he remains, with the door locked and the water running, until he's called for supper. What a racket! I can't order a grown man to come out of the bathroom and talk to me, so he gets at least an hour of peace and quiet while I get to run around like a maniac putting supper on the table."

A Nebraska reader wrote: "At some point, my husband got into the habit of tuning me out when we first got home from work. In response, I got into the habit of picking fights with him at this time of the day because this did, at least, get his attention.

"After reading your article, we have agreed to break this destructive habit."

An Indiana reader wrote: "I can't tell you how relieved I was to read that list of symptoms that bosses who are stressed-out exhibit.

"I thought I was the one who was losing my mind. Now I know it's my boss who's losing his. What a relief!"

Finally, this month's award for honesty goes to a boss from Amarillo, Texas, who wrote, "I have every one of the symptoms you listed for burnt-out bosses. Consequently, I leave tomorrow for a long-overdue vacation -- much to the relief, I'm sure, of the poor souls who have to work for me!"

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