Social Question

manolla's avatar

How to deal with a new richer co worker?

Asked by manolla (795points) February 13th, 2011

I have been working in this office for 6 months, and I was the only female around here untill a new girl joined recently, and she is richer than I am and her dad owns a company which is the biggest client to our office, she is not that serious about working, I guess she is still new so she will be that way untill she gets used to the work.

My problem is that she asked that her office be with me since I am the only female, so we decided to share desk, and she just keeps on chatting with me which has been distracting, and bringing her friends over to the office just to visit her, and they spend the whole day in my office distracting me more from my tasks, I feel that she is really excited to be working for the first time, but since she came I wasn’t really able to do as much as before which isn’t good for me.
The other problem is that she keeps on requesting me to go out with her for lunch, and she insists in expensive resturants, she is the one who pays for it, but I don’t want to owe anybody that much, today I got my own lunch with me from some where else, and she asked me to just go out with her, and I can eat my lunch outside, then she asked me to make an order, when I told her about my lunch, she said that she would pay for it and I can pay her back and I can have my lunch latter.
I know I could sound silly, but I haven’t been working for a long time so I am not sure how to approach her about this?
I am also the type of person who trys to avoid confrontations and arguments alot so that is also a problem in me.

If anyone has any good advise, I would be happy to hear it from you.

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10 Answers

Seaofclouds's avatar

You need to stand up for yourself and what you need. I get that you usually avoid confrontation, but not doing anything won’t help it get any better. Tell her no about going to lunch or suggest a restaurant in your budget. When she has people in the office that shouldn’t be there, just tell her that you are trying to get your work done and really need it to be quiet in the office. If that doesn’t work, perhaps you need to talk to someone else about it (management wise) and get them involved with what she is doing.

marinelife's avatar

You need to set some limits with this girl. I would go to my supervisor and explain about the talking and visiting, which is distracting you.

As for the lunch situation, i would simply be honest. Say to her (in your own words): “Look, Name, it has been a pleasure to eat lunch with you, but I cannot afford to eat out every day, and I am not comfortable having you pay for my lunch every day. I don’t mind going once every two weeks (or once a month or however often you are comfortable doing it), but every day is too much.”

Then stick to your guns. Do not give in like you did on the day you got your lunch elsewhere, If she tries to cajole you, just say pleasantly, while shaking your finger at her, “Unh Uh, no tempting me. I told you I’m not going to do it..

Practice in front of a mirror. Let your supervisor handle the constant chatting and friends visiting.

Likeradar's avatar

@Seaofclouds and @marinelife gave great answers. Out of curiosity, is it common practice in the business world to hire a company’s biggest client’s kid? That seems odd, but I have pretty much no experience is business.

aprilsimnel's avatar

@manolla, I would take both @marinelife‘s and @Seaofclouds’ advice. Use this as an opportunity to learn how to stand up for yourself. and not be a people pleaser. Women get taught early on to defer their interests to not hurt someone else’s feelings, but that’s no good. People have to learn how to politely but firmly stand up for themselves. Your needs and wants aren’t any less than this young woman’s, no matter who she is or how much money she’s got. You’re feeling bad inside because you’re not being true to yourself when you give in to her.

@Likeradar, it happens often enough. When I was working for a corporate media house, a client leaned on my boss to give a paid internship to his college-aged son in order for my company to keep his business, and that sort of hiring is standard operational procedure in the TV and film business. People hire each other’s kids all the time.

BarnacleBill's avatar

I agree; set boundaries. You can do it in a really nice way. Start by saying that you’re glad she’s joined the company, it’s nice to have another woman in the office, and you appreciate her friendliness. Tell her that you are finding sharing an office a little more distracting than you expected, and need undistracted time to be able to concentrate to get your work done. You enjoy the invitations to go to lunch, but you don’t have the disposable income that she does, and prefer to bring your lunch in order to make your budget work out. Having her pay for your lunch is not something that you can allow her to do. Suggest that she bring her lunch, and you can eat together, and perhaps you can have a standing date to go out for lunch on payday.

All of this is fair, valid points. She is trying to be nice and friendly, and shouldn’t be resented for that. And she doesn’t see that your motivation for working and hers are different, and that’s probably just because she’s young. Part of the learning experience for her is to understand that people have to live within their means, and have different financial obligations. It would be beneficial to her as a person to learn to bring her lunch occasionally. Think of it as a “teachable moment.”

Likeradar's avatar

@aprilsimnel I totally learned something today. Thanks! :)

cazzie's avatar

I had a similar situation when I was working the front desk at an accountancy office. I was made responsible for the office juniors. One of the partners hired a daughter of a large client. I was open to it and she seemed nice. Private schooling, unbelievably pretty…. but I was older and she was my responsibility. It became clear she was just at a loss of what to do and ended up in my office. She had no interest in accounting or learning office administration. After getting rev’ed up for her poor performance, I went to one of the managing partners and told them my concern, without the drama and emotion. Simply said that if I’m going to be held responsible for an employee, I should have some say in who we hire. From then on, I was.
I counselled her out of the job with the help of the partner who hired her. We realised it was a bad fit and helped her define where her strengths were. We got her interested in taking courses towards a career in interior design. She moved to London and spread her wings.

You need to talk to her first. Then you need to go to who hired her or who has the ear of who hired her. Explain things without any drama and emotion. Treating the office as a social club is NOT acceptable.

You do NOT have to be her new BFF. Simply turning down her lunch invitations should be enough. You do NOT have to give any excuse for it.

john65pennington's avatar

Remember this, you were there first.

Level with her on all aspects of your job vs her job. Be honest and tell her that you do not go out for lunch that often. This can be expesive.

I think she is taking advantage of you, just like you said…..the money.

She may have good intentions, but you are apparently “set in your ways” of doing your job and she is upsetting your applecart. If this is the case…...............tell her.

Jeruba's avatar

Losing that job won’t be much of a setback for her. For you, it will. Do what you have to do to protect yourself in your position there: follow the good advice above.

manolla's avatar

Thank you so much everyone, I followed most of your advises and they were really helpful.

I talked to the managment about getting us seperate offices, they agreed, but said that it will need them about 4 months to do it, so I guess I will have to wait on that, but I talked with her about it politley and explained to her that that friends should come over less often and that we can’t be going out for lunch in expensive places eveyday, she didn’t ask any questions and agreed, I also got a monthly social activities calander in our office for us, in which we both planed when we are going to go for lunch together on paydays, and other activities in it, without affecting our work.

I guess that I kinda knew what had to be done deep down, but I had to hear it from a outside source to make sure that I am not wrong.

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