Monday, November 20, 2006

Mr. Happy Pants

There is a person at my work who I always say 'hello' to and he never responds politely. No smile. No head nod. No little wave. He just STARES at me like I am not there, or sometimes, like I am the world's biggest piece of crap. And it's not like I don't know him. I introduced myself on my first day, asked him what he did and told him about my role - the usual when you have new coworkers. He seemed quiet and tiredly arrogant.

We passed each other in the hall today, and I did my usual cheery "good morning" and yet again, I was kinda glared at. Oh, I know this person is capable of normal speech. We talked once or twice early on when I had questions, though never for more than 2 seconds, and I have even seen him talk to other people on occasion. I also think he smiles - I recall at some point seeing him in animated discussion with someone and nearly falling over from the shock of it.

The worst part is, I never learn! I'm still saying my polite 'hellos' after all these months, and I'm still getting the same 'go to hell and die' glare. I mean, I can't just IGNORE a person, not when we work in close quarters! It's just not like me to turn my head and deliberately snub someone! And I'm not hurt or upset by it...just...puzzled...

Any thoughts?


At 11:11 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Be secure in the fact that you have something that he doesn't have: good manners.

He may have not been taught proper etiquette or he's socially maladjusted. Either way, it sounds like he's got a monster sized chip in his shoulder for seemingly no reason. What is the history of your position? Was he a contender for it?

As much as it goes against your nature, maybe the best tactic is to just ignore him... not in a rude way, but to just not pay him any mind. It's his loss.

Good luck!

Really enjoying the blog, by the way.

At 1:26 PM , Blogger Kimberly said...

velvet girl is right.

a) you have manners. he doesn't.

b) you have a wonderfully friendly disposition, apparent by the abundance of friends and other colleagues that adore you. he probably goes home at night to a sparsely furnished apartment and a single fish in a tank who can't remember anything from one side to the other, let alone anything about his owner.

so just ignore him, not rudely (as velvet said), just politely. Some people just don't want to make the effort. Save your effort for someone who's worth it.

At 3:09 PM , Blogger thisisme said...

I have to admit that I laughed when I saw your title - I didn't quite know where you were going :)Hope the first day in the new position went well. What an odd man. Just keep smiling at him as you go past, not necessarily speaking. I wonder if he is shy?

At 12:51 AM , Blogger jellyhead said...

I think he once had a girlfriend who was your spitting image, who ended their 8 year relationship by letting him walk in on her having wild, raucous sex with a new, Brad-Pitt-lookalike lover.

Either that or he is just a rude man who likes to feel powerful by failing to respond to a simple courtesy.

At 9:38 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd pause one day when walking past him and with a smile ask him "is there a reason that you ignore me when I say Good Morning? Because I am baffled at what I could have possibly done to not even merit a hello when passing a fellow co-worker."

I mean yes, you obviously have WAY more class than he does and clearly you are much warmer and friendlier a person, but at the same time some people are never held accountable for their rude behaviour. And it doesn't mean that you have to stoop to his level and be rude, but I don't think that standing up for yourself should be constituted as being rude. And especially if executed politely :)

Besides, maybe he doesn't realize how grumpy he is. You know those people who always look like they have a scowl on their face but they don't even realize it until you ask them why they look so upset ... maybe that's him too?

At 9:41 AM , Blogger Christopher said...

You know the old saying: "Kill 'em with kindness."

The more rude he is to you, the more kind you should be to him.

If he ignores another good morning, then address him by name next time, and ask a direct question, like:

"Good Morning, Mr. Doe. Read any good books lately?"

And don't let it get to you. Even if he never replies, it's worth continuing to do.

At the very least, it makes an interesting game: How absurd can your ignored greeting get? How many paragraphs long can you get it up to without him responding at all? Hahaha. Very entertaining.

And when you get very far into the game, you can blog about the absurdity of how far it's gone.

Sounds like a win-win situation to me.

At 8:38 PM , Blogger Alipurr said...

people are very mysterious. not a clue...maybe he is surprised that you are still talking to him, i say keep it up

At 11:52 PM , Blogger MrsGreenThumb said...

When there's a problem, let that person own it. It sounds like it's his problem. Just go on being your cheery self. I talk to everyone, I know the names of all the cleaning people, security people, co-workers and over time I elicit personal information so I can ask them how that's going. I think people generally like to talk about themselves so listening is good. Do you have occasion to walk by this person's desk? If he has any pictures, you could ask them if they are his family, wife or whatever. Maybe he's uncomfortable with new people or maybe he's a putz.

At 6:25 AM , Blogger Motherkitty said...

This co-worker sounds as if he is either terribly shy, hates women, has a very unhappy (or tragic) personal life, is rude, is jealous, has no manners, or as my sister says, is a putz. In any event, I would definitely have a little face time with him and just ask him why he never answers you when you say good morning. I think you will be surprised at his answer.

To every one of life's mysteries, there is a simple answer. Just keep being the pleasant, polite person that you are and one day you will find the answer to his puzzling behavior.

At 7:14 PM , Blogger Cat said...

I work with a myriad of people, and I have seen many folks who are like this guy. There could be many reasons why he's like this:
1) He took his mom's advice of not talking to stangers to heart, and hasn't learned to use his head when to follow that rule.
2) He may be the type of person who doesn't strike up a conversation easily, unless it's a topic that he's familiar with.
3) He may be the super introverted type who doesn't allow people to get to know him easily. However, once he gets to know you, he may open up to you.
4) He may have had an enema, and the tube broke off in his ass, and it's still there. If that's the case, he should be peppered with endless ass jokes (Hey, stiff ass! What's up your butt? Are you the butt of many jokes?)

People are strange and different. That's what makes life interesting. But if this guy continues to ignore you, don't worry about it, there are plenty of people who would love to call you their friend.


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