Are You Sure You Want To Do This?

, , , | Working | April 14, 2018

(I’m the only woman in an office full of men. Most of the time that doesn’t matter, but I notice that one of my coworkers ALWAYS questions everything I tell him with, “Are you sure?” Every. Single. Time. When is our meeting with this client? Are you sure? I’ll check myself. What are the specifications for this file? Are you sure? I’ll double-check. What was the name of the company we worked with for our advertising last year? Are you sure? I’ll look it up. Every time he asks, I’m right, and he still feels the need to verify. The reason this just started to stand out for me is that I noticed he never does this with any of the guys. He accepts everything they tell him right away. It’s one of those things that starts to bug me the more I notice it happening. It doesn’t help that 90% of his questions often seem to revolve around his scheduling and work — as if I’m his secretary, rather than a peer — and things everyone else keeps track of themselves. I don’t mind helping out — everyone forgets things sometimes — but this is all day, every day. Finally, one day, he asks me when his meeting with a client is.)

Me: “You should probably look that up yourself.”

Coworker: *sounding offended* “And why’s that?”

Me: “For one, I’m not your secretary. We have the same job in the same department. I shouldn’t have to keep track of all of this for you every single day. For another, every time I tell you anything, you always question it, no matter what it is, and end up looking it up yourself anyway.”

(He sputtered for a bit, and gave me the cold shoulder for the rest of the day. Over the weekend, however, he actually sent me a very thoughtful email, saying he’d started thinking about what I said and realized I was right, and he wanted to apologize for it and was going to change his behavior. It really meant a lot to me that he was able to think about where I was coming from honestly and admit it to me. So, while he started out as a bad coworker, I’m happy to say he was true to his word, and he’s started treating me with the same respect and consideration he does everyone else, and we’ve actually become good friends, too.)

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