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Wedding Woes

It's not just you.

Dear Prudence,

I think I’m starting to lose it in my old age, or else my social skills are leaving me. A new guy started at my job about four weeks ago, and some of us have noticed that he often sounds condescending and even derogatory when he speaks (he doesn’t seem aware of this). Some of the others in the office ignore it or don’t notice, even seeking him out for approval because he almost always agrees with them (it might be worth mentioning that these are all higher-ups).
He often abruptly joins discussions that don’t involve him from across the room and reacts with over-the-top shock and dismay when someone doesn’t know something he thinks everyone should.

I have experienced people like this in the workplace before, but now I find myself less able to engage than I used to be. I pull myself out of interesting conversations with co-workers when he enters the picture. I thought it was just that my office has a superabundance of people who seem to require extra patience to deal with, but seeing how others seem to talk to each other so seamlessly makes me think maybe it’s just me.

—Is It Just Me?

Re: It's not just you.

  • Uh what? No. It’s obviously him not you. 
  • Sounds like you take the path of least resistance and opt to not engage the brown nosing jerk. 

    That sounds like you know what isn't worth your time. 
  • Don’t let them let you feel less engaged in your work culture! I think the LW is giving this guy too much power over how they’re feeling at the office. 

    I get not wanting to be around annoying people, but if you’re letting his behavior dictate what you’re doing and how you’re interacting then that’s also on you. 
    short+sassy
  • I previously had a co-worker (at a different job) who just had this condescending/derogatory "air" about her.  She spoke to most people that way, even higher-ups.  Part of it was, she was an unpleasant person.  But I also think part of it was she just came across that way, even when things were fine and she wasn't upset.

    At any rate, I'd suggest the LW find a middle ground.  I think it's fine to avoid this coworker, as much as possible.  Especially individual conversations not related to work.  But the LW should also be careful not to cut themselves off from conversations they find interesting and also don't want to become the odd person out, if they start avoiding most coworker conversations.

    And, tbh, it might have something to do with the LW's age.  At least with my own wisdom (I hope) and experience, I have become much less tolerant of people and the annoying things they do.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    charlotte989875OurWildKingdom
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