Posted by LlurpsieNoodle on July 6, 2007, at 11:53:12
In reply to Re: two-faced coworkers » peddidle, posted by JoniS on July 6, 2007, at 9:26:57
I would be really hurt by that comment. I remember my hs history teacher talking about the rise of Hitler and saying that the surest way of uniting two different [groups of] people is to create a common enemy. My guess is that the two people involved in the IM were insecure for various reasons and felt more secure if they had some kind of "bond".
I don't know the structure of your office situation. If this woman is subordinate to you, you might ask to see her in private and tell her that you were using the front office computer the other day and you noticed that she was using IM to communicate with other people in the office. You can tell her that IM is not the most efficient way of communicating business matters and that it's not secure in the way that e-mail is. If this woman (both women) have any kind of common sense, this should create remorse rather than catty revenge.
If you are equals, or in different departments, you might just casually say to her- "I used your computer the other day to look up someone's number while you were on lunch break. I saw some of your Instant Messages on the desktop." and leave it at that.
If you really confront her about the subject matter in the IM's, she's going to get defensive and will likely deflect the blame for their content to another person. It might put you in the position of exposing yourself to further hurt, because you make yourself vulnerable at the moment that you acknowledge that the content really bothered you. If you don't mention the subject matter, you'll come out smelling cleaner and you'll feel more righteous.
And by all means talk to your T about this. This kind of insult can hit you at a very vulnerable spot and trigger a cascade of insecurities.
So sorry you have to deal with this. I had a lot of problems with office politics for about a year, and it was interfering with my work a LOT. my T at the time recommended some techniques from a book called "the gentle art of verbal self-defense". Classic in the field of negotiating these awkward social exchanges.
Take care, okay? Wear whatever makes you feel pretty, knowing that no matter how hard you try you can't turn haters into admirers-- just try to keep your head high. Living well is the best revenge