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Old 08-14-2012, 01:47 PM
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Default Difficulty with coworker / new job

What's going on folks? So today I come to with a personal problem. Now I genuinely hope that this isn't in bad taste so I won't go into detail surrounding the issues themselves. However, I'm having difficulty with a coworker at a new job. We certify and inspect fire systems. It's pretty much the same thing I did while in the Navy and find it interesting and rewarding. However, the fellow I'm working with is unbearable. We drive all over the DC/MD/VA area and of course, we chat. Since day 1 this fellow has taken this opportunity to espouse his views on controversial issues. While I don't mind communicating with people to use to enlighten myself as to how others think and feel on this giant rock we are all riding on, I don't agree with his methodology. Rather than conversing, he pushes his views and belittles any converse thought. Yesterday hit fever pitch and finally I told him, "look, I have different views and am not comfortable going down this road with you. I like you, ( I don't) and do not want to strain this relationship." He ignored it an said , in regard to an issue, "I can't accept it and I can't be silent because silence is acceptance."

Now, I don't want to go to my boss just yet because I haven't said "stop. I don't want to do this." but I also don't want to go whining to him because I'm brand new. So my question I pose to you great minds is, what would you do?
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Old 08-14-2012, 02:32 PM
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Mad About Drums Mad About Drums is offline
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Default Re: Difficulty with coworker / new job

Oh man, I sympathize with you, yes it's a tough one to deal with without upsetting him (or you for that matter), I'm afraid I have no solutions to your ongoing problem here, but all I can suggest is to be inspired by different topics and lead the conversation and discussion between you and him, it sounds too easy to resolve your problem, but I reckon it's worth a try, if you can keep him interested on subjects you decide to talk about, it might work. In any case, good luck and I hope you'll find a solution.
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Old 08-14-2012, 03:05 PM
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Default Re: Difficulty with coworker / new job

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Originally Posted by OrangeAgent27 View Post
What's going on folks? So today I come to with a personal problem. Now I genuinely hope that this isn't in bad taste so I won't go into detail surrounding the issues themselves. However, I'm having difficulty with a coworker at a new job. We certify and inspect fire systems. It's pretty much the same thing I did while in the Navy and find it interesting and rewarding. However, the fellow I'm working with is unbearable. We drive all over the DC/MD/VA area and of course, we chat. Since day 1 this fellow has taken this opportunity to espouse his views on controversial issues. While I don't mind communicating with people to use to enlighten myself as to how others think and feel on this giant rock we are all riding on, I don't agree with his methodology. Rather than conversing, he pushes his views and belittles any converse thought. Yesterday hit fever pitch and finally I told him, "look, I have different views and am not comfortable going down this road with you. I like you, ( I don't) and do not want to strain this relationship." He ignored it an said , in regard to an issue, "I can't accept it and I can't be silent because silence is acceptance."

Now, I don't want to go to my boss just yet because I haven't said "stop. I don't want to do this." but I also don't want to go whining to him because I'm brand new. So my question I pose to you great minds is, what would you do?
I assume you're talking about political conversation. Some people become so committed to their political views that they simply can't talk about anything else and tend to forget they are talking to fellow humans, not potential political allies/foes. Especially in a Presidential election year!

Anyway, I'd go two routes. First, tell him directly you do not wish to discuss or hear about such issues (assuming that you don't), and secondly if there is a way to ask to be paired up with someone else, ask for that. I don't think, unless he refuses to respect your wishes, that there is any need to turn it into a disciplinary issue. However, if you can't be paired with someone else and he won't stop in spite of being told you're not interested, than you may have no choice.
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Old 08-14-2012, 11:01 PM
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Default Re: Difficulty with coworker / new job

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Originally Posted by Mad About Drums View Post
Oh man, I sympathize with you, yes it's a tough one to deal with without upsetting him (or you for that matter), I'm afraid I have no solutions to your ongoing problem here, but all I can suggest is to be inspired by different topics and lead the conversation and discussion between you and him, it sounds too easy to resolve your problem, but I reckon it's worth a try, if you can keep him interested on subjects you decide to talk about, it might work. In any case, good luck and I hope you'll find a solution.
Absolutely. That's the route I went today and it worked well. I'm a very soft spoken, introverted individual, but also very passionate. So basically I explode when I've hit my breaking point with no warning. Lol, a recipe for disaster. But thanks dude, your advice means a great deal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JBoom View Post
I assume you're talking about political conversation. Some people become so committed to their political views that they simply can't talk about anything else and tend to forget they are talking to fellow humans, not potential political allies/foes. Especially in a Presidential election year!

Anyway, I'd go two routes. First, tell him directly you do not wish to discuss or hear about such issues (assuming that you don't), and secondly if there is a way to ask to be paired up with someone else, ask for that. I don't think, unless he refuses to respect your wishes, that there is any need to turn it into a disciplinary issue. However, if you can't be paired with someone else and he won't stop in spite of being told you're not interested, than you may have no choice.
Absolutely, I agree completely. We share the same great interest in sports do there is no reason to dwell and argue. I found out today I'm with him permanently so I'm going to tread carefully. It's a great job, so anything that could compromise my image or paycheck needs to be approached cautiously.
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Old 08-15-2012, 02:33 AM
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Default Re: Difficulty with coworker / new job

I'd be nice about it. I'd be polite about it. But by god would I also be firm about it. There is no way in hell would I sit there for an entire shift listening to someone spout bullshit I didn't want to hear. I'd throw the "acceptance" line back at him and make it perfectly clear that I'm not about to "accept" his crap either.

Be nice, but be completely direct and don't back down. Look him in the eye and let him know that you simply won't cop it. If he persists then the two of you are gonna have a problem. Then every time he starts down that path, act like you haven't heard a word he's said and either change the topic immediately or answer with something completely off the cuff that has nothing to do with the issue he's just raised. If you don't engage him at all, he'll soon get the message......unless he' completely in love with the sound of his own voice, then usually it's no fun to rant when no-one is listening.
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Old 08-15-2012, 01:00 PM
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Default Re: Difficulty with coworker / new job

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I'd be nice about it. I'd be polite about it. But by god would I also be firm about it. There is no way in hell would I sit there for an entire shift listening to someone spout bullshit I didn't want to hear. I'd throw the "acceptance" line back at him and make it perfectly clear that I'm not about to "accept" his crap either.

Be nice, but be completely direct and don't back down. Look him in the eye and let him know that you simply won't cop it. If he persists then the two of you are gonna have a problem. Then every time he starts down that path, act like you haven't heard a word he's said and either change the topic immediately or answer with something completely off the cuff that has nothing to do with the issue he's just raised. If you don't engage him at all, he'll soon get the message......unless he' completely in love with the sound of his own voice, then usually it's no fun to rant when no-one is listening.
Love it. That's the route I'll be taking. I think he got the message, maybe he talked to his wife after we got into it because he mellowed out dramatically. Except for the one commen about why he does or does not beat his children. Strange. But good words, man! I'll keep y'all updated.
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Old 08-15-2012, 07:12 PM
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Default Re: Difficulty with coworker / new job

Yeah, talking about religion and politics are usually just a waste of time. Most people already believe what they believe. If they share the same belief as you .... well, then it's a friendly talk basically re-affirming each others stance. Polar opposites never usually work out so well. It takes a certain personality to debate and counterpoint, and remain civil.
Seems like you've moved conversation, already, to much better space. And like PFOG stated .... you're right to "not accept" his BS is equal to his rights. So he needs to cut that crap out. His "freedom of speech" is not being infringed because you don't wanna hear his rants. If he really wants to "help" his cause(s), he might wanna volunteer to work for his party. Actions speak louder than words. Or,suggest he start his own blog if he really feels the need to spread his message (if he lacks the "physical" ambition to work for a party). For free, or for $5 bucks a month, he can rant away on the internet. Be his own private FOX network.
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Old 08-15-2012, 07:45 PM
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Default Re: Difficulty with coworker / new job

I have a rule within the workplace, with both my colleagues and students, which is: Never talk Religion, Sport or Politics.
This especially the case with students, as I dont want that kind of influence on their lives. I am there to teach the mind how to think for itself, not to draw conclusions for other under the guise of free thinking.
The only time I will discuss R.S.P is if im certain that it will be a worthwhile discussion/debate, which is 99 times out of 100, with those I consider friends.

For your situation, do what I do, make it 100% clear that these issues (or whatever it is this guy wants to discuss) are not up for discussion, at all.
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Old 08-15-2012, 09:25 PM
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Default Re: Difficulty with coworker / new job

If you have ever watched Cheers, the character, Cliff Claven the mailman, and trivia know it all, was the exact character of one of my uncles right down to working for the Post Office. He was terrible. He was Polish discent and was always harping on how bad the Polish were treated when they first came to this country, but would refer to blacks, African/Americans, with every name in the book. Every name. I got to the point that when I was forced to spend any time with him that I would just agree with him and then he had no one to argue with. he finally shut up. Now you have your opinions and they may differ from his but if you really want him to be quite, every time he says anything just say, I agree. Worked great with my uncle and it may work for this guy.
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Old 08-15-2012, 10:35 PM
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Default Re: Difficulty with coworker / new job

I know a few folks who are overly passionate about their beliefs, and I don't appreciate that extremism regardless which way they lean.

Best you can do is sit back and be amused by the hell that is obviously their life. The more something eats somebody up, the more sane I feel.

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Old 08-15-2012, 11:26 PM
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Default Re: Difficulty with coworker / new job

Outstanding. This is all a great help to me. I worked with a different guy today and he gave me the low-down, as it were. Apparently the guy has had problems in the past regarding making vieled racist comments to anyone who would listen. Im not necessarily shocked, but surprised he's still working there. Of course reason being, he is the best at the company. It's unfortunate that he posses great knowledge surrounding complicated pieces of equipment and elaborate systems, yet can't grasp how to conduct himself in public. Im sure we all know someone like this and there will always be people who chose to live in small, dark and scary worlds, but it certainly doesn't make it easier on the rest of us.
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Old 08-16-2012, 02:59 AM
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Default Re: Difficulty with coworker / new job

Well, you can always tell who the racists are when they preface what they say with "Now, I'm not a racist, but..." (etc for many other attitudes.)

Seriously, ya just gotta laugh at people like that. Or feel sorry for them, or whatever. But you can't let them get under your skin. Just go through the day knowing you're better than they are.

Sorta like drummers who overplay. I love them! They make me look good!

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Old 08-16-2012, 06:14 AM
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Default Re: Difficulty with coworker / new job

Just ignore him and when he asks why you're not listening, tell him you're a drummer and you're really really deaf!!
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