RE: Co-worker who won't take no for an answer

Subject: RE: Co-worker who won't take no for an answer
From: "Lauren" <lauren -at- writeco -dot- net>
To: "'Susan Tamaoki'" <tamaoki_s -at- yahoo -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 1 Aug 2008 11:49:45 -0700

I think that one of things that a recipient of unwanted attention needs to
do is to be direct and explicitly state his or her personal feelings. In
this particular case, the OP was saying, "I'm sorry, but..." That is really
not a clear indication of anything. It is such a vague expression that it
could mean, "I'm busy right now, try later," "Somebody else is interfering
right now, wait until I'm alone," "I'm shy, so just keep trying," but it
really does not express, "Stop."

I am the type of person who needs people to be very explicit about things.
I would not understand the full meaning of a response like, "I'm sorry,
but..." I don't hit on people at work, so I would not be in the position of
having my affections rejected by such a comment, but I have worked with very
indirect people and I have found it frustrating.

I have tried to get answers to questions from co-workers (SMEs and users)
who find "polite" ways to shoo me away, usually women do this, men tend to
be more direct. In many cases, I will continue to try to get information,
but then be met with an emotional explosion from a person who has no
interest in answering the questions.

If I had known at the outset that my co-worker was resistant to be of help,
then I could have asked for assistance from a manager, but as it was, I did
not see the problems brewing until the emotional outburst. This sort of
thing has only happened maybe twice during my contracting career, but the
impact is strong.

When I do get sense that somebody is trying to avoid me, then I can work
with a manager, but sometimes people try to avoid me yet they want to make
it appear that they are being helpful and available. That never works.

I have learned from my experience that there is nothing polite or friendly
about being vague and indirect.


> From: Susan Tamaoki

> I was glad to see someone raise the question about the
> co-worker having Aspergers, since I was also thinking that it
> was a possibility.


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Re: Co-worker who won't take no for an answer: From: Susan Tamaoki

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