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Kryianna
12-27-2008, 10:10 PM
I'm having problems with a new co-worker. I've been working at the company for almost four years now, and am probably the person most familiar with how all of our tech stuff works. The company, and the rest of my co-workers, know this. The new guy literally knows nothing about what we do -- while he has a doctorate, it is in a completely different field. He has twenty years of experience in the military (recently retired from service).

His words and actions are not respecting me, or my history with the company. I have specific instances, and have been dealing with my direct supervisor on this.

Yesterday, though, in the middle of a dialogue, the new guy rolled his eyes at me. To me, that's another way of not showing respect to someone, and not something to do in a professional capacity. And it's not like it was a simple one roll; it was sustained eyes fluttering upwards for several seconds.

It's not like I'm going to complain to my boss or to his boss about the eye-rolling, but if he does it again, I'm going to ask him not to do it. And I'm afraid that's going to piss him off.

What do you guys think? Part of me says that I'm overreacting, on this as well as the entire situation. Is eye-rolling as rude as I think--and have always been taught--it is?

alleycat
12-27-2008, 10:19 PM
I might suggest either one of two things.

One, give it some time. He might turn out to be a nice guy and he'll lighten up a little on his own. I know a lot of military people, both current and former, and it can take a while for other, non-military, folks to get used to them. Of course, some former military people never do readjust to the "outside world".

Second, if you really want to do something about it now, then rather than being confrontational, use humor. For example, if he rolls his eyes again, laugh and say loudly enough for others to hear, "Wow! You rolled your eyes just like a teenage girl! Did you do that when you were in the Army?" Humor can be a very effective weapon (as the Democrats have learned and the Republicans have not).

Siddow
12-27-2008, 10:21 PM
I'm guessing here...but are you a young lady? Some older guys are still old-school, and feel like a woman has to be put in her place, ie, beneath him.

Eye-rolling is rude, but you've got two ways that I can see to deal with him. One is to call him out on his behavior and tell him it is unacceptable. That'll likely get you more of the same. The other way is to play into his ego--ask for his help whenever possible, ask him about his service in the military--and wait for him to come around, which he likely will once he no longer sees you as a threat to his 'manhood'.

If I'm wrong, and you're a dude, then disregard the above and punch him in the face. That ought to take care of it.

Don
12-27-2008, 10:27 PM
"Since you apparently don't care for my suggestion, I'm sure the group would like to hear your take on the issue. What do you think we should do?"

Then whatever he says, take it apart calmly and logically. If you can't do that, thank him for the suggestion and wait for the next chance.

Williebee
12-27-2008, 10:29 PM
The eye rolling is rude. It is disrespectful. But it is also a symptom, not the problem.

Just stop what you're doing and ask him why he did it.

You don't have to point out that you haven't seen something that childish since high school, everybody around you will figure that one out on their own. Be respectful. Even if he's not.

Ask him why. "Obviously you have an objection or some point of disagreement. What is it?" Identify his objection, make sure it is the real objection, and deal with it.

Be prepared for him to be right, or at least not entirely wrong.

If he is entirely wrong, hear him out and then expect to be heard out in return. You will have given him the opportunity to have input, and the chance to feel like he is a part of the team.

Good Luck.

Beach Bunny
12-27-2008, 11:30 PM
You could also try calling him on it in a non-confrontational way something like: In a serious not sarcastic tone of voice, "Is there something wrong with your eyes? You keep rolling them."



If I'm wrong, and you're a dude, then disregard the above and punch him in the face. That ought to take care of it.
:ROFL:

William Haskins
12-27-2008, 11:35 PM
i'm not sure if rolling his eyes is an actionable offense, but i can tell you this: if i had a dime for every time i roll my eyes at work, i wouldn't have to work.

nevada
12-27-2008, 11:46 PM
Be very careful. Some people roll their eyes without it being a sign of disrespect. What I'm hearing is "I don't think I'm getting the respect that I think I deserve and I don't respect him because his experience is something I don't value."

I think that you need to take this up with him privately. Do not cut him down in front of others, that is a sign of disrespect on your part. Respect goes both ways. This may be a case of misunderstanding. Don't make it worse than it is.

William Haskins
12-27-2008, 11:48 PM
agreed. pull him aside and say, "dude, what the hell is wrong with your eyes?"

RobJ
12-28-2008, 02:49 AM
I wouldn't suggest that there's something wrong with his eyes. I'm sure he knows what he's doing and why.

I think you need to speak to him politely but firmly and simply say that you find it offensive and disrespectful when he rolls his eyes at you, and you'd like him to stop doing it. You don't have to wait for it to happen again. You can have the conversation now.

Keep it tight, just about you finding his eye rolling offensive. It doesn't matter whether he intends it to be disrespectful and it doesn't matter whether he agrees that it is or not. The point is, you do find it disrespectful and you would like him to stop doing it. Be polite. Speak calmly. Don't allow the conversation to wander on to other factors.

Cheers,
Rob

Snowstorm
12-28-2008, 03:01 AM
Just asking him immediately why he rolled his eyes should be enough to put him on notice. Also, like other posters above wrote, any answer of his just pick it apart and ask why.

I'm at a loss why any retired military guy would act that way. Some had an ego the size of the pentagon, but those guys were fighter jocks (some, not all) and think they can do whatever they want.

And yes, I think what he's doing is rude. Even if he thinks he's relaxed around his new company, he's trying to fit in too fast and he's making himself look arrogant.

Stlight
12-28-2008, 03:15 AM
Of course he might just be arrogant, and there's nothing that can be done about that.

brokenfingers
12-28-2008, 03:23 AM
Eye-rolling is indeed rude.

Since he's ex-military, he might not understand how things work in your civilian work environment. I suggest you adapt. Get a blowdart and next time he rolls his eyes, put one out. I'm sure he'll understand that.

dpaterso
12-28-2008, 03:33 AM
"If you have a problem with me, have your boss talk to my boss. Don't stand there rolling your eyes like a schoolboy."

"You have no idea how childish and stupid you look when you do that."

"If you don't want to listen to me, then don't. Just don't ever ask me for anything again."

"Don't panic, there are no enemy planes flying overhead." Then shout, "INCOMING!"

-Derek

nevada
12-28-2008, 04:11 AM
All these suggestions are extremely aggressive and designed to get a retaliatory response. If you're looking to piss him off and get a nasty answer back and start a fight that will never end then certainly, employ any suggestion given to you here.

But think about the last time someone confronted you aggressively and accusatorily. How did you respond? I bet you didn't say, "Golly gee, you're absolutely right, I shall mend my ways immediately.". No, I'm willing to bet it was more along the lines of "F off, who the hell do you think you are." Be honest.

Your first response is "he is rude, he does not respect me." But there are a dozen different reasons why he might be acting this way. Maybe he is insecure and does not know exactly how to behave in a situation that does not clearly define rank and responsibility. Maybe he doesn't realize he rolls his eyes and it's become a bad habit of his. Maybe he does respect you and are intimidated by your experience.

By turning this into a confrontation you will back him into a corner. He too will jump to conclusions and will retaliate with aggression.

Take him aside and say to him, calmly and firmly, without aggression or accusing. "When you roll your eyes, I feel that you are being rude to me. I want to discuss this and come to some sort of understanding about our roles in this company and how we can work together and do the best work that we can."

Does that sound wussy? Like you're caving in? You are not. YOu are rising above your first instinct to turn it into a fight and instead are acting like a mature human being who realizes that everyone is human and fallible. You cannot read his mind. You do not know what he intends when he rolls his eyes, you can only assume. Assuming leads to making mistakes. Do not be the one that makes mistakes. Come across as a mature person who is willing to look beyond her first knee-jerk reaction and has the well-being of the company at mind. Your supervisor will take note of this.

She_wulf
12-28-2008, 05:26 AM
but...but...

Avoiding confrontation is procrastination. Doing it gives you an excuse to "think" yourself out of the situation and doesn't do anything to stop the behavior. Passivity does not win, nor does reactivity(the other side of the coin). Strategy and calm forward thinking wins.

I think Williebee has it correct. Note the behavior right away in a method that keeps the business objective in mind. Sure, it hurts you and you'd like to react as immaturly as the newbie, but by focusing on what's best for the meeting and getting his thoughts out on the table AND calling attention to his poor etiquette, you have triumphed in the battle of the board room. Poor judgment is not needed and not appreciated in today's declining market climate. He is showing both poor judgment and poor etiquette by not giving you respect and by not voicing his dissenting opinion.

Amy

Death Wizard
12-28-2008, 05:52 AM
You could also try calling him on it in a non-confrontational way something like: In a serious not sarcastic tone of voice, "Is there something wrong with your eyes? You keep rolling them."



:ROFL:

I like this one. It's what I would do.

astonwest
12-28-2008, 06:06 AM
Assuming that he's doing this during your dialogue, as you mentioned (but without knowledge of what the conversation is about):

"Do you have a suggestion, XXXX?"

Don't have to bring up the eye-rolling. Unless he truly has a medical condition, he knows he's doing it. But pointing it out in front of others is a sure way to make the situation deteriorate.

I had an employee who constantly fought me every step of the way. After one particular incident, he took anything I did or said as some sort of attack on him...it was not pretty. Fortunately, he ended up getting transferred.

astonwest
12-28-2008, 06:08 AM
But think about the last time someone confronted you aggressively and accusatorily. How did you respond? I bet you didn't say, "Golly gee, you're absolutely right, I shall mend my ways immediately.". No, I'm willing to bet it was more along the lines of "F off, who the hell do you think you are." Be honest.
Definitely...confrontation is not the way to go. Defuse the situation and correct the behavior.

Silver King
12-28-2008, 06:13 AM
...And it's not like it was a simple one roll; it was sustained eyes fluttering upwards for several seconds...
The next time he does that, say, "You remind me of my teenage niece. She's a drama queen and does the exact same thing to show childish disrespect. Her eyes are prettier than yours, but it's still freaking annoying."

If that doesn't work, you may want to consider these two options:

...punch him in the face. That ought to take care of it.


...Get a blowdart and next time he rolls his eyes, put one out. I'm sure he'll understand that.

Beach Bunny
12-28-2008, 08:00 AM
Nevada, I agree with everything that you have said. With a civilian, that would be the best course of action. However, the guy she is dealing with is retired military. He's spent twenty years in a military mindset. He's used to dealing with people in an aggressive manner. I think it's going to take a military tactic to train him to act like a civilian.

I know Williebee was in the military. I don't know who else here is also former military. If it were me, I would listen to Williebee. He's had the most experience dealing with men like this guy. Call him on his behavior without insulting him. It sends him the message "yes, I am a young, female civilian and no, you are not going to walk all over me."

C.bronco
12-28-2008, 08:07 AM
Express your concern that he might have a neurological disorder which is affecting his eyes. Recommend doctors. Suggest that a colonoscopy might be the best route to determine the source of his eye-rolling disorder. Offer a Fleet enema which he should use during his personal time.

Beach Bunny
12-28-2008, 08:18 AM
:ROFL: