Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Ask Ms. Salty 11/05/07

I would like to apologize once again, for the lateness of this edition of Ask Ms. Salty. The thing of it is, this column has been a rather spectacular failure due to both lack of reader and author participation. If anyone out there would still like to send in questions, by all means. Eventually I'll get around to answering them, but due to other projects which have recently found me -- it just might take me a little while.

Dear Ms Salty,

I'm having what can only be described as "issues" with a couple of women that I work with. Neither work with me directly, although I do end up seeing them both on an almost daily basis. The problem I have is this both of them seem unable to help themselves when it comes to butting into my life with completely unsolicited advice, and not just advice but criticism. The first takes issue generally with "health" issues - what I'm eating, how much exercise I'm doing etc. I have the added problem that she is married to my line manager so turning around and snapping at her is not really an answer here. The second is a girl that I see socially fairly often as well as at work. Her level of interest seems to fall into the category of my "love life", rather than snide remarks her tactic is to physically drag me out of a conversation to reprimand my behaviour (talking to someone I once slept with and with whom I remain friends - my God!) or to rather loudly warn me to be careful around someone who is horrifyingly still in ear shot.

I am aware that compared to both of these women I may be considered relatively young - they are both only about six years my senior - but surely as a grown woman I should be exempt from any mothering instincts they have? The bitch in me is a little put out at not being able to snap back at women who are criticising areas of my life that aren't too good in their own either. Any suggestions on how to deal with them without a) putting me in a negative light with my boss and b) ostracising myself from my work social circle?


About to Snap

Dear About to Snap,

Nosy work bitches, eh? Unfortunately, as a young woman entering the workforce, it's more likely than not that you're going to be subjected to that sort of thing. But mothering instincts?? I sure as hell hope that's your words, not theirs. There should be no kind of mothering fuckery going on in the instance of a six year age difference. Hell, that's just creepy.

At any rate, to answer your question. I've got some experience with sort of thing myself, so here's what I've learned to do. Convince these women that you're a total fuck up -- just a complete lost cause -- and I think you'll find it alleviates some of the pressure. For example, when I started my last job, it was a small office environment with a few "mother hen" types. Perfectly nice ladies, but me being a late 20-something cohabiting with a man -- it was only a matter of time before they started with the inevitable breeding queries. Now I don't ever plan on having kids -- ever -- which I made abundantly clear right from the get-go. Did it stop the questions? Of course not. So one day when one of them asked me, "Well, what if it just happens and it's an accident?" I think I responded along the lines of "No baby will ever come out of these loins if I have to reach up there and rip out that goddamn fetus with my cold dead hands."

Haven't heard a word about it since. Ladies at work getting up in your grill because you ate fast food for lunch? Loudly pretend to purge in the bathroom shortly afterwards. Nagging about your lovelife? tell 'em you fucked some guy you met at TGI Friday's and now you've got a rash "down there." It's amazing what "TMI" can do. You've just got to make those ladies see -- not only are you not any "fun" to give advice to, but you're just past the point of conceivable advising altogether. Hope that helps.


Rozie said...

I just love it. Brilliant.

MEECH! said...

I... I love you!

Anonymous said...




Victoria Masters said...

Just awesome!

I had a similar "issue" and I solved it by pretending to drift off during conversations- staring over the lady's shoulder and then not immediately responding to questions, or just waiting for a pause and wandering off. Eventually she got the message to leave me alone, but it WAS fun to make her feel, not only not appreciated, but not wanted at all!