Dealing with an adult "Mean Girl" aka Ms. "Nice-Nasty"

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Em_Catz, Mar 29, 2011.

  1. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Mar 29, 2011

    One of my coworkers is annoying the beejesus out of me. She is EXTREMELY sarcastic and for whatever reason (probably because I'm the friendly, naive, "nice one" on our team) she keeps being what I call nice/nasty to me.

    ie: I'm going up the stairs and I said something to another teacher like, "Alright, I'm off to be quasi productive. Later" and Ms. Nice/Nasty is like, "Em is never productive."

    The other teacher didn't respond, Ms. Nice/Nasty said it again. Then she followed me to my classroom and said it again. TWICE.

    Finally I said, "I'm tired. Can you just go easy on me. Geez."

    She always goes, "You open the door to this stuff. I just walk through." It's like she literally sits and waits for me to say something dumb or that she can make a double inneuendo* about.

    Like the basketballs at P.E. They were flat so I said, "Wow these balls aren't very firm." Granted that was kind of funny, but it's annoying when someone is CONSTANTLY doing it.

    Another time I spelled her name wrong by ONE letter on an email and she brought it up like six times while we were talking with a couple other teachers in the break room. She;s like, "If it happens again I'm not responding."

    I tried to joke back with her and was like, "Ay Ay Captain." but then she just keeps going and going. It's so annoying!

    When I call her on the phone I'll identify myself since our names don't come up on caller I.D. and she goes sarcastically "Oh this is Em? Really? I had no idea."

    The other day she keep picking and picking at me about something menial and I snapped at her and she STILL just kept picking and picking and picking.

    I actually avoid her now, but since we're on the same team, it's kind of hard. Today I walked away from her when she was being annoying and she followed me and kind of hovered for a few minutes trying to engage me in a banter with her.

    FYI: This woman is not exactly on top of anything herself. She is always bumming worksheets, books and lesson plans off the team; is ALWAYS in trouble with the grade level chair and VP; never has sub plans ready when she's absent and has to pull ours and physically (if this even matters) she is very unattractive.

    I'm none of those things, so it could be jealousy, but it's still annoying.
     
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  3. billybob

    billybob Rookie

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    Mar 29, 2011

    This isn't funny, I know, but this woman almost seems surreal. :rolleyes:

    People I have met who are like this usually have a self-concept problem. They think they are lesser and so they try to beat everyone else down to make themselves feel powerful. LOL!:lol: I have a few 6th grade parents like this, this year!!!

    From my perspective, there just isn't a nice way to deal with someone like this, but like you, I tend to be a low key individual....until I am provoked....:mad: Then things can get unpleasant rather quickly. EVen lay back people have their limit.

    I would definetly seek a way to team with someone else in the future. Sounds like this woman has been treating people this way for awhile. We had someone somewhat similar on our grade level the past two years. She moved up to another grade level and it has been soooooo :) nice without her around.

    When I see her in the hallway, I have nothing to do with her....
     
  4. botjeanietle

    botjeanietle New Member

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    From your description, it seems this woman may repeat her "jokes" until someone finds them "funny." After the second time, I might try saying "I'm sorry, but I heard you the first time. I didn't find it funny then and I don't find it funny now." This may help her catch herself.
     
  5. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    I'm not the type to wish ill will on anyone but if she were to move to another grade level or out of the school that would be great...so long as someone worse doesn't come along:dizzy:

    That's a good idea. Maybe it'll make her feel awkward enough to shut up. I can take a joke -- I can even take being the butt of the joke, but not EVERYTIME i interact with someone:mad:
     
  6. Mellz Bellz

    Mellz Bellz Comrade

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    Have you tried confronting her on this? If you are not comfortable doing it face to face try e-mailing her. I would just approach it calmly, preferably not directly after she has said something to you. I'd just say Listen, I notice that you always have something to say about me. We don't have to be best friends, but we DO have to work together, so if there is something about me that you have an issue with it let's discuss it now like two adults. If she still refuses at that point I would discuss your issue with your P. I know that kind of makes you feel like a snitch, but she's being very unprofessional. This is not high school and she's a teacher, not the queen bee. Ugh, teachers who are so high on themselves get me so angry!
     
  7. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Mar 29, 2011

    Ah, these are fun people to handle. It's always good to have a set of ready-made comments that make your reaction coolly obvious. I swear by the list found at Etiquette Hell:
    • "That's an interesting assumption."
    • "Why would I want to do that?"
    • "So kind of you to take an interest."
    • "Have you tried the bean dip?" or some other subject changer that the offending party might follow.
    • Stony silence
    Even if she isn't shut down, your ability to not react should make you a boring target.
     
  8. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    That's a good point. The funny thing is, I don't think she feels she's a queen bee because as I said earlier, she is NOT on top of her game at all as a teacher. In fact she comes to ME for help sometimes and is forever bumming worksheets and projects I create for my own class off me to the point that I actually don't leave the cute stuff I make out because I know if she sees it, it'll be "oh, can i have a copy of this?"
     
  9. Mellz Bellz

    Mellz Bellz Comrade

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    Well at that point I would just not put my neck out for her. Maybe then she'll get the hint that when you treat other people like garbage they aren't going to want to help you. Kind of sad to think she teaches first grade. What kind of role model is she to her students? Next time she needs help I would say something like, "Sorry, I can't help you. See, I'm just not very productive, so I can't be expected to help you."
     
  10. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Ah, be a little nice nasty back to her. I'll try that. I remember once I gave her a little bit of her nice nasty back and she acted offended and was like, "Geez I was just KIDDING. you take everything so serious". *shakes head* You just can't win with a crazy person. :rolleyes:
     
  11. passionateacher

    passionateacher Comrade

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    To piggyback off MellzBellz comeback...if she says something similar to "Oh Em is never productive" you could say "Thanks and I'll remember that the next time you come BEGGING me for my worksheets (or whatever it is she asks for).

    ...or if she is following you, stop abruptly and say, "Oh hi Shadow!"

    ...or respond to her constant repeating annoying comments with "I would respond but I have a rule about responding to nonsense."

    Ok I know I sound mean and insensitive to the fact that she may be suffering from a self-esteem issue...but I don't have much patience for annoying people...even when I can understand WHY they're annoying me!

    This is also mean to say out loud, Em, but I think it is hilarious that you threw in the fact that you find her "very unattractive." Only because that has nothing to do with the issue...it just makes the whole situation kind of funny because you decided to point that out in your frustration LOL.
     
  12. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Mar 30, 2011

    I know it's mean to point out, but I guess I wanted to show that this woman is NOT superior to me in any way, not even the superficial, physical ones, so she needs to back off.

    EDIT: I probably won't say "Oh hi Shadow" only because if I engage her, she'll just keep going and going.
     
  13. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I think I would put as much distance between myself and her as possible.

    Don't respond. When she asks for help, play Bartleby the Scrivener: "I would prefer not to." When she makes a snide remark, stare her down and then continue with whatever she was saying. Be as barely civil to her as you can, but nothing beyond that.
     
  14. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Mar 30, 2011

    Keep your distance and don't engage her.

    I KNOW people like this. They have little social skills when it comes to interacting with peers. They learned at some point, their group of buddies growing up, that these put downs and constant comments when someone "opens themselves up for one" is normal interaction. I would expect this person had a small group of friends that tolerated or actively participated in this type of behavior.

    I'm not saying this is the appropriate way to act, but I don't think you will change her regardless of what action you try. Best to avoid if possible and try to just let it go. I know it is annoying, but the only one getting upset here is you. At all costs, don't take it personally. She probably will do this type of stuff to many different people.
     
  15. GreenTea

    GreenTea Rookie

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    Repeating unfunny jokes is a pet peeve of mine! My silence as a response is a courtesy - if you repeat it, I'm going to be forced out that your joke fell flat and made us all uncomfortable.

    I'm so sorry you have to put up with her. She probably thinks she's very funny and doesn't know how to interact with others. She might not be acting out of malice - sometimes people joke with someone to bond, but they just don't understand the difference between joking and mocking.

    I want to echo a2z's suggestion - don't take it personally. This is about her shortcomings, not yours!
     
  16. Rox

    Rox Cohort

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    It's really hard to know what to say to make her stop bothering you. Each person is different, so try something different each time to see what makes her stop. You've gotten many suggestions here. I'll add one more: ignore her. Anytime she says something, don't respond, and continue as normal.
     
  17. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    "Ms Nasty, it's sad that you don't have a life. I wish I could help you but at the moment I simply have too many irons in the fire"
     
  18. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    :hugs: you all are great. i really appreciate all the suggestions. i hate to come across as a cry baby or super sensitive, but enough is enough! believe me, i love joking around and being silly, but as one other poster said, there's a difference between joking around and making fun of someone.

    i've been watching her closely and i notice that she does it with a few other people too. one of the people just keeps bantering with her and the other person is just like, "hey! watch it" and she keeps saying stuff and the other person kind of laughs it off, ignores her a little and leaves the room.
     
  19. NJArt

    NJArt Comrade

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    Maybe next time she mocks you, you could say something like, "I've heard that people that make constantly make jokes at the expense of others are just trying to cover up feelings of inadequacy or low self-esteem. Do you find that to be true?"
     
  20. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    :yeahthat: :rofl: I LOVE IT!
     
  21. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    First of all, Em, you are not being whiny or overly-sensitive. The woman is being a snarky *itch. It's also not your fault OR your problem if she has low self-esteem.

    She has the maturity level of a teenage drama queen, so the best way to approach the situation is treat her like one. We've all heard the saying "If you get in an argument with one of your students, you've already lost." The same is true for her. Bantering back and forth will not solve the situation, it will actually reward her efforts and only spur her on to do more. That doesn't mean you can't use some of the comebacks suggested so far (and they have all been GREAT, btw). It just means you don't want to go beyond that one comment.

    I would try ignoring her as much as I could. This will cause an increase in her snarkiness at first, since her goal IS to get a rise out of you, but if you continue to ignore her efforts, she will eventually get bored and move on.

    Of course, I have no problem using come-backs of my own and there are times when that may be what you need to do.

    One of the main things I would do is this. If she follows you to your room again repeating her insults, simply shut the door in her face. If she opens it and comes in the room, say "I'm sorry, was the message not clear? I'm not interested in listening your childish comments right now. Make sure you close the door back on your way out." Then turn around, go to your desk and begin working.

    I also would not give her ANY of your material, lesson plans, workbooks, etc. If she makes a comment about it, just tell her "No" and let it go at that. "No" IS a complete answer and does not require further explanation. If she insists on an answer, remind her you're "never productive", so you're sure she can find better resources from someone else.

    One other comeback you could use when she follows you is to turn around and say "Was there something you needed besides trying to make yourself feel good at my expense?"

    I know what it is like to have a coworker like this. I'm sorry you're having to go through that right now, but the school year is almost done. Maybe she will move to a different team or grade level next year.
     
  22. SuzieQ

    SuzieQ Companion

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    Honestly I think she sounds like a bully and they usually know who they can talk to like that and who they can't. Is she sometimes nice to you and other times nasty? I know people like that , I just tell my other coworkers, they didn't take their "happy" medication today. I can tell when they are off their meds. Ignnore her see if she gets the hint. It seems like she needs you more than you need her.
     
  23. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Alice, you described exactly how I deal with this my own annoying person.

    I give her the respect she deserves as a human, nothing more.

    Em - I like Alice's advice.
     
  24. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    That will shut her up!! LOL
     
  25. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Kill her with kindness. Sometimes I like to hug people like that.
     
  26. pete2770

    pete2770 Comrade

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    I'm an avid supporter of the silent treatment. I'd only speak to her when it's required, and treat her unkind remarks with a shift of my focus to someone/something else.

    If I was evil though, I would tell her my remark wasn't directed at her/for her every time she said something out of line. She'd catch on fast and stop.
     
  27. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I HATE, HATE sarcastic people & I would HATE having to be in contact w/ someone like that. I'm a pretty serious person as it is (only a few close people truly know me.) You know, they always say that people who act this way or are bullies, etc. is their way to deflect their own insecurities & short-comings. Well, you could confront her or kill w/ kindness, but I personally don't know how much kindness I can give her when she's acting the way she's acting! Yet, if you confront her, she knows she's got to you.

    I think the BEST thing to do is dish it back to her like the other posters have said. You be just as sarcastic & smart assy like she's being. In the meantime, avoid her as much as you can. Sit at tables in a position where she can't come & sit next to you. Avoid eye contact. Talk to her only when you absolutely have to.

    Keep us posted on how your sarcasm works w/ her!
     
  28. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    Ugh...I can't stand people like this. A friend of mine has a BFF who treats me in much the same way this person treats you. At first, I made the mistake of firing back comments, but then she'd compain that I was attacking her and everyone would tell us to quit fighting.

    I'm not sure where it comes from. We can point fingers and claim jealousy or insecurity, but I think the simple fact is that there are people in the world who just need someone to dump on. This coworker chose you, just like this person in my life chose me. Since you're forced to retain a professional relationship with her, all you can do is try to be as adult as possible. Hopefully your peers see where the aggression is coming from and if you continue refuse to respond at her level, it will be very clear to everyone what is really going on.

    I'm sorry you have to deal with this, but good luck.
     
  29. indigo-angel

    indigo-angel Companion

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  30. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    Ms I, generally I agree with your comments on this board, but in this case, I disagree with your first advice here. :whistle: Making comebacks can only inflame the situation. I've been in a similar place, and the person who started it claimed victim status when I started throwing back similar comments and twisted it so I looked like the aggressor to other people. That's not comfortable in any relationship, but especially in the workplace.

    I do agree with your second advice about keeping a distance. That's really the best course of action when dealing with an adult who opts to act like a tween.
     
  31. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    jen12, honestly if it were happening to me, as much as it's so unlike my character, I may let 1 sarcastic comment slip in just to see what the outcome is, but yes, I'd mostly want her as far away from me as possible. Hopefully, the "disgusted & get away from me" expression on my face will give someone like that the message. I truly HATE confrontation too because you have to work w/ these people 5 days/wk.
     
  32. applecore

    applecore Devotee

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    What a bully!
    This one...I like this one!

    :hugs: for dealing with the bully.
     
  33. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Maybe she's jealous of you for some reason?
     

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