Dear Snarky – Help I Work With Someone Who Talks Like a Baby!

Dear Snarkydear_snarky_logo-1

I started a new position at work and now I supervise a woman who not only has a high-pitched voice, which I could deal with IF she didn’t constantly use baby talk, and refer to herself in the third person. It’s killing me! At first I wanted to get her fired, but it turns out she’s great at her job. Do I tell her that her voice is like fingernails on a chalkboard or do I just start wearing earplugs. It’s making me hate my job.

Signed, No Baby Talk

Dear Talk,

Ohhh my, you poor litttttle bwwba. Sorry that was mean, but I couldn’t help myself. My advice is immediately check with human resources because I’m pretty sure talking about yourself in the third person should be a fireable offense. Okay, okay, I know it’s not, BUT it should be – just saying.

Enough kidding around here’s the deal – you’re in a tough situation. As her brand new supervisor I don’t think you can tell her to start using her big girl voice in the office. That’s not going to go over well and as soon as you open that can of worms everything might become very uncomfortable. This employee could even has a speech disability. (Although that doesn’t explain the baby talk or the love of the 3rd person.)

So because she does her job well I would do the time-honored office maneuver known as making her not your problem. Promote her, transfer her, do whatever you can to get her to another part of building and hopefully someone that’s higher up and more established on the office food chain can have a serious sit down with her about maturing her vernacular.

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Dear Snarky – I’m Being Stalked By the Grammar Police

dear_snarky_logo-1Dear Snarky,

I work with the most annoying woman in the world. My problem with my co-worker is that she’s always correcting my grammar. Here’s the rub – I’m a college graduate with a minor in English  and my grammar is excellent. What she does is nit pick ridiculous stuff like the use of modern slang such as OMG and when I use contractions. Sorry I said “I didn’t know” instead of “I did not know.” How do I get her to stop? It’s driving me crazy.

Signed, Grammared Out

Dear Grammared,

First, is grammared a word? Okay, okay, I’m sorry. That was a low blow in your time of need. So let’s go with my second comment “Oh no, she did not?” Hm, that doesn’t sound as good without the use of contractions. Seriously, say it out loud. See I’m right. “Oh no, she didn’t” is so much better.

Now on to your co-worker. She sounds like one of those people whose hobby is going online and playing grammar cop and with our very digital society perhaps she’s having problems editing her behavior to fit person-to-person interaction.

What I suggest you do is use humor to not only diffuse the situation, but to oh so subtly let your co-worker know she’s being a bit of an ass. The next time she’s around I would start talking in Shakespearean sonnets and by this I mean really lay on the good old Queen’s English and throw in a lot of “me thinks,” “hath” and “doth” as in: Me thinks you hath better doth your attitude with a more pleasing resembleth.

When she asks what you’re doing gently explain that you know how much she enjoys proper grammar so you thought you would kick it way, way, old school. Hopefully, she gets the hint. If not keep talking in 16th century English. I think it’s cool.

In fact, after I read your letter I started doing it to my daughter. It totally annoyed her. You know what I call that – me winning or “I hath the upper hand on my thou fair child of mine.” (Oh my God, I love this. I may never stop.)

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