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Amy: Barista is sick of co-worker's cold shoulder

  • Article by: AMY DICKINSON
  • August 24, 2013 - 2:00 PM

Dear Amy: I work at an independent coffee shop. The only thing I don’t love about my job is my co-worker. He will not communicate with me at all, unless I have a work question. Then he is condescending.

At first I tried to make conversation with him, but he would give one-word answers or not respond at all. Now we work in frozen silence.

The thing is, he is very chatty and affable with the customers. I can think of nothing I’ve said or done to offend him. I am a competent worker, helpful and friendly. Now I am thinking of telling the owner, “I like everything about working here except the hours I have to work with this person. In fact, I dislike working with him so much that it’s making me want to quit.” But what is she supposed to do with that? He has been there a long time, and he’s a good, reliable worker. She’s not going to fire him.

I feel as though my only option is to quit, which I don’t want to do. Any ideas?

Amy says: Your co-worker is doing his job, which is to serve customers. He may be gaslighting or trying to bully you by freezing you out, and you are doing an awesome job of taking the bait to the extent that you are considering quitting.

Obviously your day would be much more pleasant if you two were buddies, but this is not a requirement of the job. I suggest being brave enough to confront this yourself, without involving the boss. Tell him, “You don’t seem comfortable with me. Is there a problem?”

If he blows you off, you should tell yourself that he is just a curmudgeon. Do as “Mr. Sunshine” does, and save your charming interactions for the customers.

Who pays on a date?

Dear Amy: I have to offer a comment about who picks up the check at a first meeting/date.

I have been meeting women online for over two years and have probably had about 20-25 “first meetings.” One time the woman insisted on paying for lunch because I had driven a good distance to accommodate her schedule. Three times the woman has insisted on splitting the tab. Every other time the woman has allowed me to pay with little or usually no comment (other than thank you).

So while the online dating sites urge the same thing you do in regard to payment, the reality is that old habits die hard: The guy pays. For the record, I always offer to pay and see what the reaction is. I am always pleased/impressed if they offer to split the check.

Amy says: I hope the women in my audience are paying attention.

Send questions via e-mail to Amy Dickinson at askamy@tribune.com.

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