Sierra’s Spicy Takes: Dealing with issues involving coworkers

What do you do if you hate your coworker?


Photo and illustrations by Emily Rabasto - The State Hornet

Meet the face behind the new advice column at The State Hornet "Sierra's Spicy Takes," Sierra Savage.

Sierra Savage, Distribution manager

Reader be advised: Sierra’s Spicy Takes is, as the kids might say, NSFW. Read at your own discretion.

This week in Sierra’s Spicy Takes, we’re addressing the messy world of coworkers and the trials and tribulations that come along with those relationships. Read on for my takes on the good, the bad and the overly flirty.

Q: “What do you do if you hate your coworkers?”

— The King of Spades

A: I know I’m lucky because for the most part, because I don’t hate my coworkers.There’s occasionally a Facebook fight that doesn’t involve me and where my black coworker has to defend the Black Lives Matter movement to my seemingly racist white coworker. Those aren’t great times. However, for the most part, my coworkers are cool people.

I think if you hate your coworkers, you should really examine why. Everyone hates people that they’re forced to spend long amounts of time with but if the hate is more than the average amount, I think it’s worth examining.

If it’s just general annoyance, you’ll have to ask yourself if it’s worth minimum wage (or whatever you’re paid) to spend however many hours per week with them. For me, I can put up with the negatives of the occasional racist or watching one of my supervisors openly stare at women who pass by because I genuinely enjoy the job. I could also afford to spend time looking for a new job if I needed to, and I fully acknowledge that not everyone could.

If you hate your coworkers because they’ve genuinely done something wrong to you or another person, I think those are valid concerns and should be brought up to the Human Resources department at your work.

Capitalism is already the worst. There’s no reason to put yourself through more grief just because you don’t want to be the bad guy. I don’t care how long they’ve been there or how fun everyone thinks they are.

Misbehavior isn’t OK just because they’re somehow an exception to the rule. I’m very much of the belief that if you believe what you’re doing is the right thing to do, then you should do it. I also know that I sometimes have a too-strong sense of personal justice, so take this advice with a grain of salt.

You have to be realistic about what you’re able to do without causing yourself emotional or financial harm. If that means the only thing you can do is complain to your best friend over a bowl of macaroni and cheese or during a break in the middle of a Netflix marathon, then I 100 percent recommend that.

RELATED: Welcome to ‘Sierra’s Spicy Takes’: The State Hornet’s new advice column

Q: “My boyfriend works with a very flirty girl that ‘likes’ his social media posts (FB, Twitter, Insta) that only feature himself, not me. Even if I’ve commented on a post, she will have nothing to do with it. But it’s more than her social media presence that suggests she disrespects the relationship. She once asked if he’d be interested in going to a mutual friend’s party and seemed shocked that he said no, he was going on a trip with me over the weekend. She’s also randomly verbally shared with him that she had an “infection” but didn’t specify (totally out of the blue, nothing leading up to it.) Who DOES that? Was it an STI? A cold? A way to show she’s sexually active and she’s free to play after it’s cleared?! So. Many. Questions. While I trust him, I also know this isn’t the first time she’s treated a taken man this way. Should I confront her before she goes any further?”

— Crabby Cakes

A: I should warn you that you’re not gonna like this answer.

You should trust your boyfriend and let him deal with his own coworker.

All of those things are weird and I don’t think you’re wrong to feel uncomfortable with it at all. If I were you, I would try communicating with your boyfriend first because this seems like an easy fix in theory. If your boyfriend cares about you and also sees the problem, he’ll hopefully make the effort to curb his relationship with his coworker from a casual one into a more formal one. It should be his responsibility to set his own boundaries — whether that be with her or with you.

If he’s not uncomfortable with his relationship with his coworker and you still feel threatened, then it’s important to look at why you feel that way.

Is it a sense of possession? Are you worried that he might be interested in or leave you for her? Does it just seem icky to you? If it’s any of those, you might want to work on consciously choosing to trust your partner.

You’ll never be able to control his behavior or the behavior of everyone he comes into contact with; in moments of weakness, we all low-key wish we could and it’s important to truly be OK with the realization that we cannot. Which is much, much easier said than done.

I work with my ex of 2 1/2 years. It’s really hard sometimes, especially when I watch him flirt with some of our other coworkers or with people who come into our work. I have to trust that he will choose to not blatantly do things to hurt my feelings and cares about our friendship enough to be respectful of my feelings.

With all that being said, are you right about there being something shady going on? Probably.

I’m pretty low-key at work. Like, I’m showered but nine out of ten times I’m rocking the fresh-faced look of no makeup.

This didn’t stop me from trying to flirt with one of my coworkers. Also, shout out to my coworkers because I know a portion of you read this column. Which makes telling this story the most nerve-wracking of any so far.

We’re gonna call this man “Work Bae” because that’s what I’ve been calling him all summer.

I met Work Bae almost as soon as I started working there and immediately thought he was way too cute and way too cool. It turned out he is really cool, but he’s also really nice.

It also turned out that he’s on Tinder. I found him and my friend had to convince me to swipe right at all.

I clearly had a crush, but he’s a coworker and I was still semi-new at the job. I didn’t want to stir anything up. This was really the first time I had been actually interested in someone and not just interested in hooking up since I had broken up with my ex. I wasn’t used to the butterflies that come along with the beginnings of being actually into someone.

We matched two days later and I lost my mind. I was on the phone with one of my best friends, Wendy, when I got the notification and thank god I was, because I literally threw my phone across the room. That moment was maybe the most reactive I have ever been. Shout out to Speck for keeping my delicate iPhone from immediately breaking.

The next day, I saw some good friends from high school and in the middle of day drinking, my friend Audrey sent the message to Work Bae on my Tinder saying, “Glad we matched because I think you’re really cute,” a move that felt like a lot.

We talked a bit more but sometimes took more than a day for him to respond. It wasn’t particularly interesting but sometimes you have to struggle before you find a good conversation point. Then everything kinda halted when I was forced to take a month and half off work because of a car accident.

When I finally came back, I was excited to see if anything would spark. Nothing did. If anything, I just feel like he’s thinking about it in like 25 percent of the interactions that we have now.

It’s weird, but I don’t regret it because I always wondered what could’ve been. And it’s fine now, because Work Bae is now on tour with his band for the next two months. Hello again coworkers, because if you didn’t already know, you definitely do now.

Don’t forget to submit your questions here or below and come back next week to read more Spicy Takes with Sierra!