Office Coach: Office feud leaves both parties tainted
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Question: For a long time, one of my co-workers was very rude and snippy to me. Our new manager recently decided that we should be separated, so she transferred both of us to other branches. My office is now located an hour from home, which is causing a lot of problems.
Because this transfer seemed unfair, I made a complaint to our department head. Now he has scheduled a meeting with me and my manager to discuss the situation. How can I get him to move me back to my previous location?
Answer: The fact that you and your colleague were transferred clearly indicates that management holds you responsible as well. They undoubtedly view this as a silly squabble between two immature employees.
Unless you can acknowledge your contribution to the conflict, your odds of reversing the transfer will be slim. Therefore, when meeting with the department head, you should not complain about anything. You need to convince him that this has been a learning experience for you.
For example: "I am truly sorry that my disagreements with Brenda created problems for our group. By taking her remarks personally and refusing to speak to her, I made the situation worse. That was childish, and it will never happen again.
"Although I completely understand why I was transferred, the hourlong commute is creating problems in my personal life. If you could give me one more chance to work at my former office, I can assure you there will be no more issues."
If you come across as mature, professional and contrite, management may be willing to grant your request. But if you still appear to be angry or resentful, they probably won't consider it.
First Published January 20, 2013 12:00 am