Dear Barb – Working on Relationships

Dear Barb:

I work in an office with three other women. We have worked together for many years and get along okay for the most part, except that one girl doesn’t pull her weight. She spends a lot of time talking and distracting us from our work. Also if customers or maintenance people come into the office, she engages them in conversation. She discusses personal stuff with everyone. I often feel uncomfortable, but I don’t know how to get away from her. Sometimes she will talk for a half an hour and I end up having to stay late, or work on my lunch hour to get caught up. I don’t know how she manages to get her own work done. Our boss is rarely in the office and he is not aware of her behaviour. I don’t know how to handle this without causing problems with this person. A previous employee mentioned something to her about this and she ended up having to leave her job because this woman made it so uncomfortable for her. Thanks, Diana.

Hi Diana:

Sorry to hear about your dilemma. Some people just like to talk and have no consideration for others, which is obviously the situation here. As you say someone else confronted this woman and nothing changed, in fact things got worse so there’s no point it trying to reason with her. I think you need to go to your boss or human resource manager and tell them exactly what is going on. I would suggest you bring up the issue about the previous employee as well. She may have mentioned this to them as she was leaving, so if you come forward with the same issue, obviously they will realize something has to be done about it. It really is not up to you to resolve this; it is your employer’s responsibility. Thanks for your question Diana.

Dear Barb:

I am in my early twenties and I’ve been seeing my boyfriend for two years. I really love him and we get along great, however we have had our problems. About a year ago he decided he wanted to break up with me and see another girl that he was working with. I was totally heartbroken. I thought he was my forever love and I could barely function without him. So I was thrilled when he came back a few months later and wanted to reconcile. He said the other girl wasn’t who he thought she was and that he missed me and wanted us to be together. I jumped at the chance to be with him again and my life felt complete for a while. After a few months I began to have doubts about whether I could trust him and if he would do this to me again. In fact it is really affecting our relationship to the point that I am angry and hostile towards him. I’m really having doubts as to whether I even want to continue in this relationship. I still love him, but I don’t know whether I would be better off just ending this and moving on. Thanks Tamara.

Hey Tamara:

Obviously this is bothering you so much that it is affecting your relationship and making you unhappy. I think you need to have a heart to heart talk with your boyfriend and tell him how you feel. Sometimes a relationship can withstand these types of events and sometimes they can’t. It really depends on the people involved and whether the trust can be restored. Perhaps you need to talk to a counselor or even a trusted friend. Only you know if you can let this go and move forward. If you keep hanging on to your anger and mistrust the relationship will definitely fail. Hope this was helpful.

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Email your questions to Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality; your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.

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