Tracking Device


Dear Dharma,

I work in an office environment that is pretty chill and for the most part a great place to work.  We work hard, often through breaks and lunches during peak times, but do take extra time when things are slower.

The problem is that we have one nosy Nelly who always seems to be monitoring us.  She is not our boss, she is the same level as all of us, but has taken it upon herself to monitor our coffee and lunch breaks and make little comments. Please help!

Not My Time Card Keeper

Dear Time Card,

Yikes.  Hall monitors are annoying, aren’t they.  Especially when you’re all grown up and can probably handle your own time just fine, thank you very much.

I don’t know why it is some people are prone to taking on this unofficial role in the workplace. For fun, Dharma googled Hall Monitor – and sheesh – be glad all she does is make little comments!

In South Korea, monitors do not walk around the hall. In the morning, they are all around the school, looking for students who didn’t wear clothes and/or shoes properly or who are late for school. They catch them and write their names so they will get points for doing wrong things. If they get too many points they have to work for the school. If they get even more points after that, or an extremely high number of points, then they have to transfer to another school.

As far as I can see, you only have two mature choices here.  (I’m sure there are lots of immature options, but today we’ll stay away from those).

Here are your options:

The first is to flat out ignore her when she makes these comments.  Likely she’s looking for a reaction (really, why else would one be motivated to call out her co-workers on things that don’t even affect them!?!) and if she doesn’t get one, perhaps she’ll get the message that her comments are unwanted.

The problem with this approach is that the whole premise of being monitored fosters the feeling of mistrust.  Which can cause resentment amongst the group…

Your second choice is to gently confront the situation with a, “I’ve noticed you often make comments like that and I’m just wondering why that is?”  And then let it be awkward while she comes up with an answer.

Likely she will say she’s just joking, and that she doesn’t really care what hours everyone keeps, hahaha…  And then that will be the end of it.  She won’t be able to continue with the behaviour after publicly declaring disinterest in your hours.

Okay, fine – and the third immature option is to make her an official Hall Monitor badge and make her wear it.  How fun would that be?



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1 Comment

  • Someone like me says:

    Someone once said to me I’m going to print a t-shirt with a whistle on it and give it to you to wear. I understood a lot that day. Realized I was someone I didn’t wanted to be.

Whether you agree with Dharma or think she missed the mark on this one, leave a Comment!

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