How do I gain more respect at work?
November 17, 2006 9:44 AM Subscribe
How can I gain more respect at work? I get patronized and condescended to all the time, and it's driving me nuts!
posted by sutel to human relations (29 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I work at a college and one of my roles is to support the faculty in my department (which can be anything from making copies to helping them with minor computer problems). Most of the people here are very nice and speak highly of my work. However, there are several who really grind my gears because they treat me like I'm either five years old or like I am nothing better than the dirt on the bottom of their shoes. They don't let me finish my sentences - they start completely talking over me if I have a question or comment. They generally have a look on their face that is somewhat of a sneer. They will oftentimes speak slowly and ask me, "So, do you understand that?" as though I am child who just learned how to put her shoes on by herself.
So far all I've been doing is trying to remain strictly as professional as possible and to appear as confident as I can - by sitting up straight, by taking notes, by dressing older (our office is super-casual and almost everyone wears jeans, but I've been trying to wear more "office casual" apparel lately) and I even tried putting on my glasses once to see if that would have any effect. Nada. I guess the thing that bothers me the most is that no other staff member gets treated this way.
I did just have my review and it was glowing, so I'm not worried that they're running to my boss and complaining that I'm an idiot. I do my work quickly and promptly, and although I am not perfect, I really see no reason why someone should think I'm stupid.
The patronizing thing happens to me a lot outside of work as well; I'm a small woman who looks much younger than she actually is (I'm 26 but have been mistaken for a high schooler many times). I can be quiet and a bit shy sometimes. And my job is really, basically, a glorified secretary. I accept that there are just people out there who are just jerks to women and admins alike and if it's a random stranger in a store, who cares? But I feel like since work is more of a permanent thing, short of bitching about it to my boyfriend and trying to shrug it off, is there anything I can do that will garner me more respect?