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Coworker with poor social skills


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It would be best to just do your job without the additional unpaid unnecessary task of being the office armchair psychologist or second guessing the hiring process.

 

Exactly. As long as you don't work for him and as long as this is the extent - a simple one line text will do it. Or report to HR if it escalates I guess. And then move on and do your work.

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It makes me feel uncomfortable as I don't want to instill a negative energy and given he seems to be overly dependent on my manager (as in requesting one to one meetings every day for one hour to discuss his tasks), it might trigger more drama than it should (making me look like the bad person).

 

Could it be they hired him knowing he is on the autism spectrum so were prepared to accomodate him, or maybe he is just very conscientious. I would not bother yourself with what he does. If the manager thinks he is taking too much time, the manager will make that clear. Do NOT interevene!

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I'm not sure as to whether he is on the spectrum of autism or Asperger's and quite frankly, it may be the reason behind his lack of social skills, but it doesn't fully excuse the inappropriateness of the request to talk about things other than work. I had friends at work and tons of my former coworkers are still my friends, but it took months of us going for lunch or hanging out together at work/after work. When you're working from home and have only seen the person once and interacted with them about 3 times, it is different.

 

In my previous companies, whenever they had a hire with specific "needs" we were always advised beforehand. Again, I don't know if he is on the spectrum of autism or whether he has Asperger's or whether he's just socially awkward. I mentioned these two to ask to how I should respond to him in this light, not to judge him or say that people with special needs don't deserve to be in the corporate wold. It's not what I said or meant at all.

 

Why would I intervene in his interactions with the manager? It is simply an observation - none of my business, but it does impact me as well because whenever I try to reach out to the manager for something, he's always busy with this guy.

 

Besides, this guy also started getting involved in my work when I never asked him to/or for help. The request to have my personal number is one thing (inappropriate, but I can gloss over given the fact he may not understand social etiquette), but if he starts getting himself involved in my work, it's another conversation.

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Sad you just started there and already have friction with a co-worker your managers time allotments, etc.

 

Unfortunately they all seem to get along and you're the one labeling people with disabilities, claiming everyone is inappropriate etc.

 

Perhaps you need to get your resume updated and start looking for a better company culture fit for you.

 

So many complaints about so many people and things so soon doesn't seem like the right fit.

 

As far as what you have written, there has only been one inapp wobble about after hours chitchat which could have been handled deftly and diplomatically in one sentence.

 

Yet now it's blown up to neurology rounds and sexual harassment reports.

 

Perhaps you need more of a social life outside of work. Work your job, stay in your lane and learn to handle difficult people or situations with less wear and tear.

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As you said OP:

 

"Why would I intervene in his interactions with the manager? It is simply an observation - none of my business, but it does impact me as well because whenever I try to reach out to the manager for something, he's always busy with this guy.

 

Besides, this guy also started getting involved in my work when I never asked him to/or for help. The request to have my personal number is one thing (inappropriate, but I can gloss over given the fact he may not understand social etiquette), but if he starts getting himself involved in my work, it's another conversation."

 

I'll buck the trend here and say that it is certainly not your fault that this individual was inappropriate (regardless of the reasons, perceived and otherwise, for the inappropriateness), and I do agree, though, that you need to tell this individual to back off and keep his nose out of your work.

Be assertive OP. Be firm. Individuals like this don't much understand niceties.

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Sad you just started there and already have friction with a co-worker your managers time allotments, etc.

 

Unfortunately they all seem to get along and you're the one labeling people with disabilities, claiming everyone is inappropriate etc.

 

Perhaps you need to get your resume updated and start looking for a better company culture fit for you.

 

So many complaints about so many people and things so soon doesn't seem like the right fit.

 

As far as what you have written, there has only been one inapp wobble about after hours chitchat which could have been handled deftly and diplomatically in one sentence.

 

Yet now it's blown up to neurology rounds and sexual harassment reports.

 

Perhaps you need more of a social life outside of work. Work your job, stay in your lane and learn to handle difficult people or situations with less wear and tear.

 

Friction? I never said there was any friction, on the contrary. He takes up most of the manager's time, but as I said, it is none of my business. Whether they get along or they don't, I certainly don't know this and therefore, you certainly wouldn't have any visibility over this either, especially considering we both started this job remotely.

 

Claiming EVERYONE is inappropriate? Where did I claim "EVERYONE"? You think it is normal for a person you've met once and interacted with 3 times to ask you for your personal number to talk about things other than work in a work setting? We are talking about one person here, but OK.

 

Complaints about so many people? Who are these "so many people" when the thread revolves around one person specifically?

 

I never labeled anyone with a disability. I simply asked as to how to respond to him because I assume he has a condition and therefore did not want to create any issues as I have never dealt with this before! It's a sensitive enough approach I believe. In no way I am "labeling" anyone, I am simply addressing a fact which I believe has its importance in how I should interact with him. Did I use derogatory words to refer to him? Absolutely not.

 

Additionally - where is it blown up into sexual harassment reports when I clearly stated he is NOT flirting, but merely looking for friends (although approaching it the wrong way)? You are the one blowing this up with hypothetical facts - I didn't see this in anyone else's comments and certainly not in my posts.

 

The fact that he has started to get involved in my work & tasks when he has not been asked to is now another issue in itself. He of course is allowed to have all the time he wants with our manager but my work is off limits.

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I'm very confused - you're making this a really big deal for some reason and it seems to me you're looking for justification to critique this person and judge him and attempt to diagnose him. Please ask yourself why - would you want him to do that to you or anyone? When I was newly pregnant and not showing a maintenance guy heckled and ridiculed me for walking up stairs slowly (which I did because I was so tired from pregnancy -which as you know is a covered disability). So I went to the HR person who I spoke to regularly and reported him. But -I didn't muse about what made him so rude, inappropriate, etc. nor did I tell her my feelings or try to diagnose him. I simply pinpointed the issue - I was heckled for walking too slowly and stared at and I since he was going to be doing work in the building I wanted it to stop. I moved on right after I left her office. How about you do the same- tell him to please keep his interactions with you professional only, thanks. Short and sweet. Then move on.

 

You used highly critical and judgey words and played armchair medical professional - but why? What's it to you?

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I'm very confused - you're making this a really big deal for some reason and it seems to me you're looking for justification to critique this person and judge him and attempt to diagnose him. Please ask yourself why - would you want him to do that to you or anyone? When I was newly pregnant and not showing a maintenance guy heckled and ridiculed me for walking up stairs slowly (which I did because I was so tired from pregnancy -which as you know is a covered disability). So I went to the HR person who I spoke to regularly and reported him. But -I didn't muse about what made him so rude, inappropriate, etc. nor did I tell her my feelings or try to diagnose him. I simply pinpointed the issue - I was heckled for walking too slowly and stared at and I since he was going to be doing work in the building I wanted it to stop. I moved on right after I left her office. How about you do the same- tell him to please keep his interactions with you professional only, thanks. Short and sweet. Then move on.

 

You used highly critical and judgey words and played armchair medical professional - but why? What's it to you?

 

I'm simply responding to someone else's posts.

 

The poster above extrapolated the issue - I responded. End of the story. Nothing further to discuss.

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I'd skip any concern for how your managers choose to handle the guy--thats on them.

 

I'd sideline the home number question, and if he asks again, I'd say, "We're brand new co-workers. Let's just focus on learning how well we can work together."

 

As for the kissing, I wouldn't meet him outside of work again, so problem solved.

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Aspergers no longer exists ,it is Autism. True he has no right to your personal number or to kiss your cheek however he DOES have a right to accommodation whether it impacts your job or not.

 

Whether the term has been absorbed into a larger umbrella and doesn't exist according to DSM or not, i use the term as a descriptor to differentiate someone in this case - someone who is able to be in the work role of this coworker and to others simply appears socially awkward vs someone who it expresses much more severely in.

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Whether the term has been absorbed into a larger umbrella and doesn't exist according to DSM or not, i use the term as a descriptor to differentiate someone in this case - someone who is able to be in the work role of this coworker and to others simply appears socially awkward vs someone who it expresses much more severely in.

All Autistic people have their challenges on the day , the situation, etc etc..I know an Autistic person who is a published author and advocate who has been on TV and the CEO of Autistic led group, yet some days has severe issues coping with with anything.

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Whilst I agree on the fact that "creepy" does not equal being autistic, I don't think I used the term "creepy". I've dealt with "creepy" female and male coworkers. This guy is on a different spectrum altogether. If anything, I don't find him "creepy" as it clearly seems he has social adaptation issues. I would have used the term "creepy" if he was on that spectrum. He actually had 4 interviews for the role whereas I had two interviews which both lasted 10 minutes. I understand companies are not seeking a neurological assessment when interviewing candidates, but if a candidate clearly displays a severe lack of social skills, it may be questionable as to whether to can easily adapt to a team setting.

 

I'm not too familiar with Asperger's. It came to my mind, but as I have never encountered anyone with Asperger's, I'm not entirely sure as to whether it might be it.

 

I've had colleagues from all over the world (Italy, Spain, Argentina, Ireland, France etc...) and none of these people ever kissed me on the cheeks on our first meeting. Sure, once I had left the companies or if I hadn't seen them in a while, but certainly not my first time meeting them. It's simply not professional. It's not the main issue, the main issue is that we have specific guidelines and he didn't seem to really have an understanding of those.

 

His lack of social skills make me think that he probably doesn't have any ulterior motives, but if I think about the same situation with an individual who has "average" social skills, it would be deemed highly inappropriate. I'm actually surprised as to how he actually asked this over Skype at work which happens to be a monitored tool and all conversations are actually saved in my Outlook. I can easily trace all communications I've had with anyone in the firm.

 

It makes me feel uncomfortable as I don't want to instill a negative energy and given he seems to be overly dependent on my manager (as in requesting one to one meetings every day for one hour to discuss his tasks), it might trigger more drama than it should (making me look like the bad person).

 

It takes time to adjust to a new company. Just give yourself time to grow with it and don't nitpick these small issues. Give him the cold shoulder and don't put yourself out there or volunteer any personal items (any convo not related to work). Without any one of us there to figure things out and you too being new, it's anyone's guess what this person really is. He could be inexperienced (little to no work experience), just new in general like you and feeling a bit chafed and unsettled by a new work environment. I had one interview and was hired the same day for my current employer. Other employees had two interviews for positions requiring less experience. Frankly I think it was just fluke and by chance and means nothing. It doesn't matter in the end. You're both teammates now so leave all this other stuff at the door. Things will work out if you give it a chance. Keep your eyes on the ball and don't let these things get to you.

 

A note too on help and assistance with your manager - some employees do need more help with tasks or more guidance. Not everyone arrives with the same levels of experience or confidence when tackling jobs. Some are more proactive and others less so. There are cultural differences, differences in experience, age, and anything under the sun that you can think of. That's why it's a whole profession managing staff and talent in a company. Leave this stuff to the professionals and the managers. If you find other staff looking to you for direction or needing help on something you have more experience on, don't be afraid to share your knowledge. If you think it warrants a team meeting or inclusion of your manager, bring it up.

 

You seem to have a lot of enthusiasm and proactiveness. You're thinking. I like it. Keep up the momentum and stay on track.

Edited by Rose Mosse
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Everyone has the right to set their own boundaries and feel comfortable at work. People should be treated as they would like to be treated. As long as you are being professional and getting the job done, that should be it. If you are not comfortable being in a social situation, particular on non-work times, then say let him know. Tell him firmly but politely that you like to keep your work and personal life separate. Kissing, or any invasion of personal space, should not be allowed. I'd give him a pass in case he does have social issues, but let him know that it's not appropriate and that it could cause problems for him. If he continues to push to a point that you are not comfortable with, it needs to be escalated to HR.

 

I think you're handling an uncomfortable situation well. I find that if you keep things strictly business, others tend to respond in kind.

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