Ask B: Office Politics

Vogue.com
 
 Dear B,
I love my job and have a wonderful group of co-workers. The slight snag in the fabric though, is that one co-worker in particular talks my ear off every time she walks past my desk. She has a high-level position with the company, and so I must be polite, however how can I let her know I need to get back to work?

Sincerely, 
Chat-less Kathy 


Chat-less,

How marvelous you have such a sensational career and outstanding group of colleagues – hats off to you my professional petunia! Socializing at the office can be a slippery slope, as it’s important to be cordial, however you need to focus on the reason you’re there – work. I advise that the next time this colleague (or any chatty-kathy) swings by your desk for a catch-up session, you kindly say, “I’d love to chat, but I’m on deadline for a project right now. How about we grab lunch later this week and catch up?” In the event this falls on deaf ears and you still find her distracting you from work, you might need to take a more firm (but of course tactful) approach and say, “I’m sorry, I can’t chat right now, I’m really quite busy. Let’s catch up later,” and hopefully she will understand. Best of luck!


 

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