dear prudence: Advice on manners and morals.
Little Miss Can't-Be-Wrong
How can I cope with my stupid co-workers?
Posted Thursday, Oct. 25, 2007, at 6:59 AM ET
I'm an office manager at a very small company, where I work with three other girls. In short, I am much smarter than my co-workers. When one of them asks a dumb question (i.e., "What's so bad about Fox News?"), I try to be sensitive and explain without making them feel stupid. Sometimes, though, I get very frustrated, and it's difficult to hold my tongue. Yesterday, my co-worker's sister came in to visit and announced shamelessly that she had never heard of Craigslist. After she left, I exclaimed to my other co-workers, "I can't believe she's never heard of Craigslist!" My co-workers defended her, saying they had never heard of Craigslist until they moved to New York City. I find this preposterous. I didn't say anything else because I didn't want to come off as a snob (which is probably how I'm coming off in this e-mail; my apologies). How does one handle working with people like this? I could keep my mouth shut and go with the flow, but it makes me feel dumb when I don't speak up—I feel that if I don't acknowledge their stupidity, then I'm not doing my duty as an informed young woman.
Since you're so knowledgeable, I'll leave it to you to answer the following letter:
The three of us work in a small office with an overbearing braggart who thinks it's her job to constantly tell us how smart she is and how dumb we are. If we say something that indicates we don't agree with her political views, she rolls her eyes and gives us a lecture on how to think. If it comes up that we don't know about some Web site she's familiar with, for example, she sighs and tells us it's impossible to believe that we could be that unsophisticated. Her attitude almost seems to be that she feels it's her obligation to point out how superior she is. In some small way, we feel sorry for her because she's so unlikable, but mostly we just can't bear the sight of her. How do we get her to shut up?
—Sick of the Show-Off
Advice onÂ*manners and morals. - - Slate Magazine