Co-worker won’t stop texting me outside of work.

9 days ago

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Chimchimcheree92

I work for a company that gave us a week off for Christmas and New Year’s but during the weekend right before I was suppose to go back I contracted a stomach flu. Due to my work’s policy I had to get ahold of their personal covid hotline and it took days to get through due to a high volume of calls. Well, my 52 year old coworker has not stopped texting me since. Every day, at all hours, I have received texts about how shitty work had been for her, how busy she is, how it’s unfair for her, etc. the funny thing is, is she’ll tell me that it’s okay I’m not there and to rest up and then text me 12 times immediately afterwards about how horrible it is right now. Plus, now she’s texting me after work hours, as well. About her dentist, her kids’ cats, her plans for dinner, just the most random things. If I don’t text her back, she’ll just text me again and again until I do, saying things like “you must be napping.”. It’s way too much for me. I don’t even text my actual friends this much. I’ve never wanted to be friends with my coworkers either, it’s important to me to keep work and home separate and because of these constant texts, I wasn’t even able to rest while I was majorly sick. I was constantly stressed and thinking about work when I couldn’t even do anything in that moment to help. It has really rubbed me the wrong way and I can guarantee the first thing I see when I open my eyes now is a text from her. Or maybe 5 if I haven’t texted back fast enough. Is there a way to put texting boundaries in place with her? It’s overwhelming for me at this point.


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Comments

  • MuirIV

    Do Not Disturb mode or silence notifications for her number. You are not mandated to check your phone. It’s a habit, an addiction of the modern age. She’s doing it, it’s driving you crazy. You can talk to her about it if you like her, if you don’t really like her, just ghost her until you feel like replying.

    9 days ago

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    • justinwardell

      Came to say this. Also, you can set whose texts go through even on DND-so your significant other, parents, siblings, etc.

      9 days ago

  • MediocreOverthinker

    I had a coworker like that. I told her to straight up stop.

    9 days ago

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  • Proof-Boysenberry-29

    She’s probably lonely

    9 days ago

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    • Chimchimcheree92

      Very much so.

      9 days ago

  • blaine1028

    Block your coworker’s number. They shouldn’t even need your personal cell number

    9 days ago

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    • Specific-Layer

      Yeah create a Google Voice number for coworkers and all the random stuff you sign up for. Then when you find out the person isn't going to be calling you 24/7 given your regular number if needed.

      9 days ago

  • LeaveForNoRaisin

    She thinks you’re her friend to vent to. Mute her and maybe respond once a day and eventually she’ll catch on. If she decides to get mad at you about it just straight up tell her you don’t want to be texted all day and night.

    9 days ago

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  • LR_today

    "Please do not text me unless it is an emergency and during work hours, related to work emergencies only that require my involvement. I will need to block your number if you continue to text me for non emergency issues"

    9 days ago

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    • MediocreOverthinker

      Exactly what I told my colleague. She never called me again.

      9 days ago

  • Jammer250

    Your coworker seems lonely AF, to be honest. Do you know if your coworker tends to gossip with other colleagues? I would tread carefully about just telling her to stop, she seems like the vindictive type to talk to others about you if you tell her off. Would you be opposed to telling your manager? It’s clearly affecting your mentality and will affect your work if you let it continue.

    9 days ago

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    • pinkmariposa

      I would show her Reddit so she can vent here about her shitty job 🤣

      9 days ago

  • Chimchimcheree92

    I should also state that we share an office together and she can be a bit petty with me, considering I got hired in august as a temp, only to be promoted up into her position grade in October and she’s constantly making sly comments about it. I.E. saying how lucky I am to have moved up as fast as I did or that it took her years to move up. I’m educated and a quick learner, she’s not. She’s really good about making me feel bad for my own life experience at this company and she still treats me like a temp assistant and not her equal, even though I’ve been in my new position since October.

    9 days ago

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    • Chazzyphant

      A great way to handle passive aggressive nonsense is to take it 100% at face value. Dottie: "You're lucckkkyyyy to have moved up so fast." You: "Sure am! Hashtag blessed, amirite? Anyway, about those TPS reports." Dottie: "Gee, I wish iiiiiiii could move up so fastttt" You: "Mm, yeah sounds tough. Anyway, about those TPS reports." Just train her that you're a boring audience for that nonsense. Look up "gray rock technique" and see if that works.

      9 days ago

  • Chazzyphant

    I'd give it one firm, direct attempt and then go to HR/block. "Dottie, I've made a NY resolution to keep work at work. So with that in mind, I'd like to respectfully ask you to stop texting me outside of work hours and about personal stuff. It's just too much--I won't be answering any more texts from here on out. I'm sure you understand. Thanks!" ...and then block her #. Unless you work in a life saving medical field, there's no reason she *needs* your number. If she complains what is she going to say? "I'm upset I can't text OP personal things outside of work?" come on. But I'd use the excuse of "I'm on a digital detox" or similar so it doesn't seem like it's just her and she doesn't get hurt and try to retaliate. I'd also go to HR and ask for a new desk location, honestly.

    9 days ago

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  • onyxbruce

    Be direct with her and let her know you will not be responding to texts outside of work hours regardless of what they are about. Everyone but me in my office has a work cell phone. Somehow my personal number got shared and I had one or two employees text me over the weekend asking me work related questions. I answered one time to be polite but told them on Monday that I will not be responding to any work texts outside of normal work hours. Haven't heard from them since. I'd start with a conversation and then go to your manager.

    9 days ago

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  • madmax77xl

    I feel like as soon as you tell her to stop she will start to get super petty

    9 days ago

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  • Donut-These

    Is there a big age difference here? I’m reading it as you are 20s-30s and she’s 52 and maybe doesn’t get text etiquette? You can straight up lie, and say you have a limited number of texts each month and that your bill is through the roof. I agree with another poster she sounds lonely and is now focusing all her energy on you. When she complains be sure not to respond in kind, she seems like someone who may use whatever you’ve said against you. This is truly unusual and not normal behavior so I’m not sure there’s a normal way to handle it. HR won’t help in my opinion, they have much larger concerns. I don’t think confronting her will help if she’s already passive aggressive. I think a crafty lie is the way to go.

    9 days ago

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    • Chimchimcheree92

      Thank you. Yes, there is an age gap. I’m 29 and she is 52. Everyone saying she is lonely is 100% accurate. I know a lot about her personal life because she tells me all the time. She doesn’t have anyone but her grown kids. I don’t plan on going to HR, I’m still in my probation period and that would not look good on me. I’m in a job that was a career change for me, so the office environment is new for me but I know this is very unprofessional and intrusive. I will definitely craftily lie to get her to stop this major uptick in text messages. I return to work tomorrow so we’ll see how it goes.

      9 days ago

  • WhineAndGeez

    This is why I don't give my number to my coworkers. I give it to HR because I have to. If it gets out through HR I go off. I'd make the statement simple. "Hi Coworker. This number is for work related EMERGENCIES only during work hours only. Thank you." When she began texting I wouldn't have responded. If she texts again remind her of what you told her, bid her goodbye, then block her.

    9 days ago

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    • Chimchimcheree92

      I wish I had known this. This job is a career change for me so I was not completely aware of office policy. When I first started, she asked me for my number saying that it will be needed at some point due to the place I work at. So I gave it to her. Ever since, it’s been intrusive texting, this last week being the absolute worst of it. I have now realized that I was naive. It’s such a boundary break for me.

      9 days ago

  • Asleep_Omega

    Block

    9 days ago

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  • TxAggieJen

    I just would not respond at all. She will get bored eventually. If she asks you (in-person) why you never answered, just say you've been busy with personal issues and don't feel like talking about it.

    9 days ago

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  • dmforprice

    She's just lonely, tell her to see a therapist.

    9 days ago

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  • MixInTheWrongGenes

    To put on DND will block all calls and all messages from everyone so perhaps this is not the best course of action. So, why not just telling her something similar to: "I am sorry, but I am realy ill and in order for me to be back at the office as soon as possible, I need my rest and to be left alone. I am hapy to cath up with you when I am back at work, but for my health adn a speedy recovery, I need to be able to sleep, and puke without interuptions."

    9 days ago

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  • Kranon7

    Block them.

    9 days ago

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  • MelancholyMaltster

    I think she thinks/wants to be your friend. You’re probably dealing with someone who is very lonely or doesn’t under boundaries.

    9 days ago

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  • Blissful-Solitude

    I'm dealing with this right now with an ex coworker who had turned into a major creep. I blocked his number but he still fucking calls me and knows where I live. Im about to tell him to kick rocks so he will leave me the fuck alone ....

    9 days ago

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  • ceroij

    I've never been that bad, but I have gotten lonely when I lived in cities where I was just there for work. Best polite strategy is to respond very rarely and don't engage so she naturally starts backing off.

    9 days ago

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  • Mojojojo3030

    Just stop answering and block her number. At least if you have an iphone, she won't get any sign you blocked her. If she asks say you're not a text person. The fact that you answered before now doesn't matter, say it anyway. If she doesn't believe you and thinks you're ignoring her, great.

    9 days ago

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  • Cheap-Salamander2643

    I had a coworker like that. I started ignoring the texts and only respond during working hours. And when I respond I would give short answers that don’t prompt a back and forth response. He did this to his team as well (we were both managers). One of his team members complained and but he still justified his actions saying “he cares so much about his team” even though we have a strict no-texting after work policy so people have work life balance. He started to read the room a bit after. It was so annoying.

    9 days ago

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  • biguccies

    Misery loves company.

    9 days ago

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  • JustMMlurkingMM

    Just block her number. She’s not your boss. She doesn’t need it anyway.

    9 days ago

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  • sparkysparks7

    Are you her therapist? If not, you don't have to bother. You can straight up tell her that you find it unacceptable to receive these constant texts outside of the office. These people usually have some personal problem that isn't our responsibility to take care of. If she doesn't take it lightly, you can always focus on your own work or take it to a superior/HR. I have a co-worker that sounds very similar to your co-worker. I didn't respond to her text checking in on me during my COVID leave because I knew it would open up a can of worms for her to complain about. She already tried to find a flaw in how our company handled the situation judging from her tone when I let her know I tested positive. I came back to the office and she hasn't said a word to me since and thankfully blocked me on social media. Just unhinged people and their self-sabotage. I wouldn't worry too much. You can always silence her notifications or block the number.

    9 days ago

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  • AnyAdministration234

    Pretty sure this was targeted harassment meant to set you off. Had you responded to her texts in an angry manner she mist likely would have lodged a complaint with HR

    9 days ago

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    • AnyAdministration234

      I suggest letting HR know what has happened to CYA. She may well have been overstepping her job description with her behaviour. Maybe HR needs to better educate all employees seems like her texts were misdirected and should have been forwarded to her immediate supervisor

      9 days ago

  • HairlessHoudini

    If it that bad block her # and tell her you cut your phone off to save money because you were out of work sick. And if she see you on your phone after that hopefully she get it

    9 days ago

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  • Mister_Titty

    Sounds like you've made a friend.

    9 days ago

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  • pettybtchme03

    She may be lonely. But you are going to have to tell her straight up.

    9 days ago

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  • Some_Calligrapher397

    I don't know if you know how to mute someone's notifications, but this is a sure case for it

    9 days ago

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  • HidekiL

    I had a co worker like this. I didn’t really mind much and it actually helped me down the road. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve always tried asking myself why a person is acting the way they are. You probably know her better then anyone of us can guess, so you can probably come to the conclusion on your own. If it’s not for anything bad ie just lonely perhaps just pretending your busy would work best. I always was horrible at texting people, so I just tell them to call. If I’m not busy I’ll answer, if I don’t want to talk I let it ring and I’ll see you at work. Simple.

    9 days ago

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  • Jolly_Tea7519

    I was in a situation like this and I just told the person. “I’m sorry but I am not on my phone to reply like this. I don’t mind the occasional text but the rate which you text me is overwhelming.” If you don’t want even the occasional text just say nicely and firmly, “please stop texting me when I’m not at work.”

    9 days ago

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  • altmarie

    Temporarily block her number? IIRC if text messages are blocked there's no notification. And if it's a phone call "the number is unavailable." Oh wait, no. Just DND/airplane mode? and silence notifications. She shouldn't be spamming you with text messages outside of work. :/

    9 days ago

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  • KittyMeowTwix

    You can actually put her number as spam and that's where it will go. She doesn't have to know, just say your not much of a texter. So you can view her texts in your spam folder when you feel like it. At some point she either take the hint or you'll just have to be blunt with her and let her know..you aren't trying to be rude but if it's not actually work emergency related, you're more than likely not gonna respond.

    9 days ago

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  • KyleCAV

    "Hey can we just keep this personal" or "I don't answer my work phone outside of work" put a do not disturb on you phone on certain times. It seems like as others said you have a lonely coworker who just wants to talk and thinks she is your friend. As I said above you got to be firm with her and just be flat out I want to keep this relationship personal.

    9 days ago

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  • Jordangander

    Text back the goriest things you can think of. Discuss vomiting and bowel movements, talk about dead friends, things that will turn her off wanting to hear from you. Respond like this to every text.

    9 days ago

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  • consumervigilante

    Be blunt with her and tell her you're not much for texting unless it is an emergency. It's really shocking to me. I am a GENX'r-46 years old. I grew up in the 80's. People in the past were able to compartmentalize their lives. Today boundaries are blurred due to these smart phones that have made people really dumb. I say it's shocking because I expect this behavior from millennials and Genz but I am astounded that a 52 year old (definitely in Genx territory) doesn't remember a time when life was compartmentalized, meaning there is a time and a place for everything. It flat out annoys me when people my age and older act like young kids constantly texting on their devices. Pick up the phone and have a real conversation-call and talk to people rather than this constant texting. It's annoying and in your case it's intrusive. You need to let her know that. You don't need to be mean about it. But be firm. Set conspicuous boundaries for your own sake and sanity.

    9 days ago

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    • Elle_Pandora

      I think NOT growing up with cell phones and the ability to text 24/7 can be problematic for many people. Etiquette regarding texting, or understanding that other people are not obligated to respond back, or being hurt that a text conversation wasn't ended with an established "Good bye" like a phone call, any kind of unwritten messaging rules are just lost on many people who haven't been texters for a large portion of their lives (not all, of course. Most are no where near this obnoxious).

      9 days ago

  • PaisFigo

    She thinks you're friends. Just be nice...don't respond to every one and then maybe joke with her about it. "Wow, you love texting, I never check texts. I think you and my mom are the only people who text me, you must think I'm ignoring you. I just never text anyone"

    9 days ago

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  • artful_todger_502

    I tell people I am taking online courses, which I really am, but tell them my free time is devoted to assignments. I need every minute to stay on schedule. I don't even check my phone until there morning. That is a passive way of telling them to not ever expect a response. I really hate phone socializing in any form.

    9 days ago

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  • softlemon

    Tell her her texts are way too much for you.

    9 days ago

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  • ponderhope

    Why would you give your coworker your number

    9 days ago

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  • ajny2021

    Shes just lonely. Have a heart.

    9 days ago

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  • Zombie-Gnomes

    Just block them with your phone. And report it to HR after you’ve told them to stop.

    9 days ago

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  • STLast_stop

    Just block her or go to HR. You should not have to deal with all her crap.

    9 days ago

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  • Daydream-Believer8

    You can say your SO is concerned about the texts that you're receiving. Its probably best if we only text about work related stuff during work hours. I think lines are getting blurred because we want to feel connected to people.

    9 days ago

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  • Motor-Present5989

    I think she’s intentionally messing with you, trying to piss you off

    9 days ago

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  • Accomplished_Cap_544

    Tell her to stop . Simple. Don’t live in fear. Tell her only text you during work hours, when your home , it’s your time .

    9 days ago

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  • Aintnobdygttime4dat

    Block her, she’ll get the message.

    9 days ago

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  • Kaiisim

    Id recommend do not disturb and ignoring her and then making excuses as for why. My personal one is to tell them I just turn it off at weekends to relax or I dont check it. If you become unavailable she really has no way to be offended or push it.

    9 days ago

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  • Lunar-Sunlight

    You can set boundaries for yourself and with your phone and you don’t have to explain yourself to anyone

    9 days ago

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  • SpaceCommanda

    OP, as someone in the "middle aged" group, do not respond. When I was a GM, I had *young* people getting all salty about grievances on my Facebook Wall. Granted, I was promoted after being "Friends". It doesn't matter how old anyone else is: *if you don't feel comfortable, don't do it*! Think about it like this... If you had to talk to her outside of work, or if she was a relative, would you feel comfortable? Does she use and abuse you? That's a hard *no*, forget the circumstances! Just do not respond. And I understand the guilt, I do, but no one else will set boundaries for you. That is your sole job! I wish you well!

    9 days ago

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  • Hardnipples0

    Block her. You don’t owe her a reply or an explanation. She’s not your friend.

    9 days ago

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  • MidwestMSW

    Silence notifications from this number. Also explain to them via text your out I'll and harassing you for taking sick time is unacceptable. Then send it all to your manager.

    9 days ago

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  • jonstarks

    sounds like she has no friends and wants someone to hate the job with.

    9 days ago

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  • era_2000

    Jesus, grow up op, just set boundaries like an adult or mute her texts instead of crying on Reddit that the weird girl keeps talking to you.

    9 days ago

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  • doktorsick

    Block , why are you dealing with that ?

    9 days ago

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  • kissyb

    Block them. I do. 😁. When I get off work I block all of them in the car then I drive home. I unblock when I get to work. It's also lovely to set boundaries and send a kindly worded email to the person and cc your boss asking them to not contact you outside of work. If you are not on call your personal cell phone should never be used to communicate with anyone at work. Lastly block them on all social media. Even if they are not on your friend list search for them and block them on ✨everything✨. I have been working full time since 2008 I speak from experience.

    9 days ago

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  • Brilliant-Emu-4164

    Can you not just block her number?

    9 days ago

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  • ribbonsofgreen

    Just block her till you go back. Tell her you were resting.

    9 days ago

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  • xXCoolNameHereXx

    Blocking coworkers number sounds good to me. I never gave out my number at work to co workers. Boss had my number so I could call in sick when it was a nice day outside and I felt like taking my dog to the park instead of working.

    9 days ago

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  • AKchic

    Put her on mute. Drop the rope with her. She’s a co-irker (yes, IRKER), not a friend, not your supervisor, and certainly not someone you’re trying to impress. Your only obligation to her is to be cordial to her at the job site. When she asks at site why you didn’t reply to the myriad messages while you were off, be tactful. You were sick and kept your phone on Do Not Disturb with only your emergency contacts allowed to bypass it. You kept it that way until you got back to the job site and decided that since you’d see her anyway, you’d just acknowledge the texts in person. Also, you’re not a texter even with your friends (implication: she’s not a friend).

    9 days ago

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  • setittonormal

    I empathize with you because this is super awkward. I would give bland responses like "I'm sorry to hear that" when she complains about work and not engage otherwise. If you are nonconfrontational, you could just block her number. If you are comfortable being honest and firm, you could just tell her, "I'm having a hard time keeping up with all these texts. I have a lot going on in my personal life and I'm not available to text this much. Let's just touch base in person when I'm back at work."

    9 days ago

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  • xMrjamjam

    Block the number, you don't owe anyone an explanation if she can't take the hint that's her problem. I bet she's done this to countless other people too

    9 days ago

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  • shitpostlord4321

    Finally someone else who gets it. I don't get a job and go to work to make friends, I'm there to fucking work. I'm sick of this weird obnoxious obsession that has been made a standard for some reason that you MUST be all jolly and happy with your coworkers like if you've known them for years. If we end up becoming friends, that's fine. Nothing wrong with that. What's so bad about someone coming to work and just minding their own business? A lot of coworkers act like narcissistic dickheads anyways.

    8 days ago

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  • Swellyrides

    She’s probably into you

    9 days ago

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    • Chimchimcheree92

      Definitely not.

      9 days ago

  • makeitfunky1

    How did your coworker get your cell number? Did you innocently exchange numbers for friendly texts to complain about work etc, and now it's out of hand? If so, consider this a learning experience. If you are serious about being professional and keeping work and personal life separate, never exchange personal cell numbers with coworkers, unless you trust them. It sounds like she has always been like this, and you are just finding out now and you regret it. You'll have to find a way to get her to stop, but now she's going to be even more vindictive. I hope you didn't text her anything that could reflect badly on you. I wish you luck!

    9 days ago

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    • Chimchimcheree92

      No, she asked for it when I first started saying that because of the place we work at, we would eventually need each other’s numbers. This job is a career change for me so I was naive on office policy when I first started, so my mindset was that this seasoned employee must know best. I have learned my lesson, thank you.

      9 days ago

  • flowe_

    This week 2 Amazon workers DIED on the clock after being denied sick leave.

    9 days ago

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  • Country_2_theSoul

    Sounds to me like she’s lonely and wanting some dick. Quit bitchin dude!

    9 days ago

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  • Passonfruit95

    Girls do this all the time to me she’s pretty lonely or has some mid life crisis, ask if she needs some help if she’s says no then block her or jus don’t respond be like I was busy I forget or I’m not a good texter if she reallly shits in your cereal then tell HR or leave

    9 days ago

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