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by Abigail Van Buren

Colleague's Debby Downer Attitude Wears Thin

DEAR ABBY: I am increasingly frustrated with a colleague's daily demeanor. She's a supervisor in my department, although I no longer report directly to her. But my office is adjacent to hers, and I see her frequently.

Every day when she arrives, I greet her with my standard, "Good morning, how are you?" and she replies with a heavy sigh and some vague remark about how tired she is or some other general complaint. Even if I don't ask about her welfare, she will still offer the same negative remarks. She does this with other co-workers as well. Is there an effective response I can offer that would help her to reframe, or at least stop with the heavy martyrdom? -- TIRED OF HEARING IT

DEAR TIRED: Because she constantly volunteers (with a heavy sigh) that she's "tired," consider pointing out that she has been saying this same thing for a long time and suggest she consult a doctor about it. The one thing you should definitely stop doing is personalizing it the way it appears you do.

Read more in: Work & School | Etiquette & Ethics