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Examples of personal questions to avoid

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
What are some personal questions to avoid asking ppl you're just getting to know?
Like when you only met someone a few times and started talking. Or coworkers. Where is the boundary between being friendly and getting too personal? Can someone give me an example? Thx

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    "Hey, you must be the new coworker, it's nice to meet you, my name is xx, may I perchance see your tits?"

    This is a bit too personal. Try to save this until the coworker accommodated first.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Where are the boundaries between friendly and being intrusive? I asked a coworker coming in from a 2nd job where else he works. He went, "somewhere." Then he walked away.

    Or asking someone borrowed from another dept if she's transferring permanently to ours. My supervisor said that was inappropriate of me to ask.

    And when someone said she works tomorrow, I replied that working 8 days in a row is a lot. She accused me of keeping track of her hours bc nobody pays attn to that.

    Or asking if someone is working from home.

    I made shitload of similar comments that May or may not be work related but gets into ppl's business. But idk if it was really that bad that ppl had to complain so...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Generally people can find it an intrusion if you're asking questions that could come across as their personal circumstances. There are lots of people who like to keep their work and personal lives separate.

    Safe questions to ask are usually things like 'How was your weekend?', 'Got any plans for the weekend?', 'Did you get a chance to enjoy the sunshine?' etc. Something vague that people can either give a proper answer to and continue a conversation from, or happily get around with a vague answer like fine/busy/quiet etc.

    Asking someone if they're changing departments at work may be a sensitive subject. It might be that they're keen to move but their management don't want them to, or they may be being made redundant, or that they've asked to stay but your management don't have a space for them etc. You could phrase the same point slightly differently, by asking if they know how much longer they're going to be with your team for - and it's a more gentle question. Similarly, rather than saying that 8 days in a row is a lot - you could offer a sympathetic comment like 'you've been working loads recently, you must be looking forward to some time off' - rather than saying something that implies you may have been keeping track of their hours exactly.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Asking personal questions isn't ur only problem. Didn't u used to fuck around too much at work? Especially hitting on the assistant manager? Oops I said too much.
  • Danny!Danny! Posts: 560 Miniposter
    Where are the boundaries between friendly and being intrusive? I asked a coworker coming in from a 2nd job where else he works. He went, "somewhere." Then he walked away.

    Or asking someone borrowed from another dept if she's transferring permanently to ours. My supervisor said that was inappropriate of me to ask.

    And when someone said she works tomorrow, I replied that working 8 days in a row is a lot. She accused me of keeping track of her hours bc nobody pays attn to that.

    Or asking if someone is working from home.

    I'm just wondering about these questions, as none of them necessarily seem too intrusive. Workplaces can be funny social spaces. You can find yourself spending a lot of time with people who you wouldn't necessarily in other circumstances, and the boundaries between professional and personal are not only fairly undefined, but vary from person to person (which makes it hard to give a solid example). There is always an element of trial and error in getting to know new people, so don't be too hard on yourself if it doesn't always go right.

    It's possible that you just had some bad luck with hitting on sensitive issues for people. That happens sometimes, and hopefully if it's clear that your intentions were good the other person wouldn't think anything more of it.

    Or it might be that you're just talking to some very private or sensitive people. If questions about people's work seem to be causing problems, then maybe it would be worth avoiding them? Scary Monster has some good alternatives there. You could also talk about anything that's happening in the office or in the area that day, something in the news, something interesting from the paper, a question about any hobbies/interests you know they have?

    If this is happening a lot, it's also worth considering whether there is something in your tone that suggests you're getting too personal. It might no be this at all, but it's worth considering. Maybe you could ask a few people you know well whether it's something they've noticed in you? Sometimes we put across things without noticing them, or accidentally put across things we don't mean. It never does any harm to be aware of those things, so that you're able to work on changing them if you want, or just to watch out for them in sensitive situations, such as work.

    Let us know how it goes from here ...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't just mean about money, politics, or sex which I never asked. For instance, a coworker said she moonlights at a 2nd job and then comes in to her day job, and she's tired. I asked her where else she works. Both jobs are retail stores. Anyway, she went, "somewhere"

    A coworker said about waiting on her ride. I asked who is picking her up from work. She told me not to worry about it.

    Asking a coworker going on a cruise if the company pay that much money to someone of her title. She went, "no but my husband is taking me."

    Walking up to someone borrowed from another dept if she's transferring to ours permanently. That was the first day I met her.

    You get the idea.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru

    Asking a coworker going on a cruise if the company pay that much money to someone of her title. She went, "no but my husband is taking me."

    I am not sure if this is appropriate. In fact, I don't think it's appropriate to ask questions regarding one's income.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Melian wrote: »
    I am not sure if this is appropriate. In fact, I don't think it's appropriate to ask questions regarding one's income.

    Well I was just asking about her affording her cruise lol
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Which is basically asking about her income
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Someone at work said she works the next day. I replied that 8 days straight is a lot at once. She told me not to keep track of her hours like that. I didn't even work on all 8 days she did.

    Same person asked me to help with her smartphone work email. I came across a personal website that she saved on her phone and read it out loud. She wasn't too happy with that but idk y since she handed me the phone to help with the email.

    Another coworker was talking about her family member with another person. I asked if that family member is 24 yet. She got uncomfortable and went idk. My supervisor got on me for asking and said to let ppl voluntarily reveal informal rather than ask.

    We were talking about the current task at hand and hard aspects of it. Marianne* said she used to work at fast food but was let go bc she couldn't keep up with the pace. I asked her which one. She answered...uncomfortably.

    Asking ppl's schedule in detail. "What's ur hours this week?" "How about next?" "Ok so when's the last date ur scheduled so far?" All in the same conversation with the same person. That happened multiple times.

    Asking ppl I barely knew (bc they're new) when they graduated high school as a conversation starter. Same for how old they are.

    Asking a person borrowed from another location who her boss is. Actually I tried to Guess the specific person. Turned out she had just became the boss.

    But idk...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru

    Same person asked me to help with her smartphone work email. I came across a personal website that she saved on her phone and read it out loud. She wasn't too happy with that but idk y since she handed me the phone to help with the email.

    You have answered this yourself. She asked you to help her with her email. Not to go through her phone and read personal stuff. I've handed my phone to people for something and wouldn't expect them to go through it. I remember handing my phone to my friend, something happened, he handed the phone back and said that something that gone off on it. (email notification or something)
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