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Agony Aunt helps you to deal with workplace problems

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Problems of being a pardesi

I’m a 25 year old girl working in Mumbai and have just joined a new job where I seem to be the only new employee. I’m half British and obviously have a different cultural outlook. They think I can’t completely fit in with the Indian attitude and way of life, which I honestly feel is quite prejudiced. I try hard to mix our differences and reach a middle ground but clearly majority wins here. Should I just let go of the idea and move onto other people or should I continue trying because I’m going to be here for a while? I don’t want to be left out.

Ans: Being in a new environment could be overwhelming and the need to have some anchor could be the driving force here for you. Moving out from this workplace to another may or may not lead to resolution to your concerns as the differences exist between perceptions. Since you want to work here for a while, trying to break ice with the colleagues could be a start. Gathering them all around for lunch or something similar and getting to know them and letting them know you, would help them build a perception without bias.


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Sexist colleagues

I’m a 24 year old girl working in an event company in Mumbai. My work group has a team of 5 members and I’m the only girl. Although earlier work was distributed evenly between all 5 of us, be it office oriented or field, lately I’ve been feeling that the boys are giving me all the office work and taking all the field work for themselves. One of the seniors outside my team told me it’s because they think I’m too fragile to be carrying out the hard labour that goes on and that am better suited for the easier stuff. I personally took this as an insult to my capabilities. Am I being a victim of sexism?

Ans: At times reading too much between the lines would lead to certain conclusions that might create a bias. Talking to your team members and delegating work as per each of yours capability could be one way to not let the animosity develop and disrupt the group process. It is always better to express your concerns to the concerned people rather than assuming things and letting the distance develop.

Imbalanced lifestyle

I’m a 30 year old working in a well reputed automobile company. I really enjoy my work and perform very well in all that is given to me. Since the past few months I’ve been developing a very rigid and stoic attitude towards my work life. All of my attention and interest is directed only towards work and I have lost all concern for my social life. I feel a bit mechanical when it comes to my daily functioning and weirdly seem to enjoy it. My family complains that I have become very boring and dull but I am performing exceptionally well in the professional sphere. Entertainment and enjoyment don’t fit into my schedule anymore and I am completely okay with it as I feel they are a waste of time. Is this something I should be worried about?

Ans: Each individual has his/her own way of viewing things in life which might be not in line with the conventional way. There might be an intense need to somewhere excel at work but the care that needs to be taken is that the need doesn’t overpower everything else. Meeting a counsellor and discussing this change that has taken place over few months could help rule out the possibility of this change being an actual problem or simply a phase in your life.

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Need for anger management

I’m a 33 year old woman working in the HR department of a company. Being a tested Type A personality, my work ethics and methods are very different from my fellow team members. This has been bothering me since the past few months and has resulted in increasing my drive for control and order. I have been losing my temper very easily at the others who seem to be a bit more relaxed than I am and I fear this has created a bad reputation for me in the office. I’m always in an irritable mood and have extremely low tolerance. This has caused too many clashes with others. What should I do?

Ans: It is essential to realise that anger and irritability are a result of the innate personality traits. The current clashes are probably a lot to do with the differences that you are noticing between you and the others and unable to come to a middle ground. It also appears that you have taken the test results too personally which may also be causing difficulty for you to concentrate only on work. Consulting a professional to learn how to deal with Type A personality could help overcome these clashes.