Question for you- when in a work environment and you get up to leave your desk or cubbie (either to lunch or for the day or whatever), do you think it is appropriate for a co-worker who sits nearby to say (loudly) “Where are you going?” or “What’re you doing? This is driving me CRAAAA-ZY! I am considering mayhem!
Annoyed to the Breaking Point in Tampa
Feel free to throat punch Mr. (or Ms., but for the sake of brevity, we’ll assume a Mr. today), but only in your mind.
Once you have had your imaginary fun, and feel your stress level decrease, you have two choices. The first, and I admit, more adult possibility would be to approach this person, and let them know that everyone in the office is past the “need a baby-sitter phase” and to knock it off.
If that is not an option, and I wouldn’t be shocked, after all office politics are a funny animal, then formulate a pat, yet polite answer. Then use it for everything. Headed to the bathroom? “Oh, I ‘m just stepping out for a moment.” Doughnuts in the breakroom? “Oh, I ‘m just stepping out for a moment.” Meeting that you, and he, are due to? “Oh, just stepping out.” The key is delivery. No irony, no sarcasm, can creep into your tone. Keep it light, pleasant, and professional.
He WILL eventually give up and dig in someone else’s business. And when he does, you can share how you got him off YOUR back. 🙂