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Confronting The Office Jerk

· Career Success

Dear People Ops:

Today Human Resources put up posters for a new career development plan they are releasing next week.

The posters seem silly and reminiscent of "motivational posters". Some co-workers and I were poking fun and laughing and HR asked what was so funny. I told HR what details we found funny and she seemed to take personal offense and responded “well now I know who will be the last to be promoted”

The relationship with HR is “friendly”(though honestly I am not a fan) and my team often jokes around about a variety of topics but that comment felt out of place and inappropriate. Should I report this to my management or HR management?

Time for some tough love. You're kind of a jerk. You made a joke out of another employee's hard work, and refused to take responsibility for the resulting hurt feelings. Listen, was HR's response appropriate? No, not really. But it wasn't any more inappropriate than your comments.

The Muse has a handy list of 10 Ways to Avoid Being the Office Jerk. You see how not insulting your colleagues is absent? That's because common respect and curtesy is so universally assumed it doesn't need to be explicitly stated. But somehow you missed the memo.

Putting aside the silliness of your own behavior, what is the result you are looking for by reporting it? At best you'll both get a stern talking to about office professionalism. Speaking of professionalism, moving forward I suggest your behavior at the office should be guided, roughly, by "If I said this to grandma in church on Sunday, would she be okay with it?"

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