Ask a Cat: Passive aggressive co-workers, seeking revenge, and dog parks

Problems at work? Love life gone awry? Conflict with the neighbor’s collie? The Cat can help. Reach out anonymously here or e-mail askacat@alaskalandmine.com.

Dear Cat,

Tips for passive aggressive coworkers? I’m at the end of my rope! Are these children or politicians?!

Dear human,

Good question. Are you surrounded by self-absorbed, budget illiterate narcissists? If so, I suspect these are politicians and not children. Children tend to be a bit shorter and are beholden to labor laws. Cat can see where you would be confused though. As to your other query; passive aggressive is certainly one of the least desirable traits in a coworker. First and foremost, stay calm. As Cat often says, you can’t control what another human does, but you can control how you react to it. Cat suggests that you sit back for a week or so and do some documenting. It may seem like this is happening all the time, but maybe it is triggered by one specific person or in response to certain events.

Turning yourself into an observer instead of a victim of this behavior will help you view the situation more clearly. After gathering your data, it’s time to start directly communicating. If you’re faced with the consequence of passive aggressive behavior, it needs to be met with direct communication. Please do this tactfully and with kindness as it’s possible your coworkers are very dim and do not realize they are being petulant nightmares. In the end, the best you can do is set boundaries and not engage in similar behavior. It is unlikely your coworkers will magically mature, please prioritize your own sanity.

 

Dear Cat,

Is it ever worth it to go back and seek revenge? In high school I had a gym teacher (at Service High) that humiliated me, just to be a jerk. I still think about it sometimes. I don’t know if she’s retired but I’d guess she’d be easy enough to Google. Would I be wasting my effort, or should I find/tell her what a negative impact she had on me?

Dear Human,

If there’s one thing Cat excels at, it’s revenge. That being said, revenge is not necessarily the wisest course of action for a human. Unfortunately, when humans seek revenge, it only seems to perpetuate a cycle of negativity. Cat does think there is value in doing some low-level investigation to see if this person is still teaching. While you do not give Cat details on the interaction you had, presumably you were a minor and this adult was in a position of authority. Clearly, they did something that you are still ruminating about to this day. If this person is still teaching, you could certainly notify their employer if something truly inappropriate went down and you were worried about the safety of current students.

Cat suspects that purrhaps what you are really hoping for is an apology or acknowledgement of wrongdoing from this person. Chances are, you will never get it. If the interaction was one that embarrassed you but was due to your own unsafe actions or immature behavior, Cat believes that while the memory can sting, the onus lies with you to resolve your feelings about it. While there could be legal consequences for the person if their actions were more nefarious, it will still be your responsibility to evolve past the negative emotions incurred. If you need the help of a therapist to do so, there is no shame in that.

 

Dear Cat,

Why do we have dog parks and not cat parks?

Dear Human,

Dog parks exist because dogs are very needy, overly-social creatures. To control and corral this chaos, humans invented the dog park. On the other hand, cats are more independent and dignified. A cat is content to explore their own territory and prefers it to be without the unwelcome company of unknown characters. Additionally, Cat will tell you that for the most part, we simply will not be trained. A wide-open space outdoors is not the safest environment. A cat is better suited to their own personal (dog-free) catio.

 

Featured Feline

Cat would like to introduce a new occasional feature to the column. If you’d like your feline showcased, feel free to send the Cat a picture and a little bit about your furry friend at askacat@alaskalandmine.com. 

Mojito (left) enjoys horticulture, calculated schemes, and local spirits.

Mezcal (right) is an enthusiastic numismatist and also enjoys Ritz crackers. Mezcal’s human says that after a party where his friend played too much Taylor Swift, Mezcal ran away from home for two weeks. While Human asserts this means Mezcal doesn’t like Taylor, Cat proposes that Mezcal doesn’t like human’s friends. 🐾

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Atlas
2 days ago

I know Juneauper when I see it. I’ve tried dozens of gins from around the world and that stuff is by far they greatest gin ever made.