General chatter - Imitation. The most sincere form of flattery? Or just plain annoying..

11-15-2009, 10:00 AM
OK, I know in the great grand scheme of things, this rates very, very low.. But I just have to vent/rant.

There's a girl who works in my office, who although quite harmless, is fast becoming my doppelganger. We used to hang out a bit together outside work, not too much but we'd go for the odd drink, or the odd day to the beach together.

To be honest, I started to avoid hanging out with her a few months back. It was for a few reasons, I felt like she was sticking her nose too far into my business and my relationship and it was just getting uncomfortable. Another small but admittedly petty reason I began to avoid her was that she had started to copy me.. I dyed my hair red one week, the next week she saunters into work with flame red hair. I was really annoyed about this, so annoyed in fact that I came home and dyed my hair black. Lo and behold, the next day I was sitting at my desk, she came up behind me, put her hand through my hair and said 'Oh that's lovely, did I tell you I'm dying mine black too?' Sure enough, she comes to work a few days later with black hair. By now people in the office have started to notice and are making sly remarks to me about how I have a new twin. There are other small things that have happened too, that if isolated would just be normal and ok, but looking now at the bigger picture it just proves what a parasite she is. For example one day we were at the beach together and she remarked that she liked my beach towel.. its one of these special ones that fold around a sunchair.. anyway I thanked her and told her the website I got it from.. there are millions of different ones on this site. Two weeks later, what does she get in the post? 'Sarah I got the purple one too, I just love it' grrrrrrrrrrrrrRRRRR!!!
Then there are other little things.. like information on my facebook page about music, films, silly things like that, have suddenly appeared as her facebook information. So, like I said I gave her a wide berth for a while.

So yesterday I came into the office with some new shoes, trainers I'd wanted for ages and couldn't get. Not because they were expensive but just hard to find. I was so happy because I found them in this tiny little shop on a sidestreet owned by a really old man! lol.. SURE ENOUGH, her nosy sense started tingling and her psycho single white female vision zoned in on my shoes. 'Oh theyre lovely where did you get those?' I tried to be really vague and brushed her off. Then today, she just leans back in her chair and announces to me. 'I'm gonna get those shoes'. I was furious. I just turned to her and said 'Don't, get different shoes. So many shoes out there and you absolutely HAVE to get these ones?' 'Oh but I like them.' 'Well so did I and that's why I bought them' 'But I want to get them' 'Be your own individual and stop copying me' 'I AM my own individual'... Then a sulky face from her. This woman is 35 by the way.

I KNOW this is all so petty!!! I just really needed to vent. Really.

What do you guys think.. is imitation really something flattering that we should be grateful for?

11-15-2009, 10:22 AM
does she have much of a social life, outside of you? She's probably just lonely and latching onto you since you give her the time of day.

That being said, in your shoes, I would be really creeped-out too. It doesn't seem like "healthy" behavior.

11-15-2009, 10:26 AM
Why do you tell her where you buy your things. You don't have to, you know. Just say you don't remember where you got them, or you could say "I'm not going to tell you". She probably admires you that is why she copies you. Stop hanging out with her. There is not much you can do if she copies everything you do . Avoid her as much as possible and do not tell her where you buy things.

11-15-2009, 10:31 AM
Yes, as you can see I only made that mistake once.. then I never told her again where I bought anything.. And as I said I stopped hanging around with her a few months back.. Unfortunately can't avoid her in work! Well I could hide under my desk I guess :) But people think I'm strange enough as it is, lol

LittleMoonRabbit, to be honest I'm not too sure.. I definitely don't think she's isolated and lonely, she seems to go out quite a bit with her sister and friends.. She recently met a guy online and he flew over to visit her.. I think it went well..

Like I said.. just venting! It really is the little things sometimes isn't it...

11-15-2009, 11:04 AM
I'm not sure it's petty Sarah. It sounds like it could become something more than petty, definitely creepy and potentially bad.

I would just be careful - not hang out with her anymore. See what happens. Maybe the worst that will happen is that she will latch on to someone else.

11-15-2009, 11:51 AM
Definitely creepy. I can see why you are annoyed! Now that you have come right out and said "stop copying me", someone in a normal state of mind would leave you alone - not wanting to make you uncomfortable or further irritated.

If she keeps on, I would seriously consider having a closed door talk to your boss about it. Tell your boss you are starting to feel creeped out at work. Is there a possibility she could be sent to another department or something? I am not sure, though, because if there really is something wrong with her, that might stir the pot.

I wonder if now that you have said something, she will back off. I hope so!

11-15-2009, 01:07 PM
She seems like sort of a pathetic character to me. I am sure her behavior is highly annoying, but think of it this way: you know who you are and have your own individual sense of style; she doesn't. She clearly admires who you are, even if it is a bit creepy. I think you should have a bit sympathy for her rather than be angry at her.

11-15-2009, 01:09 PM
Sarah- I know I'm only hearing one side of this story but this doesn't sound like flattery. This sounds very unhealthy and bordering on stalking. I would certainly stay away from her and perhaps even tell her clearly that you don't want this kind of attention from her. If that's not enough, talk to your boss.

11-15-2009, 02:06 PM
Girls you're right. I think what I'll do for now is just do my best to avoid conversation with her in work for now. It's not so easy, if you knew her you would understand how loud and overpowering she is. Even when I have my ipod on at my desk she's over tapping my shoulder. I hope that I somehow got through even a little bit to her today when I told her to stop. As a typical Libra who avoids confrontation at all cost, this is a significant step for me!!

Thanks for the answers, you guys are brill :)


11-15-2009, 07:27 PM
Hmmmm...sometimes the little devil on my shoulder comes out in a weird way. I wonder what would happen if you got a really good, really SHORT wig that looked like a buzz cut and wore it to work for a day or two. If you ran your fingers over your hair and talked loudly about how free you feel, how easy it is to take care you think she would emulate you and get her hair buzzed off? No? Kinda fun to think about though, huh?

But on the lookout for creepy behavior. I would probably mention it to the boss as well, just in case. This sounds like it could develop into an unhealthy situation if you're not careful.

Consider the "buzz cut" idea. :devil:

11-16-2009, 10:05 AM
Now she knows that you know she's doing it... hopefully that will be enough to make her stop!

This is gonna sound really alarmist, but maybe you should innocently "chat" about this situation with some other people, just in case it does turn creepier, so you have "witnesses" who know she has been acting weird. Maybe some of the people at work who noticed and commented back when the hair situation happened. It might be helpful if you ever (heaven forbid!) have to file a harassment report or anything.

11-16-2009, 10:26 AM
I agree - this isn't so much imitation for flattery as it may be stalking. Totally mention it to your supervisor. I'd stop short of talking about it to many co-workers...if she's at all unbalanced the "rumors" in the office might make things worse. Any way you can get transferred to another part of the building...somewhere away from her?

Sanna Maria
11-16-2009, 10:50 AM
I would agree with Mindi that this should be reported, it's not normal at all. I had a similar problem at where I used to work, even though it wasn't as bad as your situation it was extremely annoying. The girl who wanted to look just like me would insist I go shopping with her just so I could point out for her what clothes she should buy, and often she showed up to work in very similar outfits to mine, but not identical. I complained to some close colleagues but they just laughed it off and said she should start my fanclub, considering she is my biggest fan.:rolleyes:

11-16-2009, 11:53 AM
Do you think you could have the location of your desk moved so it won't be so easy for her to annoy you ? You might even tell your supervisor that she is keeping you from doing your work, by bothering you all the time.

11-16-2009, 03:32 PM
I don't know about saying something to your supervisor- they might be like so she's copied a few things- and?

It's definitely annoying but I agree to not tell her where you found stuff anymore- I'm guessing she'll back off now that she knows you know.

11-16-2009, 03:44 PM
Just because she wants to be you doesn't mean she's going to go all fatal attraction on you and turn your bunny rabbit in to stew :) I'd definitely keep an eye on it - but as for reporting it, I agree with Beerab, it could be looked at as being really immature and certainly gossipy.

I'd just keep a safe distance, be polite but frank, and leave it at that :)

On that note though - SUPER frustrating, for sure. I had a friend like that in middle school and it drove me up the wall (especially as we were all going through that individual stage, and I was popular for being so unique and awesome ;). I'd get a cute pair of frog socks, and the very next day wha-bam.) Your venting is completely justifiable!

11-16-2009, 04:47 PM
I dunno. It could be looked at as immature to report it, but I know in my workplace if I went to my boss and said, "Look, this may be nothing but I just wanted to let you know that Susie is giving me the creeps, and here is why....." that it wouldn't be ignored. My boss would probably just note it and then observe, and that's fine. Better to document this stuff and have it turn out to be nothing, than to stay quiet and have a scary situation.

But perhaps now that she knows that you are irritated with her copying she will stop. It's possible that she is just an annoying copycat.

11-16-2009, 04:52 PM

11-16-2009, 04:58 PM
Anymore I wouldn't feel safe assuming this was a middle school-like "I want to be your friend!" thing. People seem to be getting crazier and crazier. At the very least she's creating an environment at work that's NOT conducive to you working comfortably at all. Like Windchime's better to document it with your employer, tell them she's making you incredibly uncomfortable, and have it turn out to be NOTHING at all. Better safe than sorry.

11-18-2009, 01:13 PM
I have to agree with Mindi, to some degree. Copying you doesn't mean she's going to lose her mind and harm you, but it does show a certain level of potential mental illness. You are best distancing yourself from her. Don't show any emotional response to anything she says or does. When she talks to you, don't make eye contact, stay focused on your work, and give nonchalant, "Uh huh," type responses. If she isn't getting any attention from you, she will move on to another target.

Next time she asks you were you bought something, give her completely false information or simply shrug and say you don't remember.