Kate: You know I’ve spoken to you about Carol, our office manager.
Bobby: We never talk about work stuff without her cropping up in the conversation at some point!
Kate: OK, maybe I do mention her a lot. She’s great! The two of us usually get on like a house on fire. We never disagree about anything, we share a lot of the same opinions, we enjoy the same hobbies, and we always have fun when we socialise.
Bobby: I wish I could say that about our office manager. He’s a pain! But that’s another story.
Kate: Carol’s been with the company for more than ten years. She knows everything from A to Z. In fact, I think she knows more about the company than our managing director. He’s always popping out of his office to ask her stuff.
Bobby: You always speak highly of Carol.
Kate: She’s been great with me from the first day I started. Always so positive and helpful. We’ve got so many things in common outside work. She’s an expert baker and once she found out I also enjoyed making cakes and bread, we realy bonded. We even did a baking course together last year in the mall near the office.
Bobby: I remember you doing that. That matcha cake you made was delicious.
Kate: Well, I should say we used to get on like a house on fire.
Bobby: Oh dear. What's gone wrong?
Kate: Well, I don’t know what’s happened, but recently Carol has been very aloof and off-hand with me. She’s still all smiles with everyone else in the office; just not me. She hasn’t become unpleasant or anything like that. She’s too professional to do something like that.
Bobby: I never think it’s a good idea to become too friendly with someone you work with, especially if they’re in a senior position to you. I sometimes go out for dinner with my colleagues, and I’m friendly, but I prefer to keep a certain distance.
Kate: I wouldn’t say Carol and I were inappropriately close. I just felt that we got on really well because I was good at my job and we had the same interests. Carol never favours me at work or anything like that. She wouldn’t do anything to create a bad atmosphere in the office. She’s a complete professional. And when we did the baking class together, the topic never came up at work.
Bobby: Have you asked her why she’s suddenly cooled towards you?
Kate: You can’t just asked someone why they’ve changed how they treat you. Particularly someone you work with and who’s your senior.
Bobby: Of course you can, if you go about it the right way. Choose the right moment and tell her about your concerns. If there’s a problem, it’s better out in the open. I think you should have a word with her. And the sooner the better.