My Coworker Talks to Me in Any Type of Way

Your Corporate Black Girl

Dear Nikki,

I had a situation occur in the workplace with me and my team lead. One of our I had a situation occur in the workplace with a team lead, and I. 

One of our coworkers brought her puppy into to work. A coworker on my team and I decided to pet it. I had papers in my hand in the middle of doing it. I just sanitized my hands for the time being until I could figure out who the paperwork belonged to. My team lead (fellow black female) walks up to me asks me "did I wash my hands?" I said I sanitized them. I should've said, “I'm headed to the bathroom now” (but I didn't want to explain myself). She then snatches the papers away from my hand and says “get your ass in that bathroom and wash your hands” in front of everybody. It pissed me off so bad. 

I’m not your child. You don’t talk to me in any type of way. And lastly, you wouldn’t speak to our manager or VP like that, so it shows the lack of respect you have for me. What would you do? Talk to her and let her know that wasn’t okay? Talk to the manager?


North Carolina


It's important to address this behavior as it happens. It becomes "he said/she said" after the fact and this isn't something that should have to escalate to your manager. Things like this can catch you off guard, especially because you're at work and not expecting to have to "check" someone. 

Approach her, or anyone that's not speaking to you the way you require, professionally... what does that look like? In this scenario, just simply reply with "Oh, I got this. Thanks!" And keep it moving. If she kept on going, then stop her and repeat yourself. Not forcefully but with more force. You know that look a mother gives her child thats starting to act up?! There you go! 

Not much needs to be said, but you can say things that show you require respect and that you have boundaries. 

If you want to make sure this woman understands how she's wronged you... just hang around. She will do something else to overstep or offend you again really soon. People like her just don't get it. 

Just be prepared for it the next time.

You've got this! Good luck,

Nikki Davis

Hey 💕

Thank you for reading this post. We are an independent company and rely on readers like you to help support us! If you want to continue to support Your Corporate Black Girl, you can do so in a few ways:

Subscribe to us! Yes, it's that simple and easy!

Or, contribute! Share an experience, let us interview you. Let us know you.

Thank you!

Team Your Corporate Black Girl


Your curly girl manager, just trying to live her happiest life! 

Wife, new mom, member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. with 11 years industry experience, 6 years of management experience. Manager a team of men in a male dominant industry, while being the only woman on the team. DIY fashion blogger, a self taught seamstress. Owner/Creator of a monthly subscription service,

Need Nikki's advice?

Funke Adenijiblack, career, blog, write, writer