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Emotional Hardbody answers: Coworker's copycat behavior not taken as a compliment

Austin Photo: Author_Christina Pesoli
Austin Photo Set: pesoli_copycat coworker_dec 2012

Editor's note: For the second installment of Christina Pesoli's new advice column, Emotional Hardbody takes on copycat behavior in the workplace. It's time to get creative.

Dear Emotional Hardbody,

There’s this coworker of mine who keeps copying me in this one way: Every time I change purses, within a day or two she shows up to work with a purse that is remarkably similar, if not identical, to the one I'm carrying. 

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But I don’t feel flattered, I just feel annoyed. 

Any suggestions on how to handle this?

Signed,

Annoyed

Dear Annoyed,

First things first: Whatever you do, don’t rent the movie Single White Female.

In all seriousness, I can tote-ally understand why you are not flattered. Your coworker’s behavior is creepy enough to get to you, but not creepy enough to warrant a chat with your HR representative.  

But not to worry, I can coach you through this. Follow my advice and the solution to your problem is in the bag. Go buy a plain tote bag at Target and get some fabric paint from Hobby Lobby. Then customize your tote bag with the following message: “Stop copying me!”

Once Copy Kate Spade spots you with that purse, I’m Prada sure she’ll stop clutching onto your style and find her own instead.

If that doesn’t work, you could try going in the complete opposite direction and stop carrying a purse at all for a while.

The bottom line is this: There are many creative ways you can attempt to get your coworker to stop copying you, while having a little fun in the process. But, at the end of the day, if she persists, you’re going to have to put her behavior in the same category where I put tie-dyed clothing:  It’s one of life’s little annoyances that you sometimes encounter but can’t really do anything about.  

Purse-onally yours,

Emotional Hardbody

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Got a hard question? Get an Emotional Hardbody answer. Email your questions to Christina, and you could be featured in an upcoming article.

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