As many workers head back into the office, there will be some good times -- seeing likeable colleagues in person, going out to lunch with a work friend and even getting out of the house for a change.
But there are bound to be bad days. The commute is too long and someone in the office is microwaving fish sticks. And -- here's something no one misses -- you are the target of a barbed comment.
It may be a subtle insult such as "Oh, it's nice to see you gain! You never used video on Zoom calls so I always figured you were watching TV the whole time!" Or, "Now you have to work for real and won't be 'unavailable' because you're napping with your cat!"
These kinds of comments may be said with a sort of "ha, ha, isn't that funny" attitude, but no one wants to be insulted at work.
There are a couple of things you can do:
1. Laugh it off.
2. Say, "What are you accusing me of?" or "Are you insulting me?" or "What did you mean by that?"
3. Calmly say, "I know it's not your intent, but those comments are hurtful and make me feel like you don't value me or what I contribute."
4, Ignore it.
Keep in mind that everyone's "people skills" are going to be a bit rusty as we gather again in person. You may want to give the insulter a "grace period" to regain some manners and behave better. If it continues, however, it may be worth a private conversation with the person to state how the comments make you feel. Remember, however, that such conversations can be difficult and may result in more hard feelings if you are confrontational and not conversational.