Getting Made Fun of for Frugality

Posted by Mrs Money on September 29th, 2009

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I know this may sound ridiculous to some people, but I’ve shared a lot of personal things on my blog and I’ve always gotten good feedback, so I’m going to just get it off my chest. I’m tired of getting made fun of for my frugal/green ways. It seems like I’m always hiding something, not telling the whole truth to people, or just avoiding others in an attempt to not be made fun of.

The worst time I have with this is at work. There are a couple people there (including my manager, who I really like in general) that are always chastising me for decisions I make in my personal life. When I decided to share with them that I would have problems getting pregnant, they decided to make it their own business. I would share some things with them, and I’d get “well, you need to see a fertility specialist” (from my manager), to “you really don’t want a baby, do you? It doesn’t seem like you’re doing anything to get pregnant.” (obnoxious co-worker)

Let me tell you, it hurts. I am a very sensitive and shy person to begin with (you may not be able to tell that with my blog!) but I rarely let people into my life in fear of getting judged or made fun of. I have a few girl friends and those that I have mean the world to me. I like it that way, and it works for me.

I almost feel like I have to hide who I am at work because if I tell them that I do things like: knit, quilt, make soap, hang dry my laundry, am doing this to get pregnant, etc; I will be met with harsh words and judgment. I don’t think that’s right. I have told my manager about OCW (obnoxious coworker) and how she hurts my feelings, and then she does make me feel better by saying that’s just how she is, but it doesn’t help the next time. It seems like she’s always making snide comments to take stabs at me. And I am nothing but nice to her.

With the merger coming in February, I have the option to post for other positions at different branches. I’m considering it, because then I can get away from the negativity and start over fresh and new and not share anything personal with the people at my new branch. A change would be good and it would help with some of the things I get frustrated with. But, on the other hand, we’re fairly certain there will be a “teller supervisor” position at my current branch, which I could easily move into if my manager so chooses.

It’s a double edged sword. I love the people I am working with 99% of the time, I like the customers, and I am not nearly as stressed as I was before I came to this branch. I’d hate to go to a new branch and despise it. At the same time, change sounds good and I’d have the opportunity to get away from OCW and just be quiet and mind my own business. My plan right now is to see what positions come open and go from there. If there’s something at a branch that’s closer to home, and I think I might like it, maybe I’ll post for it. If not, I’m pretty sure I can stay at the branch I am at.

What do you think I should do? Do you get made fun of for being frugal/green?

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36 Responses to “Getting Made Fun of for Frugality”


  1. H Lee D says:

    I get fun of for being green, for being frugal, for being healthy, for being young… the list goes on. I have come to realize that people make fun typically because they think that you’re better (because of your choices) and they need to hack you down to feel better.

    As I’ve become more able to see that people are picking on me because of their own (internal) issues (and not because of mine), it’s easier to deal with.

    For one coworker who has a rude comment far too often, I’m prepared. Next time she strikes, I’m going to tell her that she’s used up her rude comments for the week. (Of course, since I’ve decided that this is what I’m going to tell her, she hasn’t said anything LOL)

    I wouldn’t change jobs because of it. You like where you are for the most part, it’s better than other places you’ve been. It would be better for you (in my opinion) to learn coping skills for dealing with crappy people rather than try to run from them. There will *always* be crappy people.

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    Mrs Money Reply:

    Thank you so much for your comment. I am totally going to use your plan if she does something like that again. :)

    I’m beginning to realize it’s those two that have the problem, not me. I love myself and if they don’t, then that’s on them. They can deal with it.

    I think I’m going to stay as long as I can. :)

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  2. Sarah F says:

    There’s definitely nothing wrong with knitting and quilting! I’m 25, and within the last year have taken up those hobbies. I’m on my 2nd knitting class, and am teaching myself how to crochet. Be proud that you know how to do those things!

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    Mrs Money Reply:

    Awesome! I am so glad to hear of another young woman who enjoys those type of things. They think I’m Amish because of it. Whatever. I think knitting is so relaxing, and I love the cute things I can make because of it! Thanks for your comment.

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  3. Deirdre says:

    I agree – the real issue isn’t an obnoxious co-worker – you can’t change your life because of one person – but your own sense of sureness about your choices. If people make fun of you, that’s their problem, and I think if you can really “own” who you are and what you do, the comments won’t bother you at all, and your co-worker will probably stop making them. Who cares what other people think? It’s what you think that matters.

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    Mrs Money Reply:

    Thank you, Deirdre. I am feeling better after all the great responses from here! I am taking to heart what you said. I am proud of the person I am and I love myself, so why should anything else matter? They can think what they want. I’m going to be who I want to be!

    I also get flack for being vegetarian. You wouldn’t believe how many times I hear “OMG WHAT ABOUT PROTEIN!!”

    [Reply]

    H Lee D Reply:

    I’m veggie too. A good reply = “OMG! Where do you get your fiber?!?”

    :-D

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  4. Kacie says:

    That stinks! I’m sorry you’re around rude people who need to mind their own business.

    Do you think you can tell the obnoxious coworker to MYOB? Do you think it would be a point taken, or just make matters worse? I guess you’d have to weigh the semi-confrontation.

    I like your wait-and-see approach about what positions might be available. Starting fresh is always great, but there’s always going to be jerks in the workplace.

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    Mrs Money Reply:

    I think I’m just going to see if there’s something that will interest me at another branch if I feel like posting for it. I’m not going to let them bother me any more. I think they are the ones that have a problem, not me. :) I think I am a kind and caring person and I can sleep at night knowing that. They can deal with their hostility.

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  5. Nicole says:

    I don’t rally get made fun of, but I have people telling me that I will change my ways.
    I use vinegar to clean my floors and windows, and people come in and smell it after I clean and are convinced my floor is still dirty.
    I choose not to drive (when I turned 16, I chose not to get my G1 {i am in ontario} and I am 20 now and still don’t want to drive) and everyone says that I “need” a car.I’ve gone 20 years without one, what’s going to change tomorrow that’s going to make a car a necessity?
    I knit gifts for friends and family, and sell knitted things on the side for extra money. I do not look like a knitter (i have bleached hair with a huge chunk of screamingly bright pink in the front, and facial piercings and visible tattoos) and people often make rude comments.

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    I think we could be best friends. <3 I hate that people are so rude. I think you should live your life in a way that makes you proud. Keep doing what you are doing. I think you are smart not to have a car and all that added expense!

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  6. Chris says:

    I don’t get made fun of for being green or frugal, and I wonder if it’s because I’m a big guy. Though you might be a little more greener than me too (ex.: family clothes – just don’t know if I can go there. hahaha!). I also don’t share too much of my personal life with co-workers. Work time is work time. When I leave work, I leave all that at the office.

    As far as your job – don’t make any moves before the merger. People in new positions tend to be the first cut. Every job has it’s share of crap. If 99% of the time things are good, well that’s pretty darn good! If OCW is being a pain, and your manager isn’t doing much, then maybe it’s time to get HR involved. Personally, I would speak directly to OCW first, explaining how they have hurt your feelings. If they continue, inform your manager of your intent to speak to HR. Be sure to document every time you speak to OCW about her behavior, and also when you speak to your manager – even if you just jot it down on your calendar. Things might get ugly and you might have to recall those dates/times when you spoke with them.

    Good Luck! As far as babymaking – relax! Enjoy spending time with your husband. I’ve known a few couples who were so desperate and finally gave up, only to go on vacation, relaxed and then came back with a bun in the oven! (husband switching to boxers might help too)

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    I am going to try to separate a lot of my personal things from them. I think that will help. And when I’m home, I’m not going to worry about anything from work. I think that will help tremendously. I will talk to my manager if things get worse.

    Thanks for the tips (I almost wrote strips, oops!)! I know that things will happen when they are meant to happen. It seems everyone else that knows we’re TTC is more anxious than we are!

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  7. Rachel says:

    My two cents is that you shouldn’t have to transfer because of other people’s comments, but I can understand that it can feel terrible. I hope all works out.

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Thanks, Rachel! I think I am going to work on dealing with them a little more, and developing some thick skin too. :)

    [Reply]

  8. H Lee D says:

    I love it when people tell me I’m going to change. (Yeah, sarcasm…)

    When they do that, ask them for the winning Powerball numbers :-D

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    I should come up with some snarky comments for next time they throw the punches my way. I’ll out smart them. :)

    [Reply]

  9. jennifer says:

    Yeh and I’ll laugh at their bank account.

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Me too!

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  10. I think you just happen to work in a place with snarky people, and I do think they are probably jealous of you. They may not even know it themselves. I feel sad that you would want to move to another job and then never share any personal details about yourself. That’s how you meet the best friends in the world is by sharing! I know how it feels though – and I think as you grow older you’ll find ways of dealing with it. I’m 46 and I just don’t tell everyone everything. I have learned how to figure out who to tell what to, and that seems to work out pretty good. I do work in a pretty laid back atmosphere though. Interestingly, where I feel the odd man out is at our church! They seem to think I’m some country bumpkin just because I live in a rural area and milk my own dairy goats. Well, I used to live in the big city, and I would rather live where I’m at now with the freedom I have to just live my life… it’s well worth the daily commute. Anyway, you’ve got a lot of fans in the blogosphere, and we think you’re way cool. :-)

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Aww, thanks. :) That is so nice. I think I’m going to work harder on accepting who I am and just blowing other people off. Their opinion really doesn’t matter anyway. I am pretty sensitive and I know that can be a bad thing sometimes. I think you’re wonderful! I am envious of the goats!

    [Reply]

  11. Personally, I’d pull her aside and ask her to stop, because it’s hurtful and not very nice to be making fun of you for things many other people do but maybe don’t broadcast it the way you do.

    I’d hang my own laundry if I had the space to do it. Heck, that saves money AND the environment!

    As for other things I do, I don’t broadcast it, but I don’t like using plastic bags, I use eco-friendly products, I wash my clothes for months without a hint of detergent at all (I only use detergent with my greasy kitchen towels).

    I’m sure people would recoil in disgust at my frugal-ish/green ways, but I like it like that. And they might just be a tad jealous that you are able to do those things, because they can’t.

    People ridicule what they don’t know only because they don’t understand it. You quilt and knit probably because it’s a relaxing hobby and it makes you happy. But others think you’re doing it to be cheap.

    I like saving money and granted, I re-use a lot of things, and fix up my jeans until they’re a patched mess (that I still love), but some people think it’s dumb and I should just buy new. But I don’t want to.

    *shrug* To each her own, I say. Maybe you can give her a dose of her own medicine and guilt her back for something else, such as using too many plastic bags, or wasting money on stuff you could get for free.

    Maybe if the talk doesn’t work, a bit of fighting fire with fire might. You may just have to get a bit tough…

    Sorry for the long post. Those people irk me.

    Oh! And thank you so much for coming by the blog :)

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    You know what’s funny? OCW eats out lunch basically EVERY day. Her husband was laid off since January and just got a job this week. Yet she still kept doing that. Her mom was pretty much supporting them. :/ It is just ironic how she’s making fun of me, yet wasting so much money and not able to support herself and her two kids. Meh.

    I do knit because it is relaxing and I enjoy seeing what I make. Thanks for making me feel better!

    [Reply]

  12. Deirdre says:

    It’s odd, because in places like New York City and L.A., knitting is all the rage. And I haven’t known anyone to have an issue with vegetarians in the past 20 years — I’m not sure where you live but it seems like people aren’t really very up with the times there!

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Oh they totally aren’t! I live in a very conservative state. Obviously I am totally into natural living, and they are like OMG HOW CAN YOU TAKE HERBS INSTEAD OF DRUGS? It’s sad, really.

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  13. Poor OCW! The woman has a problem that over time will sour her life and make it impossible for her to live happily with anyone: she has to tear other people down to make herself feel better. You might reflect on what has happened to her — or is still happening to her — that makes her behave this way.

    You say you love the people you’re working with 99 percent of the time. That’s a pretty high satisfaction ratio. Most people, I’ll bet, enjoy their coworkers much less than that. If you move, you run the risk of finding yourself in a job where you love your coworkers and customers, say, 60 percent of the time.

    There’s the possibility, too, that OCW may move. This is an unhappy woman. Maybe she’s as unhappy with her position as you are with her presence. It might be wise to wait and see what she does. Meanwhile, if I were in your situation, I’d stay away from her and have as little to say to her as possible. If she aggressively made a critical remark, I’d look her in the eye and say “What’s it to you?” or “Why do you care?”

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    That’s what I am thinking. I’m not going to let her bother me any more. She can be bitter, but I’m not going to live my life like that. I’m hoping with the merger she will end up transferring. :)

    [Reply]

  14. Hey, J. Money from Budgets are Sexy just had a guest post over at MSN Money on this very topic. Check it out, and see that you aren’t alone! :-) http://tr.im/C7h6

    [Reply]

  15. Jennifer says:

    Great comments. When family makes critical comments towards us and the choices we make, I rarely flinch. I forgive them because they don’t really know what they are doing. They deserve our pity, not our anger. (Don’t get me wrong, I can be a bit sensitive at times to teasing; being the youngest of the siblings/kids – I’m 26) They don’t altogether understand my mindset and convictions.

    I am confident and bold because for the most part, I know what I want in life (living progressively more simply and naturally) and I make changes to get there! I have the success in many areas that they are struggling and wishing for.

    I do what I can by directing them to my website and offering soft words of encouragement and skills to handle certain issues, but taking the steps are up to them. My biggest defense of my lifestyle is… RESULTS! :)

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    I need to become more confident. I think that will totally help. Plus, I need to realize this is MY life I am living and that people don’t have to like it! :)

    Thanks so much for your kind words!

    [Reply]

  16. Jenny says:

    How sad. I realize you wrote this months ago, but had to comment. It reminds me of middle school. My mom took me to consignment shops in the mid-90′s, before it was cool. I got brand-name jeans and things for a fraction of the cost, and I thought it was just fine. However, there were these two mean girls who acted like my friends for a few weeks at the beginning of the year. They even said they liked my clothes on occasion, and I said “thanks, I got them at ____ consignment shop.” Then one day they wrote me this mean note about how they shopped at Gap (and several other high-end retail stores I can’t remember) and said I could go back to my little thrift shop because they didn’t want to be friends with me anymore. That is just one little incident in a whole bunch of teasing I went through. I had previously been so carefree about sharing my quirkiness, but that stopped me in my tracks. While I knew there was nothing wrong with my clothes, I didn’t want to be ridiculed, either. I see one of these girls occasionally (she’s friends with some of my friends) and it’s awkward. I don’t know what to say to her, and it’s hard for me to process that she’s probably changed from the horrid twit she once was.

    Being responsible and NOT in debt up to my eyeballs is about as cool as it gets. Most often, though, it’s my crunchy parenting choices that people want to criticize. I am working on being more confident as I interact with people in person; it’s easier on my blog. Sometimes I am too worried that I’ll offend someone to stand up for myself, but I need to get over that. I’ve noticed that the people who seem so confident and above bullying are not like that because all their choices are mainstream, but because they enjoy being different, almost daring people to say anything. I love the quote from The Family Stone: “You have a freak flag–you just don’t fly it.” Everyone is different and we should be celebrating that. It’s a shame that some people get out of middle school (or high school for that matter) without learning this!

    And geez, they make fun of you for knitting and quilting? How stupid! Around here, crafty people are “popular,” in a sense. They are resourceful and can make you stuff, or help you learn how to make stuff. Creativity deserves respect. I hope things get better for you.

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Jenny- My mom took me to thrift stores and I remember I could get a bunch of jeans for $20 versus one pair at the store and I was hooked on thrifting! That’s so sad those girls did that to you! :( It reminds me of the Mean Girls movie.

    I love that you are crunchy! That’s one of my favorite things. I enjoy being crunchy and I know a lot of people think I am weird. I figure as long as my hubby and I are happy, who cares, right?

    I keep telling them that knitting is making a comeback. I’m trying to learn to not let their comments get to me any more. When they see that I really don’t care what they think then it’s not bad. It’s hurtful and I’m a sensitive person, which makes it worse I think. I need to work on my confidence!

    [Reply]


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