THE BLOG

Dealing With Princesses at Work

05/28/2012 12:27 EDT | Updated 07/28/2012 05:12 EDT

Is it me, or do we have more princesses in the workplace? You know the type: women who think the world revolves around them and that our only role in life is to serve them, serve them now, and with a smile.

Lately I have come across this breed of young women who clearly have a high opinion of themselves and as a result come across as somewhat demanding and, well, full of themselves.

As parents what have we done to create a generation of girls who feel so entitled and wrapped up in their own needs that they can't see how self-centred their requests are?

Maybe it is the helicopter parents always hovering, making sure all is OK for their little darlings, but I can tell you in the workplace, they are doing them no favours, and likely they will get a touch of reality when someone says "no" to their outlandish demands, which is what I did.

Maybe it is my British background, but I like to think I am a fairly straightforward person -- what you see is what you get. I have never cared for the person who put on airs and graces or who chooses to flaunt her wealth. Not impressed. Not at all.

Personally, I prefer to deal with people who are grounded, authentic and while successful, unassuming; those who never conclude that they are better than someone else. They are comfortable in their own skin and do not see the need to show off or hog the limelight.

Yet I've often found -- and in hindsight I have been guilty of this one too -- that when we are feeling insecure, we posture more, trying to build ourselves up in the eyes of the beholders. But I also know that this rarely works, as you end up coming across as a tad self-absorbed

Perhaps I am being too kind in making excuses for their pushy behaviour. Perhaps these women truly do believe they are a notch above us all, and perhaps I need to look at my own reaction, as I seem to get rattled by their shenanigans.

What I do know is that I don't appreciate their style. It makes me want, unkindly, to burst their bubble and to bring them down a peg or two. I don't go there but hey, a girl can fantasize.

I don't know about you, but so much depends on what else is going on in my life as to how tolerant I am of the "little princesses" in the world. When I am tired, overwhelmed by all that has to be done, my reaction is more negative. I am certainly not going to go out of my way to cater to their demands or accommodate their wishes.

But I have come to realize that in the scheme of things, it doesn't matter. There are much more troubling issues in the world to deal with than a few princesses who need to be dethroned.

But if I was Queen of the land of princesses, here's what I would do:

1. Develop groups for young women in the workplace where they can discuss their issues. Not all of them are the princess-type, and some peer pressure on how to behave respectfully would not go amiss.

2. Provide role models and mentors so they could learn and hear from others on the impact of their attitude and how it is not helping them get ahead. Give them opportunities to learn differently on how to succeed and be part of a team.

3. Say no. Do not reward the brattish behaviour. Explain why.

4. Offer online parenting courses or workplace lunch & learns so parents don't continue to foster this need for instant gratification in their children.

5. Have children work to earn the treats and special items they want instead of always just giving them what they want.

Maybe when we take the high road and do not give in to their demands, they might get the message. Maybe.