I have a coworker - let's call her Anne - who believes that saving energy wherever possible is everyone's most important responsibility.
Anne has made that clear from the day that I joined the company and I respect that. In fact, I find it quite honourable.
Anne regularly writes emails to all employees of our company about how important it is to turn off our monitors in the evening.
A large percentage of our small company (including myself) does not really care about turning off the monitors at night, but in order to appease Anne we do it anyway. After all it means very little effort and it's a good deed for the environment (however small).
I have already calculated how much energy is saved by off-mode instead of standby-mode, and it actually is a ridiculously small amount (< 0.3 kWh per year). Although she knows that, her argument is that if everybody leaves it on standby then it sums up.
Every other day I forget to turn off my monitor, so it goes into standby mode.
On each of these occasions there was a post-it on my monitor that reminded me to always turn it off and not in a very polite way. I have already told her that I'm sorry if I sometimes forget it, and that I'm trying.
She however does not understand how one can forget such an 'important' thing.
Yesterday I once again forgot my monitor in the evening, only to come in today and find that the power cable to my monitor was unplugged. Even after plugging it in again, it did not recognize the connection to the PC. So I tried to reconfigure it for about 5 minutes. In the end it only worked after I un- and replugged the VGA cable to the PC (which with my workstation-setup was a cumbersome task).
I don't think that Anne's reaction was appropriate and I would like to talk to her about our little conflict.
But I know that it will only escalate into an argument because she will not hear any of my excuses, and everyone should follow her views on saving energy. I base this on some other arguments with her involved that I witnessed.
How do I make it clear to her that she overreacted and that I don't want her to mess with my workstation ever again?
- Anne should stop messing with my workstation. (Edit: I don't mind if Anne just turns off my monitor, but she is not happy with that ("I'm not your handmaid!").)
- No escalation (I do not think our bosses should be involved, nor do I want a big discussion/argument about it)
Bonus Points for:
- Anne accepting that I sometimes leave my monitor in standby mode and not reciprocating with passive-aggressive notes or angry comments each time I forget my monitor in the evening.
Sidenote: I have not asked Anne yet if it was her who unplugged my monitor. Theoretically it could have been someone else, but I really doubt it since nobody else here has such strong opinions on saving energy. I do know it was her who wrote the post-it notes.
Edit: I found out from another colleague that it was indeed her. I have not addressed this issue with Anne yet, nor has she made a comment about it to me.