If you missed my introduction:
I'm A from Chicago, I'm 31 and a professional in the marketing field at a major corporation with an MBA (this is my 2nd major corp working for and 4th job out of college) . I decided to join after having anxiety and depression due to unprofessional co workers (a whole team) since May of this year. So I'm here looking for tips, other than getting a new job (since i'm currently seeking one).
I sit at a corner cube at the center of two very busy walkways to two different buildings that connect to mine. Our cube walls are short, probably 3 ft tall at the max. I'm very tall for a female (6') so when I use my laptop & external second monitor my eyes seem to be looking at people when I'm working on my excel files within the second monitor. I have gotten use to making awkward eye contact with people passing by or using the intersection to have meetings or personal discussions. I've been awkward and the geek my whole life so I just dealt with the awkward eye contact.
In May we hired 2 ex-interns (they were interns during last summer) along with 1 new hire right out of college and 2 new interns. These new hires are all under the age of 24 and sit 3 cubes away from me to my right. I'm unsure how much orientation they received about the corporate world as in professional manner, professional discussions and professional dress. Since I did not receive too much orientation in person, mostly it was done via web videos. I assumed since the ex-interns were here previously they knew how to act in a corporate environment.
Since these new hires have been around in May they have been openly speaking/commenting on the awkward eye contact as they walk by my desk and at their cubes (right near me). Calling me "weird" and "crazy" and saying "she stares as you walk by". I don't know if I'm doing this since I'm working, it could be a unconscious thing so I tried to ignore their comments since I was trying to take the high road/be the bigger person. As time went on they would look into my cube and look directly at me as they walked by, if I looked back they started commenting "did she look?" "yea she did, she's weird". I started to get mad and my anxiety started to grow after a month due to their actions. I didn't want to bring it up because I'm an adult and they are just being unprofessional I figured others can hear and would speak up and set them straight. I don't like confrontation so I won't go up to them myself.
In late July after trying to ignore their comments and ignore eye contact as much as possible I had a panic attack (heart rate increased, felt hot, tearing up and shaking uncontrollably). I then set a meeting with a manager who overseas my team and the new hires team for the next day. She seemed like she cared but I felt weak exposing my feelings and tearing up while she just offered no help (she didn't know a possible solution) and only asked what I wanted. I told her I wanted it to stop, yet she just offered a corporate health center phone number to talk to someone. This I took as her thinking there is something wrong with me. After our meeting I just lowered my monitor and chair to where it was uncomfortable yet my eyes weren't way over the cube wall, the issue was still there yet I just tried to adjust what I could to avoid the issue if possible.
Last week I had another panic attack due to continued comments since I was avoiding looking back and I had sat at a different cube for a day (to run reports off a local desktop computer). Comments were as such "you can tell she is avoiding looking back, haha", "did you see she switched spots, haha", etc. I couldn't take it anymore because I just want to know why is it so important to comment on what I'm doing and what I'm not doing?! I'm just doing my work, I don't know these people other than meeting them and I've never been so disrespected outside of high school like this. My other manager I went to after the second panic attack said he know of the situation and felt really sad that I am dealing with this, mentioned no one should have to and until my cube location is moved he'll do what is need to help me since I'm too valuable to loose. Yet no one even the management of the new hires are doing anything to change their behavior. Their direct managers are my age and also started doing the same thing along with comments and laughter, in my eyes that enabling the behavior. I'm starting to lose all my professional respect for the new hires and their management.
Last week was also the start of my anxiety to even show up to work, this week it has taken me 30 mins to leave the house for work. This week I felt another panic attack coming on due to new comments and laughing about me looking sad. Luckily I was able to stop yet the anxiety was still there so I went to the cafe to work for the rest of the day where it was much more peaceful. I had friday off as a vacation day yet have now also taken the rest of the week off to avoid this anxiety.
I do love my work yet I can't deal with this anxiety anymore, especially since the management that I've talked to is not doing anything to change the behavior and is starting to incline that something is wrong with me or is enabling the behavior. I don't want to hide in the cafe or conference rooms all day until I move cubes (where I may possibly deal with this issue).
So I'm looking for solutions on how to personally deal with the anxiety and or resolve the issue professionally.