Post # 1
Hi Bees, I need advice on how to deal with a colleague.
This colleague is in her late forties and sits right next to me. She’s divorced, single with kids. Meanwhile I’m twenty and am just looking to move in with SO/FI.
But this woman hates my guts! Here’s a bit of what she does:
• Ignores when I speak to her
• Blanks me when I’ve got someone urgent on the phone for her
• Makes comments about what I’m eating and how my diet is going
• Makes snide comments under her breath every time I put the phone down
• Puts me down about our little house by telling me hers is so much better
• Looks me up and down each day and tells me if she deems my clothing appropriate
• If she doesn’t, she yells at me
• If I discuss working methods with a manager, she’ll burst in and yell at me to ‘do my job’
• Complains loudly about everyone else in the office
• Listens in on my phone calls and yells at me if I ‘do it wrong’
• Tracks my work emails (it’s allowed) and yells at me for any ‘mistakes’
I feel like I can’t do or say anything near her, because she’s just a really nasty piece of work. She’s almost left me in tears before, and I’ve contemplated quitting because of her awful behaviour. I don’t really make that many errors in my job, either, but I think because of my age she thinks I’m just totally incapable!
I don’t know how to handle someone this rude, bees. What’s the best approach? I’ve done my best to ignore her for over a year, it’s not working. Advice, anyone?
Post # 3
@TopazTurtle: Go to HR and say you are being harrassed in the workplace and are uncomfortable.
Post # 4
@ajillity81: I wouldn’t hesitate, but everyone else in the team just shrugs it off and says that’s ‘just her personality’, so I don’t think I’ll be taken seriously.
Post # 5
..but maybe start with your manager and send the email to your manager asking for a private meeting from your personal email so she can’t track it.
Post # 6
Her behaviour is ridiculous, report her to the manager or HR!
Post # 7
Well, she sounds like a delight! Nothing like an angry, bitter divorcee who loves attention. My only advice for you is to continue to ignore her, and whenever you are feeling upset with her behavior, remind yourself that she is just an unhappy and jealous person and try to feel sorry for her (in your head) rather than feeling bad about how she acts. It’s tough, but it does help!
Post # 8
Document her unprofessional behavior and send an email to HR (for a paper trial).
Post # 9
@TopazTurtle: That sucks…we’ve got a Dragon Lady in our office too…she’s been here for years, is awful, terrible, critical and probably eats little baby sparrows for lunch…ANYWAY. You’re looking at this all wrong.
Everyone needs a villan, Snoopy had the Red Baron, Batman had The Joker and you have Nasty Pants with her big fat mouth….sure she sucks, but that means you are the GOOD GUY. And good guys always win…..no matter what.
Take the stakes down a notch in your mind, because at the end of the day, if she can’t fire you, she’s just noise. Remind yourself that if her life is so small and meaningless that tormenting you is all she has…you’re essentially what her life hinges on…which is neat. Finally, keep your villan on their toes, mix it up with her, if she’s screaming, you’re leaving the room for a minute….if she’s ignoring you, go ask someone else, when she tells you to do your job, say, “You first.”
She can’t bother you if you don’t let her, and once you remove that power, they turn into mythical monsters from storybooks…and are just about as equally threatening…if nothing else fails, hide a camera, film her antics and e-mail the footage to HR…if she wants to play dirty….get your hands dirty
Post # 10
@Nona99: Heh, it does help to look at it that way, thanks!
Post # 11
If you ignore her, then she will continue doing what she does. You’re allowed to stand up for yourself. If this were me, I would flat out ask her what her problem is.
Post # 12
Update: She just stamped her foot, hung up on another colleague and yelled ‘there are too many young people in this business, no wonder it’s screwed up!’ and stormed off. Huh.
Post # 13
Nona said it well.
I am by far the youngest clinician in this building…and sometimes I am made well aware of this. I get nastiness, get told that “when I’m their age” I’ll understand, etc. etc.
Guess what I do? Smile and give those bitches a big, wide berth. Why? When I get home, I’m not thinking about them. I come home and I am loved and comfortable. If I keep smiling and give them no fuel, they’re just miserable old bags that like to hear the wind come out of their bellows.
If you’re honestly that upset, I would make a complaint to HR. They have to hear you out on this…that’s what they’re there for.
Post # 14
@TopazTurtle: look at it this way. She’s miserable and angry all the time. She’s jealous and such. Let her be angry, and just ignore her. Don’t be affected by her behavior. As long as you don’t work under her, then you should be fine.
i guess the evil side in me is trying to tell you, you are way better than her and she’s just an angry bitch with a very sad life. Secretly smile inside of you that you have the capability to make her mad and annoy the hell out of her. But on the outside, maintain yourself and do good work.
You don’t have to talk shit about her to other people. Just do good work and annoy the hell out of her. Don’t get sucked into her angry personality and play her game.
Post # 15
If you file a complaint for harrassment to HR, they can’t shrug it off and say “that’s just her personality.” It’s called “creating a hostile work environment”.
Is it possible that she feels threatened by you? Maybe she feels like you could replace her at some point, so she’s hell bent on pointing out any and all mistakes you make?? Just a thought…
Good luck, I’d definitely go talk to HR.
Post # 16
I mean, she’s only making herself look bad. Yeah, it’s super annoying, but as long as you do your job and do it well you’re golden.
My advice would be to address things as they come up. When she critiques your clothing, just say something like “If you believe my outfit to be inappropriate, please take it up with HR, I’ve not had anyone mention to me that it’s inappropriate.” When she complains about anything else, just say, “I’m sorry you feel that way” and walk away. If she’s yelling in the office just say, “Excuse me, I’m trying to make some phone calls, would you mind lowering your voice a bit?” If you give her attention, she’ll continue to act up, if you show maturity and keep it professional, she’ll only continue to make herself look ridiculous.
First take issues up with her, gently. Then, if the behavior persists, take it up with HR.