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Co-worker being mean


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Old 15th February 2002, 11:53 AM   #1
Midnight Magic
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Co-worker being mean

I am in need of some direction as to what to do with a co-worker that takes her stress and her problems out on me. Here is some background: I have been at this job for one year and when I started I found out that this one co-worker was on sick leave and would not be back for 6 months. I was asked by the boss if I knew accounting and since I did I offered to do her work and my boss was really impressed that I was able to do her work and mine at the same time. Now the co-worker has since returned to work(she had cancer and is doing great) and she seems to be hating the world. In the past month she has freaked out at me several times because I was doing her job while she was away, and my boss has commented to her and other people in the office that he is pleased that everything went so well in the office considering the co-worker was away. Now it is not my fault that she got sick and now she resents or hates me for making things at the office run smoother. I guess she wanted to feel needed when she came back, and she is right we are all happy that she is back to work and seems to be healthy. But what can I do...she was plain outright rude and mean to me yesterday. Everyone at the office likes me and even says that this co-worker has changed for the worst since her illness, but why is she being so hateful to me....I was just trying to help out and now I am the bad one. She snaps at me for no reason, she gives me the mean looks and I do not know what I should do. I do not want to cause any problems as I love this job and the pay is excellent. I never said anything to her when she was freaking out I just took it. Do I confront my boss(we have a great working relationship) or do I just let it go. Please help..I am at work and feeling frustrated....

Thanks
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Old 15th February 2002, 12:23 PM   #2
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Re: Co-worker being mean

Let this coworker know that you are entitled to professional treatment while you are at work and you will not tolerate any abuse whatsoever or anything less than totaly professionalism.

Let her know she's got two options. First, if she has a problem with you, she should take it to a supervisor and not confront, aggravate or irritate you.

Second, if there is one more unprofessional encounter initiated by her you will retain an attorney to take action against her to enforce labor and other applicable laws and to enjoin her from further disruptions of your work.

If you don't want to tell her in person, write her a letter outlining the above...or better yet, pay an attorney to write it and copy management.

You might inform the management of your company in advance of your intentions to do this as a courtesy and get their input. When they see you're serious, they may take action of their own.

You have to spend eight hours a day at work and there's no good reason for you to have to put up with some lame bxtch.

I wouldn't take her crap for half a second.

Frankly, I'd bring pies with lots of whipped cream to work and smack them right in her face.

I hate wenches like her.

Let me know where you are and I'll come over and help you if you like the pie idea. I love pie fights.
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Old 15th February 2002, 2:34 PM   #3
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Re: Co-worker being mean

I suppose one way of trying to deal with all this, is to try and understand where this woman is coming from. She's likely still scared out of her mind, regarding the cancer. To be told you have cancer is likely one of the most scary things in the world. Even for those who have chemo and radiation and surgery, and are told things look "good", there is always a real concern that it will come back.

Perhaps she feels that nobody needs her any more..that everyone managed so well when she was gone, that it proved to her that she was never really needed to start with. Or, maybe her anger is really fear...she's afraid that you're going to take her job from her. Maybe she feels you took advantage of her health problems, and were trying to horn in on her job. People can be VERY territorial and touchy when it comes to their livelihood, and feeling threatened.

I'm sure nobody at work knows her actual health status.....do they? Maybe a lot of her anger is based on fear of the cancer....and realizing a lot of "loss" in her life....loss of her health, POTENTIAL loss of her job, loss of feeling that she's irreplacable (most people like to feel they do their job so well that they're irreplacable), etc.

This woman's already been through a helluva lot, I'd say. Cancer is like a 'four letter word'......

No, you don't don't deserve to be treated like crap but it might be more beneficial for you to confront her, in a very calm, non-confrontational, friendly way......and tell her how she's making you feel, and explain that you don't understand why she's being this way.......and reassure her that you weren't and are NOT trying "steal her job" ..... and that you really hope that the 2 of you could come to some kind of resolution with things, because the tension between you is interfering with the whole work atmosphere.

At the root of anger, is fear.

If you speak with her and things still don't change, then you could speak with your supervisor and explain the situation...but at least give her a chance to get her act together, first, I think.

Laurynn
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Old 15th February 2002, 3:31 PM   #4
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To Laurynn

Your advice was so right on the money

This weekend I am going to dit down and write a letter about this issue and then on Monday when I am calmer I am going to sit down with her and have a coffee and rational discussion. I will tell her the truth: that in no way do I ever want her job(she is the accountant) and in no way do I want her headaches of balancing things I have enough trouble doing that with my own bank account.

I never thought of her being scared and you made me realize that and understand her more. If I were in the same situation as her, I might treat the "new" worker the same because yes there is that threat and the territory position is so true. It would be like me training someone to do my job. You are so right...Thanks

I was up most of the night thinking of things that I would say to this boss,because I was upset, but now I am going to talk to her and then if this keeps up I will talk to him at least that way I can say that I was the one that wanted and tried to make things right..

I do not feel so bad now

Thanks
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Old 15th February 2002, 4:23 PM   #5
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Re: To Laurynn

Her health problems may very well be prompting her to be moody and rude...you are so very right.

However, I just don't cut people that kind of slack anymore. I don't think there's an excuse for being consistently rude or nasty to someone.

If it is due to mental or physical illness or her reaction to cancer of whatever, she needs a wake up call. People deserve kindness and respect.

If it is her fear that is causing this, I do have empathy for her but she needs to take a leave of absense from her job until she can conduct herself in more acceptable ways.

I'd personally take this to the personnel department and let them sort it out. Life is too short to take crap from other people, whether it's due to illness, insecurity, menopause or the devil.
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Old 15th February 2002, 8:38 PM   #6
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Re: To Laurynn

It all depends on how bad the situation is. I think you should just kill her with professional kindness.

I have been through a bad situaton a work myself. It consisted of theft, unauthorized raises, unauthorized bonus's, unatuthorized health insurance. And I saved the company a shi* load of money. It was between me and the book keeper, also known as a very close friend of mine. We had daily screaming matches till we were balling tears. And our friendship has never been the same since, BUT now we have lunch together, we laugh, we talk about personal things again and we have even gone to a movie together. All that happened six months ago. We used to shop together, go out & eat at nice resteraunts. Spend the weekends having fun. Things are coming back together slowly with time.

I personally wouldnt write her a letter, but offer her lunch sometime. Try to get to know her better not as a co worker but like a friend of the family. Ask her to help you do something on the job when she is not busy. Even if you already know how to do it, tell her to show you so that way she can feel like she has something on you. Do some filing or something in the her office and try to get conversation out of her. Try to brake some ice. Leave some candy at her desk for her when she comes in during the morning.

Your not trying to compete with her, she wants to feel liked and needed and proud of herself at her job. She has a soft spot somewhere.

I remember once working on a new job. Just about all the other co workers were intimidated by our supervisor. I never saw it! She and would talk like we knew each other well. I became her friend.

Come Monday walk in smiling. When you walk past her smile.

Loosen up around her & try to talk her. Let her get to know you wheather she wants to or not. And eventually she will.

Quote:
Her health problems may very well be prompting her to be moody and rude...you are so very right.

However, I just don't cut people that kind of slack anymore. I don't think there's an excuse for being consistently rude or nasty to someone.

If it is due to mental or physical illness or her reaction to cancer of whatever, she needs a wake up call. People deserve kindness and respect.

If it is her fear that is causing this, I do have empathy for her but she needs to take a leave of absense from her job until she can conduct herself in more acceptable ways. I'd personally take this to the personnel department and let them sort it out. Life is too short to take crap from other people, whether it's due to illness, insecurity, menopause or the devil.
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Old 18th February 2002, 10:43 AM   #7
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Co-worker being mean

Hello

It is me again!!!!

This time the (bitch) co-worker is trying to be so nice to me and she in my eyes is putting on a show and I am not into it. She is deliberately coming up to my desk and smiling and trying to be so happy and I am going to throw up. I am talking to her but I am not going out of my way to talk to her or be nice to her. I will do what I have to do to get the job done.

Have a Great Day People
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Old 18th February 2002, 11:36 AM   #8
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Re: Co-worker being mean

Even when a bxtch makes an effort to be kind, however difficult that may be for them or how phoney it may look, it's a step in the right direction.

I hope you will take a different look at this. At least she's not giving you the same problems she used to. I'd say give her a chance.

As some of the posters said, she may have a lot of serious problems you don't know about. Of course, that's no excuse...but it seems your situation is getting better no matter what forms the changes may be in.
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Old 18th February 2002, 3:09 PM   #9
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Re: Co-worker being mean

you might be on to her game, then again, you might not be. Either way, the best policy in a situation like that is to kill'em with kindness. Who knows? Maybe your putting for that minimal effort might make a difference in how she treats others .... if not, at least you aren't guilty of being churlish when she's obviously making an effort to be nice.
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Old 18th February 2002, 8:15 PM   #10
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Re: Co-worker being mean

Just be yourself & make her feel like she's missing out by being a bitc* to you. Is she this way towards you or everybody. It might not what you think.

Just continue to be polite & dont show her that she bothers you any. Concentrate on your job and yourself & dont worry what she thinks, or how she acts.

If she really gets under your skin, tell her step outside.

Good Luck
Quote:
Hello It is me again!!!! This time the (bitch) co-worker is trying to be so nice to me and she in my eyes is putting on a show and I am not into it. She is deliberately coming up to my desk and smiling and trying to be so happy and I am going to throw up. I am talking to her but I am not going out of my way to talk to her or be nice to her. I will do what I have to do to get the job done. Have a Great Day People
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