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A bad dilemma at work

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Old 29th May 2017, 12:37 PM   #1
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A bad dilemma at work

Dear all, I need some advice, I feel I am in a horrible position, instinct tells me I am being slightly harassed by a colleague with grievances against our company
The story is this - I am an agency worker, when I joined this other agency worker was there on a fixed term contract - I have worked my socks off in this company and they have been very good to me, appreciated thanks for my work, and recently agreed to extend my contract for one year

The other agency worker who was already there is very mouthy with an attitude problem, doesn't help other people, skives and does the bare minimum of work, she is a total slacker, her team mate carries her and does most of the work - and now I believe she is anxious about her contract not being renewed

I think they have chosen to keep me instead - this girl is very devious though and I believe she may make a case for discrimination - because she started before me and now they are keeping me on - she is already making a big song and dance in the company about not knowing about her contractual end date, sending loads of emails and telling everyone how anxious she is

She has been giving me evil stares in the office and doesn't sit with me, she is a very jealous person, it was even brought up by my boss in a team meeting

Anyway, she came along to our team lunch and sat near me and took the opportunity to ask about my contract - I said I didn't know when it was extended to, it was just rollng, a white lie or I knew she would protest about it

And now I am happily enjoying my bank holiday weekend when out of the blue she sends me a message on WhatsApp - she got my number from the team group work WhatsApp - saying " how are you? I need your help, give me a ping if you're available "

Alarm bells are ringing aplenty - firstly why can't she ask in person, also why is she suddenly acting like a " friend " - perhaps I'm paranoid but I think she wants me to reveal the length of my contract in writing because she's thinking of taking the firm to the cleaners! The emails she has been sending about her contract too to all and sundry again makes me think she is creating a " paper trail " on purpose and wants to implicate me in it, I am caught in the middle

I have ignored it, wise move? Any advice much appreciated thank you so much X X
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Old 29th May 2017, 12:47 PM   #2
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You're right to be wary! Simply don't reply to her, and if she brings it up in person back at work tomorrow simply smile and say you don't respond to work related matters when you're not at work. Play dumb, and whatever it was she wanted your help with she'll have to say out loud in person with others around.

From what you're saying she isn't acting professionally to you, and hopefully she'll be gone soon, so remain cool and civil and get on with your work and let her run around carrying out her business. She's not your friend, she's not even being professional towards you so the most you owe her is cool civility, not any kind of favours or responses out of your regular working duties. You sound a little conflict averse to be so worried about this, but you made the right call in ignoring it. If she has the gall to say anything just act confused, smile and say you're not sure what she means until she's forced to walk away or spit it out.
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Old 29th May 2017, 12:47 PM   #3
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Yes!! Don't touch it!! Avoid her like the plague!! Don't answer ANY of her questions!! She is pure poison and your instincts are correct - she will drag you down with her. Don't let her!!
"I prefer silent vice to ostentatious virtue." -Albert Einstein
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Old 29th May 2017, 1:04 PM   #4
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Thank you both soooo much for confirming, I really did feel there was something very off about this behaviour
That was just what I was going to do, play dumb about it and also say to her clearly I don't respond to work related things with others out of work - I won't say this but I didn't even ever give her my number

Thanks yes I will remain civil - hey OpenBook, I honestly think you are right, the first time I met this girl she was rowing with somebody in the office and I looked at her and actually a light went off, a flashing light saying " drama queen, stay away, dangerous "

We work from home three days a week, I will try to avoid her as best I can - yes I have become very conflict averse and scared of conflict in the workplace as I was bullied previously in another workplace where the people weren't as nice as here

Already one of my bosses went running after her saying " are you okay? " when she was in a strop about this at work and I heard mention of him being anxious about legal ramifications. they know what she is like - all of this makes me feel very wary of any involvement

Your words are precious gold to me thank you guys X X X

Last edited by Dear Lady Disdain; 29th May 2017 at 1:23 PM..
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Old 29th May 2017, 1:34 PM   #5
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Ignore it. Pretend you were out of town out of ping range, whatever. Just ignore it. Tell her when she fusses up that you don't like work related stuff on your time off and if she needs something, to go to a supervisor.
"I care not much for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not better for it." -- Abraham Lincoln
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Old 29th May 2017, 1:36 PM   #6
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Also, I bet she's not supposed to be asking anyone but boss or hr about contracts and such. So don't keep that a secret if it starts getting sticky at work. Tell them she's asked about it and also tried to bother you afterhours and advise them that you do not have anything more than a polite professional working relationship with her, nothing personal and want to keep it that way.
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Old 29th May 2017, 1:43 PM   #7
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Thank you Preraph, I'll defo be out of ping range!
Yes, that is what I was thinking, if any more happens I will go to my boss and inform him she is trying to prise information out of me both at work and out of work and I haven't told her anything - I'm pretty sure what this is all about, to give her " evidence "
The boss told everyone in a meeting my contract was extended for a year but hopefully she won't ask anybody else or they will have the sense not to say - he shouldn't have shared it really, maybe somebody has told her and that is what she is contacting me for

If it gets too much I will definitely speak to somebody

Good advice about telling her to ask a supervisor lol, very assertive - and that's how I will be with her too

Really appreciate you posting thank you my dear - and I'm glad you too thought it could be grounds to see my manager about - I feel vaguely harassed already by this, I feel very unsafe around this person thx again X
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Old 8th June 2017, 2:17 AM   #8
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Hello dear Loveshackers, I just wanted to give a quick update because my God, this girl is now buzzing around like a bee in the workplace trying to curry favour from bosses and making jabs at me
I saw her yesterday for the first time since the WhatsApp message I didn't respond to and she didn't mention it - which was good
I noticed, though, that more than ever she was flirting with all the men in the office and chatted to somebody very high up for ages, standing in front of me, generally trying to get attention from every male in the office - pretty sure she was doing it because she thought it'd rub my face in it or something, so ridiculous
And then she wanted a word with my male boss as well and went to the kitchen, then my male colleague
Finally at the end of the day she says bye and wishes me luck covering my colleagues work who is off today

Anyway I took the train home with a male manager who informed me on the journey that she had asked him about the length of my contract ( just between me and him ) and he was pleased I'd pretended my contract wasn't extended a year to her as he had also pretended - I have to keep everything secret - as it turns out her contract is only extended two months - pretty sure she also tried to fish information from my male colleague as well, who revealed nothing and is keeping his distance

This manager said she was insecure with little emotional intelligence and not very good at the job to me, he thinks she is a colourful character but makes a fool of herself sucking up to the man at the top - I also told him that she was asking about my contract and sent a WhatsApp message to me which I didn't respond to because I felt I couldn't trust her and when I'm in the office she doesn't sit with me

I'm hoping I did the right thing in not responding and in telling them - I couldn't respond but in a way it's got worse now with her competing in front of me all day long - though that is pretty laughable

The good news is, we are tremendously blessed to be able to work from home most of the time so I hardly ever see her! :-)

We are the only two agency workers in the office, the rest are permanent staff

Any advice / reflections would be welcomed thanks X X

Last edited by Dear Lady Disdain; 8th June 2017 at 2:30 AM..
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Old 10th June 2017, 11:49 AM   #9
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Just keep doing what you're doing.

Don't reply to her if she tries to fish for info again.
You could also - if she approaches you in person just refer her to your own manager, after all, it's not actually down to you to discuss contracts - not yours nor hers.

In other words go the 100% professional way and just refer her to the manager and tell her it's not your place to discuss contracts in any way, shape or form.
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Old 11th June 2017, 11:37 AM   #10
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You'd have to be very subtle to pull off flirting with every man at most work places. The managers are seeing right through. She's only making herself look ridiculous and unprofessional.

Everything she's upset about is really between her and the company/managers. It's not your problem. You should just focus on your work and ignore her.
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Old 12th June 2017, 12:56 PM   #11
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Your responses were so helpful thank you so much XX

GemmaUK thank you, yes it was good to read your response and know I am doing the right thing, I'm pretty sure she only sent me a WhatsApp to fish for info, I didn't trust this person from the moment I met them and like to follow my instincts

devilish innocent, yes I think you're definitely right about that! I think the Director gave her the time of day because he wants to let her go gently
The last time she said hello to the Head of Service ( whilst he was complimenting another colleague on her work ) to butt in to try and grab his attention, he turned and looked annoyed and said " who are you?! "

My manager said: Two laws of office politics - know when to open your mouth and know when to keep it shut

Anyway.....thank you so much, your advice is so appreciated bless you :-) XX
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Old 26th June 2017, 1:41 PM   #12
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Seems like there's one in every office who wants to climb to the top over everyone else's back and will do anything except hard work to get it accomplished.

I think it all sound good as long as the man at the top she's trying to flirt with isn't an idiot. When I had a similar problem, both men at the top were idiots and totally fell for her crap and demonized me.

Most offices have policies against trying to discuss salaries, etc. , and this type thing and it's usually taken seriously because if it's not kept quiet everyone in the company wants to make as much as the top person in the company. I know at an office I managed, I caught a new girl emailing a guy at the regional office who had a crush on her asking him what everyone made and then she was idiot enough to tell me (she hadn't even been there a few months) she should get a raise because if they could afford to pay the regional manager $80K, they could afford a raise for her. So I told him that and he fired her and I was glad. Entitled little idiot. I'd already told her I worked 15 years in that industry before I made what she'd started at. Grrrr.
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Old 26th June 2017, 2:05 PM   #13
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Hey Preraph, thank you for your reply, I hope you no longer have any ahem, idiots, in your workplace!

Things have improved, I've seen this girl since and she hasn't mentioned the WhatsApp and is being ok and friendly enough towards me, we are both chatting, I don't think she's actually malicious, though I'd never tell her any secrets

She is pretty young and insecure I think, she's in her early twenties, I've been making some effort to include her and be nice as everyone else in the team is about twenty years older than her

Thankfully management are not being foolish and seduced by her or manipulated as far as I can tell - I think they see right through her actually, though I have four male managers, luckily two of them are championing me, they recognise the fact she does no work and they don't like it

I think she needs to get her self esteem and build up her self worth by deluding herself that she is popular with the " men at the top " which is understandable to me as I think I was once that way myself - she doesn't have family over here or anything, I'm trying to give her the benefit of the doubt now and I'm grateful she hasn't WhatsApped again or mentioned it

I am being vigilant - she is definitely competitive no doubt about that, the main thing is, I know her game and how she plays it so I can keep myself safe

So sorry to hear you were demonised! That is shocking, luckily in my office there are a lot of women as well as these male managers and they know if they were to be manipulated or give her special treatment they would lose their credibility with all their female staff lol - so luckily it isn't happening

Thank you so much for your reply Preraph, best of luck to you and I hope work is MUCH better now XXX DLD
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