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difficulty with co-worker
July 15, 2005
10:35 pm
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Anonymous
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In the last few months, at work, I have had problems with a co-worker. She insults me every chance she gets. I know the reasons for her behaviour, insecurity and jealousy. I'm not being conceited! We work in an xray department, and there are several specialty areas in any imaging department, and i have specialised in 4, additional to regular xray. She has never specialised, though she has worked in this field as long as I have. She is also envious of any woman that is as or more attractive than she is.
I could easily zing her back, but I am trying to change old behaviours, and I don't want to get in a catfight at work, so I just walk away from the insults, hoping this would stop her, but she seems to be focusing on me more than anyone else right now and i get some kind of slam every day. She has also tried to pin mistakes she has made on me.
I don't know how to handle this outright hostility. Any suggestions?

July 16, 2005
12:00 am
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ACryForHelp
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Well, she sounds just like my (Almost-X) Best Friend and my Aunt...

They are dissapointed with something in their lives and need to be bitchy like that to make themselves feel better then you!

My Aunt will make comments that sound just enoquous so that if I say anything SHE gets mad and either says "I was only kidding" or "Your too sensitive" while my "Friend" has told all our mutual friends that I am just using my need for a Hip Replacement and severe depression as an excuse to be lazy and not get a job!

There is nothing that you can do in a PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP other then turn off your phone or put up with it cuz it's family but in a PROFESHIONAL RELATIONSHIP you need to take it up with a superior or your other coworkers...

I know how scary THAT can be because you are afrade that they will think your just being bitchy or doing the same thing that she is doing to you but if it is making your work day so horrible you need to realize that HER issues are not in YOUR job description!!!!!

Make a diary of what she is doing to you and see if you can get some Documentation or Evidence of what she is doing then present it to your superior.

Or set up a meeting with your boss and spell it all out and ask to be moved to another shift or different department!

Unfortunately you can't change another person so you either gotta ignore her and be unhappy in your career or go to the head of your department!

Just keep chanting to yourself "I deserve to be happy in my job! HER problems are not MY problems!" and see if that helps until you can take action!

Good luck! I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you!

p.s. Sorry for the spelling...sleep deprovation does this to me! LOL!

July 16, 2005
3:38 pm
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Philosuffer
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My advice is to just tell her in a professional and straightforward way to stop it.

July 17, 2005
1:02 am
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i have to bite my lips to keep from telling her " i wonder what you would look like with duct tape on your mouth"

July 17, 2005
2:55 am
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angel4U
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LOL!!!! Gosh, wouldn't it be nice to not have to be polically correct all the time with people and just tell them what we really think!!!!!

auntpolly, I think some of the suggestions on the thread I recently posted (Verbal Abuse - How to Respond) might help you.

I "strongly" recommend from experience to NOT zing her back (especially on the work front) ... and I also recommend confronting her in some way so that she is made aware that you know what she is doing is abusive and that you will not tolerate it (this shows confidence and respect for yourself). I would suggest being the "mature" one and using your utmost confidence and diginity and tell her straight up to "Stop It!" and/or say "I do not appreciate your attitude towards me, and if it continues you will continue to walk away from her."

July 17, 2005
3:03 am
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angel4U
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RE: "She has also tried to pin mistakes she has made on me." ... this one is REALLY DIRTY and I have had it done to me before. I would take this one to my supervisor and make them aware of what is going on, and ask for advise on how to handle it. I think this will help your supervisor to not be so quick to take her word when something happens that is not your fault.

(This actually reminds me of what 1 co-workers of mine said to me when this was happening to me ... he said "it's usually the first to talk that gets the support" ... I was flabergasted by their response and told them that I always looked at myself as being more mature because I did not go tattling in the work place and felt doing so was putting a burden on management, and instead would try to work it out with the person first. They said you would think so, but with some people it is not so ... and now I do believe that with abusive people like this that you cannot communicate with and that are clearly trying to undermine you, it's important to make management aware that you have a problem on your hands.

Good luck!!!

July 17, 2005
11:21 am
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many people have gone to management about her, and they have moved her around to try to find the best place for her, but they can't seem to find one. i appreciate everyone's suggestions, and i just hate to keep going to the supervisors about her. i suppose i will have to, just to keep them aware of her antics.

thank you, auntpolly

July 17, 2005
11:24 am
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to ACryForHelp - i like that- dealing with her issues are not in my job description! thanks, i will use that next time i'm in the office!

July 24, 2005
12:08 pm
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I went to the director about the innappropriate comments this co-worker makes, and about some of the comments she made about the director, in front of a large group of people. So the director called her in her office, and when my coworker denied it, she sent for me! She then asked us to work out our differences, right then and there. My coworker not only denied ever having said the things, she said I said them!
This meeting went nowhere fast! It was a she said, no she said, ignorant waste of time. The only thing I got out of it was not to bother discussing any issues I have with the director. what do y'all think?

July 24, 2005
12:28 pm
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Hi Auntpolly,

It is very embarrassing problem. One of the most difficult things is to work with rude, insensitive people.

Your co-worker's behavior sounds very foolish, abnormal, weird to me. Is she psycho, freak or something?

Everyone knows that they are supposed to be polite, cordial, and courteous. If not they get fired!

If I where you, I would keep silent. Truth is like oil, it will eventually come to the surface.

~Love, Ras~

July 24, 2005
1:04 pm
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angel4U
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(For those that are not aware, you have to click "View All Posts" to see the earlier correspondence.)

auntpolly - I am sorry that things turned out this way, but I am not surprised. By what you shared about the rest of this girl's character, in all honesty, did you really think someone as immature as her would admit to what she is doing? In addition, your Director's response is (unfortunately) pretty typical, especially in the workplace .. and moreso if she does not know either one of you very well. She is in the mediator spot with no proof - all she sees is it's your word against your co-worker's ... a tough spot for anyone to be in. The good news is that you have made your Director aware of yet ANOTHER problem this girl is causing, and have also made your co-worker aware that you are aware that her behavior towards you is inappropriate/unacceptable to you (you would think she would have gotten it when you ignored her, huh?), and that you will take measures to protect yourself from it. Good Job!

This girl sounds like a typical bully that is using negative things to get attention, and it will end up backfiring on her, I promise. At this point, since you can't stop her, my thoughts are that you need to get yourself out of the way as much as possible to protect you. The direction your Director gave -try to work it out together - is pretty typical, but is this really what you want or even think is possible? Or do you just want it to stop??

One suggestion I have is to simply keep EVERYTHING with your co-worker as "strictly business". Whenever she approaches you with more zings about you or anyone else (and my guess is, she will), ask her in a calm/direct manner: "Oh, so I see. And what does this have to do with work"? That should shut her up eventually, because you are not feeding into what she is looking for.

Another is to let your Director know that you respect her thoughts/position about the situation, but you feel you are not able to work this out with your co-worker. And at this point all you are interested in is doing your job without having to worry about being hassled. If it is really serious (e.g. her antics of lying/pinning things on you are making you look bad to others), you may need to let him know this ... and may have to take it up higher (e.g. Human Resources).

Good luck to you, polly. This is such a crummy position to be in. But remember, always, you need to protect yourself first!

HUgs to you,

angel4u

July 24, 2005
1:18 pm
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angel4U
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Raz - I loved this!!!

"Truth is like oil, it will eventually come to the surface."

I'll have to remember this one, as it is so true. Unfortunately it could take a LONG time, and before it does we can get really hurt in the process if we don't learn the tools to protect ourselves.

July 24, 2005
1:47 pm
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Rasputin
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Hi Angel,

I agree 100% with you. However, as a peaceful spiritual person, I learned that patience is virtue. Last year, I had superior whom her brother had car accident. She came to work all stressed out and tense. Throughout the day, she would vent her anger on, guess who? yes me. Why, cause I happened to be the most mature, wise person in the group.

As a good Christian, I turned the other cheek involuntarily. This incident happened 3 times. The 3rd time, I could not take it any more. So, I went to confront her privately in a very loving, friednly way. She denied and got angry at me and accused me of making it up unfortuantely. I was appalled by her since she was very sweet person AND SPIRITUAL PERSON.

So, I had to take it to her superior who took it to the Boss. To make long story short, what emerged from all those meetings and investigations is that they found out that I was the honest one; and she was the dishonest one. Eventually, this woman got fired.

The good news is that we got reconciliated and were smiling & talking in friendly manner with each other.

During that period, I became like a ghost, was on prayer ever since I am back home and during my breaks I would open my devotional in tears crying to the Lord to bring Justice and Truth to the situation.

I lived in agony for 2-3 months. Truth did evnetually come out. Praise HIM!!!

July 24, 2005
2:08 pm
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But it is so hard for me to keep my mouth shut!!

July 24, 2005
9:47 pm
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Rasputin
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Bumping this to Angel to read my last post!

Lord please let her see it.

July 24, 2005
10:01 pm
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angel4U
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((((((Raz))))))

This is so funny ... I am trying to balance my time to get some housework done before going to bed, but left my computer up and decided to peak in again ... =) I guess the Lord does speak to us in mysterious ways sometimes, huh?

I read your post and I remember you talking about this situation before, and remember how upsetting it was to you. I am needing your help though to understand what you are wanting from me.

July 24, 2005
10:07 pm
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Rasputin
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Well, honey I just wanted you to read it to see how conflict is resloved at workplace. It can be frustrating. However, perseverance always pays.

Angel, there is ALWAYS a trial waiting for me everywhere I go. Trials are very tiring, but they really strengthen me. They are essenial to our growth and progress.

July 24, 2005
10:13 pm
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Rasputin
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BTW: this is the 1st time I post this incident Angel. I did NOT post it before!!!

July 24, 2005
10:42 pm
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angel4U
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ok, I was guessing that this was what you were wanting to point out: "Truth did evnetually come out. Praise HIM!!!" ... That gave me "BIG SMILES"!!!! I am glad that there was some justice in your situation. My guess is that your superior knew she did wrong to you, and I am curious what she said to you when you reconciled?

About not posting this before, I had thought I remembered you mentioning something before about having problems in the workplace, but maybe you didn't talk in specifics ... or I might have been thinking of someone else. Sorry for incorrectly connecting that thought to this post. I have also been in this situation with a superior, and I can share in your pain of how difficult it is! Unfortunately superiors use their power of position and sometimes sadly get away with what they are doing for a very long time ... and in the meantime they are not only hurting others, but also themselves. IMO, people that are doing what she is doing seem to only be projecting their hurt, anger, insecurity onto others. When they have no consequences for doing so, it stops them from learning good/healthy communication and making good connections with people.

auntpolly - I know "zipping the lip" is not always easy to do, but one of the things that helps me is focusing on the consequences for all if we don't.

I do believe that abusive behavior needs to be confronted, and that it benefits both parties. (To me, there are many REASONS to act abusively (stressed, etc.), but NO EXCUSES.) From a spiritual standpoint, I also believe that God wants us to stand up to abuse ... It helps you keep your self-esteem and peace, and helps the abuser learn that it is NOT OK to talk to/treat you the way they are. The trick is how to do this with integrity and seriousness.

Blowing your top at them and giving them back the same treatment they are giving you means you have to become abusive with them ... which only seems to keep the cycle going, puts them on the defensive, doesn't resolve anything, and usually makes all parties (including you) feel bad in the end ... and in the work place could make others look at you as if you are just as immature as they are.

In my experience, something simple like "Stop It!" and walking away if need be, is much more effective and mature than lashing out at them, calling them names, or stooping to their level. If they came to me afterwards and asked me why I was so angry at them, then I would let them know.

Easier said then done when they are really eating your goat, I know. Just my 2 cents ... =)

July 24, 2005
10:55 pm
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thanks everyone for all the support. I have given this alot of thought, and I think my best defense will be to only speak to her aobut work. that way, when she tries to retaliate, (and she will!!) hopefully it will have been obvious to everyone that few words have passed between us.
I just don't understand this director. I was told by one of her assistants this woman lied about her previous postition on her job application 2 years ago, and, she, the director has known about it for some time. So she is aware of the lying, and I wonder if she might have pulled me in there just to show my coworker that she was onto her. I guess I would have appreciated a little warning.
Anyway, thanks again, everyone. I was a wreck after this happened friday and obsessed about it all day yesterday, but I feel better now.

July 24, 2005
11:09 pm
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angel4U
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good luck to you, auntpolly. Please keep us posted on how things go ... I will be praying for a "good" ending to this story!

angel4u

July 25, 2005
3:48 am
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Rasputin
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Angel! "My guess is that your superior knew she did wrong to you, and I am curious what she said to you when you reconciled?"

Nothing in particular. But, I remember one day after I complained to her superior, she came to work looking very pathetic and shaky. I think perhaps that's when she was told that she was fired.

All of sudden, she started to act like a kid. Asking for our help. During that time, I was praying and keeping my distance from her at the same time. She sat with me at my office to examine my work. All of sudden, we both started smiling to each other, instead of being just formal and only business-like reacting. This brought back the good old relationship between us which was very good before.

No, she did not tell me anything as sorry for being verbally abusive or bullying me. However, at the end, she confessed to me that she had been married for so many years to her hubby who is very kind person, and only in the last 5 years she started to appreciate him.

Angel, thank you for your comments!

(((Hugs)))

July 25, 2005
8:13 am
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Rasputin
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"Unfortunately superiors use their power of position and sometimes sadly get away with what they are doing for a very long time ... and in the meantime they are not only hurting others, but also themselves. IMO, people that are doing what she is doing seem to only be projecting their hurt, anger, insecurity onto others. When they have no consequences for doing so, it stops them from learning good/healthy communication and making good connections with people."

Angel, this is VERY SMART what you've mentioned in that statement above!!!

I have lived in soooo many unfair situations at workplace, where I was opressed simply coz my supervisor was mistreating me and could get away with it for long time. It makes you bitter and pissed off. However, thru God's grace and with no sense at all, I learned to forgive. If I did not, I would have become the most bitter, miserable person on planet earth.

Actually I consider superiors who get caught and fired are more lucky than those who could get away with it for long time. This superior I wrote about is spiritual woman who is living in disobedience in cetain areas in her life. It was God's way of bringing her to place whereby He can chastise her. That's why I always say bad things happen to good people.

Remember God disciplines His beloved children. On the other hand, I noticed that bad/evil people seem to be more lucky and cover up for their bad/wrong actions that sometimes I feel they do not experience tragedies as much as good people. Simply coz God can not trust them. He knows they are not smart people and do not want to learn and grow.

These are my 2 cents. What do you think!

July 26, 2005
9:44 pm
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angel14U- thank you for your encouragemant, and you were right. Today at work, I was pulled into the office of one of the supervisors, and she apologised for the way things unfolded Friday, but explained that was the only way to prove she was lying.
The coworker has been interim supervisor until the position can be filled, and I was really sweating it, thinking she was going to get the position. She's so hateful. She didn't get it. They named the lead tech today, and she ain't it!!
And the difficult co-worker is on vacation this week, soguess what she gets to find out when she comes back? Poetic justice. Thanks everyone.

July 27, 2005
2:09 pm
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angel4U
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Hi auntpolly -

I am really glad to hear that you found some understanding (from your Director) and you are on your way to peace with this whole situation. My prayer now is that your co-worker learns something from all of this and starts to understand how her attitude/behavior is causing her problems, rather than becoming bitter and thinking that the world is against her.

Have a great day, AP!

angel4U

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