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Controlling co-workers

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Question: One of my co-workers (Co-Worker A) is a good employee and a hard worker. Another co-worker (Co-Worker B), who supports the department head, is very untrusting and controlling.  She seems to undermine everything that Co-Worker A does and intentionally tries to make Co-Worker A look bad to their superiors.  Co-Worker A is at the end of her rope!  I've tried to offer support and advice to Co-Worker A, but I'm out of suggestions.

Talking to Co-Worker B does not yield any results.  Any suggestions for Co-Worker A who does not want to leave her role but desperately needs help?  -- Anonymous


It sounds like your co-worker A needs to stand up for themselves with their manager in a costructive way. It also sounds like for yourself, you should stop getting involved in other peoples troubles. It may be adding to the problem, does co-worker B feel like it is 2 against 1? Also maybe it is you that is more angry and co-worker A is being polite but really wants you to stop getting involved.

It's really nice that you are trying to help Co-Worker A, but Co-Worker A should be having the serious discussion with Co-Worker B, sometime when a negative co-worker is confronted regarding their behavior they back off, I'm pretty sure she/he didn't think anyone would tell Co-Worker A what was being said behind their back. I'm positive she/he will deny everything. If this doesn't work she should talk to Co-Worker B's boss.

Being silence is consent, and you should never let anyone have that much power over you and your job, so suggest to her/him to speak up and be heard.

IF I were advising co worker A I would tell her to document the work she does and her interactions with coworker B, particularly the actions which result in making A look bad to superiors. I would then advise her to ask for a meeting with her boss to discuss the situation not as "he said, she said" but in terms of the issues and how they affect worker morale. Maybe co worker A's boss could talk to coworker B's boss, but you should stay out of it. You do not want to be caught in the middle of a pi**ing match between skunks.

Coworker A should stand up to Coworker B, or Coworker A will continue to go through this...wherever they may be employed. Rolling over or leaving is not the answer. Coworker A is not the problem, it's Coworker B. The problem is not handled by running away, problems are handled by hitting them head on, and facing them tactfully, and confidently. Typical bully situation it sounds like.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

'mi October 31, 2009 at 4:25 pm

This sounds similar to a situation I have been involved in recently. Coworker a was my supervisor; however, she exhibited horrible behavior in the workplace (including: using the f-word on a regular basis, touching her breasts in front of me to “show me what real breasts look like,” and telling me our manager’s wife had a miscarraige (he allegedly told her this behind closed doors and she told me not to tell anyone). I finally was fed up with her when she went to him and told lies to have me reprimanded and written up. I was able to disprove all alegations she made against me. I explained her behavior and was questioned extensively, my side was coraborated by another coworker, and I was also asked to document everything and give it to our manager in a sealed envelope (I’m not sure why he wanted it sealed). Two months went by resulting in a two page memo that defined our roles and outlined how to proceed with future disputes. My coworker was seemingly demoted from being my supervisor to still being able to tell me what to do if our manager gave her the direction first. One month later and my coworker is still cursing, giving me projects without prior approval from our manager, and backstabbing me to our manager. How do I confront this person in a professional manner? I am considering recording our conversations in order to keep a concise record of what was said, then calling a meeting with our manager to confront her (so she cannot make any false allegations). I will keep the recordings private (transcribe the recordings). Although, I have considered telling my coworker “this conversation may be recorded,” to give her fair warning and to avoid any potential legal ramifications.

Could anyone offer advice on how I could confront this situation without putting my job on the line?


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