to de-friend a work colleague from my Facebook account? (Bit long, sorry).

(47 Posts)

...I haven't done it yet, btw.
In January I posted a thread about me being bullied by my work colleague. I don't know how to link the post on here for you to read for background reasons, not very tech-y, I'm afraid, but if you wish to read it, it comes under employment issues and titled bullied by work colleague, sly tactics, stress levels highsad.

Update: Since my last post, the bullying has upped a level. When my dh found he had testicular cancer, I was off work for a couple of days to help him post-op, very stressful, and while I was off, she told everybody it was because I was stressed about my job, that I was finding it hard!! When I came back to work, I was puzzled that nobody asked me about dh, and did I need help with my job, and to try to relax more. In front of other colleagues, she made a big thing about swapping my day off to tally with dh's hospital visits, all very sympathetic, but when we are on our own, she is horrible. She said ' you should be grateful, at least your husband is alive'. Her dh passed away a year ago last November.

Also she has started complaining to managers about the workload we have to deal with, constantly questioning then about why we have to go through such & such procedure to do this, that and the other. She is also undergoing a complaint made against her by a patient which has gone up to high level and the chief exec has been made aware. I only know this because our operations manager rang up our dept and asked for her, she wasn't in at the time, so told me about it to let us know it cannot happen again. I'm finding this really disturbing: if she carries on making mistakes, the pair of us will be kicked out of the dept. I feel she is doing all this deliberately just for that reason, that if she goes, so do I. She is dragging us both down.
Anyway, what I forgot to mention in my bullying thread was, the work colleague and I became friends on F.book a long while back, before the bullying started. We send messages via fbook messenger for work purposes only, in case of emergency sickness cover. She has a few friends that I know on her f.book account that work together in the same dept, and lately, they have sent me fbook messages this week, separately on different days, asking if I still like my job. One of them even sent me an email with a link which I opened, about working from home... I feel she put these friends up to this to see what my replies would be about my job, but it has made me feel violated. Thats why I want to defriend her, but would it look like she's got what she wanted, a reaction? Please advise...I'm in a state..

grendelsmum -thank you for sharing your grandma's wisdom, it means a lot. Apart from my colleague, the rest of the staff are lovely, very professional. I think, underneath, they know what she's like, but they are far too polite to say anything. I fear they will also be too polite to be witnesses should I ever need them in the grievance process. Understandably, they will fear for their jobs, as they love working there, too. Thats what I'm up against sad

Tomorrow is the first time I'll be working with her since I started this new thread. lets see how it goes...will keep you posted

GrendelsMum Mon 04-Mar-13 21:45:18

My grandma told me something very wise about the difference between how popular people appear and how popular they really are. She said that when she was young, she assumed her sister was the popular one, because she was always chatting, gossiping, etc etc etc. Whereas my gran would have her head down getting on with some work. And it turned out that it was the opposite - everyone knew that my great-aunt did bugger all and would repeat anything you said to her with a few embellishments of her own, whereas my gran did more than her share and kept her friends' secrets. They just didn't want to offend the village gossip and so they chatted to her when they saw her...

Lucie - your situation is so much a carbon copy of mine, it's scary. Like looking in a mirror shock

She is more popular, too, with people, she just sits there talking while I'm working. Sometimes I comfort myself with the knowledge that because I'm so busy, my working day goes faster than hers grin

Sorry you feel over stressed and anxiouswine, do you have any annual leave you can take between now and your leave date? In a few weeks, you'll be feeling much different in your new dept, I'm sure, and can put this awful time behind you too. I hope I will get to that point soon, too, because today, I've decided to look for another job. In another hospital within the trust. I just don't want to spend the rest of my working days working under a cloud. I've still got 20-ish years of it yet, and life is too short. I fear my managers will do nothing either, so cutting my losses, but I will keep records too. I feel too that I'm not going to get anywhere though.

My union rep works in our dept and is nurse in charge....he knows us both very well, so bit close for comfort, will have to look for another.

redtoothbrush - Never thought it would ever have got like that. I have learnt my lesson. Fingers burnt so bad, they nearly dropped off sad
My new account only has family and extremely close friends on it, no one work related.
My main account is de-activated.

LucieLucie Mon 04-Mar-13 10:19:33

Hi crushed I have read both your threads and can really relate to how crap your feeling about work. I am in public sector and was also 'hand picked' over others to go into a specialist team. I didn't apply either whereas others did and the one who applied and didn't get it turned weird. Her friend got in the team with me and it has been hard going since, no help on tasks, passive aggressive comments, personal insults passed as jokey.

Very difficult to prove and report as it sounds petty. My Manager was shit and did nothing then avoided me like the plague after I approached her about it. I don't know if I came accross as ridiculous or if she didn't know/couldn't be bothered how to deal with it.

I started keeping a journal about every thing. Writing things down made me feel a huge relief and saw that what was happening was real and not just in my head.

Things have got so bad for me where I am working that I have asked out the team, I have a few weeks left but I am over stressing, anxious and not sleeping. Problems with one person/ jealousy can escalate as in my case the jealous friend was more popular with the team but I was a hard worker and took on a lot more work but never got recognition or thanks.

I think in your case this woman is wanting you out the clinic so she can get her friend/s in, the ones who applied in the first place, then will say you weren't up to the job. If you have the strength to fight her then do it, but be aware her intentions are sly. Record everything, time and date, quotes and witnesses. Send any work related requests/arrangements by work email only (electronic trail of evidence). Be assertive when she says anything remotely inappropriate - call her on it - "what do you mean by that?/did you mean to come accross so rude?/is there any reason why you are unable to help with x today?" Then record record record.

Take advice from the union rep. He has a duty to keep confidentiality as part of his role but it would be worth getting his advice.

The root of her behaviour is jealousy - the grief is just a smoke screen.

Good luck. smile

RedToothBrush Mon 04-Mar-13 07:27:05

Rule 1 of Facebook.
Never have family other than the family you live with on it.

Rule 2 of Facebook.
Never have work colleagues on it.

Rule 3 of Facebook.
Never add anyone you feel obliged to. If you don't want them freely, then they aren't a facebook friend.

Rule 4 of Facebook.
The Pint Rule. If you wouldn't look forward to going for a pint (or over beverage) with them, don't add them.

Rule 5 of Facebook.
If someone repeatedly post stuff that brings you out in The Rage defriend or block them. This does not mean you are not their friend; this means they are a twat on facebook. There is a difference.

Rule 6 of Facebook.
If someone get stupidly upset over defriending on facebook don't loose sleep over it or re-add them. You did it for a reason.

hi mamma, she isn't on this other account anyway, so won't see anything.
Nothing will get done today, I'm on my own running the clinic, so going to be extremely busy to sort anything. She is on on tuesday. See how that goes.
Will try to update later if anything has been said/done while I was off last week.

MammaTJ Sun 03-Mar-13 21:53:50

I have another account for that purpose too, in my maiden name. Useful for having a look at those who have blocked me, so block her on there too.

GrendelsMum Sun 03-Mar-13 21:06:48

Very best of luck for the conversation smile

Based on what I've seen people say on the Employment forum, where I lurk a lot, I think you may need to go in with a very clear and reasonable demand about what you want to see happen.

I think that there's a fair chance that your managers may be a bit crap / inexperienced and reply by waffling (a friend finds this in her public sector job - the management is just shocking). I think this is particularly likely because the whole thing is just so sad - her DH dies, your DH becomes seriously ill, she's entitled to understanding but her behaviour is deeply inappropriate and unplesant, etc. I think that an inexperienced manager will struggle to deal with this. You need to have the fall back position of saying exactly what you want to see happen to resolve the situation, and knowing that it's reasonable. I'd try posting this in the Employment forum, and see what people suggest would be reasonable ways to address the problem. Ideally, I guess they'd transfer her, but you probably want a range of fall backs.

hi, I'm back, all squeaky cleangrin

mamma-I have deactivated my account. Phew. I did have another that I used to use for, ahem, giving and receiving gifts on my facebook games, (something I don't do anymore, I hasten to add), so I namechanged it and added a few friend requests, family almost done. got a list of other people, but I can do that over a few days..I will tell her on tues when I see her.

Grendels-I think what you said is just perfect. I will copy that out about her dh and mine, and remember it by heart. Thank yousmile

I don't want to move to another dept, I want to stay there. I like the job and the people, bar one, but I think it may have to come to that, cut my losses.
I don't think we could ever be friends. Its a shame to be honest, but once I report her, I think she'll make me pay. When nobody else is aroundsad

Just about to have a bath, will return in a short while. Don't want people thinking I'm being rude.

GrendelsMum Sun 03-Mar-13 19:15:13

I'd talk to the managers and put it slightly differently, so it comes across as sympathetic to her difficulties while making it clear that they're causing a real problem within the department.

I'm seeing it like this - Your colleague's DH died last year. Your DH has been diagnosed with cancer, but is making a recovery. Your colleague is struggling to come to terms with the situation that your DH is recovering when hers didn't, and it comes out in series of bitter and hurtful comments to you, alternating with a refusal to admit that your DH is ill at all. She's clearly also trying to encourage you to leave your post so she doesn't have to see you any more, by getting mutual friends to send you info about job opportunities and asking you whether you enjoy your job (either that, or she's so screwed up that she's simultaneously bullying you and trying to get you to spend more time with your DH when he's ill). Alongside that, she's started to self-sabotage her job and her department.

What do you actually want to get out of the meeting? Do you want to transfer to another role? Do you want your managers to take it to HR for advice about this situation, with a follow up meeting with concrete suggestions within a fortnight? As someone's said, keep it very factual, but without sugar-coating the situation.

MammaTJ Sun 03-Mar-13 18:59:30

I say, deactivate first. Leave it for a while, so she can look on her friends list and see you have deactivated. You will not show up in a search, she will have to look at her friends list. Tell her this. Leave it a while to give her time to check, then go back to it, activate it again, then defriend and block her.

I like the reply to the person suggesting home working. grin

I used to have a boss like her, she would be all pally pally when the owner was around, then a bitch when he wasn't. I couldn't even have a day off in peace, she would ring me about a minor problem, making out it was my fault. Anything I said or did was wrong. When I broke my ankle when out on a Saturday night, she was on the phone to my friends on the Sunday morning telling them to tell me I had really dropped her in it. I was actually in hospital at that point.

When she left, a long time before I did, I chatted to the owner about it and he said I should have told him. My impression was that he supported his managers whateever, so hadn't. She had also done a real job on me with the new manager. Luckily she chose to have a chat with me about how I saw my role and find out who I was before making up her own mind.

I think you should take it higher, I really do. Good luck.

Yfronts Sun 03-Mar-13 18:49:00

Speak to your manager. But keep it factual.

Kat101 Sun 03-Mar-13 18:43:35

Yes, deactivate this account and start afresh with a new account.

I have and will never add any work colleagues onto mu facebook. It has too much potential for complications.

I agree seeing the managers is the only way forward.

I am going to see them this week. I will collate all my evidence tonight, and plan what I'm going to say, then arrange a meeting.

I can't deny I'm crapping myself, but I'm going to do it.

Regarding fb, there is an option where the account can be deactivated temporarily, and to reactivate, you just have to log back in.

It doesn't say anything about having to re-friend request anybody, so if I contact the friends that mean something and tell them I'm coming off for a bit, I could de-friend her, then deactivate the account immediately after. I could then go back on it eventually. At least it looks like its not just her, and she can't turn it against me.

What does everybody think? I think I can manage to live without it for a while.

ENormaSnob Sun 03-Mar-13 17:10:49

I would be taking this way further tbh.

Hr, diary and evidence of fb bullying.

YellowAndGreenAndRedAndBlue Sun 03-Mar-13 16:57:03

You need to make all this official I think, her manipulation etc is possible because you 'grit your teeth' etc, surely if managers knew the situation they would be able t support you?

ivykaty44 Sun 03-Mar-13 16:56:22

Then set up a new Facebook page and use your mother or grandmorthers name

then friend all the people you want to be friends with but make sure your new identity has blocked all the people you don't like so they don't see the new you

then just leave your old facebook behind

so it acts like a decoy with nothing happening just boring and nothing to report for them to see.

The new facebook just tell people someone had hacked into your old account and did some weird stuff - they will not know you have blocked mrs nasty pants

...oh, and I've just replied back to the one who sent me the link for working at home.
I kept it short and sweet, as in:

Hi *

Is this link for me, or have you got me mixed up with somebody else?
Just letting you know so you can send it to the right person smile

* x

ivykaty, I would do that but the problem is, we have mutual friends on fb, so not easy to block and namechange. They are colleagues, some on mat leave, some work in different depts, but they are lovely, no talk of work, just family things. See, also with her being the way she is, if/when I do defriend her, I fear she'll manipulate the situation by making me out to beunreasonable, that I've singlemindedly and heartlessly defriended her. Which is not my nature at all...

ivykaty44 Sun 03-Mar-13 16:30:25

De friend, block and change your name so you can't be found

I have never used my legal name on Facebook and everyone I want to be friends with knows my face and ignores my name as I may have married for all they know - its not a problem

I have also blocked every person I know at work with Facebook so that they don't try to friend me and become insulted if I refuse - as they don't see me and can't find me and shouldn't see my photo on mutal friends pages

Hi vivienne, it is on fbook messenger that we send work related stuff to each other,not the FB actual site,
Its the only way we communicate as we once had each others mobile numbers, but she claimed she didn't have mine anymore, and tbh, I didn't want to give it to her again, and she didn't look like she was going to ask for it any time soon..

I know imperial that they may listen, the problem is, they have only been in this role for about 3 months after they were swapped with other managers, and don't really know us well.....I know I need to speak to them though.

The short answer is that you're never unreasonable to de-friend anyone on FB - it's your account, you should only have people on there who actually mean something to you and who you want there.

As for all the rest, she sounds like a right piece of work, and all I can suggest is to keep records over everything and keep reporting. Hopefully she'll be gone soon and you can get on with your job in peace.

Viviennemary Sun 03-Mar-13 16:14:52

When I saw the heading I first thought don't bother defriending her on FB. But now I have read this I think lyou should just do it. Also I lthought FB was a social thing and not for communicating with work colleagues. I also think you should make a point of telling your manager about her behaviour. Because if you don't and something else cropped up they will say why didn't you say this was going on before.

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