Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Work relationships. Am I crazy and how to make this right and move forward.

(145 Posts)
Goandplay Wed 04-May-16 17:44:12

I have started a new job in the last 6 weeks following extended leave after maternity due to PND. Started to feel better consistently around Christmas and decided I was ready to return to work.

Prior to having my youngest DC's I retrained for a different career whilst working for a job I knew I would really like.

This is my first role in this profession although it is office based and I am used to working in offices to the environment is familiar.

There is a woman at my work who I am not sure particularly likes me. Nothing obvious, just repeating what I say if I mispronounce a company name, not returning any tea's or coffees made, asking to speak to colleagues privately when there is no real need, making me feel left out of conversations by not including me or making eye contact. All this is fine as we worked in different areas of the building.

Our offices have been combined and she has been responsible for the moving of desks and new furniture ordered etc. I have arrive today at work and my desk is facing the corner, the other 2 people in the office, (her and another woman doing the same role as me) have their desks facing outwards and there is room for me to be outwards. I knew I would feel isolated even more as she is going to be working in the same office now and the men at my work are big practical jokers so I feel vulnerable with my back to the room when everyone else can see.

Boss arrives after I have settled down to work and comments a few times that it's not right having someone sitting facing a corner. Each time he is answered with a reason why, room in the office, fitting desks etc. The boss then came back and said again that someone can't sit in a corner - he won't have it, the girl says she wants to put up shelves above my desk for files as well. He says no again, she manages to distract him. The new desk arrived which is massive, I am looking at the desk thinking I could turn my desk round, it would work. Mention this and I am told to leave it as it is for now until the other director sees it.

Now embarrassingly I am unable to hold in the tears (there were tears first thing that morning but I went outside, everyone saw but I was outside, the 2 girls I work with asked what was wrong but were a bit blunt about it) but I am facing the wall so I am fighting it. Realising that today is going to be like this all day I spoke to my boss, said I was having a bad day and could I take annual leave. He said no problem at all and also mentioned the desk again and said to move it round, I said that I had said I wanted to and they had both said no. He said do it anyway (I wouldn't be able to move it on my own). He said let the other girl that does the same job as me know that I was going home and go home and come back when I feel better.

I said I was going home and this was met with the phone being picked up and her asking the boss if there was a problem. I don't know what it said but thinking about it now she gave a little laugh and said that she would need someone for the end of the week. I waited until she finished and explained it was for one day and I would be back tomorrow. She then says that it isn't personal that I am sat in the corner and it was the only way the office could work with an extra desk etc. I said (now crying again) I didn't feel as though it was personal, and that I knew me continuing in the role was dependant on us all getting along (was mentioned at the interview) and I like the job etc but felt that the other woman didn't like me. She was there and said what?! of course I do etc. I said this is why I felt I needed to go home because I was losing perspective on the situation and I really didn't want to get into the whole do you like me etc conversation. The boss appeared and changed the conversation to a work related issue and I left.

How do I move forward. I couldn't help crying, I can't stop sad once I feel that way.

I emailed about an hour later to the lady I work with and normally get on with about something work related and finished with saying I would definitely be in tomorrow but didn't receive a reply.

I am gutted - I love my job.

Thanks for listening.

DoreenLethal Wed 04-May-16 17:59:23

Go in. Move the desk. Make your stand.

Tell your boss that you will not be putting up with bullying, you are an adult and all this nonsense needs to stop now.

Jan45 Wed 04-May-16 18:05:09

Poor you, that's bloody awful, stand your ground, move that desk and smile as falsely as you can, don't let them win, tell your boss again that you are not putting up with having to take days off due to bullies!

pidgewidgeon Wed 04-May-16 18:21:08

That's awful! flowers

Can you send an email to your boss, stating that you'd prefer if the desks were moved so you could work more comfortably?

That way it's in writing and no one can change the subject, your boss will have to deal with it or explain why they ignored the fact you were being excluded by other members of staff!

RaeSkywalker Wed 04-May-16 18:28:57

I hope you go in tomorrow and it's been moved flowers

If not, I think you need to say something again, and follow up with an email.

They sound vile.

TwoKettles Wed 04-May-16 18:32:08

Wow - how unsupportive your colleague is - I'd have cried too! The boss needs to step in, I think and get the desk moved. And he needs to tell the bitch to wind her neck in ! Hope things pick up for you soon x

freshprincess Wed 04-May-16 18:37:28

Some people are just crazy loons when it comes to this kind of office crap. So territorial over absolutely nothing.
Can you ask the boss tomorrow to help you move the desk as it's too heavy for you to do it on your own?

QuiteLikely5 Wed 04-May-16 18:39:11

do not let this horrible woman see you cry ever again! When you are on the verge of tears think of her with fish jelly and feathers on her head and if you're feeling brave tell her QL from MN wants to suggest she sits at the desk in the corner!

So sorry your going through this flowers

Donethat16 Wed 04-May-16 18:47:18

The only way to address this is to stop being a victim. Stand up for yourself. Move the desk. It is obvious to everyone (your boss included) that this is nonsense. However, no one can stand up for you except yourself. Your boss was backing you up to move the desk and yet you did nothing. Ask your boss to give you a hand to move it.

You absolutely must make a stand otherwise these two women will run all over you, now and in the future.

No more crying. Just get moving - move that desk. If they object. Simply say, I'm sorry but another solution for the space issue will need to be found but I AM NOT FACING THE WALL.

ChicRock Wed 04-May-16 18:50:46

If you have to get in early before everyone arrives and drag the desk around by yourself, then do it.

Move the desk, your boss told you to, I don't understand why you didn't.

AddToBasket Wed 04-May-16 18:52:12

DoneThat is right, you must stand up for yourself. Lots of people at work ARE unpleasant. Your boss sounds decent, help him help you.

noworktodaywahey Wed 04-May-16 18:54:56

Sadly it looks like you need to make it clear that you will not be pushed around. Personally I'd move the desk myself and say it obviously is better that way. If you're unable to do on your own then an email to your boss asking who can help you to move it. Like all bullies, she'll back down if you oppose her. Leave it and it'll just get worse.

NotWhatIHopedFor Wed 04-May-16 18:58:19

I'll help you move your desk, OP. flowerschocolatewine

fuzzywuzzy Wed 04-May-16 18:59:45

You will have to bite the bullet and refuse to be pushed around.

Your boss is fine with you moving your desk, go in early move the desk. If the woman says anything offer to swap desks with her if she really wants shelves and only that one desk facing the wall, she can face the wall.

Don't let her push you around. You will need to stand up for yourself.

RaeSkywalker Wed 04-May-16 19:03:43

I know it's easier said than done, but try not to get emotional tomorrow. Think tonight about what you're going to say as it might help you stay in control.

I think I'd probably just say something first thing, like "oh X, before you sit down could you help me move my desk please?" Or "I'm going to move my desk now, can I have a hand?"

I flipping hate office moves as it always brings out the worst in people! We've got another one coming up because 3 of my colleagues need to be separated- they chat too much and my manager has finally had enough. It is going to kick off big time.

Goandplay Wed 04-May-16 19:39:57

I am going in tomorrow and moving the desk. I think I was missing the wood for the trees with the support I was getting from my boss. I didn't realise.

I feel like I've been really unprofessional and weakened my position so early in the role. I'm really embarrassed.

I'm worried they won't keep me on after this.

Should I say anything regarding today?

BeautifulMaudOHara Wed 04-May-16 19:42:46

Poor you, her behaviour is outrageous and rude and bullying

BeautifulMaudOHara Wed 04-May-16 19:43:37

And don't give up, you love your job, why should you?

WicksEnd Wed 04-May-16 19:52:44

Sit her in your desk if it's neither personal nor a problem to be facing the corner. What a cow.
Then get promoted and become her boss grin

freshprincess Wed 04-May-16 19:56:39

Just move it.
Don't engage in conversation about it, it'll make her look like the crazy loon banging on about desks all the time.
If she corrects something you say, just say 'hmmm interesting' and move on.
If she ignores you, say 'oh, rude cow didn't you hear me, I said ......'
Be breezy about it all. It will drive her mad.

And absolutely no going home again in tears! You didn't do all that retraining to be put off by some nasty woman like her.

RaeSkywalker Wed 04-May-16 19:59:32

No, I wouldn't bring it up. I would be prepared for your manager to want a quick chat though.

ChicRock Wed 04-May-16 20:00:12

Don't say anything about today.

Move the desk and don't engage in any further conversation about it.

Tell her if she wants to discuss it further she can go and speak to your boss. I imagine he's had a gut full of the desk saga today and may express his annoyance at the next person to mention it.

And when it comes to dealing with her - Cool, polite, professional.

ForalltheSaints Wed 04-May-16 20:01:08

The person concerned should be taken to task as a bully or for defying a reasonable instruction from her boss.

Though if the desk is moved and nothing else happens, an important point is made.

BYOSnowman Wed 04-May-16 20:06:45

Little miss bitch has gone home tonight feeling like the queen because she thinks her bullying has worked.

Can you get in early tomorrow? If so, move the desk and when she comes in give her the cheeriest 'morning' you can and say 'oh look, it does work like this'

If not just move it when you get in

And then talk to your boss and say you got some perspective and you will not be bullied out of your job by a silly little school girl and you expect more support than him just suggesting the desk be moved.

I have come across a few bullies at work - they can rarely deal with confrontation so will back down pretty quick. And I bet she's not very good at her job!

You can do this!!!

Donethat16 Wed 04-May-16 20:10:10

I would caution against directing insults at her or anyone else. Maintain professionalism.

Today does not sound like a great day. Everyone has one of days at some point in their career. You cannot change today but tomorrow and the days ahead are different. Make tomorrow count. Don't enter into any fight or war of words. Go in, move your desk and maintain a steely determination. If you are challenged respond firmly but nicely that this is how you would like it. End of story and conversation. If she keeps questioning or making a fuss, just repeat like a broken record 'I hear what you are saying, but I prefer it like this and I refuse to sit facing a corner'. You absolutely must give her the vibes that you are not prepared to be messed around. Ditch that 'poor me, woe is me attitude' . Don't mention anything about today. Don't apologise for it. Just leave it alone and go in tomorrow with an 'I am ready to kick arse' mindset. They will smell your no nonsense attitude and back off.

You can do it. There is no reason, not even the fact that you like this job, that should allow you to put of with abuse. You are worth more than that.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now