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At colleague taking credit?

(40 Posts)
uptheauntie Thu 27-Mar-14 12:44:47

A director asked my colleague, who reports to me, to do some work for her. My colleague then came to me as she was struggling to work it out. I suggested an alternative way of doing it.

Lo and behold I see an email to day from my colleague, to the director, and several other staff, attaching the work and explaining how she had come up with an alternative way of doing it. And getting lots of praise.

She has not acknowledged it was my suggestion. It is not a major piece of work but it just pisses me off a bit. I'm not in the office until next week but am tempted to thank her for getting it done and say I'm glad my suggestion worked. AIBU?

jollygoose Thu 27-Mar-14 12:50:26

she is taking the piss big time I would email as per your suggestion with a fwd to the director and anyone else with an interest. Be careful to sound very sweet at the same time!

uptheauntie Thu 27-Mar-14 12:59:11

I just want to be careful as she is in admin role, I am not, and I don't suppose she gets much opportunity to do work directly for directors. I might just look spiteful and petty. I really just want her to know that I see exactly what she has done. It is out of character for her to be honest.

And the best bit is she was very doubtful of my alternative suggestion.

Tuhlulah Thu 27-Mar-14 13:02:37

I would be bloody well pissed off, but, I think you should let this go. If you mention this you are going to look desperate and mean. She might really need the praise, and you say she isn't like that normally.

I understand where you're coming from but I think you will come out as mean and mean spirited, and it will curdle future working relationships.

DoJo Thu 27-Mar-14 13:03:52

I would - why not? It wouldn't be so bad if she had just sent the work, but to go out of her way to lie about coming up with the alternative way to do it. Just something really simple like 'Glad my idea about trying x worked - it looks great!' and leave it at that.

Balaboosta Thu 27-Mar-14 13:05:14

Be nice. Let her have her moment.

Nomama Thu 27-Mar-14 13:07:14

Maybe a slightly different wording:

Hi X,

That work looks great. Happy to help again, should you need it.

She'll know you are a tad miffed, but also that you aren't going to go all bunny boiler on her. You don't need to pass the comments up the food chain. That would be OTT and would reflect badly on you.

SybilRamkin Thu 27-Mar-14 13:08:48

Ooh, I'd be really cross! But since she's in an admin role I'd let it go this once.

CoffeeTea103 Thu 27-Mar-14 13:21:32

I Would let it go. You will only come across in a bad way pointing it out. Next time you will be wiser about helping her out.

petalunicorn Thu 27-Mar-14 13:28:10

Aren't managers supposed to help their staff when they are stuck and suggest ways of doing things confused

In a way she was resourceful, she was stuck, she sought help, she got the job done.

LordEmsworth Thu 27-Mar-14 13:52:24

Bringing it up with other people will make you look petty, I'm afraid.

Let it go.

But remember it next time she asks for help, and consider how helpful to be - I'd do the minimum and possibly give her a hmm look when she asks.

uptheauntie Thu 27-Mar-14 13:52:30

Petal, if I sought help with a piece of work and my manager suggested, better, alternative way of doing it, which I then did. I would certainly acknowledge that the alternative method was not entirely my own idea.

Fifyfomum Thu 27-Mar-14 13:54:39

I would leave it but not offer help again and tell her why

PoirotsMoustache Thu 27-Mar-14 13:55:38

I'm a bit confused as to why her being in an admin role makes any difference?

ineedabodytransplant Thu 27-Mar-14 14:02:12

Funnily enough I am almost in the same situation. I designed 95% of a project and asked for assistance for the other 5% as although the 5% isn't my field I know the basics but wanted confirmation. Contract was won and chuffed as it was a project we weren't expected to be successful in.
We had our conference last week and the b*****d who helped got a frigging award!!angry.
No mention or acknowledgement that the majority of the project was by me. Turned out that as he was the last one to have input it saved it under his name. (I'll know better next time)
I know I can't mention it to anyone as of course it does look petty to others but god has it p****d me off!

And breathe............

Forgotmytiara Thu 27-Mar-14 14:12:03

I think that yabu unless she has a habit of claiming other people's ideas as her own to fulfill her own agenda.

"I would leave it but not offer help again and tell her why"

If you worked in my company I would not be happy about your attitude. As her line manager of course she should be able to come to you for help. If she does well, it will reflect well on you in extension. A company will only do well if people freely share knowledge; it's not about you as an individual but what you as a team can do to help the company be successful. This time you helped her, perhaps next time she will help you or somebody else. It's called team work.

I have helped many people at work and more senior colleagues have helped me in the past. It's the only way to learn and grow and for business to do well.

minibmw2010 Thu 27-Mar-14 14:31:15

I would let her know you're aware of what has happened, gently, no need to be too annoyed about it or involve others higher up, but it'll be a good thing for her to know that if she were to do this again others may not take it in such a good vein.

uptheauntie Thu 27-Mar-14 14:36:10

I certainly will continue to help her in the future is she needs it, that is part of being a supportive manager. And I guess on reflection, part of being a supportive manager is letting someone know when they haven't done things quite right. I won't make a big deal of it, I won't involve other (but I suspect the director will mention, in passing, next week about what a brill job my colleague did, I which case I may just say 'yes it looks great, we had a good chat about how to best approach it'), but I will just say something about how our chat was a helpful. And leave it at that.

quietbatperson Thu 27-Mar-14 14:56:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Supercosy Thu 27-Mar-14 15:06:36

Well obviously it IS about team work but it's also about being gracious and honest. This week my school received an award for teaching a subject that I and one of my colleagues teach across the school. We are both passionate about the subject and both put a huge amount of energy into our teaching/resources etc. We are both really pleased about the award but my colleague applied to have our work assesed, put lots of evidence together, made a fantastic photo album of our work and hosted the assesor as she came on a day that I do not work. On the day that the news came through people were congratulating us both. It would have been very disigenuous of me not to acknowledge that my colleague had done the lionshare of the work in getting us this award and I let my colleagues know that this was the case.

I think it's really important to do things like this fairly and graciously. I would indeed congratulate her but also make your point in a subtle way as you have suggested. I wouldn't treat a colleague like this and I don't expect to be shafted by a colleague in this way either.

Poppy67 Thu 27-Mar-14 16:07:22

You need to drop her in it soon, but in a nice way. Her taking the credit is wrong. You never know what's around the corner and if there were job cuts this may help them make a decision. I got screwed once, via never to let it happen again.

CashmereMouse Thu 27-Mar-14 16:18:50

I think Nomama's wording is the best. It reminds her that you helped her, acknowledges that you're aware of what she's done (ie taking the credit for the idea) but stops you from looking petty, especially as you have a senior role to her.

FunkyBoldRibena Thu 27-Mar-14 16:19:14

I would call her into your office, and say you were a little worried that she took the credit and didn't volunteer the credit you made to her issue and to be a bit careful about doing that again as other people aren't quite as understanding as you and they might take it badly which could impact on her future career.

Meaning of course - you are not understanding and have not taken it well.

If she is that thick skinned all you can do is to make sure that is communicated should the opportunity ever arise and make sure you document the assistance you give in future.

Or reply all and say exactly what you said in your initial post.

Not sure what the relevance of her working in admin is.

Minshu Thu 27-Mar-14 16:27:49

I'd let it go. You'll have other opportunities in the future and she may not have the ability to progress further on her own.

A placement year intern at work has just done this, claiming all the glory but not acknowledging a colleague of hers, not realising the management team already knew the full story from the colleague (who had praised said intern). This is one reason we don't expect to be offering the intern a permanent job next year...

whatwhatinthewhatnow Thu 27-Mar-14 17:06:00

Wow funky, your advice actually sounds quite menacing.

I would NOT be doing that. I would be chatting to her over your next 1 to 1 about whether she needs training or guidance in that area, and that you were pleased to contribute to the teams success.

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