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To ask how you would deal with this colleague?

(20 Posts)
Bananaramadramamama Tue 12-May-15 15:03:28

Started a new job about 8 months ago. One colleague decided instantly that she wanted to be besties with me and has always clung to me at work, and sent me constant texts. I haven't wanted to be best friends with her but have been nothing less than nice and polite and decent towards her. She is a little odd and doesn't seem to have any friends, but at the same time sort of rules our workplace with her moods.

I have been told that she always has someone who is in favour with her at one time, and someone she picks on.

Well now I think it is my turn to be picked on! I have today been told by various colleagues that she has been bitching about me when I'm not at work. I am part time and as a result I have no desk and so have to sit at any available one depending on who else part time is off or who is on holiday. Tomorrow I am meant to be at a desk next to this colleague but apparently she has been telling people today that I am not sitting there and she will kick off and "tell me where to go" if I try!

She has been as nice as pie to my face btw but with the occasional snipey comment chucked into the mix. I am actually going to sit at the chair tomorrow and if she creates a fuss I shall tell her to sit elsewhere if she doesn't want to sit there.

How would you deal with her? I want to nip it in the bud and stand up to her. I don't think pulling her up on slagging me off would do any good as she would deny it and lie about other things.

Boss wouldn't be interested. It's a small firm. He's laid back, and lets her do as she pleases.

FenellaFellorick Tue 12-May-15 15:07:04

I'd just be polite and professional and do my job and ignore her childishness.
If she escalated to bullying then I'd rethink that, including taking action against the company if it got to that level (which it wouldn't)

balletnotlacrosse Tue 12-May-15 15:10:18

She sounds incredibly immature. I wouldn't react or get into any rows with her. Just be polite and distant.

balletnotlacrosse Tue 12-May-15 15:11:30

Oh and I've found that colleagues who latch onto new staff and become their 'best friend' are usually the problem people that other people give a wide berth to.

EnlightenedOwl Tue 12-May-15 15:14:23

She sounds about 12 (actually embarrassing to 12 year old)
What does she intend to do if you sit next to her?
She's toxic stay well clear. I have to sit near a Toxic unfortunately. I just try to avoid (and duck because she's prone to getting in tempers and throwing things around the office)

VivienScott Tue 12-May-15 15:14:52

Tell her to stop being such a snipey biitch and get on with her job as the whole office is fed up with her bull shit. Bullies are normally pretty astounded if you stand up to them and rreturn to being nice as pie to you.

SuperFlyHigh Tue 12-May-15 15:15:57

carbon copy of what happened to me only I was full time and had/have my own life etc and my bully/bestie didn't.

all was lovely with her and another woman (the bestie's bestie!) until I said something stupid at work abd then it all went haywire and next thing you know I was accusing them of bullying they denied it etc.

Bullying can be very hard to prove (I know!) and most people deny it. Unless you have proof like emails (which I did have).

Even then like you say if you have a laid back boss (rubbish managerial skills in my experience) and letting her do as she pleases (same as mine, didn't want to cause waves and he'd known the bullies 20/25 years in total) it won't work well as he'll always side with her (as mine sided with them).

Even then with bullying you have to have a solution and you may find that with under 2 years service and part time you're suddenly out of a job.

If it's hampering you getting on further in the company then make a stand.

but I'd do as Fenella says and ultimately ignore. As and when it escalates (and they do, a SIL has had it happen and so has a sister of a close friend etc) then it quickly spirals out of control and gets nasty. then you have tribunals, warnings etc.

or you could get another job.

CrystalHaze Tue 12-May-15 15:16:28

Ignore. Sounds like everyone else is wise to it. Let her make herself look silly and sour and retain the moral high ground.

yummumto3girls Tue 12-May-15 15:18:15

I'd definately sit there and wait for her to kick off, she is the one that will look stupid and give you ammunition for the future. Don't let her intimidate you.

SuperFlyHigh Tue 12-May-15 15:19:15

oh also be extremely professional re sitting somewhere and reiterate that you're doing your job.

if it continues (re her stopping you from sitting at a desk) then speak to HR or your boss. The pettiness you can ignore.

What may be a good idea is keep a record of her 'kicking off' especially if confrontational. remember also if she shouts, swears etc... then this is usually disciplinary stuff so look at your office manual/contract. It may not come to this but if she really loses it and swears you just have to report her for gross misconduct and she'll get a warning which hopefully will stop her in her tracks!

SuperFlyHigh Tue 12-May-15 15:21:06

Vivien whatever you say don't tell OP to say bitch etc... or get her to be confrontational in a way which would cause an argument. most offices 'bitch' can be enough for you to get a warning.

ImperialBlether Tue 12-May-15 15:45:35

Remain polite at all times. "What on earth are you talking about?" "Are you telling me I can't sit here? Why is that?"

She sounds awful and it's time your boss pulled his finger out, too.

Bananaramadramamama Tue 12-May-15 18:12:34

Thanks everybody!

All advice taken on board.

Sleepyfergus Tue 12-May-15 18:17:51

Good luck for tomorrow? It's not easy standing up to bullies but it takes the wind outta their sails when someone does. Sounds like she's rules the roost for far too long.

Sleepyfergus Tue 12-May-15 18:18:24

Sorry, that was meant to be a ! not a ?

tictactoad Tue 12-May-15 18:22:28

I'd be utterly amazed if she said anything at all but if she does I'd go with what you said and tell her to find somewhere else if she's bothered 'cos you're not shifting. Then restrict interaction to work related matters.

shadypines Tue 12-May-15 18:27:05

She sounds infantile, how on earth do people get away with this shite in a the grown-up world?

Zero tolerance is what I would say, I mean what in heaven's name has she got to 'kick-off' about FFS?

Play it cool as cucumber, calm, polite, professional "oh, why can't I sit here is the computer broken?" Don't let her intimidate, she'll look like an arse, not you.

ememem84 Tue 12-May-15 18:31:38

Agree. Sit there anyway. If she kicks off ask why you can't sit there. Make sure others hear it.

But other than that, go in be professional do your job go home.

TheWitTank Tue 12-May-15 18:32:44

I would pretty much guarantee she won't say a word. Why? Because people like that love to talk themselves up and show off, but never have the guts to carry out their threats. She will probably sigh, tut and huff though. In which case, just ignore her completely, be oblivious to it or turn and ask her nicely if she has a problem you can help with. I dealt with a women like that when I was 21 for 3 years. I was constantly polite and nice to her, and in the end she just gave up being a bitch as she wasn't getting anything from it.

QueenBean Tue 12-May-15 18:38:04

Some good advice up thread, and good luck for tomorrow

Someone once told me at work that if ive noticed the way someone behaves, everyone else will have done too. They might not be vocal about it but you can be sure they think that she's a dick

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