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WWYD work colleague

(22 Posts)
Balanced12 Tue 04-Aug-15 22:06:59

I work with a lovely but very sensitive lady who makes mountains out of molevery hills and often cries when she gets 'told off' in her opinion for creating issues. She has previously had work related stress.

She often asks my opinion / talks at me, I try to always lean towards ask the decision maker. But today I made an error which is telling her what I do (decided I wasn't any more) so what happened next (as usual) is '' rang x and told them they must do said thing (not what I said) but they had a go at me so I emailed our boss and said I spoke to balance and she said'

She has told me she often puts balance agrees in her emails. Arg she's a very nice person but she is making me sound like a prat. I don't want to upset her, she's a frail person.

What would you do?

YeOldeTrout Tue 04-Aug-15 22:10:01

Who is her line manager?

gobbin Tue 04-Aug-15 22:14:01

I'd be distancing myself. I can't be doing with getting involved in other people's dramas and fuck-ups and certainly not in work.

Balanced12 Tue 04-Aug-15 22:15:58

We are both the same level and have the same line manager. I don't think our line manager is a major fan of her as she's an issue maker. We work over several sites I often work with this women (more than any of the others) I we very rarely see our line manager it is all emails and phone calls. So I can't pop by an office and mention it which makes is frustrating

Balanced12 Tue 04-Aug-15 22:18:35

I am attempting to distance need to be stricter with myself received an essay email about she hadn't heard from anyone all week today and lots of issues. Offer my advice and I'm back to square one.

I'll be stricter with my distancing !

YeOldeTrout Wed 05-Aug-15 09:42:09

Sometimes you have to learn the art of not answering emails, too.

PLUtoPlanet Wed 05-Aug-15 10:09:50

She doesn't really sound up to the stress of this job. How on earth did she get it? What did she do before?

Salmotrutta Wed 05-Aug-15 10:19:36

I think the only way to handle this is to keep putting the ball back in her court and keep saying things like - "Well, how do you think you should approach this/deal with this?" "What do you want to do about it?".

Essentially just be a "listener" making "Hmm" type noises etc.

NaiceVillageOfTheDammed Wed 05-Aug-15 10:49:14

If you are at the same work level but don't share projects, then steer clear.

Be as Salmotrutta suggests. Ignore emails unless you have to provide her with specific info that you work on for her job.

There will be a reason you work with her more than others...

AgathaChristie01 Wed 05-Aug-15 11:27:31

I agree, about distancing yourself, and placing the ball back in her court. Someone like that can actually be very draining to deal with. I wouldn't like the idea of her using your name in emails either. I would try to convey to her that 'this decision isn't mine, so really there is no point including my view'.
I'm also a bit wary of people who describe themselves as ' very sensitive'. ( I realise that is your description of her, as opposed to how she describes herself).

This may be down to my own experiences with such people, in the workplace, who used it as a get out clause, while managing to get their own way, and not noticing that others have sensitivities too!

Balanced12 Wed 05-Aug-15 11:45:57

Thank you for the advice.

I think I have 'ended up with her' as others refuse to work with her. She reported several for bullying, she is draining and I have fallen for the emotional blackmail.

She worked in the same role before but had a breakdown so got shifted to our team (I know far to much about this person from sitting and nodding). I've got myself stuck, I like to think I am nice but now I will upset her by withdrawing.

Just had another no one likes me email, I'm not replying (well not today). Sorry this is so jumbled I am my own worst enemy

Gruntfuttock Wed 05-Aug-15 12:56:08

She sounds like a child. She's not up to the job at all.

rookiemere Wed 05-Aug-15 13:21:40

I'd definitely be bringing this up with your manager as if you don't you'll be left without a paddle when she accuses you of bullying at a later stage.

Regarding her emails. Don't answer unless you have to, if she comes over to chase, tell her you're really busy, nicely but firmly. Repeat as required.

Definitely continue your strategy of not giving advice. If she asks your opinion, suggest on all occasions that she refers it to the manager rather than you.

Sorry, she sounds like a soul sapper.

AgathaChristie01 Wed 05-Aug-15 13:45:35

So draining. I worked with someone like that, the 'nobody likes me' bit, in particular. Everything would start off hunky dory, and the new boss / colleague / boyfriend / landlord / friend would be the best thing ever...

Within days, they would have done her down. It was exhausting. The only saving grace, from a work perspective was, we weren't on the same team, so she couldn't really drag me into work stuff, or use my name in emails, like your situation.

Hope you can distance yourself, and I do know it is difficult. Keep pointing her to the manager, and they will have to deal with the situation then.

YeOldeTrout Wed 05-Aug-15 17:28:04

Make yourself unuseful to her.

LazyLouLou Wed 05-Aug-15 17:43:26

That email, the no one likes me one. Forward it to your shared line manager and let them know that you are finding it difficult to offer suitable support. Put the ball firmly in their court.

It might help show them that her repeatedly using your name to support herself is non of your doing. It will put them on notice that she is in need of help and that you cannot be expected to do it all.

If that doesn't work forward whatever you get back from your line manager to HR and dump it in their laps.

She sounds as though she struggles, She may well have issues you are unaware of. If you keep quiet then those with more knowledge can't step in and help her. Either that or she is incapable of doing the job and they need to act on that.

Either way, pass her onwards and upwards.

Good luck.

Sazzle41 Wed 05-Aug-15 17:49:43

If you work somewhere fairly largeish they will often have 24hr employee advice line re anything at all you need, family/legal/employment wise or 6 free counselling sessions.... just a thought. Then maybe she could find another crutch instead of you ? Suggest it otherwise, the counselling I mean, you sound kind ..and tactful! She may have no-one else to vent to and at least if she takes your suggestion, it gives her an outlet/the chance to get to root of her victimhood MO.

Faye12345 Wed 05-Aug-15 17:52:14

Seriously stay away! She's not as nice as you think and I'm betting she'd used you to make a point. Arms length!

TheMasterNotMargarita Wed 05-Aug-15 17:54:15

I would be upfront with your line manager if you can.
Email and tell her that you have been trying to support your colleague but it has recently come to your attention that she is referring to you to in this way and it is not what you intended.
I would put it in your managers lap to deal with, I.e I need advice how to deal with this lady as it is impacting my work and I can no longer provide any support to her.
And as others have said cut her off. So what she will be upset, sounds like you've tried your best but she's an energy vampire. It is unfortunate but you need to make sure you don't get implicated in any nonsense she is spouting.

lastuseraccount123 Wed 05-Aug-15 17:55:13

she is NOT nice, she is manipulative. Right now, she is manipulating you.

Keep your distance.

lastuseraccount123 Wed 05-Aug-15 17:57:02

also, she may well be setting you up to be the fall guy. Make sure you don't play into her game.

FundamentalistQuaker Wed 05-Aug-15 18:00:14

Some people cling on to others and swamp them. This can often flip into blaming them, then persecuting them.

At the moment everything is your responsibility. The moment she is in trouble, everything will be your fault.

Difficult I know, but I advise saying to her the email was inaccurate and not to mention you in her emails, she has to take responsibility. Then take a step back, having told your line manager what you have done and why.

Someone in HR needs to start the incompetency procedure, I think.

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