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How to deal with very dominant colleague?

(21 Posts)
CurlyDog Mon 14-Dec-15 10:22:21

I work in an office, doing mostly telesales but we do other sales based admin too. There are 10 of us in total.

One woman is extremely dominant, rude, pushy, and to be frank absolutely awful to work with.

For starters she is extremely messy. Her desk is so full of crap, paperwork and personal belongings that you cannot actually see the desk underneath it all. Her desk, her problem, I agree BUT this mess then dominates the rest of the office. The other day her desk was full so she kept on putting her make up bag on my desk. I asked her not to but she was genuinely taken aback and said "But I need to put it somewhere", and left it there! I then put it on her desk on top of her paperwork and she was incensed! She also does things like comes in with a huge holdall on a Friday if she's going to stay with friends for the weekend and leaves it smack bang in the middle of the office, then gets stuff out of it and a huge open holdall is in the middle of the floor spilling clothes and shoes everywhere!

She also sometimes decides she wants a change of desk for the day, and will just go and sit at someone else's desk and then expect them to sit at her shit-covered desk for the day. She again is totally incensed if asked to move back to her desk. Some just go along with it as she kicks up a fuss so much.

Thirdly, she is very, very, very loud. Screeching, cackling laughter, talking at the top of her voice (usually when attempting to flirt with male colleagues), yet gets angry if any of us make the tiniest sound when she is on the phone! Yet it is fine for her to make noise if anyone else is on the phone. I have pointed out to her several times that she is not quiet and she cannot expect library silence for her calls if she won't give quiet to anyone else. Again this did not go down well.

There are numerous other things too; parking her car across 3 parking spaces in the staff car park (horizontally rather than vertically pulling in to a space), totally trashing the staff kitchen making herself a bacon sandwich and laughing about it, helping herself to other peoples' food from the fridge. So many horrible thing, I really cannot stand her.

The boss seems to know her faults but doesn't do anything about it and just lets her tick along. I am one of the few that will stand up to her but I am getting sick of it all now!

BadLad Mon 14-Dec-15 10:24:07

parking her car across 3 parking spaces in the staff car park (horizontally rather than vertically pulling in to a space)

3 spaces? What kind of car is it?

CurlyDog Mon 14-Dec-15 10:27:22

It's only a small car but she parks it sideways on, so it's parked the opposite way to the rest of the cars

ImperialBlether Mon 14-Dec-15 10:31:16

She sounds awful. Is she good at selling? It's the only reason I can think for your boss keeping her on.

Everyone needs to stand up to her; that's the only way she's going to change. So she parks her car wrongly - she has to move it immediately. If she eats people's food, a complaint is made against her as technically that's theft. Why on earth do people agree to swap desks? They must be mad!

This is not a normal irritating colleague, its several notches up from that. It depends what you want: if you want a fairly quite life, deal with those bits of her behaviour that directly affect you (like the make up bag) and ignore the rest. On the other hand, if she is making working conditions impossible, then speak to your boss and ask him to lay down some general ground rules e.g. leave the kitchen in a decent state, bags are not to be left where they cause a trip hazard ('elf and safety can be useful) etc.

quiet not quite

BadLad Mon 14-Dec-15 10:32:52

Sorry for distracting the thread. You have my sympathy. I'm very glad none of my staff behave like that.

GoodStuffAnnie Mon 14-Dec-15 10:35:02

She sounds like a bully.

I know it's scary but you need to stand up to her loudly and proudly.

No it is not acceptable to ....

Do you have any support from a boss?

angelos02 Mon 14-Dec-15 10:35:13

I can only think that she generates alot of money for the organisation?

Paintedhandprints Mon 14-Dec-15 10:37:40

I'm guessing her brash and pushy personality is ideal for telesales and that's why the boss puts up with her.
The only thing you can do op is calmly stand your ground and just keep politely telling her no.
Poor you.

Pipestheghost Mon 14-Dec-15 10:40:08

She sounds like a nightmare. You all need to complain en masse to the boss and he needs to implement some conduct policies re kitchen and dumping the big holdall in the middle of the room.

Shakey15000 Mon 14-Dec-15 10:41:36

She sounds a nightmare. Agree that everyone has to sing from the same hymn sheet.

Her stuff always put back on her desk. Everyone refusing to move desks. Her holdall plonked on her desk.

Christ, I'd send her to Coventry. Seriously though if things don't improve you should all approach your manager and ask what action they're going to take.

angelos02 Mon 14-Dec-15 10:41:57

Her manager needs to have a word with her. That sort of behaviour should not have to be tolerated.

Shakey15000 Mon 14-Dec-15 10:42:20

Strength in numbers and all that jazz.

Sunnybitch Mon 14-Dec-15 10:44:34

Next time the cheeky cow puts her make up bag or whatever on your desk, put it in the bin smile She'll soon stop doing it!

And if others see you making a stand hopefully they will follow.

00100001 Mon 14-Dec-15 11:04:18

Just keep callingher out on stuff - then she'll stop doing all that shit to you.

BoffinMum Mon 14-Dec-15 11:06:52

I would speak to the boss en masse as people have said, but if the boss is hopeless then you need to call a colleagues' meeting around the water cooler and all agree what is unreasonable and set ground rules about what will happen with her stuff if she leaves it lying around, or if she steals food, or whatever. That may well involve bin bags and people going in pairs to talk to her about it, or involving HR, or similar.

She may be shagging the boss or something, or have something over on the boss meaning he/she won't speak to her about behaviour, so just be a bit careful though.

ExitPursuedByABear Mon 14-Dec-15 11:20:51

Well she would give me the complete rage.

I'd fight fire with fire I'm afraid. Start taking a suitcase in and leave it by her desk. Parallel park next to her car. Leave your half drunk tea mug on her desk. Develop a loud cackle.

Have fun!

WhatchaMaCalllit Mon 14-Dec-15 11:23:35

If the 10 of you (including messy co-worker) work in an open plan office, can you take the initiative and put together a document on Open Plan Office Etiquette and bring it to your manager for them to sign off on? Break it down into sections on Sound (don't make loud phone calls and using a 'reasonable' speaking voice and level), Workspace (desks must be kept tidy, eat meals in the break room, don't leave belongings where people can trip over them for health & safety reasons etc.), Health & Safety and maybe Respect your Colleagues .

See if you can get management buy-in into that and also perhaps see if there is a way that you could run a Tidy Desk competition (prize doesn't have to be anything big)??? Make it an incentive for this person to keep their desk/area tidy.

Daisysbear Mon 14-Dec-15 12:20:02

I think a delegation needs to speak to your manager about her.

Taking up 3 parking spaces, leaving stuff lying around the floor for people to trip over, commandeering other people's desks, and distracting people from their work by her loud and inconsiderate behaviour are all issues that really should be raised with her, by her superior.

knobblyknee Mon 14-Dec-15 12:30:29

You could contact ACAS. Its bullying, its not acceptable, and no you dont have to put up with it. Best of luck.

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