To be really pissed off with rude colleague?(32 Posts)
I work for a small company, and am in an office with 3 other women. I am the newcomer as I've only been there for 6 months and the others for a year or more.
I found two colleagues to be welcoming straight away and are nice women, but one colleague, I'll call her Jackie, made it obvious from the word go that I wasn't welcome and that she and the others are a group of friends and that there is no room for me.
I have long since stopped bothering to even try and engage with her on a personal level as all of my attempts when I first started were greeted with an abrupt answer or no answer. So I only engage with her regarding work now, which thankfully isn't much, and I try to have conversations with the other two on an individual basis. She never ever tries to make any conversation with me, she literally will not even say hello when I get into the office even if it's just she and I in there and if I say hello first. She talks a lot to the others about things that happened before I worked there, or about nights out that the three of them have had, or tries to arrange things in front of me for the three of them to do together. She regularly books tables for lunch for the three of them and never invites me.
The most irritating thing she does though is when I'm having a conversation with one of the others, she will always butt in, loudly and snappily to try to "correct" me. So if for example I said that the sky is blue today she would interrupt and say "It's NOT, it's GREEN".
I usually ignore her attempts to butt in and just carry on talking, but she is doing it more and more. This morning she must have done it to me 7 or 8 times, it's like she looks for holes in everything I say and then jumps in to prove me wrong.
It is frustrating as there is nothing concrete I can go to our manager with and say she has done, as it's all a bit underhand and subjective. She is a very tough, mouthy person who isn't afraid of a physical fight either so I think if I said anything back such as the classic "Do you mean to be so rude?" it would just escalate, so ignoring seems like the best tack for now.
We do have a second office next to ours, which has 3 men in it, and she is all friendly and nice to those too so they think she's great!
AIBU to be highly fucked off with her?
'Jackie you have butted in and corrected me 8 times today. Are you feeling ok?' with a head tilt.
Why not ask her if she fancies lunch in front of the others....or a drink after work?
Yep, what Doreen said.
To do it in private would be more emotionally intelligent, but if she persists, do it in front of the others
-after having first mentioned your 'concern' for Jackies 'stress levels' to other colleagues in private first
I would just completely ignore her. If she butts in when you are talking, turn your back to her and continue as if she hasn't spoken. Talk over her if necessary. She is looking for an arguement and to degrade you. Don't give her what she wants. Laugh with the others, plan your own lunches if you want. Just utterly blank her unless it concerns work and then be polite and professional. She sounds terrified you will knock her off her top spot and steal her mates. It's insecurity.
Laugh and say "I can't get over how funny you are, always contradicting me, honestly Jackie you kill me!"
She sounds deranged.
I would ask them all to lunch together and see how she reacts hopefully she will show herself up in front of her colleagues.
If she is persistently rude I would say in front of the others (as she sounds scary) "Jackie is everything ok? Please tell me if I've upset you won't you?"
If she them continues I'd note down all the put downs and then after a few weeks if she's bad take her to one side and say "I feel you've been undermining me and being rude to me at work. I have been cataloging this to take to the manager. Is there something we can do to improve our working relationship before I do this?"
Don't allow yourself to be bullied by this bitch.
Excellent suggestion Ginger. Sadly too many people in offices have a tough time dealing with control freak bullies (speaks from bitter experience and not enough backbone to do anything about it)
She's a fruit loop, it would be funny probably if it wasn't so upsetting. I once met someone like that and when one of the group left suddenly she then started treating me as thought I was "in". as though her gang had a one in one out policy in the matter of an eighties disco. Make her line manager aware how awful she is. This is is bullying. Something We should have NO time for in any of its guises.
A mixture of Ginger's and Doreen's approaches for me.
I was once a victim of workplace bullying (many years ago now) and the days when I would have taken it quietly and without a fight are long gone. I would be much more direct now , not really bothered about who else was within earshot.
Good suggestion, Ginger. This woman is trying to bully you. She sounds like a nut job. Document everything and call a meeting with her. If she refuses, go to your manager, explain the situation, and have them call the meeting. Ultimately, all you want is a pleasant working environment. Keep that in mind and focus on the outcome.
It sounds as if there is something about you that makes her feel jealous/ threatened. It's her problem and not yours, but I would really hate to have to put up with this shit on a daily basis.
Are you stunning/very clever / more likely to get a promotion than her? Bullies are always people who deep down are unhappy with themselves. But that doesn't help you.
Oh this kills me, I went through exactly the same thing in my old job. The three women were so territorial and I found myself trying to act like the cool girl to make them like me. Now I've left, I don't miss them (see my other thread).
However, in your situation, I think you need to summon your biggest balls, and ask to speak to her in private. Look her in the eye, remain calm and controlled and say "Is there something wrong? You act somewhat hostile towards me, and I'm here because I'd like to work out what it is so we can move on".
Don't cry, don't say "I feel..." - keep it factual. Chances are when she's put under the spotlight like that, she can't squirm away from confronting it.
I can't believe there are so many people like this about (seemingly from mumsnet in particular, but I've also seen and heard about it in rl)
What amazes me is thst the tactic of keeping everyone but one person on side always works! Are people oblivious, or scared that they will be the target next? Or do they just think it's not there business.
Anyway, pps have made some great suggestions as to how to deal with it.
Need her side of things before we can make a judgement.
What do the other two women say about the situation? Are they able to shed any light on her animosity towards you?
YANBU. I used to work with someone like this. It's stressful and exhausting. If you have a good relationship with the other two women, can you ask them for advice? They must have noticed it. Something like "Is Jackie alright at the moment, she often cuts me off when I'm talking and I'm not sure why". This woman may have a track record of behaving like this (the woman in my experience had) and the others be able to reassure/support you. You don't know the back story here - you might have got the job/desk that she hoped she'd be given, or replaced her work friend that was sacked
for bullying someone else, or it could be mistaken identity....could be anything, but it's probably not you.
Also agree with keeping a note of dates/times of instances. What she's doing is unacceptable and a factual account could be v useful if it doesn't stop. But further down the line, but do you have a line manager/HR/union rep that you could talk to?
I'd like to hear her side too. Show her this thread OP and let her type a reply.
Haven't read all the replies yet but Ginger has great advice, would follow it to a T. This woman at work is making your life a bit miserable, don't blame you at all!!
I think the other women are quite intimidated by her. She comes across as being quite tough and sometimes talks about having punch ups with neighbours and things like that! Hence why I'm a bit apprehensive about tackling her as such.
I believe its known as " acting out". I would suggest a civilized chat with HR present.
If I ever summon up the courage to say " have I offended you in some way" it can produce interesting results!
We don't have an HR department as it's a small company; our manager deals with all of the HR. He generally seems to know what she is like but just accepts that that is just how she is, as she does kick off from time to time if she doesn't like how something in our office is or if something doesn't suit her.
She talks about punch ups? She sounds like a peach.
Please try not to be intimidated by her. She's not going to swing a fist at you in the workplace. If she threatens you go straight to HR. If she interrupts with a "the sky is green" statement just pause what you were saying, then when she's finished resume what you were saying.
"That is just how she is" is the world's worst justification for someone's behaviour. It basically means "I can't be fucked to deal with this." Not good enough.
Agree with Leonard
The person who says "That is just how she is" means one of three things.
1. The bitch's behavior doesn't affect him/her either because she makes sure she's nice to the manager or the manager is not around her enough to care.
2. That person approves of the behavior in some way or is an enabler. People like this woman are good at recruiting allies to help her mistreat somebody she wants to harm.
3. They're afraid of her and know not to cross her or she'll target them.
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