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To ask what you would do?

(16 Posts)
OfficeIssue Fri 17-Feb-17 12:29:29

I've namechanged for this as it would potentially "out" me.

I work in a public sector non-management role. Working alongside me is another woman, we do different roles for the same person and are paid at the same pay grade.

Since I started this role she has said some obviously nasty things ("things will be different when the new boss starts, I'll make sure you won't be going out of the office anywhere") and some odd things that I'm sure were meant nastily too (think 'jokey' things like "you type too loud" and "don't yawn, you've only just got here" when she'd just come in to work and I'd already been in for 6 hours). Once she read an email I'd sent to our boss, which was marked confidential, and discussed it with another colleague, in what she clearly thought was a whisper, directly in front of me, for 45 minutes. She then waited for other colleagues to return and, making sure they could all hear, told me I shouldn't have sent it to our boss but to my then line manager instead. My boss had asked me to send the email to him directly following a private conversation we'd had about my working arrangements.

She's also tried to cause friction between me and other colleagues by suggesting that they should "have a word with me" about really trivial and odd things like my tattoo which was slightly visible as I was wearing tights (it's on my leg, not offensive in any way) and my dress length (which was mid-thigh and not at all indecent). She's tried to turn work friends against me by telling them what a dreadful person I am but hasn't been able to give any examples because there simply aren't any.

Recently she's taken to either not speaking to me at all when we're both at work or only doing so to have a go at me for something I've supposedly done wrong. This makes things extremely difficult when we're supposed to be working together. I've raised concerns about her behaviour towards me and others several times before to immediate line managers, second line managers, HR and trade union reps, and they haven't been acted upon once. I now know others have raised concerns that haven't been acted upon either, and that I am not the first colleague she has treated this way. Now our line manager is one of her best friends so I feel totally helpless.

At the moment there's no other roles I can move to and I haven't been able to find any other job options that fit my skills & experience. I suffer from anxiety and this situation, along with some job insecurity, is causing this to flare. I am currently having counselling as a result. I want to get out of that department as quickly as possible and fear being off sick may make that impossible so I feel totally stuck.

What would you do? How can I deal with this? Am I being pathetic? sad

Crispbutty Fri 17-Feb-17 12:31:01

How did she manage to read the email?

OfficeIssue Fri 17-Feb-17 12:31:40

We both have legitimate access to our boss' inbox (PA-type roles).

Astro55 Fri 17-Feb-17 12:34:47

First - you are doing all the right things!

Put every incident into a diary - write a weekly report to your line manager/ HR

Suggest you are being bullied out of your position and ask for a time scale etc for them to deal with the issues

Lastly - and I mean this kindly - I have been where you are and someone said 'why are you acting like her victim?'

I would say this to you - stop acting like her victim and repeat everything she says back 'you think my dead is too short? Smile - ball back to her as she won't have an answer - flumuxed!!'

Astro55 Fri 17-Feb-17 12:34:59


Shakey15000 Fri 17-Feb-17 12:35:35

Not pathetic at all! I'm staggered nobody has dealt with previous raised issues. Were they raised formally? Any paper trail?

ElvishArchdruid Fri 17-Feb-17 12:37:07

Surely if you went off sick and occ health got involved, if you were honest with them about the root cause of your anxiety, they would look to get you moved to get you back into work?

I totally empathise with your situation, it must be a living nightmare.

Speak to the Union and see what they think about what I suggested, then take it from there.

iwannapuppy Fri 17-Feb-17 12:41:48

I really feel for you OP, when you spend so much of your life at work it's so draining when someone makes life hard for you there. I had a similar situation where I was bullied by my team leader and hr didn't want to know. I dealt with it by working my arse off at home to get further qualifications and I got promoted over the bitch! Keep strong and don't let her see she is getting to you. Good luck.

OfficeIssue Fri 17-Feb-17 12:42:57

Thank you Astro, I am keeping a log. I hadn't thought about trying to push it back (of course not in a nasty way).

Shakey, yes. I have lots of paper trails but as no one has done anything to tackle the issue I'm not sure what to do with them now.

Elvish, occ health are involved. I saw the nurse yesterday who has now referred me to the doctor. They don't have a particularly great reputation within my organisation but I'm hopeful that might do something to alleviate issues. My union are also involved but more around the job insecurity issue, I have mentioned all of this to them and they have a record also. I just feel so helpless with it all.

OfficeIssue Fri 17-Feb-17 12:44:13

Thank you iwannapuppy, I'm desperately looking for escape routes! Your post made me smile, gives me hope for my situation flowers

kali110 Fri 17-Feb-17 12:51:46

Sorry op you've have my sympathies, i've been there flowers

OfficeIssue Fri 17-Feb-17 12:56:49

Thank you kali, it's like being back at secondary school.

BrownEyedLady Fri 17-Feb-17 13:51:38

I recommend doing research about bullying so you can identify the behaviours and know that it isn't you (which it isn't - others have complained too so she is a scattergun bully). It helped me to keep my perspective straight and not normalising the behaviour in my own head.

Have you made a formal complaint of bullying? I did. I didn't take the decision lightly, it was hard to do, but there was a formal investigation and ultimately some of the behaviours stopped (bully was told outright to stop some of the comments). I'm glad I did it because I hear reports that my bully is still doing it to others and if anyone else makes a complaint, there is something on file so will show a pattern. I also managed to get out of there eventually and I'm so much happier now.

PuddleJumper01 Fri 17-Feb-17 13:59:45

I think keep doing everything you're doing. Keep working well and hard. Keep looking out for other jobs. Keep recording and reporting.
It sounds like things will change, but may take longer than you would hope.

Come and rant on here or with friends when you need to.

Good luck that things get better soon.

OfficeIssue Fri 17-Feb-17 16:11:52

Thank you so much BrownEyedLady and Puddle.

Since my earlier posts, I've actually seen a job I think I'd be very good at & would like to do. It's further from home & with a different organisation, but I've submitted my application and am hopeful something will come of it smile

BrownEyedLady Fri 17-Feb-17 20:06:39

Yey! Good luck smile

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