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Issue with bullying, very difficult colleague

(5 Posts)
TidyDancer Wed 12-Feb-14 10:50:06

I work in the NHS in a non medical role. It is a small team of people, maybe six core, two additional part time (they are full time employees but work part time elsewhere as well), and a couple of senior colleagues. I moved to this team some time ago from another area and have been having issues with one particular member. Just to be clear other colleagues also have issues with this person, out of a team of 6, 3 of us find her difficult and one is indifferent only because she is actually looking to leave ASAP. The fifth colleague is a lapdog to the difficult one and number 6 is difficult colleague. To be clear, she is currently not in a position of authority, she is the same grade and position as the rest of the team.

To give an idea of how she behaves, she is dominant and bossy constantly. She also snaps down everyone who dares to disagree with what she says (even non-work related, such as opinions about soaps or sport etc!) and barks orders out. She is the self appointed queen bee of the team and has never been challenged on it. It is her way or the highway. If you are currently her friend, your work life is great, if not it can be quite uncomfortable. She is a bully, although she would never see it that way. She would consider herself supportive and confident.

Difficult colleague was tolerable at best for a while but she has now unfortunately been given a promotion and will be supervising the team of 6. Another member of the team will be added (interviews going on as we speak).

I need some advice about how to handle this woman. She will not be told she is in the wrong about anything so it's not a case of biting back when she says anything. She will just shout people down. Going to management is not an option as they are completely unsupportive anyway and believe the sun shines out of this woman's arse. Telling them she is a bully and making life difficult for the people she is about to start supervising will not go down well and will likely not be believed. HR also not an option as she is buddy buddy with one of them and the other is off on long term sick. What makes things worse is that her work is often substandard but she covers this well.

I am currently looking for another job so hopefully I will find something quickly and there will be light at the end of the tunnel. It's a shame because I really quite like what I do other than this situation but I can't see this woman leaving and I can't see myself continuing to work with her anyway.

But I need some help with regards to how to handle her. I am considering limited contact and only discussing work issues and just not engaging in any discussion in her presence that doesn't relate specifically to work and even then hold back unless I have to engage. I know this sounds passive and I don't like to do this but I'm failing to see any other options. I did briefly consider writing an anonymous letter to management and HR to avoid any comeback but thought better of it as I don't see it achieving anything given their attitudes thus far.

Has anyone been through similar and got any ideas about how to handle this woman?

TIA and sorry for any mistakes (on iPhone at work!) and length of post!

vaseoftulips Wed 12-Feb-14 20:01:03

Similar problem here.

I just limit my contact and avoid her at all costs but sometimes it's impossible. I don't engage in social chit chat and don't go in the kitchen at the same time as her. My problem person is the self appointed expert on everything. Unbeknown to her she is not very well liked at all.

The end of my contract is in sight thankfully.... grin

pluCaChange Thu 13-Feb-14 18:29:01

Will you and your other job-hunting colleague be offered an exit interview, when smile you get your Golden Tickets out?

In the meantime, do you have a union?

TidyDancer Fri 14-Feb-14 19:14:15

Thanks for replies.

Exit interviews are not standard practice that I'm aware of, though I'm sure I could request one. Might not be a bad idea.

I'm not even interested in "making up" with this woman. It will start the whole process over again, and sooner or later I will end up back in the same position. I really would rather just keep things very professional and contact only when absolutely necessary!

pluCaChange Fri 14-Feb-14 19:47:24

Might be fun to implement 360� evaluations, too! wink

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