Detest Colleague(7 Posts)
As the title suggests I absolutely detest my colleague which is not like me because I am quite easy going but she just makes me feel all tense and stabby.
Back story to this she used to be my line manager and completely shit upon me. Completely out of the blue ripped me apart at my annual review. Not a word of anything beforehand just laid in to me. I was having a really hard time with my dh who was long term sick and I also have a disabled child but was still coming to work everyday and putting a brave face on things even though I was under immense pressure. She made what was already a difficult time for me 100 times worse. I ended going off sick as a direct result of this incident. I then ended up being called in for a disciplinary meeting and threatened with getting a written warning which thankfully I didn't get but they will be keeping a close eye on me and if I take off sick again will likely get a warning. I have a completely blemish free career so getting a warning on my record was a big thing for me. I was advised that I could take things further and purse a grievance against her but I dropped everything. She has previous form and I know that she would have made my life a misery. I have seen her do it to 2 other people.
Anyway I came back to work and they had a change over of line management and she is no longer my line manager but she is still in my team. I am professional around her and will speak to her about work if I have to but there is no friendly chit chat or anything like that. I can't forget what she put me through. I came home after the incident in floods of tears as it was so vicious and completely unexpected. I kept replaying it over and over in my head. I can't say what she said exactly but it was completely unprofessional. I was bullied badly as a teenager and I thought now I am a grown woman but it just brought everything flooding back to me and I felt like I was 16 again.
Anyway now everything about her annoys me, her voice, the way she acts, the fact that were I am sitting I have to look at her. When she is not there I feel relaxed and can chat to other colleagues etc but when she is there I just completely clam up and feel tense and on edge around her. It is having an effect on me as I feel me hating her is having a draining effect on me. Eight hours a day is a long time to spend with someone you hate. I look forward to when she is not there. There are limited opportunities for movement so I feel like I am stuck. I need the job and I need the money it's just this one person who makes things difficult. Help?
It was bad management - reviews should never be a surprise, as anything particularly good or bad should be brought up at the time, not saved up to mention at the review for the first time. But it happened (and you're not the only person it has happened to.)
Have you spoken to your current line manager about it? He or she is presumably aware there is some history - but they may also be aware of her history. Is there anyone else you could talk to, in another department or something?
How do your other colleagues feel about her? I don't mean you should start a conversation along the lines of, "X is a real bitch, isn't she?" but people do talk.
You're right that something needs to happen.
You have survived the worst and are now under new line management. Despite the stress that you were under when she was your line manager you did survive. You need to develop strategies to deal with her. You are not that teenager who was bullied, that is over. You need to congratulate yourself for getting through such a dreadful time at the hands of an incompetent bullying manager.
I went through what you are going through and came out the other side a much more capable, confident woman than I ever was. Crazy as it sounds I am glad it happened because it forced me to change.
I was subjected to that behaviour by two colleagues, one of whom was my line manager. I started to get involved in mindfullness and read a lot of books and researched online. I never thought it was possible to change my approach to awful people like your colleague but it was possible and did happen. I am actually glad it happened to me because I have developed real strategies to zone out people who irritate me hugely. I used to fixate about them driving around at weekends. It got to the stage where I was furious with myself for letting them enter my head at the weekend when I wasn't even in their company.
I actually get a kick when I hear them now bleating on and on and I literally rise above it. I know I can block them out and it is really empowering. You can get there.
Research mindfullness and give it a go. It worked a treat for me and I still apply it regularly.
Have you spoken to HR about her? Gosh, she sounds like a right bully! Some people should not be allowed to progress to management (especially when they act like a child).
I really feel for you. I don't think I could work around her either. How about arranging a 'chat' with HR, union rep and current line manager? You have a good career history, this woman has tried to dent it badly. I wouldn't let her get away with it. We had someone like that (now retired thank goodness) who made the lives of so many people miserable. She would sometimes be nice to people and then, at other times, really be nasty (she was in her late 50's when I started there and hadn't worked anywhere else so she felt she owned the place). It was almost like PMT! I saw grown men in tears as she would humiliate them in front of others. Very good workers ended up leaving. New management is aware of what she was like and are relieved she retired I think!
All it takes is a bully (who either can't handle the responsibility of management or is just a bully) to ruin someone else's life. I hate people like that. Is pretty obvious to everyone if an employee isn't pulling their weight (or whatever) but some people try it on with good workers. They also let the power go to their head and use it in a completely unprofessional way.
I feel for you putting up with that much stress.Unfortunately you are not alone.I too have stared my bullies in the face one of whom was so dreadful when my husband had had a heart attack.Our company was taken over and this new man wanted to make his mark.I was rudely spoken too denied hols when i couldnt register to book online and generally treated like dirt and shouted at alot.Some people shouldnt be managers tbh.They cant cope with it.Several people who left reported this man and he has calmed down.Im in the process of leaving because i want to now and not just because he made my life hell.I agree you can block this person out.
yes it's possible to ignore this person. I shared workspace for eight years with a bully and as time went by i noticed her less . The Mindfulness book sounds interesting.
Do not allow her to control you like this. She is probably oblivious to the effect she has on you. You should not behave differently around her. Why give her the power? What's that saying? 'Nobody can put you down without your permission.' Well, don't permit it!
Be the better / stronger person. Not easy, but nevertheless possible - see the posts above, especially Browsers' post. Take control and make things improve.
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