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Politics at work - how do you cope? Do you retaliate or just keep your head down?

(8 Posts)
Cloudhopper Mon 06-Oct-08 21:02:56

To cut a long story short, yet again my workload seems to be being targeted by one of my ambitious colleagues. This does frequently happen to everyone - it's a bit of a dog eat dog type of job. Currently all my team are either retiring or temps, and my colleague seems to be using this as an opportunity to undermine me.

I was really excited about this job when I took it on 6 months ago, and gave up something really interesting (and looking back possibly better long term) to take up the post.

I have delivered all the things I have been asked to do, despite working weekends and evenings.

Now they have recruited someone else on a similar level who feels he can take on 'more' and suddenly my boss is desperate to offload some of my work (along with the responsibility and staff) onto him.

The place I work have an appalling record of treating people, and there are at least 5 people who have already been 'constructively dismissed' and who have a great case if they ever decided to sue.

Is there any point in fighting this or should I just roll over and keep my head down (and my job)?

Out of interest I have always had fantastic appraisals, and was poached into this job from another job where they offered me a promotion to stay. Stupidly I decided that once I had got a job elsewhere I had to see it through.....

I am really curious to hear if anyone else has experiences to share that might act as moral support. I am convinced that this is happening partly because I have taken a couple of days off lately while the children were ill....

Cloudhopper Mon 06-Oct-08 22:07:19

Bumping in the desperate hope that everyone else was just in the tony parsons chat like me?

flowerybeanbag Tue 07-Oct-08 09:43:24

Unclear about why the fact that you have colleagues who are retiring or who are temps would be a reason why this particular colleague is undermining you. I'm not doubting that he's wanting some of your workload just not clear what other people being temps or retiring has to do with it.

Why is your boss 'desperate' to offload some of your work, responsibilities and staff on to this other person? Could it be because you are working weekends and evenings? Is he making the reasonable assumption that that is not acceptable? Why else could it be? If he's genuinely desperately trying to remove stuff from you there's a reason.

When you say you've always had fantastic appraisals, is that at this job, or previous jobs? Presumably previous jobs as you've only been there 6 months.

I think you need to let go of the fact that you had good appraisals where you worked before, the fact that you were poached and the fact that you turned down a promotion to come to this job. Those are relevant in making you resentful of the situation, but they are making it worse than it possibly actually is, because you are feeling you have lost a lot, and are probably regretting your decision. Those facts themselves are not important to what's going on now, just to how you are feeling about it.

You need to address the situation you are currently in rather than regretting the loss of the situation you could have been in.

You need to think very hard and very honestly about why your boss is trying to unload work and staff on to this new person. I don't know why it is obviously. I do know that it's not because you took 2 days off when your children were ill, that I can promise you. 2 days is nothing, people take time of for various reasons all the time, annual leave and suchlike. A repeating pattern of lots of time off with children which affects work is one thing. 2 days is something else, and is not the reason here.

There will be an overall picture and a bigger reason why this is happening and working out exactly what it is will help you decide how to deal with it.

I am interested that you think just putting up with this and letting your responsibilities and staff go is more likely to keep you your job than the opposite. I would have said dealing with the situation, keeping your responsibilities and staff and performing well with them would make you better placed to stay tbh.

Let go of the facts that are irrelevant and examine those that are. Work out why you think this is happening - is it your performance, is it your attitude, is it just this other person being very pushy about his abilities.

Then I would request a meeting with your manager and ask the question. Say you are concerned about this, and would like to discuss the reasons for it so that you can address them together. Say that you are feeling undermined and would like to stop it. See what he's got to say about it, make yourself more informed and then consider what your next step is.

Ripeberry Tue 07-Oct-08 09:52:31

This is the reason i NEVER EVER want to work in an office again! Too many egos fighting for dominance!

Ripeberry Tue 07-Oct-08 09:53:35

Listen to Flowery, she's good!

RibenaBerry Tue 07-Oct-08 10:47:12

Yes -listen to Flowery. Some v wise advice.

Cloudhopper Sat 11-Oct-08 21:11:14

Thanks flowery for your sage advice! And the berries for moral support.

It turns out she (my boss) thinks I am overloaded and knows I am working evenings and weekends, and suspects that I can't keep it up for ever with a young family. That is why she is very keen to move something across to him, as he is floating in and out of work without any visible stress.

I am very, very wary of my new colleague, who has already acquired the nickname of 'gloryboy' (unbeknown to me), so it turns out it is not just my heckles he has raised.

I can definitely handle my remit, and I explained that to my boss. She has already decided that he is going to shadow me on the main part of my role, and I couldn't dissuade her from that.

I think the best action is to carry on regardless and stop feeling threatened. Sorry if this all sounded very rambling and paranoid, and thanks for your help.

woodstock3 Sat 11-Oct-08 22:16:58

i've had to deal with situations like this in the past (odd how it tends to be ambitious blokes with no family commitments, vulture-circling senior women with families,...but i digress). it may well be that he has decided you are turf he can move on to and it may be because you have kids, and in that case it may be wise to watch your back.
however sometimes i think we can do ourselves no favours by guarding territory too jealously. if you are working overly long hours, it may help to have someone else doing more. no point in knackering yourself out trying to prove to everyone that you can handle everything they throw it at you even tho you have kids etc.
could you concentrate less on defending your position and more on ensuring that the extra work he is taking on is work you WANT to delegate or do not much want to do, while you hold on to the bits of your job that you really love? concentrate in other words on making the situation work to your advantage.

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