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Unprofessional and inexperienced work colleague

(40 Posts)
Newjobstarter123 Thu 03-Sep-20 17:31:22

I’m two months into a new job where I am still finding my feet.

The large team are lovely generally except for one woman who is slightly more senior than I am.

I am being part trained by her but I don’t report into her. I find her extremely unprofessional, patronising and difficult to follow.

I have been referred to by her as ‘the new pretty girl on the team’ despite being over ten years older than her, which I felt was not a compliment but a way to be condescending. I’m far too old to be referred to like that.

She talks really fast, and a lot of the time she just doesn’t make sense. She gossips to me about other staff members. I think she’s trying to be helpful and insightful, but it just makes me feel uncomfortable.

She seems very well liked by others on the team including our team leader.

I personally think she is threatened by me as I am far more experienced than her confused

Earlier in the week I shared some ideas I had and she was quite dismissive and kept outlining challenges but redeemed herself at the end by saying my ideas were good. Really really weird! 🤨 Even if my ideas were crap, she could have been more diplomatic. She’s in a senior managerial role but I find her very inexperienced and juvenile.

Just wanted your thoughts on this situation? I feel like I’m too new in the role to raise this as an issue, but I’m worried if I let it continue, she will become worse.

OP’s posts: |
Potterpotterpotter Thu 03-Sep-20 17:34:11

Keep your mouth shut if she’s more senior and well liked.

mbosnz Thu 03-Sep-20 17:50:45

I think you really run the risk of being seen as very cocksure, new broom, and arrogant if you 'raise this as an issue'. She is senior to you, she is well established and well-liked.

MellowBird85 Thu 03-Sep-20 17:55:37

I’d just wait it out at this point. Team dynamics can be very complex. Just observe for now and try to get on with things as professionally as possible until you’ve got your feet under the table. If the issue persists or gets worse, cross that bridge when you come to it.

fuandylp Thu 03-Sep-20 18:21:55

I don't think you can do or say anything about this yet.
Just keep an eye on the situation in case it gets worse.

I would have to ask her to speak a bit more slowly if it was me, as I struggle with comprehension sometimes when people are speaking.

Kaiserin Thu 03-Sep-20 18:22:37

You seem to have an extremely low opinion of this person, which you have barely just met, and which all her other colleagues seem to like.
Are you sure you own judgment is entirely unbiased?

You resent her friendliness, you interpret her compliments as an attack, you are infuriated by her honest feedback... Is there anything about her you don't despise?

Are you sure you're not the one who feel threatened? Maybe not... but to a neutral observer, it could easily give that impression. Don't rock the boat...

homemadecommunistrussia Thu 03-Sep-20 18:31:58

Indeed, two months in-best to reserve judgement.

RantyAnty Thu 03-Sep-20 18:44:21

If you want to keep your job, be nice to her and listen and ask questions and value her opinion. She's probably important there, so you want her as an friend, and not an enemy. Keep your ideas to yourself for now.
Learn to read the room on the power dynamics of the people you deal with.
Head down and learn the job and how to get along with the people you work with.

Palavah Thu 03-Sep-20 18:49:29

Have you got some kind of syllabus that you're following to reach competence/pass probation? Or your own onboarding plan that covers what you think you need to cover /what your boss needs to cover? If so are you making progress through this?

If yes and she's not said anything directly offensive or illegal then I'd keep quiet until I'd established my own network and reputation

Choppedupapple Thu 03-Sep-20 19:08:36

Talking quickly is hardly a sin? It’s her natural way of speaking and probably completely natural

CultOfWax Thu 03-Sep-20 19:16:35

The large team are lovely generally except for one woman

She appears to be well liked by the team and team leader and from what you've posted she seems (to me), "lovely generally" as well.

If anything, you sound threatened by her - a younger, yet more senior than you, woman in the workplace who appears to be, even by your own admittance, trying to be helpful and insightful.

domesticslattern Thu 03-Sep-20 19:28:17

She gossips to me about other team members.
Really important you gently move away from and discourage this, it will not reflect well on you if you listen or join in. Make sure you stay completely professional yourself.

Newjobstarter123 Thu 03-Sep-20 19:31:29

domesticslatern Thanks, and yes I will do.

It’s really inappropriate even though she may be well meaning - she says things like who is a bitch among the women, and who is a creep among the men. She’s really crass and not PC in the slightest. Doesn’t hold back which surprises me as I am very new in the job and could be anyone!

Also comments on how women look confused

OP’s posts: |
hastingsmua1 Thu 03-Sep-20 19:33:43

You know what, to a certain degree it comes across the other way around - that you’re jealous a woman 10 years younger than you is in a more senior position whilst apparently less experienced/unprofessional. I’m not saying that’s the case, but if you complain it could be read in that way by HR/management.

famousforwrongreason Thu 03-Sep-20 19:37:49

I’m really surprised at the responses here. Very ‘british’, stiff upper lip, lie back and think of England. Tragic really. She doesn’t sound horrendous but her unprofessional teaching / mentoring style would certainly grate on me if I was trying to learn and get things done .
She seems well liked, they just all might be very polite...
Seriously, if we women in the workplace don’t challenge or ask for change or stand up for ourselves for fear of ‘rocking the boat’, then who else is going to stand up for us?

SauvyB Thu 03-Sep-20 19:53:47

You sound threatened and jealous.

Sorry OP

Blibbyblobby Thu 03-Sep-20 20:05:27

famousforwrongreason

I’m really surprised at the responses here. Very ‘british’, stiff upper lip, lie back and think of England. Tragic really. She doesn’t sound horrendous but her unprofessional teaching / mentoring style would certainly grate on me if I was trying to learn and get things done .
She seems well liked, they just all might be very polite...
Seriously, if we women in the workplace don’t challenge or ask for change or stand up for ourselves for fear of ‘rocking the boat’, then who else is going to stand up for us?

Sure, but not two months in. Two months in, whatever you think you know is just guesses and conjecture. Sure, you might be smart and you might be right, but you don't KNOW yet, and everyone knows that.

If you want to rock the boat, it's sensible to wait and watch until you know how the boat handles. You might realise the boat is doing fine. And if not, you are more likely to keep afloat when you rock it.

RoseTintedAtuin Thu 03-Sep-20 20:07:07

Agree with pp (Although may just be the way post is written) that you sound upset that someone younger (and therefore less experienced) has a more senior role than you. She has clearly been promoted to that role for a reason therefore her experience may be more varied than yours even though you have more. Perhaps you should try to make an effort to like her, it makes for a better working environment all round.

IdblowJonSnow Thu 03-Sep-20 20:22:47

I agree OP that gossiping about others and referring to your looks (whether positive or negative) is unprofessional.

However, I would definitely just crack on for now and see how things pan out.

Keep a record of any dates/comments so if it gets worse or goes on and on you've got some notes.

Maybe you just clash a bit but might figure it out moving forward.

Good luck.

Wondersense Thu 03-Sep-20 21:03:49

Kaiserin

You seem to have an extremely low opinion of this person, which you have barely just met, and which all her other colleagues seem to like.
Are you sure you own judgment is entirely unbiased?

You resent her friendliness, you interpret her compliments as an attack, you are infuriated by her honest feedback... Is there anything about her you don't despise?

Are you sure you're not the one who feel threatened? Maybe not... but to a neutral observer, it could easily give that impression. Don't rock the boat...

you interpret her compliments as an attack

I would never, ever refer to another woman as ‘the new pretty girl on the team’.....never mind someone older than me!!!! It's patronising and unprofessional.

There's nothing much you can do OP. If she has a hold on team dynamics, and everyone else is either too dim to see how she is or are beholden to her in some way, you'll just have to keep it under your hat for now. I know it's early days, but keep browsing jobs just in case it gets really bad.

SarahBellam Thu 03-Sep-20 21:09:08

I’d make friends with her - seek her out, ask her advice. Instead of saying ‘I have an idea’ say ‘I want to run something by you - what do you think?’ Praise her publicly, ‘I had this strategy and X gave me some really good ideas to help make it better’. As she’s senior to you, support her and be seen to be supportive. Talk positively about her. Two months is a really short time to be in a job, particularly if you’re new to a fairly cohesive team. At the moment it sounds like you’re the one out of step here, not her. Yes, ‘the new pretty girl’ may have been patronising but she acknowledged that your ideas are good.

Where I work challenging ideas is really important. It means they get thought through so that by the time they are implemented or go public they have been refined and are more likely to be successful. I’d never construe challenge as a bad thing unless my idea was shut down just because someone said it was crap.

As others have said, note when she has been unprofessional or rude. If your still unhappy with her behaviour in a few months you may want to discuss it with your line manager.

rvby Thu 03-Sep-20 21:15:44

If she is senior and well liked, then you can safely assume that the behaviour she shows is the type of thing that is valued and rewarded in that organization.

If you call out behaviour that she has previously been rewarded for as negative, then the folk that have rewarded her - people even more senior than you - will not thank you for that. You'll make them look bad, contradict their values, and create noise in the system that they then have to deal with.

All that at 2 months in? You would be very foolish tbh.

Look for another job if you don't like the behaviour that your current place of work favours. You will save yourself and everyone else a lot of grief.

Lurcherloves Thu 03-Sep-20 21:55:56

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

LolaSmiles Thu 03-Sep-20 22:03:43

Talking about others on the team can be innocent friendliness or it can be unprofessional bitching. Only you can know for sure which it is.

You do sound like you're the one feeling insecure that a younger woman is more senior than you and she's well liked. What would you want to achieve by raising it? Because being a couple of months in and wanting to raise a non-issue comes across like you want to bring her down a peg or two.

You're new in a workplace so take some time to get involved and settle in.

Pluckedpencil Thu 03-Sep-20 22:15:21

If you are that experienced, you should know not to be offering lots of "better ways of doing things" until you are firmly doing the job. Nothing new under the sun, and often the "inefficiencies" have reasons behind them that you have to understand and fix first. Ditto on deciding which team members to side with. If she is both liked by the team and senior, it suggests people consider her good at her job. At two months, you don't know, maybe she is shit hot at her job but a bit of an over sharer on her opinions of people. Keep professional and hold your judgement until you are in role and out of training.

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