Difficult colleague criticising my work(4 Posts)
I'm finding a colleague a bit difficult and am not sure how to respond. We share an office but work in different roles therefore our day to day work doesn't cross over much. I find her very moany about things in general, as well as disorganised and unreliable, but the specific issues are;
1) interfering with things I am working on that are nothing to do with her, and criticizing the way in which I am doing them.
2) Criticizing things I have been proactive about, which wouldn't have happened otherwise - e.g. I have set something up at work which would otherwise not get done. She says it should look better / be organized better, to the point that I would not have time to do it that way so the only alternative would be it doesn't get done at all.
With the first one, I have explained that I don't interfere with things she is working on and would like her not to do it to me. She apologized but then went on about how her actions were justified, so it didn't feel genuine.
With the second one, I have said if she wants it done better she can take it on but I don't have capacity due to other priorities. Her response is we need to talk about it at a whole team meeting with my manager there too, to decide a joined up approach. I am very skeptical as I predict it'll end up with me having to do more work on it, and feeling like it would've been easier not to initiate it in the first place. I agree if more time, money, resources etc. could be put into this piece of work it could be better, but under the circumstances I find it very irritating that she criticizes and says it should be done better when I have simply been proactive about it - I would never do this with her work!
It's hard to explain properly and generally I feel I may be being over sensitive. However I just feel she is generally negative and interfering about things I am doing, that wouldn't get done otherwise.
How do I deal with this at the meeting where my manager will be present?
1 - any more of this and I'd be saying 'look, butt out. It is not your concern and my boss is more than happy with my work so perhaps you need to go get some more work if you are not busy enough that you are interfering in mind'
2 - at the meeting I'd say 'look, I am prepared to do X, which is what I have been doing quite happily to date. If anyone else wants to take it on and do it differently, then crack on'. Then I'd either do it my way or not at all.
I think the tricky thing is blurred lines between our roles. On the one hand the two roles are very clearly separately. However we do have slight cross over - e.g. her department used to deal (very lightly) with the client group I now work with, before my role was created. So she slightly seems to feel my area is something she has, historically, worked (extremely lightly) on.
With scenario 2 above, I have tried explaining why I took on the work I initiated (it was a logical step from other work I was doing) and that if something bigger / better / shinier is wanted then she can go ahead. However I can feel I am getting dragged into making something bigger / better / shinier happen unless I find a way to be more assertive. It is hard as my role doesn't always have clear boundaries, and I have an unsupportive manager.
In that case, just parrot - 'my manager seems more than happy so until that changes, I am happy but thanks for your input'. If you stop reacting and make it dull dull dull then she might just shut the fuck up.
Or you could ask her to put that in an email so that you don't forget and then collate the emails and put a complaint in.
Or just say 'thanks for the info, ta'.
Or 'ooh I'll file that - is that what you used to do?' and let her warble on and turn around and just get on with your own work or go make a coffee.
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