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AIBU for putting her in her place?

326 replies

DrJPuddleDuck · 07/05/2021 22:36

AIBU to think I got the better of this office bully?

Colleague (slightly senior to me) has always been a bit ‘off’ with me, lots of subtle undermining, but nothing I could really put my finger on. More recently though, I was offered promotion in another company (I believe a company they have admired for a while) to a position more senior than her. Perhaps understandably, I don’t think they liked this. I am currently working my notice period.

Anyhow, around three weeks ago, my manager called me in to discuss an error in my work. It was indeed an error/oversight, which I immediately corrected and apologised for. It didn’t thankfully, but it could have gotten me in a lot of trouble. My manager also informed me that “a colleague” had bought this to his attention. I was hurt by this, as I would have spoken to any one of my colleagues first, not least because it was clearly an oversight that was so easily corrected. I immediately suspected this person, but obviously had no proof, which made me suspicious of all my colleagues and really affected me. I discussed the situation again with my manager last week and said how it was affecting me, as I couldn’t understand why whoever had spoken to him, didn’t just speak to me first. I said I felt like I’d been to thrown under the bus. In response to this, my manager informed me (perhaps inappropriately) that it was the colleague I had suspected originally who had spoken to them. For context, this colleague would never have seen this error if they hadn’t been going through my work, as it was not a piece of work they were involved in.

Yesterday I saw this colleague, who wasn’t expecting to see me (as we often work in different offices). She couldn’t very well turn around and walk out, so sat down, but looked extremely awkward and avoided eye contact with me. We were alone in the office which likely made it worse for her. I asked how she was, and got short responses. I then suddenly got this urge to not let her win and to let her know that I knew what she’d done (very unlike me!!) I said “oh, I hope you don’t mind me mentioning it, but (manager) let me know that you reported me for X. I just wanted to thank you SO much for letting (manager) know, or otherwise the error might have gone undetected”. She looked horrified, but it felt so good! Not only does she now know that I know, but she also knows our manager (who presumably she was trying to undermine me in front of) has betrayed her trust and it’s not got me in the trouble she was clearly hoping for. She also must have known that I was being passive-aggressive in thanking her, even though I said it smiling. I leave next week and feel like I’ve won the war.

AIBU to feel proud of myself? Part of me thinks I might regret embarrassing her at some point!

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

Cam2020 · 07/05/2021 22:40

Only if if doesn't land the manager in trouble with HR...


DrJPuddleDuck · 07/05/2021 22:43

True. They volunteered the information though. And as harsh as it sounds, I’m leaving.

OP posts:

cariadlet · 07/05/2021 22:47

So basically, you made a mistake, your colleague let your manager know and you've let your colleague know that you're aware of this.

Either I've missed something because it was such a long op or I'm just being dense because I'm tired but I honestly can't see how you've put your colleague in her place or how you've won some kind of war.


thistimelastweek · 07/05/2021 22:47

I'm not sure anyone in this story comes out of it well.


DrJPuddleDuck · 07/05/2021 22:48

Ah, never mind. Maybe it’s a non-story. I feel proud of myself though. I don’t normally stand up for myself and I should just leave it there probably without boring all of you with it!

OP posts:

BowserJr · 07/05/2021 22:50

@cariadlet and @thistimelastweek have it spot on.

This type of shitty office politics is why I love WFH.


DrJPuddleDuck · 07/05/2021 22:52

Can’t argue with that Bowser!

OP posts:

Pebbledashery · 07/05/2021 22:53

I think you could've been the better person and just left it.. I work with a narcissist and I would never make her feel like she's made me feel because I'm a better person than her.


HipHopGirl · 07/05/2021 22:56

Agree with Cariadlet I would've kept my head down.


thirstyformore · 07/05/2021 22:56

I think you handled it perfectly OP!


DrJPuddleDuck · 07/05/2021 22:58

Thank you Thirsty! I’ve been bullied in the past and never dreamed I’d be able to stand up for myself like this one day. I appreciate what others are saying, but on a personal level, I feel proud of myself.

OP posts:

Illstartexercisingtomorrow · 07/05/2021 22:58

Well I feel you OP.

Sometimes it just feels bloody good to say what you want.


UhtredRagnarson · 07/05/2021 22:59

Won the war?


DrJPuddleDuck · 07/05/2021 22:59

It really does! Thank you!

OP posts:

DrJPuddleDuck · 07/05/2021 23:01

I’m sorry I made you cringe. I admit it’s a bit of a naff saying (also cringe I expect!) but it did feel like a war the whole time I was there - a war of power, which she was hands down winning - until yesterday.

OP posts:

LadyLolaRuben · 07/05/2021 23:02

Good on you OP. She should not have been going through your work and was clearly trying to cause trouble. You found your voice and spoke up for yourself. You've got nothing to lose with leaving and for better terms and conditions. Be proud of yourself and enjoy your new job


Pebbledashery · 07/05/2021 23:03

You basically made her feel how she's made you feel though...aren't we better than that??


Pebbledashery · 07/05/2021 23:04

Go and read my thread about my narcissist CEO.. Hopefully you'll realise what I mean.


TigerDroveAgain · 07/05/2021 23:05

Someone is making a milky moo sound here.


BackforGood · 07/05/2021 23:06

Confused as to why the poll doesn't in any way match the comments Confused

You have now really undermined your manager, and could potentially have got them into trouble.
There is no way the manager should have said who brought your mistake you your attention.

You really do not come out of this very well at all. Hmm


MindtheBelleek · 07/05/2021 23:06

But this was the obvious thing to do, surely? Or one of them? I would probably have said ‘Next time you’re checking up on my work, I’d appreciate you clearing it with me first, rather than toddling off to X. It’s the ordinarily collegial thing to do. And if you are that under-employed, I’m sure I can find you some extra tasks.’


DrJPuddleDuck · 07/05/2021 23:08

Thank you Lady.

Pebble - I’m sure you’re right. And this is the first time I’ve ever done anything like this. I don’t normally get pleasure from these kinds of “getting the better of people” interactions. But just this once, it felt great. Especially as I’m leaving it all behind. Maybe she won’t treat my replacement the same way??

OP posts:

WellLarDeDar · 07/05/2021 23:08

If you needed that then good on you OP. No harm done, you're leaving now so you can just forget about it and start fresh.


GintyMcGinty · 07/05/2021 23:11

machiavelli could have learned from you.

Enjoy the rest of your notice and then good luck in the new job.


DrJPuddleDuck · 07/05/2021 23:14

Thank you WellLar!

Ginty! I hope not! But thank you! 😁

OP posts:
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