View Full Version : Coworkers

11-02-2007, 03:09 PM
I’m just super frustrated about my work situation. I have a coworker that I work very closely with; she has been working in our office for over 5 years while I have just been working here a little over a year. When I first started she gave me all these projects because I didn’t have a lot to do, so she said we would share them. Well I pretty much ended up doing all the work, and I still do while she talks on the phone all day to her friends. Lately though it has really gotten to me because she says that we “share” the work which is completely untrue. People also know her better since she’s been here for a while so if I do something they will thank her, and she never even acknowledges that I helped or did all the work, she just takes the credit for it. This has happened a lot, and I can’t stand it. Its not that I want people to thank me for my work, but it would be fair for her to say “oh, actually Katie was the one who did that, or she helped”. I would always say that she helped me with something on the rare occasion that she does. Also, she only works until 2pm, so when people call complaining that she hasn’t done something I usually get the brunt of it because she’s not here in the afternoon.

Another thing is that she constantly spreads her things out all over my desk when I have constantly asked her not to. I keep my desk very neat, and her’s looks like a tornado hit it, so she puts overspill onto my desk. She tells me it used to be her “work space” before I came so she’s just used it but I tell her it’s my desk now, and I really don’t want your files all over it. I know it’s kind of petty but I don’t want her crap all over my desk, why should she feel she has the right to do this?

It all bothers me because she hardly does any work and literally spends hours a day on the phone, but no one seems to care because she’s been here so long. I’ve tried talking to her and telling her about this but when I brought up the taking credit for my work thing she made fun of me, and now every time she does something she says “oh, should I send out a memo that you helped me on this?” which I think is completely inappropriate. Or when I’ve talked about it she thinks I’m joking and laughs at me because I’m a little 23 year old and she’s wise beyond her years at 54. I guess I just don’t know what to do anymore because I feel completely disrespected. I know she’s older than me but we are equals here at work regardless of age. I feel like I want to leave my job because of this but I’ve applied to grad school for the spring (part time), which my job is going to pay for, so I can’t give up that opportunity. I’ve said that I might need to talk to my boss, and she said “you would throw me under the bus like that”. I guess I don’t know what to do anymore about this situation.

11-02-2007, 03:16 PM
I would talk to someone... You can't continue to work this way. Can you at least move your desk to another area?

11-02-2007, 03:18 PM
I am so sorry that you feel so frustrated. I would too if i was in your position.
I think you have gone about things the right way and she is still not listening.
I think that you should maybe ask her if she would go and have a coffee with you and maybe bring up the subject while you are outside of work. She may be more inclined to listen when she is outside of the work surroundings.
if she still continues then , make it clear that you will have to tell someone higher as this not fair on you.
She is taking advatage of you and of her employers .
I hope this helps .


11-02-2007, 03:33 PM
Is she a state/fedral employee :teehee:

I would talk to your boss.

11-02-2007, 03:39 PM
Well I was just talking to another coworker about this because she could tell I've been upset about something. She let me know that our boss (who is new) talked to her and kind of expressed to her that a lot of the docs we work with have spoken to our boss because they are upset about the coworker who talks on the phone all the time. My old boss who left about a month ago just let anything go, and never spoke to her about this even though she knew about it.

11-02-2007, 03:55 PM
Is she a state/fedral employee :teehee:

Hey! I resemble that remark. :teehee: Oh am I on KH again during the workday? :roflhard::rofl:

Seriously though, your work situation is really frustrating Kaydee and you've been respectful and appropriate about it. I think it's completely appropriate and within your rights to go to HR or a manager to discuss why the work environment is not ideal. It's not about throwing her under a bus, it's about doing your job without harrassment. I'd ignore her snide comments about speaking with a boss, of course she's gonna try to guilt you so she doesn't get in trouble. Good luck.

11-02-2007, 04:10 PM
Kaydee-:hug: I know what its like to be frustrated by co-workers. I work with another of the take credit, talk all day on the phone people. I'm both management and an EMPLOYEE so I'm kinda stuck.
However, you have done everything correctly:thumbsup: --you've tried to handle it yourself and it really is time to go to the boss. You may be surprised to learn that they HAVE noticed that the phone talker isn't doing her work and IS taking credit for your work. Sometimes you just need to let them know that not only is the phone talker's attitude and work habits affecting you and your work, it is affecting the professional reputation of the office.
Good luck and I hope things get better for you.

11-02-2007, 04:17 PM
If you feel talking to your boss would do any good, I say throw her under that bus!!

11-02-2007, 04:30 PM
I think you've been more than diplomatic about it and talking to your boss seems like the only solution now. The woman is using you and then making you feel bad when you call her on it. She's a leech. Her comment of throwing her under the bus was an attempt to make you feel guilty because she's starting to be afraid you'll do something about her. Maybe that will be enough to shape her up but not for long. Good luck. :hug:

11-02-2007, 06:15 PM
It sounds like the new boss might do something or maybe keeping a close eye on her right now... You might try talking to the new boss about it? or seeing if there is a way to keep her stuff on her desk...


11-02-2007, 06:19 PM
Maybe you could also try talking to your new boss with the employee present. Make sure you have specific examples to use, such as such-and-such project, etc. Maybe new policies need to be drawn up as far as signing off on projects, with each person (you and her) placing your initials when your part of the project is completed...that way you get the credit you deserve. With your supervisor being so new, it would also be a good time for her to institute clear-cut expectations, such as you clock out when carrying on prolonged, personal conversations, etc. Also explain the personal space thing. That's downright rude and unprofessional. I would not have it, I can tell you. The meeting with both should not be accusatory, but you shouldn't be a door mat either.

If all else fails, try looking for another job. I was in a very bad work environment for a little over a year. It was absolutely miserable, and I got to where I wouldn't talk to anyone. My supervisor was not good at her job and let things go, promising everyone whatever they wanted. I put applications out, and without even expecting it, a new job fell in my lap.

Oh, and one other thing...don't talk to other coworkers about this problem. Word spreads, and it gets uglier the further it goes. Maintain your reputation for being a professional worker. That instills trust with everyone who might know you.

Good luck! :hug:

11-02-2007, 08:31 PM
Thanks for the support everyone.:hug: I don't want to leave my job, I'm just really getting tired of things....she actually told me at the end of the day today that maybe I should start looking because she wasn't going anywhere. She knows she has a really cushy job since she can talk on the phone all day and she basically leaves whenever she wants. Anyway, I'm going to ask my boss if we can set aside some time just to talk things over and try to come up with a solution to this.

11-02-2007, 08:53 PM
OK, I take back my comment on her being a leech, she's a shrew instead. I hope you can get it resolved, don't let her get the best of you.

11-02-2007, 09:02 PM
Oh, how annoying!! I really hope your boss noticed her work ethic, and will back you in this. Let us know how your meeting with him/her!

And, you could buy those cute little plastic picket fence things that people put around their flower beds (you can get them at Wal-Mart) to divide your desk area from hers. You can even decorate it with Christmas lights :)

11-03-2007, 10:34 AM
What a mean-spirited person. I doubt that anything you or your boss does will make things better. Until your co-worker decides to be different, things will stay the same. Maybe they could put you in a different area of the office? Put some distance between you?

11-03-2007, 12:22 PM
I agree with not discussing this situation with other co-workers as it's unprofessional.

You really should have a discussion, in a professional manner, with the boss regarding this situation as it's unacceptable.

The last time I worked in an office situation there were a number of unproductive workers there, most of whom had been there far longer than myself. When I eventually became their boss the first thing I did was fire them.

Remain a professional no matter what. Those people may wind up being your boss some day or, better yet, you may be there's.

11-04-2007, 01:24 AM
You are a victim of workplace bullying. Many people lose their health because they suffer from incredible stress in toxic work environments.

Most people spend more time at work than at home. You can't tolerate a lifestyle like this for long with something giving out. You have taken steps to confront your bully, now she is taking steps to get rid of you. If you leave, that doesn't mean she's won, but the next person to take that job won't prosper in it either, and that will affect your bosses and the company/business/hospital/office (not just your small part of the whole shebang.) They are the true losers, along with your loser co-worker.

What should you do? Document EVERYTHING. Take notes, never just tell people things but instead send them emails and print them out (if allowed), read your HR manual backward and forward. If you want to keep your job and your sanity, you'll have to fight for it. She's been there since time began and feels she's "earned" her cushy position. She'll abuse you as much as she can to get her way, and thinks she can outlast you, because that's how she's gotten to where she is.

The phenomenon of bullies in the workplace isn't recognized as a real problem by most people. Those who have had to suffer not just unpleasant co-workers but actively malicious ones know better. Bullies didn't disappear once we left the playground. They didn't all become cops, which disparages the many fine law enforcement personnel in this country. They are sitting at the desk across from you and they are getting away with it.

Recognize your co-worker?

BTW, she's establishing her dominance over you by putting her stuff on your desk. Tell her IN AN EMAIL (CC'd TO YOUR BOSS if you're ready for it) calmly, rationally, super-politely, that you will be gathering everything she puts on your desk from now on and throwing it in the trash/putting it on your boss's desk/whatever you think is best. Compose it and sleep on it, and get the wording perfect before hitting send. Read it aloud to make sure the tone is "butter wouldn't melt in your mouth" sweet.
Then, calmly, rationally, super-politely, follow-through. If you get flack, just remind her that you've asked her not to do this, that you warned her this is what you would do, and since she knew the consequences of her actions, it is surprising she chose to still take that action. And watch out for being lulled into false confidence. She may repent and seem like a model employee for quite some time. Keep your guard up; she hasn't changed her vile tune. She'll just start to slowly slide into the same habits until you wake up one day and things are worse than when you complained. Don't forgive her or make allowances. She WILL take a mile if you give her an inch.

Sadly, you will have to watch yourself. Anything you do that isn't inside the lines of the coloring book will deflate any attempt to curb her rampant craziness. And it could affect your future job prospects if you need a good recommendation. She may already be a step ahead of you, it sounds like it with the taking credit nonsense she's pulling. Be certain you intend to fight if you stay, it's always easier to give in or leave. You must be consistent, and that's hard.

Go out and watch Working Girl with Melanie Griffith. Knit something awesome for yourself and wear it to work to remind yourself of how skilled you are. Update your resume pre-emptively (which will remind you that you got this job when others didn't, and those facts are part of the reason why.) Read "What Color is your Parachute" and complete some of the exercises in there. Get inspired, and get determined.

Don't let her bully you or anyone else, ever again.

e, who quit credit card in-house collections cuz she didn't want to deal with mean people ever again

11-04-2007, 03:04 AM
Hey! I resemble that remark. :teehee: Oh am I on KH again during the workday? :roflhard::rofl:

I too resemble this remark! :roflhard: That's why I made it. :teehee:

misha rf
11-04-2007, 09:30 AM
Ditto talking to the boss/HR. That's what they're there for. I've had my share of wacko co-workers who goofed off, dumped stuff on me, blamed me for stuff they did, etc. I learned (the hard way) to speak up for myself in these situations. No one else is gonna do it for you, nor should they. And document, document, document!! You need to be able to back up every claim you make.

And good luck! :hug::hug:

11-04-2007, 12:03 PM
Thanks for the support everyone.:hug: I don't want to leave my job, I'm just really getting tired of things....she actually told me at the end of the day today that maybe I should start looking because she wasn't going anywhere. She knows she has a really cushy job since she can talk on the phone all day and she basically leaves whenever she wants. Anyway, I'm going to ask my boss if we can set aside some time just to talk things over and try to come up with a solution to this.

Oh HELL NO. :shock: This is starting to piss me off, Katie (we are name twins!). I would defo talk to the boss about this and mention specifically some of the things the co-worker has said (especially what I've bolded above). About the desk: every time she puts something of hers on your desk, remove it immediately. Either stick it back on her desk or on the floor next to her desk or anywhere other than your desk. Do it as soon as you notice it on your desk. That should help things a bit. This woman sounds like a complete bitch. You'd think that by the time someone reaches 54 years of age, they would have learned ethics and responsibility. It's a shame a 23 year old outshines her in that arena.