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Coworker stabbed me in the back with a dull salty knife


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My coworker who is the manager of the department is known for being a bully among fellow coworkers. The division director and other upper level employees think she is the greatest addition to the division since the computer. So everyone is scared to tell upper management what's really going on in a bad economy. Who wants to risk getting fired now? 2 days ago a coworker told me that she overheard this bully talking trash (not truth) about me to upper management even though I've only been working at this place for 2 months. I received a conference call from 3 of the higher ups yesterday. They want to meet with me to discuss my job performance. I worked very hard and I put in overtime so I'm angry they chose to believe someone who is not much farther up the totem pole than I am. What should one do in this situation? The last person who spoke up about this bully was very strongly... shoved to find another job.

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This is tough because you're so new to the company.

 

I'm an HR Manager and the most important thing I can tell you is to stay calm. Getting emotional is only going to hurt your cause.

 

Gather as much information as you can about the rumours that are being told about you. You may need to be able to defend yourself against them, and it will be easiest if you know exactly what's being said (this also feeds into my previous comment about not becoming emotional. If you're blindsided in a meeting with your higher-ups, its a lot easier to lose your cool).

 

You can always attempt to confront your co-worker about this (in a professional and diplomatic way). Personally, my pet peeve is when employees come running to me to "tattle" expecting me to fix the situation, without first attempting to resolve the issue on their own.

 

Finally, have a backup plan. Unfortunately there are times when the house wins and you'll end up in an unbearable environment. Try to get all of your ducks in a row in case you need to (gracefully, mind you), exit the organization.

 

Good luck. Please post an update.

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I will try to confront the coworker and then speak up again at the meeting. But what's the best way to confront someone like this? She's a pro at turning people's words against them. I want to avoid getting backed into a corner with this vulture.

 

Also it's my first job straight out of college and I was trying to make the best impression possible just in case I needed to use them as a reference for another job. Would something like this screw up my chances of getting the next job?

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Don't want to scare you, but best bet - work hard on finding another job, while listening to them and validating them. I know easier said than done. Sounds like you're being ganged up on by people in charge. It happens. Try not to take it personally and be professional.

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Guitargirl is spot-on with her advice. One advantage you have is your freshness to this environment. The higher-ups will see your actions as a test of this person's leadership skills.

 

It's no consolation, but I was in a similar situation and simply quit, then went over my former supervisor's head and tactfully explained to HR this person had no business managing humans. That month 9 people quit under her reign, and in a few weeks she lost her job with the company. I was offered my job back but went on to better things.

 

As a newbie you'll find a better fit elsewhere without this torture. I fully realize how hard it is to land a gig, but if it's insufferable, what's the loss?

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i would go to the meeting with the higher ups and see what they want. maybe your coworker is wrong and the 'bad apple' said some good things about you. you don't know yet, so let's not assume.

 

if they ask about the supposed bad things they heard tell them that you do not know where their sources came from, but you have been putting your all in and you think you are helping the company. just deny what you hear them tell you if it's not true. don't say, 'well, *bad apple's name* is spreading lies, he does it all the time.' don't do that.

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Thanks for the advice. I went to the meeting and was passively confronted. I defended myself and gave everyone a piece of my mind in a very diplomatic way and the didn't say too much afterwards. I was also passively confronted by the manager after the meeting and I was more aggressive but professional at giving her a piece of my mind. Today, she was less like a bully and more like a co-worker.

I'm not going to trust she's changed so easily and so quickly. In the meantime I'll still work here but Im looking for another job asap.

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I think she hit the nail on the head. I had a coworker stab me in the back and get me fired at my last job. She was an evil witch...but it was the best thing that happened to me. I was miserable there. So...remember some things happen for a reason.

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