What To Do About A Problem Group of Coworkers?

A question to Ask the  Workplace Doctors about workplace conflict. 

Note to the author of this question: We sent our response to the email address you provided, but it was returned as invalid. We’re hoping you will come back to the site to see our advice about your workplace concern!

Question: 
I recently became president among the workers in our unit. The rest of our colleagues (whom we dubbed the Red Sparrows) are always sucking up to whoever new administrator comes to our unit. They badmouth our admin to us and if we agree with them, they report it to her. They expose our flaws which are already personal and has nothing to do with them. We tried to settle it personally face to face and they agreed but they still work underground and I still hear whispering of rumors. Worse, our new admin is a manipulative one and uses our faults to control us. What do we do? Please help.

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Should I Make Changes If I Have Been Fired?

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about how to respond better to workplace conflicts and problems. 

Question:
Unfortunately, I lost my job recently due to my temper tantrum. There were MANY factors that contributed to this, but ultimately, I understand that I was the one at fault because I should’ve handled the situation professionally, addressed any concerns immediately and should’ve NEVER tolerated rude behaviors of others repeatedly.

However, I can’t help but still feel angry because I tolerated the unkindness and injustice from several people ever since I started working there. I was stuck working in the same room with one employee pretty much all day. She did not have a pleasant personality and constantly badmouthed other employees. She made problems out of nothing. She would curse and throw her tantrums when she was under pressure to meet deadlines. When someone came in the room just to greet me (sometimes both of us), she would get so angry that she complained about it to the owner. This list goes on. Everyone knew how she is, but decided to keep her around anyway, because despite her difficult personality, she’s good at her job.

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Hostile Environment!

Ask the Workplace Doctors about a COO who gossips about me and staff who scream:

The CEO of the agency I work for is my aunt. A coworker, recently promoted to COO, who never liked me, has talked about my character to staff I supervise. I have been under investigation by the state 2 times and each time the allegations were unsubstantiated.

I have 10 years of perfect audits. I recently directed my manager to write a counseling memo (not an employee’s warning) about a situation that could be an incident and she began yelling and screaming at me! I asked for a meeting with both staff and got the same result. They began yelling at me saying, I’m picking on them. They both were confident there was not a need to do a counseling memo.

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Where Is the Line Between Complaint and Information?

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about issues that need answering and in particular about complaints:

I’m in a situation where all of the lower-tiered techs complain to me about their issues, but when I’ve historically brought it up to upper management they blatantly seem to not care. We recently got a new supervisor who is doing her best, but she often says complaining doesn’t solve anything. 

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My Boss is Also My Brother-In-Law and He Is Becoming More Angry and Controlling

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a potentially violent boss/brother-in-law. 

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Question: I work for my sister’s husband. He’s an angry, controlling man who has been worse of late. After an incident where he was screaming at her, calling her a B**** and threatening to commit suicide, he was take away in handcuffs and all of his guns were confiscated, but he played nice with the mental health folks and released. I told her not to be home when he got home, so she moved in with me. He told me if she divorced him, he’d fire me, but right after she had him served, both of his other employees quit, so he’s had to rely on me and couldn’t fire me. Last week he casually, totally out of nowhere, told me that he’d gotten a concealed weapon permit. When I mentioned it to my sister, she recalled a recent incident where they were with mutual friends and he told them that he’d had the weirdest dream, that he’d awakened in the night and thought there was an intruder in my sister’s bedroom, so he got a gun and went into her bedroom, and there was no one there, and then he’d wakened in her bedroom– and wasn’t that a funny dream? No one laughed.

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Manager Shoved Me and Grabbed My Arm. What Should I Do?

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors, about a manager
who shoved an employee aside, apparently for no reason. 

Question: My manager grabbed my wrist last week and shoved my arm. She came to my register to just supply change and I was beside her, but not in the way.

Response: You don’t say how hard your manager grabbed your arm or shoved you—and there is a big difference between a light movement, to casually move someone out of the way or a firm but non-painful grasp–or a violent grab and shove. But, I can understand if you felt demeaned by her behavior and resented it enough that you’re still upset by it. Whatever the circumstances, there would be almost no reason I could think of for anyone to grab someone’s wrist and shove them, except in an emergency.

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Should I Go Higher?

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about an unsanitary working condition:

I told my supervisor about poop on the walls at work he said he would take care of it I come back three days later and it’s still there? I’m a temp. Should I got to a higher up bout it since he won’t do anything bout it?
Signed–Bypass Boss

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To Make Management Listen and Care

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about how it manages:

I am a CAP team 2 associate at WalMart. I have been working here for close to 3 months now. Management has been hounding the cap 2 team, but slack off themselves.

I am a student and cannot work 40 hours a week. I gave my manager my school schedule and my availability during school back in the beginning of August. They still schedule me on days I cannot work. I gain points I should not have and management has to remove them. They boss us around, telling us that we don’t do our jobs when they cannot even make a schedule.

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What If No Action is Being Taken About my Discrimination Complaint?

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a discrimination and retaliation complaint

Question:
I reported a discrimination and retaliation issue to a manager at our corporate office. He was appalled. He then reported it to HR in his office because HR in my office did nothing. Corporate HR then called me to discuss my issue. The HR manager who called me said at the end of our call “will you give me time to fix this?” I said yes. That was 5 weeks ago. How much time should I give her? I emailed her 3 days ago with more info and to follow up, but she has not responded at all.

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Too Many Bosses

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about uncertainty about who is her first line manager:

I work in a new firm at a brand new position, but the trick is that I feel very confused as to who really my boss is. The offer letter says it is the Finance Director who works from office in Chicago and the Lead Project Manager who works in the same office at New York, but is constantly away from the office. I am experiencing lots of issue with accounting software etc, because I need to connect through the server that is located in Chicago. I notified my both bosses about this problem, but they both seem to switch the responsibility on each other, and nothing is changing.

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