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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Friendly Coworker Changes

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about feeling ignored by a coworker:

I share an office with a woman who is 20 years younger (in her 40’s). She is usually very chatty & friendly, but recently we both were out of work for about a month. She went on a 3-week trip, and while she was gone, I broke my hip & was out for about a week longer than she. When I came back to work, I asked about her trip (she went on the same trip 2 years ago & chatted endlessly & showed pictures), and her response was a very chilly “Great,” and she walked out. Since then she continues to give me a very warm, smiley “good mornings” and “good nights” but ignores me the rest of the time. How should I handle this situation?

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Don’t Want to Hurt Coworker’s Feelings

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about not wanting to work with a coworker:

A male custodian spoke with me today about his job situation. He has been working closely with a female custodian since he began working here several months ago. He wants to work independently now because she is depending on him for more than he is required to do. He feels uncomfortable telling her he doesn’t want to work so closely anymore. He doesn’t want to hurt her feelings. What should he do?

Signed—Wants Not To Hurt Feelings

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Night-Shift RN Frustrated by Day-Shift Failure to Communicate

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about shift-to-shift failure to communicate:

Dear Workplace doctors I am an RN at a hospital in Ohio and I’m running into a huge problem. I work 7p-7a. Every time I go into work for the last month every patient report is not fully filled out.
Charting is not fulfilled and that causes me issues at my job because I’m confused on what I am and not suppose to do to help my patients out. This could affect my job and my patients’ health. There are signs posted all over the hospital and in the break-room for charts to be filled out with everything that should go on each for each shift. Clearly this isn’t working. What can I do so that my coworker and management will address this problem and fix it?

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Bossy Coworker Annoys Me

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors  about a bossy coworker:

How do I deal with a bossy new coworker who is new to the industry and has no experience and only two weeks on the job? She’s bossy and bosses around coworkers who have been here for years. She acts like she is the Narrator to everyone’s life and everything that they do… she is completely annoying!

Signed–Completely Annoyed

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What Can I Do About a Coworker Who Incessantly Grinds His Teeth and Taps His Foot?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a coworker who has distracting habits. 

Question:
I’ve been working with this individual for a few years now and I’m beyond my breaking point. He grinds his teeth and taps his feet all day, every day. This is particularly worse on Mondays, or following any time he takes off (vacation, sick..). When I presented these issues to the Manager, I was told there was no other spot for me, and to just wear earbuds with music to drown out his grinding, tapping and all other of his disgusting bodily noises. Two years later, this is still the only solution we have. Which makes me wonder two things: what is the long-term damage to my hearing, if I’m constantly having to raise the volume of my music to drown out his teeth grinding (which also impacts my concentration when we reach those music volume levels), and why should I have to modify my behavior?

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Thrown Up Against The Wall

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about being attacked by a co-worker:

I was walking down the aisle at work when a co-worker grabbed my shirt and threw me up against the wall and asked me a question about a girl that was my friend that he also was dating. He wanted information about her and me.

I did not fight back. I went to a manager and told him of the situation. Then the manager told HR who then fired the gentleman. Two days later, HR called into their office saying that they have petitioned to have the employee come back to work.

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