Can’t Get Rid Of A Co-worker!

Question:

My question concerns an irritating coworker. Eight months ago he decided to show up at my desk and just chat. I sent him away many times, and he would politely leave only to return again to chat. I usually ignore him and keep on working because I can’t afford to stop working as a result of his persistent behavior.

A few months ago, our Manager wrote a detailed letter to him stating that he needed to leave my workspace. The coworker did for a while but edged his way back, and now I spend a lot of time being sending him away. My problem is that I don’t want him to lose his job, but my managers want to know what I’m doing to entice this man back to my desk. I am an assertive person but clueless as to how to entice him out of my workspace. This man is socially abstract in the sense that he spends two hours or more attempting chat sessions with me, reads for three hours, and has very poor work ethics. I do not want him in my workspace.

I’m going to ask him to leave my workspace for good, as he has no business there. What are the chances his behavior will be dangerous? I work alone in a basement down several floors. I’m not sure I’m safe telling him to “leave for good” at my somewhat vulnerable workspace. Am I acting like a victim for no reason?

read more

Can’t Meet Deadlines Because Of Co-worker!

Question:

For the past several years a coworker has not been doing her job and it has started to affect my job. I have gotten in trouble for not meeting deadlines, but it is due to the coworker not completing her part. I am not authorized to do her job, so I must wait for her to complete the work.

I have talked with her, my boss, her boss, and the bosses’ boss. For some reason they refuse to deal with her. I make sure that I information all parties when my job will be delayed because of her not completing her part. I hate having to tell customers that I am behind and will complete the work as soon as possible. Others have complained and still nothing is done. I work for a very large company and upper management levels are located in other states, but I have submitted paperwork to them advising status and still nothing has changed. This problem has gone on for years and yet nothing has changed and has even gotten worse. It has gotten so bad, that my own health has suffered. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

read more

Co-Worker Or Micro-supervisor???

Question:

I have a co-worker/supervisor (that has never really been made clear to me which) who interviewed me for a job in payroll/accounts payable in a small company. She got approval from her boss to hire me. After I started the job, I was in an office by myself. Shortly after, the higher-ups moved her into my office. She is a complete miro-manager. She will nitpick and criticize every mistake you make. She is hateful to customers on the phone and to other employees, constantly saying how ignorant and incompetent they are when they are not around. She is 64, has worked here since 1976 and knows the company in and out. Her attitude is horrible. I really like the job, however, and do not want to quit, nor do I want to go to the bosses to complain as I have only been here a little over a year and feel that if her attitude has been like this for this long and they have not done anything to council her about it, they probably won’t even if I ask them to.

Several other employees have problems with her and she does things that could get the company in legal trouble like making racial slurs and giving out too much information to people that call asking about former employees. I really need some advice on how to deal with her.

read more

My Co-worker Threatened Me!

Question:

A co-worker shared a bunch of information about a friend and colleague of mine that I thought wasn’t just. I informed her of it so she could snip it in the bud if it weren’t true. She went and talked to her and they settled the issue. A couple days later, I was working with the nurse that divulged this information and she flat out says I was purposely trying to start crap and she would no longer stand up or help me with anything at work.

Then she proceeded to complain about me to others all night long without using my name. She wanted to switch days off, but I couldn’t because I had already made plans. Then when our relief came in, she made a comment to our coworkers about being pissed off at someone and how she goes after the people that piss her off. She’s very opinionated and thinks everyone should bend for her. She thinks I should keep quiet and not say a word cause I’m much younger that her and am at her daughter’s age. How should I handle her? I don’t need the trouble. I have a kid to raise. My mom used to work with her and didn’t get along either and spent a lot of time in the boss’s office.

read more

Shocked By Co-worker Alienation!

Question:

Please help in any way possible, this is a highly complicated issue that is also very stupid. I am an American male, working for an American contract company, outsourced to an American Investment Bank located in Japan. I made friends with a Japanese female coworker; our friendship was 100% non-romantic. We got into an argument at work, and she asked me to stop bothering her at work. I apologized, and left her alone. She complained to her boss. Later that night she sent me a personal email (home email to home email), indicating that she was sorry for complaining to her boss, that she wanted to remain friends, and that there was some misunderstandings between us. I replied (home email to home email) and told her that I would also like to remain friends and clear up any misunderstandings.

The next day her boss complained to my boss. I explained to my boss what happened, and everything seemed to be fine. I left her alone at work. I received another email from her over the following weekend (home email home email) explaining her position and where she believed our misunderstandings were. I replied with a similar email (there was no animosity on either end).

The next week when I returned to work, there was another complaint from her supervisor. Basically I was continuing to contact her at home, even after I was asked to leave her alone. The first complaint was easy to explain and caused no serious problems for my position, company, or my office relationships. It took three days to sort out as she refused to accept that I would leave her alone (though I was never allowed an audience supervised or unsupervised with her).

The few people in my office, who were friendly to me, are now openly hostile, I was expecting a wage increase (per the terms of my contract) and that was denied. My credibility in my company has decreased, and to tell you the truth it’s really hard to come to work. I also believe that she will not be satisfied until I am fired, though at this point I may be paranoid. Is there anything that you can recommend I do? Or anyplace I can go to find out more about my rights? Thanks.

read more

Should I Have My Computer Scanned?

Question:

I recently returned from a business trip to Ohio. As a practical joke, some colleagues turned everything in my office upside down. I thought this was amusing. I then went to turn my computer on and discovered that someone had hacked onto my computer and installed an offensive screensaver, which was of course upside-down. They took a guess at my password and were successful.

I sent an e-mail complaining to my group (including our boss) explaining that while I found the disarray in office amusing, I did not appreciate someone going onto my computer. It is possible that whomever hacked onto my computer could have been involved in including downloading prohibited documents or visiting forbidden Internet sights. My colleagues are now upset with me for complaining – insisting I cannot take a joke. I am tempted to ask our IT department to run a scan on my computer and share with this information with HR and also let them know I was out of town when this activity occurred.

As far as I am concerned–only people who should have access to my computer at work are my direct supervisor, and his superiors and the folks in our IT department. Am I wrong to think this? Are there any laws on the books to prevent such hacking or unauthorized uses of an employee’s computer by his co-workers?

read more

Boss’s Wife Has Attitude!

Question:

I work at Sbarro’s (or an Italian-food restaurant chain if you prefer) and my Manager hired his wife to work with him in the restaurant a few months ago. I cannot take his wife’s attitude anymore. She doesn’t want to work, bosses everyone around and is constantly causing problems with me and the other employees. The Manager will not FIRE his wife for obvious reasons.

I cannot make complaints to the local Division head because he often covers up the mistakes of my Manager (who is a Brown Noser to this guy). Is there any organization that I can file a complaint to? I know 100% for sure that any complaints I make to the administration will just be brushed aside or I will end up getting fired by the Manager. So I need to anonymously file a complaint that will either cause the Manager to finally have no choice but to fire his wife or scare him and his wife enough to set them straight in the workplace. Please help and thanks so much.

read more

Why Do Some People Badmouth?

Question:

There is a person at work who gets everyone to dislike the boss and/ or another employee who is the lead line person. It has been told that this troublemaker tells the supervisor & HR person about everything that happens in the plant. He is playing both sides. This person is very manipulative & has been doing this for years, but at the same time very good at it because he has almost everyone fooled. What makes a person want to disrupt at every chance? Is there some mental or psychological problem?

read more

Helpfulness Unappreciated!

Question:

I have several co-workers that have taken my helpfulness as being a snoop, trying to be in control and being bossy. I try to give hints or ways of doing our jobs to make our jobs easier. They view it as being a know it all, or they think I will do things that make their jobs easier (i.e. like fill up supplies). They take it that I am trying to be “in charge.” But if I don’t say anything or offer my help, they think that I am being snooty and am not part of the team.

I can’t win! How much help is too much help, I am stressed out. It is no fun to go to work. I don’t know when or when not to say anything any more. Now that we have a new co-worker, I feel that they have already told this new hire their thought about me before I even get a chance to show her that I am really a good person inside. It’s my “fault by nature” that I try to “help” everyone out and the business, but not everyone wants to help! It has turned into “Damned if I do, Damned if I don’t” situation. Any suggestions?

read more

Vet Walking On Eggshells!

Question:

I found your website of WorkDoctors and thought “Wow” – I’ve found the place. After intense searching and reading, I have found many interesting stories, questions and answers – however nothing that really hit the nail on the head for my particular issue. I hope that you are able to provide some guidance for me. At the early age of 34, I have just begun my second career as a Veterinarian. I have just been hired at what seems to be a great veterinary clinic; one that has similar goals and interests as I have. Enthusiastically, I offered to go in unpaid for two days after graduation, before the start date of my contract – just to get a feel of the place, introduce myself to the workers and become familiar with the products, etc of the clinic. For the most part, I really enjoyed my time and felt comfortable with the staff. However, I came across a nurse who was aggressive, hostile and rude to me on both days.

For example, I offered my help with clipping a dog and her very gruff and short reply was, “I don’t want you to do anything!” Then on the second day, she seemed quite miffed that I was in the surgery room taking up space – as she made an elbow gesture of not enough room to my new boss who was the one who had invited me into the surgery. Towards the end of the surgery the Dr and nurse proceeded to have a conversation that was awkward for me to stand in on, but I couldn’t leave the room. It was based on the nurse saying to the vet that he was “mean” to her. He replied by saying that he wasn’t and tried to explain that she needed to divulge information about where she puts things so when she isn’t there other people can find them, etc.

It was uncomfortable for me and seemed quite uncomfortable for the vet. I tried to diffuse the situation by saying, “It’s really a complement.” and before I could finish her response was, “Will you just go away!” I know that perhaps I should have not said anything, but it was uncomfortable and it was the only way I knew how to deal with the situation for myself, the head vet and her. The vet said nothing – just looked sheepish. I do not know if he had a word with her later on – I would have hoped so, but this is only a golden standard wish. I was just quite after that comment.

She then commented on what poor habits the vet had. I saw an opportunity and said with placing my hand on her arm, “Well you can train me how you wish a good vet to be.” She seemed happy with this as she said, “Don’t you worry about that.” I left shortly after all of this and said to both, “Thank you for your help today and I look forward to seeing you next time I come in.” It was the best I could do to defuse the situation and make her feel important, which I felt she wasn’t feeling.

I would also like to note that she has also made a few other comments to another vet (one year out) that was more an attempt to condemn and accuse rather than assist and inform. She seems to be quite defensive and didn’t take well to me assisting with a surgery even though she had left the surgery herself. Another vet has made comments to ignore her. However, the head vet seemed to be more embarrassed and walking on eggshells around her. My question is how should I handle this? I am not a thick-skinned person, especially in this situation where my professional appearance is so vitally important to me. I’m fresh out of university into a career that I am passionate about, but trying to find my feet and a bit insecure about my knowledge and skills as I haven’t even started working for this clinic. I know that difficult people exist, but I don’t want to be bullied or have my confidence shattered by this woman. I am on a three-month probation period – so I don’t even feel that I can say anything or act any way except to ignore her until I have a full year or more contract. Can you please advise as I’m terrified of having a bully on my tail – she seems like the person who would target me as I am new and willing to please and get along. Thank you for your time and any assistance you may provide.

read more