Co-worker Is Trying To Fire Me

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about one coworker’s worry another coworker is out to get her:

My coworker has little more authority than I do and she doesn’t like me. She’s trying to fire me and hire her sister. She gossips and is mad because I got a raise. I’ve been working here for almost two years. I came in to work late two times but I called in that I would be late. How do I explain to our director about all the stuff she’s been saying and doing?

Signed, Worried

Dear Worried:

You will see I revised your question, for example interpreting the “dr” to the word “director”, to make it read more clearly for me, and in making such changes, I hope I’ve expressed what you intended to say.

If I got it right, unfortunately, your short story of worry and fear a coworker is out to get you fired in hope of hiring a sister is akin to anxieties we hear of too often. Also, if you can remember your teenage days, the feelings that a coworker doesn’t like you and the consequent worries about false gossip may be akin to teen gossip, if not that of the “real desperate housewives”. Should you explain “all the stuff she’s been saying and doing” to your director or someone up the ladder?

Your note doesn’t detail “all the stuff” so I don’t know if you should do that. If you are saying your coworker has hidden the fact that you called in and clocked you as being late without calling in, possibly you should inform your boss of that. But probably you should say nothing unless you can document specific things your coworker has done and you can link that to your suspicion she’s doing that with the intent to get you fired.

In short, I’m suggesting that less gossip rather than more gossip is better. Quit worrying about defending your self unless your boss brings up accusations that your are not doing your job or not coming to work on time. Just do your job in the most efficient and effective way you can and stop worrying that your coworker is tying to get you fired. Change talk with coworkers from such self-centered anxieties to what can transform your work group into team-centered practical cost-saving and waste-cutting matters; cutting wasted supplies, wasted time, wasted energy, wasted money. Focus talk on ways you can make each others’ work easier. Talk about delighting internal and external customers.

Hammer out communication rules that keep each other informed and committed to the success of your operations. I predict if you can get your staff talking about such topics, there will be less and less gossip about who is trying to get someone fired. Does this make sense? If you really change the “stuff” talked about I’m sure your worries will lessen. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS. Think about, talk about, and act about that signature thought and you’ll help shape a workplace to which you will want to work.

William Gorden