I’m a Target of Coworkers

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about coworkers’ gossip:

I work in a call center where we take incoming calls. Two of my coworkers whom I work with on the weekends has accused me of several things:

  • I go on breaks but set my phone on admin or training. Also that I logout of my phone during the shift to spend time with colleagues or go to the local supermarket.
  • I watch videos on the computer using earphones by covering it up with my headscarf.
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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. 

    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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    Ignored by Boss

    A question to the Workplace Doctors about a boss’s attitude:

    When I started working in the office I got on great with my boss but a colleague of mine was forever fighting with me so when I told my boss he told me to completely ignore her and just send messages to her by e mail which I did. This girl in the meantime slandered me to everyone and anyone who would listen but I just got on with my work.

    However, we decided to change offices, and my boss was going to let this girl work from home. She went mad and said she was leaving. She is best friends with my boss’s lawyer who spoke to my boss and turned the finger at me. My boss needed her back because she does his accounts and her conditions were that she do all the accounting and everything was taken off me. For the past 3 years, I have continued working but most of my work has been taken off me and my boss never speaks to me. It is really humiliating, he gives work to everyone but nothing to me. I suppose I should leave but the pay is good and I need the money. Any advice?

    Signed–Don’t Like Being Ignored

    Dear Don’t Like Being Ignored:

    It is disheartening to be ignored, and you are right to want to earn what you are paid. I commend you for not wanting to loaf.

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    Assigned Next to the Women’s Restroom

    A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about relocating her work space:

    Employee A is constantly sighing and going into the bathroom at least 8 times in 3 hours daily. Employee B’s office is right next to the bathroom and the walls are very thin. When Employee A walks past Employee B’s office, she constantly sighs and makes sad noises. Then she enters the bathroom and continues with the sighing.

    Employee B is upset because she hears the constant sighing and constant bathroom breaks by Employee A. Employee B has asked to be moved to another area away from the bathroom because she is so distracted by the constant sighing and bathroom breaks, and says she is getting stomach aches and anxiety from the situation.

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    Elbowed Out!

    A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about an assistant trying to take her job:

    I have worked with my boss, the Executive Director, for 7 years. I am an Executive Assistant supporting the E.D., President, Board of Directors and I supervise/manage reception. We recently hired an Admin Assistant for the contract department and from day 1, she has been overstepping my responsibilities. Initially, I thought she just didn’t know better or was just trying to prove herself and would casually just let her know/clarify process/procedures, etc. to her to which she would interrupt, ask questions, and talk over me while I was talking/answering. She has now overstepped about 8 times in the past 2 months including trying to “manage” our new receptionist whom then asked me to talk to her because she was getting confused on who she is to report to.

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    What Should I Do About Coworkers Who Abuse and Misuse Overtime?


    My department is very small and very loosely managed by a woman who is additionally in charge of a larger department. This means she is too busy to monitor us, so we are in charge of deciding our own projects and overseeing our own work.

    This manager has delegated the approval of overtime to the person who has been at the company the longest (25 years) and is the most trusted. She signs off on it without actually checking if the projects were completed or even legit (they are not). This allows my co-worker to falsify how much overtime he is doing, and he allows his buddy to do the same. Last month they each claimed 40 hours of overtime, the legal limit.

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    Coworker Once Friendly Now Distant

    A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a coworker’s distant behavior.

    I’m working in a small company with around 8 employees including me. I have an issue with a co-worker who seems to be distancing herself from me for no apparent reason. We used to talk but we hardly converse nowadays.

    When I addressed my concerns, she came up with a “talk less, listen more” excuse, which I gave her the benefit of the doubt. Ironically, she’s still in her cheerful personality when she talks to others, but gave me the cold shoulder when I tried to converse with her.

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    A Problem Workplace–But Two Coworkers Are The Worst


    This has been going on for a while. And I admit that I have irritated my coworkers which I have been seeking therapy for. I had a baby this year so the hormones have not helped. This is going to be long. First, a little background: Recently we just had a manager get terminated because she was not only discriminating against certain employees but she also got caught in borderline illegal activity. This has resulted in her telling other things about me that were not true and her telling them about some personal medical information, as well as some complaints about some unethical workplace issues I had. Okay, now with that background I need some advice with an ongoing issue.

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    Boss Expects Me To Carpool and Clean Houses With A Person Who Threatened Me. What Can I Do?


    I clean houses for a living and my boss recently hired a person to help me, as the houses are large. This person has showed up to work visibly high and smelling of alcohol on multiple occasions. I have reported this, as well as many other issues to my boss, to no avail. Tonight I asked this co-worker to stop doing illegal things in my car as we carpool, as a result this co-worker began threatening me, calling me names, and chasing me down a hallway shouting, all while I was on the phone with our boss. However, despite all this, my boss still refuses to fire them and still expects me to carpool with them. Do I have any options other than finding a new job? Also, if it makes a difference, my boss is the owner of the company.

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    What Can I Do About Remarks About Women Servers By Restaurant Co-Worker?

    A Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about how to deal with a rude co-worker who makes negative remarks about women.


    I am a 47 year old female server with 30 years of experience, employed for three years at a locally-owned restaurant. I am the only female server. There are two 22 or 23 year old young men who started as busboys at age 16 and have been serving during college breaks for three years, working there six-seven years, on and off. One has joined a union and had been just filling in when needed. The other flunked out of college. They both are now working full time at the restaurant. One of them constantly makes derogatory comments, such as telling the boss him and the other one have been here for longer and should get more tables, they are better servers than me so I should get less tables, comments like “This restaurant needs to go back to male servers only. We don’t get periods.”

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