Colleague Always on the Chat

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about coworker ostrasizing:

I have been working here for two and half years. Since then many changes have been taking place. One of those situations involves my colleague who is always on the Internet chatting and watching movies which I have blocked not allowing this to happen. Because of this she has tried to ostracize me and my finance head by ganging up with the other staff. What should I do?

Signed, Blocked By Me

Dear Blocked By Me:

Were you given the authority to block your colleague from Internet chatting and watching movies? If you were her boss, was not that your job to determine if such behavior interfered with her job? If rather you were a coworker and blocked her from chatting and movies, she obviously dislikes you for that and doesn’t think you have the authority to do that. Did you report her and consequently was she stopped from this? I assume that must be the way you got her blocked from what she loved to do. If so, you supervisor wants her to attend to what she is employed to do and you did the right thing because she was cheating her employer. Now if she in any tangible way disrupts your work, you should turn to your supervisor to correct that.

From the little you say I don’t know how she has ostracized or ganged up on you? Whatever she has done it is meant to pay you back for stopping her pass time. You will have to live with her badmouthing you or cutting you out from her circle.

You can confront her to say that you did what you thought was right and she should know that her chatting and movie watching was not what she was paid to do. That might open up a conversation and then you might gradually mend fences. It is worth a try.The important thing is that you do good work and do what you can to make your workplace successful. It was not as successful as it could have been with your coworker not doing her job.Surely she is not the only coworker with whom you can make friends. Now is the time to focus on making your changing workplace more profitable.

Rather than obsessing about this incident with a coworker, might you focus on ways to cut wasted supplies, wasted time, and wasted money? Might you pretend you owned the company and think of what you would do to improve its efficiency and effectiveness? Think big. Think beyond the pettiness of a coworker who wasn’t working. Think of a career and not just a job. By that I mean what are you learning? What do you need to learn to be more valuable? Do you need more training? Are there other jobs within your company for which you might apply? Are you doing work that you like to do?

Get my point? Use this time of feeling excluded as a time to reflect on what you are doing and what you really want to do as a career. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS, and sometimes when we do the right thing we feel out of it, but what you did in the long run should make your coworker and your company better.

Feedback; Yes, My manager gave me specific instruction was to block it. Yes, I am valued as a IT person. That’s why I am here. My boss asked, Are you afraid of her?’ which means “Why should I be afraid?” But it seems she is unhappy and angry about it. I was told by my other senior to say, “My boss said to do it.” Which is what I will be doing. And so this will take time to heal and mend. Thank you for your answer. Reply: I am interested in how all this works out. This last note from you is clearer to me than the last. Now I gather that you had instruction to block this individual’s access to Internet chatting and movies. Your senior’s advice to react to this individual is correct by saying, “My boss told me to block it.”

Reply: And you also can say, if she again confronts you, that she can go with you to talk about it with your boss. The concept of WEGO is my way of saying that it requires courage and persistence to reap the rewards of collaboration. My best and after a few weeks update me if you would like to do that.

William Gorden