Friend Of VP’s Wife Does What She Pleases!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about friend of VP’s wife who does what she pleases: . Even taunting like a child that she was invited to attend a meeting and I wasn’t. I don’t respond except when the yelling started and all I say is stop in a calm voice repeatedly

I work with a woman who got hired (1 year ago I have been here for 3 years) by knowing the VP’s wife. She works 3 days a week, comes and goes as she pleases and never works the set days she was assigned. Comes in late on the workdays, or whenever she wants, is on her personal cell phone all day long, and constantly asks for help regarding computer programs and project that have nothing to do with my job at all. She is clueless about being a secretary and can’t type. I am 2 VP’s secretary and she is the secretary of a different department’s manager. I always help, am always kind, courteous and respectful. She has recently, now about incidents, been getting in my face and yelling and verbally abusing me for no reason whatsoever. Even taunting like a child that she was invited to attend a meeting and I wasn’t. I don’t respond except when the yelling started and all I say is stop in a calm voice repeatedly. She doesn’t stop. There is no one to talk to to control this issue as she will never be fired. She recently said a certain incident regarding her mistake would cost me MY job. Threatening my job!! Then 10 minutes later was talking to me like her best friend. Please help. I am at my wits end, I love my job but she is killing me inside and destroying my home life with this abusive behavior. Thank you.

Signed, At Wits End

DearĀ At Wits End:

You are not at your wit’s end. Rather you are frustrated, annoyed, angry and afraid. You have a choice when this woman yells, taunts, and threatens. That choice is fight or flight and several options in-between fight and flight. Your wits and guts are what can help you cope. So far you have wisely told her to stop, but you did not say what you did when she failed to stop. What if you showed her your tape recorder and asked, “May I record your tirade?” Or what if you said, “Should we ask the boss what she/he would advise when you are so irate?” Or what if you said, “You can rant all you want and when you are calm enough to learn if we can solve your problem, then I will speak with you.” You have a voice.

Do not minimize the power of “I”. You know what is right, what is fair, what is civil. You know that you want to work in a harmonious atmosphere. Speak up. What can be the worst that can happen? Confront or retreat. Fight or flight is your choice. In between it is to hold your ground, find ways to be uncooperative until and if Ms. X will be civil. Or to vote with your feet. I think if you speak your mind, Ms. X will retreat. Does this make sense? Think I-don’t-deserve-to-be-badgered-and-bullied. Sometimes creating a WEGO spirited workplace requires voicing what we want and do not want.

William Gorden