My Coworker Complained About Me Unfairly


A coworker of mine went to our supervisor because she didn’t think I was doing a good job. What should I do about it?




Dear Angry:

If you think the coworker is wrong, you should talk to your supervisor and explain why you feel the coworker reported you wrongly. Do this is a courteous way that lets your supervisor know you are trying to solve a problem not just be angry.

The supervisor should know what quality and quantity of work you are doing, so he or she might know whether the coworker is being truthful or not.

Keep in mind though, that we often tell those who write to us about problem coworkers, to talk to their supervisors. So, maybe your teammate really does think you aren’t doing a good job and is frustrated about it.

Consider a few things that might help you know where you stand with work. (These don’t have to be answered to us, they are just questions for you to consider) What were you told when you were hired, about what good work would be like for your job? Were you given any advice or warnings about what to do or what not to do? Are you following all of that every day?

If your boss was standing right next to you all the time, do you think he or she would say you are doing high quality and high quantity work, or would he or she have concerns or corrections?

Has your supervisor ever talked to you about your work and offered assistance or correction? Finally, do you and your coworker usually get along or is this part of an ongoing problem?

If you have other coworkers who are more friendly, maybe you can ask them how they see you and your work. Or, maybe you can use this as a way to get more help or support from your supervisor.

Let him or her know you want to keep your job and you want to do a good job there. Ask if there are specific things you can do to improve. If not, ask how he or she thinks you can work better with the coworker who complained.

This is a challenging time, I’m sure. You’ll feel badly about it for awhile, maybe for a long time. But, you might be able to make it a victory for you if you use it as a time to evaluate your work and look for ways to be so effective no one can complain about you.

Best wishes with this. If you have the time and wish to do so, let us know what happens.

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.