Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about an administrative assistant who is doesn’t approve of a coworker:
I’ve been in my current job for 2 years. It’s a small not-for-profit company and as such we are always stretched to the limit. A couple of months ago a new admin started who quickly got promoted and is now reporting directly to the Managing Director. She’s really organised, efficient and seems to be really well thought of. My problem is – she seems to have an attitude towards me: 1) I took a call from someone who was trying to get recruited. She’d spoken to the administrator and said that the admin had been “short” with her. I apologised and said that this shouldn’t have happened. Another colleague who works in the same office overheard my discussion. As soon as I was off the phone, she explained that she’d heard the admin on the phone and the admin been had been nothing other than polite and patient and that the person phoning in was a bit of a trouble maker. I’m now wondering if my colleague has told the admin what I said and this has caused a bad feeling. 2) She is really busy (we all are), and if I ask about things, she has a tendency to say “Hold on I’ll get back to you a.s.a.p. – I’m just working on xyz.” I find this a bit off-putting as it’s a really relaxed atmosphere and everyone is interrupted constantly by different demands not just her. 3) The Director wanted some information on a project that I worked on about 3 months ago. The admin had already asked for this information (via email – another thing that I find annoying – why not just ask?) and I had replied already that ‘I didn’t have any idea’. 4) I get another email asking the same questions – but a little bit more information had been given. I went to see her and explained that I couldn’t get the information she wanted and didn’t KNOW how to get it. 5) She said that ‘that’s fine I’ll just let the Director know that you can’t do it’. I was really shocked and said straight out that she had an attitude with me, that I’d noticed it for a few days and I would prefer her to tell me outright what I’d done to offend her. Well – she laughed and said that she had no attitude – that all she’d said was she’d let the Director know that I couldn’t get the information and that the Director had specifically asked me to get it for him but if it was a problem she’d let him know. I felt that she was deliberately trying to get me into trouble. 6) I went back to my desk and did my best and got more information regarding the task and emailed it to the admin. It wasn’t exactly what she’d asked for but it was something – she didn’t reply and I don’t know if the information I gave her was enough. I’m now beginning to think it might be I that has the problem because she seemed genuinely shocked that I said she’d got an attitude and more or less carried on with her work. I know that she’s got a huge backlog and her job is very demanding but we’re all busy. It worries me that she seems to be in with the Director and the other managers – they all seem to think she’s amazing – so it could look like I’m the one causing problems. What advice do you have please?