What To Do About A Problem Group of Coworkers?

A question to Ask the  Workplace Doctors about workplace conflict. 

Note to the author of this question: We sent our response to the email address you provided, but it was returned as invalid. We’re hoping you will come back to the site to see our advice about your workplace concern!

I recently became president among the workers in our unit. The rest of our colleagues (whom we dubbed the Red Sparrows) are always sucking up to whoever new administrator comes to our unit. They badmouth our admin to us and if we agree with them, they report it to her. They expose our flaws which are already personal and has nothing to do with them. We tried to settle it personally face to face and they agreed but they still work underground and I still hear whispering of rumors. Worse, our new admin is a manipulative one and uses our faults to control us. What do we do? Please help.

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Conflict Between Daughters Has Created Conflict Between Parents At Work

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a conflict at work that
began with a conflict between the daughters of the coworkers.


Hi, I have worked side by side with what I considered a friend, not only coworker, for 25 years now. I am the office manager. Our daughters are both in middle school at the same school and do not get along well. In May, my coworker quit speaking to me unless she had to, where once we would talk quite often.

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Is This Unpleasant Comment a Threat?

A Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about remarks that were inadvertently recorded.  Should they be considered a threat?


I am a niche employee that at times must follow two different chains of command. Following one side I recently completed a task we do every month. As a result, a manager and supervisor responded by calling my office. The recorder picked up and taped the conversation between the two of them saying a different supervisor was going to “Rip her a new one” and continued with some other derogatory remarks.

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How To Deal With An Overbearing Colleague Who Pulls Rank In An Inter-Office Team Project?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a colleague who pulls rank
in an inter-office team: How can I handle this in a way
that doesn’t reflect badly on my work? 


I have had some tension with a female colleague (herein after I refer to her as “T”). I think T. is getting more and more overbearing and I would like to know how to deal with or handle this conflict professionally so as not to affect my work product. I work for a large multinational organization and I have been working here for a little over two months.. I interviewed for a Vice President of Implementation role but was offered the role as an Assistant Vice President, with the promise of promotion to VP next year, which I am completely fine with. T. has worked here for 10 months and is a Vice President, but I do not report to her, although I work on a project team with her and another colleague, “N.”

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Manager Being Unfair and Asking For Complaints About Me

A workplace question: Should I go to HR about my manager,
who treats me in an unfair way and recently
asked a contractor
if she wanted to complain about me, in violations of the rules?



I work for a large company and recently we hired a new manager, Ed. Increasingly, I am noticing unfair treatment. Example: For 1-on-1 meetings, Ed asks me to arrive by 6am (none of my colleagues are at work at this hour). He asked me to send him a meeting request for a major project and then he did not reply. The latest example is that he brought to my attention that a person in my work area told him that they noticed a contractor crying and attributed it to me. He asked if I knew anything about it. I replied no. I asked for details but he said he had none.

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Defamation and Sabotage Campaign

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about conflict with coworkers:

I previously wrote about a very uncertain situation with me changing departments and an ex-classmate coworker “Brad” who seemed out to get me. I also said there was a coworker who seemed to strive to be professional and helpful despite the situation, let’s call him “Chris”. Well, I have a clear picture of what’s going on now. . . Helpful, professional and holier-than-thou Chris has been doing the following things: a) About three weeks ago. A communication problem between Chris and another coworker caused a mistake in our budget composition which would have taken a lot of work to correct. In a conversation with him and his supervisor I came up with an alternative way to correct it which saved us all that work. I told Chris to meet with the boss we have in common to clarify the situation and let him know what we were going to do – then I went to the bathroom.

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