Trying To Get Me Fired!

Question:

There is somebody at my work that would do anything to get me fired. We are the only two in the department and that makes it even harder for me. She treats me like I am 2 years old and pretty much gets away with anything she wants to. Recently we got a new boss. My co-worker tells him things that are not true and makes me look bad. I think I am in a no win situation. What should I do?

Signed,

Out To Get Me


Answer:

DearĀ Out To Get Me:

You are more than two years old. So act like it. You are an adult with a voice: Confront this individual with what you have heard her say about you that is untrue. Tell her you need to talk frankly to her because you think she is trying to get you fired. Ask why and what she told the boss. Ask her to put in writing what she said or you put in writing what you heard and request that she correct or verify it.

You say that there are only two of you in your department so either you overheard her talking about you, the new boss told you what she said, someone outside you office told you or you have allowed your imagination go wrong. So get the straight dope. And ask what you are doing that is not efficient and effective. Correct what you can and do the same for her; tell her what she does that is helpful, and if important, what she might do that can make your job more effective. Say you want a supportive working relationship; one that makes her job easier and does the same for you. Ask her if she wants you to come to her first before you talk to the boss about her. Tell her that is what you want and expect from her. Be serious and firm.

See if you can come to a co-worker agreement on how you communicate to and about each other. Write out dos and don’ts you agree on, such as greeting each other each morning, talking over who does what, and conferring toward the end of the day about what each of you should know about the day’s assignments. Conclude this meeting be naming a date a week or two ahead to again discuss what you agree to do to improve your working relationship, what is not working, and needs changing. A confrontation with this co-worker should surface what she thinks and the misunderstanding or frustration you are to her and she is to you. Give what you learn a fair period to see if your working relationship improves. If not, tell her you want a three-way meeting with your boss. And in that meeting, openly discuss how you might work together for the best of your department. Will you keep us posted on what you do and how this all turns out? You might elect to seek work elsewhere. But don’t simply worry yourself out of a job.

Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS.

William Gorden