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Old 31.12.2016, 19:11
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Re: How to deal with difficult co-worker

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It's possible you're good at noticing, but it's also your opinion is being subconsciously influenced by mild paranoia here. The more you worry about her, the more you will think about it, and the more obvious it will be to others too. Not to mention the more uncomfortable you act around her, the more that will empower and satisfy her.

From what you are telling us you haven't wronged her in any way that you can think of, so why are you so worried about it? If you aren't willing to confront the situation then you're going to have to learn to turn the other cheek, put on a cheerful face, and ignore her. That will also have the added benefit of her getting bored with it and turn her attention elsewhere.
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Old 01.01.2017, 12:52
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Re: How to deal with difficult co-worker

Get a "2nd opinion" to determine if it's you or not.

A co-worker has have seen both of you (re-)act with each other as well with other people. Talk to someone you're on good terms with, preferably someone who will tell you uncomfortable or even embarrasing stuff if necessary.
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Old 02.01.2017, 00:24
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Re: How to deal with difficult co-worker

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I am no troll, just busy with holiday events, that's all. I have read all the posts, thanks to all. Yes, I get on with most of my co-workers, with several it's a simple "Hallo, wie gehts" at the coffee machine, with a few others I've had long interesting conversations, a few don't say much and are distant, and this one woman (who I do not find attractive in the slightest, so nix that theory), is hostile for no apparent reason. I would ignore her if I could but she is in too close proximity, and talks a lot with other co-workers, and I believe she is saying bad things about me behind my back. A basic problem is that all 50 of us sit in one big open plan office, all level of hierarchy in full view of each other. It's not a pleasant arrangement.
Thank you for your post. Don't know what to say, this situation is weird for the reasons you already mentioned - why would someone with whom you barely have any contact be so hostile, and only to you. Is it possible you treated her differently without even realising - yes, people pick up that vibe, or maybe you just interpret everything she does as being particularly hostile to you even when it's not the case?
I guess you got lots of useful insights and advice here (EF is prompt as usual), hope you'll know what to do and either the situations improves or you simply learn to ignore it. Edit: Oh yeah, and Urs Max is right - maybe you can open up to another colleague you consider close enough.
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Old 02.01.2017, 08:07
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Re: How to deal with difficult co-worker

Could there be grounds for jealousy for some unexplained reason?


My sister-in-law treated me in exactly the same way when we first met. I always felt uncomfortable in her prescence and when things escalated she said she hated me. My mother-in-law and husband told me she was just jealous but I could never see why.


Jealousy apparently makes people behave in the manner you describe and can be deadly, irrational and very destructive.
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Old 02.01.2017, 12:02
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Re: How to deal with difficult co-worker

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Man up and just ask her what's wrong, you really think getting a 3rd person involved would help the situation???
Ha ha ha.

Crashed and burned. The heros answer to the problem. Be a man. Intimidate her. Yeah.

Wow you are really a tough person.

If you do that your situation will go from bad to worse.

What to do?

Get yourself a protector. Or become a slave to the woman. Or quit. Those are your only choices.

Man up. Really. Have you ever worked in an office?
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Old 02.01.2017, 12:05
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Re: How to deal with difficult co-worker

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Ha ha ha.

Crashed and burned. The heros answer to the problem. Be a man. Intimidate her. Yeah.

Wow you are really a tough person.

If you do that your situation will go from bad to worse.

What to do?

Get yourself a protector. Or become a slave to the woman. Or quit. Those are your only choices.

Man up. Really. Have you ever worked in an office?
Are you drunk?
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Old 02.01.2017, 12:13
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Re: How to deal with difficult co-worker

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Could there be grounds for jealousy for some unexplained reason?
@the OP, this quote has made me wonder...

How long have you been with the company and is there a chance that you secured a role that someone she's close to applied for?
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Old 02.01.2017, 12:16
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Re: How to deal with difficult co-worker

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why would someone with whom you barely have any contact be so hostile, and only to you.
'cos there is something in her character or upbringing that clashes with whatever she perceives in you. Are you Gay? Black? Purple? Pink with ginger hair? Frontalier? You wear mini skirts with your pubes on display? Your bra is too tight? Your trousers hang down displaying your butt? You have Calvin Kline underwear or Y-fronts showing? You're younger, good looking, cheerful & popular whilst she is a mad cat woman that stinks of garlic? Do you stare at her so she thinks you are criticising her? Did you once fart in the lift next to her? Did she want the job you have? Do you talk loud on the phone in Open Space about what you did last night? Do you slurp your yoghurt? Do you stink of cigarettes? Do you boast about how many women you've "had" off your date app?

There are a million reasons. It'll take a while to work them out.
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Old 02.01.2017, 12:44
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Re: How to deal with difficult co-worker

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'cos there is something in her character or upbringing that clashes with whatever she perceives in you. Are you Gay? Black? Purple? Pink with ginger hair? Frontalier? You wear mini skirts with your pubes on display? Your bra is too tight? Your trousers hang down displaying your butt? You have Calvin Kline underwear or Y-fronts showing? You're younger, good looking, cheerful & popular whilst she is a mad cat woman that stinks of garlic? Do you stare at her so she thinks you are criticising her? Did you once fart in the lift next to her? Did she want the job you have? Do you talk loud on the phone in Open Space about what you did last night? Do you slurp your yoghurt? Do you stink of cigarettes? Do you boast about how many women you've "had" off your date app?

There are a million reasons. It'll take a while to work them out.
The point I think greenmount was making is that it is VERY unusual for someone to take such a severe and hostile dislike to you for without at least some action, intended or not, on your part. Until he arranges a meeting or just asks her directly then it's all speculation anyhow.
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Old 02.01.2017, 12:52
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Re: How to deal with difficult co-worker

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The point I think greenmount was making is that it is VERY unusual for someone to take such a severe and hostile dislike to you for without at least some action, intended or not, on your part. Until he arranges a meeting or just asks her directly then it's all speculation anyhow.
Nah, really. Some people are just twats. I once had someone finally admit that she hated me not for anything I'd done or said but because she resented everything I represented. I never did work out what that was supposed to be, but it didn't really matter because she was clearly just an arsehole.

The world is full of them.
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Old 02.01.2017, 12:57
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Re: How to deal with difficult co-worker

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The point I think greenmount was making is that it is VERY unusual for someone to take such a severe and hostile dislike to you for without at least some action, intended or not, on your part. Until he arranges a meeting or just asks her directly then it's all speculation anyhow.
Thank you, RD. Yes, exactly my thoughts.

But of course, I can be wrong.
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Old 02.01.2017, 13:42
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Re: How to deal with difficult co-worker

Thanks for all the insights, guys and gals. Tomorrow is another day. I have decided to go out to lunch with a co-worker who I get along with quite well, and also gets along with her. I will bring up the subject, and hope that she can give me a clue. I will post back here when I learn something new.

Happy new year to all you great EFers!
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Old 02.01.2017, 14:54
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Re: How to deal with difficult co-worker

It's not that I think the OP is trolling. However it would help to have some concrete examples of this woman's behaviour.

I worked many years ago as a contractor at an Edinburgh based IT firm. There was one woman in the team who was reasonable one day and obnoxious the other day. She resented that I was (i) from south of the border and (ii) on a contractor rate. She also treated anyone who ranked below her like dirt, in combination with getting other team members on side to pick on individuals she decided she did not like. There were many examples including one time she reduced a young woman on the team to tears, berating her at full blast in an open plan office for having used a wrong font in an internal email.

As DB said before, there are <automoderated>s everywhere and you either leave / avoid or give them sufficient rope to hang themselves.

Cheers,
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This thread is like the other "n" trolling threads - no details just blunt statements ("she makes my life hell", a few lines later - "For my actual duties, I have very little to do with her as she has a basic admin function"), one post and then OP vanishes. You'd say only the "newbies" enjoy this game, lol.

I take it the insignificant little basic admin person didn't smile back at OP. The outrage!
The replies were much more interesting though, as usual.
Popcorn or a nice pot of tea.....
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  #74  
Old 02.01.2017, 19:45
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Re: How to deal with difficult co-worker

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Could there be grounds for jealousy for some unexplained reason?


My sister-in-law treated me in exactly the same way when we first met. I always felt uncomfortable in her prescence and when things escalated she said she hated me. My mother-in-law and husband told me she was just jealous but I could never see why.


Jealousy apparently makes people behave in the manner you describe and can be deadly, irrational and very destructive.
+1 to this, absolutely!

This kind of behaviour is exactly what you get from people that is jealous, in all contexts. Talking from personal experience, and that of close friends, this situation is what you get from an in-law, cousin or friend that feels less than you, or from a co worker that feels threatened from your capacity/he did part of your tasks before and doesn't want you to do it better, or simply people ranking lower that thinks they deserve your position more than you do because you are (write here any random nationality/gender/prejudice). Since they are afraid of exposing themselves and their self-assumed weaknesses compared to you, they, instead of talking openly and frankly with you, invent a number of reasons why you are less valuable than your really are, or exaggerate comments and attitudes trying to justify their feeling of inferiority as your own fault by intentionally trying to dimish them, which in many cases exists only in their heads. Pure jealousy. OK as long as they keep their toxicity for themselves, the only problem is that some of them need to spread their theories to alleviate their rage, and thats not cool to you, right?

What to do?

I suscribe to the approach 'cover your a*s', ie all to this person politely via email, let your boss graciously know that this person is difficult but you have all under control/don t need escalation, just in case, and for the rest just ignore her. I personally don t like commenting much the trouble with co workers, otherwise you are falling to their unprofessional level (commenting with your mutual friend for a second opinion seems fine to me). Perhaps it will dillute over time, and if it does not (an assistant can harm a lot, actually, by agenda wars or organizing sh*tty trips, 'forgetting' to pass information etc) then talk to her + escalate as next step.
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Old 02.01.2017, 20:09
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Re: How to deal with difficult co-worker

Thanks again.. I can rule out the jealously part because I might have taken a position she wanted.. my job requires English as mother language - she is native Swiss with mediocre English skills, plus I work for a tech company, and she has no technical background (I have a BS in engineering). She is literally an office administrator, answering the phone, generating invoices, managing the CRM. I will know more soon... I can't see ignoring her forever as a viable solution. Anyway, we have the company ski weekend in 2 weeks... she will be there, lots of booze...
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Old 02.01.2017, 20:32
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Re: How to deal with difficult co-worker

mmm, perhaps not simply envy for her to take your position, but really, it smells like fear. She may think that you are not the 'right' person for whatever random reason and feel fear of something. Or just a prejudice over what you represent. Jealousy is an estrange animal that takes many forms, not only envy, but arises from complex fears.

Will be interesting to hear your friend's feedback.



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Thanks again.. I can rule out the jealously part because I might have taken a position she wanted.. my job requires English as mother language - she is native Swiss with mediocre English skills, plus I work for a tech company, and she has no technical background (I have a BS in engineering). She is literally an office administrator, answering the phone, generating invoices, managing the CRM. I will know more soon... I can't see ignoring her forever as a viable solution. Anyway, we have the company ski weekend in 2 weeks... she will be there, lots of booze...
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Old 02.01.2017, 20:45
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Re: How to deal with difficult co-worker

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It's not that I think the OP is trolling. However it would help to have some concrete examples of this woman's behaviour.

I worked many years ago as a contractor at an Edinburgh based IT firm. There was one woman in the team who was reasonable one day and obnoxious the other day. She resented that I was (i) from south of the border and (ii) on a contractor rate. She also treated anyone who ranked below her like dirt, in combination with getting other team members on side to pick on individuals she decided she did not like. There were many examples including one time she reduced a young woman on the team to tears, berating her at full blast in an open plan office for having used a wrong font in an internal email.

As DB said before, there are <automoderated>s everywhere and you either leave / avoid or give them sufficient rope to hang themselves.
Absolutely, I'm sure that in general, there are enough characters of this sort who seem to have a problem with you - just because (for all those reasons someone else has mentioned, and some more). But most people are rather reserved to openly show their hostility, for their own good of course. Sometimes it takes a while to understand why you didn't get that promotion, or didn't get to work for that interesting project. This woman seems like a total weirdo given her working environment. We'll see what OP finds out.
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Old 02.01.2017, 20:52
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Re: How to deal with difficult co-worker

Here's my standard answer for situations like this:

Give her a gift voucher for EXIT. Always a thought provoking present from someone who cares a lot. Or not.
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Old 02.01.2017, 21:30
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Re: How to deal with difficult co-worker

I could understand the issue if she would be his boss, but it is an office administrator with whom he only shares an open office
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Old 02.01.2017, 22:28
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Re: How to deal with difficult co-worker

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I could understand the issue if she would be his boss, but it is an office administrator with whom he only shares an open office
Or that....apparently.



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or from a co worker that feels threatened from your capacity/he did part of your tasks before and doesn't want you to do it better, or simply people ranking lower that thinks they deserve your position more than you do because you are (write here any random nationality/gender/prejudice). Since they are afraid of exposing themselves and their self-assumed weaknesses compared to you, they, instead of talking openly and frankly with you, invent a number of reasons why you are less valuable than your really are, or exaggerate comments and attitudes trying to justify their feeling of inferiority as your own fault by intentionally trying to dimish them, which in many cases exists only in their heads.
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