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"Problems with Number Two"
have two people above me here. One is brash and honest, and the top
banana here. The other, #2, I just discovered is a complete hypocritical
self-serving backstabber. This is what is happening: I am the supervisor
(you could say I'm #3), and my wife, works here too. The brash one just
told me that the hypocrite wants to get rid of my wife (and not for
a good reason). He's always going on about teamwork, honesty, and support.
Dear Cooling Off,
The first thing to realize here is just how emotionally charged this situation has become. You need to congratulate yourself that you had the wisdom to go outside and cool down, rather than risk a really nasty confrontation.
When conflict gets to this level it can be difficult to deal with it directly. I would suggest you contact someone trained in conflict resolution or mediation to sit down with the four of you and talk about your working relationship.
If, as you say, Number Two is hypocritical and attempting to force your wife out of the firm, it is unlikely that you can deal with the situation by approaching him/her directly. You need a neutral third party to establish some ground rules for dialogue and to impose a process on the discussion.
If you don't know anyone who does this sort of conflict resolution you can ask your lawyer for a referral. Every lawyer should know someone skilled at mediation, or be able to find such a person for you.
A final thought. Why did Number One tell you that Number Two was out to get your wife fired? It sounds like there are some peculiar dynamics at work here.
Good luck with the situation.
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