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Coworker is trying to get me fired.

Text and colors by Franke James; Cartoon ©istockphoto.com/MirekP

Dear Office Politics,

Last month I was written up at work for tardiness, I was given a few days off from work as part of my write up. Since then I am trying to lay low. I have straightened up and don’t want any problems. There is one coworker Eric (pseudonym) that told lies to my supervisor Jim, in an attempt to get me fired. Jim dismissed it and told me to forget about. Eric ignores me while on the job and I know he is trying his best to get me fired or in trouble. He keeps spreading lies. All I want to do is show up for work and go home. I hate all this childish behavior. I don’t want to tell my boss because I am trying to stay off of his and everyone’s radar for a while.

I can’t transfer anywhere. I am nervous and it is causing me great stress. I have tried to be friendly but all efforts are nil. I work a high profile and dangerous job and I am scared.


The Lonely Scapegoat

rona maynard

Dear Scapegoat,

I know how it feels to be the target of a colleague’s vicious lies. When I faced a similar challenge early on in my career, I too kept quiet about the smear campaign. Like you, I was trying to prove myself to a skeptical boss. Like bosses everywhere, he had more urgent things to do than listen to the worries of staffers who were not in his good books. So I hoped I was smart to keep a low profile. Bad idea. While I stewed, the lies kept reinforcing the boss’s lack of confidence in me.

Here’s what I didn’t understand. A smart boss will listen to a staffer who is trying to improve performance. You sound to me like that kind of staffer. Ever since that write-up for tardiness, you’ve focused on pulling up your socks. Now you aren’t sure how your supervisor, Jim, perceives your work. Why not be proactive and find out? You have the ideal opportunity to request a meeting with him. Keep the tone forward-looking and positive, starting with your request. You’re not asking for a chance to set the record straight (don’t even mention your lying colleague). What you’re asking for is feedback that will reinforce your efforts to be your absolute best.

Although you’re not about to say so outright, you also have another agenda: to brush up your image with Jim. This meeting is your chance to review all the steps you’ve taken to do better (don’t assume he already knows), show an interest in the challenges facing your group and position yourself as a team player who stands ready to meet those challenges. You’ll do this by listening to the supervisor, not just by talking about your own contribution. Be alert for two things: additional ways you can help, and clues to how your work is seen. If your boss’s view of the facts is based on Eric’s dirty tricks, keep your cool. Project confidence and calm, no matter how anxious you may feel, and do your best to leave Eric out of the discussion. “I’m surprised to hear that,” you might begin. Then tell Jim why you’re surprised. No emotion, just the facts.

This meeting may last 20 minutes or less. But if you keep the tone constructive, that could be all the time you need to put a dent in Eric’s negative portrayal of you and start building a new image based on your supervisor’s personal observation. You don’t have to say, “Eric is spreading lies about me” if you can prove that he’s lying with your actions and your attitude.

Still, you shouldn’t expect your troubles to be over then and there. Look on this meeting as a turning point, not a one-stop solution. What you initiate with Jim must be supported every day with your colleagues, who remember your former ways. Look for opportunities to go the extra mile. It’s said that healing an overuse injury takes just as long as creating the injury in the first place. You may have injured the trust of your teammates. Be patient and give them time to see that you’ve changed.

Then there’s Eric. Your “enemy.” What do you do about him? You may not be his only victim. And although you don’t say so, he may be one of those poisonous characters who excel at impressing higher-ups while undercutting their peers. All the more reason not to go head to head with him in a meeting with your boss. The HR department is better positioned to help you because they have no vested interest in Eric’s view of things and will know his history with the company. So make sure you meet with HR, not just your boss.

Good luck. And here’s to the new you—punctual, focused, respected. Thanks for writing to OfficePolitics.com.


Rona Maynard, Author

My Mother’s Daughter book cover

Rona Maynard is the author of My Mother’s Daughter a memoir published by McClelland & Stewart in September, 2007.

Rona Maynard’s career as an award-winning journalist, leading magazine editor, acclaimed author and inspirational speaker owes much to the lessons she has drawn from coping with difficult people, both professionally and personally.

Rona edited Chatelaine, Canada’s number one magazine for women, during a decade of growth and innovation in which she attracted a new generation of readers to the franchise. While meeting every benchmark of success, she contended daily with complaints from readers, directives from corporate brass and the strong personalities on her creative staff, who ranged from seasoned baby boomers to Gen Yers with sharply different expectations. The team Rona built was honored internationally for journalism, design and overall editorial excellence. A dedicated mentor, she groomed five people who went on to edit national magazines—among many others who are now viewed as leaders in their industry.

When Rona had fulfilled her vision for Chatelaine, she stepped down to write the memoir her readers had been asking for. In My Mother’s Daughter, she tells the no-holds-barred story of how she became her own woman because of—and in spite of—the enthralling but domineering woman who formed her. From her struggles with a crazy-making boss, an undermining colleague and an alcoholic father, she draws a road map to living with integrity, purpose and joy. Alice Munro has called My Mother’s Daughter “wonderfully honest and enthralling.”

Rona continues to share her hard-won wisdom on her award-winning interactive website, ronamaynard.com, and at the podium. Her most sought-after speech is “Life-Changing Lessons from Difficult People.” Audiences say that Rona’s message brings them energy, hope and pointers they can use to transform their own lives.

Rona’s personal honors include a YWCA Woman of Distinction Award, a National Champion of Mental Health Award and a Woman of Action Award from the Israel Cancer Research Fund, as well as numerous writing awards.

  1. 38 Answers to “Coworker is trying to get me fired.”

  2. I have the same issue, I have a coworker who enjoys stirring the pot, and thinks of it as a game. They enjoy tackling the boss with
    bold comments, and talking behind the other coworkers back. It is all used as fun for her. She then uses humor with the boss, to smooth it all over. The boss just shrugs it off. Unexceptable high school behavior but is not reigned in by the boss.

    By Jane on Jul 29, 2009

  3. In my 40s, and with a huge variety of work experience both in offices and other work types, I still am too trusting of people and haven’t learnt how to pretend, lie, backstab or keep my mouth shut. These are things you need to do to be the perfect office employee and fit into most organisations, particularly government. The best advice anyone with office work experience can give is to trust no-one except your best friend (eg someone you are friends with out of work). Also, one very important point is that managers in particular and other staff will say anything to cover their butts whether it is truthful, contrived, biased or misconstrued and they usually can do it withing the various regulations that they know so well. So, keep relationships minimal, don’t voice an opinion about the organisation and don’t bag anyone out about anything to anyone. Another quick point is that those with private organisation experience are much more skilled in manipulating, pretending and lying than others and those who are ‘institutionalised’ eg working at same govt place for 20 years, will do ANYTHING to protect their jobs even if they have to lie.

    By Jacqueline on Sep 17, 2009

  4. My Case is a bit different, theres this workmate who was promoted recently and he is out to destroy me, he has ganged up with shop floor supervisors such that any thing I’d want to implement they shoot it down to show the boss that i cant work and at the same time i cant implement anything without them. What do i do?

    By Felix on Oct 9, 2009

  5. I too am a victim of bullying at the workplace .. the difference?? It is my manager who is doing the bullying!
    There are days when i am so worried about going to work..it makes me sick.
    My boss has actually suspended me because i refused to have a meeting with them about my so called bad behaviour..My boss has actually fabricated and documented false information regarding my job performance. I am the one who is being made to look bad ..
    What does one do when it is the boss doing the bullying?

    By Kate on Oct 20, 2009

  6. I am a manager and have a employee who claims I touched her. I did nothing of the sort and I handled myself very professionally. She got out of hand with me. Now she and another worker wrote a letter and fabricated it. I got written up for it. HR did not contact me to hear my side of story and when i told my boss he thougth she too was making it up however he has to make sure that they are covered if she and her little friend pushes the issue. I’m willing to take a lie detector test, but seemily no one wants to pursue anything but to put a blemish on my perfect record. I know I’m being set up and now I don’t know what to do to protect myself. I can’t just quit as I need my income for my family. Do I just stand by and take this ? These girls now walk around the office and do not listen to me and come in and out for work whenever they feel like it. I have to now walk on eggshells with my employees.

    By Tara on Oct 21, 2009

  7. I have a job that up until last Friday, loved. I’ve been with this company for 5 years now and even though the job I was originally hired for has tripled in the amount of work, and the other things added to my responsibilities could probably keep one or two other employees busy full time, I like my job. Recently I was called into the office of my boss where he proceeded to speak to me about the other employees being afraid of me. I was speechless, then I was hurt and next came anger. I talked with many of the employees he claimed were afraid of me and from what I heard they were under the impression not to bother me, not from me, but from the receptionist. When they try to call me she won’t let the call go through, she just asks how she can help them. I found out that I rarely receive my calls. When I take a day off, I have on more than one occasion come back to emails about the receptionist asking to take over my responsibilities. She listens in on my conversations and uses my exact words when she talks to people. The one problem here is that she is unaware of the context in which I say what I do, so most of the time she is incorrect in what she is saying. Last Friday I was written up and threatened with termination for being unavailable to the other employees, and for not doing my job. I would have no problem with this person taking over some of the things I do, but she does not even complete what she is already supposed to do. When she took a couple days off, the first two calls I took were from people at the corporate office complaining how rudely and inappropriate she talks to them. What do I do? I cannot afford to loose my job, I don’t want to loose my job, this would be different if I was really flaky, hostile and undependable like I am accused of, I am still in shock. Do I get statements from the other employees? Take pictures? Notes?? How do I fight to save my job without looking like a 12 year old? If I say nothing I look like I am guilty.

    By Millie on Nov 9, 2009

  8. Office politicians are those who are obsessed with what others are doing and how it affects them, instead of being focussed on completing their own task at hand.

    By PRoFoUND on Nov 20, 2009

  9. Wow, I found this article after googling and its almost identical to the situation I’m in now. I have worked for this organization for almost 5 years now. Another employee, call him Ed, has been here for 2 years. About a year and a half ago Ed started acting arrogant and condensending towards me in front of the boss and supervisors. Frequently making snide comments and remarks out of the blue and completely inappropriate. I know that he is having trouble with family life and I dismissed many of his outburst to stress from home. I learned from another employee that Ed had complained about me to the boss but had no other information as to what about. I am having a little trouble in finding the best course of action for resolving this issue. Should I remain passive and “kill them with kindness” or start playing his undermining game? I work in law enforcement and I believe this is his underhanded attempt at getting the next promotion, which his only competition is me.

    By Shocked on Dec 21, 2009

  10. I feel your pain. I feel I am good at what I do but I work with a co-worker who consistently spins stuff to make me look bad and a boss who is a bully. I finally went to the head of our organization and I told him that I would no longer be harassed and that I have never ever had any issues with bosses or co-workers and that I am good with our clients.My boss tried to get me into trouble with office of inspector general by using me as a scape goat for something she had done. She is immature and she has a lot to learn I love my job but I hate all the other stuff. I have tried to talk only about the stuff I need to and this makes my situation worse. I have even been ask if i have ever used drugs before. That is bs. I want to run but I am 43 Other co-workers have these same issues but they are afraid to step forward.

    By Elizabeth on Dec 23, 2009

  11. Document, Document, Document. Sending emails to HR with the facts of what is going on is the best thing you can do to protect yourself. It may not stop them from firing you but it will help when you file a wrongful termination lawsuite or a civil suit.

    By Rochelle on Jan 25, 2010

  12. I just discovered that another person in my office has been trying to get me fired. So I googled the topic and found so many of you guys that are going through the exact same thing I am. Did any of your situations turn out in your favor? I come to work everyday expecting to get the boot at any moment. The woman doing the bullying, everyone thinks she’s ‘so amazing’.

    By Ashley on Feb 25, 2010

  13. I have worked in public service for over 20 years and find myself frequently a victim of office politics. I’m a hard worker but for whatever reason some people run to the bosses about every little thing. Recently I lost an opportunity to do a different position because of a busybody. A year ago they placed me under the supervision of a friend of mine. It turns out she is one of the gossipy busybodies and I didn’t even know. It got so bad that a month ago we both agreed we should not work together and requested a change. Since that time she has done one vindictive thing after another and I’ve had to meet with her boss twice. They have not reassigned me and they keep coming up with excuses. She also has a reputation for firing people including one of her friends about 10 years ago. Yesterday I went into work and I was so upset I could not even focus. I went to two different supervisors and told them both the same thing. Either I get an immediate reassignment or I would be forced to go to our union. I then went home sick. Fortunately the supervisors who were well aware of the problem advocated for me and I was reassigned before the day was out.

    By yvonne johnson on Apr 23, 2010

  14. There is a co-worker who was in my position before me and was promoted. He now is always saying…’when I was in this dept, we did this and that and this way and that….’ blah blah. Well things are different and his way wasn’t necessarily the best way. We have had 3 different managers and he has made it a point to go to each one with his grips about us and the dept. This is becoming a hostile work environment, what should I do?

    By TiredOne on Apr 23, 2010

  15. Prayer is the answer..i have the same problem…pray and watch god sort em all out!

    By Josie on May 8, 2010

  16. PRoFoUND, who had posted on this topic on Nov. 20, 2009, is correct: people who feel the need to participate in office intrigue, backstabbing, and gossip are the ones who don’t do their work; either they’re lazy, or incompetent, or both – so they take the easy way out by participating in these stupid, childish games.

    Rochelle, who posted on Jan. 25, 2010, also has the right idea: write down and document everything the backstabber says and does. This will be powerful evidence against this creep should you decide to file a formal complaint.

    By Marie on Jun 8, 2010

  17. I feel for you all I am in a similar situation as most here.

    By Rich on Jun 19, 2010

  18. Wow, I am having the same problems as these! In fact I’m going through a second manager with the same BS. I have already spoken with our DM and Head manager about the person bothering me and that I feel targeted. I already know I can’t really trust anyone at this point. but Grow up! I can’t believe these people have kids! I also dread going to work .

    I do not think the head manager is a fair person. I don’t think he’ll listen to what i have to say, in fact I know he won’t. I can’t do what was suggested in the post above me to write everything down. seeing as that would be held against me and said as I ‘ wasn’t working’. unfortunately I don’t know what’s being said. But I do know the person will lie or exaggerate things and the head manager will believe them. how do you keep out of trouble when no one will take your side or ask what happened from your point of view?

    I work at a place where I don’t fit in. and the higher ups are friends so, when I have an issue they won’t believe me because I’m not friendly with them.

    I wish I could just do my job. and that adults would be adults instead of acting like children. I now know that the real way to be a manager is to suck up to people, lie, cheat, and backstab. when you don’t like someone look for anything that is legitimate to get at them. most of all I work at a drug store NOT an office. there is a HUGE double standard how do I fight that?

    I just want to say ‘wow you sure do have a lot of time on your hands to know what I do all day every day’

    By Worriez on Jun 22, 2010

  19. my coworker seems to be setting me up – we’ve been friends (at least i thought) for 13 years – we’ve only been working at this same employement for the last almost 4 years….
    it seems as though she is talking about me behind my back with the owners…..
    times are really tough – we work in the construction industry and are suffering really hard times at this time…
    our duties are totally different – she is in estimating and i am in accounting ….
    i cannot figure out what is going on between me and my friend….. (i was even in her wedding several years ago)……
    i asked her last week was something wrong between us – but she said nothing…..

    i am not a threat to her because i can’t do her duties nor do i want to….


    By derylene on Jul 18, 2010

  20. Hi everybody, Im actually in the same boat as most of you. I have a very high profile job witch entails working with people and dealing with important legal documents. This is a govmnt job by the way. I have had serious problems with one of my colleagues since day one. Since I have higher qualifications than her and Im next in line to become a manager (in a few years time) she has issues with me and tries to get me to lose my job. She is extremely toxic and manipulative. She is the type of person that can use ANY situation to her advantage. I wouldnt call her clever but she has no work ethics or ethics in general so she is not afraid to lie, kiss up to people, flirt, manipulate and report fictional insidents to supervisors. The situation has got so bad that she had a go at me using foul language and after 2 years of this abuse, I reported her to the supervisor (she was in front, I dont do things behind peoples backs) and explained that if this happened again Id have to take legal action against her. The situation didnt improve. She is not on speaking terms with me obviously and we cannot work together (we share the same responsibilities and office), the job doesnt get done and he buddies at work are making my life hell. Recently I found out that she has some very “influential friends” and that she is actually blackmailing management so they are unwilling to do something about it. My health is suffering at the moment. I cant sleep or relax and Im constantly on the look-out for her next ploy. I am soon going to quit this job because I am at the end of my tether.

    By lin on Oct 14, 2010

  21. I’m having very similar issues. I have 2 co-workers, 1 is a supervisor, the other is an admin. They are buddy buddy and they both dislike me due to petty, jealous reasons. It’s gotten to the point that the admin is making changes on my reports and then running with it to my supervisor so that I will get written up. I can’t prove she made the changes to make me look lazy/bad though so I said nothing and I got written up just in time for my annual review. So then of course my annual review was miserable and completely falsified. And now I have my supervisor, the one who is best buds with the admin, telling me how she “fears” I’ll get fired and that she “had” to bring the annual review to the attention of HR. But I don’t even have access to discuss my issues with HR b/c they are in a different city. I feel really out of luck and that I’ll never get the recognition that I deserve for a job well done. I know I do a good job though…I have clients who come and bring me presents or stop and talk…so I clearly have their respect, but I have no respect from within the company.

    By sarar on Jan 13, 2011

  22. It’s actually very easy to get someone fired, and here’s how:

    Reject the amorous advances of creepy co-worker. Reject amorous advances again. Cringe when co-worker is reassigned to your group. Reject advances again. Go on company-sponsored harassment training where creepy co-worker eagerly takes notes, then complains to HR a week later that by telling him to mind his own business and get back to work, I’m creating a hostile environment. Law requires company to terminate ME, and protect creepy co-worker against “retaliation” for a bald-faced lie. Take various odd jobs and contract gigs until a real job comes around 8 months later.

    Coming up on one year anniversary of this debacle. Creepy co-worker is still there, still whining about how hard he has to work. Funny thing, I did my job and his when I was there, and never missed a deadline, he can’t seem to get anything done because he’s so busy hitting on co-workers. But he’s now bulletproof because if they let him go, HE can claim retaliation for his entirely baseless complaint against me.

    Everyone said I should sue for wrongful dismissal. Here’s the reality:
    1. Cost. Even if I win, only the lawyers make money.
    2. Reputation. Lawsuits are public record, for any future employer to find during background check. They can go digging in my past, but I can’t do the same to my accuser because he’s protected.
    3. Family. I am in a relationship with someone who still works there. No point risking his career and our financial security just to prove a point.
    4. Closure. I can go on with my life and put this behind me. My accuser will always wonder if he needs to watch his back.
    5. Karma. He mentioned an odd symptom, I told him to see a doctor. He put it off until he couldn’t stand it any longer. Guess what — cancer. He disinherited his kid for turning out gay, so no family to give a crap about him because he waited too long.

    By Ploni Almoni on Feb 11, 2011

  23. I think the best advice is just be calm and laugh at it, Stay strong and no matter how much they try to get to your nerves just dont say anything and just work. dont hang out with this people dont talk to them unless its work related. Never ever ever trust anyone at work just work.

    By meme on Jul 16, 2011

  24. I am the mother of a 24 year old, who has been at her job about 3 months now.
    started out fine for her she loved it….however, now about three of the ladies there decided they didn’t like her and considered her ousted. Ok no big deal, right? they go out of their way to make her look bad….she’s supposed to check in customers then request the reps to help them they are slow to respond and rude about it. a couple days ago a new hire came in and while speaking with my daughter mentioned to her that these three told her that my daughter was ousted and if she were to talk to my daughter she would be ousted too. Then my daughter was poking around on a social website, and came across a conversation between two of them, they were plotting to get her fired. Now i don’t know if my daughter has any legal rights here but some advice would be greatly appreciated.

    By WORRIED MOTHER on Sep 1, 2011

  25. Here’s my advice…when in an environment that is ethical, let your work ethic speak for itself, and their bad behavior shines bright…

    When their winning the game against you using harsh back biting tactics, then it’s fair to turn the tables and give them their own medicine…if you’re smarter than they are, which you most likely are…then you will succeed in coming out on top of it…

    My therapist says don’t wrestle in the mud with the pigs, because the pigs like it too much…well, I disagree, because I’ve been dragged into the mud too many times, and sometimes you just have to wrestle in the mud, get dirty and have bacon for breakfast…

    Because playing fair and nice just doesn’t cut it…I give people EXACTLY what they give me with a little extra in case they try to pull that crap again…and the boss is relieved at one less headache.

    In a perfect world, co workers don’t harass and intimidate you and try to make you look bad, because they are jealous and insecure.

    However, we don’t live in a perfect world yet, do we?

    By sickofit on Sep 18, 2011

  26. Any advice for me is too late because I left due to backstabbing. My former office girl recently graduated from college and then accused me of trying to fire her after six years of mentoring and nurturing her. I have never been anything but supportive of her ambitions, even though I had a feeling she would try to get me fired so she can get promoted to my position. I found out later that she had been badmouthing to my boss while I would tell him how indispensible she is at the office. She had also been flirting with my middle aged boss so when he told me to train her for my job, I knew it was the end. I felt I had no choice but to leave. I may be naive but not stupid.
    In retrospect I should’ve left years ago. I regret not listening to my intuition then. I’m making the most of my unemployment by reviewing my accounting and testing for the CPA exam next year. Maybe this is a (albeit painful) blessing in disguise. My advice to everyone else with a horrible but influential co-worker, find another job if you can because the stress isn’t worth it, especially if your boss won’t back you up. I’m sorry that this is happening to you. Good luck.

    By megan on Oct 12, 2011

  27. i have my dream job or at least a pathway to my dream job, but there is a dragon at the gates. she is this horrible old bag who i am pretty sure has a history of getting people fired within months of being employed at a particular organization. she has been there forever; she is like a cobweb that people have neglected to cleanup. she is knowledgeable, but she is also very contentious. she acts like a bulldog. puffs up her fat little chest and acts like she owns the place. she is not quick to compliment, but quick to get frustrated and irritated. no wonder this bitch is divorced. arrrrgh, i hate her. i am sure she will try to get me fired as she has tried to get others fired (and succeeded). she is a horrible old troll.

    By analysee on Aug 26, 2012

  28. If you work at a hospital go to HR, and turn those backstabbers into their state boards. I was written up magicaly before my review. I went to HR. My coworkers are backing me up. My review has been put on hold. Go far above their heads. Do not them upset you, because they can complain that you’re conduct is bad. Good luck to all with Karma.

    By Candy29 on Apr 11, 2013

  29. You may all think I’m sick and as bad as the person who I got fired but a the point in time it seemed like an easy and guaranteed way out of dreading my work life. I had a co-worker who was a real suck with the big boss and ended up at a point where the big boss worshiped him. He was at the same level as me but was so closed to the general manager that he bi-passed all hierarchy and did jobs for him. This made my workload heavier and a lot of the time I was picking up after him. He was also a real gossip and spreading lies about me being lazy etc. which really started to affect my relationships with other employees. So in a desperate situation I did what desperate people do… stoop low. I did some serious googling and investigative work on him and his family. Turns out his brother was shot and killed by some bloke. The bloke got off because his brother was going in to his house to bash him up. So he pleaded self defence and was equitted. Anyway… took me a couple of weeks to find the ideal opportunity but I managed to retaliate in way only he would understand which led to him seriously assaulting me in the workplace= instant dismissal. So the plan worked perfectly and for now I am quite content. To be honest I think a lot of people are happier now he is gone. Not saying it was honourable but it was effective and now my life is much easier. So my 2c is this. Research every little possible thing you can about the person and find their “cryptonite”. I didnt want to get a broken nose but it doesnt hurt anymore. Dont forget that everyone will retaliate with violence if you hit the right nerve. my 2c anyway

    By Robbo on May 9, 2013

  30. I need help. I am 26. I have worked since I am 18 as a translator on several comstruction sites. Two years ago I got my firt office job in my first working environment with women. Since my first day here I was bullied. Although everybody knew that I got the job through an interview and an exam, the ladies started to say that I’ve been sleeping with my boss (he’s around 50) and with other coworkers, all in the same age range. I would never do that to get a job, because I know I can do it if I work hard and have patience. I cannot stop the lies and it’s getting worse. I used to be a person that enjoyed comming to work, even if I worked in a difficult environment before, working as a young woman among construction workers and getting them to respect me was not easy. I don’t know what to do, because I will definetly lose my job in the nearest future, the lies are growing, now they are saying that I steal from work or help contractors to deals with our company. I need an advice….

    By Soulsista on Jul 9, 2013

  31. I have issues and not answers. Everybody I tell even co-worker and others in management about my supervisor tell me to look for another job. I am good at my job. It is 4 miles from my house. It doesn’t pay all that well, but it is just to get me passed this ecomical climante. I have looked and had an offer about 40 miles away for very little more pay. It just made me sad to read all these situations. I feel for each and everyone of you. If I wrote what went on with my superior it would be a novel. But I am praying for all the injustice in the work place. Things are so unfair… sometimes and it’s worse when you find out it has been happening all along behind your back.

    By Butwhoreallybelievesyou on Jul 26, 2013

  32. I ran into a particularly ugly situation myself and ignoring it seems to be a bad way of dealing with it. until 5 months ago I worked for a major corporation for over 10 years. I received the highest reviews and was being considered for management. At the time I was also assigned a new manager who reported to our VP. That is when everything went south. I’m a single white guy in my forties and the new manager was a younger Latino woman. Basically since the day she showed up she had the expectation that I would do her job (which I did) and she spent ALL of her time either gossiping with the ladies in our department or networking with the executives to get ahead. I had the audacity to complain about this to a coworker. Then, things started to reallt get bad and I didn’t understand what was going on at the time. I would be excluded from projects, my successes were attributed to other people, suddenly coworkers and managers I worked with for years had a hostile attitude toward me. It was almost 2 years of hell and when it is going on you don’t realize it and you think that you are just not handling work stress well or that you fell short somehow. I literally spent hours and hours trying to figure out what was going on, I felt like I was being paranoid, it would be the first thing I thought of when I got up in the morning and a few times thought I was having a nervous breakdown and once seriously considered checking into a hospital. Then for the two weeks after I was given my notice I got my answer. My manager and a few female coworkers she got to partake in this made it very clear that it was a concerted effort and even (indirectly) called me a loser and had a good laugh. That was definitely the worst part, literally getting laughed at after losing a job I was great at. Apparently the coworker I complained to in confidence had gone to my manager and was telling her all of my complaints over the last year. I am guessing that anytime I complained the manager would be more and more vindictive. I only complained to the one coworker, expressly asked her not to repeat it, said nothing untrue or malicious, and was just basically venting a little. So after I leave another coworker clues me in on some of what was going on and tells me that the coworker I complained to likes to find things to run to management with to get in good and also loves to embellish and spin things. The coworker cluing me in is in IT and also said that my manager got access to see my computer desktop in real-time so she could monitor me. A lot of things now make sense in retrospect. My manager loved to play a lot of mind games. In addition to smearing my name and getting everyone to be hostile she seemed to try and push me over the edge. At one point I had written an email with a very specific and unique phrase but then reworded it before sending it because I thought it sounded too arrogant. Later that day my manager went out of her way to use the phrase in a meeting three times. It was one of those things were you think you are just being paranoid but I think that was the intent. Another time she also told me that when I called her office my ring tone was different than everyone elses. It was a lot of small things like that that messes with your head. I am literally in therapy for this with PTSD symptoms. I had a job interview and when they asked me how I deal with conflict with coworkers I came very close to having a panic attack and it was visible. I have improved in the last couple months and believe I am close to a job offer, but this has been one the worst experiences in my life. I worked really hard to get to the point where my salary was just over $100K and now I am looking at positions that pay about 20% less and after having spent a good deal of my 401K savings. I know how this sounds but I think if my old department hadn?t been almost all women and with an inexperienced female manager this would never have happened.

    By Igbee on Oct 10, 2013

  33. I need your help and honest opinion. Should I leave my job? I took this current role about 5 months ago. It took me about 8 months to find it. I like what I do, jut not the fakery that goes on about it. Everyone at my office just seems like high school and, I am mature and I don’t like the hide and seek or buddy buddy routine. In fact, this co-worker is nothing but a backstabbing b***ch I don’t like her. She always complains about my work and took credit for half the stuff I was working on. I don’t feel comfortable answering her. I have tried to play coy with her and, don’t know what to do. I need help am I cynical that all this negativity is impacting my life? Worst yet, I have an illness and she made me break down in my work the middle of my work I couldn’t focus at all, all she did was made me cry because she does not like me. I have never felt so belittled by anyone. I don’t want to take it up with HR because I feel like I have no say. I have verbal warning from my manager which, is not far because I did not get to voice my opionion. I never had any troubles in past careers I do not need to be hand held and , I am tired of her hand holding.

    By lauren on Jan 7, 2014

  34. Is this favortism? A coworker got a new chair and no one else did. This coworker got flowers and a birthday card from the supervisor. No one else got flowers or birthday card for there birthday.

    By marie on Jul 16, 2014

  35. For me it did not matter. I kept my mouth shut about being bullied and once I was placed into a charge position, the bully’s turned to HR about me. Regardless of my stellar performance, involvement in committees, no previous coaching for behavior or write-ups, my manager and HR sided with the bullies. The reason: they said they had a few people complain about me being too bossy and abrasive. These are the same people, I explained, had always disliked me and now that I was put in charge of them they were really angry. HR and boss did not care, more people’s words against mine. I was and still am devastated. These are the same people that run multiple staff members out because of their bullying, unfortunately HR and the new manager refused to hear me and my side. They refused to provide me with specific examples and told me they would not give me any coaching opportunities or allow me to address what was being complained about. My true co-workers were all shocked and devastated as well. There are three that have quit themselves because of what happened to me and stated they were not comfortable working in an environment where staff can just get each other fired. The area I worked in has been suffering for many years (before I came) with keeping steady management and being a productive, safe area. HR and management stated removing me would correct the area’s problems, sadly they are mistaken. What a sense of betrayal and loss of hope when HR will not even listen or accept an employees side versus others. What this shows me is anytime a group of people do not like someone they can create lies together and get them fired. This does not even happen in our court of law. I am keeping all my documentation from HR and manager to remind myself to think before trusting my manager and HR for support.

    By Rebecca on Jul 27, 2014

  36. I too have this problem.

    A coworker was annoyed learning that I made more money than him. Over the past two years he has consistently tried to shrink my job description, I even received a 40% pay cut eventually to go with my ever shrinking job description.

    I am a network engineer and a web developer who was single handedly the sales team. I was not involved in the creation or selection of the website. This guy (an administrative person) hired student interns to do my job (outside sales) without even soliciting my input despite that he has no clue how to do what I do. I made beautiful financial plans and this guy wanted to learn the software. He encouraged my boss to hire another salesperson who I trained, who now will be taking my job. I built a best-in-class CRM sales system for me to do my job and he was hell bent on finding a replacement for it. The list goes on and on.

    And now I got fired. I took a 40% pay cut and rolled onto straight commission just at the beginning of summer when no business is going to close. Now it’s fall and I am getting fired before I had a chance to even reap the commissions of what I sowed.

    I wont do it but if I see this punk in a dark alley I want to clock him so badly. What makes it worse is that I was always kind to him, never got in an altercation with him, helped him and he’s never had the balls to say anything to my face. Instead he has snuck around trying to undermine me for years and he has eventually won the game.

    I dont want his job. He is an administrative support person and I am an outside sales guy. He has more courses and licenses than I do and I’d be happy for him if he moved up in his career. The only way I could threaten him is because I have 20 years experience to his 4 years; I got into this business when he was still in grade school.

    By Taylor on Sep 13, 2014

  37. I have reported the bullying to HR. This person that is doing the most damage bad mouths me and others. She is so nasty that she has ruined a relationship in her own life with one of her children because of her behavior. However, other people believe her lies and ignorance. I some how believe we all have lessons to learn and know in order for me to be a manager like I desire. I MUST not allow the bullying and segregation bother me. I am not vulnerable, I do need my job and love helping and interacting with my co-workers and clients. I am blessed that even though this person can be so mean and unprofessional I still have a job in my career field and as a top-seller business comes back for me. I hope everyone on here is not harassed or treated wrong by their peers because of such circumstances. No one should be allowed to get away with such torture because they are insecure or immature. A boss certainly has no business partaking in such activities. Bosses who do allow such behavior may also be needing more training and have a lesson to learn. Anyway you look at it the situation is a sad representation of the company. It’s sad and uncalled for behavior.

    By Amanda Baird on Dec 3, 2014

  38. I could kiss you for this advice. I worked on contract for a month.

    Two women in another area were threatened by my role. It was “just business”, but other people noticed how badly they were behaved. My boss was totally exasperated by them, but my boss’s boss thought the world of me and threatened to hire me. The contract ended and I checked in on a job I applied for 3 weeks later. The big boss however was quite sour.

    Obviously someone got to him. I have nothing to lose ad everything to gain including my self respect if I meet with him. I thought very highly of him and it makes it even easier.

    By thepinch on Jan 22, 2015

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