Bully at Work Moody Boss Karma Office Gossip No Picnic Back stabber Plug your Ears Moody Boss

Part I: Needy coworker leaves me feeling swindled

Dear Office-Politics,

The Admin in our department just went through a divorce and has 2 children. Long story short, cubicles are not private and we have all tried to help. Last week, I bought her lunch every day. Others have donated money. I have bought groceries. It is never enough. She has a good salary and drives a new car and gets child support. We all think she is a con. I think so because I gave her $20 to get her “pills” prescription. She instead told me a week later she did not get them and did not return the money.

Finally, a group of us were discussing a film just released, and she said “I saw that and it was a great movie!”

How do I help without being taken advantage of and how do I handle this situation? Is this a common “con” game?

Last, she does NOT do her work and always seeks pity. I am constantly helping her with basic admin duties.

No sucker

arnie herz

Dear No sucker,

You have a good heart.

Here is my rule: You need. I give. You benefit. You appreciate me.

If all four do not come together, it’s a waste of my time, energy and money. It creates resentment in me and I feel depleted.

In the scenario you portray, you question whether or not she really “needs.” Probably she does not. You also question whether or not she is benefiting. Once again, probably she does not. For sure she is not appreciating what you are doing for her. Therefore, it seems to me you should cut off your support in all respects and save yourself from being depleted.

There are many people and causes who need your support and who would benefit from it. Find them. You’ll make a difference in their lives and feel good about yourself in the process. Thanks for writing to Office-Politics.


Arnie Herz

Arnie Herz, is a lawyer, mediator, speaker, author and consultant nationally recognized for his practical and inspired approach to conflict resolution and client counseling. Visit his blog at LegalSanity.com

  1. One Answer to “Part I: Needy coworker leaves me feeling swindled”

  2. Feedback from No Sucker:

    THANKYOU! Easy to remember!!!! Great advice!

    By Letter-writer: No Sucker on Oct 19, 2007

What's your advice?

(You can also tweet it to @dearOP)