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Bitter Co-Worker, What would you do?

By GSG ·
Better yet, what can I get away with?

Here's the issue. I have a co-worker who was given a team leader position. I was on her team, and she was a great team leader. Then there were some promotions that happened at a higher level, and a person she was formerly good friends with, got a manager position. She was not qualified for the position, and didn't even apply for it, but was still mad.

Fast forward a year later, and she's lost her team leader position, and missed out on a promotion that she was qualified for due to attitude. Also, come to find out, as a team leader, she was supposed to tell all of us on her team that changes would be taking place, but she didn't, and set us up to be angry in a big meeting. I've smoothed over my part in this with the manager of the department, so all is good here.

Now, this person sits in her office with the door shut, and when I go to discuss business with her, she starts in on how everyone is out to get her, and she just knows we've been told not to talk to her. I still have to work closely with this person as our jobs overlap.

She's created all of this in her head, and there is no greater plot against her as she is saying, but she's making me, and everyone else around her miserable and trying to set us up for failure.

How would you handle this situation?

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Get this person drug screened

by mjd420nova In reply to Bitter Co-Worker, What wo ...

I've seen this behaviour before and the person involved was a closet pain killer abuser. After realizing what was happening and getting the person the help they needed, their actions became more to the normal and resumed their climb up the corporate ladder.

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yep, seen it verbatim as well

by Locrian_Lyric In reply to Get this person drug scre ...

also a prescription abuser.


The person may be suffering from clinical depression, certainly paranoia.

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When in doubt antagonize...

by Forum Surfer In reply to Bitter Co-Worker, What wo ...

Leave a different one of those corny "leadership analogy posters" on her door every day. Sooner or later she'll laugh or smash your head in the office copier. If you can't poke fun at yourself you're too uptight. She's taking things a bit too personal. Someone should call her on it...not in the way I mentioned, but someone should talk to her from management or hr. Once you get caught up feeling like that it's easy to let it snowball until you have to quit or get fired/demoted. Usually brought on buy personal loss, depression or something along the lines of divorce/infidelity in my past experiences. I'm divorced yet pretty happy...but I've worked with many divorced guys/gals that were bitter about EVERYTHING that happened. They somehow lost the ability to shrug off negativity and get on with life. Lol, take her out for a drink or maybe try to get close enough to let her vent.

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take her out for a drink

by Oz_Media In reply to When in doubt antagonize. ...

That's a good idea, maybe she ain't getting any? You can get pi$$ed, fix a PO'd employee and get laid all in one night. It's a dirty job but someone has to do it.

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by Forum Surfer In reply to take her out for a drink

So you like to take advantage of 'em while they're depressed and suffering from low self esteem? :) It does seem a little more personal and fun than offering counseling or professional help though...I guess you're just looking out for her well being, right?

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I'll boost her self esteem

by Oz_Media In reply to lol...

That's it, honey, yeah ,you're awesome! Wow, that's great, don't stop, you're fantastic, keep going, keep going, you make me feel like a king, yeah baby, yeah baby, yeah baby, don't stop, don't stop!

Phew, wow, that was really something, you're good at that! Same time next week?

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I knew someone that

by The Scummy One In reply to When in doubt antagonize. ...

while not intentional, had a big issue often. Not a bad person, drug user or anything, just good intentions and bad luck.

Anyway, his co-workers had a daily cartoon of something that happened around the office. Just to bring up some laughs. This had been going on for years on the whiteboard. After my friend started working at this place, he was the one in the cartoon almost daily, with 'yesterdays episode'.
I found this out when we had a BBQ and a few of his co-workers came by. Lots 'o stories were told that eve...

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Call her to task

by Oz_Media In reply to Bitter Co-Worker, What wo ...

She needs to get over her issues, bottom line. In order to work with you, she needs to put things aside and accept her position for what it is, which I am sure she is/can be good at and is valued for.

If she can't handle the fact that companies don't always do what the employees wants or deserves, then she shouldn't be there.

I would hit her head on with it, in a nice way. Put the blame on yoruself! This one always works, "Hey XXXXXXXX (fill her name in here, don't kiss her repeatedly)you seem really distant and not interested in working with me lately, did I screw up somewhere?"


"Have I done somethign to pi$$ you off? You seem really disinterested in workign with me now?"

These are ways to sound clueless and it will generally start dialogue where you can extract her true objections/feelings.

The other way, of course, is to just do your job and let her sink into unemployment. not as nice but sometimes that's the only way to work aroud people while trying to work with them.

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by Bizzo In reply to Call her to task

"fill her name in here, don't kiss her repeatedly"

Thanks Oz, needed that

On my second call out tonight, nearly midnight and still have two servers to fix.

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It's always best to sound clueless...

by Forum Surfer In reply to Call her to task

when inside you're screaming "Hey, WTF is your major malfunction numb..." Sorry, I had a Full Metal Jacket flashback. I think everyon needs an R Lee Ermey on staff to help with problems and bring people back to the real world.

Seriously, it is better to act clueless and try to talk to the person so she would open up to you in this case. If she won't, you could talk to HR but I doubt they'll get anywhere anyway, and she might take that as a sign of betrayal.

Either way she's going to have to talk to somebody or just sink further in her downward spiral of depression until she's fired or working out of a cubicle in the supply closet trying to hold on to the red swingline stapler just one more day.

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