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Coworker thinks we are having a relationship

By miaswork ·
A coworker who is helping me manage a project from another location has told me he feels we are having a relationship and I need help tacking this issue because it is unclear what his purpose is.

My manager told me that he has told him that he wouldn't want to work with me in future because of my management style. My manager suggested I talk to him about it. I feel he must have said something quite negative. However when I asked him about it he said he said no such thing and that he enjoys working with me he was giving constructive feedback. Since then every time we have a scheduled weekly meeting he sends me an email asking me to list the issues to be discussed in an email so he can answer and won't attend meetings saying "don't you think we are spending too much time together on the phone" and that he feels this has become a relationship and he wants a divorce. Poor communication makes it hard for me to manage a project remotely.

The way we started interacting was via phone where he had some knowledge which I needed to understand. That worked well. Then I was assigned as the manager of the project while he was on vacation. Since he returned he was not really cooperative e.g. missing meetings, etc. However he did do half of the things in his plate well. The other half he didn't make an honest effort to do however they were a bit difficult. Because of the difficulty in setting up ad hoc meetings with him on need basis I had set up a weekly meeting with him to discuss any open issues pertaining to his area. Meanwhile, I have visited his location 3 times and met with him during these visits. We have never had met outside the work setting except to travel together for business meetings. On these occasions, nothing romantic in nature has come up. I had a feeling when I last visited his office that he looked me up and down and checked me out for 2 seconds and then trying to figure out my earring behind my hair. On our flight back to work after several segments he did not show up and later emailed me that he had missed it. I think he is sleeping with a coworker from his community in another location as well because I noticed their behavior when she joined us on one of the segments.

The project is at a crucial stage and in my opinion if I tell anyone in my management team about it it will become a big issue in an already complex project. I am new to the company and don't want all the hard work put in by the team and I to be frittered away because of this if I can avoid it but I don't want to be trapped because I am blameless.

I feel confused. I don't know the company, managers, and this guy too well and don't know if he's out to create trouble for me. Help! What should I do?

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All Answers

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Are you male or female ?...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to Coworker thinks we are ha ...

You omitted to mention.

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You can only do as much as you can.

If this bloke wants to do the other then that is not your problem (so make sure you do not make it YOUR problem. What ever task is assigned to you then do it with or without him. If he asks for your help tell him to get it himself. He is testing you and you are taking the bait like a fish. Back off from him and just do your share, get him to pick up the rest. If you feel that he is not pulling his weight then tell your boss, that is why the boss is there, for control. Keep yourself to yourself, you are not his puppy dog at the beck and call. Just do your work that is it. Do not take any more (fish) bait.

Please post back if you have any more problems or questions.

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Things you can control and things you can't

by JamesRL In reply to Coworker thinks we are ha ...

I would come clean with your manager.

I would sit down with your manager and approach this as a work issue. Do talk about the challenges in working with the individual, communications wise. Do not mention your suspicions about the "affair" with another coworker, you have no proof.

Talk to your manager about your ideas for takling the problem, then ask for any additional suggestions. Do not presnet this as a problem for your manager to "fix", present it as an issue where you would like some guidance.


Do start to keep a log of the missed meetings. You have to be seen as the one who is trying to keep the communications up, and if things get worse, you want to prove that you made the effort.

James

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