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Monday, March 07, 2011

8 Ways to Stop a Coworker From Sabotaging Your Reputation

Dear Evil HR Lady,

There are two of us in equal positions at my office. The excuse our Manager used for not promoting either of us was that there could only be one promotion and therefore it would not be forthcoming this year because if one was promoted the other would make too much fuss. Since that time this other employee has been determined to undermine me with our boss by finding fault with everything I do, even to point of saying I am not qualified for my job, lied about my number of overtime hours and quoted me as saying I thought he was an idiot. I find my boss is buying everything she says. What can I do at this point to help save my job and bring attention to fact she is deliberately trying to get herself promoted by sabotaging me.

8 Ways to Stop a Coworker From Sabotaging You


It Happened To Me said...

There were a lot of statements telling you (the OP) to document what's going on. I'd like to expand on that:

Do NOT use your company computer. Handwrite everything in a notebook and KEEP IT WITH YOU at all times. Do NOT leave it in your desk, your purse, your briefcase, etc. If possible, don't even let anyone know you're doing this. Keep everything extremely detailed and 100% factual. List the following: date, time, place, what happened/what was said, and by whom, witnesses, and results. Leave out how you felt, what you thought was said, and your idea of possible motives. Keep only the facts, ma'am.

Again, keep your notebook with you at all times. Your coworker is sneaky and completely untrustworthy.

If your boss or HR wants to see your notebook, MAKE A COPY and do NOT give them your original. They can't be trusted, either.

Mike C. said...

Wait, did I see "lying about overtime hours"? Isn't that the crime of theft or fraud?

This seems like it's entering the realm of slander or libel depending on the form of communication. If you have hard evidence, you may want to seek legal advice.

Anonymous said...

I see what you're saying, Mike, but while this potentially could have some legal bearing, that doesn't make it a legal issue. Starting any litigation on what is, at least at this level, an interpersonal issue would surely get the letter writer labeled a whackjob and probably quietly let go for not being worth the trouble. Now, if the coworker takes it to the level of harrassment rather than undermining her coworker and being an annoying jerk, which is what I took from the letter, then the writer has to do what he/she has to do-the writer probably won't want the job anyway at that point, so no harm in pulling out the big guns. I say try Suzanne's suggestions and if it continues to be an issue or gets worse, brush up the resume and start working on finding another job. Unfortunately, it will probably come to that, because this manager sounds like a Grade A wuss, and the only thing that will take the coworker down a peg is to be fired or for the boss to tell her directly that her tactics aren't working and she needs to shut up. For a wuss of this level, neither of those is a viable option, but letting the two of them go at each other's throats until one of them leaves (problem solved!) is a perfectly usable solution. What a weenie.

Employee Mediation said...

That is a terrible situation that happens all too often. It's a hard one to deal with as well.

It happened to me at two different jobs I had: the first one was actually with my supervisor, and the company offered mediation services. I took advantage of them, and was able to get the situation resolved.

The second one was much harder...the employer didn't offer mediation services, and the other employee had tenure, even though I had more education & experience. The situation wasn't resolved at all; I hated going to work, and was miserable the entire time I was there.