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My turn with a difficult coworker

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Sad in AZ posted 4/13/2013 11:18 AM

I don't want to go into detail because there's just too much, but I've been dealing with a very negative coworker since I took this position in Houston last September. She's a diva and very paranoid.

I've tried to be positive, and I can usually just politely ignore her, but for the last couple of months we've had to work closely on a very big event that's happening in early May. In the past couple of weeks she has circumvented everything that I've worked on and has caused delays and confusion. She has either miscommunicated or not communicated information that I needed. The least of the problems is that she's taken credit for every one of my ideas. I can live with that; I'm not looking for glory, as it 's her event-I'm the assistant.

The event is not working out well; it's a combination of poor planning, a bad prior reputation (which she may or may not have participated in-it was before my time here) and intrusion by our boss' boss into the planning process. It's a mess.

She's passive agressive and nonconfrontational, so rather than openly discuss any issues, she has complained to our direct boss. (We do not have a manager in our office; he is in another city.) I was given the heads-up by our other coworker. We received a cryptic email late on Friday afternoon that our boss and the person who is essentially in charge of personnel are coming to visit our office on Tuesday. He specifically mentioned that he and the MCO want to have a meeting with me. FML

So, I'm spending my weekend getting my ducks in a row. I've decided that my best defense is a good offense, so I've informed my boss and the MCO that I'm glad they are coming next week, as I'm about to initiate a grievance against this coworker, and I hope we can avoid this by our discussion.

This is the part I'm unsure of: I also plan to talk to this coworker on Monday, stating that I've been advised that she's complained to the boss and I want to know what she's complained about. I'm also going to give her a chance to recant.

I'm pretty sure I can cause havoc for our office and the bosses office. This location should have been closed last year when my former office closed. There is no reason for it to be open--there is literally no work, except for this event, which happens once a year. I sat on my hands for four months because my coworkers were doing my job because they had nothing to do. My only salvation was that I knew I'd be involved in another project for another office in early March, so I had that to look forward to.

I don't plan to act on the 'scorched earth' campaign unless this turns into a witch hunt. I could use some advice and good wishes.

Crescita posted 4/13/2013 11:34 AM

Ugh, no advice but mojo headed your way.

inconnu posted 4/13/2013 11:34 AM

I have no good advice for you but I'll send plenty of mojo and good thoughts.

It must be the week for difficult coworkers. I found out my P/A coworker has been complaining to the warehouse guys about me and the other woman in the office. Apparently drama llama does all the work, and we do absolutely nothing to help her. Never mind that I switched positions this week, and I've been doing my old job while trying to learn the new one. Yep, I do nothing.

FaithFool posted 4/13/2013 11:37 AM

Ugh, good luck!

inconnu posted 4/13/2013 11:41 AM

bbee posted 4/13/2013 13:00 PM

Bleah. Good luck.

nowiknow23 posted 4/13/2013 14:15 PM

Oy. I HATE this kind of crap with a passion. Tons of good wishes heading your way.

Kajem posted 4/13/2013 15:52 PM

No advice that you don't already know and are doing. Get your ducks in a row..

Sending Mojo and saying prayers.

Hugs, too.


authenticnow posted 4/13/2013 16:27 PM

No advice, either.

I've decided that my best defense is a good offense, so I've informed my boss and the MCO that I'm glad they are coming next week, as I'm about to initiate a grievance against this coworker, and I hope we can avoid this by our discussion.
I think this is brilliant.

Sending hugs and lots of good thoughts.

tesla posted 4/13/2013 16:33 PM

Wanted to send you some mojo!

FWIW, I think going on the offense in this situation is the right course. I don't think you are going to get a straight/honest answer from your coworker but she'll be on notice.

Good luck!

Jpapageorge posted 4/13/2013 23:17 PM

I would avoid a Monday discussion with the Drama Llama since you are meeting with your boss and the HR person on Tuesday. You are right, in my opinion, to go on offense with the higher ups but talking to a paranoid, P/A diva has too many possible pitfalls to be helpful.

Good luck/bon chance.

GabyBaby posted 4/14/2013 00:53 AM

I agree with Jpapa.
Don't "tip your hand" with the diva. She's already been back-stabbing and bad mouthing you. Damage has already been done.

Go straight to the higher-ups with your information. Any written emails/data that can show her antics will only help you in the end.

Sending LOTS of mojo your way!

kernel posted 4/14/2013 09:04 AM

I agree with Jpapa andGaby. I don't think you should give her a heads-up. Wait to see what the higher-ups have to say and then you'll know how to react. You don't want to jump the gun. Maybe they want to talk to you to find out the truth because they have dealt with her shit before. I know, pollyanna, but that's who I am. You're prepared for whichever way it goes. Good luck!

gahurts posted 4/14/2013 20:06 PM

Good Luck. Hope it goes well Tuesday.

thebighurt posted 4/15/2013 11:27 AM

Just reading this now. Hope all goes/went well for you. My advice would have needed to be in place long ago and perhaps was. Put any ideas you have in an email to her and the boss. That way she cannot claim they are hers. As was suggested, keep any communications with her.

Since it is *her* project and may not be going well, then I guess *she* will be the one it lands on because she has laid claim to all your ideas. Perhaps if this office were to close, she would not be offered a xfer.

Mojo, Mojo, MOJO.

Sad in AZ posted 4/15/2013 17:45 PM

Today the boss asked me to reserve an outside conference room (we have our own!) We work in a concierge suite. He wants to pay for another room-WTF? They want to meet with each of us privately--all 3 of us, not just the PITA & me.

I can't wait for tomorrow to be over.

Amazonia posted 4/15/2013 18:05 PM

Sending you positive energy for tomorrow, and calm for tonight.


Skan posted 4/15/2013 18:45 PM

Loads of Mojo for tomorrow. Walk in there with all of your documentation and fire both barrels.

KVille posted 4/15/2013 18:56 PM

In my job if I had been asked to reserve a room I would feel better. They would not ask you to do this if you were in trouble....even if booking places is your usual job

authenticnow posted 4/15/2013 18:59 PM

Sending lots of good thoughts for tomorrow!

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