Help with colleague

  • Hi,

    Previously when I asked about my colleague here, we concluded that I ought to be careful about her and as she is untrustworthy and can stir up trouble. So far, she has been benign.

    As I'm working from home, an incoming new hire was temporarily sitting at my workstation, in between meetings with my boss. She will be joining another department.

    My colleague asked via chat if we were getting a new colleague and where she would sit. Yada yada. I suggested a possible workstation location and indicated she was completing pre-onboarding formalities this week. A while later, she texted again, and asked if I was not coming to work anymore and was this lady replacing me? And why my boss had not sent out an announcement about it.

    All because she was sitting in my seat, when I was working from home! I feel she was trying to goad a reaction out of me, in addition to being nosy. And I really wanted to be snarky. Because she was being rude.

    Her attitude has been worse, now that she's been renewed. She still does her work but complains a lot more. Lately, I've been calling her out on her nonsense. Maybe that's why the claws are out. I want her to be accountable for what she's doing and not expect to be spoon-fed. She's been here a year, she should know better! I've lost patience with her, and I'm not keen to be the 'nice one' anymore.

    I am worried she will try to sabotage me in the near future. There are some tasks that she has to help me with.

    Just need some insight into this.

  • I think you are mixing personal feelings with your professional obligations. Why is she able to push your buttons so easily? You need to move away emotionally from this situation and just try to work with this woman without getting drawn into her machinations. When she gets no reaction from you other than workwise, she will look for other 'prey'.

  • Hi Captain,

    I've been doing that for a year. I depersonalize, re-direct ... whenever I hear snide comments, or if she's asking personal questions which I'd rather not answer or trying to sniff out work information that she shouldn't be privy to. I work from home mostly, I do not engage with others (including her) unless I have work related questions. Somehow, it has not deterred her. She will still try to do all of the above. So that's why I've started to alter my approach and be more direct when she's out of line, just as our mutual boss is with her. That helped a bit as she backed off somewhat. It does seem like her recent renewal has emboldened her though, as I'm getting more 'attitude' from her. I guess I've lost patience already, hence the reaction.

  • I remember her....reread the past advice. I think she's not changed much and has no sense of boundaries. She's paranoid and bal zy. Stay professional and when you get a text like that don't answer. As for losing your patience keep it professional or she will make you look bad....although by now other employees have noticed her whining and needy ways. You are uncomfortable with her pushy ways and her inability to take responsibility. Sound familiar? This is an opportunity to heal a wound in your life. Keep your boundaries fearlessly and with peaceful indifference.

  • Thanks Blmoon!

    What you said about the opportunity to heal the wounds in those areas - I was thinking just that when Captain replied, although I didn't mention it.

    It is true. It does get my goat when people are like that. It's particularly aggravating at work because it's such a stressful environment where everyone is expected to hold their own, and not be childish. I don't blow up at her - I'm just more 'gruff'. Hoped that would send a signal that her nonsense is not ok with me. Well, I'm just on her hate list now. LOL. She can't wait to see me get kicked off. That's fine, but it makes me nervous of what she is capable of. My boss knows that she's kinda 'off', and was reluctant to renew her, but she did so anyway.

    My whole life, I've lived with people who overstep due to co-dependency issues, or others who lacked accountability. I'm aware I can't change others nor expect them to change. I'm trying to handle myself better instead, but I'm still easily triggered when others are pushing against my boundaries - even after I have growled. Then the Inner Beastie starts roaring. I know the wounds are in me. They are difficult to heal. Nonetheless, I desire to reach peaceful indifference someday 🙂 I don't want this sort of thing to have power over me anymore.

  • Danceur,

    Speaking from the telecommuter position I loved working from home. Who cares if they fill your seat, its just a physical space. I got more work done from home then I did when I had to go in every few months. Bring your laptop and as long as they have wireless you can plop down anywhere, you rather be at home. It seems work places are going to the open room anyway...sitting all over, you don't need a desk space just a connection. Office politics the jostling game is going to happen. It depends on how you want to play it. There is a technical term for it "Tuckman identified four stages of group development, which included the stages of forming, storming, norming and performing and adjourning". You are in the storming part it will settle. See that class paid off....hahahaha I hated the ladder game, but working from home was a pleasure. So figure out how you want to play, your work will speak for itself you are a conscious worker.


  • No one can hurt you if you believe in yourself. This woman is actually helping you see your vulnerabilities more clearly by triggering all your 'hot spots' of concern or insecurity. It is not her you are struggling with, but yourself. Once you see what she is trying to show you, she will go away.

  • Hi Nick,

    You sound different 🙂

    it's not the desk. I love working from home too, and I am definitely more productive now.

    But others still have a distrust of it. Somehow the lack of my physical presence seems to exacerbate the feeling they have of a lack of manpower. In truth, the work is getting done. They couldn't handle things otherwise. But they are quick to forget it. And unfortunately my boss is one of those people. She allowed the arrangement but she blames me for having to work differently.

    I wouldn't call myself conscientious. I don't get involved in office politics. I just don't like feeling that this colleague could exploit my boss's insecurities against me.

    Nick, I want to thank you. You used to mention to me how you had broken chains as it related to family and ways of being that didn't work for you. I understood it intellectually but I didn't recognize until just this month that that's exactly what I had been doing the whole time. I've been identifying and breaking through family pathology a piece at time. A lot of it are things we aren't even consciously aware of, unwarranted attitudes/behaviors or fears that hold us back from the kind of lives we want to be living. Even the reasons we attribute value to things or people that no longer add value to our lives. I don't want to carry it forward anymore. So I'm trying to heal it bit by bit.

  • Hi Captain,

    I do believe in myself.

    But I'm aware of her jealousy regarding my telecommuting arrangement.

    And my boss also has insecurities around it, that have nothing to do with my performance.

    She knows she can rely on me, but there's always that doubt in her mind because it is so chaotic at work. I cannot help that she feels that way. And I feel vulnerable that my colleague is in a position to exploit that.

    I think it's important though, and healing, to validate the anger or hurt that we feel. Others are also making a choice to act in certain ways, because of their own wounds and insecurities. It's a reciprocal thing that we end up triggering each other in order to learn. I do take responsibility for owning my wounds, but maybe I don't necessarily feel wrong to have a reaction.

    I agree she is highlighting where I have had difficulties...areas for healing, but I don't think this is about self-value for me. It feels like my trigger is about not being able to express the expansive energy I'm now feeling. And of being around and having to placate people who are resisting expansion and wanting to cling to (what i feel are) restrictive concepts and their own insecurities. Being around the negativity is difficult, when I'm trying to break all these chains that no longer serve. It's like straddling 2 realities, one of which I no longer understand. I feel forced to 'dumb-down' in this company. But I don't want to be less, so I suffer the consequences for being me. Most of it doesn't bother me, but the out of sync feeling is always there.

    Perhaps there are other hot spots - I'm trying to identify. But in terms of being out of sync with the energy, I don't know what I can do to heal that feeling and the resultant irritability.

    I want to be around 'like-minded' energy, places and people.

  • Hi Danceur,

    You must have seen the black cloud lifted off the words. I finally landed a job! and the sad part is I am still going to whine....hahahaha no not really but it's only a 16 hour commute. It turns things upside down for a while but I couldn't let this opportunity go by.

    The chains that bind us are sometimes hard to see, the obvious ones to see become part of the goals I wanted to set. Others took years to see and some i still do and catch them and go what am I thinking.

    I am going to disagree with you...hahaha

    "Conscientiousness is the personality trait of being careful, or vigilant. Conscientiousness implies a desire to do a task well. Conscientious people are efficient and organized as opposed to easy-going and disorderly."

    You wouldn't have sacrificed yourself or part of yourself for your family with such a Big reward they give you for doing it...yes sarcasm comes through words well sometimes...

    but that makes you, you and don't lose that, just figure out how to deal with it and how it fits into what you want to be.

    As for working from home, you won't climb the ladder because the perception of being seen even if you are not producing will out weigh the work you do. If you are looking for a career change then is it worth it to go to the office and play the game or be confident in you, have less stress and accomplish more. You have to weigh the difference.

  • Danceur, perhaps you chose to come here in order to help those who aren't like-minded?

  • Hi Nick,

    Yes your energy is very bright 🙂

    That's awesome, congratulations. I'm happy for you. But the commute..yikes! How does that work?

    Semantics, Nick! I see your point, and yes I do have that in me. But I'm also the other thing, which is easy-going and disorderly and a dreamer. Somehow I see conscientious as a bit 1-dimensional and lacking in creativity. I'm not terribly creative but my brain is a bit of a crackerjack. And I have to say the care-giving is a calling, there are lessons there for me - I wouldn't have done it otherwise.

    Well the only reason I'm working from home is because of the care-giving and also to give me a bit of breathing room. Cos I'm exhausted. It was an incidental thing that I found more productivity in this arrangement. I can't and won't placate people's insecurities about this. I'm not interested in climbing ladders. My path lies elsewhere. But it's annoying to be the target of their insecurity on a daily basis. I'm only human...

    It's empowering to identify those links. When you realize how what you inherited has no real resonance with who you are, and can be set aside is like a light bulb moment. Of course healing that and truly moving past it is a whole other saga. But that's what I've been working on - noticing, contemplating.. I think the reason why I had been in a holding pattern for years (and complaining to you about was that this is a preparation and healing phase. There's a much larger plan ahead I think... will need to be Danceur 3.0 (in the making, at least).

  • Hi Captain,

    If you mean in terms of learning lessons - yes I think so. But in terms of helping others, not so much, since no one is listening.

    If I relate this to life purpose...I have thought of myself as a low level change agent before, because it fits my nature of being a square peg. Low level because my energy is not revolutionary, nor full of ideas... it's very subtle. This is not my first workplace where there is resistance to change. I think it's actually probably common. But I lack the persuasive ability of a real change agent -because I'm introverted and very much going through my own journey of self-discovery. So I'm not trying to effect change intentionally. If there's any influence, it's on a passive, nearly subliminal level - it seems to either stimulate other's jealousy, ire, curiosity or desire to rebel. "Oh if she can do it this way, I shall do it too". "Or how come she can do it, if we're not supposed to, the nerve". Or - and this is often from higher-ups - "Why must you do it differently, when our way works?". Eg I draft a letter, I change up the sequence but retain most of content and re-phrase it. And I get questioned why I can't just stick to the tried and tested.

    I don't do things differently, just to be different. I am different and I believe in what I'm doing. People assume there is an end-point based on known facts, but that's not always true. Even Science is evolving everyday. What is considered quackery or without merit today, may have real empirical value 10 years from now. I work within the parameters but I test the boundaries to see how much extra leeway we can create, and what we can improve. If my way doesn't work, at least we know. But I tend to get a negative reaction - they want to pre-empt the possible failure, so they reject my efforts at change. Even if they subsequently adopt my efforts, it's after much chastisement, done silently without acknowledgement or appreciation, and very much later. I know the value of what I do and I don't turn the rejection or lack of acknowledgement on myself. However, when you encounter this daily - how not to be annoyed?

    It feels like a useless scenario, that no one seems to be benefiting from, beyond the reciprocity of an employment arrangement.

    Perhaps I either haven't found the right means of expression, or the right audience. However, I don't see myself as an activist, even if there is some of that energy within it. It's Indigo energy.

  • You cannot always see how you affect others or impact on their lives. But it happens ... maybe not straight away or obviously, but the seed gets planted. Just by being a good example of a human being, we can all profoundly and positively impress others and make a real difference in the world.

  • Yup this is what I experience here on the forum and in life, in general. Some insight and advice only started to take very much later - gradually - and only in the ways it is meant to resonate with me.

    But I would much rather learn and create within a positive environment , where my strengths are actually valued. Instead of just putting out fires everyday, and maintaining the status quo. Doesn't make sense to me to live life like that. I sense my days here are numbered anyway, because the divergence of my path from this environment has accelerated greatly this year; it necessitates a parting of ways. But the lifeboat has not quite arrived. Do you see another opportunity opening up for me - one that suits my home circumstances?

  • Be the positivity you want to see in others, be the peace and calm and understanding and create the ideal environment wherever you are - don't wait for it to arrive from 'somewhere'. Ask yourself - what can I do at work to make things more conducive to beauty and harmony? You have the specific abilities to do this. When you create what you want right now, similar opportunities will be drawn to you. Why wait any longer for what you want - have it now!

  • Hi Captain,

    Thanks! So true 🙂 It has worked in the past in other situations to do that. I think the increasingly challenging personal circumstances over the last year have siphoned a lot of energy which would have gone into being this better person on a more consistent basis. However I feel a little at a loss to rectify this, because energetically, I'm giving out far more to others than I'm creating for myself. It's a necessary evil for the circumstances. I've tried to weasel some time for myself wherever possible. It's helped, but it's really insufficient. With that constant deficit... the demands on me to be on top of everything at home and work, plus stand my ground and weather the ire of everyone.... I drop the ball one way or another.

    If I look at it in another perspective, I'm getting the message to 'hang back' a bit. And not to try harder and harder. And allow whatever fragments of energy left over, to go towards restoration, and my well being. I don't know if that makes sense.

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