Saturday, February 20, 2010

Coworker Woes

Okay, I need some advice about a coworker.

"Jane" is supposed to be training me. My supervisor has told me I'm to know everything 'she' knows. Not going to happen. Within a month of starting this job, Jane told me if I thot there would be training, I'd better think again. This isn't the type of workplace that is slow, nor is there much time for training. 'Jane' has set me up several times to make huge mistakes. I've caught them only in the nick of time. AND...

Jane is very OCP (obsessive compulsive personality). She cannot accept anything, work, advice, inter unit memo, or anything that she doesn't have complete control of. She has told other coworkers that she should be my superior, or at the very least, my lead worker. Not going to happen. She constantly 'checks up' on my phone conversations, she doesn't believe me when I answer her questions and will call someone else to verify it - even when it is in my area of expertise. This week, she asked me how a client (my client) spelled his name. I looked at his printed signature and spelled it out for her. She came to my desk and asked to see it for herself because she claimed that's not what he told her.

The latest thing was yesterday. I periodically read federal, state, and county policies so nothing is overlooked or violated. I found an issue that rang against what I had been led to do differently, causing no violation exactly, but causing hassles and more paperwork. I discussed it with Jane. She got mad, of course, and told me, "Well, that's not the way WE do it."  I replied that I would not be going against the policies to which she restated her earlier comment.

I asked her who she thot she was to be thinking she can just arbitrarily change state policy. She got mad and said I was using the wrong copy of policy, to which I asked her, "If they are the wrong ones, then why did you give them to me?" She stomped off. I told her I was going to find a copy of the most current policies, to which she immediately went to her desk, called another county and asked how they understood that policy. I was right/she was wrong (but i knew that already). The policy is easy to understand, but to someone with OCP as bad has she has, she actually tried to explain to me how I was not understanding it. 

These are not isolated incidents, this happens daily, sometimes hourly. She wants me to be her bitch. I can't keep running to the supervisor because she is not capable of helping me. The 2 times I've asked for advice, she turned it around to make it look like I'm not playing well with others. Once, she even called a unit mtg and pitted Jane and me against each other by telling Jane what I had said and then telling me what Jane had said. It was ugly at best.

I need for this job to 'work'. I want the training because the title will help me move up when I manage to find another job - and I'm looking, there just isn't anything out there right now (thus needing the training).

Here's what I'm doing to help myself but if anyone has any advice, I'm pretty open to anything at this particular juncture:
1) Printing all pertinent policies for reference
2) Trying to not have to ask her questions
3) Trying not to have phone conversations when she is at her desk (where she can overhear)
4) I ask lead workers, sometimes other managers, 'how to' questions, but that option is somewhat limited because Jane and I are the only ones who know our job, our manager doesn't even know it.
5) I try to stay away from her. period.
6) I say I don't know the answer to any question she asks me, unless it pertains to me directly.
7) I don't negate, contradict, or correct her, unless it pertains to me directly and will effect my clients and then it ends in a fight.
8) I wait to cry until I get home. (I've cried at work twice because of the stress she causes and she saw me once, another coworker who is a friend, saw me the last time).
9) I ignore her most of the time.
10) I'm looking for another job.

Please, if anyone has any advice...


phoenixascending said...

This sounds like an HR issue if you work for a govt or civil agency it seems like there should be some system of checks and balances.

I'm sorry Ivory, you don't deserve this.....

Ivory said...

Thanks Phoenix. It is a Govt agency but no one cares how it's run. That is one of the many reasons our country and economy are so bad. There is no recourse for me but to quit. There are no boundaries, no checks/balances. In my job, it's all for one and one for themselves - all while smiling and stabbing you in the back.

Ivory said...

TheSameSky emailed me to let me know my comments weren't working. - Thanks SameSky! Thanks also for the following concern:

I am so sorry about what is happening - I feel so completely mad and angry on your behalf. What she is doing is blatant harrassment and abuse - it's so unfair. I'm not sure I have much advice to offer. Can you speak to someone about her refusal to train you? Keep a log of everything she says and does that is unjust or hurtful, just in case.

thinking of you