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Thread: At work: am I being paranoid, or is this weird?

  1. #1
    MissMuffins's Avatar
    MissMuffins is offline Senior Member
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    At work: am I being paranoid, or is this weird?

    When a coworker and I moved to a different department a little more than a year ago, we were told that we had shared responsibilities. It was never clearly defined how they were to be shared, and at first that lack of clarity didn't matter. We inherited one heck of a mess, and I focused on one area of program operations while he focused on another.

    I was so busy working that I was unaware my coworker has taken a great deal of credit outside our department--particularly with upper management--for work I performed without his input or assistance. He did this by either creating the impression he was solely responsible for what was a shared responsibility, or that he was in charge of a task/project and I was assisting him, or by not correcting the mistaken impression that he had performed work which I completed.

    The first time I caught him at it, I said something to him. He kept it up, so I talked to him again. It still didn't stop, so I went to our supervisor. Our supervisor viewed it as a cat fight. Within 3 months the situation had escalated to the point it resulted in a meeting with HR. That meeting didn't produce resolution, and at that point I disengaged.

    I found ways to improve performance in those areas of the program I was involved with, steer clear of him, and maintain or improve performance in my primary area of responsibility.

    Yesterday I was taken off two processes which I developed, and told my coworker is now responsible for them. One process was intended to help me identify who receives an in-home service. This service is regarded as a "cost intensive" model of service delivery; when my reports are due, I need to iterate the unbiased process by which I determine who does (and does not) receive it. I don't know how I'm going to do that, now.

    The other is a process my supervisor and I have discussed several times over the past year. This particular process puts us ahead of the game, it's an area of performance with which our program monitors are particularly concerned, the project is just now moving into the pilot phase, I recently finished getting everything ready to go, and I don't understand why I was pulled from the project two weeks before we roll it out.

    My coworker is guaranteed to botch it--he does not care about this portion of program operations, his performance in this area is known to be weak, and by word and deed he has repeatedly indicated that he has no desire to become stronger in this area. This afternoon, he expressed to me his intention to deviate from the process our supervisor approved. I feel like I'm now in a situation where I can't alert our supervisor of this unauthorized change without being perceived as being either a tattle-tale or a control freak who doesn't have the professionalism to gracefully turn over her pet project to someone else.

    I don't need a pat on the head for this. It's not about that. It's about quality of customer service, improving program performance, others perceiving this guy as a near-infallible wunderkind, and the wisdom of placing that much trust in one individual. I shouldn't be the only person who works there, who sees it as a red flag that he can't whip out the manual and show exactly where his most recent BS came from.

    It's about numerous recent occasions in which this guy has put out inaccurate information about our program and it was accepted without question because it came from him. I knew it was incorrect, I said something about it, and I brought out the program manuals to back it up. It's not about me versus him, it's about transparency and the distribution of accurate information.

    I *am* upset that I am now being perceived in a negative way because he and I "butt heads." He has been written up numerous times for being involved in altercations with several other staff members, and is somewhat notorious among our coworkers for this behavior. To my knowledge, I am not known for picking fights with coworkers. The one time I was written up, it wasn't for that.

    *sigh*

    Maybe I need to just take a deep breath, and be glad my supervisor took something off my plate. It's not like I don't have a big enough job of my own, or that I don't have anything going on at home.

    Okay folks, give me your thoughts.

    *hugs* and virtual chocolate to those who wish it...

    MM

    EDIT: I have do admit, I *did* need to take a step back and not let this be about my pride. I worked hard on those processes. They didn't exist in our department until I developed and implemented them over the course of this past year, and no one went out of their way to hand me the information I used to bring them into being. Not only did they work, they worked quite well, thank you very much. I'm proud of that, but I did need to ask myself: is this about me being proud, or is this about the work?
    Last edited by MissMuffins; 09-11-2013 at 01:36 AM.
    "Our past is a story existing only in our minds. Look, analyze, understand, and forgive. Then, as quickly as possible, chuck it." ~ Marianne Williamson

  2. #2
    SheLikesKitties's Avatar
    SheLikesKitties is offline OW/YM 21YR GAP
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    If I were you, I would be keeping my boss informed of all my achievements/responsibilities.
    Progress reports, asking for feedback, be proactive instead of reactive.
    I once thought that being efficient was enough. It's not.
    You know it's love when the pain of being apart is greater than the pain of being together.

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    Azureth is offline Banned
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    See, this is one of the reasons why I hate the thought of working with others; I just don't trust them. I want me and me alone to be responsible for work. I do not want to share work at all. Heck, I'd rather double my workload than have to work with co-workers; they only look out for themselves and would step over your dead body if they thought it would get them ahead. Plus you avoid all the office politics ****.

    Having said that, no way would I take **** from him. I'd get right up to his face, call him every curse word under sun. I'd also tell him to go to hell.
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  4. #4
    MissMuffins's Avatar
    MissMuffins is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by SheLikesKitties View Post
    If I were you, I would be keeping my boss informed of all my achievements/responsibilities.
    Progress reports, asking for feedback, be proactive instead of reactive.
    I once thought that being efficient was enough. It's not.
    You're right, it's not.

    I work in an environment where one can be very, very good at one's job and still be "let go". Usually it's chalked up to something like "lack of funding" but often the *real* reason is personality clash. I think I'm safe from that. In order to remain safe, you're exactly right--I need to do just those things.

    I touch base with my supervisor when I'm thinking of a new project or process, run my stuff past him before I go with it, and change what he suggests I change. My Outlook calendar is shared with him, and if something happens on the fly--like I'm running late at lunch because I just happened to see a community partner and lunch turned into an opportunity to plan a set of workshops next spring--I send him a text msg to keep him in the loop.

    I'm scheduled to deliver a training segment next week. My coworker is also scheduled to deliver a training segment to the same group at a later time that same day. Our supervisor told us to coordinate our presentations; I printed "notes" pages of my PPT, obtained a copy of my coworker's presentation and took both to our supervisor. I indicated to him which slides I can remove from my presentation if they duplicate what anyone else plans to present *or* the program manager who's coordinating the training agenda wants that info to come from someone else instead of me (after all, it *is* her training). My supervisor said "cool", and I asked for his input on what to trim from the remainder of my segment.

    I offered to leave both; he said he needed the copy of my coworker's presentation but I didn't need to leave mine. Our relationship is such that if he doesn't read through it, he doesn't have any concerns with my content. He gave me some good feedback; I've removed the slides in question and later in the week will cut the script that accompanies some specific slides and put the info on a page that staff can put in their program binders.

    When I left for physical therapy, my coworker had been called to our supervisor's desk and our supervisor was discussing with my coworker what he planned to present, point by point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Azureth View Post
    See, this is one of the reasons why I hate the thought of working with others; I just don't trust them. I want me and me alone to be responsible for work. I do not want to share work at all. Heck, I'd rather double my workload than have to work with co-workers; they only look out for themselves and would step over your dead body if they thought it would get them ahead. Plus you avoid all the office politics ****.

    Having said that, no way would I take **** from him. I'd get right up to his face, call him every curse word under sun. I'd also tell him to go to hell.
    You're right, I need to have zero tolerance for this guy's crap. This afternoon, he asked me if I could make "a bunch--a whole bunch--of copies" of the brochure I developed for use in one of the processes I will no longer be involved with, which he intends to cover in the training he will present next week.

    I said, "Nope--I'm not involved with that anymore."

    I called him on his BS when it started this time a year ago, and walked away from the fight after New Year when it became clear things wouldn't change.

    I get the impression that our supervisor was aware that my coworker and I had a dust-up earlier this summer, but I'm not sure our supervisor was aware until yesterday that my coworker had informed me I "hadn't done anything for our department for two months." I've let something that I used to "help him with" (aka do for him) sit ever since, and the backlog which resulted needed to be dealt with by the 15th or else we will be behind all season.

    The day my coworker said I hadn't done anything, which was something like 2 or 3 months ago now, I said "that's bullxhit" and walked out. He said it in front of a room full of people, who heard my reply, and then he started to follow me through the back office. To get to the door I had to walk past our supervisor, who was in the back office at a second coworker's desk (which is near our exit). The second coworker looked up from his desk, started to ask me about something, saw the look on my face, and immediately changed his mind. I told him I was sorry, I couldn't talk then--it was time for me to leave for PT. Everyone in the back office--and that room was full, too--knew I was totally f-ing pissed, because I rolled through there like a thundercloud and they had no doubt Mr. Thinks He's Somebody was behind it.

    It couldn't have happened better if I'd planned it. Apparently it's become legendary, and was even the topic of conversation a day or two later. Someone finally got up nerve enough to ask me about it a couple of weeks later. They don't blame me for having nothing to do with The Little Prince.

    I think our supervisor may finally be on to him.

    I don't like--okay, the word is actually more like "detest"--group projects and joint responsibility for many of the same reasons. However, it's something we need to get over for the benefit of all concerned.

    No one can live and work in isolation. Because we're bright and process oriented, you and I have natural aptitudes which others do not. The trade-off for that is: we're often not as tolerant as we could be when collaborating with people who don't see or readily comprehend those things which are blatantly obviously to us. They need to learn what it's like to collaborate with people like us, because they can benefit from our ability to envision a process (with alternative paths) from beginning to end. We need to learn what it's like to collaborate with people like them, because we can benefit from their "people skills."

    It's not about attaining perfection; it's about knowing which variances to tolerate.

    MM
    Last edited by MissMuffins; 09-11-2013 at 01:44 AM.
    "Our past is a story existing only in our minds. Look, analyze, understand, and forgive. Then, as quickly as possible, chuck it." ~ Marianne Williamson

  5. #5
    gorillagirl Guest
    " Having said that, no way would I take **** from him. I'd get right up to his face, call him every curse word under sun. I'd also tell him to go to hell."

    I believe calling a coworker every curse word under the sun and then telling them to go to hell would result in termination.

  6. #6
    Azureth is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by gorillagirl View Post
    " Having said that, no way would I take **** from him. I'd get right up to his face, call him every curse word under sun. I'd also tell him to go to hell."

    I believe calling a coworker every curse word under the sun and then telling them to go to hell would result in termination.
    Oh I know, but I'd rather retain my dignity than work at some POS company that hires psychos like that.
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  7. #7
    mskitty Guest
    I like the advise that SLK gave to you regarding covering your butt.

    I have worked with someone like him ...and learned the hard way that you really need to document everything you do in your work place. Just keep a journal with the dates. It may sound too simple but if it ever gets to a major confrontation then you have your back up documentation.

    MM.. you are such a competent , savvy , detailed oriented, conscientious person ..and unfortunately I know this type of man. I had one ...I used to be a city clerk and the city manager was after me...he would take credit for everything.. He did that to every department head and he allowed the Mayor and Council to micro manage the cities day to day operations. So you ended up having 7 bosses instead of one. We tried mediation with a private mediator but even that was a loss and a waste of tax payers money. We were dragged through the newspapers for months ..and the corruption was out of control.. The city found out that the Finance manager had access to city accounts at his home and that his diploma was from a DANCE STUDIO because we did not speak Spanish .. omg ..the newspapers went wild...... it was crazy .. from adultry , pregnancies.. actual fighting between two women in from of city hall at the school bus stop.. .one woman was banging the head of the other on the school bus bumper..(city finance manager's wife just had a baby and he got my deputy clerk pregnant) .then my deputy clerks husband accosting me at Walmart threatening to come to city hall with a gun. It was a 3 ring circus...I finally had a melt down .. went on leave for 2 weeks and he did an illegal emergency closed session and fired me and that was the final straw for the city attorney.. he resigned..lol caption in the newspaper was .."another one bites the dust" .. but in the end I got him fired... but was a horrific ordeal to go thru.. I sued.. settled.. and limped out of Arizona..

    I guess what I am saying...is....choose your battles wisely.. I did not.. and am still suffering from that ordeal.. it financially busted me..lost my ranch and all my animals and then got cancer.... even with the small settlement .. just sometimes doesn't pay to accost someone like that man. He will hang himself.. stay prudent in your dealings with him. He is a coworker not a supervisor.. I ended up getting the EEOC involved and only then did the council wake up ..may they all rot...

    I sure pray that he is exposed for the true person he is and that they see that he is trying to get a free ride on your efforts/knowledge/skills

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    Azureth is offline Banned
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    You know, if I had a co-worker like that I'd wear a wire to work every day so I could have his BS recorded on tape. I would then take it to my boss. If he/she refused to take action I would then play the tape for all of my co-workers so they could all see how ****** he is. Nothing beats public humiliation for scum like that.
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  9. #9
    MissMuffins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mskitty View Post
    ...unfortunately I know this type of man. I had one ...I used to be a city clerk and the city manager was after me...he would take credit for everything.. He did that to every department head and he allowed the Mayor and Council to micro manage the cities day to day operations. So you ended up having 7 bosses instead of one. We tried mediation with a private mediator but even that was a loss and a waste of tax payers money. We were dragged through the newspapers for months ..and the corruption was out of control.. The city found out that the Finance manager had access to city accounts at his home and that his diploma was from a DANCE STUDIO because we did not speak Spanish .. omg ..the newspapers went wild...... it was crazy .. from adultry , pregnancies.. actual fighting between two women in from of city hall at the school bus stop.. .one woman was banging the head of the other on the school bus bumper..(city finance manager's wife just had a baby and he got my deputy clerk pregnant) .then my deputy clerks husband accosting me at Walmart threatening to come to city hall with a gun. It was a 3 ring circus...I finally had a melt down .. went on leave for 2 weeks and he did an illegal emergency closed session and fired me and that was the final straw for the city attorney.. he resigned..lol caption in the newspaper was .."another one bites the dust" .. but in the end I got him fired... but was a horrific ordeal to go thru.. I sued.. settled.. and limped out of Arizona..
    OMG are you for real???

    It sounds like a real Wild West drama--no wonder your screen name is a takeoff of Miss Kitty, from the old TV series Gunsmoke!

    Unfortunately we've had some of that locally...the county sheriff was fired for giving a juvenile offender access to the police database, a clerk of the court in a neighboring county would accept cash payments which then never made it to the deposit--they figure she got away with $25K over the course of 18 months before they clued into it, caught her at it, and they had enough evidence to suspend then terminate her employment. A different version of the same thing happened here and that gal got away with about 3x as much $ before they caught her, and there are at least two stories which could begin with "and then there was the city clerk in the town about 100 miles away who..."

    Quote Originally Posted by mskitty View Post
    I like the advise that SLK gave to you regarding covering your butt.

    I have worked with someone like him ...and learned the hard way that you really need to document everything you do in your work place. Just keep a journal with the dates. It may sound too simple but if it ever gets to a major confrontation then you have your back up documentation.

    MM.. you are such a competent , savvy , detailed oriented, conscientious person...

    and I guess what I am saying...is....choose your battles wisely.. I did not.. and am still suffering from that ordeal.. it financially busted me..lost my ranch and all my animals and then got cancer.... even with the small settlement .. just sometimes doesn't pay to accost someone like that man. He will hang himself.. stay prudent in your dealings with him. He is a coworker not a supervisor.. I ended up getting the EEOC involved and only then did the council wake up ..may they all rot...

    I sure pray that he is exposed for the true person he is and that they see that he is trying to get a free ride on your efforts/knowledge/skills
    After sleeping on it, I really need to talk to my supervisor and ask him to reconsider his decision.

    The first thing I got pulled from is something I implemented because I need it for my reporting; I shared my work because it was something which also benefited the program as a whole. It does not make sense to have my coworker do this for me; further, I do not have faith in his work. After working closely with him for a year, I know I have to ask "where does the manual say that" and "show me your work" (how he did that math).

    Part of me feels it would be unwise, yet part of me feels that I need to elaborate, that I know of three situations in the past 3 yrs which involved my coworker, grant balances that didn't add up/numbers that don't make sense, and spreadsheets which he developed and maintained OR was disciplined for tampering with. In our department, we have a spreadsheet that we use for tracking our applications; he turned that from something useful into something that doesn't work for anyone but him, and it didn't get changed until we had all griped about it thoroughly for close to 6 months.

    I don't think he's embezzling; that's not how the money works at our outfit. We handle balances, not actual cash, and there's no way to transfer something from a grant into to your own personal financial accounts. You'd have to set yourself up as a vendor, do the paperwork to pay yourself, and then find a way to both cut and sign the check. If you figured out a way around that, you'd get away with it once before you were caught & dismissed.

    I think he just doesn't know his **** half as well as he thinks & has managed to convince everyone else. I think no one's caught it because they didn't know the program, didn't have the math skills, and didn't have the Excel skills to know when they should have asked him questions. I do, and I don't want him anywhere near my project(s).

    In short, there are reasons I've distanced myself from him, and I flat-out don't want the guy in the middle of my work.

    The other thing is a spin off of the first. If someone else wants to pick it up after I get done with the part I need for my reporting, that's fine. However, that person needs to follow the process our supervisor approved, because that's the process which addresses the Department's and the Commission's concerns. It's not an acceptable "modification" to commit to do the whole thing, pick the part he thinks is important, "delegate" that to staff in other offices instead of doing it himself, and then just drop the remainder.

    I'm also reeling from the aftershock of finding out this had been thoroughly discussed with my coworker--who is most definitely NOT my superior; he is a coworker and I am NOT his subordinate--and coworkers in other departments BEFORE it was discussed with me. I was blindsided by that, and I have to admit that it hurts. It feels very much like I was cut from the team and don't know why.

    MM
    Last edited by MissMuffins; 09-11-2013 at 11:36 AM.
    "Our past is a story existing only in our minds. Look, analyze, understand, and forgive. Then, as quickly as possible, chuck it." ~ Marianne Williamson

  10. #10
    mskitty Guest
    mm
    Have to laugh about the "miss kitty" because that is exactly how I see myself...and that was how it was in that border town in AZ.. whew.. what a ride that one was...

    seriously though ..something is amiss there. Someone is keeping you out of the loop for a reason..sabotage or the fact that he committed plagiarism may be the key. This guy really sounds like a man on the edge ..grasping to keep his position or maybe he thinks this type of betrayal is going to land him in a better position than he currently has or maybe just wants to keep.. I do know that any kind of unscrupulous behavior or theft will land him in a Federal Pen due to it being grant monies. no double dipping allowed..

    I would seriously consider having an audit done of his work.. When you create a policy or implement a process that no one else can do it means you are trying your best to be invaluable to the company by deceptions or not divulging or teaching the process in case you kick the bucket over night... that is an old school thought pattern which employers find counter productive to a company these days. The new policy of employers is "team work" and obviously this man is NOT a team player.

    don't let him get by with this but do not compromise YOU...
    Last edited by mskitty; 09-11-2013 at 12:50 PM.
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  11. #11
    Azureth is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by MissMuffins View Post
    I was blindsided by that, and I have to admit that it hurts. It feels very much like I was cut from the team and don't know why.

    MM
    Isn't it obvious? The people you work with are jerks. You really need to find a way to get everything out in the open. But if these guys are "friends" with clowns like these I don't expect much in the way of enough rational thought to make the right decision.

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    NY10's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azureth View Post
    You know, if I had a co-worker like that I'd wear a wire to work every day so I could have his BS recorded on tape. I would then take it to my boss. If he/she refused to take action I would then play the tape for all of my co-workers so they could all see how ****** he is. Nothing beats public humiliation for scum like that.
    I believe it is illegal to record people without their knowledge and you would be the one fired or arrested for such an offense.
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  13. #13
    mskitty Guest
    I am curious.. Does this guy continually step out of the chain of command? And that would be a big no no to me for him to go to another department to seek advise or use someone there as a sounding board... What is company policy on those issues? Do you have staff meetings? sry to ask so many questions.. just trying to get a clear picture of what this person is doing and how he is getting by with it..
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    Redhead's Avatar
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    Your situation is difficult. I understand that it hurts if tasks are getting taken away from you, especially when you have completed them well. Maybe you should really view it in that way that your boss is providing some rief for you. For those tasks that you may have to work on with this colleague I would keep a logbook of what you have done. If you consistently keep away from those task that were taken away from you, over time people will see whether that guy does a job as good as you.
    I would be hesitant to talk to your boss abou this decision - for multiple reasons
    I - for jealous people it might get the aftertaste of "it is her ego thing"
    - bosses get paid for taking decisions, and they also get paid for making mistakes. We employees do not get paid for preventing our boss from making mistakes -and rarely will they thank us if we try. Most bosss do not want to hear that their decisions are not good.

    Shortly before I went on vacation my boss made a very unwise decision. I tried to talk him out of it (I know I need to listen to my own advice but this is why I am telling you...because I got this brandnew experience), but my boss cannot say no to things that do not cost him money at first glance, and he always wants to be most people°s darling - so he said "i agree with you" to me and "okay, we will do as you want" to that colleague (and he wanted to opposite of me).
    I nearly got ulcers, figuratively speeking, but then I realized that it is not my job to prevent every ship from sinking and that I have to let go to keep my sanity, to stop getting a headache, so I made a concious decision to stay away from this matter (like from a chocolate cake that will land right on my hips) in order to be good to myself.
    the whole department knows that my boss took this decision, and sooner or later the administrative difficulties and consequences will become aparent to everyone.

    I let the ball roll downhill now, and like in those anonymous self-help groups (I used to go to ALANON) I say "only today for 24 hours I will not stick my nose into my boss§s decision.".
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  15. #15
    Azureth is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by NY10 View Post
    I believe it is illegal to record people without their knowledge and you would be the one fired or arrested for such an offense.
    Not in the state of Oklahoma.

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