Workplace Issues at Work

Aug 14, 2006
2,746
1,652
My company hired a new VP in April and ever since then a lot of changes have been made - countless firings (until him the company rarely fired anyone) and constant changes within his departments. It's been super stressful and has created a pretty bad atmosphere.

About three weeks ago more changes were made in my dept stressing people out again. The girl I work with said all week that she hopes I don't quit over it (a lot of people have) and that she needs me and every day she said thank you for coming to work. She just got moved to a new project so I know she doesn't want to have to worry about hiring and training someone new. Plus she kept saying how I'm doing a great job. I like the company so I had absolutely no intention of quitting and I told her that numerous times.

I've been there for just over a year and I'm the youngest in my whole area by at least 10 years. I know people have already decided that I will get pregnant soon because of my age (I'm 28) and they say that all the time to me when anything long term is mentioned. I am kind of TTC, but I don't see myself being pregnant any time soon. Regardless, that's none of their business.

I made a mistake a couple of weeks ago, nothing too major and it was related to a lack of training (it was done totally different at my old job and I didn't realise this company did it this way and no one was around for me to ask, they were all on vacation). Other than that nothing else has happened to make me think I'm doing a bad job.

So last week the same girl came to me and said we need to talk... We went for coffee and she said she doesn't think I have any desire to stay with the company. She said she knows my boyfriend is pretty well off and she thinks I don't have to work (not true!!!) plus I care about having a career) and she said my outfits lately show that I don't care... I'm wearing flats because I broke my toe!! She also said that when we go for drinks everyone finds it insulting that I only have one and leave..... Um, I DRIVE!! Most people in my dept drink and drive but I never will so one is my max. Lastly she said my work isn't good.... Last month my error rate was 0.15%!! Goal error rate is below 2%.

I don't know really why I'm posting I guess... I just feel stressed and need some advice on how to deal with this. I'm actually scared of going to work tomorrow :sad:
 

sharknbark

Like a Sloth
O.G.
Jul 26, 2007
558
1
IMO, one of the following three scenarios could be at play here w/this coworker: 1) she is genuinely concerned for you but pretty tactless w/how she communicates it, 2) she is subconsciously nervous for herself but rather than deal w/that, she is focusing on you, 3) she is consciously attempting to sabotage you for whatever reason/ulterior motive.
The environment does sound stressful, so you likely need to vent; however, I personally would not vent to this coworker. Try to keep your head up, and just take care of yourself outside of work so that the work stress doesn't take over your life.
 

CocoMeow

Member
Oct 23, 2011
925
2
Ugh the nerve of some people! This is a perfect example of why I try not to get my personal life involved with co-workers. They will take everything they know about you and use it against you or stab you in the back.

She really has no right to be judging you based on your age, your boyfriends wealth or the shoes you wear. You made one mistake.. everyone makes mistakes.. god knows shes made some herself. Thats what learning is all about.

Is it possible that there is less pressure on your co-worker so now she feels like she can try to make you feel inadequate? I would feel very attacked and I can see how this is bothering you. Her comment about everyone being offended when out for drinks tells you they talk about you behind your back.. if I were you I would start to detach myself personally from the workplace and keep to myself. Sounds like these people will take anything and turn it into something.
 

Midge S

I meant to do that.
Jan 14, 2012
2,081
16
That place is toxic. For some reason that girl wants you to leave. Is she your boss?

In any case I would work on your CV and start planning an exit or a transfer. Don't engage with her and don't confide in her.
 
Aug 14, 2006
2,746
1,652
She's not my boss - she's the senior person above me and has been with the company for a long time, longer than anywhere in the department.

My boss however is constantly in a weight battle with me about which one of us is smaller. She even admitted to me that when I was hired she was p!ssed because she used to be the skinniest on the floor.

I do like my actual job, the company and all the perks but the women there are sometimes too hard to handle. Until last week it always felt like this one girl was a friend and now that things are changed it feels horrible. I've never been in a position like this before!

Thanks for all the responses ladies!
 

ms-whitney

shopaholic
Sep 6, 2006
5,917
7
I'm pretty sure that there is more pressure on that girl then the surface shows

you mentioned a mistake..could be no big deal to you and it might be no big deal overall but when there are a lot of firings going on I think that's when everyone is placed on a microscope so it is not a good thing to make mistakes, but when you do because you are human, it's how you handle it

if people are complanning that you only drink one drink and they think it's "rude" I think it's more then just a "drink" so much as the socializing part--you mentioned that you are about ten years younger then everyone, which may make it hard for you to relate due to generation gap?

the girls are hard to get along with in general for you..trust me..you are always going to run into woman who comment about your skinniness. I do not feel skinny at all but if I dare to make a I feel fat comment (PMS and bloating!) I get SLAMMED hard. usually they just make passive agressive comments about my weight..like how can you be so skinny and still eat so much sugar..yeah..whatever..I just ignore it

but it sounds like you're not enemies with your coworkers but you're not exactly on friendly terms. you don't need to be besties with them but it always helps..hate to say it

and may I ask if she made these accusations how did you respond?

the drink thing..not much to say but just smile and say you're a lightweight
the shoes thing, mention the broken toe, you're not sure if she knows but as soon as the doctor gives the Ok you'll be back in your pumps..and ask if there is anything else about your appearance that she has constructive feedback about

and as for the bf making more remark well, simply laugh and go I wish being his gf means instant access to his cash! unfortunately it just means I have to work hard to keep up my share..how awkward would it be when he can afford to eat at xyz and I can't? if anything I'd love for the opportunity to get promoted to xxxx so I can earn more!

if someone is offensive dont act defensive even though that might be your first reaction.
 
Mar 15, 2011
2,483
493
I'm probably way off, and I don't want to concern you, but if this happened to me I would assume that she knew something about my job security and was trying to get me to quit before I was let go. Once again, I don't want to worry you because that might not be the case. Either way, I agree with Midge. The place sounds awful and I would start to look for another job. I'm so sorry all of this is happening to you :hugs:
 

juneping

couch potato-ing
O.G.
Jun 11, 2007
17,736
918
i think this woman was way out of line to comment on your rich bf and don't need a job. my instinct told me that she doesn't have your best interests in heart. don't worry about your job...it's her own insecurity got her mouth running...
for future ref....keep your personal life to yourself. i found ppl always use it against you when it's for their benefits...
 

athena21

Member
Aug 8, 2011
486
10
I think from how you spoke about her before, if she knew that you were on your way to getting fired, she might just come out and say it.

I'm leaning more toward sharknbark's #2...I'm guessing she's so worried about her own job, she's taking her frustrations on someone less senior, and unfortunately that's you.

The whole "boyfriend being well off" thing - wth? Absolutely no one's business, and just because HE has money doesn't mean you'd be happy just living off him. Did you retaliate with anything, like the heels issue or the drinking/driving thing? What would she say back when you said it was because you broke your toe?

And heck I always hate it when coworkers plan regular bar outings or the like....you feel obligated to go or you're not in the "in" group (usually the group that gets promotions/job security), even if you have nothing in common or no interest on spending time outside of work with those people. I applaud you for going on a regular basis, even if you do only stay for one drink.
 

ap.

O.G.
Oct 20, 2008
4,314
1,990
i'm curious what your responses to your coworker concerns were. at least here on the forum, you adequately addressed everything she brought up.

your coworker's delivery might have been better, but you should think about what she is saying/implying.

- has your work fallen off even a little? sometimes when people are stressed, they pull back subconsciously (i.e. not as careful or not as motivated).

- your appearance has clearly been discussed by your coworkers. is your style considerably different from everyone else? if this is generating unpleasant talk, you might think about tweaking it a little bit.

- it sounds like you've revealed personal things about yourself: how do they know your bf is well off? why do they think you'll be pregnant soon? i was once 28 y.o. with a bf and i would bet my life that my pregnancy never crossed my coworkers' mind.

even if it doesn't help you now, it's good to be aware of the issues some people have with you. whether you do anything about it is your choice, of course.
 
Aug 14, 2006
2,746
1,652
I have been going through all of this in my head since it happened and I'm just more and more confused by it all. I just can't see where any of this came from.

As for my style - I do dress differently to a lot of the women I
I work with. Most of my department is older women who, while look professional, don't really care about how they look and most of them wear a cardigan with dress pants that don't fit correctly and flats. I always look professional but more stylish. My usual work outfit is (tailored) dress pants or a pencil skirt with a blouse and a blazer. I usually wear heels but about three weeks ago I broke my toe and had to get five stitches so I've been wearing flat sandals since then. My clothes have remained the same, I'm just shorter, lol.

They only know about my boyfriend because they have seen the car he drives, they know what his job is, and they know where we live. I have never ever mentioned our financial situation to anyone at work because I have always tried to keep a strict line between my work and my personal life.

As an FYI, two weeks ago I handed in new banking information that has both of our names on it.

Any comments made about me getting pregnant have been 100% fueled by their own speculations. Again, this is something I would never discuss at work and haven't even talked to my family and friends about it. The women I work with all had babies before age 30 and remind me at least a couple times a month how I'm fast approaching that deadline and soon enough "my eggs won't work".

When she said all of this to me I was in total shock. I never expected any of it and so I didn't really respond with anything. I apologized that my work hasn't been great and asked for examples so that I can work on it and she couldn't give me any "off the top of her head". I felt so totally attacked that I just kinda sat there. As soon as we got back upstairs I bawled my eyes out in my office.

I can brush off everything she said except the work comments. In the 9 years that I've been in this field I have never ever had complaints about my work and I know I do a good job so that's what hurt the most, she was attacking me for something I know is wrong.

I really don't have a lot in common with these women, but that doesn't mean I don't try. I go for work lunches and company functions and I always do it with a smile on my face and I never have trouble finding something to talk about. Until the "coffee date" last week I have always felt like I fit in and I have always felt like part of the team, despite any differences. However, when there's after work drinks 2-3 times a week I have to draw a line. My personal/home life means way too much to me for me to spend all of my waking hours with coworkers. I work at 6:30am, I don't need to be getting home after 7pm every night... So the one drink rule will never change for me. Two nights last week my dept went for drinks and didn't get home until after 11pm. That's just not me.

As a side note, we're HR and currently have no boss (minus the VP) so there's no one to talk to.about any of this stuff.
 

Midge S

I meant to do that.
Jan 14, 2012
2,081
16
As a side note, we're HR and currently have no boss (minus the VP) so there's no one to talk to.about any of this stuff.
Ugh, this just kills me. If they're HR are they not aware of harrassment laws, confidentiality of employee information and basic human management principles?!

I am in HR as well and if anyone in my group even came close to how this girl (and the rest of the group it sounds like) is behaving I would have smacked them down first peep. With any luck the new VP will get around to your group too, sounds like some people need to go.

Sorry, just touches a nerve. Every HR struggles with how the rest of the company views their role and need, and people like this just make it harder, this kind of behavior definately bleeds out. Is the VP joining them when they go out? Is there anyone else in any part of the comapny that you can turn to as a mentor to help deal?

I just realized I'm pretty mad for you! Your environment sounds terrible and you certainly don't deserve it.
 

juneping

couch potato-ing
O.G.
Jun 11, 2007
17,736
918
Keep everything documented and if anything happens show it to the person in charge. She said something uncalled for and I doubt the employer will side with her.
People like her -- she's not happy and she wants to drag everyone down with her especially the ones she's jealous of.
 

CocoMeow

Member
Oct 23, 2011
925
2
There is no reason she should feel that you wouldnt need this job. If she didnt voice this prior to your working there, there is no valid reason to be voicing it now. Your appearance according to you is not lacking, only you have been wearing different shoes for medical reasons. There is no reason for her to believe you dont "care about your job" because of a change in shoes. Your work is not lacking. You made a mistake, you're only human. You said yourself your error rate was 0.15%. And lastly, the drink situation. Your co-workers could find it insulting.. but you dont owe them anything. This could have been exaggerated by her too. But props to you for even showing up at all.

She is point blank trying to put ideas in your head that perhaps you dont need this job, that you arent caring about your job anymore, that you arent good enough at your job and that your co-workers gossip and do not have respect for you and find you insulting. It sounds to me like she is trying to get you to quit. She came at you in attack mode, not asking questions or genuinely trying to care about your well-being. This is not constructive criticism in the least, this is abuse. She didnt do this as a ways to help you, her intentions are not good.

I can understand how this is confusing (I am confused myself) because a few weeks ago she was praising your efforts and thanking you for being there and now shes pulling you down full-force. This is very childish behaviour. I sympathize for you very much.. the fact that it left you in tears is awful. No one should have to be attacked like this at the work place.

There are people in this world that will try to bring you down, she is one of them. Do not stoop to her level. She has said her piece but has not won, except to make you feel horrible about yourself. Realize that all of this is complete nonsense and noise that you dont need to listen to because it is NOT VALID. You will get over it in time but until then, keep your composure. If anyone comes at you in a offensive way, as ms-whitney said, do not get defensive or play their game.
 
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