Dear Evil HR Lady,
I have been in my position of HR for over a year at my present company. Everything has been going well so far in my role but I noticed one of my co-workers is trying to undermine me at every turn. Now I’ve read past responses with difficult co-workers you have mentioned, but this young lady is subtle in how rude she is to me, and is currently trying to get me excluded from projects.
I won’t bore you with our countless interactions, mostly me trying to be nice and her being very cold/nonchalant to me, but overtly kind with any other employee she interacts with. She hasn’t exactly made it a secret she’s wanted my job from the start, and recently has been in meetings, mentioned to other co-workers (I have good ears) that I’m too busy to be involved and she could easily handle whatever duties are relevant to me (besides confidentially ones).
I’m trying to find out how I can interact with her, in a kind way, but not in a way that negates the rude behavior she’s displayed toward me? We have cubes right next to each other, and are supposed to interact daily, but lately (last 2 months) I’ve stopped talking to her socially because it was like talking to a wall. I wouldn’t mind not talking to her but now she’s trying to get me excluded from projects, or is constantly suggesting herself for job duties I could be doing (not exactly duties in my arena but in the HR field)…Is there any way I can hint to a superior that she has issues/should leave/acts more robotic than human/ etc… ?
The only other thing is she’s been here longer than I have, is actually very competent, and no one else has any problems with her. What can I do?
First, I would talk directly to Shelly. Be blunt. “Shelly, I understand that you wanted my job. However, for whatever reason, it’s my job and it’s difficult for me to do what needs to be done when you try to take over my projects. Please let me do my work.”
She’ll deny that’s what she’s doing. But, there’s this weird thing that goes on in some people’s brains when they are passed over for promotion/job/whatever. I’m betting that she’s normally a nice person, but somehow she’s gotten it into her brain that this job is supposed to be HERS and you STOLE it from her, making you some sort of sub human criminal. And because you are a sub human criminal it doesn’t matter that she’s rude to you.
She’s probably be horrified if she observed this same behavior in someone else. It’s weird, I tell you, but I’ve seen it before.
Every time she make a comment say, “Thank, Shelly, but I’ve got that.”
I would mention it to your boss (especially if you report into the same person). “Jane, I just wanted you to know that Shelly appears to be upset that she didn’t get my position. She’s doing x, y, and z. Is there any particular way you’d like me to handle this?”
This way you’re not whining, you’re just checking in.