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I hate confrontation


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#1 kevsgirl

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    Posted 26 July 2008 - 12:05 AM

    *Warning: this is very long and rambling. Also, if you're not a sensitive type you probably won't get how I reacted. Then again, I'm sure some of you will totally relate*

    What a day. There's a girl at work, "Mary", who seriously has been so difficult since back in February. I mean the girl hates me and I don't know why. It started suddenly one day - she wouldn't make eye contact with me and then started being an uber bitch whenever she was around me.

    People noticed, but no one said anything. It got to the point where I wanted to just quit and never walk in the door again. It was seriously bad.

    Finally I told my supervisor that I didn't know how to deal anymore, but I didn' twant to confront her. Supervisor says to me at year-end review that she knew about it and so did 2 other girls - all three of them decided together that whenever Mary said anything negative about me in front of them, they'd not react or leave. They didn't want to confront her either (she's scary!) This upset me to know that all along they'd known and I wasn't crazy. It was totally something directed at me.

    Fast-forward a couple of months: our team has totally changed because a lot of the workers have moved on or changed areas. So Mary no longer has her posse and is feeling a bit alienated. Now the new people like me a lot and she's the one who has no one.

    So things have been calmer. I've been trying to just deal and for a long time I'd kept my head down and tried not to aggravate her. Tried to be really helpful and nice. Recently I'd even felt that things were so much better I'd try to look at her and say hi.

    Suddenly this morning I run into her in the hall and decide to make an effort to look at her and smile and say hi. She suddenly pulls me into a room and says that "we've got to talk".
    She starts out by chewing me out about saying something to a friend ealrier on about how this temp girl had not used my template in her work and now I'm going through them all and having to fix them - I was stressed and I didn't say she was a terrible person, but I probably shouldn't have complained about her when she couldn't stand up for herself). Mary goes overboard though. I counter with saying that she herself has bitched about people out loud several times where it was totally rude. I give examples. She shrugs them off.

    Then she segways into "Things have gotten totally out of control" between us and she wants to know what the hell is going on. Apparently 4 girls last week from another section came to her and told her, separately, that she supposedly hates me. Or that they thought that or had been told that.
    She asks me why?

    I say I don't know. She thinks it's because we've been playing off eachother and I've been talking about her behind her back.

    Hmmmm maybe it's because people actually see that she's a total bitch towards me and then they talk about it and the gossip turns to fact?
    One of the newer girls actually asked me yesterday if something was up between me and Mary because she had noticed a few weeks back at a meeting M really shot me down in front of everyone and that it was really obvious...

    Back to the conversation. So she's going on about why did this happen, this has to stop, etc. I start bawling. It's like the one person I dont' want to cry in front of, but I hate confrontation. To be fair, she was shaking from anger at one point, but she sits there not moving, smiling and talking. I begin to actually sob I'm so stressed out. I hate this reaction to stress and confrontation. It sucks

    I try to say to her that I don't know why it all started. That one day I came in and she was mean to me (would not make eye contact, was very rude, began having this very evil face whenever I was around, it totallymessed with me!) and I didn't understand. I tell her that I've heard that she talked badly about me behind my back from some girls. She completely denies it.

    We're at an impass. Agree to disagree. Decide that we'll try to move forward and from now on if anything is weird, approach eachother directly.

    Fair enough.

    I'm still pissed. She didn't take much responsibility at all. FI thinks she is trying to cover her ass because she knows it's going to get back to management (our manager is on vacation right now). He thinks this was a power play on her part.

    The worst was at the end, she walks out leaving me sobbing and I try to compose myself for a few minutes. Finally making a break for the washroom I bump into a good friend co-worker who sees me and immediately steers me into a meeting room. It took 45 mins of chatting about other stuff after telling her the conversation in detail for me to calm down enough to get lunch. This friend knows the whole story as she had been the brunt of M's wrath for a few short days a few months ago. Nonetheless, when I told her about the convo, I was very careful to spin it in a very positive light, saying nothing bad about M. Because at this point this friend talks to Mary and has somewhat repaired their relationship.

    Now FI says I should tell my manager that this has happened in very neutral tone, and CC Mary on the email. The email should say that we chatted about our "differences" and agreed to disagree, but that we are moving forward and will be making every effort to act respectfully toward one another from now on.

    I'm scared to send this email b/c then Mary will know that I had already raised this with my manager. But the thing is that before the three other girls left, one of them was my superior and she had told my manager of the situation, so really what it comes down to is that everyone knows that she's being mean to me!!!

    What a nightmare. Makes me want to quit and not go back on Monday
    I don't know what to do.
    I hate this kind of problem. I can't deal at all

    I need some advice. What would you all do?

    #2 ErinB

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      Posted 26 July 2008 - 12:24 AM

      I agree that you should e-mail. If the previous supervisor know of the situation and said something at year end review, it should be in a personnel file somewhere.

      THat kind of behavior cannot be tolerated and I guarantee that that type of person will always find someone to pick on. You can post the email here before you send it so we can read as neutral observers and make comments/suggestions.

      As far as the crying jag, it will get back to your absent manager, these things always do. Not to make you feel bad, but this is how office politics work, it SUCKS! Since you have agreed to disagree, you need to kill her with kindness, if people have already noticed, they will continue and she will only make herself look bad.

      I'm sorry she's being mean. I guarantee that BDW can go bridezilla on her ass and she won't know what hit her.

      #3 NotYourAverageDW

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        Posted 26 July 2008 - 12:30 AM

        I'm sorry that this is happening to you, and it makes for a really stressful job situation. That being said you need to be proactive about creating and maintaining your job security and pleasant atmosphere. You shouldn't have to give up a job you love for "CrazyMary".

        We can't assume what management is going to do. They are afraid of "CrazyMary". At this stage document. Document, document, document. Keep a file. See if you can go back and write up all the dates and encounters you've had with 'CrazyMary". Start start looking at your HR options, because what you've suffered is ridiculous. Start reporting it. Just be honest....you can send the email the way your FI suggested, or you can modify it to say "This is what happened, I felt very intimidated and threatened. I was isolated by "CrazyMary' and put into a stressful position and I became fearful and emotional, BUT at the close of the encounter/discussion, EVEN though 'CrazyMary" has denied any culpability,WE have agreed to disagree, and actively work towards a respectful and professional work environment. I suggest that management act on previous concerns of myself and other employees about "CrazyMary", by looking into a HR training day (communication, respect, accountability, taking responsibility for actions, etc), which I feel will benefit the entire staff and facilitate higher productive attainment. etc."

        You don't have to CC "CrazyMary", but if you do , you do not have to down play it. That's the worst thing you can do, because it implies that:

        a) You're willing to take the abuse
        B) You're saying it's not as bad as it seems, and you'll end up invalidating legitimate concerns. When you down play these encounters, it ends up sounding like whining - which it isn't! You are being harassed by a toxic work mate. Hold her accountable.

        #4 Alyssa

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          Posted 26 July 2008 - 12:52 AM

          Wow I don't think I am the right one to give advice in the situation but I know who you should talk to - Becks - she is in H.R. - hopefully she sees this thread or you could PM her?

          #5 loveangel0610

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            Posted 26 July 2008 - 12:57 AM

            You poor thing. I totally feel your pain. I had a semi-similar situation happen to me at my former job. Only it didn't get to the point of confrontation, I just left. It was a bad move on my part and I wish I would have gone to management and said something. I think had I went to management the situation would have been fixed.

            My advice for you is like the other ladies said document. The more evidence you have against her the better. Inform them about what happened, they need to know. Cry in the office to them if you have to (I know I'm terrible but tears work). This woman needs to be held responsible for her inappropriate behavior. I hope something can be done about this.

            Here's a . Everything will be ok. Just go into work on Monday with a positive attitude, and ignore that b*tch she got hers coming.

            #6 KLC77

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              Posted 26 July 2008 - 01:11 AM

              I wish I worked with you so I could intimidate the hell out of Mary and she'd be damn nice to you the rest of the time she worked there!

              I agree with your FI that she may be making some kind of power move at work and you should send the email so she knows you are also on top of the situation. Then just try your best to be cordial, but indifferent to her. Easier said than done since it seems like she's the type to be confrontational.
              ~Kelly

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              #7 Hartyt509

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                Posted 26 July 2008 - 01:49 AM

                Quote:
                Originally Posted by Alyssa
                Wow I don't think I am the right one to give advice in the situation but I know who you should talk to - Becks - she is in H.R. - hopefully she sees this thread or you could PM her?
                Yeah me 2 because now i'd rip her fricking head off and shove it up her arse

                Years ago same thing happened to me I was 18 this old bitch was in her 50s and she did the same thing to me every day - I finally had enough and spoke to my boss who took her side because she had been his secretary for years. I then decided right i'm gonna break you.

                So I was really really nice to her when people were there and blanked her when it was just the 2 of us lol uncomfortable silences don't bother me at all but I had her in tears in the office manager's office lol Luckily she knew the score and she made herself look like a bitch.

                I know you aren't a mean person but you need to split yourself in 2 nice to her when people are there - bitch when not - send her round the bend - if yoi want tips let me know i've developed a good technique dad taught me young lmao xx

                #8 Banana11

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                  Posted 26 July 2008 - 07:07 AM

                  I can totally understand your reaction of crying. That's something I would have done in the past. Since I have learned ways to deal with it differently. Sometimes the crying just happens because all of your emotions need to come out and your mind and body can't get together to get it done right. Don't feel badly about crying.

                  Next time she's confronting you or you even have to deal with her remind yourself that she's is just a person too, and don't give your power and self control over to her. That has helped me "toughen up" if that's the right word for it.

                  I too like the other posters wish I could help you kick some ass :). It's sad when you realize not everyone in the world is reasonable to some degree. It's really depressing when have to work with the nut bags! Document everything, what she is doing is very manipulative, abusive, and controlling. She's 100% being passive agressive with you. She is trying to draw those reactions out of you. Don't give her what she's wants! She probably feeds off the drama and if it wasn't you and her it would be her and someone else.

                  Good luck, don't take it, and tell your boss.

                  #9 kevsgirl

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                    Posted 26 July 2008 - 09:14 AM

                    Thanks so much for all your suggestions. I think that she really convinced me during our “talk” that it was both of our faults. But even our “talk” was her really being aggressive towards me.
                    Luckily, our manager is super nice and loves me. She knows already about the situation and is on her guard for this kind of thing. Even if Mary contacts her first, she would never believe anything mean about me. So I’m kind of protected – same with everyone else in the workforce. I don’t think anyone would believe anything bad about me, so it’s not like she can go around trying to spread rumours about me. Well, she can try, but I don’t think anyone would believe her.

                    Quote:
                    Originally Posted by ErinB
                    I agree that you should e-mail. If the previous supervisor know of the situation and said something at year end review, it should be in a personnel file somewhere.
                    Unfortunately in the review it just says that I need to try to be more social and interact with everyone. Her perspective was that I was a target because I was sitting further away from the group (just the way the cubbies are set up) and if I was more “social” I would protect myself. I don’t think that this was good management, personally, but whatever. I think the minute her and the other 2 (all 3 of whom are gone) noticed they should have directly taken her to task.

                    Quote:
                    Originally Posted by ErinB
                    You can post the email here before you send it so we can read as neutral observers and make comments/suggestions.
                    I’ll definitely do that. I want to send it today. Maybe tonight.

                    Quote:
                    Originally Posted by ErinB
                    Since you have agreed to disagree, you need to kill her with kindness, if people have already noticed, they will continue and she will only make herself look bad.
                    What really ticks me off here is that I thought I was ALREADY killing her with kindness and trying to put it all behind me.
                    I guarantee that BDW can go bridezilla on her ass and she won't know what hit her.
                    Sweet! And I’ve got Harty on my side too, so I know she’s going down! LOL!

                    #10 kevsgirl

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                      Posted 26 July 2008 - 09:23 AM

                      Quote:
                      Originally Posted by NotYourAverageDW
                      At this stage document. Document, document, document.
                      I’ll try to start this up. The problem with this kind of harassment is that it’s all in how you perceive it. It’s not like she’s actively telling me off or telling me I’m stupid. It’s that she’s shooting me down or my ideas or being aggressive towards me.
                      I’ll see what I can do… at least others have noticed and see it too. That helps.

                      Quote:
                      Originally Posted by NotYourAverageDW
                      Just be honest....you can send the email the way your FI suggested, or you can modify it to say [i]"This is what happened, I felt very intimidated and threatened…
                      I think what I might do is send a fairly basic email, so that it can’t be used against me and as soon as my manager comes back (she’ll be in for 2 days on the 28th and 29th before going away again), I’ll tell her what actually happened privately.

                      You know what’s really sad? We actually had a great course on “how to deal with aggressive personalities” etc. but only the people who are targets have problems came to it! Sucky.
                      I can totally understand your reaction of crying. That's something I would have done in the past. Since I have learned ways to deal with it differently. Sometimes the crying just happens because all of your emotions need to come out and your mind and body can't get together to get it done right. Don't feel badly about crying.
                      Well that was totally it – it was like all the stress of the past few months really hit me. I’ve been doing the jobs of several people, we’ve been short-staffed, we’re all working blind really at this point because so many people have left, the upper management is being so dumb it’s not even funny. It’s been a bad situation for a while now.

                      Quote:
                      Originally Posted by Pug3636
                      Next time she's confronting you or you even have to deal with her remind yourself that she's is just a person too, and don't give your power and self control over to her. That has helped me "toughen up" if that's the right word for it.
                      The more I think back to it the more angry I am that she came across as the “manager” and I just looked like this pathetic person under her. We’re colleagues. FI thinks she was doing this because I’ve actually been looking after a lot of the team since my manager has been away and she feels like she needs to be in control. Whatever…




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