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 PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:14 pm Reply with quote  
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  Mara Jade Skywalker
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I thought about asking this question in another thread, but I'm hoping to start a discussion.

I won't go into detail, at least not at this point, but I have a situation at work where another woman is slandering my reputation to others in the office. I have suspected it for awhile now and have ignored it, because I had no proof. But it came to my attention today that I was right, and the new hires are being warned that I'm a "crazy psycho". Which answers the question why none of the new people will talk to me.

There is a back story to all this, but for now we'll stick with the present. I have grown tired of hiding from this woman, who happens to be a heavenly angel in the eyes of management, and have reported her for false accusations and slander. I was met with disbelief, told to grow thicker skin, and finally the promise that the complaint would be escalated to HR. However, HR is in the pocket of said woman, and I don't expect anything to change if I don't aim for a higher authority.

I suppose I should add that there is no precedent for the hostility. After more than a year of ignorant naivete, it was finally shared with me that she has been spreading this rumor since I arrived. And I have never been anything but friendly to her, I even thought we were decent friends at one point, considering she is careful and hides her hostility. Once this bit came to light, however, I called her on it and we ceased all unnecessary communication and currently possess nothing more than the required working relationship. And yet it is now revealed that the rumor spreading has continued, except with an increased severity.

All that said...am I wrong to complain? I have been enduring her hostility for close to a year now, but I have had no proof that it affected the work environment, hence I've had no grounds to complain. Finally I have witnesses and I've had enough.

Among other disappointments, I've been told in the past that I'm young and do not understand how the working world works. But if these are the games that adults play, I do not wish to participate.

Do any of you with more experience working in the real world have any comments or advice?
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 PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:01 pm Reply with quote  
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  Caedus_16
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I won't go into detail about the things some of my co-workers say about me. The words 'vicious' and 'psycho' are common.

I work with salesmen and saleswomen (salespeople?) who will stop at nothing to sell. They have broken locks on my desk looking for keys (I work on a car lot), they have lied to my underlings, they have stolen supplies, they have even screwed each other over, all to make as much cash as possible. Half the dealership is popping pills, the rest are alcoholics or pot-heads.

Now here's the thing - when I discuss these things with my boss (who happens to be a personal acquaintance as well as all of their boss) he simply says "its the business" and refuses to take action to change it.

This is the adult world. Some parts of it are healthy and fully functioning, other parts of it are childish and based around greed.

Its very similar to high school. We fall into those patterns and never really grow passed them, we just scale up what we do and make it more presentable.

If this woman is bothering you and you can't go to HR you have to just steer into the skid and be the better adult. That will have to be its own reward. Your other alternative is looking for a new job.

You could also see if she is doing this to anyone else. HR may be able to ignore one person complaining but multiple complaints is hard to just ignore for the sake of someone they know.
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 PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:16 pm Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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Do you know more specifically what she says, and can you think of any reason why she would say it? I am guessing since you say there's a backstory that you might, so more useful advice would be tailored directly to this scenario.

I think in general you'll find where ever you work there's going to be people that clash, although I suppose I've been pretty lucky not to have those sorts of issues lately. Perhaps it does get better as you get older, considering that? I think most of the problems I had with people were in my very first job, and if you're working with your peer group out of high school or college then the people probably aren't that mature.

Unfortunately, if someone doesn't like you at work, and your attempts to change her opinion have failed, there's not a lot you can do if she's just badmouthing you to other people. At a job I had several years ago, someone left a really rude and threatening note on my desk when I was at lunch, and I gave it over to HR and nothing ever came out of it. Unless it's something where legal action can be taken, I think businesses don't like to alter the status quo if there's no tangible effect on business.


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 PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 9:52 am Reply with quote  
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  Bianca Christine
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This person who's telling all the new hires that you're a "psycho" needs to know that this isn't acceptable behavior. It creates a hostile work environment and that is bad for everyone. It's basically a form of harassment.

Harassment should be reported to your superior and to HR.

Document. Document. Document. "Cover your own ass" as it were.

You may not get direct feedback about it, but at least someone in management will know and maybe, you aren't the first person to report something like this.
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 PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 3:51 am Reply with quote  
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  Life Is The Path
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I'm with Bianca on this. I think it's a very good idea to pursue this with HR and your boss. Based on previous experience, HR is a joke (everywhere I've been), which needs a serious overhaul. Until that happy day arrives, people do need to speak up.
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 PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 9:59 am Reply with quote  
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  Mara Jade Skywalker
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Due to popular demand, an update!

So, I will admit that I stand corrected, HR did address my concerns. My supervisor spoke with me privately before escalating the complaint straight to HR. HR then met with my supervisor, then the woman herself, and finally all of us at once. I was terrified of that final meeting.

Again, I will try to refrain from details, but the meeting ended up including several identified along the rumor chain. This resulted in eventual admittance of guilt, apologies from all, and a directive from HR to put an end to this now.

I chose to accept the apologies and drop any further formal complaints. Hence the matter was set as "resolved".

What reassured me most was that HR was set to escalate the matter higher were we not all happy at the meeting's end. I did not mean or want to cause trouble for the company, but the childish behavior had to stop. I felt it was addressed quickly and sincerely, and I appreciated the validity they gave the matter.

Hence...do not hesitate to contact management in your office. If the situation is serious enough, go higher if you're ignored. Don't let people bully you. I realize it doesn't always end happily in every case. But do what you can. Stand up for yourself.

Thanks to all for the suggestions and encouragement! It is most appreciated. Smile
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 PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 10:29 am Reply with quote  
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  Taral-DLOS
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I'm glad it worked out for you!

I've had difficulties like that before (not to your extent, just people who were incredibly rude to me, even to my face and in writing on email; that was easy to escalate, and my supervisors handled it well).
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 PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 12:52 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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I'm happy that it worked out, Mara. Smile
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 PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 3:20 am Reply with quote  
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  Life Is The Path
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Wow, that was brilliant of HR. I'm so happy it turned out well, Mara Smile .
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 PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2014 3:09 am Reply with quote  
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  Dog-Poop_Walker
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I have some experience with group conflict resolution. At first people are going to be very guarded and feel like it's an inquisition, but when people realize that a mediated environment allows them to share their side of the story I think they will be much more responsive to working things out, whereas a one one one situation will just lead to two people butting heads and neither having a reason to back down.

Of course it depends on the scenario, but this is the only way to deal with a problem like this in the workplace and it's a model that I think people can adapt into other social situations as well.
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