Dear Aunty B,
We have a chronic dobber in our office.
This dobber is particularly jealous about a recent promotion I have had, which puts me on an ‘even keel’ with them in the org chart (I previously reported to them). Any opportunity they get to undermine me, they will.
If they request that I assist them with a task that is either (a) not their job, but mine or (b) clearly their job only, and I decline to immediately respond, the complaint first goes to my superior and then, if that doesn’t get me moving, straight to the top office.
Also, when I made two – yes, TWO – colour copies of a personal document, this person made sure to tell the top office straight away, for which I was then spoken to.
The weight of this tattle-tale’s industrial-size machete in my back is starting to get heavy.
Oh and by the way, as an avid reader of your article, what about some follow up articles? I have often wondered what happens to the people and organisations that you reply to. What about a ‘Where are they now?’ segment — just a thought.
Not Iron Deficient
Dear Not Iron Deficient,
Thanks for sharing that medical insight so I do not automatically dismiss you as a half crazed, irritable woman who just needs a good feed to distract you from petty office behaviour.
On the other hand, may I suggest you have a bloody steak, a few oranges (vitamin C helps absorb iron) and then read your missive again.
WHO CARES! In every office (except mine) you are likely to find an insecure co-worker who spends their time on nasty, gossipy behaviour and plotting how to get a co-worker into trouble. I, of course, have come across a few types like this early on in my own career.
The first thing to know is that they are easily spotted and bosses can’t bear them. At the first opportunity they are moved on, so you won’t have to put up with this for much longer.
Second thing to note is the last thing you want to do is come across as being like her or him (which you are). Surely you don’t bore the office to death with this outrage over being told off for colour copies.
Third, understand that jealously is a powerful emotion and she is actually suffering. Picture her as the neglected child who is suffering. Feel sorry for her on the odd occasion you are forced to notice her and the rest of the time be entirely professional around her.
Fourth, how is business going? How are your targets? How is the competitive landscape looking? Any new technology around which could be implemented to save on costs?
That is the stuff you should be focusing on. Far more interesting and guaranteed to get you a promotion where you can pick your own great team and create the culture you want.
As for the ‘where are they now’ section, what a lovely idea. I often receive thank you letters from our readers, but we don’t publish those because you would probably not find them interesting.
But, how about this? I invite any recipients of my assistance to write in with their follow up stories and tell us all: was Aunty right or wrong and how did it work out?
Your Aunty B
Aunty B is currently on holidays sailing the South Pacific and sipping piña coladas, but she will be back soon with fresh advice for your business.
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This article first appeared on March 9, 2012.