I have a colleague "Bob," who has a tendency to claim coworkers as colluders in the - frequently wrong - work which Bob is responsible for. This is a small business in the United States.
Here are some examples to clarify the behavior
- Bob attempts to refill the water cooler, but dumps about a gallon of water on the floor. A colleague helps Bob clean it up. When the owner of the business arrives, Bob explains that "we" spilled water.
- Bob asks me to help them out with a problem regarding our product. I go to Bob's desk, and before Bob can finish explaining the problem, a senior specialist arrives to help Bob with the same issue. Bob exclaims how glad they are the specialist has arrived because "we" cannot figure this out.
- Bob sends an email to some other members of the business explaining that "OP and I decided _____" when I have not been consulted on the contents of the email.
- Bob was questioned about an issue with part of the product they are directly responsible for during a meeting with a client. Bob responds that "Other Colleague and he did ______," when Other Colleague does not have anything to do with this particular part.
My main concern is that my Image is being tarnished when Bob includes me on his failings.
I've told Bob that I don't apreciate being a "we" when I had little involvement with the problem at hand, and it failed to change the behavior. I have moved on to distancing myself from Bob as much as possible, and calling him out when he does mistakenly include me among members of the business only. Obviously, I don't want to do this in front of a client.
I'm worried this approach may portray me as somebody not willing to take reponsibility. I feel that talking to my manager about it is a bit of a "nuclear option," but I'm open to suggestions.
Similar to this question but I'm not taking over for Bob; I can't set up a plan and outline issues I'm facing with Bob's shoddy work. This question and a handfull of others deal with getting his work done. That isn't my problem at all; Bob's work is less than critical.
How can I avoid becoming a member of Bob's self inflicted problems?