I am a master student and an intern in a company. I have joined a company 11 months ago. After completing my first project (after about 6 months) which was a successful project, the company became interested and wanted to hire another student as well. He is my fellow worker.

I clearly remember that when he joined the company, he was literally trying to fight me, trying to correct me, still has that behavior. But I have never told anyone about that. At that moment I told myself how dare he is? He is new and fighting someone that is already here. Anyways that was weird for me to see something like that.

I usually keep things inside me and never tell anyone, I did the same thing and never talked to anyone in the company about how he is behaving.

However, now I am feeling more pressure as his behaviors got even worse. He really annoys me by following behaviors:

  1. In our group meeting (for our work updates), he asks me questions in a really rude way, in a way that he thinks that he wants to correct me.

  2. He thinks that he knows my work more than I do. The way he talks implies that he wants to rule or be my manager.

  3. He jumps into my talk and takes my ideas and by a bite modification, he presents it to the company as his ideas.

He is very jealous and tries to take over my tasks, he literally told me that he wants to do my task.

Considering all these what would be the professional way to handle this?

  • @JoeStrazzere, TBH, not sure if that is the right approach. Never did.
    – nikki
    Apr 18, 2020 at 20:44
  • @programmer never did. take this as an opportunity to change that. At that moment I told myself how dare he is? Well, tell him! Stand your ground.
    – user115681
    Apr 18, 2020 at 22:53
  • @TheoreticalMinimum, now everything became online, we are working from home, so you mean that is a good idea, I call him and tell him his behavior is rude. Do not you think that would imply I am insecure or he can bother me?
    – nikki
    Apr 18, 2020 at 22:57
  • 1
    @programmer I think the idea is more to tell your coworker that his behavior is inappropriate when he is behaving that way. Not to choose a random time to make a call to tell the coworker you don't like specific things he's done in the past. I would bet that your coworker already knows they can bother you with this behavior.
    – Upper_Case
    Apr 20, 2020 at 15:45
  • @Upper_Case, thanks for the advice, he does this in front of my other co-workers and managers, during our meetings. How can I tell him?
    – nikki
    Apr 20, 2020 at 19:39

3 Answers 3


Few things you could try:

For point (1) You are both students so I would assume there are other staff in meetings, perhaps in a leadership\tech role. If rude examination comes your way, bring in technical staff on your side. How? One way of doing this is to actually discuss some of your designs and solutions with the tech staff on an ongoing basis, without this bloke being around. At this point, any attack on your design becomes an attack on the technical staffs design approval. If you pull this off successfully a few times, getting tech staff defending you, he will stop doing this. If his purpose is to look better than you, but he ends up looking worse because you drag him into disagreements with tech staff, he fails in his goal.

Point (3) on your list is something that you need to rectify. He should not be able to figure out you project and then tweak it and present to company as his own work. Do you document your designs, sending to management, tech lead etc? Getting into the habit of this in general is a good idea, but it also affords protection against people stealing your ideas. If he announces that he has a great idea for XYZ and the manager replies that it was documented by you a month ago, you have to get credit, not him. Practice and develop really solid documentation and reporting. Make sure that all the important people know what you are doing, and what you have designed. This will completely halt his plagiarism abilities.

If you are able to resolve issue (1) and (3) then issue (2) and (4) will likely self resolve or minimize to tolerable levels.


I can't give you a full answer, but I can suggest a first step:

  • don't make it about race
  • don't make it about gender

Convince yourself that although that person might be rude, manipulative, abusive, it is not about gender or race. Once you remove this consideration from your mind, act professional, do good work. Inevitably, people will notice his behaviour. And when they do and start wondering what's happening, if he raises gender/race first, you basically won.

When people realize you're not using those gimmicks stereotypes and can stand your ground purely on technical merit, you'll have much more impact and trust. Just shine technically, be truthful (and keep track of stuff, to be safe) and people will notice.

  • While I agree with not making it about race or gender, ignoring the problem with a "do your best and people will notice" is just enabling this person to continue to treat the OP poorly.
    – Myles
    Apr 15, 2020 at 19:46
  • 1
    If I were a manager or in HR and someone came to me saying "Bob did X", I would probably be of much more help to that person than if someone came to me saying "Asian Bob did X to me because I'm female". In the first scenario, the person is reasonable and trying to fix issues. In the second scenario, the person is racist, sexist and also possibly trying to fix an issue. And in the first scenario, I'd be intelligent enough to realize if there actually was a race/gender issue.
    – Jeffrey
    Apr 15, 2020 at 21:04

Hi whenever this person does something to annoy you you need to email your boss and present your complaint as a question. So if they try to take over your work, you ask your boss if it is OK for this person to take over your work and that you are confused as to who is doing what and if they could clarify.

If you keep doing this every time it happens eventually this person will work out that you are not putting up with his shit

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