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I recently started a new job.

It’s a 6 month probation period, and I have only been there 2 months.

I have 15 years experience in the industry of admin support.

The one thing that I have always struggled with is conflict.

Anytime there is someone in the office, who does not like me, for reasons other than work related, I find myself in a situation where that person has gone upto the manager, blamed me for things which are not my fault, the manager hasn’t approached me about the subject,...., and I am soon out of a job. (Either, I don’t make probation, I am in constant conflict where the team member rallies other team members against me, and I am made fun of behind my back, and my tasks get scrutinised, and even when I have done a perfect job of something, someone finds a way to get me in trouble for a decision that is the best decision, until the situation is so bad that I eventually leave, or, I am fired).

I just don’t know how to bring up these topics with a manager, and they hear the story from someone else, and it’s not true.

In this situation a new uni student, has abruptly told me that I have filed the filing incorrectly and now she has to go the it and do it again!

She started it extremely rudely to me.

Being someone with 15 years experience,...., I can file a simple document!

She tells me really rudely,..., “is there something wrong with the photocopier!!!” Implying that “it’s now broken, you need to call someone to now fix this,..., this is your job, as the administrator!”.

When she has no idea how to use a photocopier and just has a paperjam,....;

And I simply go upto the photocopier and lift the top cover, close it again,...., and it’s fixed.

When I reply to her, it’s hard not to also take her tone of voice, because, back with her,..., and I feel that she then tells the manager that I am rude with her.

Recently she must have told the manager that I made several mistakes,...., because my manager has been very rude with me,.... implying that I am not competent at the task which she has given me.

As soon as the manager completes telling me off,...., she goes upto this uni student and starts having a conversation in her language, that lasts over 10 minutes,....,probably about standing up for the uni student, against me.

The uni student makes countless mistakes which are overlooked.

I just don’t know how to stop this from being a much bigger issue, as it has been with other jobs.

One person once said to me,..., if you allow people to continueously walk all over you, without ever letting managers know what is going on,...., then you’ll continue to go from job to job,..., being fired,...,with the same problems occurring in every job. They’ve seen this all the time.

I just don’t know what to tell the manager or how to tell her.

I don’t want this to be another job that I loose because someone rallies team members against me,..., and eventually I am out of a job.

What do I say to my manager and how do I word it, when I feel that she has made mistakes in her role and blamed me for it, and her time of voice is extremely abrupt and rude.

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    Do you have any coworkers you can get advice from? Preferably with the same role. It's easy for someone in upper management to say "stand up for yourself", but it can be different for someone in a different role (no disrespect intended). Can we get a country tag. Maybe there is a cultural aspect at play. Commented May 22, 2020 at 10:21
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    It sounds unusual for this to happen across several (unrelated?) jobs. I hate to say it but from the sounds of it, maybe there's a reason it keeps happening? I'm not saying it's ok for people to be rude to you; that may be something worth discussing with your manager openly. But perhaps there are things you can look at in terms of your own behaviour. Are you, maybe unknowingly, provoking people? Are they jealous of you for some reason?
    – Touchdown
    Commented May 22, 2020 at 10:23
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    You say you do things correctly and they blame you for making mistakes. Can you prove it's correct? What happens if you explain (politely) that the correct action has been taken by you? Commented May 22, 2020 at 10:43
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    Since you mention "her language", are you a non-native speaker, or are people speaking to you in a different language than their native one? Because non-native translations can lead to a perceived (but unintentional) lack of politeness, and you seem to take heavy offense to implications. Additionally, I'm agreeing with @Touchdown here that if this pattern repeats across several unrelated jobs, that the only common factor is you. I notice that the question is heavy on inference and anecdotes and light on concrete evidence that you're not actually in the wrong.
    – Flater
    Commented May 22, 2020 at 10:46
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    This will sound a little offensive. It sounds as if you've had this problem repeatedly throughout your career. Given that the only common thread to these problems is you, perhaps there might be some self reflection useful in these situations. Commented May 23, 2020 at 0:37

3 Answers 3

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One person once said to me,..., if you allow people to continueously walk all over you, without ever letting managers know what is going on,...., then you’ll continue to go from job to job,..., being fired,...,with the same problems occurring in every job. They’ve seen this all the time.

They are right.

In this situation a new uni student, has abruptly told me that I have filed the filing incorrectly and now she has to go the it and do it again!

You should say, to the university student: "I filed it correctly. I can explain this process to you so that you can understand."

She started it extremely rudely to me.

Say: "Please speak to me politely."

The uni student makes countless mistakes which are overlooked.

Don't fall into the trap of pointing out what you believe are their flaws to them, or to your manager, because you will just come across as being defensive. Or another way to say it, I don't think you will come across well by going on the attack.

What do I say to my manager and how do I word it, when I feel that she has made mistakes in her role and blamed me for it, and her time of voice is extremely abrupt and rude.

Say: "You are being very rude and unkind. Please stop it. It is not okay for you to speak to me in this way. I take responsibility for what I do and I'm doing my job correctly. People complaining about me are misleading you."

Things to consider:

  • You have to be able to stay calm. Before confronting, practice what you want to say, and concentrate on managing your reactions.
  • Make sure you are able to speak clearly and carefully, and look people in their eyes. I believe looking someone in the eyes gives you a lot of power.
  • Don't give ground. If they keep trying to accuse you incorrectly of some mistake, always repeat that you did it correctly, and that the other person is mistaken.
  • If there is anything positive about these challenging people, you can try to defuse some tension by paying them some kind of compliment as a preface, say "I appreciate how well organized you are. Meanwhile, we need to discuss this serious situation."
  • If you think someone is out to "get you", I don't know if there's any good way to discuss that without help from Human Resources. Frankly I would not try to do so unless your were saying it to someone you trusted.
  • I would ask you to evaluate yourself for any other characteristics that leave you vulnerable to workplace bullying. Maybe you have a close friend you trust that can give you advice or their observations. It might be difficult to listen to such comments.

For some perspective, I've been in workplace conflict situations with my managers before, both involving rudeness and some level of bullying on their part. In one case I confronted the manager directly about their rudeness, ended up having a productive 2 hour conversation, so it eventually ended positively for both of us. I want to emphasize that, because it immediately turned around an ongoing negative situation that had gone on for weeks. In the other case I was never able to confront this person, and that was an extremely hard time. I survived but ultimately I left that company and found much better success elsewhere. Good luck!

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Your synopsis is full of supposition and assumptions.

Recently she must have told the manager that I made several mistakes

You can't possibly know what she discussed with the manager.

because my manager has been very rude with me,.... implying that I am not competent at the task

Implication and statement are separate concepts. Your assumption of offense or rudeness feels completely off. You seem to rely on the concept of implication a lot.

I feel that she then tells the manager that I am rude with her.

This is another instance where you have no idea what her discussions are predicated on, yet you are making complete assumptions.

Implying that “it’s now broken...

There is not one shred of actual fact in any of the descriptions. Everything appears to be implication and assumption without any real data to support it. Even reading some of your descriptions of the interactions, if you assume positive intent, I can find nothing wrong with anything this person has said to you.

I think you would be better served by acting like an adult and begin having conversations with both this person and your manager. Talk to them directly about this behavior, and ask for feedback on what is causing it or how it is making you feel. My suspicion (and this is my thought without fact) is that you are fully aware that you're actually creating a problem in this environment and you're terrified to be told about it.

Stop running from this problem, and face it head on. Act like an adult, and treat your coworkers like adults. You are central to all of your problems and all of your conflicts. Until you can address these problems with facts instead of assumption you will continue to run into this problem, and you will always find yourself on the jobless side of the argument.

A friend of mine likes to say, if everyone around you is a jerk... you just might be the jerk. If everywhere you go there is drama and ill will, perhaps you're the one spreading it.

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I think when you are under probation you have less chances of getting a favor from the management or fellow colleagues when a conflict arise. The best policy is to avoid conflict as much as possible.

When you fix the photocopier, you can politely let her know that "Please use the photocopier now its fixed. If you got a problem again let me know, I will help again". Like this is also one way to respond rather than answering in the same language or mood.

You know that its important for you to not lose the job. You have to analyze yourself too before expecting from others. It is fine that you may be correct most of the times but how to avoid conflict is your foremost goal here.

It is the self that you have full control over.

And even if you want to respond in the same language or tone. Just skip that moment don't do it at that moment. Go away think and evaluate the situation and then come back another time with a better response when you are out of that 'heat of the moment'.

Its not a game that you have to score a goal right there and then otherwise you will lose it. Its your career life. You have to build it and move on.

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