I work in a small company, normally there are only 2 girls in the office (including me). My colleague (the other girl) has worked here for 3 years and I just started, half year or so. Other people working for this company are mostly guys.

She's been giving me hard times since I started... she's been asking me the time (NOTE: it has to be exact time) i come into work and leave work everyday for the first 4 months (she's always later than me)... she finally stops that. And she's been telling how close she is with my boss (also her boss) and how hard she worked when she started... she said she never left the office before 10pm and didn't have any holiday in the past three years...

She doesn't tell me anything about work related conferences nor copy me industrial updates in the emails, so when my boss asked if i knew something I look like an idiot...

She sometimes ask me to help her with her work as she can't do it, but she stops me sending finished work to my boss as she said it's her task and she wanted to understand it first...my boss trusts her so I can't go to my boss...

There are also lots of other things, this is really getting to me now... I tried to ignore what she did, I even bought her a b-day gift, trust me, nothing works!!

I don't know what to do now... It's only been 6 months... Can anyone help please! Many thanks in advance!

  • 2
    I'm not going to quit to give her what she wants Nov 15, 2013 at 16:13
  • 5
    If you are old enough to work, you are not a girl.
    – HLGEM
    Nov 15, 2013 at 16:17
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    nope, she is not... she thinks she is as she's been in the company for 3 years... and I am a girl... Nov 15, 2013 at 16:25
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    Potentially reword to discuss "How to handle a hostile colleague." Check this question out: Colleague keeps trying to set me up to fail and discredit me.
    – Garry
    Nov 15, 2013 at 16:26
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    Both of us are over 26... Does age really matter in this case? Nov 18, 2013 at 7:50

1 Answer 1


Sounds to me like a case of jealousy.

A lot of what I'm hearing here are cases where your co-worker is getting in the way of your relationship with your boss - which is a big deal. You need to be clear on the expectations and whether or not you are meeting them with your boss. Not with your co-worker.

Cases in point:

  • asking you to clock in and clock out is a boss' prerogative. Ask him if he needs this, ask him if she's supposed to be handling it.
  • telling you the expectations in terms of overtime and holiday time off is the boss' prerogative. For all you know, this employee started when times were tight, and this situation no longers applies now that there are more of you. Ask the boss.
  • she's not giving you information relating to how you do your job. Ask the boss if there's a way for you to get the emails directly so you can be in the loop instead of waiting for it to be relayed from her.
  • the workflow process makes it possible for her to say that she's done work that you've actually done.

None of this has to come off as sucking up or telling tales. It's all good points for a sit down with your boss in private where you ask:

  • what should my work hours be?
  • what kind of holiday time works here?
  • do you want me to make a record for you of when I arrive and when I leave?
  • how can I enroll myself in industry conference and what other important notifications should I sign up for?
  • what should the workflow process be when you and your co-worker help each other. If you've worked jointly does he care who the mail came from when it's done?
  • what would be appropriate when you see gaps in someone else's knowledge that aren't getting corrected - helping with something quick (like proofing a document) is fine, but if you're doing your co-worker's work for her, at what point would the boss like some insight.

The power that your fellow employee has is that she's claiming that she has the trust of the boss and you do not. And you believe her.

The solution - build your own trusting relationship with the boss. Make sure the boss knows that you are a diligent and capable employee.

That alone may fix the problem since the next sneaky scheme your co-worker comes up with can then be greeted by you marching into the boss's office and checking in that he agrees.

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    the thing is my boss trusts her a lot and when she doesn't give me answer and I go to my boss, my boss will say to me I told her (my colleague) so ask her about it. Nov 15, 2013 at 17:24
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    @user2707605, that is when you then say, "I asked her before coming to you." She is making sure you fail. And you are letting her. You cannot be passive in the professional world. Please please get yourself some books on office politics. You need them desperately before you find yourself fired.
    – HLGEM
    Nov 15, 2013 at 18:43
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    @user2707605 - if it's a minor thing - like where something is stored, or how something works, then sure, letting the boss defer your question to someone who presumably has more time to spend helping you ramp up is fair. But if these are topics about how you should be performing in the workplace (and bullets 1,2,3,5 & 6 on my list of things to ask the boss fall into this category) then don't let him get away with that. The response is "I'm asking you because it directly relates to how you will evaluate my performance, I'd like to hear from you without someone else's translation". Nov 15, 2013 at 20:21
  • Could you please recommend any books of office politics? I never thought I would need it... Clearly I've been stupid... Nov 18, 2013 at 7:52
  • Hmm.. I'm will post here if I can come up with a good book. Most books on the politics of workplaces that I've read are more manager-type books focused on "how do you get people to do good things?" and not individual contributor focused. Most of what I posted above came from being mentored by my parents - both of whom worked office jobs for the majority of their careers. I'd actually recommend that, take a look either in your workplace or among your wider network and see if there's a person you trust who's a bit removed from you that could spare regular time for a chat. Nov 18, 2013 at 14:35

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