So I've recently joined the company, and there is a guy who shares same position as me, but older than me by 7-8 years. Our boss is also young; same age as me.

So the coworker started picking on me. Like making disciplinary warnings such as "Why you were late for 10 minutes?", "Why do you go outside to smoke so often?", or "Why you going home so early, you got nothing to do left?" (when I go home on time).

My boss is an introverted guy and he doesn't care much because this coworker is more experienced than both of us.

But it started to irritate me as he is not my boss, but bossing me around.

Is there any way out of this?

  • 3
    what country is this?
    – Fattie
    Jun 15, 2021 at 2:19
  • 4
    Does this answer your question? How to deal with a bossy coworker
    – gnat
    Jun 15, 2021 at 8:41
  • It sounds like your colleague thinks you're not working hard enough. How are the tasks assigned to you? Do you each get tasks directly from the manager, or do you get tasks as a team? Does your colleague have to take on more tasks if it takes you longer to complete your tasks?
    – Apfelsaft
    Jun 15, 2021 at 10:51

2 Answers 2


Go to your boss and ask (about coworker), "Can he fire me? Will he be writing my reviews? Can he give me a raise or a promotion? Or is it only you that can do these things?"

Now, before you do this, get some things straight in your own mind. That coworker has a lot of experience and you should take his advice about how to do the work. He can show you techniques and convey lore that you don't have yet. But he is not your supervisor and ultimately he is not the person you need to satisfy about your job performance.

You need to have this straight in your own mind because when you talk to the boss about him, your boss will immediately tell you that you should listen to your coworker because he has more experience and has been around longer and blah blah blah. At this point you need to get clear just exactly what you should be listening about.

After this conversation with your boss, you will know what instruction he wants you to take from your coworker and what you can safely ignore. There will be no need to initiate a confrontation. When your coworker gives you an instruction outside his authority, ignore it at first. If he insists on an explanation, then you tell him that you don't have to take that order from him.

  • 4
    Generally a good answer, but asking it like that, "Can he fire me? Will he be writing my reviews? Can he give me a raise or a promotion?" sounds unnecessarily combative. It would suffice to ask in more general terms who you report to and who will be assessing your work, without specifically mentioning anyone - bosses typically don't want to know about conflict in a team.
    – Stuart F
    Jun 15, 2021 at 13:21
  • 1
    @StuartF Bosses do want to know about conflict in a team, you just don't want to come off sounding like you're the one causing it. Jun 15, 2021 at 14:42

He's not your boss, so he can't discipline or order you. If he makes snarky remarks, ignore them. If he tries to assign you work, tell him your actual manager has already assigned you work.

The tricky part here is going to be managing this without upsetting your coworker too much, so you need to ensure that your boss is on the same page and will back you up if (when) he comes to complain that you're not being cooperative or whatever. Having work assignments clearly tracked and prioritized might help.

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