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I have been on this job a total of 7 months. My co-worker taught me everything I know and we had been sharing duties. About 2 weeks ago management made some changes and said I would be doing the entire job by myself and have additional new duties and my co-worker would have different tasks. She was not happy with this change as she has been doing the job for 4 years and really made the job her own and she's not happy with her new duties.

Because of the training she gave me, I can do the entire job on my own. But now now she gives me the cold shoulder and is frosty towards me. She ignores my emails and doesn't really talk to me any more. The changes were not my fault. I am just following the direction of management.

I don't know what to say to her to console her. I want to do all management asks of me so I can keep the job. I sit next to her and the atmosphere is awkward. I have let her know that I don't like the changes either because we worked so well together. I need to keep doing the job to keep the job. I feel like she's treating me like this is my fault or there is something I can do.

How do I continue in the office with her giving me the silent treatment and her acting like I did something?

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    If you can do the entire job on your own, why is it important if she answers your emails and doesn't talk to you? Commented Jan 23, 2023 at 7:54
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    Because we were like buddies before. It's weird to go from communicating all the time to no communicating. There is another task management gave me that I am not so familiar and she has some knowledge so I ask her. But I suppose I can ask my new supervisor. Commented Jan 23, 2023 at 10:20

4 Answers 4

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You express sympathy if she says something, and suggest she talk to your manager about whether there is something new and interesting that she could pick up now that she has successfully offloaded this task.

Of course also ask yourself -- and maybe ask her -- if you've offended her in some other way. You may be misunderstanding her reaction, or even projecting a reaction she doesn't have.

Other than that, you accept that you have done nothing wrong, that her emotions are her issue, and that this is something she and your manager need to work out. She'll get over it, if she's at all reasonable.

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    Thank you for your response. She's constantly saying "that's not my job anymore". We now have different supervisors and she doesn't acknowledge my supervisor. She has an attitude like an injustice was done to her. Commented Jan 21, 2023 at 15:18
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    I just wish she would drop the attitude and come to terms with the new reality and get over it. But I can't make people feel the way I want them to feel. Commented Jan 21, 2023 at 17:37
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    Concerning "that's not my job anymore": this isn't necessarily meant to hurt you, but rather to push back on management's decision. If she's been told to do other duties then she could be making the point (through you, but to the folks who made the decision) that if they don't want her doing the job they need to be prepared for you to do the job unassisted. And if you still need assistance then they shouldn't have removed her from her role. I.e. this may not be personal, it's part of a smart strategy to protect her time and have management acknowledge she's needed in the old role still.
    – mkdir
    Commented Jan 21, 2023 at 22:42
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    No. I'm sure management has lots of other tasks she could be working on. Faking the need for assistance just damages your own performance review. This is Not Your Problem to resolve.
    – keshlam
    Commented Jan 22, 2023 at 2:54
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    @ribs2spare Sure. But if she's expected to help with the work then (in a sane company) her manager will be aware of that, will be moderating the amount of other work she has to give her time to help, will be soliciting feedback from her on how much time this duty takes so as to help her prioritize her work, etc. And the opposite also holds; if she hasn't been assigned to help then she's not being given the space or workload to add that to her plate. Which is my point above.
    – mkdir
    Commented Jan 31, 2023 at 21:59
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You may be reading the situation wrong. This sounds like, as the term has come to be, "quiet quitting" (we used to call this "doing your job and only your job"). Essentially, your coworker has decided that she doesn't like her new role, and in order to make management realize they made a mistake reassigning her, she refuses to work on her old job, to show how much trouble there will be if she's not doing that job and how much she contributed in that role.

This is not your problem, this is the company's problem. Either you can do that job, or you can't; if you can, then just do it. If you can't do it, then talk to your manager and let them know that your coworker is valued in her old position and you would like it if she could be given some of her old responsibilities to help you out.

If you would like to determine if this behaviour is actually directed against you, you could try being social with this coworker. Invite her for lunch, after-work drinks, or so on (if such is acceptable in your company/locale). If she accepts, then you may be able to make a new friend, or at least a professional contact when (not if) she decides to leave the company, which you may be able to leverage in the future. At the very least, when you're not in the office, you can feel free to talk to each other honestly and shit-talk the company behind their back if that's what you want to do. Just remember: what happens in Vegas (or after-work hangouts) stays in Vegas. Don't bring anything said or done outside of work back into work, that's how you become the company social pariah.

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  • It's just that the Managers are not around and I have to sit next to a co-worker whose words, actions, and attitude is "quietly quitting". It's a morale downer for me. It's hard to just ignore her when I sit next to her. Commented Jan 22, 2023 at 7:19
  • @DiligentWorker25 it's a workplace, not a meetup with friends. As much as you might not like it, your coworkers owe you nothing more than cordiality from a social standpoint.
    – ribs2spare
    Commented Jan 31, 2023 at 18:26
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I'm not sure you can say anything.

You may just have to accept that due to company decisions, she resents you and whilst this sucks (especially if you enjoyed working with her) - you suck it up and be professional

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    I've been doing that but it makes for an awkward and uncomfortable day. There's now silence where she used to engage with me. I guess it hurts for me to be right in her face running around doing her job. Commented Jan 22, 2023 at 1:36
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    @DiligentWorker25 Well, imagine how she feels.
    – DKNguyen
    Commented Jan 25, 2023 at 18:19
  • I have and I can see why she is pissed. But what do I do? Not do the job to show solidarity? I feel caught in the middle. Commented Jan 26, 2023 at 3:34
  • You do your job. That's it. If she hates your guts (and she has a somewhat valid reason to) - then you can't do anything about it, except Smile and say good morning/afternoon when you walk past each other in the Office. It sucks - but that's life. Commented Jan 26, 2023 at 3:57
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Like the other answers, I think it would be good to make some overtures to her, ask her to lunch, and acknowledge that it's awkward that they took away a job that she did so much to improve. In addition, you might point out that it was her ability to improve a job in such a way, so that you were able to take it over, that the company might be looking for her to do it again with the new tasks they have given her.

Hey co-worker. I'm sorry the company assigned this entire task to me, because you were the one who improved the process so well that it was something that I could do efficiently. It is your improvements that are making me able to do the job well. I'm wondering if perhaps the company saw your ability to improve a process, and are hoping you can do the same with this new task. Or maybe they don't know. I don't know what their thinking was, but I like working with you, and I do want to continue working alongside you, whether we are doing the same tasks or not. Could we go out for lunch and either talk about work and ways to make you happier in this new role? Or maybe not talk about work at all, if you prefer.

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