Jane is a hardworking girl, talented, innocent, and have good working qualities and ethics too. She is working as a temporary lecturer at a university.

Peter is a permanent lecturer who is a bit senior to her. He had been assigned as a team leader in developing a new Masters degree program a couple of years ago when he got employed at the university. Peter however doesn't have good working ethics. He had not been actually attending to the work properly, he is lethargic. Has taken a very long time period to select and propose modules to be offered in the degree, fill the applications etc. and tells lies to cover up his incomplete works.

The head of the department had criticized his slowness in front of all and had asked him to complete the work as soon as possible with the help of Jane who is now employed and has good working culture.

Jane had worked there before as a instructor and graduated from the same university (but a different faculty) too. Her teachers had sent recommendations to employ Jane as a permanent worker, and with her work the head is quite impressed too currently, so the head is indicating that she will be recommending her to be made permanent once the procedures for making permanent begins.

Peter, even though he is not working and quite short of any tactful skill to drag the program and bring to a good level, he wants to be possessive of his leadership in the matter. Likes to show off, you know and boast that he is the one who did it exactly.

So, he is telling only some parts of information to Jane hoping that Jane will not be able to speak about it. He is not getting her help properly and gets criticized again by the head too. Jane knows about his work culture's problems and hence, whatever he assigns her, she sends with cc to head as well so that there are records of it. But Peter is creating an attitude that Jane is trying to show off that she is working by sending with cc. When he starts to give out a vibe like this, the others also sometimes try to thinks in the same way as it is not concerned with them. Like, they are not the one who is getting focused but Jane, so who cares...

The others of the department also have a bit of jealousy towards Jane as her capacities are at a higher quality than the others at the moment. Especially, the "quality" of her work.

Situation 1:

  • Next, the head takes a short leave of about 1 month. The acting head and Peter participates in a meeting to discuss about the program with the dean and a committee appointed by dean including lecturers from other departments.

  • The acting head now notices that Peter is not doing things proper and suggests that dean should use Jane rather. He had also said that all the work done by Jane also as work done by he himself which was also noticed and the acting head tells about this to Jane too. But Jane already knows about the fact that he doesn't have a good way of working, for that fear only she kept everything cc to the head, but she doesn't say anything about it, just listen to what the acting head says and forgets it thereafter.

Situation 2:

  • The next day, for the meeting, Jane also goes and dean of the faculty blames Peter openly in front of Jane too and thereafter they have appreciated Jane's work and had assigned her to help telling that she will do it properly, so let her do it. Even for this meeting, Peter doesn't give a proper state of the program, she learns the facts during the meeting only. But she speaks well using the facts she know, and balances the situation to minimize the criticisms from the other members, but rather to have the program directed in a settled way.

  • Peter's work has the following issues:

  1. The modules proposed are randomly selected ones and are not having a proper flow nor connection
  2. The module outlines are also having the same issue (Jane is asked to check about these)
  3. He was asked to do a market survey with the industry and the graduated students but he has only done for undergraduates (small sample) and some graduates (small sample)
  4. There are meetings with professionals, lecturers from other faculties, dean etc. The head does a mistake here by not participating in any of these meetings to check (she excuses herself mentioning her busy schedule). So, what Peter does is that he tries to cover up his sloppy work saying lies, lie after lie to cover the previous lies and report to the head as if everything is ok.

Now his objective is to finalize and get approval from the dean and the other higher officials to start the program, but because the dean knows about his lies at the meetings she does not agree.

Situation 3:

  • Now the head is back from her leave.

  • Peter tells the head that because the degree is related to his subject fields (eg: Management) the dean (she is from biology) doesn't know about this subject and that's why she is not approving. But Jane knows that as academics the dean and the others know to give appropriate comments to direct and even when looking at the comments of the people from his own subject discipline, it still has the same issues because Jane went for some discussions with them together with Peter.

  • And hence, please as the head (she is also from a different field, Chemistry) explain that he has done a good job and he knows about the subject and get approval from the dean, as dean will most probably have to consider it if the head requests. Now this whole thing is a lie and Peter is trying to do the work by mouth without actually doing any proper work.

In the meantime, Jane doesn't know that Peter has told the head false things to this extent.

On the other hand, the head also doesn't know exactly what happened in the last meeting. She actually doesn't know about most part, even in the previous meetings the professionals had commented but Peter has not addressed their comments but rather had only done what he wants and had reported to the head that everything is ok and she had believed it. She had only thought of the issue in the slow progress but was not aware of the other issues of Peter's work.

Because Peter has now been criticized, he is having a grudge towards Jane and also is afraid that he will be humiliated if Jane does the work properly.

He had tried to put up different resistances to Jane, such as, trying to scare her by telling not to discuss anything with the people in the committee appointed by the dean as they are from other departments they will snatch ideas from us, and its not good for our competition, don't tell anything to dean she doesn't know about the subject, opposing Jane's decisions by telling not to do this and that, he is the coordinator of the program.

But Jane knows that if she works according to his plan in the end she is the one who is going to get blamed, especially because Peter is lying he is going to put the blame on her anyway for the incomplete work.

Jane completes the checking of the modules, comes up with a appreciable list and shares it with all in the committee including Peter as soon as possible because the dean has also mentioned her a couple of reminders.

She has worked hard and done this in about a month. But as soon as she shared the update, Peter goes to the head and started up a row saying that he will leave from being the program coordinator, if Jane doesn't agree to update him first separately and then only the others.

He says that better not to take someone like Jane to the permanent staff as she doesn't have good relationships with others in the office, and that's why she didn't update him first.

As the head is not aware of the other issues she had believed him and is now expressing discontent to employ her as Peter has mentioned and kept a meeting for her with Peter and accused her for trying to divide the department.

Jane knows that this is a trap from Peter, and he is trying to take control to have the work done while taking the credit to him and also make some opportunities for him to criticize Jane as well as he had been criticized.

Now what should Jane do? If she agrees to talk to him alone he is definitely going to confuse the situations and take advantage. He had done before too but Jane tactfully escaped them as they were directed at her only. But now the head is also involved and so this is an issue for her.

I know this is a long post, but as all the details are related I've mentioned them as briefly as possible, so please be kind enough to suggest some help as this is really important.

  • 6
    "I know this is a long post..." I guess all of us would agree. Is there any way you can summarize the post in about 30% of the current length, i.e. can you reduce the text by 70% ? That would help people understand the post much better and faster. Jan 29 at 8:46
  • Thanks @Job_September_2020 but all the mentioned facts are important and connected. I can't see a way to reduce anymore things... Please help
    – Hasini
    Jan 29 at 9:50
  • 1
    What is your role in this? How do you know so much more information than the head? Jan 29 at 10:13
  • 1
    If you talk to the head the way you talk to us, you will confuse and irritate her or put her to sleep. This will not help Jane at all. - Jane seems to be doing an adequate job of defending herself. Perhaps you should just leave her alone. Jan 29 at 10:52
  • Well I'm the Jane @A.I.Breveleri I used the name Jane here because else it might sound like a boasting, I'm hard working this and that... But that's what my recommendations say and I'm too. So currently no one else knows this
    – Hasini
    Jan 29 at 11:40

1 Answer 1


Jane stands up for herself. She tells everyone who needs to know that Peter has achieved nothing in years, that she has done the work, and that Peter has continuously tried to block her.

Now that everyone has heard two sides of the story, they can’t just trust peters story. And work leaves evidence, Jane will have evidence of her work while Peter has none.

If she doesn’t stand up for herself she is at risk.

  • Yes I agree that her life is at risk. The head is currently in a position thinking that by giving a small pressure, we'll be able to get the work done by Jane, and hence is threatening her not giving the permanent position as Peter has suggested. She is unaware about facts as Peter is not telling all things. This department as well as Faculty is quite new and has inexperienced people, hence they sometimes misunderstand things a lot. Like, if we divide activities among us in a
    – Hasini
    Jan 29 at 11:37
  • group work and try to attend independently they think that the person who does well in her part of activities will get highlighted rather than thinking that it's getting the work done effectively.
    – Hasini
    Jan 29 at 11:38
  • So what is the best way to explain the situation to head, without getting caught up in another complaint like "you are trying to highlight yourself" or "you are just trying to make complains", or "you have to be able to cooperate with others"? Jane already tried to explain a bit about Peter's problems in communication but all they thought was that Jane has put updates without telling Peter first and this shows that she is breaking the unity of the department. Others in the committee who are from other depts will also might have felt the same
    – Hasini
    Jan 29 at 11:44
  • pls see my comment above to A.I.Breveleri too.
    – Hasini
    Jan 29 at 11:46
  • 2
    @Hasini: Sorry, no offense intended, but Jane may have to learn to express herself concisely. This is the longest comment I have ever seen on stack exchange. If this is representative of her communication style, it will be very difficult for her to tell her story since everyone will have tuned out before she gets to the first actual point.
    – Hilmar
    Jan 29 at 13:30

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