I started to work at a new department at a university. There are only 2 very senior members, the head Lady and another Lady only.

The others are kind of new like me. There are 3 members who don't work that well, so I had been compared with them openly by the 2 senior Ladies implying them that I'd have done better.

So now the 3 members are holding a grudge towards me.

They tried to say criticizing sentences about the ladies with me and checked whether I'd agree. I didn't. I was afraid they'd go and tell the senior ladies and will double cross me, as they are angry. Also those criticisms are not true, so how can I agree.

But usually when someone is holding a grudge under this type of situation, are we supposed to agree with them to balance the situation?

They had been trying to complaint me in various ways ever since the comparisons.

One person now succeeded, it was not exactly a mistake by me, but he made it up and the way he put it, the head believed. And now I'm accused.

What should I do now. Tried to explain, but the head is avoiding me now.

Did the senior ladies (we call them as "Madams" in our country, meaning not in a bad way. Madam means like saying Dear Sir/Madam in our country). compared me on purpose to create me trouble? It's obvious that people will get angry if they are compared. I didn't actually think about this in this way earlier, all I wanted was to work, so I've been focusing on work, but now I do think...

  • 4
    Your question cannot be answered shortly. It is related to workplace politics, gossip and other similar issues. Navigating successfully through these problems requires a lot of skill, unfortunately.
    – virolino
    Commented Feb 16, 2023 at 12:22
  • Oh, how did you know that it's related to gossips @virolino ? You've said it exactly right. Any way I also can develop these skills? How can I understand them? Any guidance please
    – Hasini
    Commented Feb 16, 2023 at 12:38
  • Is there a thing called everyone should participate in gossip? I mean I don't currently, I avoid gossip as much as possible by filling my day with a lot of work, so then anyway I can't talk much when I have work
    – Hasini
    Commented Feb 16, 2023 at 12:42
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    I’m guessing that you are not a native English speaker, but calling someone a Madam does not have positive connotations urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=madam
    – AsheraH
    Commented Feb 16, 2023 at 17:18
  • 3
    @AsheraH - Native English speaker here - Madam as in the owner of a Brothel is very context specific. If I went to a fancy restaurant and I was addressed as 'Sir' and my Wife 'Madame' - I'd not think she was being accussed of owning a 'business'. In common usage, people would think the usage is as an honorific (like Sir, Doctor, Your Grace, Master etc.) first and foremost without the other vulgar usage (although also as a Native Speaker - lots of fun with double entendres...) Commented Feb 16, 2023 at 20:26

1 Answer 1


Your colleagues are deeply unprofessional, and they are harassing you. They are creating a hostile work environment. That's three reasons already to fire each one of them. With your name I might suspect that there is some xenophobia at work as well.

If I am compared to someone and the other person comes out better then there is exactly one thing that I can do legitimately to change this: Improve the way I work. It looks like this is not something these three either are capable of doing or willing to do.

No, it is not obvious that people get angry when they are compared. I am really happy if someone else is capable of doing a better job than me because that way I can relax a bit more. And things get done without me having to do them. The only ones who get angry are underachievers. Once you get colleagues who achieved things themselves, who are competent and confident, that will go away.

Ask your head for a one-to-one meeting. Explain what is happening. Are you dropping the other three in? Yes, you are, and they deserve it.

  • I am afraid that this does not really count as a real answer. Willingly or not, the Madams seem to be on the side of the problem already. What should be done in that case? The answer is only useful in a healthy work environment, when people really have high moral standards, and are willing to serve justice properly. I know this because I was a victim myself in the past.
    – virolino
    Commented Feb 16, 2023 at 13:44
  • Yes thank you very much @gnasher729 I agree that not all will hold a grudge when compared. I'm also a worker who'd think like you, so I've never suspected this coming until they did. So I thought all others except me are like that. I tried to explain to the head, she avoided me but still I said as much as I could.
    – Hasini
    Commented Feb 16, 2023 at 13:45
  • I was expecting an extension for my contract at the uni. I've been helping one of this man's,say Jack's programs, he had not done well and the dean told me, Hasini you check this and update this and blamed him. So I've updated the whole committee. The head was on a leave during that time. The complaint that Jack made was that he was not updated separately, but together with the committee only and hence it indicates that I'm dividing the department. I said sorry so then anyway the part I was asked to check is complete so you carry on now.
    – Hasini
    Commented Feb 16, 2023 at 13:50
  • But he knows he doesn't know how to complete the work. So he told the head to threat me with my extension and tell me to do the work, and also as he says and the head is doing that.
    – Hasini
    Commented Feb 16, 2023 at 13:52
  • Don't know how he said it to the head but I know this is what happened and also this I can say for sure: jack is going to create more problems and he's now got the chance if I continue to work under the condition that I'm working under him.
    – Hasini
    Commented Feb 16, 2023 at 13:57

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