My boss reassigned my colleague’s (let's call him Sam) project to me and at first he was having a difficult time letting the project go by saying: “I will complete this task and then you will take over.” Then when I was meeting with my boss, my boss got very upset that I hadn't started working on the project yet. I told him what happened, but it did not look like he believed me.
Later my boss said: gather a meeting with such and such to go over this step, and I said, OK, and you want me to invite Sam, too, correct? And my boss looked up at me and said: “uummm, do you need Sam there?” so I did not invite Sam to the project meeting. One minute before the meeting, I am leaving my desk to go to a conference room, and Sam walks up to my desk as if he just passing by “hey, what are you up to?”. The same happened again when I scheduled the second and third meetings. It was getting ridiculous. Then, when I had a question about a project, I sent the question to Sam, but he never responded and pretended I never asked the question. Also, every time I passed Sam by in a hallway, he would have this fake smile and weird tone of voice, as if he is being forced to say hello to me.
I spoke to Sam one-on-one twice about the project being given to me by my boss, and I said words such as: “You did an excellent job getting all the previous work done…and I do not know why our boss gave the project to me…I hope you are not upset about this ….” And every time Sam said: “No, I am ok with it” But then, he invited himself to my next meeting, with words: “I’m just going to keep my mouth shut.” As I walk into a conference room, I see that everyone else is there and Sam says out loud to someone else: “Hey, if you were confused about this diagram, I want you to know that I created it! This is MY diagram!”
After the meeting, we stayed off line a talked about the project a bit, and he treated me like a child criticizing my work…and telling me what to do and what not to do. Sam also said: "when my boss told ME to do it THIS WAY..."
This is such an awkward situation and I do not know what to do about it. Sam did a lot of preliminary work and I can bounce my ideas off of him, but I don’t need to. I can do this project on my own. I also don’t want my boss to think that I cannot handle this project without Sam. Do I invite Sam to the next meeting to keep him quiet? If I don’t, I feel like he talks badly about me behind my back, when a few people go to lunch, he does not invite me to join them anymore (except one time, but his face had that faked smile as if “I really don’t want you to come”). I don’t care about joining lunches with him, but this whole situation is so stressful. What do I do?