I am a technical support engineer and I have a co-worker in another country whom I need to consult every now and then via Skype chat for software dump analysis (because he is trained on that). Till last 3 years, there was no issue but for last 3 months, he started ignoring me. He never replies to my IMs but I can see him engaged with other people on IMs. So far, I ignored because his work requires concentration and research and I thought he would have been busy. Two days ago, I found that my colleagues at my location chatting with him (for work purpose) and he is constantly replying to them but not to me. They were surprised about this as well.

In one month time my manager is scheduling a training to teach me that skill (it's a promotion too) and the training will be delivered by him only. He also told me that he is generally very strict in his training (as per feedback of previous trainees). This makes me more nervous now.

How should I deal with this? I thought of writing an email but what should I write because I never did anything wrong to him and he may ignore that as well. He is at a different location so I can't walk up to him.


This may be a case where escalation to your manager is a good course of action.

I would escalate to your manager without using the word "ignore." You will want to say "has not been communicating with me" or "has not replied to my queries." You will make no speculations or judgments as to why. All that is happening is that you do not have the resources to do your job and that is something that needs to be escalated to your manager.

Whether this is a dumb technical glitch, negligence, or hostility will be up to your manager to discern, and when your manager has given you the result of their analysis you won't worry about the root cause. You will carry on business with your colleague as normal.


Writing an email to this coworker is a good first step. As for the content, keep it productive and don't make accusations. Explain that in order to fulfill your responsibilities you need responses to your questions, you have been having difficulty receiving those responses the last few months, and end with a question asking how this can work going forward.

Hopefully, this is a misunderstanding that your email can expose and clear up quickly. In addition, resolving the issue without getting managers (and likely paperwork) involved gives you the best chances at a healthy work relationship going forward into that training next month.

If the email to your coworker doesn't work out, I would escalate to management with a very similar message.

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