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I once had a colleague that seemed to have a lot of pull in the workplace. She was able to openly slack off in the department manager who would smile and chat with her, and managers all seemed terrified of her or desperate to get on her good side. Nobody was willing to talk about her. Maybe she was the CEO's relative or something, I don't know.

Unfortunately I was stucked working with her, and she was pushing most of her work onto me and being extremely rude and unprofessional, even infront of managers who seemed too scared to say anything. I'm pretty sure she was trying to take over my position, as she seemed to be very pissed off on her first day of work when she found out that she would be sharing responsibilities with me.

The company was a really small place so HR matters would have been dealt with by the department head anyway, who didn't seem to care about what she was doing. I eventually left as she kept escalating her harrassment and seemed to be trying to come up with a way to get management to force me to resign. This was further reinforced when a manager started dropping hints near the end that I might want to "consider your other options".

Was that the most effective strategy to deal with workplace bullying/harrassment in this situation, where management was just letting her do whatever she wanted? Or was there a more effective option that I could have used to keep working there with better conditions? I wanted to stay there (it was great before she showed up), but felt forced to leave.

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  • Terrible situation to be in – Kilisi Feb 25 '17 at 21:23
  • Did you have any ticketing system that has an audit trail? You could show that the majority of the tickets assigned to her were in the end completed by you or someone other than her. – Juha Untinen Feb 25 '17 at 22:22
  • @Juha Untinen : Unfortunately not, but the department manager was fully aware of what she was doing. There were times when the department manager would tell our "team" to do something like prepare a room for a presentation, and the two of them (my colleague and the department manager) would just continue drinking coffee and chit chatting. – Anonymous Feb 26 '17 at 20:54
  • Whenever she showed up for presentations, she would only do three things : greet the VIPs, answer easy questions and thank people for coming. I had to do everything else. Some clients tried to contact her about stuff, but they all stopped pretty quickly because she had a habit of answering vaugely and not getting back to them, so they all started contacting me instead. When she realised they weren't bothering to contact her anymore, she was very pissed off. I was then ordered by a manager to ensure she was kept in the loop on everything I did. – Anonymous Feb 26 '17 at 20:59
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Was that the most effective strategy to deal with workplace bullying/harrassment in this situation, where management was just letting her do whatever she wanted?

Yup. Absolutely.

Or was there a more effective option that I could have used to keep working there with better conditions?

Probably not. It's sad when someone has diplomatic immunity and uses it to bully others, but there isn't anything you can do about it other than just quitting (or letting yourself be fired).

Still, on the basis that you're toast either way you could've tried to exercise some new-found courage by belittling her back, for example, when she offloads work to you say something like "yeah this does seem very mathy, I can see why you would have difficulty with it", etc. Sometimes this totally gets you fired, but other times the bully will just switch to an easier victim. Sometimes the psychology of the bully is that they can't stand admitting that you got to them so they don't actually try to get you fired (i.e., bark worse than bite).

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