Disrespectful Coworker

I am having a difficult time with a new co-worker, any suggestions are more than welcome. I work in a small office, for three lawyers; for five years it has been just us and we get along fabulously, with no issues at all. We hired a p/t assistant for one of the attorneys (she really does need the extra help) and this woman is awful to me. She is patronizing, condescending, invades my personal space, complains non-stop about stupid things (i.e. we don't have a magnetic staple remover), talks over me, especially with clients, and brings her drama to the office on a daily basis (she slept with her last boss). Most of this is done when no one else is around and that is most of the time. My confidence and my dignity have both taken a major hit and I am stressed and exhausted. I have finally had it after she made a comment to me about still having youth on her side. I had brought my concerns to my superiors after her first week when her unpleasant personality became obvious (there is agreement on this) yet nothing was done. I tried so hard to deal with her (sympathy, apathy, pushing back), but I finally told one of my bosses that I am seriously considering another job because I cannot take her unpleasantness and disrespect every day. I will give them credit, we had a meeting and she was confronted with her behavior toward me. However, how do I deal with her going forward? I don't think she is going to change, and it is apparent to me that her problem is with me. They have no intention of firing her (which I would have done after the first week), which makes me feel small and unimportant, even though I know my importance in that office. I have not dealt with a person so immature and self centered as she is since high school (and that's been a long time) and I cannot believe that she gets away with this behavior as an adult.

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Mar 22, 2019
Same thing happened to me
by: Anonymous

I feel your pain. In my case, it was a new boss, a very young new female attorney who made my life a living hell for two years. I had worked for the law firm for 19 years before they gave her to me, with nothing but outstanding reviews for my work from everyone I worked for. She was just like your co-worker - arrogant, self-centered, mean, very disrespectful - only when no one else was around. When another attorney or staff member was within earshot she was sickeningly sweet in her little girl voice.I also talked to HR. I ended up quitting my job after the panic attacks she caused me landed me in the ER. That being said, my advice to you is to keep a journal of her behavior in the future; even if it is handwritten it is acceptable in court. Some states have laws against workplace bullying. I should have done that but didn't. I hope you are wrong and she learned her lesson, but I doubt it. Good luck to you.

May 08, 2019
I understand completely
by: Anonymous

I am in a similar situation. I have to work in an office with a peer that is at the same level as I am but she supervises others at the location. So it’s me, her and her staff. Our supervisor is at another location. She excludes me from lunches sharing information etc and her staff does the same which I can understand because she is their boss and can make their lives miserable. But then when others are around she is super sickeningly sweet. I don’t know how to deal with such a bullying manipulative individual.

May 11, 2019
I can relate!
by: Sophia

I can understand how you feel... Like I'm in high school again dealing with a mean girl, but I'm at work and living in my 30's. She is so sweet to everyone else, but talks to me with this condescending tone - it's sickening! I try to treat everyone with respect, and I learned that if I try defending myself from her bullying that she just twists it and tries to make me look bad. People like that just plain don't like you, so no matter what you do, you can't make them like you. My tip - try to not be alone with her and don't talk to her unless you absolutely need to! Hope that helps. 😀

May 19, 2019
No real suggestions?
by: Anonymous

I totally understand your plight. For nineteen years I was subjected to the blather of an immature Co-worker who drove me crazy because she constantly interrupted my work to whine about her personal issues. I never brushed her off because she was a terrible gossip, and I was afraid she would bad mouth me to everyone. This was a little different from what you’re experiencing, but here’s what came to my mind after reading your posts. Keep your mobile phone charged, and when you see her approach you, record her on your phone. There are apps for that. That way, when you are able to record her demonstrating her bullying, take it to your boss and let him/her listen to it. Then ask them how they think you should handle this situation. If they don’t do something about her, go out on a stress leave and make it difficult for them. While you’re off, look for another job. Life’s too short to put up with that BS! If you leave, they will be forced to replace you. The next lady will have the same issues with her. It’s not you!

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