Coworker Doesn't Like Me
I have been at my new job for 2 1/2 months. From day one coworker has not liked me; she’s been here for 6 years. I am doing a job that I have done for 20+ years; this is just a new place. We work on commission and I do quite well. This coworker doesn’t talk to me, does not look at me, and ignores me as much as she can. She has a lot of friends at this place, and they are all influenced by her. Even the manager feels a loyalty to her and is biased regarding how she treats me. She is accusing me of things that I have never done, and everyone believes her. Am I wasting my time here, or can you suggest something that can be done to fix this?
Wasting My Time?
Dear Wasting My Time?:
You’ll have to decide if you can cope with a coworker who doesn’t like you or if you will allow this fact to make you quit. I’m sure it’s uncomfortable to sense you are not liked and worse still falsely accuses you of what you have not done. You don’t say why you think this has happened or what you have done about it.
Obviously you can’t get this feeling of not being included out of your head. You are experienced enough to know that fitting in takes time and that some people simply behave meanly. It also is obvious that your work group doesn’t communicate as a team—that has weekly skull sessions and collaboratively engages each other.
Other than voting with your feet, you have some options:
• Confront the coworker. Say you want to speak to her privately during a break or take her to lunch. Ask her if you have done something that rubs her the wrong way. Tell her you feel she intentionally is excluding you and ask if she has advice for you.
• Treat her as she treats you. Behave as if she doesn’t exist.
• Bypass her. Speak with the supervisor of the work area. Ask for an early performance review. Also explain that you feel excluded and in particular a coworker who remains aloof. Ask for advice. You might use such terms as unfriendly and incivility. Probably this is not the place to deal with saying you’ve been accused of things you didn’t do unless you have proof of that and they adversely affect your work. This option might follow if the first one listed doesn’t work. You might suggest that you’d like to feel a part of a team and do your part to improve quality of operations in any way you can. The important thing is focus on performance and not on interpersonal matters.
Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS, and that can’t happen when we feel excluded.