I normally know how to handle problems at work but this is starting to spin out of control. I have a bad feeling about the situation and I'd like some insight or advice.
I work in a department of 6 people (5 regulars, 1 occasional). There is a woman who has been working there for over 10 years. She's the type of woman who is usually nice. She has a good heart and she cares about doing the job properly. I'll call her Joan. This problem of mine mostly comes in two parts.
The problem is that Joan can be very rude sometimes. It can be her tone of voice or actually just words that are rude. For example the other day someone walked up to her to ask her a question and she told him he was a pain in the ass. Or one day I had an extra big workload in the morning and hadn't finished it yet. She walked in, walked over to me, stared at me, and asked me, "nothings been entered yet??" in this very rude tone of voice. I wasn't slacking off. I was working as fast as I could and she just gets mad at me right away. She has always been this way, according to other people at work.
What makes Joan even more difficult to deal with is that she gets offended extremely easily. If she is rude to us and we get mad, she'll get upset that we're mad. If anyone says anything even remotely rude to her, she'll get very upset and complain to everyone about how rude that person is. Sometimes she'll cry.
She gets away with this behaviour because she's good at her job. She doesn't seem very happy and I think our boss feels sorry for her because he lets her get her way. For example, there used to be two of us who worked on a task together until the other girl left. Our boss wanted Joan to be trained in that task so that I'll have someone else to help with it. She told him no. So she doesn't have to do it. This affects my ability to complete the task on time. She knows this. My boss knows this. But still, I have to do it myself. Yet, for about three weeks, he instructed me to do my own work AND get started on her work afterwards. Joan did nothing to help me with my tasks, of course, because she didn't want to. Our boss knows that I really want her to be trained because I asked him about it and he didn't give me a yes or no answer. That was months ago and nothing is happening, so I guess he just didnt'want to admit that she wasn't listening to him. So as you can tell there is some resentment building up on my part towards her.
Me and everyone else in the department have become friends and we're getting pissed off at her for several reasons. First of all, our boss trusts her opinion so if she doesn't like someone, she can usually get them fired. Two people were recently fired within a week of being hired because Joan complained about them; the rest of us thought these people were doing a good job.
Secondly, I know she has seniority but sometimes I think she tries to take advantage of it by not doing what she doesn't want to do. She thinks she deserves to be treated differently than the rest of us (she's made comments), and I can understand wanting to be appreciated but that doesn't make it okay to be rude to us. She is not our supervisor but she expects us to always do as she says which sucks because she tries to micro-manage us sometimes. If anyone ignores her she gets mad and complains. She also gets worked up if we are 5 minutes late, even though the clock on the wall is 5 minutes faster than the other clocks in the building.
I'm probably forgetting to mention some other things, but this is the basic idea of what is going on.
The reason I have a bad feeling about things is due to the level of discontent amongst the rest of us. We're getting fed up. Three of the guys are talking about confronting her about it. One of them is actually leaving the company soon, so he said he has no problem saying whatever he wants to her this coming week. I don't know if this is a good idea or not.
I am torn between feeling sorry for her and angry at her. The tension at work is getting thick. There is an us-against-her mentality which isn't healthy. I am unsure of what to do, or if I should even do anything. I mean what do you do in a situation like this?
It's not in what you say, it's in what you do (Oasis)
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