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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5763
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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My boss and two co-workers have all worked together at the same company for over 20 years. The department they worked for shut down (they were ALL managers at that department) and they were transferred to a different field-department (and now they are co-workers and one boss). I entered the picture about a year ago as a contract to hire and I have 12 years experience in the field and know a lot more than they do. My boss has been very impressed with my work, thanked me for all I have done for the team, and said he wants to hire me and make me a team lead for the project. The annoying thing is, my boss will go talk about me with one of the co-workers and tell him what I am doing or what I said. The co-worker always takes this as an opportunity to say HE told me this or that and they are HIS ideas. (I know because I can hear them talking and they don't realize it.) This is very bothersome to me - he keeps trying to steal credit for my ideas and even bad mouths me to the boss! He is a bully and an insecure control freak and even tried to tell my boss I am jealous of HIM!! No, not jealous - I just can't stand him! He is not a team player. Anyhow, it all got ten times worse once he found out I may be hired and I am a team lead. It is so bad, my co-worker seemed to have succeeded to brain washed my boss into saying he will recommend they don't hire me because I don't fit in and I am jealous of him and a liar!!!! The boss has not approached ME yet to tell me any of this - as far as I am concerned all I know is I am still a lead and they want to hire me. Do I ignore all this and continue doing a good job and hope he doesn't succeed in sabataging me, or do I tell the boss what I know and confront them both? Do you think my boss is just bluffing to shut him up? (My boss actually seems to ME to be favoring the co-worker actually - the co-worker did one little thing that I asked him to do and all the boss can do is praise HIM and he doesn't say much about what I did even though I did a lot!)

Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

There is no way to tell what your boss is thinking so it is best not to go there. Anytime you try to guess, there is a chance you could be wrong and it will come back on you. So go with what you know about the situation which is that this co worker is trying to undermine your work by lying to your boss about your ideas being his ideas.

Confronting them both is only going to turn this into a "he said, she said" situation. And since there is no way to tell what your boss is thinking about the situation, he could potentially side with the other guy which would be bad for you. Therefore, staying neutral and not mentioning the other guy is best.

To deal with this situation, begin by writing down your ideas when you have them. Date them and show them to the boss as soon as you can. Emphasize that these are your original ideas. That way, the boss hears you saying this and can link it to what the other co worker is saying, without you having to look bad by calling him out.

Also, keep doing a very good job. By staying steady and producing good results, you show yourself as a reliable employee who is dependable. The other co worker will come to look like a trouble maker as he continues his campaign against you. If you can, work with the other workers as well so everyone has a good opinion of you. Be friendly but stick to work. This helps you come across as the better person and makes the other guy look bad.

However, if you happen to hear rumors or get any information about the other co worker that is said against you, write it down and include dates and times, and people involved. You want to keep a record in case this should ever get out of hand and you are harmed by this person's actions. Then you may need to take this to Human Resources and the EEOC. You want to have good evidence if it comes to that.

I hope this has helped you,
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