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Question
Posted by: Controlfreak | 2011/09/21

Colleague belittles me

My colleague as usual is a problem. He phoned me last night, because he could not get hold of the client. I discussed the scenarios with him, but in the end said that the client will in the end make a specific decision, thus he must try to contact them again.And U explained their decision and the reason why they will make the decision. Unfortunately I can''t divulge more information, which would help with the explanation. I find at 6pm that he emailed the client and said that he discussed the issue with me and I advised him to do the opposite. I never said that. Now the client must think I am such an idiot and I can''t email them and say, hey there has been a misunderstanding, I never said that, because it would look like the SA team cannot communicate or is trying to make each other look bad. The client is currently reviewing our performance for our yearly performance reviews. I sent him an e-mail, copying my manager saying that he must have misunderstood me, but I never gave him that advice and that he should keep my name out of future e-mails. Which I think is fair. Because at least my manager should know that the incorrect information was relayed to the client. The little twit emailed me in Afrikaans, not professional at all, copied my manager and said that he doesn''t know why he asked my advice. I have 110 things to say about everything in any case and in future he won''t copy me. It sounded far more condescending in Afrikaans. I only answer his questions. He knows very little about the project and my psycologist advised me to stop spoonfeeding him. But if I don''t communicate important issues the client will notice that there is a communication problem in SA.If they have not already noticed. I have a list of 20 stupid questions he asked via e-mail, which he should have known if he bothered to study the project plan. But it is easier to ask me. Now he belittles me for providing information. My manager was out of office today and I will only see her on Friday. I don''t know how to handle it. How do you work with someone that goes out of his way to make you look bad, and sends nasty emails to you and copies the manager?My email merely stated the facts and his statement could really harm the project. I have to remain professional and communicate important issues, but I wish I don''t have to. I feel so depressed today. Why do I put so much effort into this project?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Put it in writing to him, and to your boss and his, what happened, and that you don't appreciate being made to look foolish by him deliberately misquoting the advice you gave him. Suggest a rule that if he ever wants to quote to any client some advice you have given him, he must send you a draft of the e-mail or message he plans to send, for you to check it, or not to quote you at all. So it seems you have done the right thing.
Stop protecting and spoon-feding him - let his client recognize, if they haven't already that HE is lacking in some knowledge and skills its about him, not about you or South Africa.
Discuss this calmly with your manager, taking with you copies of the relevant examples and messages, and ask her advice about how he can be stopped from sometimes apparently working harder to make you look bad, than to make the company look good or to simply do his own job.
I suspect he is and always has been, out of his depth, and wants to evade criticism, and having recognized your sensitivity and vulnerability, wants to push some of his errors onto you.
Its your manager's duty to manage him and to stop him from behaving so unprofessionally, so maybe one of your pleasant questions to her should be about how she plans to do this, and how you could help her do so.

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Our users say:
Posted by: contolfreak | 2011/09/30

I have taken this up with my manager and she sided with my colleague. Covering for him because he knows so little about the project and he came out looking like the victim. Poor him.
, He''s got so much work. But then she still involves him more in my project. I thought he had a full plate. If only you had an idea of what was going on. But telling the whole story will expose the Industry I''m in. I merely answered the accusations made. And I told you a good story, the client is bringing more business to SA. But, I can''t help how I feel about this colleauge. And until Cybershrink tells me off, I will continue to moan. Until he or my therapist can help me find a solution for the problem. I need to find another job, otherwise I will commit suicide

Reply to contolfreak
Posted by: contolfreak | 2011/09/29

I have taken this up with my manager and she sided with my colleague. Covering for him because he knows so little about the project and he came out looking like the victim. Poor him.
, He''s got so much work. But then she still involves him more in my project. I thought he had a full plate. If only you had an idea of what was going on. But telling the whole story will expose the Industry I''m in. I merely answered the accusations made. And I told you a good story, the client is bringing more business to SA. But, I can''t help how I feel about this colleauge. And until Cybershrink tells me off, I will continue to moan. Until he or my therapist can help me find a solution for the problem. I need to find another job, otherwise I will commit suicide

Reply to contolfreak
Posted by: Regular | 2011/09/25

As u refuse to take this up with your manager l do not think there is much u can do except continue to moan on this site and with your thearapist - who is at least getting paid to listen to this same problem again and again..........Your agressive reply to those who have taken the time to comment shows no appreciation......

As u are such a high achiever who is friends at work with everyone else we are still receptive to a happy story as sugessted by well wisher??????????????

Reply to Regular
Posted by: Controlfreak | 2011/09/25

Firstly, I only have problems with this on colleage who does not do what he is supposed to. He rather socializes with the clients. He is a backstabber and everything he does is so subtle, that he can talk his way out of it, easily. We are an International company and we don''t have HR here. My manager is HR and they are personal friends. For the Afrikaans, I am also Afrikaans, but it is company policy to communicate in English and if I wanted, and I considered a formal grievance procedure It would be difficult to translate his condescending email to English and maintain the true meaning of it. My name is controlfreak because everything has to be done perfectly. I have worked well in teams in this company before and had no problems. I get excellent performance reviews. And it is because of MY hard work that the client wants to increase the initial numbers by 50 % . and if anyone says I think very highly off my self, go to $@& . I know I do an excellent job and I will not tolerate leeches. He knows nothing about the project, but still gets credit for it. It is easy to critisise when you are outside the situation and you don''t know all the facts. I took all the emails to my therapist and she does not feel that I am overreacting.

Reply to Controlfreak
Posted by: Romany | 2011/09/22

You have answered your own question in the last sentence:-
I have to remain professional and communicate important issues" " 
Do not take phonecalls from this man after hours. Do not give answers over the phone, always in writing so you can have proof later. Only one of you should be communicating to the client, not both, it is contradicting and not professional.
Lastly, if he is Afrikaans and communicates to you personally in Afrikaans, why would you say that is unprofessional? It is one of the 11 officail languages and unless your company has a policy only to communicate in one language, you are insulting here.
And before you critisize..... My first language is not Afrikaans, it is German

Reply to Romany
Posted by: Well wisher | 2011/09/21

We only get your side of the story so it is difficult to comment. However all your previous post are the same it is always someone doing wrong to you.Why do you think this is - why has your manager not resolved things to your satistfaction - why have not not raised an official grievence with HR to clarify points of conflict?You are the common denominator here, why not see a labour lawyer to insist these issues be sorted if u truly believe its not your fault and they are all against you!
You have stated previously that u are bi polar and are recieving pyhciatric assistance from a therapist, could it be that you are emotionaly in the wrong career. Even your posting name, controlfreak, suggests that team work may not be your strong point.
How about telling us a nice happy story involving your job for a change-things cant be all bad.Sometimes going with the flow and enjoying the good times positively can make all the difference
Wishing you well.

Reply to Well wisher
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/09/21

Put it in writing to him, and to your boss and his, what happened, and that you don't appreciate being made to look foolish by him deliberately misquoting the advice you gave him. Suggest a rule that if he ever wants to quote to any client some advice you have given him, he must send you a draft of the e-mail or message he plans to send, for you to check it, or not to quote you at all. So it seems you have done the right thing.
Stop protecting and spoon-feding him - let his client recognize, if they haven't already that HE is lacking in some knowledge and skills its about him, not about you or South Africa.
Discuss this calmly with your manager, taking with you copies of the relevant examples and messages, and ask her advice about how he can be stopped from sometimes apparently working harder to make you look bad, than to make the company look good or to simply do his own job.
I suspect he is and always has been, out of his depth, and wants to evade criticism, and having recognized your sensitivity and vulnerability, wants to push some of his errors onto you.
Its your manager's duty to manage him and to stop him from behaving so unprofessionally, so maybe one of your pleasant questions to her should be about how she plans to do this, and how you could help her do so.

Reply to cybershrink

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