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Question
Posted by: Boitumelo | 2011-12-14

Hated by collegues

Hi CyberShrink. I am a new employee at this firm. Doing what i had dreamed of doing since university. I graduated early this year and got the dream job. But the people i work with had turned out to be a nightmare, i am black and majority say 98% are white, mostly females.
I have made a couple of mistakes when i got there, say time and normal new employee mistakes. Now there r rumours about me, in a vicious manner. All lies but no one believes me. All meant to tarnish my new image, i tried to clear my name but even the management i believe did not deal with this sensitive matter the right way. I feel violated, with no privacy whatso ever. With noone to look out for.
I do my damnest with my job and lets insult, sarcastic comments are more in % than compliments of 1 second.Hate my job, hate the people cant get out now bcos i will be a coward of giving them what they had wanted all along, to leave. They do not want me there, and they r not hiding it. I feel so naked, my honour. dignity, self image, academical honour and dignity and mental well being is jeopardised. Pls help me, other people in the department think i am a pushover just bcos i am not one of fights and all that. How do i protect nyself and all of mine. THank u

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

The sad truth about most people at work isn't that colleagues hate you, but that they actually don't care at all. Everybody makes mistakes - they show their quality by how they handle the mistakes. And you can tell the quality of an organization by the way they deal with an employees mistakes - they're supposed to respond with understanding, advice, and if necessary further job training to help you recover from the mistake and avoid repeating it.
You should be able to discuss these problems with the HR person or department, who should help to put things right.
You don't mention what specific sort of rumours have arisen, or why anyone would bother to do this, so its hard to advise more specifically about that.
Also, a job skill they never remember to teach or even demonstrate in university is Humility. I found early on I was often by far the cleverest person in the room, which is fine - but when they feel you are reminding them of that, they find that objectionable. There's an art in being humble, and letting others feel competent and included

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Bron | 2011-12-19

I am coloured worked for 20 years, and yes there is racism in the workplace. HOwever it is not just racism, there is lots of politics, jealousy over stupid things etc etc. I worked at a place where a white girl was constantly being gossipped about by white colleauges coz she was always off sick, in hospital etc. Everyone thought she was faking and said she is trying to take take as much time off to stay away from work due to laziness. She ended up dying a few months later coz believe it or not she was genuinely ill!
I have experienced being oestracized many times coz I dont share the same culture as either the black or the whites I worked with. But I couldnt care less, I did what I needed to do and spoke out where necessary, but its not easy. The workplace is a complicated place these days due to the many office politics prevalent. The stuff I have been told and exposed to during my career, have been shocking to say the least. Peoplle can be nasty, but then you should know even in schoold children fight etc. The workplace is no different, there is bullying, bitchiness, backstabbing etc. reasons are either amongs otheres, professional competition, intimidation when there is a new kid on the block, racisim, and plain and simple nastiness. Some people just like playing mind games, and bully others so they can hide their own deficiencies. Get yourself a mentor, an older person who has been around the block a few times who can give you advise and guidance. Once again, its not easy but not impossible to manage.!

Reply to Bron
Posted by: ali | 2011-12-18

Try to remain self contained. Focus on your work and happiness, and not so much on them. Later you can slowly make a friend or 2 when you get to know who to trust. Its not uncommon to feel odd/presusure/judged when you are new at work. Just do your best and know it will pass, YOU can change things. Just breathe and be friendly. and also remember in 10 years time this wont matter at all! all the best

Reply to ali
Posted by: Happy | 2011-12-16

Candy, if you are going to bash her spelling get your grammer right. Pretty sure your first sentence should have a question mark. And to you and Not a graduate but respected and liked, how DO you know it''s not about race? Do you sit in the offices observing the situation? I don''t think so, thus I think you aren''t in a position to say it''s race related and not. People ARE racist and I''m sure Boitumelo, being a smartie, would quite easily be able to determine whether it is racism or not. Get a life and stop trying to make people''s problems sound like it''s their fault. Pathetic.

Reply to Happy
Posted by: Not a graduate ut respected and liked............ | 2011-12-15

Academical honour! and the grammar.......along with the race card!
Try humility and acting professionally - perhaps if you change your attitude you will earn respect?

Reply to Not a graduate ut respected and liked............
Posted by: Kate | 2011-12-15

Have you treated your colleagues with the respect that they deserve? Just because you have a degree does not make you better than the people you work with. I work in a law firm and a number of the professional staff seem to think that they are way above the rest of us! They are treated differently to the rest of us and it causes resentment. Beware of allowing your achievements to go to your head. I am not saying that this is what happened, maybe it''s just your attitude and not the colour of your skin that has caused them to dislike you! Don''t go through life playing the race card, don''t blame everything on the colour of your skin, it probably has nothing to do with that at all. I for one am so tired of being treated like a second class citizen because I do not have a degree or did not study further after matric, but I work extremely hard and give the company more than 100% each day. I will show them that even without that degree, I am just as important and valuable as anyone else in the company. If your colleagues make comments and insult you, try to ignore them and don''t allow them to see that it upsets you, it will just make them more determined to get to you. People are very strange beings, it could be that they are jealous of your achievements and the only way they can make themselves look good is by making you look bad! What they are doing to you is wrong and your company has an obligation towards you to protect you from harrassment. Discuss your concerns with management and if the situation does not improve, maybe you should find alternative employment where you will be happier. Good luck and don''t allow anyone to bully you.

Reply to Kate
Posted by: Romany | 2011-12-15

You have obviously made a negative impression from day one. Graduates are not " expected" to make mistakes, not even on day 1. Do not consider yourself to be a " coward'' for wanting to leave. Take this as a life lesson and find yourself another job, which should be very easy as a black graduate, as you point out.
At your new job, be accurate, humble and friendly from day 1. Mistakes is costly for any company and rather ask if you are unsure.
Good luck.

Reply to Romany
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011-12-15

The sad truth about most people at work isn't that colleagues hate you, but that they actually don't care at all. Everybody makes mistakes - they show their quality by how they handle the mistakes. And you can tell the quality of an organization by the way they deal with an employees mistakes - they're supposed to respond with understanding, advice, and if necessary further job training to help you recover from the mistake and avoid repeating it.
You should be able to discuss these problems with the HR person or department, who should help to put things right.
You don't mention what specific sort of rumours have arisen, or why anyone would bother to do this, so its hard to advise more specifically about that.
Also, a job skill they never remember to teach or even demonstrate in university is Humility. I found early on I was often by far the cleverest person in the room, which is fine - but when they feel you are reminding them of that, they find that objectionable. There's an art in being humble, and letting others feel competent and included

Reply to cybershrink
Posted by: Candy | 2011-12-14

Why make it about race again boring! You can''t spell so maybe you colleagues are spreading rumours about that?

Reply to Candy

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