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Question
Posted by: Dot | 2008/08/08

HOW TO DEAL WITH THE BACKSTABBER?

I work for a firm of attorneys (lots of Court work) and currently work with someone who hates my guts. She started working at our firm about 4 months ago as a secretary, unfortunately with a law degree and has the attitude that she knows everything better than anyone else, even her own boss. I have a huge workload and the understanding between me and my boss is that I work overtime as and when it suites me. So, I am at the office at 06h30 in the morning and work until about 16h00. I take about 1/2 hour lunch. If I don' t want to work, I don' t. If I do want to work, I do. When this woman started here, her attitude immediately was that she should inform me of the labour laws and should " help"  me in acquiring better working conditions. I never had a problem with my working conditions. When we have a lot of work, I work the overtime, when the workload is less (such as when there are no trials), I work normal office hours and usually my boss will then give me more time off, i.e. will tell me to take the afternoon off, etc. When she started with her " helping"  process, I informed her that I don' t have a problem with my boss and don' t need any " help" . I am happy with my situation as it is. I have a wonderful boss! She then started with her " attacks"  on me. I had 2 very nice friends in the work place, who has worked with me for some time (about 3 years) and we have never had any problems. This lady has now started telling them that I have complained about them, don' t like them interupting me, don' t want them to talk with me when I work, etc. I was confronted by one of them with this story, and told her that I don' t know where the other one got her " information"  from, as I never said anything nasty about any of my 2 friends. Unfortunately, it seems that this one has a way of getting to people and my 2 friends are now ex-friends. (I must also say that I was informed by a friend who worked for this one' s previous employer that she is a backstabber and trouble maker). My attitude towards this one, is that I simply ignore her, but she continues with the lies. How do I deal with her??

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Our expert says:
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Why on earth would anyone with a law degree be working as a secretary ? Either something sinister in her work history, or in some other way she just couldn't hack it as a lawyer. And with suich a large chip on her shoulder, may be trying to prove herself in a dominant way.
Surely you need to discuss this woman and her fondness for finding "problems" in your work conditions, with that wodnerful boss of yours ? Especially about her backstabbing. As her manipulating causes problems for him ( through its impact on your work ) it affects him as well as you, and you can work together to resolve it. The fact that she has a past history of this is very relevant. Maybe her nasty behaviours have something to do with her not working as a lawyer ?

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