General Etiquette > All In A Day's Work

Working with a Bully

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My DH has worked in a theater production every Christmas season for the last 7 years.  It's hard work but he enjoys it quite a bit.  There is one person who has worked on this same production with him for the same number of years. Three years ago, she began correcting everything he did. If he moved, it was the wrong move. If he went left, it should've been right. He didn't put things away properly for the next show. He blocked her movement for the next scene. Just a constant stream of corrections that got worse as the season went on. Others noticed that he was the main outlet for her frustrations and while they said they'd bring it up to the director, I'm not sure they did. I know my DH did and he seemed to be sympathetic.

This year he was asked to do the production on the weekends like he has done in previous years but he REALLY doesn't want to work with her again. Is there a way he can tactfully ask if she is working with him or ask not to work with her?

In the past she worked 7 days a week for the length of the production with 2 or 3 random days off here and there. Separating them would mean she would work 5 days a week while he did his usual weekends. There are generally 2 or 3 people working on this production at a time. 

In a way I would understand if he choose to keep her over him. She'll be there every single day while he's just a part timer. But I would be really disappointed for him because he enjoys this so much and she was so miserable to him. I feel like it would be rewarding her nastiness.

is this voluntee work, or is he a paid employee?

"Thank you so much for asking me back to do the weekend Christmas production again.  I'd be happy to.  There is one issue however I'd like to clear up before I formally accept.  There was a bit of an issue last year with Ms Bully.  She really made my work quite unpleasant.  I know several cast members were upset by it, not to mention it took quite the toll on me.  I mentioned it to the Director last year; I was just wondering what changes have been implemented to prevent a repeat."

All said with a smile and pleasant upbeat tone.

This is a paid job. They actually pay quite well considering it's theater work.

WillyNilly, I like the way the question is presented. I'll see if he can use this. Hopefully, they can all make this work.

I like WillyNilly's suggested wording. One slight modification might be "... what can we do together to keep this from happening again?" The point being that your DH shows a willingness to work the problem. He just needs to make sure that his job isn't "put up with her."


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