Author Topic: Spoiling for a fight  (Read 5541 times)

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happygrrl

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Spoiling for a fight
« on: May 13, 2013, 07:43:56 PM »
I'll try not to be long winded here, but I have an older co-worker(CW) who has been nothing but rude and contentious to me for the 5 months that I been at the company. Since she is older (I was taught to respect my elders), and only works 4 days a months, I have left the incidents slide. Until 2 weeks ago.

CW refuses to call me by my name, despite my name tag, and that fact that I have asked her before to use it. She came into our training room, where my office is, and started twapping me on my shoulder with a rolled up newspaper, while saying, "Sue, Sue, Sue, Sue..." (my name is Sharon), and trying to talk to me while i was trying to assist an employee that was taking a state mandated test (CW knew what the employees were doing). I turned to her and asked her in a low voice (tests, remember) to call me by my real name, and she got huffy with me and started talking loudly how she was just trying to help me (???), and that I was rude, and she was just making a ruckus (tests, remember?) This was in front of the employees, and another coworker. I chose to ignore her, and she left, and then started on me again to my office mate (who was coming back in from lunch), and I went out into the hall, and closed the door, and proceeded to tell her that I didn't appreciate her talking about me behind my back, and if she had something to say, then say it to my face. She said I was rude, and I apologized, and told her that I was trying to proctor at (she knew that), and that we didn't need the interuptions. she went to HR, filed a complaint against me, and myself, and my office mate got called in for a formal statement.

She will be back into my office area on Thursday. I want to not say anything to her, but from reading another thread, would this be considered rude/childish? I just don't want to say anything to her. I just have a gut feeling that she is spoiling for a fight, and I don't want to go there. However, she must be in the room, and so must I. Any thoughts or suggestions?
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MrTango

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Re: Spoiling for a fight
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2013, 07:58:53 PM »
Go straight to HR with this one.  If I were in HR and I found out that an employee knowingly disrupted another employee's training/testing, I would come down very hard on them.

Oops, missed the part where she went to HR herself.  If she wants to string herself up, let her.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2013, 08:01:07 PM by MrTango »

WillyNilly

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Re: Spoiling for a fight
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2013, 08:23:46 PM »
First of all, for your own sake and that of everyone else, if you are in the US, banish this thought for your entire mindset, permanently:

Since she is older (I was taught to respect my elders)... I have left the incidents slide.

At work, everyone is the same age: adult. Anything else is grounds for your being considered age-ist and discriminatory.

That said, I think you should respond, non emotionally, factually to the complaint. Be as specific as possible - dates, times, quotes, etc. Let HR know exactly what happened with this incident, and what has happened in the past (the past being relevant as to why you confronted her).

As far as saying anything to her - this is now an HR situation. You should speak to her about work related issues as they arise, but do not bring up the incident until HR has addressed it with both of you. If she tries to bring it up, calmly say "that is not something I will discuss with you, its in HR's hands now."

happygrrl

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Re: Spoiling for a fight
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2013, 08:36:37 PM »
I am in the US, and you're right. I wish I would have never let that factor into my decision not to say anything about her treatment of me earlier. That will never happen again; lesson learned.

And I really like your wording. Thanks! :)
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DollyPond

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Re: Spoiling for a fight
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2013, 08:54:47 PM »
I can't get past the twapping on the shoulder with a rolled up newspaper.  Where/How is that EVER appropriate behavior???

LEMon

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Re: Spoiling for a fight
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2013, 09:01:02 PM »
Have you been able to give HR a full version of what happened?  If not, do it ASAP.  Get the test taker to give their side.  Do not let her be the one to paint you as the bad guy.  Let HR know that there are issues to be dealt with here: striking you repeatedly with a newspaper, showing you no respect by refusing to call you by your name, not respecting the testing conditions, discussing private matters with other people, etc. 

Icily professional would be the way to go.  Only deal with her regarding work.  Do not allow yourself to apologize if you have done nothing wrong.

Plus document. 

sammycat

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Re: Spoiling for a fight
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2013, 09:07:06 PM »
Have you been able to give HR a full version of what happened?  If not, do it ASAP.  Get the test taker to give their side.  Do not let her be the one to paint you as the bad guy.  Let HR know that there are issues to be dealt with here: striking you repeatedly with a newspaper, showing you no respect by refusing to call you by your name, not respecting the testing conditions, discussing private matters with other people, etc. 

Icily professional would be the way to go.  Only deal with her regarding work.  Do not allow yourself to apologize if you have done nothing wrong.

Plus document.

POD  and pod also to ridding yourself of the thought that her age gives her automatic right to respect. It most definitely does not.

artk2002

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Re: Spoiling for a fight
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2013, 09:12:11 PM »
Be preemptive. If you have another run in with her, go straight to HR.  Make sure tour story is the first one heard.
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Ygraine

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Re: Spoiling for a fight
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2013, 11:32:56 AM »
If you haven't already started documenting these instances, start now. 

veronaz

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Re: Spoiling for a fight
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2013, 03:44:08 PM »
Quote
Since she is older (I was taught to respect my elders), and only works 4 days a months, I have left the incidents slide.

happygrrl, I'm curious what you mean by "older".  ???

(I feel she was rude, btw, but i'm puzzled by that part of your post.)
« Last Edit: May 14, 2013, 03:45:59 PM by veronaz »

Hillia

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Re: Spoiling for a fight
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2013, 03:48:05 PM »
Older than the OP, I imagine.

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veronaz

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Re: Spoiling for a fight
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2013, 03:56:13 PM »
Older than the OP, I imagine.

Obviously, but what age would that be?

CakeBeret

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Re: Spoiling for a fight
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2013, 03:59:00 PM »
Older than the OP, I imagine.

Obviously, but what age would that be?

I don't see why that's relevant. I'm confused by your line of questioning, to be honest.

OP, the woman sounds like an immature power tripper. I think you should write or type your account of what happened before you meet with HR, and read it over several times to make sure you're not leaving anything out. Give HR names of the test-takers who witnessed this woman badgering you while you were proctoring the exam.
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Hillia

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Re: Spoiling for a fight
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2013, 04:01:52 PM »
The OP states that she was raised to 'respect her elders' - in many families/cultures, this means that persons older than you are not to be questioned, ever, and that anything they do or say is automatically right.  This explains why the OP was not more proactive when the coworker was rude and disrespectful to her at the outset.

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veronaz

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Re: Spoiling for a fight
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2013, 04:03:39 PM »
Older than the OP, I imagine.

Obviously, but what age would that be?

I don't see why that's relevant. I'm confused by your line of questioning, to be honest.

OP, the woman sounds like an immature power tripper. I think you should write or type your account of what happened before you meet with HR, and read it over several times to make sure you're not leaving anything out. Give HR names of the test-takers who witnessed this woman badgering you while you were proctoring the exam.

It's only relevant because it was an issue in the opening post.

Not sure why you're confused.