Author Topic: Delusional power freak at work  (Read 15729 times)

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Craftymom

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Delusional power freak at work
« on: June 23, 2013, 06:25:10 PM »
BG:AT my place of work we have Boss and that is it for leadership. There is his best pal who is a regular worker like the rest of us who unoffically takes on "boss" role if Boss is not there, but since people know what we are doing and what needs done, it is not anything real as far as leadership goes. (We have a really laid-back workplace)
A couple of months ago, Boss left work early while we had a task to do and the entire afternoon PF (power Freak) kept sniping at me. That he "hated it when boss left, as people think they could do whatever they want". Riding my butt about speed (which was at least double his doing the same task) and productivity. Kept telling me I wasn't doing things up to par etc. ALL.AFTERNOON.LONG. I know I ended up talking to Boss the next day about this as I really felt he was one) singling me out and two) was questioning my integrity. Boss listened patiently, agreed with me and told me he would take care of it. Things settled down, and I thought he had put a choke-chain on PF. Until Friday....

 On Friday, I was at work doing specifically-assigned task by Boss. Boss then left work early to go do fun family activity between 1st break and lunch. I had been starting to feel crappy and knew that things were a bit on the slow side, so I told the fellow that was working with me that I wanted to get task done and delivered and then see about going home. I knew that taking a real lunch would be counter-productive, as I was trying to get out of there earlier, but I really needed a breather. I decided to take my 2nd short break (Which I was entitled to) instead of a full-fledged lunch. When I finished specific persnickity part of task, (there was a potential for messed up labels on some of the product, due to another cw's mistake, so I opened the entire order of 5 cases and rechecked to make sure) I told nice cw I was going for that 15. I looked at my phone on my way out, and checked the time 12:27 .  I went to my car texted hubby, and general break stuff. At 12:42 I walked back in the door and went to resume task.

PF then says, "Did you clock out for lunch?" I told him no I had not, as I only took other 15. He was like Oh.. I thought that was the end of it. Then a few minutes later, he starts questioning me about the time I left and "to his calculations I had been gone like 25 mins". I explained what time I had left and returned. He then tossed out his "I hate when boss leaves as people do what they want" lament. He then dropped it again. A few more minutes later, he called me into the office to speak to me yet again. "The numbers just didn't add up". I told him I was sorry, that he was mistaken and I don't play around like that at work. He then told me that I left before he went to lunch (not true), and then in the same breath, he says, "When I went to lunch, you were sitting right there." (Which was it PF? First you insist I left before you, then you assert I was right there working when you left. ) He said it's over, no worries, but "it just didn't add up". There was nothing else I could say, so I went back to try and finish task again.

I was working along on the last case of items and just trying to finish so I could get out the door at this point. I was feeling worse, and the energy wasted on trying to convince this jerk that I didn't wait for the second the boss bailed to go and goof off, take long breaks etc had worn me out more. I was on the verge of tears, I was SO frustrated. This guy has no real power, and yet he had ridden my back at least 3 times so far since noon. He then came over again and questioned me as to "why was I so angry and throwing things?" I looked up and said what on earth are you talking about, I am not throwing anything. He then started bugging me as to why was I angry. "I said it was all over, why are you angry?"  I told him I was angry because he was questioning my work ethic and integrity and I take that seriously. I finally got rid of him, finished up the task, delivered it and texted boss that I was not feeling great and needed to go home.

I strongly suspect that PF has or will contact Boss with his unfounded crap.
Do I wait for Boss to speak to me, or do I go and speak to him? I really think Boss needs to know that there has been a resurgence of this PF behavior.
This could have just been a way to amuse himself all afternoon by PF, and he may not say a word to Boss, or he just as easily could have filled Boss in on my "misdeeds" and I could be facing an unpleasant chat tomorrow. Which I have no problem setting boss straight on the facts. I am just very frustrated that I was questioned so much over something so trivial. PF sees me go out to 15's twice a day and come back and I am never late. In fact, I am back and working sometimes up to 5 full mins faster than other people (including PF) that left the same time as I did.

I know without a doubt, I did not do anything that I should not have. I have gone over this again and again. I was allowed that break, I took only the alotted break time. The only time that got wasted, was in answering PF's repeated questioning. There was nothing wrong with not feeling great and leaving early.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2013, 06:55:21 PM by Craftymom »

Curious Cat

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Re: Delusional power freak at work
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2013, 06:52:51 PM »
I think the words you are looking for are "hostile work environment" as in that is what delusional coworker is creating when boss is out of the office. I would bring it up in just those terms.

Craftymom

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Re: Delusional power freak at work
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2013, 07:02:41 PM »
I was just rethinking this again, and to make one thing more clear for readers is, PF started questioning me at roughly 12:43 and I left the building at roughly 1:30-35 to deliver the finished task. So, the total time span of the 4 times he questioned me occurred over roughly 45 mins.

Shoo

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Re: Delusional power freak at work
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2013, 07:04:17 PM »
I think the words you are looking for are "hostile work environment" as in that is what delusional coworker is creating when boss is out of the office. I would bring it up in just those terms.

Yes.  Tell your boss this is how it feels, and use those exact words.

alkira6

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Re: Delusional power freak at work
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2013, 07:05:34 PM »
Why exactly are you letting this person question you?  They have no power to ride you, write you up, or direct your work.  The next time they start in just tell them that everything has been covered. 

Shoo

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Re: Delusional power freak at work
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2013, 07:07:12 PM »
Why exactly are you letting this person question you?  They have no power to ride you, write you up, or direct your work.  The next time they start in just tell them that everything has been covered. 

I agree with this too.  Maybe next time he starts in on you, you should say, "You are not the boss.  Stop harassing me and pay attention to your OWN work."

Justifying what you're doing and explaining yourself to this guy only feeds his belief that he IS your boss.  Stop doing that.

MorgnsGrl

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Re: Delusional power freak at work
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2013, 07:26:47 PM »
Why exactly are you letting this person question you?  They have no power to ride you, write you up, or direct your work.  The next time they start in just tell them that everything has been covered. 

I agree with this too.  Maybe next time he starts in on you, you should say, "You are not the boss.  Stop harassing me and pay attention to your OWN work."

Justifying what you're doing and explaining yourself to this guy only feeds his belief that he IS your boss.  Stop doing that.

I like this. Or, "You're my co-worker, not my supervisor. Is repeatedly harassing me about your misconception of the facts really the best use of your work time?"

MrTango

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Re: Delusional power freak at work
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2013, 07:52:51 PM »
Next time co-worker starts criticizing you, I'd suggest a very direct: "You are not my manager.  Leave me alone."

PeterM

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Re: Delusional power freak at work
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2013, 08:31:16 PM »
Next time co-worker starts criticizing you, I'd suggest a very direct: "You are not my manager.  Leave me alone."

I myself would add, "Either make a formal complaint about me or shut up and let me get back to work."

ETA: I'd also make a note of the exact time whenever he starts harassing you, and another note when he shuts up and leaves. If he asks, tell him you're calculating precisely how much time he's wasting rather than doing his actual job.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2013, 08:33:03 PM by PeterM »

CrazyDaffodilLady

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Re: Delusional power freak at work
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2013, 09:29:36 PM »
Honestly, at some point I'd start singing the theme song from Malcolm in the Middle: "You're not the boss of me now. You're not the boss of me now."

to hear song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZuvmajj-wU
It takes two people to play tug of war. If you don't want to play, don't pick up the rope.

Oh Joy

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Re: Delusional power freak at work
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2013, 09:47:50 PM »
Next time, could you try something like 'I'm glad Boss has you to head up any problems that arise when he's out.  Has he asked you to watch our working hours as well?' Tone would be an important element.

gramma dishes

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Re: Delusional power freak at work
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2013, 10:06:45 PM »
Personally it sounds to me like the guy is on a power trip.  He calls you into his office?  He harasses you both in his office and at your own workspace?  He keeps records on your time? -- incorrectly?  He accuses you of stuff? 

He upsets you.
He likes upsetting you.
It makes him feel powerful to be able to upset you.
It's a control thing.

Talk to your boss.

Craftymom

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Re: Delusional power freak at work
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2013, 07:01:14 AM »
One further clarification: It wasn't PF"s office, he doesn't have one. It was Boss' office. Due to the nature of our work, we pretty much go in and out of B's office as we need to, unless the door is shut.

I will be at work in a couple of hours, and will hopefully have some kind of update tonight.

hjaye

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Re: Delusional power freak at work
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2013, 09:00:49 AM »
Why exactly are you letting this person question you?  They have no power to ride you, write you up, or direct your work.  The next time they start in just tell them that everything has been covered.

My thoughts exactly!!  If this person is just a PF, and is not really in a position of authority over you, then your justifying yourself to him just confirms in his mind that he has the right to exert authority over you.  If he does not have the authority, when he starts questioning you, tell him it's none of his business, then make sure you tell your boss about the situation.

Pen^2

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Re: Delusional power freak at work
« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2013, 09:16:12 AM »
As others have said, this guy is not your superior. After he questions you once and you point out his error the first time, there's no need for you to engage him if he tries to continue. "It just doesn't add up." "What an interesting assumption. I'm going back to my task now."

I would speak to Boss proactively if possible, in case there's any chance of preventing this guy from poisoning the well against you. You need to explain to him that a) this guy is continuing to create a hostile work environment (great words! another great: bully), b) he is preventing you from doing your job as a result, and c) he waits until Boss is away before doing this (i.e. PF cannot consistently work well without supervision). Be concerned, not angry (if you can). Ask Boss how you can both find a way to prevent this from happening again, as Boss talking with PF clearly didn't work last time. And find out what Boss recommends you should do if when it happens again, "just in case." Getting Boss to help you brainstorm will help establish in his mind that he's on your 'team' in this, if it comes down to that. Let's hope not!

Personally, I like carrying a small notebook with me ala Shaun of the Dead. When PF starts, I would jot down while writing aloud: "sorry, I just have to make a quick note: twelve fifty two... called away from task by PF, questioned again about misconception..." which will put anyone's hair on end. People generally behave better when they're being monitored, even if only by a piece of paper.