Author Topic: How to react to lying coworker (long) Small Update post 21  (Read 8286 times)

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heathert

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How to react to lying coworker (long) Small Update post 21
« on: March 06, 2014, 11:31:09 AM »
I am relatively new at a job, along with a coworker I will call Nancy (we started at the same time in a group of people) who has really angered a lot of people with lies and other misbehavior. 

When we were all in training she told some of us that she worked at a bar part time in addition to the day time job we were training for but it just so happened the bar she said she worked at was the same one another coworkers parents frequented (I will call the other coworker Betty) and so Betty asked the owner if Nancy was working there and the owner never even heard of her.  This upset Betty so she called Nancy out on it and Nancy didn't apologize but acted as if she never said it.  Later, she started making up stories about our training boss, that he worked another job full-time as well as the one we were at.  She also started giving out all the trainee's performance stats that she shouldn't have had access to and telling everyone what they were.  Turns out the training boss did tell her what they were to show her that everyone has something that they're working on improving but it was supposed to be confidential.  She also told people she could make any mistake and as long as she didn't do it twice, she couldn't get fired.  There's more but it would take too long to write it all down.

Nancy hasn't made a lot of friends here.  In fact, everyone has been hired on permanently except her, she's still considered a trainee.  We're soon going to be on the same schedule and I don't want to end up being stuck eating lunch with her but whenever your in the lunch room, people will just slide up to you and talk. I don't want a perception that we are friends and I've been trying to stay out of this so far.

My question is, what to do if she tries to sit with me at lunch?
« Last Edit: March 11, 2014, 09:00:06 PM by heathert »

TootsNYC

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Re: How to react to lying coworker (long)
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2014, 11:33:44 AM »
Get up and move? Take your lunch back to your desk, maybe, or suddenly see someone on the other side of the room that you want to ask something of.

Ignore her?

Crazy Chicken Lady

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Re: How to react to lying coworker (long)
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2014, 11:40:44 AM »
Bring a book or magazine to read while you're eating. Or you could play Angry Birds on your phone so you look busy.
If she tries to start a converstation with you, just give short but polite answers.

meronym

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Re: How to react to lying coworker (long)
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2014, 11:41:49 AM »
I would say that if you're scheduled with her and you can't tolerate her company at all, you should eat elsewhere. At your desk, somewhere else in the building, or out.

I started to suggest that you get up and move or try to eat with someone else and ignore her but that felt a bit too high school-ish.

heathert

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Re: How to react to lying coworker (long)
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2014, 08:43:37 PM »
I would love to just eat at my desk but we're not allowed so I'd have to either eat in my car or the lunch room. I don't like to eat out at lunch--yes, I'm funny that way--so that would be a no go.

I have to ask if anyone has worked with a person who lied incessantly for no apparent reason and do you have any thoughts as to why they would do this?  It's very strange to me.

veronaz

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Re: How to react to lying coworker (long)
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2014, 09:02:49 PM »
Get up and move? Take your lunch back to your desk, maybe, or suddenly see someone on the other side of the room that you want to ask something of.

Ignore her?

POD

OP, as a new employee I think you should focus on the actual job duties as opposed to who is saying what or what to do or what others might think if Nancy comes and sits next to you.

cicero

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Re: How to react to lying coworker (long)
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2014, 09:03:10 PM »
I doubt this is going to be an issue for long - people like Nancy end up getting fired pretty fast. As for what to do if it becomes an issue- like crazy chicken lady suggests,bring something that will keep you busy.


I would love to just eat at my desk but we're not allowed so I'd have to either eat in my car or the lunch room. I don't like to eat out at lunch--yes, I'm funny that way--so that would be a no go.

I have to ask if anyone has worked with a person who lied incessantly for no apparent reason and do you have any thoughts as to why they would do this?  It's very strange to me.
yes and I was also married to someone like that. Why do they do it? Who knows. Low self esteem, immature, etc. All I know is that it's impossible to have a healthy relationship with someone like that

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purple

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Re: How to react to lying coworker (long)
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2014, 09:04:01 PM »
It's just one of those horrible facts of life that all of us will have to work with people we don't like from time to time.

Just keep it professional, whether in the office or in the lunch room.  Polite, but professional.

Make yourself busy in the lunchroom with a magazine or book.  If she walks in and sees you with your nose buried in a book, she should take that as a sign that you are unavailable for conversation and if she doesn't, it gives you a perfectly polite reason to shut the conversation down if she does try to engage you.

If you do get stuck in a conversation with her, just give answers of no more than 3 words and don't ask any follow-up questions.  You can make a game of trying to answer everything with 3 words.  >:D

If she starts talking about things she shouldn't be, such as that confidential information, I think it's not rude of you to be quite direct and say, "This is not an appropriate conversation, please do not discuss this in front of me" and walk away.  Am I reading it correctly in the OP that somebody showed her that confidential information when they shouldn't have? Because if so, that person ought to be addressed by their superior also perhaps?


JenJay

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Re: How to react to lying coworker (long)
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2014, 09:08:57 PM »
I'd either eat in my car (that was always my preference anyway so I could sit in the sun and listen to talk radio) or have headphones on. It's been my experience that a book or magazine won't help, people will just ask what you're reading or talk at you anyway.

wonderfullyanonymous

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Re: How to react to lying coworker (long)
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2014, 09:16:06 PM »
Headphones, and a book or magazine. If she starts talking to you, tell her you are reading a really interesting part and don't want to stop.


jmarvellous

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Re: How to react to lying coworker (long)
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2014, 09:17:16 PM »
I have found that bringing a book can help signal, "I need to be alone" (and you can even say, "I really want to read today, sorry" and ignore her after that). Or you can try making other friends (even if they're not best buddies) on your same shift, who'll form a small group with which Nancy will naturally not be included.

esposita

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Re: How to react to lying coworker (long)
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2014, 09:54:30 PM »
Try not to worry about others making assumptions about the two of you being friends just because you are scheduled to eat lunch at the same time. If everyone you work with is an adult with an ounce of common sense it won't be too hard for them to understand what is going on... that you are scheduled to eat lunch with the liar no one wants to talk to. They're probably more likely to pity you than anything!

TootsNYC

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Re: How to react to lying coworker (long)
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2014, 10:10:36 PM »
No comments about the lying thing, but as for her plopping downa nd joining you:

Feel free to just not engage. Don't be friendly, keep your eyes on your food, grunt your answers to any questions, or answer with the fewest words possible (think: Calvin Coolidge--I love purple's suggestion of 3 words or less; feel free to take your time to answer so you have time to decide which words to leave out to get it down that far). And maybe say, "I'm sorry, I like some alone time to decompress at lunch."

And conveniently ignore the fact that when someone you -like- sits down, you are more friendly and animated. You are not obligated to explain that in any way.
   (and if she says something, like, "I thought you wanted to decompress, and now you're talking to him," you look puzzled and say, "I'm not sure what you mean. But anyway, excuse me, I want to talk to my friend.")

veronaz

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Re: How to react to lying coworker (long)
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2014, 10:28:58 PM »
Pot-stirrers thrive on having an eager audience; they don’t know how to handle being politely ignored.

Look at food/book, and say “Could you please excuse me?”  Don’t apologize or explain.  She won’t like it but she’ll move on.

Stop fretting about her - she's not worth it.  Concentrate on the job.  If someone else starts to repeat what she has said, walk away.

Secret Squirrel

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Re: How to react to lying coworker (long)
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2014, 01:17:11 PM »
I agree with others.  I have worked with someone like this in the past. 

You are in a common lunch room, but will there be others that you can talk to instead of her or will it be just you and her?  Even if it is just you and her for lunch, I agree that others will not assume you are a liar as well and you are 'friends,' you just happen to have lunch scheduled at the same time. 

When I would be near my former lying co-worker, I would just give the one word answer.  eventually, they get bored and move on because you are not falling for their stories?  The following is a "true story" from lying co-worker: 

Lying Co worker:  Once I fell off a boat and got dragged under the ocean! 
Me:  *doing nothing but continuing to be very interested in my lunch*
LC: Yes, luckily a puffer fish went buy and I grabbed it and was able to inhale the air and made it to the surface to be rescued!
Me:  um-hm (continue to eat)
LC:  Blah blah blah...
Me:  Oh, excuse me, I have to answer this text / call / read this before I return to work / go talk to Sally / etc...