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Dilemma - am I being over-sensitive?

#1 Dilemma - am I being over-sensitive?
17/08/2007 11:52


I work for a smallish team in a medium-sized company. Lately, I've become more aware of little things that my colleagues are saying or doing and I'm not sure whether they should be giving me cause for concern. Just little comments or mannerisms which indicate that they perhaps don't respect me or don't like me/are jealous of me in some way/think I'm not up to scratch (or something along those lines? I just can't figure it out).

I can't be too specific because for all I know they may well read these boards. However, some examples are:

1. Little comments between one or two people when they think I can't hear, e.g. along the lines of "he's odd... very strange" (being objective, there's nothing about me which is 'odd' in the slightest, except maybe I'm a little unassertive although that hardly constitutes being 'weird'. I don't wear daffy duck ties or go to goth conventions at the weekend or anything like that. I'm just your run of the mill company man who dresses and acts conservatively and who just wants to do a fair day's work for a fair day's salary and spend time with my family at the weekend)

2. Slightly disrespectful little comments, e.g. in front of clients my boss said (amongst other similar things in the same conversation) "he's quite good at XYZ but poor at understanding the high-level issues" (this comment coming from a guy who once spent 5 hours remedying a £2.60 error on a £22K invoice)

3. My boss constantly asking clients, suppliers, whoever for 'feedback' about me and trying to draw out shortcomings where possible or even creating a few ideas of his own and framing the question in such a way that they agree with him. He then offers to 'sort it out' for them

4. Colleagues often telling more senior colleagues or my line manager things about me which aren't good - e.g. "I asked him to do XYZ but he still hasn't done it" (even though I may have agreed a completion date with them that hasn't yet passed and I'm on top of the task) or "he may have an issue with hierarchy" when I find a colleague of the same level as me trying to position himself as an intermediary between me and my line manager (i.e. agreeing things with him and then giving me the work, receiving his feedback on my work and then passing it on to me, etc) and I instead give the completed work directly to the line manager instead

5. Colleagues giving me unfair or untrue feedback in appraisals (e.g. saying that I need to be better at meeting deadlines, when in fact I have _always_ delivered on time and to the required standard - time management is certainly not one of my weaknesses)

6. My line manager sometimes giving me feedback which describes himself more than it does me

7. People sometimes just giving me odd looks or looking me up and down, almost as if they're sizing me up!! I dress normally, have a normal physique, act normally... so what's that about?

What do you make of all this?

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#2 RE: Dilemma - am I being over-sensitive?
17/08/2007 13:23

Bothered to deleted (#0)

Leave !

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#3 RE: Dilemma - am I being over-sensitive?
17/08/2007 14:42

mac to Bothered (#2)

Is there anyone there that you trust? An ally you could ask for more information/ some guidance?

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#4 RE: Dilemma - am I being over-sensitive?
17/08/2007 14:57

Robert to mac (#3)

I have a few friends in the department but they're not really the gossipy type and tend to just stay out of these kinds of things... I don't think I'll have much luck with them

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#5 RE: Dilemma - am I being over-sensitive?
17/08/2007 15:39

Paneer to Robert (#4)


IMO you have rightly identified that you currently have insufficient information to understand and deal with this issue.

I would guess that you are using this forum to increase your knowledge. Unfortunately, I believe it is unlikely that anyone here will have a really good idea you haven't thought of - except speaking to someone else on the inside (i.e. a colleague) who can give you a real insight into what is going on.

I sympathise 'cos it's a difficult thing to do but if you don't speak to a colleague - and keep rationalising why you can't - I'd be surprised if you manage to clear this up quickly.

In your position, I would treat all the work I was asked to do as client / consultant and either insist on a schedule, with agreed (written) due dates or compile such a document / email myself and submit it for "approval". In this way, you will have documentary proof of the true position and this will allow you to develop a properly objective understanding.

Good luck!


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#6 RE: Dilemma - am I being over-sensitive?
17/08/2007 16:43

Same boat to Paneer (#5)

Sounds like he just don't like you and your colleagues are responding to that. Keeping themselves in favour by mimicking his behavour. I had that from my boss, he doesn't like me and I don't like him, however he has never questioned my ability or professionalism. I dealt with it by talking to him and saying I know we have a personal chemistry liking each other issue, but lets not let that get in the way of work and a year on its working for us. The main problem is that he is questioning your ability and professionalism, I'd say get while the getting is good, you can work with people you don't like and vice versa but you can't with people you don't respect and vice versa.

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#7 RE: Dilemma - am I being over-sensitive?
18/08/2007 09:20

ac slater to Same boat (#6)

A similar thing happened to me a few years back when I first started work as a fresh graduate. A manager took a dislike to me and some of my colleagues went along with it. They were drawing my competence into question, making things up about what I'd done incorrectly, marking me down for things that were completely untrue, talking about me behind my back etc. I was effectively being bullied and it did affect my career progression.

I was working with the same manager for a year and a half. It was only when I moved onto different projects that I've had the opportunity to succeed.

I'm not sure what his problem was, perhaps he thought I was a threat. I don't usually have any problem getting along with anyone. As a graduate though, you're more vunerable to this sort of thing.

I've often thought about what I could have done differently. It continued because I wasn't assertive enough and they knew they could get away with it. I should have recorded what was going on and reported it all to human resources. Call their bluff - they're probably just cowards. Or ask to be put onto another project.

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#8 RE: Dilemma - am I being over-sensitive?
18/08/2007 09:21

ME2 to Robert (#4)


I would suggest the best advice on this thread is go somewhere else. For whatever reason your boss seems to set his mind against you and is just trying to justify it now. The rest is all people falling in step lest they be next for the treatment. You can tough it out if you like but maybe you should consider that

a) life really is short

b) you being depressed will not exactly be cheering your family up

c) the more anxious you become the worst your performance will get

d) Sometimes you don't actually have to have done something for people not to like you.

You seem like a smart guy so don't waste your time with this. Move on and up.

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