Dear Annie: Geri is not the best
Dear Annie: I work with a woman who, for some reason, is absolutely desperate to hoard all the work, all day, every day. “Geri” answers the phone on a half a ring. If something comes out of the fax, then she will run to get it before anyone else can. If you tell her that you’re handling something, then she will pretend not to hear you and walk all over you and the work you’ve already put into the project. If she does not get her way, then she will cry and tell the boss that you are mistreating her. She has one of the brownest noses I have ever seen. At this point, I believe that she has become a human suppository to my boss. She has absolutely no idea how to share and gets very upset when you treat her the same way she treats you.
Geri has been nasty to me since Day One. When I’ve told her I don’t appreciate the way she treats me, she tells me that I’d better get used to it.
“Quantity, not quality” must be her personal motto. She will, on occasion, share work that comes out of the fax with everyone else in the room except myself (but only after she’s bitten off more than she can chew). She has told me that the reason I don’t like her is that she has “a work ethic.” I would beg to differ. It seems more along the lines of a personality disorder and/or extreme arrogance. I work with quite a few other people who have healthy work ethics. We get along just fine.
She also doesn’t believe that she can ever make a mistake. If she does and you catch it, she will instantly blame someone else or say, “What’s the big deal?”
She even has made flyers saying that “Geri is the best!” and “Geri is a NICE PERSON!” I can’t wait till she passes them out!
I am at the end of my rope. I’d hate to quit because the days that she doesn’t show up are pretty darn good. We laugh; we work; and, get this, we share.
The only time she is kind is when she wants something from you, whether it be knowledge or for you to pick her up some food or perhaps complete a task that she feels is beneath her. Please offer me some guidance. — Enough Is Enough
Dear Enough: In my years writing this column I’ve heard of all sorts of behavior, but someone making “I’m Great!” flyers — that is a first. Clearly, Geri has some issues that didn’t begin with you, and they won’t end with you. Acknowledging that might help you find some measure of peace with the situation. That’s not to say you should put up with workplace bullying. The first step toward addressing that is talking to Geri again. Ask what you could do that might make your working relationship smoother. Let her know how her behavior impacts you. Don’t rattle off a laundry list of all her transgressions. Focus instead on the overarching pattern of her taking on so much of the workload.
If this peace talk doesn’t bear out results, it’s time to go up the chain of command. Request to meet with human resources (and if there is no HR, then your supervisor). Go into the meeting seeking solutions, not pointing fingers. And again, leave out all the personal animosity you may feel toward Geri. Present only the ways in which her behavior has concretely impacted your work.
Whatever happens, try to disengage from her antics as much as possible. “The Geri Show” may go on, but you don’t have to tune in.