How can I handle this?

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Sorry this is so long, but I reeally need to vent and I need some advice too...I have been dating (online dating with my coworker for over 5 months, things are going great between us, but work is making us miserable. A girl we work with liked him before I started working there, and she texted him about it & he just ignored it (he told me this on our 2nd date). After that he still tried to be nice, and at the time he still wanted to be friends with her. When I started working there it seemed like she had a huge crush on him and she was always trying to get his attention, but he didn't seem too interested. She sits right next to him and she's really loud, but she just annoys him most of the time. One night a few of us were out at a bar, and the girl told me that everyone thinks they would make a cute couple- and I asked her if she liked him and she said "EWWWWW NOOO!!!!" (this girl is 30...not 5...)...

So we started dating (online dating with and we tried to keep it a secret as long as possible, but last month he told that girl who "used to" like him about us- he thought it would help our situation bc there was a lot of gossip going on in our office- and it was mainly caused by her (she's the only one who knew what happened between us-besides a different coworker that I am close friends with). After he told her, her & 2-3 other coworkers started giving me the cold shoulder- actually they were downright IGNORING me at a company event. I figured she would get over it and the whole thing would blow over, but it has been getting worse. She seems to always be trying to get me and my coworker (that I'm close friends with) in trouble & it seems like shes looking superclose to try to find any small little error that we make. I know that office gossip is a consequence of dating (online dating with a coworker, but this is getting out of hand- I am pretty good at my job, but she tries to rip me apart and find any little mistakes...The thing that bothers me most though is that she sits next to my bf (on the other side of the office from me) and talks to him all day, but she pretty much ignores me when she sees me.

When she first started giving me the cold shoulder he ignored her for a few days, but hes a very social guy, and he just wants everyone to get along-plus there are 2 other coworkers that sit right next to them that he talks to, so she butts into their conversations. They used to go outside and smoke together, but when she started acting rude to me I asked him NOT to smoke with HER (he's been saying he wants to quit anyway)- he's been good about not smoking with her (even though he still sneaks outside for a cigarette by himself sometimes)- but now he wants me to reconsider, bc he wants to talk to her about how shes been treating me. I DON'T want that to happen though, bc shes just an annoying miserable girl and she will get pleasure just knowing that she got to me. I know he loves me, and he wouldn't cheat on me (especially w/ her- she looks kinda like a troll)- but she seems to thrive on any attention (whether it's positive or negative attention), so I feel like the best thing is for him to not go out and smoke & talk to her. I'm not the jealous type-he has a bunch of friends that are girls and I absolutely adore them! I just don't want him to socialize w/ HER...

I feel like she will just act nice to me when my bfs around, but then she will get worse when he's not there... My friend had an exgf just like this girl, and the only thing that worked was ignoring her- I know he can't completely ignore her, bc we all work together, but it's hard for me to understand why he can't just be civil when it comes to work related things, but then ignore her besides that. I try to pick my battles wisely, so I've been trying not to make a big issue out of it, but it's been getting worse lately. How can I explain to my bf how this girl is? (w/out making myself look like a jealous gf)Also does anyone have any suggestions on how I can maybe stop her from ripping apart every little detail of my work and trying to get me in trouble? My bf actually overheard her today saying "I wanted to get her in trouble so bad, but I realized I messed up too" and he asked "who were you trying to get in trouble?" and she just gave him a little smirk and said "don't worry..." (which means it was most likely me, but if it wasnt then it was my coworker that Im close friends w/...) Oh- and by the way, she messes up on stuff at work all the time, but shes a level above me in the company, so I don't really get to catch it that often- but other people do... Anyways I know this is very long, and if you're still reading I really appreciate it..

Comments (4)

Your question was: How can I handle this?.

There are a couple of ways to handle this. Since only you know your corporate climate at work, only you will know which way to go. If she is a a level above you and is interfering with your work or sabatoging your work, you may wish to go to your immediate supervisor about this and see if she can intercede on your behalf. If she is just being annoying and difficult to socialize with, then invite her to lunch and have a pleasant but direct conversation about your work relationship. The key is not to discuss your romantic relationship (thru with her, but how your work relationship (thru withher has changed since you and he have started dating (online dating with and you would like the two of you to rise above this situation. If nothing works and you wish to keep this boyfriend, then you may wish to consider changing jobs or depts within your company or look for employment elsewhere...

Comment #1

Thank you for your advice. I may try to do that, however my office is really "clique"y ... this girl is good friends with our boss, so he won't help the situation. He actually lectured me & my bf for hanging out too much at a company event- my bf stuck up for me saying that he was the only person talking to me, because those girls were all ignoring me (and the girl that I am close friends with couldn't make it to the event). My boss simply told us "that's the consequence of having a work relationship"... I was thinking today, maybe stepping around my boss, and going to our human resources department (in our corporate headquarters office) to put in a formal complaint against her (you can do it anonymously too).

I could try your suggestion about going out to lunch, although we aren't really friends so I doubt she would go with me- before I even started going out w/ my bf I tried to tag along out to lunch w/ her and another coworker (they go out together every single day), but they said they were just going together that day... (HOW RUDE!) Today I was in the clear, but she found another mistake in my friend's work, and made a HUUUUGE production out of it (it was a simple typing error, and it didn't cause any major problems for anybody).. my friend keeps getting mad, because she feels like this isn't fair & shes kind of blaming me (because none of this drama happened before I started seeing my bf). I feel like she wants me to quit, so she can move in on my bf (even though she sits next to him anyway) I know he would never cheat (especially with her), but I'm not really considering getting a new job anymore, bc I don't want to give her the satisfaction of knowing that she drove me to quit. I think maybe I should try to get her to come out to lunch with me when her buddy isn't in....

Comment #2

She's friends with your boss?! Oh no...then you are in a bit of a jam.Normally I would go to human resources when and if I attempted to get help from my supervisor or manager and could not get anywhere. I did this once many many years ago because my manager at the time wouldn't remove me from a sales territory that really needed a seasoned veteran and I was a brand new rep. The territory was too big and I didn't know how to cold call yet and I wasn't getting any training. I told her that I would go to her manager to get help to fix this problem and she said fine. So I did and he didn't help me either, so I went to human resources and the HR director did help me. My immediate manager told me she was shocked and hurt that I went to HR, but I told her that no one here wanted to help me and I could see that this particular territory was over my head.

I had to do what I had to do to make sure I didn't fail at my job. Eventually I got the territory that was a good fit for me and my experience level.If you feel that you and your friend are being unfairly targetted for mistakes and no one else is...then you need to make that known to your boss. If your boss disagrees with you or tries to fluff it over...then you can go to HR. It sounds like this woman is running a gang at work and that contributes to a hostile work environment, from which you should be protected legally. HR would know the answers to that.You dont have to go to lunch with this woman...but you need to be able to get her alone, away from her buddies and have a one on one with her and let her know what you know she is up to and that it needs to stop because her personal feelings, are getting in the way of getting the job done and that is not professional."my friend keeps getting mad, because she feels like this isn't fair & shes kind of blaming me (because none of this drama happened before I started seeing my bf"> this woman is a pro!!!! she knows how to make you feel isolated and unwanted...doesn't she? She will lay pressure on your friend so your friend turns on might want to tell your friend that she is falling for this woman's trap and manipulation.

For instance if you tell your boss that you feel that this woman has taken over the office and is creating a hostile work environment and a gang and he says or does need to have a log...a conversation log that details the dates, times and places you went to people for help. The same goes for any conversation you have with any of your coworkers. This guy you are dating...condones this behavior? Is he afraid of losing his job?You dont have to is not about is about your sanity and health. NO one, not even your BF is worth you losing your sleep or sanity over. Because by doing nothing about the situation...he is actually doing "something" and that "something" is allow this woman to ruin your job..

Comment #3

Thank you for your advice.. quite a bit has happened since my last post. This girl kept picking apart my friend's work so much, and insisted that we have a procedural meeting w/ the person who is in charge of procedural issues (because my boss is away til next month)... at first me and my friend were quiet during the meeting, but then we turned everything around about how we aren't trying to make excuses for our mistakes, but we feel like "certain people" are taking it too far, and also being disrespectful. I didn't think this woman (who is in charge while the boss is away) would understand because she has been chummy w/ the evil girl lately, but she said she knew exactly what we were talking about and she would try to help us. During the meeting we never mentioned names, but she knew exactly what was going on.As for my bf- I understood that he was being nice only to keep the peace, since the evil girl and her close friends watch his back in the office (even though he rarely makes mistakes).

Once he saw how upset it was getting me and he got part of the blame (for being nice to her, when she is trying to start an office war), he understood where I was coming from, and he has started to ignore her again. Not TOTALLY, because she sits right by him, but he is no longer trying to crack jokes all day long w/ her. And to top it off, the other day was my bday and my bf sent me flowers, and since I was in the procedural meeting (that she insisted me & my friend have), there was no one to answer the door for the florist- so she had to open the door and take my flowers to my desk!! HAHA karma is starting to get her back a lil bit... I'm not sure I want to bring it up to HR yet. I think that I will wait a few weeks to see how everything is going, and if she is still pulling this crap when my boss gets back, then I will talk to him.

I think that this should stop soon, since my bf is requesting that she get moved (or he gets moved), because she is loud and annoying all day anyway. I feel that as long as he doesn't give her too much attention, then she will stop (because that's how it was when he ignored her the other time). He just needs to learn that he can't always be a nice guy and start talking to her again, because she feeds off his attention, and that's when she starts to think who she is, and rip apart my work. Anyways, I just realized that this is another LONG post-thank you for your advice I'll let you know how it goes~Shnorkels..

Comment #4

This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


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