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14 Apr 2003

War at Work
I've started working at a small company 4 years ago. I started straight as manager and at that time was only 21. I made a good name for myself and decided after three years to take a year of to study further.

This year I'm back - and on my past performances my old boss asked me to join the company again but on a different level. i decided to take the position because it offered a great salary.
i'm sharing my office with one older women (I'm 25 now and she is 44). She used to be very helpfull in the beginning but after awhile things became strange.
Whenever i try to help i'm "trying to check on her"
Whenever I speak to our boss ' I'm running to him with stories"
Whenver I don't smile "I have an attitude"
Whenever I smile "I have an attitude"

She and some other people I'm working with are always saying weird things... I just have this feeling that they don't want me here. They are all a different language then mine - and even though I can speak the language fluently with them I still have the feeling that I just don't fit...

Also, the people that took over my previous position before I left are trying their best to make me jealous about improvements they've made - "and how I could not do it in 3 years and they are now doing it in 1 year" (which I actaully think is good since I'm happy the bussiness is growing) but, I'm now in a different field - I have no more interest in the past job - and I know I was good and now it seems that I'm just upsetting everybody...

But they try to make everybody see that I actually couldn't do anything in the 3 years that i was managing the place.

I feel terrible - totally down and negative - I'm starting to believe that I'm no good, can't perform anymore... I'm becoming terribly tearfull and don't feel like doing anything anymore - I spend hours staring and not doing my work.
I sometimes just feel like really hurting the others - I don't hurt them - but I'm thinking more and more I'm going to say the same hurtful things about them - I want to break there spirits as they are breaking mine - I haven't done anything like this yet and I'm not such a person -

I would just like to do my work.

My doctor prescribed some 'sunshine tablets" NUZAC for my sad case. I've been on it now for two weeks. And I don't think I'm feeling better.

I think they are jealous but I don't know how to handle it. I've got a beautiful boyfriend, I've made a little bit of my dreams come true so far and I'm a happy person with nice hobbies and stuff - where as the people that's spreading rumours about me only live for work.

I'm at the moment laughing it all off by just saying - I know there's life after work! - but it's just becoming so difficult..

Am I thinking to much of myself? Am I maybe hurting other people without knowing it? I feel horribly "shit upon" and it's getting more and more difficult to keep my head high.

I need to get out of this black hole and start working since I have a big conference coming up soon that I have to handle - and at the moment i don't think i can do it...

my boss compliments and thank me for the work I'm doing - when I actually do something - he always reminds me that he's happy I'm back again and that I should just keep on going - he believes that soon i will run the whole office -

which is really good for me and I think that's what's scaring everybody.

At the moment I just want to pack up and go and serve coffee at some or other tea garden for a living - please, if you can help me in any way... I'll be grateful...

Since - as you realized from this letter - my heads spinning with this stuff... And i think soon my boyfriend will also have had enough of my moaning. Please help me.

Thank you.
Answer 338 views
Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Dear Mara,
You bet, the others are jealous of you ! As is obvious from your message, you're a nice, normal bright and clever person, who is capable of making a success of the job ( or any job ) ; you have a boss with the good sense to have recognized this, and besides all that, you have a nice boyfriend and a real rich life outside of the office too.
Most offices are lucky if they have some folks like you. But they also include a tribe of pygmies --- people who have never got round to having any sort of real life outside of the office, and people who are not very skilled or clever, and who prefer to be surounded by others who are neither skilled nor clever, either. that way they have no competition. They are consumed by Office Politics and petty manipulations. And they usually really resent anyone who is actually talented, successful, and hard-working, let alone all three. As they see it, if you're allowed to succeed, well, horrors ! The boss might come to wonder why they're not talented or hard-working, as well, and their little artificial world could crack.
How galling it must be for the 44-year-old you share an office with --- she's been around for years, without progressing as fast and as effectively as you have --- that must damage her feelings about her own skills and worth.
Maybe, instead of trying to help her, you could gracefully ask her advice about some of the things you deal with ? On the lines of --- " Could I perhaps ask your advice about X --- I'd really appreciate having the benefit of your experience on this issue."
Grumbling about it doesn't help. But wouldn't it be useful for you to arrange to have a time to sit with your Boss and discuss in some detail the extent of this level of resentment you are experiencing, and ask his advice about how you should deal with it ? If he's been sensible enough to recognize your qualities, he ought to be able to undersand, and may have some useful suggestions, based on his own experience of these folks.
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