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Sabotage at Work: How to Fight Back

Sabotage at Work: How to Fight Back

Christine | Monster Blog

When I started at one of my old jobs, I was introduced around. A coworker in a remote location gave me what cops call a hinky feeling, but I figured we’d get to know one another and everything would be fine.

I should have gone with my first instinct. This person literally had it out for me from day one. And then, through some decisions by management, I wound up with her job, and all hell broke loose.

She took it out on me by constantly trying to make me look bad. Even worse: She alternated her sabotage attempts with trying to become friends with me.

I decided I wasn’t going to get sucked into the pettiness and stayed away from her, killing her with kindness when I had to deal with her. She wound up getting laid off — and since everyone knew what she was up to, her behavior meant she was not eligible for rehire.

Sometimes, as they say on “Survivor,” it’s best to outwit, outplay and outlast. But what if your saboteur works directly with you, or worse, is your boss? According to this Wall Street Journal article, workplace sabotage is on the rise in this difficult economy. And it’s a tough situation. If you don’t deal with it, a potential saboteur can hurt your career. Deal with it the wrong way, and you could look like a whiner or worse. The article’s advice:

• Don’t confront the person directly, but go to your boss about it.

• Have someone talk to your supervisor if the boss is the problem. If it’s your boss, though, realize it may come down to one of you leaving the company.

• Document, document, document, so people know whose ideas those really are.

Have you ever worked with a potential saboteur? Share with Excelle how you dealt with this person in the comments below.

Related Read:
Win at Office Politics Without Selling Your Soul


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  • Greceaaaa2_max50

    babylove

    about 2 years ago

    1856 comments

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  • Photo_user_blank_big

    scrappy

    about 3 years ago

    2 comments

    I was also new to the company and the abuser was my direct supervisor. He talked down to me constantly and routinely made sure that my work did not go out the door on time. He played total favoratism with the young associate he was having an affair with. I realized I probably would be the one to go down, but I decided not to go without a fight. I complained to the head honcho regularly, but nothing changed. Then, Honcho asked me to document the saboteur as to his own non-performance. Management kept calling Saboteur on the carpet for having the affair and for treating me that way, but then management started treating me the same way--blaming me for all of the things Saboteur had set up. Even though he was in trouble, his tactics worked against me beautifully. I ultimately went out on stress leave, then quit. I heard Saboteur was asked to leave, too, which he did, but it still put me out on the street. I'm now underemployed, feeling very bad about myself, but trying to start my own business. I feel I am too old to go after another position like the one I left. This experience has been devastating to my career and my finances and I do not know how or whether I will recover. It is definitely, definitely a no-win situation.

  • Love_zh_chinese_character_max50

    spinner

    about 3 years ago

    14 comments

    This happened to me in much the same way as described in previous comments. To say NO WIN is an understatement. Documentation has no effect. Workers have no rights. HR represents the company not the employee. The corporate culture in America has devolved into a high school corridor. Still seeking an environment in which professionalism trumps immature pettiness. It would be better to advize one to seek other employment and run as fast as you can for the door.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    debhugg

    about 5 years ago

    2 comments

    From the day that I started as Marketing Manager, my direct report had it in for me. I didn't want to think that way at first--it seemed a little paranoid. But, my supervisor told me that my direct report had interviewed for my position and did not get the job due to her negativity and reputation in the organization. My direct report took every opportunity to gossip about me to co-workers -- many comments found their way back to me. She told me on several occassions that she had a Master's Degree from a very prestigious university and did not need a supervisor. Although I was told I would have an office, due to budget cuts, I was not able to hire an additional direct report and ended-up being assigned to a cubicle right next to my direct report. Her daily comments, questions and negativity took a toll on me both physically and emotionally. I did speak with my supervisor; however, after a few months, my supervisor moved on to a different area within the organization and I was left reporting in to the Director. Voicing my concerns to the Director was not a wise choice. I was told that as her supervisor, I would have to 'control' her. A new boss was assigned to my area and she was so hard on me that I found myself squeezed between a rock and a hard place. In the end, I lost. My direct report still works at the organization. She clearly outwitted me -- she tried to act like a friend as the article stated and although I tried to rise above her pettiness, I just wasn't clever enough to let her self-sabatoge. Even today, I wish I had not voiced my concerns but instead had documented everything in a write-up to HR.

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