Troublemaker at Work

Updated on February 25, 2013
B.W. asks from Flagstaff, AZ
15 answers

I don't know what to do. This guy at work accuses me of being gone from work when I haven't. I asked around if other's noticed things but they have not. He came in this morning and said that I shouldn't have asked around because it makes hm look bad. He originally said to me that "people notice when you are gone" and led me to believe there were people out there thinking this. Well he said today that he never said someone came to him and that he was trying to help and our conversation was confidential. Well I told him I didn't know it was confidential. Then he went on to say this girl at work has to account for all of her time at work. I think she may be wage instead of salary like me. I asked him how does my presence effect this girl. He said it doesn't so why did he bring it up? He is all over me about badging in and out and how I could get fired over this. Why me? There are others around that I don't think he keeps track of. I think it's because he wants my job. How do I get this man off my back?

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answers from Norfolk on

While this might appear to be mere bullying I believe this is a form of sexual harassment. This man is attempting to make you feel threatened and defensive. This will be followed by requests for favors in return for not reporting your alleged absences. Document your time and make sure you are seen around the office and talk to someone in a position of authority about his surveillance and how uncomfortable his "inappropriate" attention makes you feel. If he comes around again say, "I feel your attention is inappropriate and it makes me uncomfortable." Use those exact words. Do not argue or elaborate or allow him to engage you in conversation. He will get the message. This problem will end.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Guess you know AZ is considered the NO SO FRIENDLY state at this time. Are you a woman of color? Is the man who is harassing you a white male? I would go straight to HR and file a complaint. I would then back it up by filing a complaint with the labor board.

From this day forward document everything thing that occurs (large or small). Your co-worker is creating what is known as a “hostile work environment” and this is against the law.

Keep us posted.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

Is he your boss? If not, tell him to mind his own business. Go to your own supervisor and let them know about this issue. Be sure to ask if there is any sort of a problem that you need to address and do so respectfully.

If this guy is your boss and he is harassing you, go to HR and file a complaint.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

What Dee said is accurate. This is harrassment. Since he is obviously no your supervisor, he has no reason to be monitiring your comings and goings. Something is up. You need to head right to HR and report the harrassment and relay how uncomfortable you are with his "attentions". No company wants to get sued. They will talk to him and I can garauntee the harrassment will stop. If he is a psyhco and continues after you report him then you need to tell HR, you will file a formal complaint with them and contact a lawyer. The guy is a punk and is trying to intimidate you. Document EVERYTHING till you get tp HR.



answers from Flagstaff on

Next time he says something to you either ignore him or come up with something to say to turn it back on him like "If you are always so busy worrying about my time how can your job be getting done?" or "The last time I looked it was my supervisors/managers job to make sure I am using work time appropriately. When did you become the manager of my time?" Or just tell him how it is such as "I will worry about my own time and job and you worry about your time and your job." If you have a HR department I would suggest you report him. I would not tell him you are going to report him because he could beat you to the punch and report you for something. This is a type of harrassement and I think it needs to be reported.


answers from New York on

If he's just a coworker I'd talk to hr about the situation. It doesn't seem like you report to him; just that he's in your business. You might mention it to your boss to get his/her advice on how to handle this.



answers from Oklahoma City on

If you are 'badging in and out' like you are supposed to then there should be no problem. The 'in' and 'out' info is recorded so if it ever comes up from your superiors that someone was questioning you being gone and you weren't, then you are covered. If you are asking around and it is getting back to him, I would be careful what you say around the others since someone seems to be telling him what your say.



answers from Honolulu on

I would DOCUMENT everything... times/dates/what was said etc.
To protect your butt.... and your job... and as proof for yourself... as to his accusations and mental behavior.



answers from Chicago on

It is a form of harassment, and unfortunately without knowing him, it is hard to determine exactly where it is directed. The thing that is clear, is that he has a low self esteem, and he for some reason is threatened by you.

Using tactics that cause you to question how well you work, and make you refer to others for reassurance, takes the focus off of his short comings, and insecurities. The more you react, the better her looks. The reason he told you about another person in the office, who had nothing to do with you, was simply to see if 1. He could get you to engage in a little gossip 101, and 2. To come up with what he felt was a plausible excuse, for speaking to you about your time tracking.

The best way to fight this person;
As if you do not care. Answer these questions;
1. Am I punctual?
2. Do I complete my work efficiently?
3. Do the people who matter comment or pull me aside about his issues?
4. If no one notices anything, then it is just me. (This means you have power) Why else would he take time he could be working to pester you about NOTHING?

Continue to do well, and then exceed that. Make a spreadsheet to which you keep track of your time, and document it regularly. Set it so that when you come the system automatically documents the time in and out, (he can not argue with the system, that can not be manipulated) If you in fact use a time clock, keep documentation just in case.
Be sure to also start documenting the comments he makes, and the days and times he makes them. And to those comments, do not ask others about them, and do not involve anyone else. This is how he will get YOU to look bad. Because surely he is not making noise about you, and he does not want people to know.

Respond to his 'so you know' with a 'thank you' and 'Right, that was helpful!'
And most importantly, do not allow him to have meetings and side bars with you, when no one is around. If he starts, start to walk away as if you have a fax to get to, he will learn very quickly that he can no longer manipulate you into reacting to him. But that he will have to resort to other feats, this is where your documentation will come in handy.

I am currently in a similar situation. Except this person is a women, and she is a temp. Our issues stem from a clear insecurity in the fact that she has some how chosen me, as her target.....I am not a threat to this women. We work in separate departments. But she has been caught asking about me, and has been negative with me 'no good morning back'
I respond by not allowing her to speak negatively. I do not make direct eye contact with her, as I do not like to be disrespected, showing her that she has not deserved my undivided attention. When she is polite, I look at her. When she is rude, I do not. I nod, but only speak in 3 words 'that is great' 'hope that works' and I bid her a good day. I will tell her to have a good night tonight despite her not speaking because above all else. I am a good person and I am good t all people. I will not let her change that. And in time she as well as he, will bury themselves.

Just do your job, and show everyone who you are. Don't say a word about him to anyone, trust me. Unless you are good at manipulation, you will lose. Just leave the chatter to him.

Good luck. You must be some employee



answers from Dallas on

If you aren't doing anything wrong, then I wouldn't worry about it. The next time he tries to engage you in nonsense, tell him that he is welcome to address you about pertinent issues, but that you have no interest in his meaningless banter.

What is your relationship like with your supervisor? If this continues, you may want to give him/her a heads-up that this is going on. You need to cover your back. Good luck.



answers from Harrisburg on

Well, I would first just "play dumb" and every time he asks where you are, tell him. Better yet, when you need to leave, tell him. AND keep a documentation of every time he asks you or gives you a hard time.
Is he your boss or supervisor?
When you feel he is beginning to get hostile, that's when you take all your documentation to Human Resources and report him for harrassment, that he is making your work environment a hostile work environment. AND/OR go to HR and ask to speak to someone about this guy. That you feel singled out. The more of a paper trail you make, the better off YOU are because I doubt he's documenting on you...
Facts on paper weigh more than words....
Good Luck!!



answers from Minneapolis on



answers from Dallas on

Work dynamic is tricky. Even the perception that you are doing something wrong can hurt your rep at work. Bad news is, trying to defend yourself can also hurt your standing in the office. He may actually be trying to help. Or he may just need a distraction from his own dreary life and messing with you gives him something to do. But, you know if he's whispering to you, he's whispering to other people. One bit of good advice I can give is - be where you are supposed to be at all times! Watch your back. Be abrove reproach. Do good work and you will have less to worry about. It's hard to see our own faults. You might want to ask your supervisor how you're doing and if they have any suggestions for areas you can improve. Even if you're not doing anything wrong, that will let your supervisor know that you want to do a good job.



answers from Redding on

Oh gosh. All I can say is that I so know where you're coming from.
I worked with a guy that lied and complained about me constantly, but, it wasn't just me. He complained about the bookkeeper, he complained about the boss's own wife and children. This guy was a complete nut job.
He did nothing but critique everyone else and his own job was never done. And, just as one example, the bookkeeper came and got me one morning, the toilet was clogged. I was the manager and she left it to me to deal with. So....I found a plunger and set to work and fixed the problem. In my dress and heels, mind you. The phone was ringing off the hook and he refused to answer the phone even though it was his job, so I left the plunger in the toilet long enough to deal with the client on the phone. He walked into the bathroom, took one look at the plunger and made an emergency call to a plumber. Without asking, without saying anything. He ran up a $350 bill for nothing and guess who's butt got chewed for it? Mine. My boss was gone more than half the time so I got accused of not being there when I was, etc. This guy totally got off on getting me in trouble and like I said, it wasn't just me. But, my boss felt sorry for him because he thought it was us females against him, (including his own wife who said "Either he goes or I go")...
All you can do is watch your back. Document everything. Talking to your boss may or may not help. I was happily let go because I couldn't take being stabbed in the back by a subordinate anymore and my boss allowing it. I was devastated, really, because I was the trustworthy one, but I had made it clear I couldn't work with him anymore. My boss made his choice and less than 2 weeks after I was gone, all the lies came to the surface, there was no one to cover for him anymore. No one to pick up the slack.
On one hand, I hoped I'd get my job back, but on the other hand, my boss put me through hell with this guy for almost two years. He's been fired from every single job he's ever had because he is a whacko and he does not believe it's "in the Bible" for a man to listen to a woman. First of all, HE should have been let go for slinging those statements around at work.


Be where you are when you're supposed to be. Document all phone conversations with clients and the work you do on files, etc, to prove you are where you say you are.
I would not accept ANY confidential conversations with this person. If he has something to say, he can say it in front of your immediate supervisor or boss.

Don't let him play head games with you.
He sounds like the same guy I put up with....he spent more time worrying what everyone else was doing than doing his own job. Hopefully, you've got someone around there with enough nuts to tell him to knock it off.

Just cover your butt and ask for employee meetings if you can to bring this to light.

Hang in there and I hope it works out for you!



answers from Minneapolis on

You have to tread lightly here since it's a work situation. I would ignore him for now. If you're there when you need to be there, people will know that. One thing you can say to him when he says stuff is, "Was there something you needed?" His answer will most likely be "No." So then you can cheerily say "Okay" and leave it at that. He may be trying to get you fired but unless he's your boss, or your boss has said something to you about it, he's just an annoying person and people probably already know that.

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