Re: Jealousy in the work place

Subject: Re: Jealousy in the work place
From: Susan Tamaoki <tamaoki_s -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Mon, 8 Mar 2010 12:05:19 -0800 (PST)

I think that every work place has negative people who will try to build themselves up by putting other people down. I'm in a similar situation. I work with a couple of people in my department who have been with the company for years and who spend a great deal of  time and energy talking about how much they hate their jobs. 

I know that there are negative people in the world, but still it is really disturbing to discover that someone you barely know is going out of their way to put you down. In my case, a co-worker makes up stories about me, tries to cut me off when I speak at team meetings and then automatically says the opposite of whatever I say. We worked together on a project when I first joined the department and more than once she "accidentally" deleted my project files on the shared drive. (Luckily I always keep backups elsewhere.)

In my situation, the two people who give me the most trouble have been at the same company for many years and have come up through the ranks. They've seen the people that they started with rise through the company to become managers and make a lot more money. They've moved up through the years, too, but not by much.

My path as a tech writer has been very different. I deliberately chose to be a technical writer. I've taken classes, read books, joined professional groups, have run my own consulting company, and have worked on a wide range of projects over the years. I've decided that they have a job that they do for money while I have a job that I love.

I've thought long and hard about the negativity around me and have decided to keep taking the high road and let my work speak for itself. I keep my work area organized and decorate it with plants, family photos, and artwork from my kids to make it more cheerful. I don't try to retaliate and I don't complain to the people I work with. To protect myself from comments like "Why is she away from her desk for so long? Maybe she is shopping." -  I make a point of keeping in close touch with my manager so he knows exactly what I'm working on, when I have meetings, and so on, even on the days I work from home. I keep extra backups of everything I work on, and make sure that my work is done on time, even if it means a little unpaid overtime. 

I also keep my resume updated and regularly search for openings elsewhere. You should do the same. In the meantime, watch your back.
tamaoki_s -at- yahoo -dot- com

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