Help me deal with an evil coworker.
June 10, 2012 9:58 AM Subscribe
I really need some advice on how to deal with a coworker who loudly takes credit for the work we do as a team, among other things.
posted by kitcat to Work & Money (20 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
There are three of us working as co-op software developers at a large company. We work alone in a small room and are given projects to complete together. We receive guidance from assigned employee 'buddies', but our team lead is largely absent. He just doesn't have time for us.
My problematic fellow co-op student, let's call her Suzy, seems to consider herself a one-woman show. We'll be working together on something, asking each other questions and throwing out ideas, and instead of working cooperatively with me and the other student, she'll ignore us and say things like "I know how to do this, just give me a few minutes and I'll have this finished." She always tries to claim the largest and most difficult portions of a task for herself and then brags loudly about having completed them, sending emails to our team lead about it. We were given some code to refactor and divided it up between ourselves, but she still found a way to weasel in and work on my code. She finds ways to take credit for my ideas. I noted to our team lead that there was information missing in a user manual, and she immediately said to him "I'll do that." She later started telling everyone that our team lead specifically asked her to do it.
The last straw for me was on Friday when she went ahead a took full credit for my idea. I thought I had figured out why something wasn't integrating properly and threw it out there to her and our other co-op student. I wanted input from them to be sure I'd really found the problem. She didn't answer, until 20 minutes later, when she said "I've found the problem" - and repeated back exactly what I had said. I noted "yes, that's just what I said 20 minutes ago, why don't I send an email about it and we'll see if they can try a fix..." But she said "No. I'll send it." And went ahead and sent it. I was mad because this is so typical of her, but I thought, fine, what matters is that it's going to get fixed. Anyhow, she copied us on the email and what it said was: "I" have found the problem, etc. Not "we", even though I was the one who pinpointed it and the other student helped as well. Things were pretty tense after that, but it was the end of the day.
I don't know what to do. Do I speak to her? If so, how? Do I speak to my very busy team lead who is going on a four week vacation in one week? This feels so petty and I don't want to be a part of any pettiness, but I also don't want to be made out as an idiot who hasn't made any contributions over the past 6 weeks. I'm tired of this kind of behavior and I want it to stop. I'm tired of everything being a competition with her. Please help.