August 5, 2013 6:58 AM Subscribe
One of my colleagues often disparages my work to our customers. I'm not sure how to react and could use some advice.
posted by anonymous to human relations (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Two years ago, someone on my team (let's call him Bob) was fired and I was brought in to finish a project that he had started. He had done things in a kind of bizarre way that I could see would make maintenance difficult, so I reworked as much of it as I could in the time frame allotted and we delivered it to our client. They have been happy with it, in all, and it has required very little maintenance after delivery and I moved on to other projects.
Now, the client has brought us back in to make a major update to the product. I am working on other projects right now, so another person on the team (Tim) was selected to do this upgrade for our client. Tim has told our client that the original work was very badly done and that the best thing to do would be to trash the original product and begin from the start, from scratch.
I worked pretty closely with getting this delivered to the client, after Bob's departure. They will associate this project with me and not Bob. The way Bob did a lot of it was definitely not the way I would have chosen to do it, but I did the best with what I had, and our client was happy. But Tim continues to openly complain to our client about how things were done. I asked our mutual boss to speak with him, but he has continued to do this and our boss does not really seem to mind.
It really bothers me. I find it very unprofessional, but short of asking my boss to have another word with him, I'm not sure how to go from here. The office is really casual and the boss does not seem to care. A lot of it is, I think that Tim has trouble maintaining things he didn't create; his default solution to any problem is to trash what exists and start fresh. I can sympathize; being called in to maintain someone else's work is often frustrating, but I would never vent those kind of feelings to a client, especially about work that was done by my own team. Tim is very touchy and I think if I confronted him about this directly it would make our working relationship even more strained than it already is. He is a very negative person and is hard to work with in general.
tl;dr: I finished a project that a fired coworker started and delivered it to the client, despite it being a bit oddly done, it worked perfectly and they were satisfied. Now another coworker has been brought in to update the product and is telling our client that the work was badly done and needs to be redone from scratch, which I think will make them think I am incompetent. What do?
Should I just grit my teeth and try to ignore this? Is there a professional way to ask Tim to stop doing this? I worry that if I confront him about it I will just seem petty.