Frenemies R Us, Workplace Edition
June 27, 2014 8:12 AM Subscribe
I'm currently working with, for the first time in my life, someone who I can truly classify as a frenemy. 50% of the time, all smiles and sweetness; 50% of the time, undermining, secretive, backstabby, and manipulative. This is someone I actually *have* to work with-- we're on a number of teams together. Lately she's been telling others that a project I created, developed, and sold to a client was actually "a fluke" and that my contributions were minimal.
How to deal with this in the most productive way?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (16 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
We'll call this person Carly. Carly and I work in different departments at a small company. We're often on small (4-6 person) teams together, with the two of us in leadership roles. Early in our work together, she invited me out for drinks and acted all buddy-buddy and gossippy with me. She singled me out to share insider information with. She shared details from her personal life. I figured were were friends. But then I noticed that she'd occasionally undercut or undermine me ("Oh, you can handle THAT part of the project-- I'm not concerned with those little day-to-day things" or, when I brought in another person to help us with a project, "Oh, Anon has a RINGER, does she?"). But I gave her the benefit of the doubt and assumed she didn't mean it. And friends don't undermine each other, right?
Over time, though, I noticed these slights and cutting remarks seemed to not go away, and in fact ratcheted up as I took on more leadership roles. When I received a big promotion, everyone in the company congratulated me, except my "friend," Carly. At one point there were 4 employees in a car together, and the two others said, 'Awesome work, Anon! That's so awesome about your promotion." Carly said nothing.
Recently, Carly has been holding meetings without telling me about them-- meetings that I should at least be aware of, if not invited to. One large project was almost 100% my creation: I originated, developed, and sold the program to our client. Carly talks to everyone about this project, and refers to how it was just a "fluke" that "we" sold it, and "Anon made a few bullet points about it."
Clearly she feels some sort of competition with me (even though we're in different departments). I don't trust her at all, but I also have to work with her. I've certainly distanced myself and don't share anything personal with her, but I also feel I need to stand up to her and demonstrate that this behavior is not going to fly. I've been hoping to leave my boss out of it, as I'd rather be someone who can solve my own problems if possible.