April 12, 2015

Dear Narcissist Problems,

Dear Narcissist Problems,
I have been dealing with a horrible situation in the work place and I need some advice. I will start with a little back ground; I used to enjoy going to work every day. Now I don’t. What changed? The possibility of a promotion. I was under the impression that we would be promoting at least 2 people in our office. I started training for this promotion with another woman and the situation got awkward pretty quickly. Before I enjoyed going to ...work and pretty much remaining invisible all day. I miss this now because I feel like I have been thrown into the middle of some gossiping, backstabbing, and typical work place drama. I try to avoid drama at all costs but this is unavoidable. Apparently the situation has turned into a “competition” between the two of us. This is the gossip. However, I was under the impression that we were both most likely going to be promoted so I don’t see it as a competition. It started with some little work place bullying tactics… for instance, one day 3 other employees came to ask when the baby was due.. Confused, I said “I’m not pregnant” and each person said “Oh! Sally (not real name) told us you were expecting!” Sally is the “competitions” BFF at work. Let’s call the “Competition” Helga, it seems fitting. Over the course of two weeks I have watched as people who used to tell me hello every day and were always friendly are now avoiding me, avoiding morning hellos, or just seem like a deer caught in headlights if I approach them to ask how they are doing. Olga is an avid social networker and has added many of our co-workers to her social networking sights. I do not have work friends and I do not have anyone I add to my social networking, I enjoy my privacy. This week, my supervisors will barely look at me or say hello. Let’s say my name is Megan. Today, on my break, I was approached outside by a co-worker who begins a rant “I hope you win the “competition” (their words, not mine) because that Megan is a horrible supervisor! She is bossing people around, doing this! Doing that!” I stood there in a little shock and I said “That’s horrible! What else has Megan been doing?” I stood there and listened to a two minute rant about how horrible Megan was before I finally said “Well that is weird because, I am Megan and I don’t remember any of that.” The gossiper who ruined my lunch break looked mortified as she tried to excuse herself “Oh I meant to say Helgaaaa!” From my understanding after today the gossip is so bad that people don’t even realize they are talking about me….when they are talking to me about me. Apparently I am horrible and have turned this promotion into a competition and I treat everyone like crap. I spoke with a supervisor when the “problem” first started and apparently that was me creating “drama” and my way of “competing”. Obviously, ignoring it since then is making the situation worse. Before this, I thought I had a decent work relationship with all of these people. Further, we were told if there is only room for one “supervisor in training” first come first serve. I’ve been coming in late hoping they won’t ask me. Olga has been coming to work an hour early every day and refusing to do her regular job by leaving early if she is asked to. I’ve been under the impression that we were both probably getting promoted so I don’t even ask. Point, when they ask me, I don’t want to “train” anymore. Today when they asked me I asked if the other person could do it and I was told “No, they want you to do it”. Being asked first also makes the situation worse in a passive aggressive way. Dirty looks, cold shoulder, walking by with your BFF while snickering. When I am at work I feel like I am walking on eggshells and if I didn’t have bills to pay I wouldn’t even go back. I have started looking for a new job. I didn’t want to be forced to get a new job but it seems like this is my only option. In the meantime, how do I tell my boss to please opt me out of this promotion? How do I deal with the drama and gossip from co-worker’s?
"Megan" The Horrible
Fan Advice below please! Have you found yourself in this situation? How did you deal with it?
Dear "Megan The Horrible",

     I am very sorry to hear about your troubles at work.  It seems as though you might be dealing with a narcissist or perhaps a few adults who stopped maturing emotionally when they hit puberty.  From my experience,  the emotional development of some individuals seems to be stunted at the ages of 12-15 (the leader of the drama usually seems to be stunted in the toddler years) because all the nutrients in their bodies get redirected to their reproductive organs.  The first thing I would advise is to recognize that you are not dealing with adults, yet children parading in adult bodies.  Unfortunately, these individuals can be found in any environment work, social, or in our families.  The question you should ask yourself is what behavior will you tolerate?  If their behavior is intolerable you should find a new place of employment like yesterday.  Until then, do NOT participate in these daily T.V. novela's.  That's exactly what they are, real life soap operas.  Dramas people create in their minds and then act out while pretending to be the star in their production.  I'm sorry to say this but the soap opera currently being performed in your office you are in the role of "Office Villain".  This has already been determined.  You are the target that everyone loves to hate.  Minimize your social interactions, stop bringing the situation up to your supervisors, and start working on your evil villain laugh because your role as office scapegoat is unlikely to change.  Put on your bitch face and keep in mind you will soon be onto much greener pastures.  In the meantime, socialize with people who love and care about you, find away to laugh your way through this, and make sure to lead by example.  You obviously were offered this promotion for a reason.  You are strong, motivated, and do great work!  Someday you will reach a position of authority and when you do enforce a zero tolerance policy against workplace bullying. 
 Good Luck to you!
Narcissist Problems


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