Thursday, March 15, 2018

When Colleagues Talk Behind Your Back

I haven't had a good start to March and it became an issue because I feel that I'm not doing my best. Yes we all have our moments and as much as we try to make it right or make it better, it cannot be 100 per cent perfect. And this leads me to think that I'm simply not good enough.

We are not perfect and we make mistakes. Unfortunately, all the effort we put in get swept aside because of this one mistake we made that automatically make people think we are not good enough. And while I don't ask for appreciation, it upsets me to know that the person I was covering for due to her medical condition, added fuel to the fire by saying to another colleague, oh I don't like to receive instructions, as though implying that it could have caused the mistake.

First of all, I thank God that this other colleague spoke to me about what had been said about me. Yes I was upset thinking about how they could say such things. But this colleague, who was the one receiving the 'info' about me, of course didn't want to put us in a tight spot, saying things like, oh she didn't mean that way..she was just looking out for you.

Of course I thought that was bullish*t but I refrained myself from saying unkind things. Yes I did share my frustrations as well and I told her about my issues with her way before this colleague ratted on me. That being said, I know these three has been colleagues for a long long time and me knowing them for just a year. So while she had issues too with the both of them, she tend to brush it off though at times, she would say something if it annoyed her much especially when the responsibility was pushed to her and it wasn't even her job in the first place or that she was wrongly chided.

At first I thought it was because she misinterpreted my looks thinking that I didn't like receiving instructions but come to think of it, I thought that perhaps I did show my unhappiness recalling back those times. She wasn't helpful when I asked her for things, she didn't do the filing when I asked her, interrupting me when I was talking to the technical people when it was supposed to be my job. I can't just like do things as I wished, even if she instructed me so, if I don't feel comfortable about it without my manager's knowledge.

I got really upset but managed to snap out of it, but of course with different impressions of them already and that I cannot simply brush it off. While this third party colleague tried to neutralise the situation talking about their good points when I started to question their professionalism, and how they actually didn't mean it, I feel that I still have to be careful with them. That being said too, while I shared my side of story, and having experienced that colleague's tardiness and disappearing acts during work, she knows her character as well and the full picture.

And the fact that my manager and this colleague I'm covering for, are on good terms as in they are of the same frequency when it comes to certain things, there is no way I can avoid them talking about me behind my back. Also, how my colleague would somehow be back in my manager's good books despite making mistakes which are then seen as minor or even nothing.

Honestly, office politics are EVERYWHERE. When I first came in, I was immediately off the radar of one person even though I had never worked with her but we share the same office space. Look,  people will always have negative things to say about you, when they are jealous, feel threatened, and so on and so forth, quick to point your flaws even though you're doing everything that you can in your best capabilities. It's normal.

You've heard of the saying, to paraphrase, you can't change the situation but you can choose how you react to it, something like that. I can't change the years of friendship between them, where they are quick to forgive and move on because they know each other very well. So the way I react is that I have to be more careful with them the next time, my facial expressions and my body language. 

For this 'middle person' colleague, she meant well and this is a genuine case, because at the end of the day, we are working for the same department and having teamwork is important. But as mentioned, since they were colleagues for so long, of course she would see them more in a positive light, you know? That's why recently for most things, I decided not to share with her. She can do all the sharing she wants regarding our other colleagues. If I do share, I am not doing justice to them either like I'm not being a nice person and it's just as bad talking behind other people's back.

And that is why, when she pushes the responsibility to me when she disappears, I just help to oversee the matter such as when the technical guy came to repair the photocopy machine. Because we all will be using the machine to print and scan documents. She would just come back and be like, oh they came already, and that was it.

What is my takeaway from this? That people can say what they want and I would not let the negative remarks affect me unless it's meant to make me improve the next time. I would also focus more on their good points, think about the organization as a whole and not to harp on too long on these petty issues because it's a waste of time and energy. I'd rather focus too on self improvements for better work reviews and hopefully better performance bonus that I will defo use for my future studies and my family's household expenses. 



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