Saturday, May 26, 2012

"Based on actual events"

Here's a situation for exercising your thinking skills. This in't about me, and I have my own thoughts on how to deal with the situation, which I'll keep to myself in order to get uncontaminated input.

I suspect this is a case of two people with the same personality "quirks" running head-on into one another. Like two anger-crazed rams or something.

In any case, Person A is a low-level manager at a "major retail chain" who is having trouble with Person B who is directly above her. I'll assume for the moment that Person A is giving an accurate account of events.

Person A says Person B is sabotaging her at work. Person B spreads rumors among the people in Person A's department- those she is supposed to manage- and acts rudely to "A" in front of them. "B" has gone back to Person A's department after "A" has left for the day, and un-done everything "A" did that day, and then pointed out to higher management that the department's work is unfinished. She made threatening gestures at Person A one time, in front of another manager, and nothing was done.

It has gotten to the point that "A" acts just as nasty to "B" as "B" acted to her from the beginning. "A" is not a particularly pleasant individual to begin with.

Person A is about ready to quit her job, even without anything else lined up. Person A has gone to every other manager who is above "B" without any results whatsoever, other than a couple of times having them run directly to "B" to report what was said. Person A has even gone to regional management with about the same results. She was told "respect is a two-way street".

What would you do in such a situation?



  1. Hi Kent,

    Being neither A nor B, nothing. Or do you mean if I was in A's shoes?

    I've never been afraid to quit a job that didn't suit me. I've done it lots of times, and it was always because of just one asshole. I'd never waste my time complaining to his superiors--they hired him and probably think he's doing a great job.


  2. Yes, I mean from "A"s perspective.

    And, I am affected by this situation, even though neither person is me. So, although I am doing nothing, "A" does whine to me about the situation. I have given my advice and just wondered if anyone else had any other ideas.

    I think this is probably as much "A"s fault as anyone's, but I can't be certain.

  3. Keep your hands in view and back away. I fear your have encountered "chaos people". They are not always easy to spot at first glance. But they will draw one into the chaos if one is not carefull. Usualy high energy atractive women. Do not missunderstand, These are good people who will be there for you in a crisis. But there will always be a crisis brewing. Distance is best.

  4. I don't get involved other than hearing about the events. But your description of them both, compared to "usually", couldn't be further from reality.
    Distance is impossible, but emotional detachment is pretty easy.

  5. Complaining to HR is one sure way to get yourself fired.

    In a dysfunctional work environment, the only thing you can do is leave. They aren't going to change.

  6. If person "A" is a talented and experienced low level manager, there should be opportunities for employment elsewhere, even in this economy. In my experience, an enjoyable work environment (with nice co-workers & supportive management) is more desirable than higher income and better benefits, if you can afford that luxury.

    However, I wonder if person "A" has a history of encountering similarly disfunctional situations during previous employments. If so, there is usually fire where smoke is found, and person "A" should take a hard look regarding whether he/she might be the cause of the antagonism.