Don’t Skip Therapy Because of Work

I have no doubt that this woman’s behavior is annoying, at best. I’m sorry you have to deal with such a hostile colleague. You should bring H.R. in if she is harassing you in the workplace, or if she is doing anything to impede your work or if she is allowing her possible homophobia to affect the community-facing work you’re doing.

But before you escalate anything, which I don’t necessarily recommend, try talking to her. You might say, “I’ve noticed some hostility from you and would like to talk it through so we can develop a more respectful working relationship.” Then the ball is in her court because you’ve named the behavior you’ve experienced and tried to deal with it proactively and productively. On a final note, she cannot make you feel unwelcome unless you allow her too. It is your workplace, too. Don’t let her behavior prevent you from feeling like you belong at your job. And don’t let her treat you badly without calling the behavior out.

A person who started working for my company only a month or so after I did, whom I assisted in acclimating to the office, has not worked a full week in the office since she started. Several months ago, it started seriously affecting how our staff functions. She seems to always have an issue — if it’s not illness in the family, it’s something to do with her house or car. She has been given permission to work from home on certain days because of child care needs and frequently works at home on other days of the week as conflicts come up.

I feel I can’t call in sick or take vacation because we’re already down a person before the day begins. I’ve had family emergencies where I’ve been asked by my manager if something else can be worked out because “X is already out of the office.” I don’t feel I’m being fairly compensated for the tasks I do now, let alone adding her workload to my own. Additionally, no other worker has been given the option to work remote or hybrid, and given the rising cost of literally everything, it feels very unfair.

How do I talk to my manager without seeming petty or like I’m not a team player?

— M., Ohio

You can absolutely call in sick or take a vacation. Your employer will be fine, I assure you. Stop policing your colleague. Your colleague’s work arrangements are none of your business. It doesn’t matter how often she is out of the office, where she works, or why her life is so hectic. If you want a hybrid work arrangement, ask for one. If her work habits are affecting yours, that’s the only thing you need to concern yourself with.

What is the problem? How would you like to see the problem resolved? Once you have answered those questions for yourself, meet with your manager and articulate those answers and ask for help in developing a plan for a more equitable distribution of responsibilities. There is no need to martyr yourself here, and I say that with the utmost affection.

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