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Advice on co-worker...

Nov 5, 2017
837
I work for a small business (will just leave it at that) owned by a husband and wife. There is an older woman there who has been there for 13 years and I have been there for two years. This woman is not one of the owners but thinks she is and thinks she has carte blanche.

Usually when she gives me a direct order, I will get it done at my own pace but her tone usually causes me to just groan loudly or say "Got it!" I talked with her tonight as I was leaving just requesting to please not boss me around which she denied ever having done.

I am not looking for anyone to back me up and say I am right and I do expect a few "find a new job" responses but I like my job honestly. I did feel I had to talk to her about it or it would just weigh me down.

So I guess what I am asking is how have people in similar situations dealt with this?

Keep in mind that in this business, there are no managers. Everyone is supposed to be equal and the owners expect everyone to get along to a point.


Thanks.
 

Seirith

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,287
Do you work in a team together? Before my husband was a manager, he took charge of his team to make sure people got things done but he never did it in a bossy or loud way.

if you do not like the way she was bossing or talking to you, you were right to talk to her as she is not your boss. If it keeps up, then I would talk to your boss about it.
 

CloseTalker

Member
Oct 25, 2017
10,243
You can talk to the owners, but it sounds like given the structure of the business and the tenure of the employee, nothing will get done. You can try being more open to her when it happens, otherwise your options are pretty limited.
 

Phantom_Snake

The Fallen
Jul 26, 2018
568
Montana
Is she a parent? I have a similar coworker, but it's because she cant turn off parent mode. Usually talks to me as if I'm a child that is doing something wrong. I learned that she doesnt mean to talk like that to me, just she doesnt realize she is.

Or that's her excuse, idk lol
 

Vennt

Member
Oct 27, 2017
306
Be wary and tread carefully, Employees of small business with that kind of length of service can and do get latitude that borders on tenureship.

If the boat rocks, it's you that'll go overboard, not her, I can guarantee it.

(Shouldn't be that way, but often is.)
 

Wowbiggulps

Member
Dec 4, 2018
22
Just say no to her requests if you can't swiftly accommodate them at that time. You don't report to her and her inability to do tasks herself is not your emergency.
 
OP
OP
sir wallace walrus
Nov 5, 2017
837
xxracerxx - I have voiced my concerns to them, yes.

DiipuSurotu - She is like that to everyone including the owners except maybe in a suggestion way. We should do things this way not this way and so forth.

Phantom_Snake - She has two adult children and both live in Florida. She is divorced and lives alone. One of those children has substance issues. I found this out from one of the owners first hand when I first started.

Vennt - I feel you but also if I don't talk about it to her reasonably, then things are going to get worse.

Wowbiggulps - I simply said tonight that her approach wasn't going to motivate me anymore.
 

Vennt

Member
Oct 27, 2017
306
It sounds like she wants to boss them around. Especially if she's giving them the "I know what I'm talking about" reason.
And if she does this and is still there after 13 years, maybe just maybe the owners value that approach and/or her suggestions.

Which is why I say tread carefully.
 

Baked Pigeon

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,922
Phoenix
If she is your boss, supervisor, or foreman than you should probably just do whatever she asks without getting bent out of shape about it.

Do you have a problem with authority, or is it the manner in which she is talking to you?
 

Reeks

Member
Oct 27, 2017
863
Respond to her, overly accommodating her request in an almost patronizing way. She'll think you're being respectful but it will feel good secretly knowing you're being a dick. It's how I deal with one of my bosses and it works like a charm.

A typical response I give:
"I understand that you need x,y,z and I'm going to do everything I can to get it to you by x, but it might be more reasonable to expect it around y. I just want to make sure you get everything you need."

Basically talk to them like they're a child.
 
OP
OP
sir wallace walrus
Nov 5, 2017
837
Jay Mcsaros - I didn't want to mention the substance in my second post but you just did lol.

Vennt - This is actually her second job. She doesn't work there full time, but they also have trouble keeping people.

Brass Body Dave - Only issue there is that she will sometimes stir shit up to bring people down.

Baked Pigeon - None of those actually. If she was, it would definitely be different. I would definitely say it is the manner she talks to me. When I was at Home Depot, there was a hierarchy. Cashier -> Head Cashier -> Front End Supervisor -> Assistant Store Manager -> Store Manager and then onto district, regional, and higher up.

I talked to her as diplomatically as I could. I didn't want to say anything like "Do you think I am an idiot who can't do my job?"
 

GungHo

Member
Nov 27, 2017
1,334
She may not have any idea she's being domineering. No one may have ever said anything to her about it, or if they have, she may never have gotten it. Honestly, I'd just keep going about my business.
 

Elandyll

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
4,552
Not exactly similar, but my very first job (about 25 years ago) was in a small software company owned by a guy who was employing his 20-something kids, and an older lady (let's call her Sue) who was a family friend of the Dad and who was to be my direct supervisor.
She was nearing 50, single (never married), no kids, super bossy and nothing to do with her free time. No hobby whatsoever, except think about her sales job.
She was micro managing me so bad (to the point of making me buy the kind of clothes she liked), and was so constantly critical that I seriously considered quiting before the 6 month mark, but then instead of offering a CDI (permanent position) they only re-offered a temp (cdd).
I thought that would give us all some time to ponder options, hoping things would get better (I was actually getting along quite well with the boss' kids, even had a crush on his daughter, a gorgeous redhead - in hindsight might explain why I continued).
The kids told me she wouldn't change, and because their dad was a friend of hers, I would always be wrong.
6 months later, I had found a much better position that was starting 2 weeks later and when the boss and Sue told me they were still unwilling to offer a permanent position but wanted me back again as a temp (cdd) I told them to not bother, I was declining the offer.
I still very much enjoy thinking about their faces at that moment, specially hers as she thought I had no option but be under her thumb.

TLDR for op: 13 years in she probably thinks she both knows better and can boss the newbie around.
Depending how the actual boss gets her or your back, you might have to leave.
 

LilScooby77

Member
Dec 11, 2019
209
Be very careful here as you might be underestimating her connection to the boss. Her word is stronger than yours without evidence.
 

Verelios

Member
Oct 26, 2017
6,726
How much do you like that job OP? I'd be shopping around for other offers at this point, and keep my head down until something comes through. Having and not having options give you very different states of mind.
 

skeezx

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,808
as somebody who works for a small business but plays the "owner - yet not" role i sympathize but end of the day i'm in charge and it's my way or the highway

if anybody addresses concern i'll do backflips to accomodate but dunno what kind of leverage you're working with there