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how to deal with with co-worker?

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*** How to deal with MEAN coworker lol


i have an internship that i go to for about 32 hours a week. the other intern who sits next to me likes to make "jokes" about me. for instance i was 5 minutes late today and she told her supervisor in front of me that "at least i'm not always late like jen" and everything i do wrong she mimicks and makes fun of.


she constantly tells me "I'm joking" and asks me if I'm going to cry and keeps reassuring me that she's joking. I just don't find her jokes funny at all. they are mostly geared to me. what should i do? it's making me really not want to go to work.

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Either your coworker has some kind of condition where she can't pick up on social cues or she's just plain mean; either way:


Obviously, you need to address this officially. Your superiors will want VERY specific examples of this person's behavior. If you haven't been keeping a log, start keeping one. Wait until you have some solid points before approaching your supervisor.


Do you have the same supervisor? If so, talk to them. If not, talk to your supervisor. Now, I know what you're thinking: if she gets fussed at, that will make things worse. Sadly, that's true. This is for you covering your butt, so you can say you went through the official channels. Document your meeting with the supervisor. Ask them to put any recommendations/solutions they have for you in writing, so you can refer back to them if need be. Make note of the date, time, and location of the meeting, and take brief notes (even if they give you something in writing). Continue to keep a log of the person's behavior. Be specific and give descriptions.


When that fails to yield results (if it does yield results, great; but it might take some time to make this work out), go up the chain of command. Make sure you bring your documentation. You want to show that you are following proper protocol and handling things properly without direct confrontation. Same thing this time: document, document, document, get it in writing, document, take notes.


If other co-workers come to you (don't go to them; that you will make you look bad) with complaints of the same person, encourage them to do the same.


If nobody at your place of employment can fix the problem, then it might be time to seek help from the outside. Is this a school internship? Talk to your professor or other school officials. If your profession has a union, talk to a representative from that union. If they have an employee assistance program, take advantage of it. 


Eventually, somebody will do something--hopefully. Unfortunately, this might be something that merely is what it is. Your co-worker may some connection somewhere in the company that makes them immune to any criticism or complaint--who knows, her uncle might her supervisor's college roommate or something like that. Don't be afraid to stand up to this person, but do so professionally and with a good sense of decorum. When she tries to explain her behavior by saying she's joking, simply tell her that it's difficult to tell that she's joking and her comments come across as hurtful. If you're running late one day and she complains about it, just make sure you both have a good reason for being late and have talked to your boss first thing to apologize for being late and giving your explanation.


And remember: in addressing this to your superiors, document everything. Form a paper trail. Save emails. Ask for it in writing. If this gets to a court of law (unlikely, but possible if her behavior is truly insidious and their response is grossly lacking), you want to make a strong case. If this somehow comes back to bite you in the ass (remember: connections!) you want proof-positive that you're the good guy here.


Good luck! I've been in a toxic workplace before. I know how soul-crushing one bad seed can be. Just be careful, cover your back, and keep a straight face through it all. Don't let them see you bleed, as the old saying goes.

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Yeah, you're dealing with a jerk and I'm sorry. I wish I could say that this will be the last mean co-worker you'll have, but that would be a lie. First, I'd talk to her privately and straight up ask if she has a problem with you. When (not if, when) she says she doesn't, point out that she makes a lot of comments that are hurtful and that if she has a problem, please come to you directly. When she follows that with "But I'm JOKING!" say that her "jokes" are not only completely inappropriate for the environment you're in, but they're not funny at all. Just demeaning. Use specific examples, because people like this always try to turn it around on YOU and make YOU the problem for being "too sensitive."


(Reminder that you probably don't need, but I'll say anyway: the way she's treating you says waaaaaaay more about her than it does about you. Who cares if you're 5 minutes late? Furthermore, why does she care enough about what other people are doing to not only comment about it, but comment about it in front of the higher-ups? If she were confident in her abilities, she wouldn't feel the need to tear others down. She would just let her work speak for itself. But clearly, she can't do that, so she resorts to childish moves like this.)


Tell her that her attitude is really affecting your ability to work productively, and that jokes like that are for outside of work only. Also let her know that if she continues to treat you like this, you'll be taking it up with either your supervisor or HR.


If, after talking to her alone, she doesn't stop, then take it up with your supervisor. Emphasize that you tried to resolve things privately with the other intern, but she refuses to stop and is creating a hostile work environment. It might help to say that you know you're just an intern and it'll be over eventually, but for the time being, it's making it really hard to work alongside Jane Jerkface. Say that you wouldn't be coming to your supervisor if you didn't feel it was absolutely necessary based on the level that the situation has escalated to.


Do you guys have the same supervisor, or different ones? Even if you have different ones, I'm sure they liaise from time to time and her supervisor would be very interested to know how she's treating other interns. Besides, I'm sure her supervisor made a mental note when she said that comment about you being late. (Trust me, supervisors notice these things.) Also, how comfortable are you with confrontation/direct conversations like this?

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I would call her on her shit.

if she is perpetually mean like that and calls it joking... I would say next time... you know what here's the thing. you aren't joking.

you are being mean to make your self feel better then blaming me for being to sensitive I don't appreciate it what do ever so if you would kindly take your bad attitude and insecurities somewhere else that would be great and ps... it's called gas lighting. its totally a thing. and it's totally rude and inappropriate for work. ps people like this do not like to be picked on they are uber sensitive about things. the second you crack a joke on them they get all butt hurt and offended.

sorry you have to deal with that. I can't stand people like that... which is why well I don't lol

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She probably has insecurities and uses degradation as a way of making herself feel better. Its just another form of bullying. Maybe she's just jealous of you. You could be better at the job or better looking.


Don't take her shit. Be confident in yourself. If it interferes with your work, take the advice of the first replier.

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Good advice already said.  However, any direct confrontation with the fellow intern should be brief and to the point.  Do it professionally and courteously.  I'd take her aside, and tell her that she's affecting my ability to work.  We're both here to work and get the most out of the internship... not to crack jokes at my expense. 


If she makes comments in front of your supervisor, don't even make a scene in front of the other intern.  Turn to your supervisor and ask if he/she has a few moments to talk privately.  Let the other intern hear that.


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Good advice already said.  However, any direct confrontation with the fellow intern should be brief and to the point.  Do it professionally and courteously.  I'd take her aside, and tell her that she's affecting my ability to work.  We're both here to work and get the most out of the internship... not to crack jokes at my expense. 


If she makes comments in front of your supervisor, don't even make a scene in front of the other intern.  Turn to your supervisor and ask if he/she has a few moments to talk privately.  Let the other intern hear that.


This is really good advice.  Your coworker may truly not understand how her comments affect you.  Give her that last chance, but let her know that you aren't going to tolerate it anymore.


Having specific things to say, "The following things are unprofessional and inappropriate, and I won't let you harass me this way: ..."  Otherwise, a general "You make me feel bad!" won't help them really understand which behaviors need to change.

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Yea, what they is correct. Sometimes just moving away solves alot of the problems. I have a big mouth on my self and like to tell people how it is. You may have to stand for your self. If she is being a bully tell her to step off if going to your managers does not work. Sometimes thats the only way bullies will stand down is if you step up for your self.

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Thank you all so so much for the wonderful comments! I actually didn't know anyone else noticed but apparently her supervisor and mine talked about the incidents and she got talked to. Now things are a little awkward but it's better than being made fun of. >_<.

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yeah it was nice that she noticed, but now the other two interns pretty much ignore me and just talk to eachother, i don't really fit in with the office. which is weird cause i feel like i'm one of the nicest people i know


Well, if you're one of the nicest people, and if they're not (which it sounds like) -- then yeah, you're not going to fit in. 


By the way, for manager/co-worker/general work-related questions and advice, I read Ask A Manager. She answers specific questions from readers and also provides calm, rational steps & scripts to follow for resolving issues; sounds like a lot of the advice you got in this thread. The comments on most of her posts are very helpful, too.

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Glad it wroked out, but as for the original question, I'd report her for bullying. These days, we can't punch people in the mouth like they deserve, or else we'll get sued, so our only recourse's are to let them be jerks or to snitch on them. I rather snitch and let them hang than get away with being a punk. Also, write down all the things she says, and the times. 


Never be afraid to make things a little awkward or to make people hate you because you tell on them. It's better to be respected than liked, and if they're disrespecting you, they're not your friends anyway, so end the abuse right away by going to the appropriate people. 

tl;dr is how I roll

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You are nice and cool =).


And remember: You need the supervisor to like you, not the other interns.


They are just interns, too. So if they do that to you to feel better it sucks, but your supervisor already noticed, so it should be fine!


Good luck!

Fate whispers to the warrior: "You cannot withstand the storm."

 The warrior whispers back:
I am the storm."


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Also keep in mind you do have observant managers, and most companies don't want to hire people who create a hostel working environment. It cuts down productivity and opens the company up to different kinds if workplace liability. By holding your chin high, doing a great job, and trying not to let the other interns get to you you're actually putting yourself a cut above. The other interns could be temporary- you may be positioned to look at longer term employment. So think about them that way when you walk in each morning! "You guys are really thorns in my side. But next week/month you're going to be only a memory and I'm going to have a wonderful job!" Also, think about branching out and fitting in with/ networking with people who are already employed there full time. Those will be the connections that matter, and the ones who can mentor you and help you move up. If you dread lunch and eating apart from, or feeling awkward in 'the group,' be proactive and schedule some informal lunch meetings with people already working for the company. Use the time to pick their brain on how they got to where they are, what they've learned, advice, etc. you'll seem like such a go-getter, they will feel flattered you asked, and you'll spare yourself from feeling weird.

Good luck!

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