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Are you feeling exploited? Need advice?

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Being undermined

My colleague is someone who always undermines me just so that she looks good in the eyes of everyone. I am exhausted with this behaviour. I know that she purposely does this and I have told her to back off so many times. However, she does not seem to stop. I feel horrible because my work is never appreciated because of her. What do I do? 

Ans: Since talking to her hasn’t helped, be assertive in exercising your opinion more strongly in front of others. When your work is concerned make sure you defend it to your best capabilities so that your colleague has no chance of undermining you. Lastly, you can look at your colleagues behaviour as her insecurity towards you so that you don’t get so worked up.


Feeling exploited

I am an admin assistant in this company that I joined 4 months ago.  Since I am the newest person on board, I feel I am highly exploited. I would not say that it is entirely their fault as I too offer to take up the work for others when they ask me to do it. I have an issue and I cannot say ‘NO’ to anybody. As I cannot say ‘NO,’ I end up taking everyone else’s work on my plate and I do not leave work on time. This has a major affect on my personal life as I have no time for my family too.  I need to learn how to manage time more efficiently as it gets me quiet stressed. How do I go about this?

Ans: well seems like you know your problems already and what you need to do now is just resolve them. Problem solving needs three magic ‘A’s, awareness, acceptance and action, you have already conquered the first two and what you need is to think of a solution and get into action. You can consider assertive training with a help of a professional industrial psychologist, this is not only important in your work life but for you overall betterment too.

It’s important to use assertive skills where required as it will end up affecting you adversely in all aspects of your life, as you rightly said it’s not other’s fault it’s your as you allow them to treat you in this manner where they begin taking you for granted. You can also seek help for time management, where in you learn to say no to everything that is draining your time unnecessarily.

Also Read: Working It Out-Agony Aunt deals with questions on problems faced at workplace

Letting go of micro-management

I am a senior manager in a renowned company and I have been here for nearly 4 years. I am known as the perfectionist in office as I always ensure that things are perfect. Hence, I get scared to delegate work to my juniors and then I end up doing all the work. I have heard the interns talk amongst themselves too where they claim that I never give them work and so they never learn. But I fear that they will not do a good job if I give my work to somebody else. What do I do? I am growing old too and I cannot do all the work, but then I have the fear.

Ans:   You seem to have two issues, one is that you cannot trust other people easily and second that you feel everything has to be done perfectly and only you can do it, even when you say it sounds so irrational. If you hold on to an irrational thought, it is definitely going to have negative effects on your thinking and make you behave in an illogical manner. Obviously both these issues work hand in hand, and only if you do not hold this need to be perfect would you trust people and delegate work readily to them, in a jest you to remove this  unreasonable thoughts of being perfect, you need to deal with them head on by eliminating them.

Reserve them in your mind, begin with baby steps and even if it bothers you delegate a small work which if not done appropriately, it will not cause a big lose to a person whom you have developed some faith in and see. If it all goes well you’re thought of not trusting people doing good job is questioned and this allows you to take bigger risk by delegating some more work. You can try to continue this and imagine the bigger picture that you achieve in bargain, your better time and health and peace of mind.

Also Read: Working It Out-Agony Aunt answers on how to deal with negative work environment

Messy teammate, dirty office

 I believe in cleanliness and I always wanted to keep my office clean. However, my teammates are really messy and hence, they keep the office very dirty. I end up cleaning the small waste that is thrown around and now they tease me as the ‘cleaner’ in office.  I do not like it and I have told them multiple times. The other day I got into a verbal argument too as this really disturbs me though it is a joke. My tolerance towards this sort of mockery is really low. I do not like to be called as a cleaner and I believe working in a messy office can be distractive and reduce productivity. How do I deal with this?    

Ans: It is very evident that anybody name called as a cleaner would feel very upset and let down.  However cleaners are also human and it’s not like cleaning is any crime and they are degrading you, if you express to them that their name calling is upsetting you then they will continue teasing you as the outcome they want of bothering you is fulfilled. If you accept it with grace that you are somebody who likes things clean and obviously that is not a shame but rather a very good habit, which they too should practice, it will give them the reason to stop as you are no longer bothered by their talks. It’s very true that messy place is distractive and your productivity can be affected by it and if they fail to understand this, it’s clearly their loss, you do not need to feel guilty.