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How do I speak to a co-worker about an incident that caused much drama at work?

Tagged as: Friends, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (20 April 2017) 5 Answers - (Newest, 21 April 2017)
A female Canada age , *ralee writes:

Great site....level headed advice.

I work in a high school in a pretty volatile classroom.

I am slated to work in two schools and about two months ago now some drama broke out in one of the sites when I was at the other one. The situation did not involve me but had a great impact nontheless.

I work with men and there was another woman working with me.My understanding was that they wanted to increase her work load and when she questioned it they yelled at her. This caused her to faint and she has been off for the past two month. I reached out to her by text and tried to support her but I would by lying if I said it did not drag me down as I continued to work professionally and cheerfully with the guys for the sake of the students.

I did not like the way the employer handled it....two unions involved and the directive was that we were not to talk about the incident so there was no mediation forthcoming.

She has now returned to the site and her timetable has been set so she has no contact with the guys. For their part they have said nothig about the incident and have moved on but I must admit I have missed her up there.

She is now based in another classroom and has great support but when I come down to that classroom to teach she seems annoyed that I am not full of vengeance at the guys upstairs. I have to work with them and do not have the luxury she has of getting lots of accomodations. I think she incurred ptsd but the guys have been rough with me before...I am rather a sturdy type. Essentially she is angry at me because of my association with them.

I am thinking my solution to this is to carry on and openly speak about the situation up there...I was left behind and had to get tough.

The other thing I was thinking was to talk to her but in a way kind of drained by the drama she has created.

Which solution would be better or feel free to suggest an alternative.

View related questions: at work, co-worker, text

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (21 April 2017):

Honeypie agony auntI agree with WiseOwlE,

Focus on what's important - YOUR job and YOUR students.

I get that she want you to be as angry at these guys as she is, but the thing is it's not YOUR business or JOB to do so. To be honest it sounds like she is in a job she can't quite handle emotionally and professionally.

I'm not sure how the coworkers are being "rough" on her by expecting her to pull her weight or pull MORE weight than she was - IF she wasn't pulling HER share before the incident. Impossible to really judge that since we don't really know the full story.

Don't get entwined in the drama that YOU can not fix, that you actually have no REAL part in.

If she NEEDS to talk about it, she needs to go through HR and the teacher's union.

I get that you want things to go back to "normal" (pre-drama) and that you see TALKING about it, MEDIATING is the way to go. And I agree in many cases it would be - in this? No. Not your circus, NOT your monkeys.

If you feel like she is suffering from "PTSD" (Though I truly resent people using that term for having bad coping skills constantly - but I digress) TALK to her about seeing a counselor - I'm sure the Union can provide that for her. Help her, to HELP herself.

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A female reader, aunt honesty Ireland + , writes (20 April 2017):

aunt honesty agony auntI guess the best thing you can do is stay out off it. At the end off the day this is your work place and you should not have to get involved in such matters. Similar happened to me recently where I had to make a complaint. HR dealt with it. Am I annoyed when I see coworkers talk to him? No because I am mature enough to realize that I am the one with the problem and that they need to work with him.

I get why you feel caught up but if she is cold with you then that is her problem. Not yours. You have done nothing wrong.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (20 April 2017):

There is only one option. Center your focus on your job and the students (if you teach or interact with students) and let her deal with her own drama.

You're not a part of it unless you let yourself be drawn into it. People will test you to see how much they can sway you to their side or manipulate you. You've gotten past the issue; and it's up to her to get the help she needs to get past whatever that issue was. Assuming it was a lot of teasing or hazing from the men. Sounds unprofessional.

If you're tough as you say, you should be able to endure whatever mess she's tossing your way. You said the guys toughened you up; well, use it to your advantage.

You have to learn diplomacy and have a backbone. You can't bend every-way the winds blows. Let her know you support her, but will not involve yourself in her drama. You're there to do your job. Let her pout or faint. Let her deal with her own issues. She's not your boss or your responsibility.

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A female reader, CoreMessage United Kingdom +, writes (20 April 2017):

CoreMessage agony auntSo she's mad at you because you're not mad at them? Yea, that's common. She wants to feel like you're 100% on her side but she needs to understand that you have to work with them and you want peace around the office.

I think you should have an honest talk with her alone. Explain your situation to her. Help her understand that you being hostile towards the guys wont make the situation any better, and it will make your work day a lot harder.

I hope this helped a lil bit and I hope this gets resolved

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A male reader, Billy Bathgate United States + , writes (20 April 2017):

This is pretty simple. The drama has passed. Do not dredge it up. Unless of course you are the type who likes to cause drama

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