My co-worker is evil, and I don’t know how to stop it. It has taken me awhile to figure out her game but now I think I know what she is doing:
She is an alpha female and has a rather large fan base of people who come by for the latest gossip. She loves to chat in a low whisper to get them to hover closer, and she can turn anything into high drama. However, she tends to fabricate information if there is nothing juicy to report.
For instance, she came into the office yesterday and said to me, “Oh my, you are in a bad mood today - take a breath, don’t let this work situation get to you.”
The thing is, I was not in a bad mood (well, at least I wasn’t until she decided to make that the story of the day) and when people came into the office she would say, “Be careful, DMark is in a bad mood today.” Within hours, people were coming up to me saying, “Take it easy - everything will be OK…” and it had become “fact” that DMark was having a bad day.
She also likes to play office physic with everyone - popping up with odd facts, “You like to drink beer.” “You spend a lot of time going to clubs on the weekend.” “You don’t like your brothers and sisters.” “You don’t like Kathy in Accounting.”
None of this is based on an iota of truth, but she will throw things out there to see what sticks, and then proclaim it as fact. Often, people are flabbergasted and say, “That’s not true.” and that will make her smile and say, “OK, I won’t tell anyone.” as if she now shares this little secret…
Now this might all seem rather harmless, but this woman has a direct line to the president of the company who seems to think he is getting the “inside dirt” on his employees. She has single-handedly gotten two people fired that she didn’t like; it took a few months, but she eventually fabricated enough stories to put those people on the defensive. Suddenly those people got unwanted attention focused on them, causing strife with other employees and getting them the reputation as troublemakers, even though they had done nothing to warrant this.
To make this even more sinister, this woman is going through some health issues, so she has the advantage of the sympathy factor; “How could this poor woman tell anything but the truth?” She will use this anytime a story backfires and she simply resorts to “Maybe it is my medication, but that I what I understood to be true.”
It is like sharing an office with a snake, and we are all plump mice waiting to see who’s next for dinner.
Any suggestions on stopping this would be welcome.