Vindictive Coworkers


I need advise on how to deal with a coworker who repeated refers to me as a bitch or the bitch. I can’t think of anything I’ve ever done to offend her or deserve such treatment but it’s extremely hurtful to say the least. Yesterday I was seated at a table alone and she said she refused to sit by “the bitch”. I’m at a loss as how to respond to this. I’m not a person who likes to get into confrontations with others at work. I feel it’simmature and unprofessional but I don’t feel I should have to allow her to treat me this way either. How should I respond. I have to keep this job at least for the next six months to a year.


If it was me and she was a he, I’d break (his) nose, but then I’m a guy.

I had a smilar problem with a putz who was ticked because I was hired from outside to do a job he wanted. He became such an offensive PITA that he was finally invited to go away. And I’m still around. Besides, I prefer to sit alone at lunch.

If your conscience is clean, then it’s her problem, and while I don’t recommend responding in kind then just do your job and ignore her. I’d just pray she isn’t the head of some insidious clique.

By all means, speak nicely to her. It scores points for you with her co-workers and inevitably gets her goat. It might just turn her around. A soft answer turneth away wrath and all that…

Good luck, I’ll say a prayer for you.


Have you discussed the problem with your boss? This is completely unacceptable, immature and unprofessional behavior, and she needs to be called out for it.


report this to your supervisor that you are being harrassed. Document, document. This person should be counseled on professionalism in the workplace. I would also find out if there is a written policy on this subject.



Then walk up to her, eyes meeting hers, then look down and in the sweetest voice you can, muster up (not a bit a sarcasm, or this won’t work) say…

“I’ve noticed that you call me b!tch or the b!tch on a regular basis. I’m so sorry that I have offended you. Apparently I have done something to hurt your feelings and I’m not sure what it is, but I want you to know that I am truly sorry for anything I have done. Let me know what more I can do to open up the lines of friendship.” Humble and contrite is the key here.

Then walk away Don’t do it to make a scene but, make sure it is in front of other people. (like the lunchroom)
She sounds like a bully and you are just a target.

One of two things are going to happen. Either she will be taken aback and will actually come around or she will look like a total fool everytime she calls you a name. She will then go on to another target.

Blessed are the meek. Be meek and you will be on top of the situation.

I’ll be praying for you!


Tell the co-worker to stop that her behavior is harassment. Then go to your boss and report it. If it continues then make an appointment to speak with Human Resources about it.


Hi Sierrah,

I feel for you. I have endured a similar situation with an elderly co-worker (71 years old!) who is very passive aggressive, though, so she never calls me things like that to my face. She does, however, carry on about me when I’m not there and has made herself a nuisance to my boss and co-workers because of it. My boss has even apologized to me because she feels badly that it happens, and believes it is undeserved. She has also personally thanked me for never giving in to the nastiness and back stabbing out of respect for this woman’s age.

It’s verrrrrry hard, I know. I suggest you pray to that co-worker’s guardian angel and ask the angel to inspire that person to stop it, or at least look for peace. Pray also to St. Joseph to help you, as he is the patron saint of workers.

However, on a professional level, this is not only unacceptable, but in most places, grounds for dismissal. I would talk to your supervisor IMMEDIATELY. Better yet, go to HR. File a grievance and ask for HR to follow through to a resolution. No one deserves this, NO ONE!!! I can understand you not wanting to make waves (been there, too) but you HAVE to be proactive about this. It will NOT go away. She sounds like an idiot, to be honest, to think she can carry on like that at work.

Please, pursue a resolution through official channels. Once you bring this to the attention of your boss and/or HR, they are obliged by law (I think) to resolve it.

Good luck, I’ll pray for you! Keep us posted!


Hi Sierrah,

Does she call you this to your face or do others tell you that she refers to you as a b****?

If she calls you this name to your face firmly tell her that is unacceptable and she needs to be respectful. Bullies will often back off when their victim fights back. I have gone through similar situations and while I was shaking in my boots while I was talking…the person immediately backed down and back pedalled the incident.

If she calls you this behind your back. Ask to see her privately. If she refuses then ask for your boss to set up a meeting between the two of you. Very calmly tell her you’ve been hearing from others that she is calling you this name behind your back. Is this true? And look her in the eyes the whole time you’re talking. She’ll most likely backpedal and that’ll be the end of it. If not, then I would pursue it in a more official manner like others have already suggested.

Good luck!


Well until yesterday she only did it within my hearing or as I was passing by a few times so I wasn’t sure I was the one she was talking about. Yesterday I was sitting at a table in the break room and she said it publically in front of everyone…but not facing me I had my back to her …she said she wouldn’t sit with the bitch and my mine was the only empty table so I couldn’t be mistaken who she was talking about. I just wish I had a good come back. Nothing nasty mind you just something that would make her realize how immature her behaviour is but not give her any power. I just want to do my job and go home. I can’t stand playing mind games. If I go to management she has a large group of supporters (friends) who would make my life miserable while I’m there. :frowning: I know she probably needs to the job too and I’m not interested in getting anyone fired. I’ll try praying.


Confront her first. Politely, as one poster suggested. If that doesn’t work, start documenting. Do you job. Keep up with your projects, or what your job description entails. Next go to the supervisor and request a sit down. If it still continues, and others join in…(if it is big company, file a grievance with HR)…if it is a small company look up your nearest EEO office. If more than 50 people are employed there, you can impose harrassment. You do not have to endure this behavior. Bullies usually have a “click” where they know something on each member and use it to blackmail them should they side with you.


She is a bully and this is harrassment. She doesn’t have friends and supporters, she has a clique of people who are afraid of her and go along so she won’t turn on THEM. Do not talk to her, document it well and then talk to the boss.


I agree with most everything that has been said. As a manager of a crew of 25, I’ve seen lots of personality conflicts. Usually, they result from misunderstandings. However, as a manager, they are very difficult to resolve until the parties decide that they want to drop the childishness.

My advice: 1) Pray hard for this person, 2) recognize that her inappropriate behavior is probably the symptom of some larger problem in her own life, 3) do your best to smile and be kind to everyone in your office, and 4) document everything.

Prayer and kindness are powerful tools for disarming angry people!

God Bless!


Thanks everyone I feel much better after praying about it. She didn’t bother yesterday but I will start a log. If she gives me a problem a again I will let ask her what her problem is an a proactive way to let her know I won’t be pushed around but also to open the door to communication. If the problem persists after that then I’ll notify management. I will continue to pray for her as well. :thumbsup: :cool:


AELondon gave excellent advise. St Paul recommended ‘heaping coals of kindness’ on the heads of our enemies. He’s giving us tactical advise, in my opinion.

This woman is baiting you to try to get a response of some sort. If she has a large group of supporters behind her, you are correct, you will be the loser by any direct confrontation. This is an aspect of the culture where you work that you have no control over.

This is workplace bullying. It is very similar to schoolyard bullying. There are some good resources out there that could help you. Do a search on the web on workplace bullying and see what you can find. The dynamics you are describing are no different than those we encountered in junior high school.


Go to your supervisor. if that doesnt work get a lawyer. I am an employer and I wouldnt put up with that from an employee for one second.


Your attitude is commendable, Bob. I’m afraid it’s also not always the case, and often workplace bullies prevail. I’ve seen enough of it in the medical field to last a life time. I’ve seen excellent nurses driven off of units by bullying unit secretaries or nurses who wielded incredible social power on units, aided by weak managers and supervisors who were lazy and clueless. It’s very difficult to fight. Lawyers are expensive and not always a good option for working people.

I’m not surprised about your no nonesense approach however. :wink: You are a straight shooter kind of man!


CYA, CYA, CYA… If you haven’t figured out what that stands for “Cover Your A**”. Document dates, times & places. Carry a pocket recorder and catch her in the act berating you.


Confront her in a non-threatening way *in public/not alone *(the breakroom) and ask her face to face (with the recorder running) “Is there something I’ve done to make you dislike me? I’ve have heard you refer to me as “the bitch” several times… would you like the dates & times?.. or listen to yourself?..I’d really like to resolve this between us before I go to HR with the tapes and my notes…”

This kind of petty cr*p belongs on a playground, not in the workplace.


Unfortunately, this is not as unusual as it should be. I used to work at a company where the majority of the employees were women, and it did kind of become apparent that there is a difference in the way that men and women deal with problems with others. Men deal with it directly. A lot of women though, if they have a problem with someone, will go around complaining to every one, except the person they are having a problem with. Guess which method is more successful at actually dealing with the problem?

I say definitely ask her why she thinks you are a bi…


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