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Discussion Starter #1
Hi friends, it's been a while, and honestly I've missed you all.

I hope some of you may have some great ideas or advice in a complex interpersonal work related issue.

In my job we are evaluated yearly and this affects the number of days we get hired per week. Until now I was in the top position and hired full time.

In a shock decision a rival has taken my place. I may hardly work at all now.

This rival - we'll call him Jesse - is a scum bag who is always mouthing off and extremely rude to customers (bordering on criminal comments) but charming when managers are watching.

He knows how to play the system and do the right extra curricular work tasks to earn brownie points.

He is also extremely offensive and racist in the breakroom - things you wouldn't believe. Seriously, turn your stomach stuff. Unless a manager is around, then he's funny and engaging.

These oblivious managers are the ones that put him above me because he does the extra curricular work tasks and seems nice when they're watching.

On one occasion I was told that he was spreading fake stories about my sex life to new hires.

Seems like a no brainier right: go to HR? Not so quick.

Problems:
1. The last major incident with him was a year ago. I convinced myself not to then it became too late to do.
2. Going to HR now will make it look like retaliation for the evaluation (it is.)
3. The witnesses to his incidents about me have just told me they don't want to get involved and won't be able to corroborate and it'll ruin my close friendships with them (though I have their email to me showing what they said happened the day it happened)
4. If I snitch, I look bad, he'll be livid, and it will create a hostile work environment or worse.
5. The YouTube video I found a few months ago of him being rude to a special needs customer has vanished.

I've thought instead about some half measure like tell his manager* informally to keep their eyes open as he's done xyz though I'm not making a formal report. But I'm not sure about that. Might look desperate.

*Complicating it further, I'm told the sole manager that gives us all the scores is in a book club with him so they possibly meet outside work, socially. Him and her. This could've influenced her scoring or maybe not. But might mean she tells him anything I say to her informally.

He's put me in an impossible situation. I'm damned if I do damned if I don't.

What would you do about a douche that everyone knew was a douche except the very people who elevated him to golden boy status?

Thanks for listening.
 

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I work with someone like this who was very, very charming at first. She had her best smile on in front of the decision makers, got promoted from receptionist to chemist [with no goddamned experience] in three weeks. Ingratiated herself to the "right" people, but was a dick to anyone she felt wouldn't help her on her way to the top. She spread rumors, was aggressive with her rivals [myself included] but she was always 'on' for the right people.

Then, about a year into her game her true colors started showing to those people she hid it from - all because she was told no. Coworkers are still cordial with her, but now they all know that she's trouble and will likely never receive that specific promotion she wanted because of the antics she pulled.

Even though he's bad-mouthing you to new hires and your so-called friends don't want to get involved, just remember that people like this guy you're having issues with always screw themselves over. If you can, document his behavior and allow for the truth to come out over time.

As for HR, I complained about her once and left it at that. I think it's key to speak what's on your mind just once or twice so it doesn't look like you're actively trying to set this person up. It also helps if you have a solid reputation at work and/or are known to complain very little. Higher-ups tend to pay attention when a person like that has something negative to say about an employee.

But your case is a bit different since this person knocked you off your spot. So maybe your first line of defense should be about yourself and how you could improve your performance. [You know you didn't do anything wrong, but this is a set-up to show HR that you're concerned about what's best for the company rather than getting revenge on the troublemaker.]

If you go to HR, take the emotion out of it. If all of your complaints are about his personality, then don't bother. Assume that they know [since you said he had a major incident last year] and they don't care. The only way to get to them would be about his work ethic and if you can't do that, approach them about yours to see what they can do for you.
 

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For all you know he got hired "through the back door" - his r/p with the manager. If they're personal friends, it's gonna be hard for you to pull him down because his manager may just sweep everything under the carpet to protect her friend. But that's not to say you let him be. You should quietly collect all the evidence against him while at the same time, gather all evidence to protect yourself least he tries to take another stab at you.

Since you can't do anything about the last incident anymore, then you should just leave it but be watchful. If he tries something funny again, don't be afraid to confront him. Some bullies continue their behaviour as long as their victims are willing to suffer in silence, but stop once they've been busted. If he threatens to blow it up, take the matter to HR because you would have gathered all your evidence by then. When it comes to direct clash, you need to make sure you have all your ammo, else you will lose all credibility. So don't be hasty or be easily triggered by his antics.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys.

I should add he's been there 8 years, but the managers change every year or 2, so he does show his colors I'm sure, but then those who saw them leave and he gets to act all over again for new ones.
 

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Oooh. The advice I gave was for a recent hire and not someone that's been there for years. Yikes! You are in a pickle.
 
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Sounds NPD, show him you don't care to undermine him. He'll most likely get a bad performance review which will deter him from continuing.
 
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Thanks guys.

I should add he's been there 8 years, but the managers change every year or 2, so he does show his colors I'm sure, but then those who saw them leave and he gets to act all over again for new ones.
Oops, I thought he was a newbie! And how long have YOU been with this company? Why do they change manager so frequently? Sounds like he's a very smart bootlicker and knows how to play the game well. This is the kinda person we called a "cockroach". They don't die easily. You gotta play it very safe there. Collecting evidence for offense and defence is still your best bet.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Oops, I thought he was a newbie! And how long have YOU been with this company? Why do they change manager so frequently? Sounds like he's a very smart bootlicker and knows how to play the game well. This is the kinda person we called a "cockroach". They don't die easily. You gotta play it very safe there. Collecting evidence for offense and defence is still your best bet.
I've been there a few years less than him. Managers just don't last for whatever reason.

What's the best way to trap a cockroach...?
 

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I've been there a few years less than him. Managers just don't last for whatever reason.

What's the best way to trap a cockroach...?
I dealt with such a 'cockroach' before who had a personal relationship with the dept boss. While pretending to be a very nice and helpful person, she repeatedly set me up for failure and often made me look bad in front of our boss, and I knew that she was secretly stealing and claiming other colleagues' (including mine) work as her own. These colleagues kept quiet because they were powerless junior staff. So I decided to collect evidence of her incompetencies and dishonesty. For eg. I was in-charge of collating our team's monthly KPIs which she had previously manipulated the numbers to make herself look good. While it was in my hands, her incompetency and previous dishonesty was exposed. Another time I kicked her out of a project completely so that she could not steal the team's credit. We eventually delivered the work with higher quality than when she was involved and it made the boss realise that she wasn't the competent one in the team. Also, I won the trust of our dept's deputy who would take my side when conflicts happened. Eventually this 'cockroach' left me alone for fear of being ousted.

The story above is the work of my evil INFJ and I don't play such "games" unless extremely provoked.

Everyone has weaknesses so you need to find out what his are and use them. You said he lets his true self out when managers are not watching so you should collect these evidence. And these evidence should be work-related, not about personal quarrels, because you need to show that you're professional and above board. If he can make the manager his friend, you can too. Don't bootlick but build trust. You said he gained favour because he did extra tasks. Why don't you do that too? Bosses all love employees who go the extra mile.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the advice. I'm not going to play the game and do the extra tasks just to get credit because then I'd be like him. I'd rather get a different job. But I will collect evidence on his Customer abuse.

As the current list is over a year old I don't think I can take it to management and don't want to be a snitch and create a hostile work environment anyway.

But one idea I did have was to write everything that's happened in a personal statement and ask the managers to put it in my file. Explain I don't want to make a report, I just want it on record in case it ever comes back on me (we were both in front of the customers and we both look like brothers though we're not.) Then tell them to feel free to read it.
 

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IMO - Ignore his work as it relates to yours; work on shining on your own. Report anything truly hateful or racist he says; it is workplace harassment and creates an unsafe environment for all employees, and as such should be documented regardless of whether you consider him a rival or not. If your company doesn't control for this sort of situation, it might be worth looking at other jobs.

Several years ago I had a sort of similar situation with a young woman who ended up being my manager... I observed as she got praise out on the floor and falsified her numbers in the backroom, while pointing the finger at her staff for anything that she did wrong. She requested a pre-termination documentation be written up for me after I openly said that her something was her error, not my team's. In return, I did go out of my way to expose her, as I felt she was detrimenting the wellbeing of my whole team. But while my efforts were reasonably successful, I felt like I wasted much personal energy on her that would have been better put towards my own improvement and skill development. My career didn't take off after she was fired... it took off a year later after I stepped my own game up and told management I wanted a promotion.

If I could do it over again, I would have spent more time and energy honing my own skills and less time focusing on her, and I would probably also have applied to positions in other departments. Meanwhile, I would report the true harassment to HR. Hard data speaks for itself... while an employee who talks the talk and goes above and beyond is naturally liked, it is still highly unlikely for the company to determine that they are worth any number of lawsuits.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well, I met with HR today to report the historical issues so that management could keep a closer eye on him whilst working under the assurance that they would not approach him about the past issues. However HR did say that it is helping them to build a jigsaw of this person's behavior and they may have had prior reports to mine. I am hoping his days are numbered. Either way the shock on the HR guy's face when I told him the things that were said whilst reading from my written notes with dates, was enough for me. He was absolutely floored by the offensive nature of what the other person said. Good!
 
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