Dealing with a screamer at work
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|Fri, 04-26-2013 - 5:46am|
There's a screamer in my office who regularly personally attacks people for very minor things, such as being a few minutes late for meetings. While I agree being late is unprofessional, it doesn't justify the amount of screaming and vitriol directed at the other person. She does the same things herself but there's hell to pay if you call her on it (as I discovered recently). The only time when she isn't screaming is when she wants something, then she'll be your new BFF. And she rarely contributes to solutions but tears down other people's attempts to fix work problems.
She isn't in my team but we sometimes have to have meetings with her. She's recently started to use meetings to make people look bad in front of others. My coworker asked for feedback on some draft documents. In the days before the meeting, this woman had only positive feedback and was nice as pie. But in the meeting, which my coworker believed was to finalise the feedback, she brought in her supervisor (without my coworker's knowledge) and proceeded to accuse my coworker of deliberately stealing her work because my coworker had accidentally referenced her work without including her name.
She justifies her behaviour with comments like "I'm blunt, I say what needs to be said and if people can't handle that, get out" or "People deserve it and they need to learn from their mistakes". But she also makes fun of people's medical problems and jokes about suing people for sexual harrassment "if they piss me off". She also singles out a different person every month to pick fights with. I only talk to her if there's work reason and keep the conversations short, but I suspect it's only a matter of time before she tries this out on me.
My dilemma is that it's hard to be assertive with these types because that makes them retaliate even more, but if you say nothing you are condoning their behaviour. Management knows her behaviour but for some reason they have a policy of appeasement with her. I'd be grateful for any advice people might have for dealing with this person. Thanks.