What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

Coworker From Hell

by Kelly
(Maryland, USA)

I am a Research Associate at a small company in Maryland. It's a Contract Research Organization in the biologics field. Unfortunately for me, I'm not a citizen of America. This makes it very, very difficult for me to switch jobs because the minute companies see that I need visa support they refuse to hire me. I have an engineering degree in biotech, then an MS from Johns Hopkins and now an MBA. I am overly qualified for my position but I liked the position very much and when I started I didn't have an MBA. I have a really horrible coworker who makes my life at work next to impossible and I am at a loss of how to deal with her.

Must mention before I begin that I am 27 and she is 36-38 (I'm not quite sure). She is doing the same job as me because she went to college later on in life. This coworker has come up to me and told me that I don't deserve my job because I "don't have enough experience". She has also told me that I should not have been hired at the same pay grade as some of my other coworkers (who are all also Research Associates). I have also been told by her that I need to look for another job and that I have no future at this company. Other than that, the every day stuff includes telling me my food stinks, not letting me know when the team is getting together for lunch (everyone except me eats together), excluding me on purpose from anything that is not directly work related and worst of all, making sure everyone else does the same. My other coworkers have been nice to me but only when she isn't around. She has even colored my boss's perception of me to the extent that my boss told me in the exact same words that she used that I needed to be in a "more administrative role". The point is, my boss never even bothered to train me or work with me! I learnt on the go and unfortunately, this coworker was my chief jailer-in-charge. Anything I enjoy (including my work), she takes away from me. I am at my wits end with trying to work with her. I don't understand why. AT ALL. I have done everything in my power to be a good coworker. I don't complain and I do every task I can think of even if its menial. I think I am the only person at my workplace that folds biohazard boxes with a smile.

On a more personal level, since this is such a small company, most people are quite close. I have seen other coworkers who have joined after me get treated really well and be accepted completely. I understand that her and her husband have gone through a lot (she had 3 miscarriages and 2 of those were after IVF). I have tried to be as supportive as possible but what more can I do? It was her personal decision to not have children till later on in life and I have no idea what I could have done to change anything? I even helped her look for her lost dog and get it a welcome home present when she was found. I am just sick of the anxiety all this has put me through. Any inputs, feedback or tips would really help!

Thanks!

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