Work relationship going awry - Social Anxiety Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-08-2020, 12:38 PM Thread Starter
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Work relationship going awry


This is not strictly SA but I am seriously SA in every other aspect of life and have no place else to vent so I thought I'd just post here to get it out somewhere...

I have a colleague at work who is somewhere between a good colleague and a close friend. We don't meet outside of work much, but we've been working on a close personal basis for almost 5 years (shoulder to shoulder colleagues) so I know him very well.

Since I've met him, I've always had difficulties with him. Though I can talk very easily with him (he might be the one person I've ever known with whom I feel at ease) I also find him to have very difficult personal characteristics. For example, he lies and deceives, I am pretty sure. While we work for 2.5 hours together, he usually finishes his work as fast as possible and then sits out the remained of the time (sometimes 2 hours of the 2.5 hours we are supposed to work he plays on his cellphone), which irks me to no end.

This may not be really that bad, but there's other stuff. I notices he sometimes lies and withholds information to get what he wants. E.g., thrusday 2 weeks ago he came into work sick. He was aware of regulations with the coronacrisis going on, but did not tell me he was sick even though I was working next to him. I showed up at work and he was coughing and visibly ill. When I confronted him he told me he did not tell me out of shame, but I feel betrayed by these actions either ways.

There's more (feel free to skip this if anyone is reading but I just need to vent I feel). When a colleague of us from another department needs help (he has increased workload from time to time because he works alone) my colleague does not want to go help him. He says people will slack off if you help them and you will end up doing the work for him. I have to push him for us to go. I feel continually put on the spot because I have to argue with him over simple things that seem like simple human decency. But he never budges easily or in some cases doesn't.

The thing is, otherwise I get along with him great. Like I said, we talk a lot about stuff, interest, and other things and he is a great conversational partner. We have fun together. But as soon as it comes to stuff at work, we are polar opposites, and I feel I just cannot trust him when it comes down to the wire, which means I am constantly second-guessing his motives which is wearing on me.

Most of all, I just hate that stupid part of him that isn't upfront with me but deceives me, deceives others, tries to play with people. He is the literal definition of having cake and eating it too. He is such a cool person to hang out with, and at times he feels like an older brother. But the other half of the time I hate that I see him constantly trying to play everyone around them for his personal gain.

So then is the reason I am pointing this. For a long time, almost more than five years, I got along with him great. My difficulties with him were irksome, but I could swallow them, mostly because the job was good enough and he was nice to work with. But these last few weeks, I cannot seem to tolerate it anymore. I cannot get around the fact anymore that on some level I just hate working with him because his work attitude is the polar opposite of mine. I cannot seem to tolerate all the stupid things I mentioned above.

I don't know whether it's of this coronavirus, or maybe I could never tolerate him. As long as I've worked with him I never truly felt the need to hang out personally outside of work, even though he requested it now and again. It was always a "thing in between us". Or maybe it's just other pressures getting to me making it harder for me to swallow.

Right now I'm scared. I feel there've been tensions between us and I noticed he notices too. I'm afraid I just might blow and say the wrong things and we'll end up hating each other. Even though I have so many difficulties working with him, on a personal level he's the one person I get along with well and we share a lot of stuff (I normally would discuss this with him but... yeah, I can't).

I don't know what's going to happen and I'm really scared this thing will go sideways. Sorry if this turned into a blog post but I just had to get it out of the way. If anyone reading this has any thoughts I'd appreciate it, but there's not practical solutions here I feel. My emotions are so high and I cannot contain them anymore. I just hope I don't ruin what feels one of the few decent personal relationships I have in life.

Hangin' round that pineapple tree.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-08-2020, 01:57 PM
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When he "finishes" work early, does that mean you have to do extra work to make up for his laziness? Has he ever helped you out in any way?

To me it just seems like he realizes that you're not very assertive and knows you'll put up with him acting like that. I think you have to decide for yourself whether your desire to avoid tension with this person outweighs the lack of respect and just plain annoyance you're experiencing. If he was actually a friend, he wouldn't want you to feel this way and would hear you out.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-08-2020, 06:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kinsey View Post

Since I've met him, I've always had difficulties with him. Though I can talk very easily with him (he might be the one person I've ever known with whom I feel at ease) I also find him to have very difficult personal characteristics. For example, he lies and deceives,
There's an old saying - with friends like that you don't need enemies. He sounds like a jerk. People with low self esteem often end up with friends who take advantage of them.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-09-2020, 05:19 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, I typed a full reply and of course accidentily deleted it so that is great.

Quote:
When he "finishes" work early, does that mean you have to do extra work to make up for his laziness? Has he ever helped you out in any way?

To me it just seems like he realizes that you're not very assertive and knows you'll put up with him acting like that. I think you have to decide for yourself whether your desire to avoid tension with this person outweighs the lack of respect and just plain annoyance you're experiencing. If he was actually a friend, he wouldn't want you to feel this way and would hear you out.
He rushes through his work in half an hour and sits out the remainder 2.5 hours. This is possible in my workspace because no one really cares much besides delivering the bare minium.

And that's also one of the things. No one really cares about what you do as long as you show up. We all work on our own space in a big building so no-one really sees what you are doing. But even if they do, they care little. Our own chief sometimes shows up, and if he (or we, I am sometimes guilty too) are sitting around he'll not reprimand us. My colleague even got offered a promotion to managing duties even though our chief is fully aware that he idles around (and has even seen him left work early even though he was still clocked in - yeah it's that kind of organization).

Quote:
There's an old saying - with friends like that you don't need enemies. He sounds like a jerk. People with low self esteem often end up with friends who take advantage of them.
I don't think he's a jerk, but he just tries so very little for most things. I have to admit at the same time that our job is quite menial - me myself, I only took it because it provides me financially but it is not one of those jobs that aspires to much. At the same time I feel like we're still responsible for putting in the effort and trying to at least do our work properly. But he doesn't care and it just wears me out.

And maybe I could deal if he doesn't care about the job and does the bare minimum. But why manipulate others, I just don't get it. Two days ago he asked 2 of our colleagues from another department to help out, and they did. We didn't need any help, but he just said he didn't feel like working so he called them and said to them "we are short on time and we need help". Which they did, and I am left standing there thinking, why call these people when we are perfectly able to do our work ourselves?

It just wears me out. Looking at him, trying to do so very little but the bare minimum to get by. He will go with the wind in any direction that seems to serve his favor. I've worked with other colleagues here but most them at least seem to care a little bit and try to do their work as best as possible. But he just doesn't.

So yeah, I feel I cannot deal with it anymore. I try to suppress but whenever I see him I'm just totally flushed with frustration and anger. I just hope I'll be able to channel it in a meaningful way without everything blowing up... ugh...

I'll let anyone who cares knows how it works out, I hope for the better but maybe otherwise I'll just quit this stupid job because somehow I feel I can't even deal with this this anymore. Ugh

Hangin' round that pineapple tree.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-11-2020, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
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Well, for anyone curious, I sat with him and told him everything. I just felt like I needed to so much, so I asked him: why do you do these things, what is your goal. He insisted that I was overthinking everything and had a reason for the things he did. He explained them but it didn't feel satisfactory to me. Finally I just said to him: from the beginning that I met him I had a sense that I couldn't trust him. I said that to his face and he couldn't take it. He stood up and walked away from me because he said he couldn't deal with what I was saying. That killed me right then and there and I broke down crying because I felt so freaking bad. He said he had always thought of me as a friend and my words hurt him deeply.

He came back to the room I was sitting like 5 minutes after and I instantly went back on everything I said. I said I trusted him completely (which is not the case) and that I was just having rough day, that's why I was acting out (which I feel I wasn't). I did it partly because I didn't want to ruin his impression of me (he said he saw me as a friend and I didn't want to take that from him because I'm the only friend he has he says) and also partly because I was scared he might hurt me (he is a big guy and like I said, he has a history of antisocial acts so I just don't know what he is capable of).

So yeah, I told him the truth, then went back on it immediately. Right now I feel awful, weirdly enough in part because I went back on my words that I did mean but I did not want things to escalate (he didn't seem like he'd be able to handle it if I pressed further). I'm going to find a new job soon so I can leave this behind, because to be honest... I just do not want to face him anymore. Being truthful would crush him and cause a lot of drama, but holding it back to spare him is killing me. So I will find a new job away from him... ridiculous as it is, I just can't be the one to tell him that in the last 5 years that he saw me as a friend I never truly did (+ I'm scared for my safety if I did).

So yeah, I feel like ****. Hope I didn't type too much here but it's been a ride. Just want to leave this behind and start anew.

Hangin' round that pineapple tree.
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