Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Touché Tuesday Advice Column

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Dear Jen,
My co-worker routinely takes credit for MY work/ideas. I don't want to tattle to our boss, but I do want it to stop. She is driving me crazy. Any suggestions?
All the best, Frustrated in Florida

Dear Frustrated,
I know the feeling. I also know that my advice on this is easier to say than do. Because I'm a sayer. I often let bad behavior slide because I don't want to rock the boat. Keep everyone else happy and you'll be happy, right? Not usually. Here are a few suggestions for tackling this problem head on (boat - tackle, get it?).  

[I have no idea what you do so I will stick with the fishing theme for my examples. It was that or stripping. You're welcome. Unless you are a stripper. In that case, good for you for not wasting your assets.]  
  1. Be direct with her. Say something like, "Betty, I have noticed that you sometimes pass my crabs and crabbing ideas off as your own. I put a lot of work into my crabs and would appreciate it if you would stop doing this."
        a. Optional: add a compliment to soften the blow. (Blow softening reduces retaliation.)  
            "You are so amazing with fish nets anyway; you don't need my crabs!".
  2. Pavlov her. Each time she takes credit for your big tuna, give her a subtle reprimand such as coughing on her or bumping her bait bucket or slapping her in her stupid face (except not that last one). Each time she does something good, reward her with something like a piece of chocolate or a compliment or fancy fishing line. She should start to exhibit more and more good behavior. I hear this also works great with children and dogs. 
  3. Stop it. Stop sharing your crabs with her. If she asks about a catch, say you are coming up empty. And lock your tackle-box at quiting time. If you are required to share work/ideas with her, cut her off at the pass. Find a way to show your boss your catch before your co-worker gets her hooks into it.
♥ Do As I Say, Not As I Do Jen


  1. I just related 1, 2, & 3 to strippers and prostitutes. You made it too easy.