I’m being bullied at work by, of all people, our receptionist. You would think we should be able to work together as a team and get along being two adults, but no. She has this bizarre authoritarian complex. She is the receptionist and I am a qualified allied health worker. I never talk down to her or treat her as less than equal, I’m very realistic in the fact that we both have an important role to make our workplace run smoothly. Whenever our Boss is away she likes to dictate who gets to use his very prized car park. (This saves us arriving at work 20 mins earlier to fight for on street parking and then a 10-15 min walk to arrive at our workplace).
She uses his car-park whenever she likes and will not share. As she arrives 30 mins before I could possibly ever get there, I cannot use it. Very occasionally (like when she’s away) she makes a big song and dance about that fact that she’ll “allow” me to use it and isn’t she nice doing me such a favor.
I have asked her if it would be possible to take turns but she always has some reason as to why she desperately needs it. I asked her one day if i could please have it as I had to rush off that evening, to which she replied “but I also need to leave early and I know what I have on is far more important than whatever you could have on”.
I don’t want to take the issue to our boss as that would make me look petty, (as I know after-all it is “just a carpark”) but her constant need to make herself feel bigger and better than me and more important are really starting to get to me. She also engages in social conversation with our other colleagues in front of me but completely ignores me (as I’m just a nothing part-timer)and other such behaviors. I go to work as an enjoyable break from toddler talk, but lately shes been making it far from enjoyable.
Any advice?

Posted anonymously, 20th March 2015

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  • I would just pull her aside and ask her straight out if there is something you have done to upset her, when she says no, just tell her the way she speaks to you and treats you makes you feel bad and you don’t understand why! I find if you confront someone on their actions, they usually back off, not comfortable but sometimes necessary!


  • oh gosh! this sounds like a female that i used to work with! forget about her! honestly just ignore her. she will probably be more rude and seemingly uncaring just to try to annoy you but don’t take the bait!

    i know that i would think, fine have that carpark, at least i will get more exercise! Well she loses an extra 30mins more than necessary just to get this carpark while you are doing better things with your time!

    While she might treat you differently while you are at work, she probably treats someone else like poop, when you aren’t at work.

    Don’t take it personally and try not to waste your time thinking about her. If her behaviour is really bad, then report her. You shouldn’t have to put up with that in a workplace.


  • I would suggest a meeting with all staff to discuss the parking space and any other issues. A roster for the parking space would ensure it is fair and equitable for all staff members. Ensure minutes are taken and actions implemented during the meeting.


  • I was just about to suggest the same BellaB. I have been in a similar situation (however it was my boss who was the bully over petty things) and I was advised to document everything as often things get worse before they get better..


  • Difficult, as some of these are things that could sound silly in isolation. Maybe document everything for a month or two – just notes in a word document or diary – so that you can show your boss it’s a pattern of behaviour.


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