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Work Colleague Taking Advantage

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As many of you know I am, in retirement, working as a passenger assistant. This means a driver picks me up we collect child(ren) take them and pick them up from a centre then either go home until next job or straight to another.

Most jobs are 90 minutes but can be 1 to 3 hours which often means an hour or so indoors until pick up. My driver lives at least half an hour away so cannot get home between jobs and being an hospitable person I began inviting her in for a cuppa.

I am now working with her most of the time and she is inviting herself in whenever we are not in transit. She uses my loo (naturally) but has now begun helping herself to a glass out of my cupboard, cutlery out of my draw to peel and eat food, turning tv/lights on and off etc without a by your leave! If we have several jobs a day this is now common practise.

I realise I have made my own bed........but how could I tell her to naff off and wait somewhere in the street in the vehicle while I take my ease at home.

It has become unbearable being with her all day and I resent her acting as if my home was hers. Even with my best friend of 35 years we wouldn't dream of opening each others fridge, cupboard etc without asking or being invited. I am at my wits end and we are irritating the life out of each other, what can I do????

Lynibis
a week ago
What do you think of this?
Ann1984
Ann1984a week ago

😂 sorry this made me laugh because I tell people make yourself at home. But then again if was working with someone I wouldn’t invite in. We maybe have same 3 families visit few times of year but then they sleep for weekends so that’s why I say make self at home.

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Lynibis
Lynibis
Original Poster
a week ago

Yes of course and family and friends can do as they please in my home and I also say make yourself at home when they visit. I only have one morning coffee so often forget to ask if anyone wants a drink as I am on water all day, so I say don't wait for me to ask make yourself a drink.

The thing is Ann, we plan for visits and want our guests to be happy but I now feel forced into this and I don't even like the woman! She is not a friend.

It has further repercussions in that I don't feel free to get stuff done or go into my office on pc, or pop out to the shops. She is also quite cheeky if I eat and asks for food too. I have always offered but once again it is a one way street so now I try to not eat in front of her. People tell me I am too soft and I often go the extra mile for others but they see me as a soft touch rather than treating me the same.

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Ann1984
Ann1984a week ago

Lynibis maybe you could say I got so much on this week do you mind if you wait elsewhere. Or you have family coming. If you offended her that’s not your fault she forced herself in your home. Then take it lesson learned

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angelik
angelika week ago

Perhaps you could try telling her some days that you can't invite her in because you've got personal business to attend to, errands to run, phonecalls to make, etc. Just little things that suggest you need some privacy or time to yourself.

It sounds like she's assuming that every time you work together she's automatically invited into your home, but if she starts to realize that that's not the case, maybe she'll back off a bit.

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Lynibis
Lynibis
Original Poster
a week ago

Yes, that's exactly the case. The first few times I didn't realise we would be working together more or less permanently but now she takes it for granted.

Our job is such that if parents don't show up for the contact we are often called to fetch the kids early, or another job is added at short notice so she knows I can't go anywhere.

She is so cheeky that if I said I had personal stuff to do she would suggest sitting in my lounge or diner while I go in my office!

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angelik
angelika week ago

Lynibis She sounds like a right nuisance! If she's not the type to respond to hints then the suggestion below sounds good, having her drop you off elsewhere. You need to break this habit she's got into of just assuming she's invited in to your home.

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Mango4
Mango4a week ago

What a horrible position this person has put you in, and as you have to work with them on a predominately one to one basis in a confined space ( so you can't just avoid them) it's so difficult. The only thing I can suggest is you ask your employer if they could put you on another route/ vehicle with a different driver otherwise ask them to drop you at a friends or the shops or anywhere but your house for a while, hopefully they won't tag along then.

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Lynibis
Lynibis
Original Poster
a week ago

That is a great idea because drivers have to drop us anywhere we like (within reason) because our time between jobs is our own. We get paid per job, not per hour or a salary.

She used to moan about her previous PA asking to be dropped at family houses in order to visit and I can see why now!

I must sound awful but as you say we are stuck together and if you don't particularly get on with someone it can be hell, especially as I am so used to my own company.

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lilyflower
lilyflowera week ago

Lynibis I was going to suggest the same as Mango up to your holiday then by the time you get back she may have got the hint.

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Lynibis
Lynibis
Original Poster
a week ago

Maybe, as I know other PAs don't invite drivers in all the time. But then I suppose I am being a bit unfair because the rest of us live local so other drivers have time to go home too.

There is one PA who never invites anyone in and when my driver worked with her on a short job she asked to be taken home for a mere 15 minutes while driver had to wait in vehicle!

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lilyflower
lilyflowera week ago

Lynibis Maybe it's time to start hoovering around her or cover chairs etc reading to 'decorate'. Hide the TV remote and unplug from wall. Put a 'cafe' price list on fridge door or be out of milk/coffee even if you have to hide it. Or just be point blank and say "I've things to do in the garden and rather you came outside

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gerrykelly25
gerrykelly25a week ago

Oh I sympathise Lynibis. This is a really uncomfortable situation but she is taking advantage! I agree about telling her you have some personal business to attend to. Is there a supermarket with a cafe nearby she can go to? Then ask for a new driver. You don’t want to feel awkward in your own home!

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Lynibis
Lynibis
Original Poster
a week ago

Can't swap drivers as we are a very small team with 5 lots of two of us and there are already two people who won't work with the person they were partnered with, so I don't want to cause aggro for my boss. It is a difficult job to explain and we have to swap sometimes if someone's partner is sick or on leave. Plus others may not like being taken from someone they get on with to work with my driver as she has got a bit of a reputation.

She is very argumentative and you have to watch how you express yourself as she seems to delight in taking things the wrong way. She is also man mad and always on dating sites and each one is 'the one' until it all goes haywire! You wouldn't believe she is in her 60s with all these men!

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Pjran
Pjrana week ago

I think it’s time for a little white lie. Tell her you’re going to a friends for coffee. Or some similar fib and say you’ve lots of catching up to do with family too.

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nina090976
nina090976a week ago

Same as Pjran,I would make excuses,you have to nip to the shop,pharmacy or even visit a friend.I would not appreciate someone rummaging through my cupboards my friends wouldnt dream of doing that.

You were nice enough to offer her a cuppa,she shouldn't expect it every time you work together.I hope you find a solution x

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Glitterandgold
Glitterandgolda week ago

Thing is if you start by making excuses you then potentially have to keep coming up with them & hope she takes the hints. Tbh I would just be frank with her. Next time she drops you off have a civil but firm response ready. Something such as: "Thanks for dropping me off, I won't invite you in today tho, Perhaps next time" At least then you haven't shut down an invite in, but are making it clear (hopefully) it's on your terms. You don't need to give her any explanations why. It's your home & your time. Any reasonable person will get that.

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Lynibis
Lynibis
Original Poster
a week ago

I know what everyone says is correct but it is one of those things, easier said than done.

It is so accepted now she just pulls up, engine off and follows me in. She actually doesn't have tea or coffee, though she drinks it at home and is very fussy with food and drink. She carries a stash of goodies in the vehicle and will sit eating (never offers) but will always accept anything I offer as I cannot eat in front of someone without offering.

I know that if I try any little tricks mentioned it will backfire. I don't want to be stranded at shops when I could be home in my own time doing housework, preparing dinner etc. If I speak straight she will take offence and she will tell tales to our boss who she has known 30 odd years. I have known him for 10 and he is also my friend as we have been to Switzerland together and the opera, which I am sure she resents. There just doesn't seem to be a solution.

Glitterandgold Pjran nina090976

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Lynibis
Lynibis
Original Poster
a week ago

I must sound like a very hard bitch dissing this woman but I have never met anyone before who is so lacking in social niceties, or just how to behave in someone else's home who isn't even a friend.

I brood about it a lot wondering if I am at fault, but I just need time to myself as I am used to being alone. Indoors she sits on her phone texting and often doesn't even answer if I chat, but back in vehicle if I sit quietly she calls me a miserable so and so. I am at my wits end and dread her arrival for each job each day.

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davidstockport
davidstockporta week ago

This should work Lynibis, you've mentioned you have an Amazon Echo device, if you haven't already done so set up the "Alexa find my phone" thingummy.

You can move your echo device to any place out of her hearing and within range of your router.

When she has helped herself to something... leaving your phone in the room she is in, go to your device and say the words "Alexa Find My Phone" then go back to where your phone is (there's usually enough time for Alexa to tell you she'll call your phone and it starting to ring, to get back).

When your phone rings answer it with "Hello.... Yes" Then wait as if listening for perhaps five seconds. Then moving away as if you don't want her to hear, but making sure she does (these kind of people are always nosey), Say these words "She's only just had (naming what she helped herself to) nothing's happened yet" Slight pause then say something like "OK I'll let you know".

At intervals afterwards keep asking her if she's OK. This might deter her from bothering you again.

If by any chance you get a visit from the local constabulary - just show them this posting... they like a laugh too.

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davidstockport
davidstockporta week ago

Lynibis

This might help if you haven't already set up the "Find my phone" skill. It is free to use and well worth having for other things. https://www.amazon.co.uk/www-opearlo-com-Find-My-Phone/dp/B076PHYQD2

It is best to write down your phone number and read it out, there is a tendency for people to leave slight gaps when reciting it from memory, this is interpreted as them having finished (mid number).

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Lynibis
Lynibis
Original Poster
a week ago

That's a naughty mind you have there David. I am not sure I would be brave enough, it's a bit like learning a script lol.

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davidstockport
davidstockporta week ago

Lynibis It's not that complicated Lyn - I'll lend you my British Actors Equity card if it helps - oops! Just realised it expired many years ago.

One of my favourite books when studying psychology was on psychological warfare - I'd lend you that too - but don't know where it is, I probably wore it out. 😀

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wonderingsoul
wonderingsoula week ago

yea i agree have them drop you off somewhere else where so they wont be able to join

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gerrykelly25
gerrykelly25a week ago

What a horrible situation Lynibis. I came back to see if you had tackled her. Work relationships can be so tricky. It is not right that it is making you so uncomfortable. You are going to have to do something......

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Lynibis
Lynibis
Original Poster
a week ago

I have gone over it from every angle and really can't see a solution. It doesn't happen to any of the others because they all live local and driver can go home after dropping PA. I can't find it in my heart to lie and make excuses because I like being home between jobs as I get a lot done and do not want to have to go somewhere else wasting time and money.

Also the toilet issue is a big one. We are on a vehicle with obviously no toilet facilities so I can't make a woman in her 60s be out all day having to find toilets to use!

I did not forsee the problem becoming out of hand when I first let her in, I didn't even think I would be working with her more or less permanently so it is a case of I have made my bed and now have to lay in it. 😔

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sunny101
sunny101a week ago

Lynibis I didn't comment earlier because I couldn't see any friendly solution to your problem. The other person appears to be thick skinned so only' the truth will set you free'.

Let her know that this stopover-chunk out of your working day has resulted in you falling badly behind with your usual routine/necessary jobs and you don't want to be playing catch-up at the weekend. You could also mention that you completely understand her need for a toilet stop but after she's 'sorted' herself out you'd appreciate the time to yourself.

Give and take to solve it - you give her the toilet stop and you take away her invasion. Feel really sorry for you.

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Lynibis
Lynibis
Original Poster
a week ago

I guess the only fitting reply to your comment sunny is that I am a coward. She already snipes at me a lot and I will probably make things worse if I speak the truth to her, our working life will be hell.

This lady has no family to speak of, is blunt to the point of rudeness, lives alone and goes from man to man with it always ending badly. My heart sinks when she arrives to pick me up and does not rise again until our work is done. But, it is a small cross to bear compared to others and I keep telling myself to try and be more understanding!

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sunny101
sunny101a week ago

Lynibis This is such a sad situation. This woman is sucking the life out of you and and all of her needs are being met. Your family knows you best so perhaps a discussion with them would give you other strategies.

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eyeballkerry
eyeballkerrya week ago

I am not one for telling lies but you have two chooses. Tell her exactly how you feel, probably not the best idea or make up a lie, your house is being decorated or similar. You may have to have a break somewhere else.

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SarahHorsfield
SarahHorsfielda week ago

Mmmmmm made a rod for your back

Work colleagues are work colleagues

Not friends

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Lynibis
Lynibis
Original Poster
a week ago

Yes, I agree but she isn't a friend which makes her imposition even worse. I have made a cuppa for all the drivers I have worked with if the job is only one hour and no time to get home then back for me, I consider it a common courtesy. Just as I would do it for colleagues if I worked in an office, but at least then you are not stuck in a confined space with them or in your home. I did not foresee this when I was kind to her at start but I feel she may have had a word with the boss so she can remain partnered with me.

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SarahHorsfield
SarahHorsfielda week ago

Lynibis mmmmmmm

I would personally come to the point

I get what your saying but that’s your personal space

Hope you find a solution xox

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Lynibis
Lynibis
Original Poster
a week ago

SarahHorsfield thanks, me too lol.

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Glitterandgold
Glitterandgolda week ago

Seeing as she's man mad. Do you not know any local single bachelors you can introduce her too? She might then be inclined to spend her time elsewhere 😉

I feel for you. She sounds a nightmare.

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Lynibis
Lynibis
Original Poster
a week ago

She is seeing her latest fella now but he is at work during the day. The irony is, he lives nearer to me than her so it would be ideal if he were retired. Think he is a long time off that.

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