DEAR ABBY: I work in a small sales office. We are all women, and despite the potential for intense competition (we work on commission), everyone pretty much gets along.
One woman, however, is constantly challenging, questioning and putting me down personally and professionally. She ridicules my opinions in planning meetings, implies I'm making things up in all sorts of situations, and argues with everything I do and say, even if it is not her business. She spends large amounts of time on personal phone calls, which interrupt my concentration, and mocks me for not doing the same.
My manager, while sympathetic, tells me I'm a far more experienced "pro" and to ignore her. It's nice that management recognizes my experience and commitment, but I'm increasingly frustrated and angry with my co-worker. Her aggravating behavior needs to stop. Any efforts I've made to make her understand have been met with defensiveness or just plain name-calling (in a laughing way).
How do I put a stop to her behavior while continuing to be a team player? I'm ready to look for another job, but I love this one -- except for her. -- STYMIED IN SAN DIEGO
DEAR STYMIED: Name-calling, implying you are making things up and ridicule are not acceptable office behavior. Make notes of the date and time of each abusive incident. Then ask the office manager to insist on mutual respect in the work place. It is your employer's responsibility to provide a nonhostile working environment.