Home Discussion Forum How can I address a co-worker who pretends to be a Supervisor?

How can I address a co-worker who pretends to be a Supervisor?

I took a part-time position as a customer service rep working nights. It is for a small company therefore, there are only two of us working in the evening. Both of us night people were given a key for the building. My boyfriend also works there, however, he works there during the day in the warehouse however, he works full-time. My co-worker has previously expressed his desire to advance to a supervisory position but, he seems to be acting like it minus the title. When we are leaving for the night, my boyfriend comes to pick me up, well my Co-worker will not leave until he makes sure we are walking out the door. A week ago, I was shutting down my computer and my Boyfriend was standing there waiting for me to shut down and the co-worker is standing at the light switch telling us to hurry up. He then turned the light off on us and then turned it back on. My boyfriend said out loud don’t we have a key to lock up, and I replied yes. He’s done several other similar things in the past.
Just to answer some questions. He started there after I did. My BF also has a key and is in charge of the Warehouse. Everyone, can come and go as they please that is the reason we are given a key. I asked a previous supervisor if this Co-worker had been given a supervisory role and he said no. I understand he may want to hurry up and go home but, sometimes I still have things to do and I don’t necesarily run out the door as soon as the clock hits the hour. I also understand there are safety concerns but, that is the reason my BF comes to make sure I am not in the building by myself at the end of my shift. Also there have been several times when I have worked an entire shift ALONE in the building at night because my co-worker did not show up. One thing I did not include in my last post was that he also seems to hoard information that was given to him to pass on if I was not available, he will not tell me about then I end up finding out through the daytime people.

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  1. I would give him the benefit of the doubt. Rather than trying to be bossy, he may be attempting to proactively show he can handle the responsibility.
    And tell your bf to stop being passive aggressive. Next time ‘tell’ the guy ‘We have a key, we can lock up. You don’t have to wait.”

  2. Not leaving until you do is kind of courteous, if you ask me. When I worked nights, we all left together for safety purposes. It was rude of him to turn the lights off and on, but when the day is over, everyone wants to get home ASAP…he’s just a bit impatient. If he begins giving you orders, I would talk to your manager. Otherwise, he seems like nothing more than a conscientious employee who is looking to move up in the company.

  3. I don’t know that he’s stepping on any toes. It’s often company policy not to have people outside the department in an area after hours for security reasons.
    Just ask him if you are violating any protocol. If not, you will allow him the same privacy and respect that he allows you.

  4. I was going to say that he is just being protective of a woman leaving the building alone at night,but the light incident, that is a bit over the top isn’t it?
    I would try to take the high road on this.
    Say, “Thanks so much for your kindness but I really don’t need your help. Don’t worry so much about me….!!”
    That can progress to, “This is unnecessary really!”
    And later to, “Will you please stop!”
    Always keep it cool, if you can! He may be deliberately be trying to bait you.
    I would (as with all difficult situations at work) document the incidents. Time, place, what he said, what you said. Then when you find it is necessary to approach your supervisor about it, you have your arguments in place.
    I don’t think that he is going to get the hint…but you have to try…to show the boss that you have tried to solve this yourself.
    **Even with the additional information, I stand by my advice. Take the high road as it will put you on solid ground when you have to approach your supervisor with the list of “issues”.

  5. Unfortunately, there are many people who think they’re better than others or better than they really are. I speak from personal experience. If you’re concerned about his behavior, mention it to your boss. But unless you really have reason to believe there’s something dishonest going on, I would just let it go. I know how irritating it can be, but it probably isn’t worth making a big deal over, especially if your co-worker worked there before you started.

  6. Should the incident happen again, kindly remind your co-worker, and say oh you’re forgetting I have a key, I’ll lock up thanks. Say it with confidence. If it becomes an issue, tell him/her, to take it up with management. Your other option, is to bring it to management’s attention, first, by asking them, you need to know if your co-worker has been given authority of higher rank or if you are equally in the same position for the job, without going into detail of the events, and handle it yourself. If you are equal, then, stand up for yourself, with confidence, and do as suggested, in your own way. Hope that helps. Thanks for asking.

  7. Speak with your REAL supervisor and explain that you’re a little confused as to who is actually in charge and how everyone should act during your shift. Then, ask for her to explain all of this during a staff meeting between you and Mr. Bossy.
    That way, Mr. Bossy will be put in his place by the person who SHOULD be putting him in his place – your real supervisor.
    Oh, and be sure to document Mr. Bossy’s behavior and attitude towards you = such as the lights off deal.
    Mr. Bossy may be ambitious but he’s close to getting disciplined.

  8. You should talk to your boss.
    Tell him that you’re concerned about the fact that your co-worker, who has the same hierarchy as you, thinks you’re not capable to lock up when you leave. And that for some reason he won’t let you do it (even though him (your boss) gave you the key and the trust to do so).
    You can also tell your boss about the fact that he thinks he’s your supervisor and that it makes you really uncomfortable because as far as you know you both stand on the same place on the hierarchy pyramid.

  9. You are dealing with disrespect masquerading as authority. Passive aggressive behaviors are designed to be annoying while being hard to challenge.
    You’ve already gotten some good advice here. I”ll just add a few more thoughts and suggestions for you to consider.
    Sometimes it is useful to figure out what you want from a situation before choosing your solution. Do you just want the person to stop the behavior?
    Is it important that you don’t feel uncomfortable in his presence since you work together without anyone else to act as a buffer?
    Do you want to create or preserve the reputation of being people-smart and level-headed with your boss? That way, you might reconsider the way in which you go to your boss about the problem, or re-think the clever comebacks you might use with the co-worker!
    Your ability to resolve conflict with another person is greatly affected by the level of trust between you. This person sounds too insecure to handle a direct confrontation, so I’d proceed cautiously with a one-on-one approach. I personally think that there is a LOT of value in using your supervisor as a resource. But there’s also value in taking responsibility for your relationships, wherever they are.
    At the highest level, that usually means getting to know someone well enough and earning enough trust to be able to speak to them frankly. Most people don’t have the energy to do that with every personal conflict. And even if they did, the other person may not want to cooperate!
    Since it is easier to catch flies with honey than with vinegar, old-fashioned gushing sometimes works. Smile charmingly. Deep eye contact. A heart-felt sigh. “Oh, thanks so much for waiting for me. It really means a lot to me that you care about my safety so much, and it has been SUCH a long shift, hasn’t it!. Since my boyfriend is here, though, you don’t have to wait. Have a great night/weekend!” Ok, so it might be a little manipulative…but hey, if they guy is a little stupid but not TOO stupid, he might figure out that he’s been a little overbearing and that you have noticed it. He might be embarrassed enough to stop behaving like such a clod in the future.
    The “supervisor” approach might work for you, too. “Wow. You are SO diligent. You’ll make a great supervisor some day. But as you can see, my boyfriend is here, we both have keys, and I’ve got a few more tasks to do before I finish for the day. And to be perfectly honest, you are being a little distracting. Call it a night and go home, ok?” You’ve ended with a command, just like a supervisor would.
    Then there’s the direct approach. “Hey John, you can go on ahead without waiting for me. I’d REALLY prefer it if you would, ok? See you tomorrow.”
    How about the call-a-spade-a-spade technique combined with an “I-statement.”. “You know, when you flip the lights and tap your feet and insist on being THE one to lock up, I feel a little pissed off, like you’re trying to play like you’re my supervisor or something. Is there some reason you can’t treat me like a co-worker instead of a subordinate?” Then you wait and see if you get a rational answer. If you don’t’ get a direct answer, you can just say “A simple yes or no would be a better place to start. All I want to do is try to figure out why you are doing the things that I feel uncomfortable about.”
    Then there is my personal, all-time favorite. It may not work with someone who is really insecure, but most normal, rational people respond well to simple observations and simple questions. And if they do well with that, you might even be able to go deeper if the solution isn’t immediately obvious. I call it my “Inquiring minds want to know, so they just ask” approach. You might say things like: “I noticed that you give off a lot of impatient behaviors each night at closing. Do you have a problem with me staying after you have left?” “Well, I’m glad you take safety seriously, but it isn’t actually necessary for you to stay when my boyfriend is here.” “What bad thing do you think is going to happen if you let me lock up?” “Do you feel like you need to take responsibility for hurrying me out the door when I want to stay and finish a few small tasks?” “What is the worst thing that could happen if you let go of that expectation and just went home when you were done, and let me go home when I am done?” “Are you my supervisor?” “Do you think it is possible for other people to feel annoyed when you flip the light off at them to hurry them out of the building?” “Can you tell me why it is so important to you to hurry us out the door? Is there somewhere you need to be?” “It is ok with me if you want to leave exactly at closing time. For me to be comfortable working with you, I need for it to be ok with YOU to just leave without me if I’m not ready to go. I always feel better in the morning if I have taken a few peaceful minutes at the end of the day to tidy (my desk, finish xyz, clean the coffee mugs, whatever it is). It isn’t that I’m trying to out-stay you or anything, I’m just respecting my own need to feel peaceful and organized at the end of the day (or whatever it is that you need).”
    You have to be kind, friendly and approachable, and if this approach is unwelcome, you need to know when to gracefully exit the conversation with “well, thanks for listening. I’ve got to go now, but I hope we can work this out. Good night!”
    Sometimes people just aren’t thinking about the effect of their behavior on others, and don’t mean anything by it at all. You know, Mars and Venus. Men are usually thrilled when women take this simple and direct approach. And it is amazing how what one person considers rude another person considers thoughtful. With a little practice, you can pin down the information you need to figure out the problem at hand, and sometimes find out enough to come up with a simple solution, right then and there. And if YOU have aspirations for a raise or a promotion, this situation could be great practice for you. Problem-solvers usually get the job done so tactfully and so well that they are a natural choice for promotions

  10. I have similar problem with this too and would love to keep an eye on the answers here. It is a hard situation when you have to behave correctly at work when your co workers dont.
    Mine treats me like I know nothing. When I’m speaking with my client, before I have finished explaining things to those customers, she will just butt in and add her two cents. It makes me feel pretty useless, like why do I even need to be here? If I have a situation occur, in her absence mind you, she will take over and totally start telling the story to those higher up like she is smarter than me, and she is all knowing. Stressful. Thankyou to the long answer above, it is very helpful.

  11. When the hour hits you should all be lined up waiting by the door. If you cant understand that then quit your job and go work somewhere that rewards you for working for free.


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