It’s My Idea. She’s Taking Credit.

She can be very thrilled with her behavior. She cannot even feel that he is doing this. You can just let it go because you really have thoughts and a sense of humor. So it bothers you – you want the credit for who you are and how you think. I understand But at some point, your magpie co-worker will have to find out who she is and how to express the original ideas, or she will return to a corner of her own making. You can only hide behind the words of others for so long.

I am a person who is not the best way to deal with this kind of thing. You have to decide how much you can tolerate this behavior. It can be petty to correct your coworker, but at some point, something has to be given! To voice your concerns, pull him aside, privately. Frame it as: “You have a tendency to repeat my thoughts and jokes. I’m flattering, but you wouldn’t want to do that. Or you can ask him slowly Why the He does this crazy work. If all else fails, the next time it happens, just ask, “Girl, what are you doing?”

Recently, the director of my department quit. A colleague and I both applied for jobs. I got it, and now my coworker grows hostile to me. We are completely hostile, so some of my decisions have bothered him. I was able to deal with his anger mostly, but I have also assumed that he was not angry at me, but in the situation. However, his attitude is beginning to affect the entire team.

Other employees feel silenced by him, and trying to help them feel safe and their voices being heard, I am even more agitated. Yet everything is normal. What do I do here? His attitude is affecting everyone negatively. We are also hiring new people, and I do not want new employees to come into this environment. I do not have any kind of disciplinary power, nor am I sure this is the right decision.

– Anonymous, South Carolina

Everything is not normal, and it is time to stop pretending that it is. Your coworker is jealous and angry; It occurs in a competitive environment. But his behavior is unprofessional. This is affecting your staff. He needs to process his negative emotions and work to a minimum, move on. I am not clear about why you have no disciplinary power as a director or why it is acceptable for one person’s displeasure to influence the whole team. It is not. I have all the sympathy in the world for anyone who does not receive a professional opportunity is covets. He is entitled to his feelings, but he is not entitled to act on feelings that create a toxic work environment. Disciplinary action may be necessary at some point, but there is a lot of distance between here and there.

Try and talk it over with him. Think Festivus – allow him to air complaints. Ask him what his ideal path looks like in the current circumstances. If it clears the air, then consider ways you can give more responsibility to it without reducing its authority or exploiting its labor. I will admit that she is good at her job because you did not mention her abilities. Can you include some of his ideas in your decision making? Or allow him to lead on a project? We all want to feel valued in work, and when we don’t get any promotion, it can feel like a reprimand. He just needs a reminder that he is valuable. But even after these efforts, if his attitude has not improved, then it will be time for some kind of disciplinary action. I wish you and your entire team the best in navigating this thorny situation.

Roxanne Gay The author is, most recently, “Hunger” and a contributing writer. Write on it workfriend@nytimes.com.

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