A Co-Worker Stole My Story And Passed It Off As Her Own, And More Of This Week's Best Work Drama


An employee in a new foreign country has to deal with an abrasive new boss.

We're tackling something we all have to deal with at some time or other: work drama. Each week, I'll be bringing the juiciest stories from across the web right to our little virtual water cooler. From toxic bosses to nightmare workplaces, I'm here to speak a little justice on behalf of the average worker.

While you're here, please note that this weekly series is meant solely for entertainment purposes. Please do not have your HR team call me tomorrow saying you heard it from Joel at Digg.

Boss In New Foreign Country Continues To Pick On Me

Yesterday we had a team meeting with my boss (41M), me (26F), and three other coworkers. One of the coworkers was brand new to the team, and this was her first meeting with us. At different points throughout the meeting my boss went out of his way to 'tease' me. Initially I thought nothing of it, but it quickly devolved into full-on making fun of me for no discernible reason. I was not making fun of him back.

When we went to go get lunch, I tried to order my lunch in German (I moved to Germany for work, and German is my fourth language so it's currently not very good). As I was ordering, I could overhear my boss snickering at my German and talking about it with someone (he is German, so of course his German is perfect). I ignored this, and I went about our lunch as usual.

However, when we got into the meeting room, he continued 'teasing' me. He was laughing and telling me that the lady at the restaurant had to switch to English because of how bad my German was. I was a bit stunned at the way he was picking on me because he knows I spend my own time and money on German classes, and that I don't pretend to be fluent.

He then continued by telling everyone a story about how I accidentally pulled open a door instead of pushed it while laughing at me, and of course that story alone makes me look dumb. For context, in the US most commercial buildings have doors that open outwards when you first enter them due to safety issues. This is not a thing in Germany, so when I first landed here this was a bit of a cultural fumble on my end. However, my coworkers likely do not know about this cultural difference since they're not American, so to them I just looked stupid.

At the end of the day as people left it was just my boss, me, and another coworker whom my boss considers to be his right-hand man. At this point, my boss just completely took a turn for the worst. He 'jokingly' told me, 'Are you going to cry to your mom on the way back home about how nobody likes you?" When I responded by saying that I think that's just his opinion, he retorted with, "It's everybody's opinion." I was too stunned to speak, and the coworker we were with looked visibly uncomfortable with the way he was treating me. He later texted me asking if I was okay, and he explained he didn't step in because he wasn't sure if my boss and I just had that banter with each other (we don't). He told me that he thinks our boss is currently having problems with his girlfriend, and that he just doesn't know how to manage the stress of it and is taking it out on me; however, this is purely speculative. It was also an odd comment because I am quite a logical and stoic person, so the idea of me going home to cry just isn't aligned with the behavior that I've shown at my job.

For more context, I am a high-achieving employee. Seriously. I was moved to a different continent (all expenses paid for by my company), the higher-ups really like me, I work my ass off every single day, and I go as far as to try to introduce software programs and other projects to help to develop our division. My boss himself says that I do great work, and he hasn't ever complained or said something bad about the quality of my work. And to top it all off, I get along with everybody in my office; I am objectively not this person that everybody apparently dislikes. Moreover, I am the only person my boss is treating this way. I haven't had any disagreements with him recently nor have I made him look bad, so I have no f—king clue what to do here or how to proceed. I tried giving him a call/email to discuss what happened, but I can tell he's avoiding me since he has been uncharacteristically silent. What gives, and what can I do here? Unfortunately, leaving is not an option since I am legally bound to stay in my role for another year.

When it comes to work, you have to prioritize yourself. While most of the thread comments say you should approach him, doing this could potentially escalate the situation and make things even worse.

Instead, document everything, including time and dates, and approach HR — and let them do their job. This way, should he continue and do this to someone else, when they go and file a complaint, they'll be adding on to a record you started. In the meantime, do not pay this bully any mind, because he's clearly just trying to get a rise out of you. Ignore him, get your documents ready before you file the complaint, and then relax, knowing you've honestly done all you can at this point. Read the rest of the thread here.

My Co-Worker Stole My Personal Story And Told The Office It Was Hers

I have a co-worker who I don't see very often, as we work in different departments. About five months ago, we were just chatting & I told her a personal story, that happened to me years ago.

I was talking to her again last week and she casually re-told my story, as her own. Near word-for-word verbatim. At first I was just kind of surprised, it took me a minute for my brain to figure out exactly what was happening. I almost thought I was having an out of body experience for a minute. But then I realized she probably didn't remember that I was the one that told her.

She is a chatty Cathy, and we would talk about all sorts of things. Now I'm questioning everything she has ever told me, if it was really her own experience, or if she has taken other people's stories as her own, as well. She told the story almost exactly as I told it to her.

I did not really know how to respond, so I was just like; 'wow that's crazy.'

I have never had this happen before and am honestly perplexed. It's not a huge deal, and I'm not going to make trouble at work over it, but the whole thing was just so strange, I didn't even know how to respond. Like is this psychopath behavior? Who does that?

My goodness, everyone in the comments has their own personal version of this! Wow, this world is a scary place, and going forward, I will keep my head down and deny Facebook friend requests. Redditor u/wilmaismyhomegirl83's suggestion — "retell your story to her a second time and see what she does" — is stellar advice, and I'd one-up that and make it more exciting with a cliffhanger. A real "you'll never believe what happened next" kind of thing. Make it incredibly ridiculous, and see if she sticks with the original story or takes the bait. Read the rest of the thread here.

My Thrift Store Shift Went To Hell Thanks To A 90-Year-Old Woman

I work at a thrift store. We get tons of new wares items everyday (dishes, toys, trinkets). A regular comes in and she is a 90-year-old women with an oxygen tank. I don't understand why old people think they can be so rude to us. Basically, she wanted 70 pieces of fine china priced as one item. Which I am not allowed to do. (Honestly if she was a little nicer I probably would have done it) She then pulls out her calculator to tell me the cost of each individual item...mind you, we close in 15 minutes and I am the only cashier and there is a line of about five people behind her. She proceeded to buy the items but I made sure to tell her 'you can't return these and if you aren't happy with the price I can't refund it' She then tells me 'I am making a huge complaint to corporate and I want their phone number.' I don't have corporates phone number so I proceeded to check her out ignoring the comment.

This lady has all the china in the shopping cart, she has me lean over the counter to get each items out without helping me SHE STATED 'If I am paying this much you might as well do the labor for it' LIKE EXCUSE ME???? I had enough at this point and extremely nicely said 'that's not very nice, I don't make the prices, you should yell at me or make me do this because of something I can't control.' That shut her up for a bit. If you think it could get worse, she wants every item to be wrapped individually, AND DOESN'T WANT TO HELP WRAP THEM. There is 70 pieces and we close in five min at this point. So I get to work and she is standing there barking to me how much America has gone down hill. I hate the way old people treat workers because they feel like they can. Next time she comes in I am refusing service.

Let's be real, this lady did this because she could; she knew there would likely be no repercussions, except for ironically losing the deal she was fighting for. You can't yell at the CEOs for the inflation causing your sandwich to cost $15, but you sure as hell can yell at the teenager making it. There's some silver lining though — write this experience down on your resume. Even if it's a service job, let a future employer know you can handle a fast-paced work environment that requires professional decorum, especially under high levels of stress. Read the rest of the thread here.

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