Dear Troubleshooter: I’m a woman in my mid-60s. I work as a temp in a government office.


I’m Afraid to Go to Work Because My Coworker Bad-Mouths Me

The Japan News

Dear Troubleshooter:

I’m a woman in my mid-60s. I work as a temp in a government office.

I’m worried about the relationship between me and a female coworker who was hired a few months after I was, which is making me lose my mind.

This woman bosses around other employees and sees me as her rival in everything.

I also found out that she is telling employees in other departments that I’m useless, and that her job is made harder because she has to cover for those who can’t do theirs.

Since then, I’ve been worried that everyone thinks I’m useless and that they’re trying to make me quit.

Just thinking about it brings tears to my eyes, and now I’m afraid to go to work.

I’ve patiently endured everything without saying a word. But now I’m wondering if I should continue to put up with it and stay at this job.

I have a mortgage and several dogs, so I have no choice but to keep working.

C, Fukuoka Prefecture

Dear Ms. C:

It seems that you are suffering every day. You must be in a very difficult situation because you say you are afraid to go to work. I think you feel emotionally trapped.

There are always people like your coworker who attack others.

Such people are aggressive and need to target someone and bully them thoroughly to maintain their mental stability. When the person they target leaves the company, they target someone else.

Some people tell completely baseless lies to undermine others.

I have also encountered such people in my life. When people behave in such a way as an adult, I believe that it is no longer possible to correct them and make them reflect on what they have done.

In your case, I suggest that you first contact the human resources department of your office. If that does not help, please contact your local labor consultation office.

Employers are required to take preventive measures against workplace bullying, so reporting your case to such an office will likely be effective.

If that still does not help, quit your job and find another. Fortunately, the economy is slowly recovering and hourly wages for part-time workers are increasing. Please regain your strength and look forward to the future.

Eiko Yamaguchi, writer