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Someone is picking on me at work

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There is someone at work (a superior, but not my direct boss) who is really on my case.  Long story short, she does not like me and goes out of her way to find fault in things I do.  Sometimes there is a *tiny* bit of truth in what she is saying, but usually she blows things way, way out of proportion in order to make me look bad.

I have been talking to my friends and they all say this is completely NORMAL, that the same thing has happened to them and for whatever reason (jealousy, competition, simple lack of chemistry) there is always someone who creates problems at work.

So...my issue is how to best deal with the problems when they arise? 

Unfortunately, when this woman attacked me today I had a complete breakdown, complete with major waterworks (crying) in front of her and my boss and another coworker.  What is the best way to deflect criticism and get someone off my case when they are attacking me? 

Basically, this woman was demanding to know why I did something the way I did, and when I explained my reasoning she attacked me for being "defensive," and said I will never get anywhere in my career because of the way I present myself!  All because I made a judgment call for a way to save time when I was making nametags for an event that we were planning.  Nametags!!!  I mean, I just don't know how to handle myself when someone attacks me so viciously for a very slight error of judgment.  I'm an administrative assistant, and the number of details that I handle is completely overwhelming and it just IS NOT POSSIBLE for me to do everything perfectly because I get an OVERWHELMING amount of work.

How do you deal when someone attacks you and is obviously out to push your buttons and/or make you look bad?

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If this woman is not your immediate supervisor... talk to your immediate supervisor and ask that this woman not be allowed to address you in this way.  I've been an administrative assistant before. Unless what you're doing affects the company, costs the company money, or goes against direct orders, she has no right to jump on you.  It's your job to make judgement calls, and you "won't go anywhere" in your career if someone is always second guessing you.

If you can't go to your immediate supervisor, go to your human resources department.  Just because someone is a "superior" does not give them the right to say *anything* about how you work - unless you work directly under her.  If she has a problem with what you're doing, and she's not your immediate supervisor, tell her to take it up with your supervisor.  She's a bully - if she can't bully you directly, I doubt that she'll try and bully your boss.

People like that piss me the hell off. 

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Hey there Devon00,

I've been an adminstrative assistant too.  Like you said, a thousand details and not enough time.

Have confidence in yourself.  You know what you are doing, so don't let her shake you.  No one could get the job done if they second guess themselves. You make decisions and move on.

Talk to your supervisor.  Try to do it in a calm professional manner.  Tell him that you are concerned about getting directions from this person, who is not your supervisor.  Ask him who's direction you should follow.  (A sly way of getting him to tell you to ignore her!!).

Hang in there.  Everyone else probably knows she is a miserable bat.


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