One of the things I hate most about work is the competitive aspect. I’ve always been the type who learn or excel for the sake of personal development. Recently, with two different co-workers, I’ve noticed subtle attempts to assert their abilities and credentials above others in the department.
One always attempts to take ownership of highly visible projects, at least to those outside our department. Doing the work is another story. S/he is definitely the type that would easily throw others under the bus and take credit for work.
The other person took over for a colleague who was much more collaborative about projects. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing but it reflects a different mindset than others in the department. I feel sort of shoved aside on a major project; whereas before I was involved enough on this project to develop valuable skills and be an equal in the event of absences or vacations. To top it off, in a recent email, this new colleague wrote that s/he is planning projects while I am “working on” similar projects. The words “Planning” and “working on” convey very different levels and s/he is quite selective with words. In fact I actually have more experience planning and on bigger projects, so far at least. I have seen hints of this so I’m not surprise that s/he chose to word it this way to an outsider.
I’m not naive enough to think that my natural complacency is good. This individual’s ability to connect with my boss and enthusiasm for bigger projects has already led my boss to pass on more boring projects my way. Certain types tend to get promoted.
Have you dealt with back-stabbing co-workers? How?