Work Issue

What would you do?

1 to 20 of 35 messages
21/12/2007 at 20:03

Right. So people were off work this week and I had to check their email accounts. Today I was looking for a mail one colleague had sent to a client, and (not by opening it, but because he's got the preview pane on) saw one sent to another colleague s1agging me off.

So being stupid, obsessive compulsive and just plain nosy, I looked at some more between the two. Lots of emails, some saying stuff about other people but a lot saying nasty things about me. One of the two had even sent an email to the other telling them to 'Delete this and all other emails about Nykie', but hadn't deleted it himself. Nor had either of them deleted their deleted items, so there they were sat (at this point, I'd seen enough horrible stuff that it couldn't be worse).

Now, I know I shouldn't have looked, it's bad and eavesdroppers (or email-lookers) never hear good, and I so wish I hadnt, but it's done.

So how to act in January? The obvious option would be to find another job, but my worry would be making as much money anywhere else as I make here, and I do enjoy what I do, and (previously) all the people I work with.

I can't confront them on it, as it would seem that I'd been snooping (which after the first email, I had), but I really can't imagine being able to act normally in front of them from now on. I've been cold and shaking all afternoon, and when I got in my car, I totally cried my eyes out, so whether I'll be able to keep myself together, I'm not sure.

What would you people do?

21/12/2007 at 20:08
something pervy, remember they dont know  you are aware so take your time and then strike,  enjoy 
Nam
21/12/2007 at 20:13

It depends on loads of factors:

  • how detrimental is their opinion?
  • how much do I care?
  • was the slagging professional (questioning competence) or private?
  • how much do I care about the job?
  • how I get on with my boss (is it possible to raise it in supervision)?
  • am I assertive enough to simply raise it with the perpetrators and let them know they're busted and next time they want to say something they can say it to my face?
  • do I have friends in the team if I raised this, i.e. would I have back up

... those are all things I'd consider...

21/12/2007 at 20:28
  • how detrimental is their opinion? Two of the emails I saw were: 'Baggsy I the seat furthest away from Nykie' (when we were all going out for a Christmas meal) and 'If I have to share a room with her I'll die' (when we've got our company Christmas/Awards do in Jan)
  • how much do I care? At work I cared massively, but now it's just a niggle, whilst I'm at home
  • was the slagging professional (questioning competence) or private? Personal, just about me
  • how much do I care about the job? I really really enjoy it, more than any I've done.
  • how I get on with my boss (is it possible to raise it in supervision)? I'm not sure whether I could, considering I've looked through their emails.
  • am I assertive enough to simply raise it with the perpetrators and let them know they're busted and next time they want to say something they can say it to my face? I could be, but it would make the atmosphere pants for everyone in the office, which wouldn't be nice for the others there
  • do I have friends in the team if I raised this, i.e. would I have back up? Possibly, but it would again make the atmosphere rubbish.
  • My opinion now I've had time to think about is just to get on with my job, do really well, and thrash both their ar$es in business next year. Or alternatively, get hammered at the Christmas do and end up with murder on the dancefloor

    Nam
    21/12/2007 at 20:30

    Sorry This is taffia.

    If in the 1st instance if you have the right and permission to access the emails and the accessed acount had the 1st email on it and you viewed it in part of a business process,

    Print only that one out and approch HR about it.

    Plan B, tw*t em one.

    21/12/2007 at 20:40

    I think I like the sound of Plan B best I think. Bad, bad me...

    Oooh, just noticed I'm a pirate. Yay me!

    21/12/2007 at 20:45
    Thanks for the advice BTW. I already sent the emails to my personal account this afternoon, so I'm ready for the first option if I want to take that route.
    21/12/2007 at 20:46

    Hmm  I would strongly recommend you don't confront them about this.

    If you do you may find things get worse.

    Unless they have breached some sort of policy how can you look good by raising this?

    You may well find you have several very angry, outraged people on your hands and you may open a can of worms.

    IMHO people who send e-mails like that are probably t*ssers anyway - they are sailing very close to the wind by sending personal e-mails. 

    I would simply stop trying any pretence of talking to them or communicating on anything other than a professional level.

    And when their backs are turned crack em with a four iron.

    21/12/2007 at 20:47
    The other option is you print out the e-mails and leave them on their desks "anonymously" that should give them food for thought....
    21/12/2007 at 20:48
    dont let them upset you nykie youve obviously got something their jelous of..so just be your self . imagine how you could upset them if you really tried no i dont know you but your above sinking to that level, just enjoy your xmas young lady and if you still feel bad in the new year ... old uncle santanog will come over and shoot them for you, hows that kid
    21/12/2007 at 20:48

    Like your colleagues, I can't think of anything good to say about someone who would wilfully snoop through other people's e-mails. If anyone asked me to justify something they'd come across in this way, I would tell them that I wasn't going to explain, discuss or apologise for any of it. And I would certainly inform someone up the line that you'd read my e-mails without my consent.

    I think you should put aside what you've read, put your head down and do your job well, and do nothing that might  spoil the atmosphere in the office. And resolve to keep your nose out of what doesn't concern you in future.

    Nam
    21/12/2007 at 20:53

    This is Nam again...  TT was just helping homself to the lap top... 

    mmmm.... it's difficult...  if the "dissing" was purely personal but only saying stuff like person A saying to person B they don't want to share a room with you, I'm not sure that's grounds enough to take it to HR as a bullying case??

    How do the culprits behave normally?  Did you have an incling these two people were talking behind your back or has this come as a complete surprise to you??  What do you think is behind these dynamics??  Have you ever clashed on anything??  Are you a new member of the team?

    Nam
    21/12/2007 at 21:01
    V-rap I think that's a little bit harsh?  I understood she had permission to check their emails because the staff in question weren't there and came across the info in question because of the way the view pane was set?  So just to say don't stick your nose in what doesn't concern you is a bit hard when people are bitching behind your back.  I stand corrected if she didn't have permission.
    21/12/2007 at 21:01

    For reasons I've put above, confronting them wouldn't be an option. It's a really good team and it would just make things too tense. I will just enjoy Christmas as Nog suggests and just speak to them on a professional level as JB suggests.

    'Raptor, when I saw the first email, the damage had already been done. I wouldn't ever have opened it, but I saw the text in the preview pane. I just wish they had deleted them fully in the first place. I had their consent, they both (as did everyone else who was off) gave me their passwords, and I needed to be dealing with clients and clients' emails, past and current. That was also in the remit. Yes, I know I should not have gone further, but how many people can honestly say they wouldn't read at least some of someone's diary if it was open and they saw their name?

    21/12/2007 at 21:07

    mmmm.... it's difficult...  if the "dissing" was purely personal but only saying stuff like person A saying to person B they don't want to share a room with you, I'm not sure that's grounds enough to take it to HR as a bullying case??

    How do the culprits behave normally?  Did you have an incling these two people were talking behind your back or has this come as a complete surprise to you??  What do you think is behind these dynamics??  Have you ever clashed on anything??  Are you a new member of the team?

    Nam - No, it was more than that, it was saying other stuff too, things I don't really want to make public on here, personal issues. Sometimes being nasty about things I've said. I wouldn't go to HR, I would use it as justification for leaving.

    Usually, they're fine. Or I thought they were. Where I work uses the old cliche business stuff, so the whole office has been 'storming' as we've got a new member of the team, but I personally have never clashed with those two in particular. I'm not new, no, I've been at our office longer than either of them.

    21/12/2007 at 21:07
    merry xmas nykie,
    21/12/2007 at 21:08
    Thanks  Same to you Nam
    21/12/2007 at 21:10

    Harsh? Oh, yes, TT, I'll hold up my hand to being uncompromising on this issue.

    The last time someone read my personal e-mails looking for stuff about himself, I divorced him

    And individual work colleagues surely have a right to decide for themselves whether or not they like you, and if there was no evidence of animosity from these colleagues apart from what was in the e-mails then there are surely no "bullying" issues.

    And no, I wouldn't read some of someone else's diary unless they invited me to.

    21/12/2007 at 21:16

    I think that's fair comment Vrap - hence my thought that this could really go ballistic if it is not handled well.

    In Nykie's place I'm sure i would have read on too, though.

    Not sure what the policy is on reading folks e-mails, but saying the e-mails are tantamount to bullying may not cut much ice if company policy has been breached by reading them in the first place. 

    I would let sleeping dogs lie and not give them the time of day, personally but it would give me a sleepless night or two for sure.

    Nykie - stick it in the box marked "Knobs" and put it in the attic. 

    Nam
    21/12/2007 at 21:22
    It's not an enviable situation to be in.  Of course people are at liberty to dislike whomever they see fit, but it's not nice knowing people are being unkind behind your back.  You say they are nice to your face, so I guess all you can do is, be nice in return and think your piece.  Also think twice about telling them anything personal in future as they're obviously having a field day with it.  You say the team overall is cracking and you love the job, so try to put it behind you and don't let it spoil your career.  Merry Christmas x
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