Dear Roze:

I’ve learned that a co-worker I thought was a real good friend stabbed me in the back. For quite some time, I had been hearing that our department may have a snitch but I didn’t have any direct knowledge, so I figured there was nothing to it. Then I got royally burned by something only my so-called real good friend knew.

Our boss doesn’t like seeing any kind of weaknesses in his employees. To him, if you’re not 100 percent confident about something you have to do, then he questions your ability to do it. He had tasked me with giving a presentation to our board of directors, which is a big deal.

Of course, I didn’t express any of my anxieties to our boss, but I admitted I was nervous about it to my supposed friend. About a week after confiding in this guy, our boss called me into his office and told me I wouldn't be doing the presentation. I was so taken aback; I didn’t know what to say. I did manage to ask if I had done something to make him make this change, and he gave me some lame excuse that I had so much other pressing work that needed my attention. In that moment of disbelief, something told me not to ask who would be taking my place. I soon learned it was my so-called friend. It’s killing me on the inside to know he did this to me. Do you think I should say something to him?

Betrayed by friendly co-worker

Dear Betrayed by friendly co-worker:

I wish I could tell you I have never had such a brutal experience, but sadly, I can feel your pain. I have been in your shoes and it is far from easy to deal with.

As much as you may like to confront your so-called friend, “poking the pig” may bring you immediate satisfaction but it could also backfire on you given the squirrelly nature of some pigs. Along this same line of thinking, do not completely sever ties with this person. Maintain a civil relationship but do not share anything with him you do not want repeated. Follow the philosophy of Chinese military general Sun Tzu, “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.”

If you remain tormented by your co-worker’s betrayal, you could say something to him if either of you leaves this employer. At that point, there is much less risk of him being able to undermine your career.

I wish you the best of luck.

© 2016 Rozanne R. Worrell

Workplace Woes – Roze Knows®

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