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Queen Bees in the workplace

 
 
Reply Thu 18 Jul, 2019 12:36 am
I work in a seriously dysfunctional and toxic office. Now before you say “just quit” remember this is easier said than done. I make good money for the line of work I am in and I do genuinely enjoy what I do. Also, it is not easy to find another job that, in real life, would be an adequate switch. Trust me, I’ve considered leaving. But at least for now, I have to stay. So I am seeking advice on how to best deal with the toxic environment.

To start off, I work with mostly women. And it seems the ones who are the most entitled, lazy and manipulative are viewed as golden. Their word is taken at face value from the owner of our practice. The more they kiss her ass, the more they are in her favor. The real hard working ones who bust their butts and pick up the slack of the entitled queen bees go unrecognized and are not valued. There is one queen bee in particular that I have to work closely with who is the biggest snake of them all. She has been with the practice long enough to figure out every possible way to avoid having to work, while somehow making herself appear to be the best in the eyes of the owner. I don’t know how she does it. She has created an environment of intimidation and fear. Nobody dares to speak up about her lazy behavior and bullying. Because we have all seen what she is capable of. If she wants someone gone, she finds a way. She will sabotage, bully, nitpick and run to management to blacklist anyone she sees as a threat. She has made sure to befriend and kiss ass to anyone that is higher up. So going to management is useless. If anyone were to dare speak the truth about her, she would be told and that person would become a target.

But the big problem is this particular snake is just itching to move up in the company. She has outright admitted she no longer wants to be an assistant (we are in a dental office). She is over it because god forbid she has to be on her feet working her butt off after being with the company so long. She already feels she is above it. She wants a nice cushy desk job with a title and authority so she can sit on a computer all day pretending to work while bossing people around. She is desperate to be given a title. However, our owner has decided to no longer have a head assistant because *gasp* it caused problems in the past. So instead she has unofficially made this snake a head assistant but with no title or firm authority. But in the mind of the snake, she is the head assistant. And on our end of the job there is nobody to keep her in check because the other queen bees sitting at their desks have no clue what even happens or is supposed to happen on our end. So it has become a free for all for the snake. And you better believe she takes full advantage of that. She avoids shared duties like the plague. She pushes work on others especially new employees who don’t know any better and are eager to prove themselves. She tries to work her way out of any assisting duties as much as possible. Yet... she is still filling the position of an assistant. And therefore causing a lot of extra stress and work for everyone else. She hasn’t been given the title or desk job that she craves. So instead she does whatever she can to avoid her duties as an assistant. And it just happens daily, creating chaos and resentment. She has mastered appearing like she is just working so hard while the only thing she is working hard at is avoiding her job. She races around the office huffing and puffing and sighing and always making excuses for why she isn’t able to contribute. But nobody dares to call her out or report her bs behavior. Because she has created an environment of fear and has made sure she is protected and will be told by the queen bees in management if anyone says a thing about her. It is maddening! The funny thing is, she has been known in the past way before I was there to have caused trouble and drama. She has been told that the harsh way she speaks to and treats people is what is keeping her from getting promoted officially. I have heard our owner is aware of how she is and will never give her an actual title. But why keep this toxic person around? The snake is now desperately trying to be friendly on the surface as an attempt to “prove” she is worthy. But most that knew her in the past won’t buy it. And her already acting entitled and avoiding her current duties is just a pre-cursor for how she will be if promoted. Yet funny thing is, the entitled lazy ones who kiss the owner’s butt are first pick to be promoted! They just have had a better hold on controlling their true entitled queen bee mindset than this snake. I almost feel the rest of us assistants would be better off if the snake was promoted and taken off assisting duties! At least then someone else would be filling her spot as an assistant and actually contributing. I know at this point all I can do is avoid working with her as much as possible so I can avoid all the added stress of having someone who feels she is above the job. And I know there is no way this can be resolved by discussing with management or the owner. If anyone dares to go to them with a legitimate concern they are blacklisted and viewed as a “problem”. The last thing I want is to be on the radar of someone who will commit any and all malicious acts to make my life hell at work. All I’m trying to do is pay the bills. But I want to keep my sanity while I’m there. I’m taking the necessary steps to keep myself away from this snake as much as possible. But I suppose one of my faults that isn’t really a fault at all is I have a very low level of tolerance for injustice. When I or my other co-workers are stressing and juggling twice as much work while this snake is just floating around the office avoiding work and socializing and it continues to just happen unchecked I become infuriated and it negatively effects my work. I know this place will not improve, this toxic queen bee crap is their culture. Because the owner herself is a fake toxic queen bee. And I am actively looking for another job. It just isn’t easy to find something that will make sense for me. And it’s so crazy to me that this behavior just isn’t being seen! I have considered sending the owner an anonymous email laying everything out. I know for a fact
that going to her to have a discussion will NOT end well for me. My life will be made hell until I quit or I will be sabotaged until I get fired. I want to at least know that she has been made aware of all the bs that is happening in her practice. What she decides to do with that is up to her. I just don’t even know how to begin. Most of the others I work with see it. But we know the consequences of speaking up. But if the owner gave each employee the chance th express concerns 100% anonymously she would be blown away by what she hears. All that I know is I cannot continue to deal with these malicious, manipulative queen bees much longer.
 
neptuneblue
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jul, 2019 04:06 am
@Bhawks303,
Life isn't fair, Simba.

What that means is, you're spending tons of time complaining and not enough time doing.

What something more? Then gain the knowledge and training that it takes to move forward in your career. Pay attention to procedures, both in practice and in paperwork. Go back to school, earn the degree.

Maybe you're right about this person. But, hey, working for a living means having to get along with others. That's the hardest part about having a job. It doesn't look like you're a team player. You're just as much as a backstabber as anyone else.

Yes, if you don't like your job, then QUIT. You're not happy there. It shows. Trust me, they'll survive without you.
glitterbag
 
  4  
Reply Thu 18 Jul, 2019 12:39 pm
@Bhawks303,
I have a sister-in-law in Texas who works in a dental practice. She has described the same situation to me numerous times. In almost every workplace the workforce splits into similar situations. I wish I had an answer that would fix the dynamics....my technique was to never let them see me upset and to keep a journal. A Journal can be invaluable if you have to defend yourself or to prove what tasks you perform.
Sturgis
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jul, 2019 03:06 pm
@glitterbag,
Quote:
..a journal...


A journal which can later be edited, turned into a best selling nonfiction book and made into a blockbuster movie!
roger
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jul, 2019 05:32 pm
@Sturgis,
Okay, but it's still not a bad idea.
0 Replies
 
Bhawks303
 
  3  
Reply Thu 18 Jul, 2019 10:45 pm
@neptuneblue,
This sounds like the reply an entitled queen bee would give. Curious...

Also blaming the abused instead of the abuser? I posted this looking for solutions. Not cocky, snide answers from a holier than thou nobody hiding behind a keyboard. I hope you are not in a career where you have to work as a team. If so, I feel for your co-workers.
glitterbag
 
  3  
Reply Fri 19 Jul, 2019 12:26 am
@Bhawks303,
Don't be so fast to criticize other peoples work experience. Neptune worked in a much more structured environment than your experience, and I had vast DoD experience starting at a time when women were not taken seriously. You have an entirely different setup, not less nor more, neither right or wrong......There are male and female prima dona in every workplace. When they throw the first mini temper tantrum, everybody shrinks a little...it's a big mistake because the Queen Bees take more and more advantage of others idea of team work until they destroy the idea of teamwork.

Maybe I should have counseled you to use a mild sense of humor to jolly the QB and bond with the rest of the team. Queen Bees glory in the the notion that others fear them. I really don't have an instant answer that will fix your problem, I developed a technique over many years to disarm assholes and to build teamwork. I do recognize your frustration, it's valid, but you need to develop a way to deal with it other than simmering resentment. QB's see the simmering and they feed off of it. Don't give them the power.......and please don't lump NB into QueenBee infamy.
0 Replies
 
neptuneblue
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Jul, 2019 04:28 am
@Bhawks303,
You are hardly "abused." When you use that type of terminology, it takes away its meaning from the ones who actually know what abuse is.

What you are is entitled. You have choices yet complain you're not being "valued." You slam a long term business associate AND the person who signs your paycheck. You're unhappy, spiteful and generally unpleasant. If you think that will further a career, or that no one notices, think again.

Nobody is going to hand you anything. You must be prepared to take control of your own life. Blaming a queen bee (or me for that matter) makes you sound petty and child like.

You poo-pooed my suggestion to return to school for a better degree to further your employment options. You refuse to seek out other employment options. You refuse to learn from someone who has experience and knowledge. You don't want to change, you want others to change. And then you're surprised that they don't.

If you're in a toxic environment, get out. Nobody is forcing you to stay there. You stay because the money is good and you feel you won't get a better deal anywhere else. What that tells me is that you're either lacking in education or self confidence.

You can't control others, only yourself. Again, quit complaining and start doing.
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Jul, 2019 05:46 am
@neptuneblue,
neptune, just as you enjoyed pointing out multiple times on another topic when questions where asked, it's just more complicated than that, and too simplistic and easy to say "get more education, get another job"

I have to trust the OP has considered all the things you said, and more.

The OP hasn't said anything about a desire to "move forward in her career" Maybe she does. Or maybe she is really happy right in the position she is in, except for these outside forces.

Bhawks303, I too, like glitter, have been in your position. The one where you simply want to do your job, work with others as a team, and spend the third of your life at work in a pleasant working environment.

But unfortunately, it seems that in many more work places than people are aware of, there is someone like this "Queen Bee" or the "Little Emperor".

It happens at all levels of an organization, and unfortunately, the higher ups don't always give a lot of thought to the people down in the trenches, the one's that are making things happen. I think that's strange, because if it wasn't for the workers on the front line, who would they be managing? Instead, they see it as "the girls" not being able to "get along", and that they are being petty, etc.

Like glitter said, most of what I can offer is empathy for your situation, and sympathy for the toll it's taking on you. Maybe part of your starting this thread was to feel that others get what you're going through. It's very tough, and I know it's a hopeless feeling.

In any event, your pain is your pain, and I'm not going to tell you something like "you don't know what abuse is" You're hurt, you're frustrated. It's real.
I get that, it's real.

Although it's not new advice, all I can offer is to just continue looking for another place to work. It may take awhile, but just the act of taking the act of searching gives you back some of the control you feel you don't have.

I feel fortunate that I've had a few jobs over the years where there wasn't this disruptive force in the staff. But I also have been in the situation more than once where for whatever reason, a particular person, or persons, just have to make life miserable for others. They aren't going to change.

Question. Does your business have monthly staff meetings, where everyone is present and can express ideas?

neptuneblue
 
  0  
Reply Fri 19 Jul, 2019 06:26 am
@chai2,
Are you serious??

You really want this as an employee?

Bhawks303 wrote:
Because the owner herself is a fake toxic queen bee.


As a business owner, who placed THEIR name, THEIR reputation, THEIR earnings, who pays ALL the bills, taxes, payroll and benefits to an ungrateful snot who THINKS they know THEIR business? No. Just no.
Bhawks303
 
  2  
Reply Fri 19 Jul, 2019 03:01 pm
@neptuneblue,
Just because someone owns a business, it does not mean they cannot still be a fake, toxic queen bee. Personality flaws don’t just dissipate when someone becomes a business owner. The fact that she ignores the toxic behavior and feels she is above dealing with it AND is giving problem employees authority shows her flaws. As employees we are told “stop being unhappy!” Instead of asked “why are you unhappy?” Followed by solutions. But sure, I’m the problem because I pay attention and see things for what they are.
0 Replies
 
Bhawks303
 
  2  
Reply Fri 19 Jul, 2019 03:07 pm
@chai2,
Thank you for actually hearing what I was saying and the purpose of this post. Somehow I felt expressing that this is a real life situation and statements like “just quit” or “go back to school” are not realistic would prevent cocky replies like Neptune’s. But there always has to be someone out there in the dark swamps of the internet that insists on stirring the pot from their ivory tower. But no worries, I can shrug off useless responses like that and focus on responses from those who have a grasp on the situation. Thank you for that.
glitterbag
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Jul, 2019 07:33 pm
@Bhawks303,
Would it have really been that hard to just thank Chai2 for the advice? Did you think it was useful to get all 'pissy pants' about Neptune? She took some time to offer her advice and I get you don't think it was useful......but sulking and lashing out in a petulant manner tends to make others unsympathetic to your issues.
0 Replies
 
 

 
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