I saw this post about how to confront a back-stabber and all these warm fuzzy thoughts came back to my head about being stabbed in the back by a former colleague. I hoped this article would give me all kinds of ways in which I could get even should the situation arise.
So I read the article and none of recommendations mesh with what I had thought about doing to her should our paths cross again. Well, that and besides being too lazy to seek her out, I hate confrontation.
I wondered how I would approach this person should I ever see them again, but with the approach this article takes – talking to the back-stabber in a non-threatening environment, knowing they take this approach because they are insecure and that possibly they do this to protect a friend – it takes the emotion out of the confrontation and provides a safe environment to let that person know you are on to their deceptive ways.
Here is the story;
In my previous employment I applied for many management positions but never was picked up. None of it made sense since I had recently completed my MBA and besides being senior there, I really liked dealing with people and it would have been a fun challenge managing unionized staff. I would have welcomed the challenge / frustration and I was ready.
There was one position in particular which I really set my sites on – it was in a different office and I met all the criteria. It would have been ideal for me. New challenge, new people, a fresh start in an office where no one is judging me on anything but my work.
I applied and was contacted right away by their HR area telling me I was the best candidate so far and that all I needed was 3 references.
I chose them.
One of them happened to be a team leader that I had for only 6 weeks, but knew back when she first started there and I watched as she had kids and came back as a team leader.
For the 3 months before her arrival, I ran the team informally – handled all escalations, staffing matters, set up the goals and objectives for the team and laid them out at team meetings. When she arrived, I gave her all the information and took a step back.
She sought out my opinion and asked me to continue helping out with the day-to-day operations. I did.
Then after 6 weeks, she left to accept another position (without telling the team) and her boss assigned the team to a different team leader who asked me to continue to run it for her.
Sounds okay, right.
Here is where it gets wacky.
Since it takes ages for government processes to run their course, 5 or 6 months had passed when I was approached out of no where by a colleague about a rumour that she had heard that I was not going to get this position because this outgoing TL had told the hiring board that I was a terrible leader.
How this colleague even knew I had applied was a shock to me, and I suspected at the time that what had happened was that the board called this TL, but she had already spoken to her friend who is best friends with a girl who sits near me who I really never spoke to and in a very childish matter decided to tell these lies to the hiring board. Silly as it seems (and those of you never having worked in government you may think this is all crap, but it is SO true and happens all the time).
Sure enough, I was not hired for this position.
When I called HR, they said a better candidate was found.
Bullshit, I called.
So when I left that job, I asked HR for access to all my records and in doing so I was given a copy of the written reference that this TL provided to the board.
It was all lies.
In the area that asked if I had ever led a team formally or informally, she said “no”.
In the area where it asked if I had any experience with goals or objectives, she said “no”.
Under the last area asking if I was good with people and would – in her opinion – be able to lead a team, she said, “no”.
And as such, due to her treating this matter like it was a big high-school joke – I was denied this position.
I wanted to confront her, now 2 years after the fact. I still do. But not because I still hold a grudge or have a hard-on for these folks but because with the casualness this woman lied to the hiring board, she can and probably will do the same to others. I wonder how she would feel if that happened to her, or her kids?
But what would I say? I’m an emotional guy and this really pissed me off once I saw the written reference was all lies.
Now I know.
I’ll update this post if I do.