It's been 4 months since I joined my new company. There is a colleague (let's call him Bob) who joined with me. Bob and I were colleagues in my previous company and we both accepted interviews from our current company and cleared them.

From my experience with Bob in my previous company, he plays the politics game way too much, which is one of the reasons I disliked him and I have called him out on this albeit in a joking manner, so he realises it. This did not work at all and he got a lot of the desirable work that I yearned to get.

Now, the same scenario is playing out in my current company as well. He has gotten the project from the supervisor, to top it off he speaks the same language as our supervisor, so it gets worse now.

Recently, he is trying to portray me as a junior (read inferior) in terms of experience (when we have the same exp in the tech we are working on) and told me to my face that I will only get very basic tasks while my supervisor gives him the meat of the work. I was infuriated at this.

Which leads me to my question, How can I deal with this person? I have already started minimising my interactions with him, but I notice him keeping tabs on what I am doing and listening to my interaction with my supervisor.


After reading the comments, I would like to narrow this down to a specific question. Since Bob and I are friends, How can I convey my feelings to him in the best possible way without making it a confrontation ?

  • I know this situation can be infuriating but calling him a kiss ass and a snob won't help your situation. I've edited the question to make it more neutral in tone. Aug 22, 2017 at 6:04
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    This might get better answers if you posted in the Workplace Stack
    – user1722
    Aug 22, 2017 at 6:25
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    This would be better on Workplace - in fact I think there are answers already answering this exact question over there.
    – Rory Alsop
    Aug 22, 2017 at 6:37
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    Re: How can I deal with this person? Please first clarify what you want to do with him? And then we may help you with how you can achieve that.
    – NVZ
    Aug 22, 2017 at 6:52
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2 Answers 2


I am not sure why you call Bob a friend. At two jobs now you state that Bob has intentionally jockeyed position in a way that actively harms your standing at work. You also say he intends to treat you as lesser than him despite it seeming you are at the same level. You also basically say Bob is targeting you by keeping tabs on you in order to sabotage your chances at advancement. You may want to rethink thinking Bob is a friend.

When I had a similar situation I just pushed. I worked twice as hard. I made sure that everything I did was on lock down to keep the nosy people out. I endeavored to find out what my supervisor valued and only focused on that. In the end that worked. In my case that meant Bob got fired (for his efforts to mess with me, literally, and I didn't have to say a thing) and I got promoted and life moved on.

In the meantime I just kept healthy boundaries with my Bob. He would do weird things like try to assign me work, which wasn't even his place. I just deflected and kept all my interactions in writing. If he requested to speak to me, I feigned being too busy & suggested he drop me an email. He would leave a pile of miscellaneous on my chair with a note. I would drop it back off & redirect him to go through my supervisor to assign work he couldn't handle. So work hard, do not bend to his attempts to subjugate you and find your own groove and his efforts will be wasted.

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    The reason I called him a friend is because before I got wind of all this , we were pretty close friends . When I realised he was doing this behind my back , I soured on him completely
    – Bharath
    Aug 22, 2017 at 9:22
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    I am very sorry you found out someone had betrayed you like this. It's a serious unkindness. :( I do wish you well in getting past it.
    – threetimes
    Aug 22, 2017 at 9:23

You can pull him aside, invite him for some beers and ask him to "take it easy" that you respect his enthusiasm and determination, but his drive is pulling you down. Propose working as a team have him teach you skills you need to master and teach him whatever you think he is lacking.

Clearly what he is doing it's upsetting you, but I'm afraid chances are he won't stop because he can't stop, playing politics is what he is good at and having started that game you have to keep it up or start from 0.

You need to step up on your game, clearly he is better at relating to superiors (like the old saying goes: in business what matters is who you know not what you do) you can out smart him by interacting with people even higher than the supervisor and get their trust.

  • I tried to explain my concerns in a light hearted manner , did not work , he just laughed it off and was back to his usual tricks. I am now interacting with my supervisor only , here in India , I do not know the local language of the city I am living in , hence it is tougher to make that connection with my superiors. English can only go so far. Thank you for your insight +1
    – Bharath
    Aug 22, 2017 at 15:30

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