I am a software developer. We are a small team of 13 people. This is my first job and I have been with this team for the past one year. I am quite an introvert and don't speak much.

My problem is with this fellow developer who has been with the team for past five years and whom I was close with during the earlier months. I stopped hanging with him when I noticed that he speaks behind the back and he forced me to do things I am not comfortable doing.

Since then I notice a tone of authority and disdain in the way he speaks to me. Whenever I make a mistake (who doesn't?), he comes with a grin on his face and points it out. He now treats me as if I do not know anything and he tries to belittle me in front of my superior. Whenever my boss talks to me he doesn't let me speak and he answers instead (Now my boss has a negative feeling that I am not so good because I need protection).

He has become quite a pedantic correcting trifling stuff. Today he came to me saying that he edited all 'the garbage' which I have written just to follow best practices to just prove that he's right. I stopped hanging with him because I don't like those talk behind the back types. And I think that hurt his ego because of his seniority (I believe what I did is right).

I never said anything till now. I just kept nodding and did my job. I am running out of patience. How can I make this comportment stop?

  • India. I always ignored(maybe because I am too much shy to speak for myself) all those who belittled me, and that ultimately lead to people ignoring me. But looks like that wouldn't work out here. So I am not sure if I should do the same here.
    – anonuser
    Sep 11 '17 at 18:12
  • 3
    This seems to be a workplace question.
    – nvoigt
    Sep 12 '17 at 11:00
  • Why aren't you already following company standard coding practices? If you are then his editing should be identified as a problem and people should be able to see is nonsense by looking at the versioning.
    – user13972
    Nov 19 '18 at 16:32

Of course you need to stand up for yourself!

What you've described now is a workplace bullying. This should not be tolerated and you should report to your HR about this.

Document whenever this happens, especially when he does that in the presence of another colleague. Be detailed and include the date and time. Present the note as evidence to the HR.

If this won't work out, find a new job.

Meanwhile, whenever this happens, you should fight back "politely". Ask him firmly to stop the behavior.

Please stop talking to me with that tone. You are not my boss/superior.

If he interrupt you or won't give a chance to talk to your boss

Excuse me, can you wait for a moment? I need to talk with Mr. Boss.

If he belittle you after a mistake

Thank you for pointing that out. But please stop talking down to me like that.

Ignoring him is already a good start. If his behavior worsened, tell him you're taking this to HR.

The idea is to get this bullying to stop. There's no point in salvaging your relationship with this senior. If the HR won't take any action toward this person, find a new job. You wouldn't want to work in a place that allows bullying.

If, he didn't get fired, and you can't find a new job, stay professional.

  • 1
    While I agree with you completely, Indian IT companies don't really care about bullying. I've seen a lot of my friends take issues like this to the HR and the next day, the "bully" comes back with more "bullying" about his report to the HR. I saw a friend get laughed at for going to the HR and the HR apparently called the bully and told him about this and laughed with him. But then again, that was 5 years ago and maybe it was just the people I was dealing with, I don't know. Sep 11 '17 at 19:56
  • @CrazyCucumber Are there any legal protections in India for this sort of thing?
    – user3169
    Sep 12 '17 at 1:54
  • @user3169 I don't think so, no. I am sorry. My friends that went through this tried the HR and failed. After that, they just sat down and hoped they get put in a different project. If you work for a consultancy like TCS or HCL or Infosys, that would be a good option for you, to go to the HR and ask for a different project. They will usually accommodate that. Sep 12 '17 at 12:07

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