Help! Is my colleague trying to get me fired?

Dear Aunty,

I have just recently returned to work after having a baby. I had previously acted as PA to the Director and had managed two of the administrative staff. In my absence one of my administrative staff took on my role and a temporary admin worker was employed. When I returned from my leave the person doing my role refused to go back to her former job so I was forced to take an administrative role. Besides feeling that this is extremely unfair she keeps blaming me for anything that goes wrong – which is usually because she is not very organised and spends all her time planning her social life. 

I have brought this to the attention of the Director but fear she will continue to blame me and I will get fired.

What do I do?

Aunty says,

I wish I knew a little more about your situation. For example, it would be useful to know what size your organisation is and whether is has a designated HR department. It seems odd that your colleague has managed to remain in her position simply by refusing to go back to her former role, especially if she is as bad at her job as you suggest. You appear to be in a very tricky situation and it must be a very difficult for you. I would suggest keeping a log of all your colleagues mistakes and supporting this with evidence where possible. You may have to be discrete about how you do this as you do not (a) want to let this get in the way of your own performance and (b) cause friction with other workers. It could just be a case of keeping emails from your colleague showing how incompetent she is.

The Director seems to be pretty easily influenced, so hopefully the information you keep will stop you getting fired and will eventually (when another mistake occurs which it surely will given what you say about your colleague) showcase her poor performance. If you do have a HR department it may well be worth raising all these issues with them before doing anything.

I hope that this advice is helpful and wish you all the best for the future.

Aunty

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