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TA colleague rude and starting to act like my boss

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by suertesamp, May 7, 2019.

  1. suertesamp

    suertesamp New commenter

    I'm a TA in a secondary and I am not getting on well with my other TA colleague. I have been nothing but polite to her, but she is always snappy and trying to always tell me what to do, despite her being at the school as long as I have.

    This morning she stuck her nose in on a bullying incident which was reported to me by two students. She told me "you will only get their side of the story with those two", and I replied "I'm still logging this on CPOMS". She replied in a really snappy voice "well I'm just saying!".

    Later on in the staff room I was logging the disclosure on CPOMS. The bell went and I was literally about to click "send". All the other TA's were leaving the staff room and she called over to me "Don't let [line managers name] catch you in here!".

    There have been other similar incidents, but none of the other TA's are trying to act like my boss, only the SENCO. I don't understand why she's doing this but I feel uncomfortable around her now. I was considering reporting her but I'm not sure if I should wait until something more serious happens.
  2. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    Reporting her for what exactly? If the 2 instances outlined here are the most serious, in your view, egs of rudeness I think you would be on a 'sticky wicket'. (a colleague gently reminding you that the bell has gone when you make no sign of moving - now how would management view that ? They weren't clairvoyant and for all they knew you could have been on Amazon buying holiday clothes !)
    So - meet all with a cheery smile and effusive thanks. Take absolutely no notice if what they say isn't to the point or helpful. Maybe you could 'turn' the odd 'helpful' comment so they think twice before sticking their beak in next time. The boot could go onto the other foot if you are both in a parallel position and maybe you steer them by giving the odd 'order'. Play SMART!
    loublou554, Pomza, towncryer and 8 others like this.
  3. defenceagainstthedarkarts

    defenceagainstthedarkarts Occasional commenter

    Oh be fair, Helen, it would get up my nose too. I think it would most of us
    pepper5 likes this.
  4. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Report her? Don't even think about it.

    It'll make you look petty. Because those are just petty remarks. They irritate you but they're not even remotely unprofessional or wrong in any way. So she gets on your t*ts? That happens. She thinks she's being helpful. You just don't like her tone.

    You need to do as @HelenREMfan advises. "Well, thanks for warning me, mate." Or, "Where would I be without you, eh." She'll soon begin to wonder if you're being facetious or genuine and she may pack it in. But in the scheme of things? I put it to you: is it easier to change her behaviour or your attitude to her behaviour?
    loublou554, Pomza, Jamvic and 7 others like this.
  5. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Neither incident, when put into writing, looks serious enough to make a complaint. Indeed, either could be justified as friendly advice. "I just said that X and Y have made false allegations before." "I was just pointing out that the bell had gone in case @suertesamp had not heard and could be in trouble for being late for the next lesson." I appreciate that the tone of voice could indicate differently, but that won't help you. So, no grounds for complaining yet.
  6. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    Am not denying that this co worker might be extremely annoying but OP, as @grumpydogwoman says would be on dodgy ground to go round claiming a complaint. I am far from a lie down and take cr0p person - am an ex PE person for goodness sake..... I just think a cheery smile and a measure of reply which could not be used as passive aggression towards said co-worker etc and which might get them to stf up has a satisfaction to it.
    Pomza and grumpydogwoman like this.
  7. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter


    Even I'm scared of PE teachers! And that's saying something. Good advice actually. Reimagine yourself as a PE person and act accordingly.
    agathamorse and HelenREMfan like this.
  8. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    My daughter's year 7 class ran riot with a form tutor who could not control them. My wife and I were pleased after her tutor left that she was replaced by a PE teacher. And it worked! I still see an ex-PE teacher from the school where I worked, at my running club, and I still find myself being a bit scared, despite her being as kind and supportive as anybody at the club.
  9. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    To the OP - Your colleague was making a good point - you generally only get one side of the story with some students, and being seen in the Staff Room on a computer when you should be hot footing it to your lesson is frowned on. Yes, she was likely rude and slightly aggressive in the manner she used, but if you do complain, it could be seen as evidence that you don't like being reminded of things. Just be pleasant, and as others have said, could respond with "well thank you", or "that's helpful." Some people just like to feel important, but by complaining you could find she comes up with a list of things she thinks you're doing wrong. Don't let it go to that point.
    Pomza and grumpydogwoman like this.
  10. averagedan

    averagedan Occasional commenter

    Unwanted advice is the worst kind I find and I can empathise with you. The best way to deal with it is to ignore it and carry on, otherwise you just feed the fire.
  11. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    From your other posts, you can only have been at the school since January at the earliest. Maybe this TA has other experience that makes her more confident and so comes across as a bit bossy sometimes.
    This doesn't read as a reason for a complaint...nor does it read as a mature and professional version of events.
    Sounds a friendly enough thing to say from possibly an overconfident colleague.
    I get the impression you aren't especially settled and confident yet and this person is extremely overconfident. She would drive me nuts as well, but that doesn't mean she is doing anything wrong.

    Give it time...it'll settle down.
    Pomza, nomad, Lalad and 1 other person like this.
  12. purplecarrot

    purplecarrot Senior commenter

    It's worth reflecting for a moment on whether these situations are really complaint-worthy or if there's something to take on board.
    E.g If you've been late to lessons before because you've regularly been 'just completing things' then it might be that they are trying to give a hint. If some students are prone to being economical with the truth then a heads up about them to colleagues is useful (and not all colleagues appreciate it).

    Unwanted advice can be annoying, but there's nothing in this that suggests a complaint is appropriate.
  13. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    On reflection, complaining that somebody suggested you leave the staffroom promptly after the bell went for the next lesson might be seen as self-incriminating.
    Pomza and purplecarrot like this.
  14. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    OP, perhaps you don't like working face to face with other people.
    It happens.
    In your scenario, you were at your happiest logging something on the screen and everybody else was departing the room.
    And at your unhappiest with direct communication with an actual person.
    Sounds like a mind that needs to be in a quiet safe zone to get things done absolutely correctly..
    It happens.
  15. Gavster77

    Gavster77 Occasional commenter

    Arrange a meeting with her. With a third party present, however informally. Stick your phone voice memo recorder on your person to record conversation but don’t ever reveal you are recording or recorded it.

    State to her, in front of this witness, that you want a positive working relationship with everyone you work with but that you have found her tone personally undermining and overly negative about the young people you are working with. Assert that you wish her manner in dealing with you to change or you have no other recourse but to log a complaint with your employers.

    She’s a bully and she will fold at this.
  16. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Whatever you do? Not this. Not ethical. You're not an undercover cop busting a major drug-smuggling ring. :eek::rolleyes:o_O
    Pomza, border_walker and Jamvic like this.
  17. lynneseptember

    lynneseptember Senior commenter

    Very shaky ground to make undisclosed recordings.
  18. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    That sounds more like bullying than anything this person is supposed to have said. The first complaint might even be against the OP - I think I might complain if somebody spoke to me like this. As has already been pointed out, the two examples given could be seen as trying to be helpful, and perhaps this person genuinely was. It certainly seems as if there are no grounds for a complaint yet. I can't see the point of making the recording; it would only show the OP sounding aggressive and, if it is ever used, it could lead to a disciplinary against them.

    Too inclined to give advice, perhaps, but that does not make her a bully.
  19. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    The OP's response sounds a bit rude to me. If this TA knew the students better, then it was a helpful thing to say, and the reply "thankyou" might have been appropriate.

    How long does it take to log something on CPOMS? If the process has already started in the previous incident, it does seem to be an unreasonable length of time.
  20. Gavster77

    Gavster77 Occasional commenter

    If I was a fast food worker handing over a customer order and a colleague sidled up and said "you should have handed that to them with more grace and poise", that's an inappropriate time and place, invidious undermining of a colleague and bullying. If you are a nurse and another nurse comes to tell you your manner with the patient you had just been dealing with was all wrong and/or made assertions about what boss/supervisor/employer might think about any of her actions, what else is that other than unwarranted criticism? Disguised as advice.

    Pulling rank is bullying. Pulling "time served and experience" is the same. It really is. There are feedback forums in all public and private school sector jobs. Let the fonts of all wisdom use those.

    The timing and wording of the advice is, I firmly believe, intended to belittle and wrong-foot. Bullying by any other name.

    The only way to address it, employing the wording I advise, is to assert the offence caused and the consequences if it continues. That's not bullying - that's dealing with a bully.
    tenpast7 likes this.

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