I began a job at a streaming firm and nearly instantly felt friction and rigidity with my supervisor and associates, lots of whom have labored collectively at varied corporations for round 20 years. Their approach of working and doing issues felt outdated and nonsensical to me. I questioned processes and insurance policies and tried to make strategies for methods we might enhance. All my strategies had been instantly shut down, notably with one co-worker. That co-worker has been on the firm the longest and was instantly defensive. I additionally discovered that she has criticized me to different co-workers. I really feel like she has helped individuals kind untimely opinions about me that aren’t true of my character or signify my work. (I must also word this co-worker is a white lady, I’m a Black lady, and her assistant, who can be a Black lady, has relayed to me the terrible issues she has mentioned behind my again.)

Several different individuals have joined the corporate since I began, and in addition see the problems with this explicit co-worker’s conduct. I’ve tried to debate my considerations along with her, and she or he both gaslights me or doesn’t come clean with the behaviors. I’ve additionally talked at size with our supervisor about this. Our supervisor sees my aspect and has apologized at size for this lady’s actions, however has not reprimanded her or eliminated her from the position.

How can I get this problematic co-worker to grasp her behaviors are poisonous? I do know I can’t change individuals, so how can I additionally create boundaries between myself and this lady? How can I affect my boss to take critical motion on this matter and domesticate a piece surroundings the place all individuals’s voices are heard and revered?

— Anonymous

You are asking lots of questions right here for which there aren’t satisfying solutions. You desire a poisonous particular person to see the error of her methods, but when she had been able to doing so, she wouldn’t be so poisonous. You need your new worker as an ally, so you could have no less than one particular person in your aspect. You need your boss to listen to your considerations and act accordingly. You are clearly feeling remoted, which is comprehensible.

But what you’re asking is, “How do I control people, so they behave the way I want?” I’m afraid that isn’t attainable even in conditions the place all you need is to be seen, heard and handled with respect. It is difficult to hitch an organization the place the workers have a longstanding bond. It doesn’t appear as if this group is especially interested by welcoming new staff, which inherently creates rigidity.

It additionally appears as in case you got here into this group and instantly started critiquing their processes with out understanding the tradition. That doesn’t justify this lady’s conduct by any means, however chances are you’ll wish to suppose by means of more practical methods to combine with this new firm. The solely actions you possibly can management are your personal, so boundaries are, certainly, going to be your greatest protection. Limit your interactions along with her. If she speaks to you disrespectfully, name her out on it and doc it.

Develop a collegial relationship together with your new worker. You don’t must get her to grasp your co-worker’s toxicity. I’m fairly sure that’s self-evident. Play chess, not checkers. Your co-worker is an impediment you’ll want to work round till you discover a technique to get previous her. I hope you and your new colleagues can develop a extra frictionless working relationship. Toxic office cultures are untenable. You deserve higher.