Career Sabotage

A new woman had started at the company, and I had been with the company for about two years. I had a very strong relationship with my boss and his boss, and we had been working together for a while. This new woman came in and felt threatened, I think, by the relationship that I had with my bosses and the team and probably with my peers as well. She falsely reported me to HR for having a romantic relationship with one of the bosses. I’d define that as sabotage. This story is an example of career sabotage, as opposed to simply indirect aggression, because the intention seemed to be to damage Tammy’s standing in the organization. Tammy described hearing at the “water cooler” that someone was circulating rumors about her. But she was surprised and very embarrassed to be called by the Human Resources Department (HR) and asked very probing questions about her personal life based on rumors started by a person as yet unidentified to Tammy. The tactics of the HR representatives indicated to Tammy that they believed the rumors and that her credibility had been damaged. While Tammy eventually found out who had circulated the rumors, she did not know the woman involved. In the absence of any type of relationship between Tammy and her saboteur, this story of career aggression represents a clear example of horizontal violence—oppressed group members taking their frustration out on other members of their group, in this case woman to woman. It couldn’t have been a personal vendetta when Tammy didn’t even know the other woman.   An excerpt from my book, New Rules for Women, available at Amazon (]]>

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