I’ll keep this short. I was promoted about a year and a half ago to a newly-developed department within my company. It’s still customer service, but it’s like a “special” unit where we deal with “special cases.” It’s a little stressful but kind of fun.

The department was already established when I joined and my first co-worker within the role had occupied the job for about 6 months when I started. We worked well as a team, things got done. Everyone was happy.

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But about 9 months ago, due to increased demand, we gained a third team member, someone I was friendly with in the office who seemed perfectly nice. This guy seemed to fit in. For a bit.

Then it turned out he wasn’t properly updating his reports because they were “pointless,” was ignoring direct requests and particular tasks because he didn’t feel like completing them and then would go in and alter the “pointless” reports so there was no trail of him missing tasks/assignments after we’d diligently filled them in for him.

On top of that, despite being the most junior team member, he is constantly telling my co-worker and me what to do and will pretend to co-chair department meetings, agreeing with the boss and then adding his own “tips” in a patronizing and authoritative tone.

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Worse, when one of the two of us talk, he’ll start side conversations with other department members or flat-out talk over us as though we’re not speaking at all.

Our boss isn’t thrilled with this, but she’s had bad health the last year and hasn’t been around that much and can’t engage that heartily when she is here.

This co-worker constantly wants us to come out for work parties and is starting to get angry that we don’t – so on top of pulling rank he doesn’t have, talking over us, not filling out reports, not finishing tasks and generally being a useless asshole, he’s also now giving us the cold shoulder because we “don’t like to party.”

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And before anyone suggests it, I’ve gone to my boss a few times with this and nothing’s really getting done. She has supposedly talked to him several times (which may also be the source of his recent cold shoulder) and it hasn’t improved things.

Do I confront him? Is there a gentle way to do it? Or should I just go to HR?