Toxic New Employee

What do you do when a brand new employee goes to your boss and tells her that she doesn't think you are performing your job up to the standards that were explained to her in the new employee orientation?  Here's my situation: I am a Preschool Teacher and I have 8 years experience and a degree in my field.  My company hired a new teacher who has no experience and no education in this field.  On her very first day in my classroom, she went to my boss and told her that I am not following all of the standards that the company expects from teachers.  I was then pulled into my boss's office and was talked too about this.  I was in shock that a new person would go to my boss instead of talking to me first and I am upset that my boss took what the new person had to say so seriously.  I have been with this company for two years and never had a complaint from any other co-worker and all of the sudden a new person with no experience and no education walks in and complains about me and they take it so seriously.  Because of this, I already don't really care for her and I am not looking forward to working with her.  Do you have any advice about how I am  supposed to work with this person and not be paranoid about every little thing that I say and do?


Unfortunately, not everyone learns how to play nice. Little Miss Toxic could have asked you questions about your classroom procedures. She could have asked why. She could have used this as a perfect learning opportunity. She did not. Why? Her reasons could range anywhere from not knowing any better to trying to make her self look good by making you look bad. Do you care? Yeah, maybe. But you have something more important to address right now - your relationship with your boss. 

Talk with your boss. As a person responsible for young children, she must take any and all concerns brought to her seriously. She has an obligation to follow through on each and every one of them. The manner in which she follows through, however, is left to her judgement. She chose to speak with you and did so in a manner that left you unsupported. You have some questions and your boss has the answers.  Ask her if she has any concerns with your performance, with the way you teach or the care you provide to the children. Listen when she responds. Talk with her about her you felt when questioned. Let her know that you take your position very seriously and count on her continued support.

Without the support of your boss, it will be difficult for you to manage Little Miss Toxic. Know that, but don't let that stop you from talking with her. You are responsible for your relationships. Set the ground rules for this one right now. You are experienced, she is not. You can help her learn. If she has questions about what you are doing or why you are doing something a certain way, she should ask you and you can discuss. Give her the benefit of the doubt and a second chance. If she bites your hand, you bite her back.

Biting aside, this comes back to your relationship with your boss. With her support (and maybe a little bit of peer pressure), you can nip this toxic behavior rather quickly. Without the support of your boss, Little Miss Toxic may be the least of your problems. Good Luck!