A catty woman at work told everyone that my breath smells

DEAR DEIDRE: A CATTY woman at work is making my life hell.

I get on really well with everyone else in the shop, except her. She’s in her late-thirties and is rude and nasty.

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She carries on as if she is better than everybody else.

I’m a woman of 22 and started working there a few months ago.

On my very first day, I couldn’t find something and went to the wrong cupboard.

Instead of helping me, she laughed haughtily and said: “Don’t they teach you anything at school?”

She’s corrected my pronunciation, criticised my accent, told me to change my hairstyle and even said I should buy better clothes because mine look “cheap”.

But the most upsetting thing is that she claimed one of the customers had complained that I have bad breath. I was mortified.

Another colleague found me crying and reassured me it wasn’t true.

I hate this woman so much.

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I wish I could tell my boss what a nasty piece of work she is.

I feel like leaving but – aside from my colleague – I really like the job.

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DEIDRE SAYS: This woman is a bully.

She is probably jealous of you, or perhaps she’s just unhappy and feels better about herself if she makes someone else miserable.

See my support pack on Bullying for information and sources of support.

I know it’s easy to say, but try not to let her see that she is getting to you – she thrives on your hurt.

Ask her to stop and say if she doesn’t then you will have to take things further.

And please tell your boss what’s been going on. It’s possible they are already aware.

Contact Acas (acas.org.uk) for information on your rights.

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