Marnie from Calgary wrote:

“I hope you can help. I really like my job and my company. The problem is a clique of four people who always band together and pass judgment on those around them. You’re either in or you’re out – and if you’re out, they make your life miserable…”

The Rat Pack. Like some bizarre workplace version of the peer- pressuring ‘cool’ crowd from high school, they hang around together and get their enjoyment from trashing the people around them. It is a rare, but real phenomenon which can be devastating if you happen to be one of their victims. They operate through gossip, snide remarks and innuendo.

Despite their designer clothes, business cards and titles, make no mistake – they are no different than the school yard bullies. And the best way to deal with them is to treat them as any other bully. Confront them.

Make sure that you do it in the right way, so it doesn’t backfire on you. Here are a few things to remember:

1. Deal with them individually – not as a group

2. Deal with specifics, not generalities. For example, don’t say, “you are always so mean.” Say, “What you did on Saturday was absolutely inappropriate”

3. Don’t back down. Wait for an apology

4. Document everything

Whatever you do, don’t come down to their level. Stand your ground – the high ground – and eventually things should improve.

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