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Betrayal Romance Friends Atmosphere

I am an accountant in a small commercial real estate company. There is a generous owner, a secretary, another accountant, and myself -- I am female. The secretary and I have always been great friends, but the other accountant is constantly gossiping about me and my work to her. He and the owner are both in love with her, and she is married. She tells me she does not know what to say to the accountant when he wants to vent about me. Do I confront him or ignore them both?

With your boss and colleague both in love with your great friend, a secretary who betrays you, this is more of a soap opera than a real estate firm. Unless you are comfortable playing the role of the victim, you need a speaking part.

The first person you should speak with is your great friend. If she is going to be any kind of a friend, when the accountant comes to vent to her about you, and she just "doesn't know what to say," she needs some new lines. For example, the next time he approaches and starts to smear you, she should state that she is not interested. If she cannot do this, one has to wonder about the greatness of this friendship.

You should also approach your fellow accountant and tell him that if he has a problem with you or your work, he should discuss it directly with you -- and only with you. If he cannot pick up this cue, you can approach the owner, but the problem is that he too has a soft spot in his heart for the secretary. He may well be a generous individual, but if the soap opera continues, it may be time for a break.

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