Should I expose my colleague?

I have a colleague who is very trying. Thankfully I don't work closely with him, but he is very full of himself, not nearly as clever as he thinks he is, and also a bit of a bully who is quite lazy, but has been quick to take credit for other people's graft. He is the reason why two friends have left for other jobs, and others seem likely to follow.

He is also very boastful about where he went to university and the first that he got. However, unknown to him, it is also where I went to university. It is a prestigious place, and I'm proud of the fact that I went there, but I never boast about it. This guy does though. Constantly. And this is where doubts crept in. The university is quite a small place and a couple of the things he said just didn't add up, both about the place and his degree. I am fifteen years older than him, and one of my old uni friends now teaches in this colleague's subject at another university. We've done enough detective work to establish that he was neither a student nor a graduate of this university.

My usual reaction to such blatant bigging up of qualifications would be one of amusement, but this guy is such an utter s*%# that I'm tempted to drop him in it, or at least let him know personally in no uncertain terms that I know he's lying. However, I think he is just nasty enough to make things unpleasant should I do that. Also, on a personal level I feel like he discredits my university by his actions!

What would you do?


  • McKneff
    McKneff Posts: 38,833 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    Let him get on with it....

    If you 'bust' him you would be villifield for being spiteful, others may just think youre jealous

    Why is he getting under your skin so much... If you dont work in close contact with him, just stay out of his way, or are you just a teeny bit jealous...

    To research this person tells a lot about you, getting your heads together with someone else and Doing detective work to discredit him is just not nice, I would go as far as to say you are as bad as him if not worse.
    make the most of it, we are only here for the weekend.
    and we will never, ever return.
  • System
    System Posts: 178,104 Community Admin
    Photogenic Name Dropper First Post
    I get a strong feeling that if you expose this colleague life could well be made very difficult for you. I understand how frustrating it must be to work with someone like that, and who's lied about things but i don;t see this ending well for you. I'd just try and give him a wide berth from now on and limit any contact you do have.
  • pickledonionspaceraider
    I would not expose him right now

    I would keep it under my hat, unless he ever tried the bullying tactics with me - and then let him know what I know about him.
    With love, POSR <3
  • villandry
    villandry Posts: 14 Forumite
    The boss doesn't seem overly impressed with him! I actually think he'll p*%# enough people off all by himself without me adding to the mix.
  • villandry
    villandry Posts: 14 Forumite
    I'm not at all jealous, I pity the guy if anything. I don't like deceitful, dishonest people though. And if someone is going to lie, they need to be more skilled at it than he is!
  • Detroit
    Detroit Posts: 790 Forumite
    This man has caused two people to leave their jobs, makes the work place so unpleasant that others want to leave, and has people too intimidated to upset him?
    Surely addressing this should take priority over gossiping about where he got his degree?
    So you expose him; would anyone even care that much? Or be surprised? He's already proved himself a liar, and worse, when taking credit for other people's work, so where's the gain?
    I'd be putting my energies into challenging his unacceptable behaviour directly and professionally, like an adult, and if that doesn't achieve results, reporting the situation through the proper channels.
    Spreading rumour to discredit him does not show you in a professional light, and, in the outside chance that you're wrong, leaves you open to a grievance from him.
    His behaviour sounds disgraceful, and it must be awful to put up with, but there's a right and a wrong way to address these issues in the workplace.

    Put your hands up.
  • pinkshoes
    pinkshoes Posts: 20,132 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Photogenic First Post
    I would become his new best buddy! You did, after all, go to the same uni... So you have something to bond over!

    You could start reminiscing together, so ask him about his tutor, names of other people on his course etc...

    Be subtle, but let slip your mate was a tutor there so you are familiar with lots of the staff. Perhaps even ask if he remembers a professor that didnt even lecture there and see if he says yes.
    Should've = Should HAVE (not 'of')
    Would've = Would HAVE (not 'of')

    No, I am not perfect, but yes I do judge people on their use of basic English language. If you didn't know the above, then learn it! (If English is your second language, then you are forgiven!)
  • villandry
    villandry Posts: 14 Forumite
    Just to clarify, I have NOT spread any rumours about this at work, nor have I confided my suspicions and concerns to anyone. It seems that people are beginning to question his behaviour - I'm of the opinion that his own behaviour at work will prove to be his downfall.
  • krlyr
    krlyr Posts: 5,993 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited 5 July 2016 at 8:47PM
    How corporate/formal is your company? Would having a quiet word with your boss or someone to do with HR be an option? I'd be tempted to go along the lines of "I'm not making an official complaint, but a friend and I were trying to figure out why we didn't know this guy from Uni and discovered he never even went - I just thought I would make you aware"

    It's in our company contract's that a lie on your CV/in your interview would count as gross misconduct. I'm not sure if it has or would be followed through, but it's serious enough that they've covered it in the contract, so I'd be tempted to inform HR if I was in that situation.

    Sometimes, management need that push to be aware that someone is upsetting people at a further level than just themselves. I had a terrible boss last year and kept putting across my concerns to his superior - I kept my personal opinions out of it and purely commented on the poor quality of work/lack of support/other work-related issues. They kept giving him a chance - I think partly as they really struggled to recruit the role in the first place - and I'm not sure if they'd have got rid or just put up with him if I hadn't put my two cents in the pot.

    That, or if you didn't want to get involved, I would leave it be and leave him to trip over himself. We've got someone a bit like that who's just started - he has very quickly made himself an enemy with my boss (who happens to be senior management), due to his shabby work practices and being caught out a couple of times. His card is marked, and if he doesn't change his attitude, I can't see him making himself too popular.
  • Natalie_Plumer
    I think lying about a degree qualification to get a job is fraud and should be exposed.
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