Lesson Barn Conflict
I need some perspective on an ongoing relationship with a co-worker at a lesson barn. Sorry for the oncoming wall of text.
"Alice" and I have been riding at the same barn for a long time. Recently, our instructor switched barns and we followed her to the new barn. Ever since the switch, our instructor has paid both of us to help her with lessons (get horses ready mostly) or other tasks (I helped her with a halloween party for the youngest kids, which was a blast) but working with Alice has been increasingly difficult. She seems to be under the impression that she is the boss whenever the instructor is gone and that she is the only one who knows how to do things correctly. Mostly I can just shrug this off--she's only 17 and she probably doesn't realize how she's coming off. But it's just been getting worse.
This week, our instructor went home for the holidays and left the two of us in charge of making sure the lesson horses got some exercise while she was away. Which has led to Alice deciding she needs to divide the tasks, tell me what I'll be doing, and basically micromanage me while she spreads herself too thin doing the "hard" tasks. She told me I wasn't allowed to give one of our horses his medicine, because he's really bad at taking them. When I reminded her I had done just fine giving that horse his meds at the old barn, she just told me he probably spat them out when I had my back turned. She HAS to have the last word in a discussion.
One of our horses is a 3 year old saddlebred, an actually very sweet mare. But I'm not allowed to turn her out because, in Alice's words, "she's a little nutty". At the old barn, I worked with this mare daily. I know how to deal with her, and I've told Alice that several times. But Alice wants to be the one to turn her out, so fine.
I really feel like she enjoys the "prestige" of being the one in charge and dealing with all the tough horses herself. She also likes to point out mistakes other people make, even small ones. "That was smart" is a favorite sarcastic line of hers. Heaven forbid you use it back on her when she does something equally dumb.
But it's getting to the point where I can't just grin and bear it for the sake of barn unity anymore. Today is the last day before the instructor comes back, and fortunately she can't make it to the barn today. I hope once this is over, things will calm down a little. But does anyone else have tips for getting along with annoying coworkers?