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Problems with a colleague

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Employment, Jobseeking & Training
40 replies 8.1K views
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  • edited 22 July 2019 at 9:03PM
    w00519772w00519772 Forumite
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    edited 22 July 2019 at 9:03PM
    Well, the saga continues. This employee was put on report, however continues to be difficult to work with. Just today, someone came in to speak to me because "she knew she wasn't around".

    Today I was asked by the head of department if things are improving. I tried to be diplomatic and said it has only been a few weeks since the employee was put on report, when I really want to day: "No, things are not improving". I was asked whether or not this employee is productive or not. Again, I wanted to be very critical, but I found myself being quite diplomatic saying give it time.

    I am the only person who can say whether this employee is up to scratch (because I have a very specialised role and am very experienced) and I find myself being very . I have never been in this position before , ever. Do I just let it rip and really vent out my frustrations?

    I would be very grateful to hear from others who were in this position and what you did. These days I worry what mood my colleague will be in rather than the complex work I have to do that day.
  • MarconMarcon Forumite
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    w00519772 wrote: »
    Well, the saga continues. This employee was put on report, however continues to be difficult to work with. Just today, someone came in to speak to me because "she knew she wasn't around".

    Today I was asked by the head of department if things are improving. I tried to be diplomatic and said it has only been a few weeks since the employee was put on report, when I really want to day: "No, things are not improving". I was asked whether or not this employee is productive or not. Again, I wanted to be very critical, but I found myself being quite diplomatic saying give it time.

    I am the only person who can say whether this employee is up to scratch (because I have a very specialised role and am very experienced) and I find myself being very . I have never been in this position before , ever. Do I just let it rip and really vent out my frustrations?

    I would be very grateful to hear from others who were in this position and what you did. These days I worry what mood my colleague will be in rather than the complex work I have to do that day.

    Of course 'the saga' continues. What do you want to achieve? Shilly-shallying around and ducking the issue - which is what you're doing, albeit dressing it up as 'being diplomatic' - will get nowhere fast. How can your head of department help when you are so frightened of causing offence that you won't tell the truth?

    Don't 'let rip' - speak up before you get to that point. Your views will be taken far more seriously if you are calm (or as calm as you can be!) and objective.

    Until then, blame yourself for perpetuating the problem - because, sadly, that's what is happening and will go on happening until you speak up.
  • panikapanika Forumite
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    w00519772 wrote: »
    Well, the saga continues. This employee was put on report, however continues to be difficult to work with. Just today, someone came in to speak to me because "she knew she wasn't around".

    Today I was asked by the head of department if things are improving. I tried to be diplomatic and said it has only been a few weeks since the employee was put on report, when I really want to day: "No, things are not improving". I was asked whether or not this employee is productive or not. Again, I wanted to be very critical, but I found myself being quite diplomatic saying give it time.

    I am the only person who can say whether this employee is up to scratch (because I have a very specialised role and am very experienced) and I find myself being very . I have never been in this position before , ever. Do I just let it rip and really vent out my frustrations?

    I would be very grateful to hear from others who were in this position and what you did. These days I worry what mood my colleague will be in rather than the complex work I have to do that day.

    I think you may be more a problem for head your boss than your colleague. You have repeated on many occasions in this thread, how experienced and valued you are. I am not saying you are not, but you may come across as a person, who thinks is better than anyone else and your boss know you from that side. Bear in mind, that members of your team have to deal with your personality and this is taken into account.
    Second thing, anyone who works in engineering environment knows, that repairing and servicing complex machines very often involves lengthy tests or procedures, where the operator sets the device to self test or disinfection. These processes may take long time in which operator can go to toilet, do different smaller jobs in the background that's probably, why your colleague "wasn't around". As long as device is not a harm to other workers (doesn't have any live electricity parts exposed) it shouldn't be a big issue.
    There are two sides of every story. Just wanted to show you the other one...
  • KatrinaWavesKatrinaWaves Forumite
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    My thought on reading the above is that this person might have symptoms of Asperger syndrome.



    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asperger_syndrome


    While this obviously at best a guess this might explain some of the issues.

    That is a reach. There is no need to armchair diagnose someone with autism from those incredibly vague things which could apply to a million and one illnesses, or simply someone who is rude.
  • edited 23 July 2019 at 10:25AM
    PasturesNewPasturesNew Forumite
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    edited 23 July 2019 at 10:25AM
    Les79 wrote: »
    I would be interested to know what she has been doing/saying to be fair...

    Only because sometimes it is challenging to join an established team (12 years) if you aren't a complete personality fit. It can, on occasion, give rise to unfair treatment by the existing staff when they give them the "cold shoulder" etc. This can, in turn, exasperate the initial issue and give rise to a situation where the employee is "managed out" but framed to look like it was THEIR fault because they are getting frustrated. That's all despite them being "ok at her job" (you might be biased and lowered that assessment accordingly, so there's every chance she's BETTER than ok).
    I'd agree with this.

    I'd want to know what she's done/doing exactly.

    Maybe she's not the one at fault here at all...

    Somebody's suggested Aspergers and, to be honest, I read this/am replying as I've got that. While I don't bang my head on the table, I can understand the level of frustration within a situation, or envioronment, that might lead one to do that.

    Behaviours tend to come from a loud/bright atmosphere, changing directions/instructions, being made to look like something was your fault and unclear/incomplete advice given when asked for clarification.

    What seems like a simple "change of tack" on a whim to one, can be a confusing "I wasn't doing it wrong when you elbowed me aside and made me look daft" to another. Being made to feel useless makes the frustration grow; when asking for clarification, being sent away with a further unclear instruction makes the frustration grow as "I asked, like you said; I didn't get an answer".... but, often, nobody's listening... so more frustration.

    If unable to gel with anybody, this would be covered by the "can't make friends" thing; I find I have absolutely nothing in common with anybody, with any of you - and therefore can't participate in social chit-chat at all and/or get instantly misunderstood and labelled "challenging" or rude.

    I'm not rude, "you're not listening and invented your own hidden agenda and made it all about how offended you are by something that was never said".
  • k3lvck3lvc Forumite
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    Out of interest what does 'on report' mean from your perspective ? Is it a defined process measuring tangible achievements reviewed on a regular basis or a looser 'threat' i.e. improve your attitude or we'll do a more formal process ?


    Given your difficulty in answering your Manager honestly I'm suspecting the latter which is where the problem lies. What are you expecting the employee to improve ? How will they know if they have improved ?
  • DoxDox Forumite
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    w00519772 wrote: »
    Today I was asked by the head of department if things are improving. I tried to be diplomatic and said it has only been a few weeks since the employee was put on report, when I really want to day: "No, things are not improving". I was asked whether or not this employee is productive or not. Again, I wanted to be very critical, but I found myself being quite diplomatic saying give it time.

    You 'found yourself being quite diplomatic'. Why? What's the point of publicly moaning here about this person when you are being given the chance by your employer to tell it like it is, and then you choose not to? You are hardly giving your management any support if they do want to take action to improve things/get rid of her.
  • w00519772w00519772 Forumite
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    Dox wrote: »
    You 'found yourself being quite diplomatic'. Why? What's the point of publicly moaning here about this person when you are being given the chance by your employer to tell it like it is, and then you choose not to? You are hardly giving your management any support if they do want to take action to improve things/get rid of her.

    I wouldn't say I am moaning. I am just asking for advice from people who were in this situation before.

    The point I am making is that everyone this person deals with has complained. The head of department said to me recently: "whenever I hear x's name it is never good". I have made my feelings clear in a diplomatic and assertive manner.

    We have had one other person similar to this in the department within the last ten years. The people she worked with were much more aggressive than I am and she ended up leaving (or was pushed - to be honest I don't know which one it was). I am wandering if I need to be more aggressive as perhaps that is what the head responds to.

    I believe I am an empathetic person (more than most). I have really tried to get on with this person to the extent that others have acknowledged this. However, there are good and bad days. Mostly bad.
  • MarconMarcon Forumite
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    w00519772 wrote: »
    I have made my feelings clear in a diplomatic and assertive manner.

    Not according to your own post you haven't. Reread post 22 and ask yourself if you come across as 'assertive' in any way.
  • MarconMarcon Forumite
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    Les79 wrote: »
    Personally, I think you've got a bit of a golden opportunity here to really grab the bull by the horns here and impress your bosses by solving a problem which they seem to be ducking out of (they've had the complaints and they aren't managing it).

    3. Approach said employee and advise them of the concerns, BUT be frank about your praise as well and offer to help them whilst they are on report (an "olive branch").

    How can they manage something when they have no concrete evidence to do so? OP is the one ducking the issue and failing to provide them with the information they need.

    OP is not the line manager. This sort of approach may be well meant, but also looks like meddling - and will certainly muddy the waters going forward.
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