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Thread: How Do You Deal With Problem Co-Workers?

  1. #31
    Evil Slash Crazy Miss Filangi's Avatar
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    Sorry - haven't opened this thread in a long time.

    Tom is still incredibly annoying and it's gone cyclical since he started. We'll have a couple okay weeks, then I'm about to kill him for a couple weeks.

    It's getting to the point where I'll be seeking alternative employment at the beginning of the year. Not just because of him, but for a wide variety of reasons. It's a decision that I haven't come to lightly. Since I don't hate my current job, it affords me the luxury of not settling for the first thing that's come along. (I've turned down a job already - it just wouldn't benefit me in the long run)

    In the meantime, I do my best to co-exist with him. He's gotten a new cell phone with the company which he has no clue how to use and guess who gets to teach him? :rolleyes. He still doesn't know how to answer it and ends up hanging up on the majority of people who call because he hits the button twice.

    So - that's where I'm at right now. Things haven't really improved much but at least I'm learning how to live with him.
    If you go through a lot of hammers each month, I don't think it necessarily means you're a hard worker.
    It may just mean that you have a lot to learn about proper hammer maintenance.


  2. #32
    FORT Fogey Pyramid Solitaire by Disney's Tangled Champion combatcutie's Avatar
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    Miss F, you must have a ton of patience. I draw the line at explaining things more than three times. If you aren't paying attention to when I'm talking, then figure it out on your own.

    I know what you're going through though. I work with a lady who is 31 years older than I am. She has been with our company for 26 years, but with our current boss the same amount of time I have. She has given herself the title of office manager. Our boss is very cool and I get along very well with him (he's 11 years older than I am, so we have a lot in common). He allows us to do what we want as long as we do our work also. Well, for the last year or so I have been the only one doing any work. She piles her work that she doesn't want to do on my desk. She won't answer the phone. She won't wait on anyone that comes through the door. She just sits at her desk and either knits, cross stitches or paints. If something gets messed up, she blames me. She always says that she wasn't told the right way to do it blah blah blah. I have had numerous conversations with my boss about this, but nothing has changed. He'll talk to her, she'll cry, he'll feel bad and apologize for telling her she has to do work too. I don't want him to fire her, but I do want him to get this straightend out fast. He says that if he fires her, it will kill her and God will punish him for that. This past week was the drawing point. I spent 45 minutes on the phone with someone trying to figure something out. Explained to the boss and her. She wrote the business and screwed it up. When I told her that she did it wrong, she had the nerve to say that she didn't know anything about it when I specifically told her what to do. Lately it has gotten to the point where I go home crying because I'm the only one doing anything. When I was on my honeymoon, she was complaining to my customers (I don't think she realized that they would tell me ) that she had to work and couldn't wait for me to come back so she didn't have to do anything. I haven't spoken to her or my boss for two weeks now, which is completely not like me. My boss knows that something is bothering me and asked me the other day. I told him that what's the difference. Nothing ever friggin changes around here anyway. If anyone has any advice for me on how to handle this lady and make her do some of the workload, I'd appreciate it.

  3. #33
    Evil Slash Crazy Miss Filangi's Avatar
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    Wow CC - she sounds like a piece of work.

    I think things are never going to change if even your BOSS can't get through to her. I have no advice whatsoever.

    I've learned that you're always going to encounter someone in your workplace that you... well, wished was working somewhere else. My environment, like yours, is something that can't really be solved. All you can do is adapt. You're not going to be able to control what someone else does, only what they do to you.

    I made it clear that I have more than enough work on my plate and that I will not 'help' him anymore than neccessary.

    Good luck - sounds like you're in a tough situation.
    If you go through a lot of hammers each month, I don't think it necessarily means you're a hard worker.
    It may just mean that you have a lot to learn about proper hammer maintenance.


  4. #34
    Wonky snarkmistress Lucy's Avatar
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    Good heavens, Combatcutie. I wouldn't want to be in your shoes. Is there anyone higher up than your boss that you could take this problem to? Your boss may be nice -- too nice-- but he sounds rather weak-willed to me. He's letting this woman walk all over him. Have there ever been confrontations between you and this woman?
    Anyway, if there's someone higher up, I'd go talk to them. Not only is this co-worker not doing her job, your boss isn't either.
    Next time she puts her work on your desk, I'd hand it right back to her. You've got enough work of your own, thank you. When she says she doesn't know how to do it, tell her to learn. Explain things to her once. Or if there's a problem that keeps cropping up, something she has to do repeatedly and keeps claiming not to understand, write it down in a FAQ sort of thing. Miss F. is right, obviously you can't count on your boss to fix this problem. You can only change the way you deal with it.
    Good luck.
    It's such a fine line between stupid, and clever. -- David St. Hubbins

  5. #35
    FORT Fogey Pyramid Solitaire by Disney's Tangled Champion combatcutie's Avatar
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    Thanks Miss F. I've tried to let her know that I have my own work to do and can't get hers done, but since she feels that she is my boss and runs the whole business (which by the way she doesn't, but my boss lets her think she does) I don't know what else to do. Since I got back from my honeymoon, I've slacked on doing work. I'm letting the phone ring if it isn't my turn to answer it. I don't pay attention to when a client walks in the door (if I'm busy on the phone or doing another business related job). But it is starting to take a toll on me. I go home on a daily basis now crying. I don't mind doing the work, but she gets paid alot more than I do and does absolutely NOTHING. It has gotten to the point that I have started looking for another job. I don't want to leave here, but I can't take the nonsense that goes on here. There have been times that my boss and her are sitting in his office giggling like school girls while clients are waiting in the doorway because I'm on the phone or with another customer.

  6. #36
    FORT Fogey Pyramid Solitaire by Disney's Tangled Champion combatcutie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucy
    Good heavens, Combatcutie. I wouldn't want to be in your shoes. Is there anyone higher up than your boss that you could take this problem to? Your boss may be nice -- too nice-- but he sounds rather weak-willed to me. He's letting this woman walk all over him. Have there ever been confrontations between you and this woman?
    Anyway, if there's someone higher up, I'd go talk to them. Not only is this co-worker not doing her job, your boss isn't either.
    Next time she puts her work on your desk, I'd hand it right back to her. You've got enough work of your own, thank you. When she says she doesn't know how to do it, tell her to learn. Explain things to her once. Or if there's a problem that keeps cropping up, something she has to do repeatedly and keeps claiming not to understand, write it down in a FAQ sort of thing. Miss F. is right, obviously you can't count on your boss to fix this problem. You can only change the way you deal with it.
    Good luck.

    Thanks Lucy. Since my boss is incorporated, there really isn't anyone I could complain to except him. I could tell his supervisor (which by the way she worked for and he even told my boss not to keep her) but the ultimate decision is my boss'. He makes the decision on who he has working for him since he pays us from his pocket. You would think that one would get the hint that something is wrong when his own mother, wife, brother and friends don't like to call when she is here. If she answers the phone (and thats a big IF) people hang up on her and call back til they get someone else. She has lost numerous accounts because of her attitude to the clients. I was able to save 20 of them but we still lost 40.

  7. #37
    Evil Slash Crazy Miss Filangi's Avatar
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    I go home on a daily basis now crying. I don't mind doing the work, but she gets paid alot more than I do and does absolutely NOTHING. It has gotten to the point that I have started looking for another job. I don't want to leave here, but I can't take the nonsense that goes on here.
    You poor thing.

    I was in the exact same spot not that long ago. I was crying at work or when I got home. Little things add up and you feel so unappreciated, etc. If you've started looking for a new job, then good for you. It sounds like you're carrying the workload for two people and that's complete BS.

    As I've said, I'm searching for something better and when I have those bad days, (I had a very bad day yesterday) I just remember it's temporary. I'll find something else and I'll move on and accept it.

    Sometimes, in situations like yours, there is precious little you can do to change the situation if others won't co-operate. Then you're forced to make a decision; can you adapt or can't you? I was becoming incredibly unhappy and tried a few different things to make work more bearable. As far as my problem co-worker, I will never change him. He's unwilling to change and he's unwilling to give me any respect (although he has learned my name rather than call me 'girl' all the time). That's not the reason why I'm leaving though. I'm not satisfied and I'm not challenged on a professional level. My job description has grown to include many things that shouldn't be there. Example - we need someone to clean the office. So my boss offered that I, as the only female, would be the perfect person. And because if I don't do it, it won't get done, so I do it. Just stuff like that. I was originally hired to do a specific duty. Then, as people were let go, I had to take on a large amount of responsibilities (not all menial, though) and wasn't really properly asked. It was supposed to be a short term fix, but instead has become permanent. As it stands, I'm doing 2 jobs for the price of one. It's not that I want more money, I just want out. It really is the best decision for me and I'm at peace with it. It's not so much about the co-worker, although he is a contributor. Wherever you go, you'll find people that are difficult to work with, but in your situation, CC, it sounds like this person doesn't Work, period.

    Until the perfect job comes around, I'll work and go about my day to day knowing there is an end in sight. In the meantime, I'm going to relax, enjoy the holidays and hit the ground running with the job search come January.

    ::sigh::: It's all about decisions.
    If you go through a lot of hammers each month, I don't think it necessarily means you're a hard worker.
    It may just mean that you have a lot to learn about proper hammer maintenance.


  8. #38
    FORT Fogey eldee's Avatar
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    Combat Cutie, this type of situation should not be allowed to happen to nice people like you and Miss Filangi.

    You seem very sensible, unlike your boss who thinks that through the wrath of God that he might get hit by lightning. (I wonder if that's not just a line so he won't have to confront her).

    First, I would put all of your grievances in writing, including accounts lost and saved, the times she screwed up and blamed it on others, how much she does other things during work, etc.

    Second, verbally tell your boss all of it and don't let him stop you. Have a formal sit down with him and also present your list. It would be harder to him to explain forgetting or ignoring a list.

    Third, ask him what he plans to do about it. When he will deal with this on going situation, how and what results he expects to get. (It doesn't hurt to ask). Remind him it is a business. Don't let him sweet talk you or change the subject on how he can count on you.

    Fourth, when said time has passed, if there are no results, go above him. Tell them all about your meeting. Sometimes you might find the right person to talk to who are disgusted by "employees" like that.

    Question, are other employees affected by her incompetance or bothered by it? If so, unite. Either way, do what you have to do. A good worker shouldn't have to worry about cr@p like that. If they drag their feet, remind them that it's a business and not an outreach or charity.

    Good luck and please keep us up to date.

  9. #39
    Evil Slash Crazy Miss Filangi's Avatar
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    Those are great ideas Eldee. I like the written record of incidents.

    I have a daily journal where I keep track of things like that. It helps to take some of the pressure off in case someone comes along and tries to pin the blame on you.

    Very helpful (and cathartic)
    If you go through a lot of hammers each month, I don't think it necessarily means you're a hard worker.
    It may just mean that you have a lot to learn about proper hammer maintenance.


  10. #40
    The race is back! John's Avatar
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    CC, sorry to hear about your work situation. I'm with Eldee on this one.

    1) Document the situation, in as much detail as you can, with times, dates, specific situations, etc.

    2) E-mail a copy to your boss, and along with the memo, ask for a meeting to discuss the situation. Be specific about a date and time for the meeting, and ask him to choose an alternate if that time and date are not available to him.

    3) During the meeting, go through each item on the list, and answer any questions the boss has.

    4) Make sure he knows that you are so frustrated with the situation and his lack of response to it, that you are considering seeking other employment to get out of the situation.

    Don't make it an ultimatum (either she goes or I go), just tell him that you've dealt with the situation as long as you can, and that you feel your looking for another job is the only solution available to you.

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