Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => All In A Day's Work => Topic started by: BeagleMommy on February 28, 2014, 11:03:40 AM

Title: Do I Tell My Director? UPDATE: Post 29
Post by: BeagleMommy on February 28, 2014, 11:03:40 AM
They've hired a temp to fill in for me when I go for my surgery.  When I met her this morning I found out she and I had worked in another department of the university about 12 years ago.

She was let go from that position after only 1 year because she was unreliable and had a hard time remembering how the job was supposed to be done.

I'm hoping she has changed since, but I really can't be sure because today is the first day I'm training her.

Do I let my director know about how she was in the past or say nothing and hope for the best?
Title: Re: Do I Tell My Director?
Post by: lowspark on February 28, 2014, 11:19:27 AM
Twelve years is a long time. I would want to be judged on my current performance rather than what I did 12 years ago. I think you should give her at least a couple of days and then report to the boss if you find her difficult to work with or unable to handle the job.

The only thing I might do is be more vigilant in testing her to make sure she is grasping everything.
Title: Re: Do I Tell My Director?
Post by: LazyDaisy on February 28, 2014, 11:21:41 AM
You could mention that she has worked at the university before and leave it at that. If your director feels it necessary to contact HR about her history he/she can do so. However, if she managed to get hired for the position, it sounds like HR has decided she is fit for the job.
Title: Re: Do I Tell My Director?
Post by: camlan on February 28, 2014, 11:24:29 AM
How long will you be out after the surgery? How much training does a temp need to do your job? My answer would be different if you will be out for a week or out for a month.

If you will be out for a week or less, and this temp can be expected to be there most of the time and you leave clear, written instructions behind, then maybe I wouldn't mention anything. A person can change a lot in 12 years. But I'd leave a copy of all instructions with the director or someone else, just in case she flakes.

If you will be gone longer, then I think a word to the director might be in order. Some temp agencies are great and really vet their employees and do a good job matching the job to the employee's skill set. Others, not so much. They are willing to fling any warm body that has a fraction of the job skills required into a position. (I've had temp agencies completely misrepresent a job to me and I've walked into offices that were expecting me to have skills sets I simply didn't have. Not my fault, as I've never claimed to be a transcriptionist or to be able to write computer code, but the agency's.)

So what I'd do is observe her very carefully during training. If you see signs that she isn't grasping the work involved, mention to the director that you knew this woman in the past and that she had some reliability issues and ask what the temp agency said about her, and maybe ask if she doesn't work out, will the agency send someone else.

And make sure the director has copies of all instructions for the various parts of your job.
Title: Re: Do I Tell My Director?
Post by: BeagleMommy on February 28, 2014, 11:35:30 AM
How long will you be out after the surgery? How much training does a temp need to do your job? My answer would be different if you will be out for a week or out for a month.

If you will be out for a week or less, and this temp can be expected to be there most of the time and you leave clear, written instructions behind, then maybe I wouldn't mention anything. A person can change a lot in 12 years. But I'd leave a copy of all instructions with the director or someone else, just in case she flakes.

If you will be gone longer, then I think a word to the director might be in order. Some temp agencies are great and really vet their employees and do a good job matching the job to the employee's skill set. Others, not so much. They are willing to fling any warm body that has a fraction of the job skills required into a position. (I've had temp agencies completely misrepresent a job to me and I've walked into offices that were expecting me to have skills sets I simply didn't have. Not my fault, as I've never claimed to be a transcriptionist or to be able to write computer code, but the agency's.)

So what I'd do is observe her very carefully during training. If you see signs that she isn't grasping the work involved, mention to the director that you knew this woman in the past and that she had some reliability issues and ask what the temp agency said about her, and maybe ask if she doesn't work out, will the agency send someone else.

And make sure the director has copies of all instructions for the various parts of your job.

Camlan, I will be out for three weeks during recovery.  Most of the stuff I have to train her on is not difficult but it is quite involved an accuracy is a must.
Title: Re: Do I Tell My Director?
Post by: TootsNYC on February 28, 2014, 11:46:51 AM
I would expect you to alert me. And I would expect you to observe carefully and -fairly- during your training time.

People can change in 12 years, but it's not like she wasn't given a long trial period 12 years ago. And "having trouble remembering how things go" and "being sloppy" are not the sorts of things that people usually get better at. Sometimes.
Title: Re: Do I Tell My Director?
Post by: Deetee on February 28, 2014, 12:46:16 PM
Twelve years is a long time so I wouldn't say anything.
But I would suggest that you CYA in a serious way.  I would  be super, super clear during the training and I would  type out a list of everything that I planned to teach her and check off each item and date it as I went through. I would (if at all appropriate) have a short meeting with her and the director before I left and review the list with the director and the new hire and go over what I had trained her on and ask if there was anything I may have missed and double checking who would be best to ask about each item if things go sideways.

I would want  to leave knowing that
a) I had covered everything, including written instructions where appropriate
b) I had given her a chance for questions and clarification
c) VERY IMPORTANT: That your co-workers and boss are aware of the specific training steps that you have done.

c) is super important because shoddy workers are almost always blamers and will likely blame you for "not telling her". You want to head that off at the pass.

Title: Re: Do I Tell My Director?
Post by: cicero on February 28, 2014, 01:06:08 PM
They've hired a temp to fill in for me when I go for my surgery.  When I met her this morning I found out she and I had worked in another department of the university about 12 years ago.

She was let go from that position after only 1 year because she was unreliable and had a hard time remembering how the job was supposed to be done.

I'm hoping she has changed since, but I really can't be sure because today is the first day I'm training her.

Do I let my director know about how she was in the past or say nothing and hope for the best?
I would.

say what you said here - it was 12 years ago and i hope she has changed but when i worked with her i found that A and B and C.

(are you both working in the same university now? do your bosses not get information about her?)
Title: Re: Do I Tell My Director?
Post by: Hmmmmm on February 28, 2014, 01:50:41 PM
I'd let the Director know. It might already be something he/she is aware of but having the background is always helpful.

"Hi, Director. Temp and I started the training process today. I realized today I had worked with her in X department 12 years ago before she was let go."  Director can then decide if more information is needed from you.
Title: Re: Do I Tell My Director?
Post by: veronaz on February 28, 2014, 01:57:50 PM
Your previous job kept her on for a whole year even though she was unreliable and her performance was poor?   ???  Strange.

Twelve years is a long time.  People's skills and work habits can change.

I'd proceed with the training.  If there is a problem, let the boss know.
Title: Re: Do I Tell My Director?
Post by: Alli8098 on February 28, 2014, 02:16:48 PM
Your previous job kept her on for a whole year even though she was unreliable and her performance was poor?   ???  Strange.

Twelve years is a long time.  People's skills and work habits can change.

I'd proceed with the training.  If there is a problem, let the boss know.

A job I had for many years hired and kept someone who was clearly not interested in his job, nor did it well.  No one could ever figure out why he was kept and not canned.  All I can think is that his backup (our teams were setup where someone had a dedicated backup in case of illness, emergency, or vacations) was doing the work for him so there were no complaints from his clients about work not getting done.  The downside of that is we had a team member who wasn't doing his job and someone may have been covering for him which really didn't allow us to excel as a team.  Said system almost screwed me over when the person I was the backup for went out of town for a week. 

As was the policy I took care of my accounts first thing in the day (barring no client emergency from one of his accounts) by mid-morning when I went to pull up the reports for out-of-town co-workers accounts I kept finding the work already done.  Turns out his old backup kept doing the work before I could get to it.  When my co-worker returned he was regaled with stories about how his backup (me) had not worked on his accounts at all.  Not true, I did all I could and fielded all communications from his clients while he was out.  Luckily our boss backed me up and ended up assigning me to one of the top company accounts so I wouldn't have to deal with him.

Sorry for going off-topic a bit, but maybe it's possible someone was covering for this CW so no-one knew that she didn't know the job. (just an assumption of course)
Title: Re: Do I Tell My Director?
Post by: EllenS on February 28, 2014, 02:29:15 PM
I think it also depends a lot on *which* 12 years have passed.  A sloppy, inattentive 20 year old has a very high likelihood of maturing into a competent 32 year old. An inattentive 30 year old is less likely to become a competent 42 year old, though of course it does happen.

I am curious how you found this out, OP? Did she tell you?  If it was passed to you in some sort of briefing file I would think your director would already be aware. I'd keep an eye out and probably only mention it if you see an issue.
Title: Re: Do I Tell My Director?
Post by: siamesecat2965 on February 28, 2014, 02:44:25 PM
I wouldn't say anything either, quite honestly. I could have been that person in my younger years, not doing the greatest job, but now I am compleltey different in my late 40's than i was 10 or 20 years ago, work-wise.

I'd simply train her like you would anyone, and document, and i like the suggestion of sitting down with your boss and the temp, to make sure everyone is on the same page, so if something does go wrong, you can say, well, in our meeting we discussed this, and that temp would be doing this and that.  And if it does involve accuracy, surely your boss will see if she's not doing things correctly too.
Title: Re: Do I Tell My Director?
Post by: TootsNYC on February 28, 2014, 03:01:16 PM
Your previous job kept her on for a whole year even though she was unreliable and her performance was poor?   ???  Strange.

Not really. It can take human beings a while to work up the nerve to fire someone. And then it takes a while to actually do it, usually. The larger and more organized the organization, the longer it takes.

But yeah, 12 years is a long time. though I agree w/ EllenS that it depends on the age.

And maybe the thing to do is to be extra-alert in the training, and if you see a repeat of what happened long ago, then you know to go straight to your boss ASAP w/ fresh info.
Title: Re: Do I Tell My Director?
Post by: veronaz on February 28, 2014, 03:02:00 PM
Also, the duties and circumstances in (whatever previous job 12 years ago) could have been completely different.

Quote
and i like the suggestion of sitting down with your boss and the temp, to make sure everyone is on the same page,

Yes, this is important.
Title: Re: Do I Tell My Director?
Post by: BeagleMommy on February 28, 2014, 03:09:07 PM
Thanks, guys.

I like the idea of keeping a list of the things I've trained her to do.  This was only my first day training her so I'm not sure I'll say anything unless it feels necessary.

My university is paying a temp agency to cover my job until I return in April so my director would not have known they were sending someone known to me.  I didn't even know she was coming until I was face to face with her this morning.

I'm going to give her the benefit of the doubt, for now.  Hopefully, she's improved.
Title: Re: Do I Tell My Director?
Post by: tinkytinky on March 05, 2014, 11:17:55 AM
It isn't a bad idea to have a whole work book/manual (hard to do in a hurry, I know), and possibly cross-train another person so that if there has to be a change of workers while you are gone, or there are questions they can be covered.
 
Title: Re: Do I Tell My Director?
Post by: StuffedGrapeLeaves on March 05, 2014, 11:22:36 AM
I would also consider having her sign the list of things you've trained her to do, so that you have a record that she received the training and acknowledged that she received it.  Otherwise she can still claim that you didn't tell her about X, Y, Z. 
Title: Re: Do I Tell My Director?
Post by: auntmeegs on March 05, 2014, 11:26:30 AM
Say nothing.  I would hate to be judged on some things I did 12 years ago, wouldn't you?
Title: Re: Do I Tell My Director?
Post by: veronaz on March 05, 2014, 11:36:59 AM
I would also consider having her sign the list of things you've trained her to do, so that you have a record that she received the training and acknowledged that she received it.  Otherwise she can still claim that you didn't tell her about X, Y, Z.

I disagree with this.  Asking a temp to sign such a list reeks of someone trying to cover themself/make a case, and it's too legalistic.  If someone is that uncomfortable and distrustful about the person replacing them, they need to get someone else.

However, I think tinkytinky’s idea about a manual is good.  We did this at a job I had when I was about to go on medical leave, and it minimizes confusion and mistakes.



Title: Re: Do I Tell My Director?
Post by: Deetee on March 05, 2014, 12:11:18 PM
I would also consider having her sign the list of things you've trained her to do, so that you have a record that she received the training and acknowledged that she received it.  Otherwise she can still claim that you didn't tell her about X, Y, Z.

I disagree with this.  Asking a temp to sign such a list reeks of someone trying to cover themself/make a case, and it's too legalistic.  If someone is that uncomfortable and distrustful about the person replacing them, they need to get someone else.

However, I think tinkytinky’s idea about a manual is good.  We did this at a job I had when I was about to go on medical leave, and it minimizes confusion and mistakes.

I think it's a good idea and it doesn't need to be legally. I would treat it as sitting down and double checking with her that I passed on all the information and to give her a chance to ask any questions. So I would have a list with 12 things and I would expect us to sit down near the end of training and both initial or check off maybe 10 of them. Maybe give her the list and give her some time ask her to initial the items she was comfortable with and then review the ones that she identified as things that were still problematic. Basically treat it as a tool to help her understand and do the job properly, not a tool to catch her out.

Even if she was the bestest employee that ever was an employee, I think such a list is a good idea.
Title: Re: Do I Tell My Director?
Post by: TootsNYC on March 05, 2014, 12:27:39 PM
I would also consider having her sign the list of things you've trained her to do, so that you have a record that she received the training and acknowledged that she received it.  Otherwise she can still claim that you didn't tell her about X, Y, Z.

I disagree with this.  Asking a temp to sign such a list reeks of someone trying to cover themself/make a case, and it's too legalistic.  If someone is that uncomfortable and distrustful about the person replacing them, they need to get someone else.

However, I think tinkytinky’s idea about a manual is good.  We did this at a job I had when I was about to go on medical leave, and it minimizes confusion and mistakes.

I think it's a good idea and it doesn't need to be legally. I would treat it as sitting down and double checking with her that I passed on all the information and to give her a chance to ask any questions. So I would have a list with 12 things and I would expect us to sit down near the end of training and both initial or check off maybe 10 of them. Maybe give her the list and give her some time ask her to initial the items she was comfortable with and then review the ones that she identified as things that were still problematic. Basically treat it as a tool to help her understand and do the job properly, not a tool to catch her out.

Even if she was the bestest employee that ever was an employee, I think such a list is a good idea.

The list is great.
Going over the list together is great.

The moment you ask her to sign it, you are saying, "I'm going to catch you out. If you forget something, I'm going to point to your signature and say, 'You signed this!' "
Title: Re: Do I Tell My Director?
Post by: LazyDaisy on March 05, 2014, 12:40:13 PM
I would also consider having her sign the list of things you've trained her to do, so that you have a record that she received the training and acknowledged that she received it.  Otherwise she can still claim that you didn't tell her about X, Y, Z.

I disagree with this.  Asking a temp to sign such a list reeks of someone trying to cover themself/make a case, and it's too legalistic.  If someone is that uncomfortable and distrustful about the person replacing them, they need to get someone else.

However, I think tinkytinky’s idea about a manual is good.  We did this at a job I had when I was about to go on medical leave, and it minimizes confusion and mistakes.

I think it's a good idea and it doesn't need to be legally. I would treat it as sitting down and double checking with her that I passed on all the information and to give her a chance to ask any questions. So I would have a list with 12 things and I would expect us to sit down near the end of training and both initial or check off maybe 10 of them. Maybe give her the list and give her some time ask her to initial the items she was comfortable with and then review the ones that she identified as things that were still problematic. Basically treat it as a tool to help her understand and do the job properly, not a tool to catch her out.

Even if she was the bestest employee that ever was an employee, I think such a list is a good idea.

The list is great.
Going over the list together is great.

The moment you ask her to sign it, you are saying, "I'm going to catch you out. If you forget something, I'm going to point to your signature and say, 'You signed this!' "
I make people sign proofs and initial that they have read agreements or approve things all the time. It's just a part of business. It covers me, but it also covers them. If something goes wrong it's important to know where the breakdown happened, not just to point fingers, but to ensure that it won't happen again. If I send the wrong file to print or something is changed after the document has been approved, their signature or initials can prove that I messed up or didn't give them the correct information. In my experience, asking someone to sign or initial suddenly inspires them to actually read it and pay attention. Then, if there are areas that the signee doesn't remember being covered or didn't understand, when she's asked to initial, she has an opportunity to speak up, "Oh, item #4, we were interrupted when you were going to tell me who should be CC'd on that, and the deadline, can you go over that again please?"
Title: Re: Do I Tell My Director?
Post by: veronaz on March 05, 2014, 12:40:41 PM
TootsNYC said:
Quote
The list is great.
Going over the list together is great.

The moment you ask her to sign it, you are saying, "I'm going to catch you out. If you forget something, I'm going to point to your signature and say, 'You signed this!' "

Exactly.

A temp would have to be completely clueless – actually stupid - not to realize it was a setup.

Frankly, if I was the temp I’d excuse myself, call my agency and ask them to find me another assignment and send someone else because things were getting very weird and uncomfortable.  I wouldn’t want to deal with the cloak-and-dagger nonsense.
Title: Re: Do I Tell My Director?
Post by: StuffedGrapeLeaves on March 05, 2014, 01:50:11 PM
I would also consider having her sign the list of things you've trained her to do, so that you have a record that she received the training and acknowledged that she received it.  Otherwise she can still claim that you didn't tell her about X, Y, Z.

I disagree with this.  Asking a temp to sign such a list reeks of someone trying to cover themself/make a case, and it's too legalistic.  If someone is that uncomfortable and distrustful about the person replacing them, they need to get someone else.

However, I think tinkytinky’s idea about a manual is good.  We did this at a job I had when I was about to go on medical leave, and it minimizes confusion and mistakes.

I think it's a good idea and it doesn't need to be legally. I would treat it as sitting down and double checking with her that I passed on all the information and to give her a chance to ask any questions. So I would have a list with 12 things and I would expect us to sit down near the end of training and both initial or check off maybe 10 of them. Maybe give her the list and give her some time ask her to initial the items she was comfortable with and then review the ones that she identified as things that were still problematic. Basically treat it as a tool to help her understand and do the job properly, not a tool to catch her out.

Even if she was the bestest employee that ever was an employee, I think such a list is a good idea.

This is what I meant.  I wouldn't make it a legal document, more like a checklist with initials from both parties.
Title: Re: Do I Tell My Director?
Post by: BeagleMommy on March 05, 2014, 03:09:15 PM
My director and I will be sitting down with her at the end of this week to go over the training list to make sure I've covered everything.

Next week I will sit back and let her do everything herself and will make corrections as necessary.  She's taken pretty good notes, so I hope she'll work out.

I've decided not to say anything unless a problem arises.
Title: Re: Do I Tell My Director?
Post by: TootsNYC on March 05, 2014, 03:20:29 PM
Sounds like you guys have a very sensible plan!
And you have a really good opportunity to observe.
Title: Re: Do I Tell My Director?
Post by: veronaz on March 05, 2014, 03:26:34 PM
BeagleMommy, sounds like a good plan.  Hope there won't be any issues and that you can relax and not worry during your time off.

Years ago I did some temp work, and I also have had to train temps to cover my duties.  It's always good to train, answer questions, then watch the temp actually do the job and see how it goes.

Just to clarify – I didn’t mean that anything you were doing is nonsense.  I was referring to hypothetical suggestions about asking temp to “sign off” or initial what obviously is a trap for someone to cover themselves and make a 'case' later. 
Title: Re: Do I Tell My Director?
Post by: Lynn2000 on March 05, 2014, 03:57:41 PM
My director and I will be sitting down with her at the end of this week to go over the training list to make sure I've covered everything.

Next week I will sit back and let her do everything herself and will make corrections as necessary.  She's taken pretty good notes, so I hope she'll work out.

I've decided not to say anything unless a problem arises.

This sounds like a good plan. Twelve years is a long time, and I agree it also depends on which twelve years--I work with a lot of college-student interns and I can definitely see how someone who was kind of flaky at 20 would hopefully mature by 32. I really hope I wouldn't be judged on what I was like 12 years ago! :)

And, with this plan, the nice thing is, you don't have to ever say, "She was like this 12 years ago." If she messes up, you'll be able to say, "Boss, she and I went over this, you double-checked, I watched her do it correctly. I don't know what more I could have done."
Title: Re: Do I Tell My Director?
Post by: BeagleMommy on April 24, 2014, 02:18:19 PM
Update:  Well, I've been back for three weeks and I am still finding things she messed up.  No change after 12 years!

The most important thing she had to do was make sure all incoming applications were printed and routed to the appropriate coordinator.  I gave her detailed directions and she took copious notes.  Had she missed one I wouldn't be upset, but she missed four (one dated March 27; I returned April 7).

She put the wrong dates in the statistical chart we use to track enrollment.  Again, she took notes and I gave detailed directions (written).

An applicant review came in from one of the satellites on March 18.  She didn't print it and forward it until April 4.  Same type of notes and directions.

The topper?  Before I left for leave she asked if I'd give her a reference because she was applying for a permanent job with my university and "you know me".
Title: Re: Do I Tell My Director? UPDATE: Post 29
Post by: jedikaiti on April 24, 2014, 02:41:33 PM
What did you tell her?
Title: Re: Do I Tell My Director? UPDATE: Post 29
Post by: BeagleMommy on April 24, 2014, 03:16:45 PM
That if personnell contacted me I would tell them I trained her before I went on medical leave.  That's all I'm qualified to say.

Considering she was fired when she first worked here I doubt they even pulled her application.
Title: Re: Do I Tell My Director? UPDATE: Post 29
Post by: bopper on April 27, 2014, 10:27:23 PM
That if personnell contacted me I would tell them I trained her before I went on medical leave.  That's all I'm qualified to say.

Considering she was fired when she first worked here I doubt they even pulled her application.

"I trained her up until the day I left for medical leave.  They may still be training her."