Author Topic: UPDATE pg 1,4,5: How to avoid socializing with subordinates outside of work  (Read 19306 times)

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catgal

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Re: UPDATE pg 1: How to avoid socializing with subordinates outside of work
« Reply #30 on: April 05, 2012, 10:11:20 PM »
HorseFreak, I think there are two serious problems here.  The first is that Annie is a potentially dangerous liability to your workplace.  As an Occ Health and Safety officer, I am just shaking my head that stronger action hasn't been taken to protect you and your other coworkers.  The first action to be taken would be to remove the risk - in this case Annie.  Please document every error and near misses involving Annie.  Request that she not assist you due to your lack of confidence in her abilities and these previous incidents.  Your employers have a duty of care to provide a safe workplace - including being safe from Annie.  It would be horrible if something more serious happened to another coworker, so please speak up.

With her wanting to spend time with you after hours, it is important to limit your social contact with her as she doesn't seem to be able to read social cues. Chatting and being friendly at work confuses her and helps her think you are friends.  Talk to her at work only about work and only when necessary.  If she turns up at your house ( :o) then firmly tell her that you are busy and she can't stay, then close the door.  It's okay not to be friends with everyone, especially someone who could potentially maim you.  You are still a nice person  :)
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blarg314

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Re: UPDATE pg 1: How to avoid socializing with subordinates outside of work
« Reply #31 on: April 05, 2012, 11:24:39 PM »
As far as the socializing goes, I think you need to be firm.  If Annie shows up at your house (seriously?  that's pretty far out) you tell her through the door to go away, and then ignore her. Don't make excuses, tell her right out that you're not interested in socializing outside of work. She hasn't gotten subtle hints, so giving more won't work. And as someone pointed out upstream, if it looks like you guys have a social relationship, you could be seen as covering for her due to friendship, which could get you blamed if/when she causes another serious accident.

On the work front, I think you need to be more active. It sounds like Annie is dangerous. It's one thing to risk your own health and life, but if you don't push things eventually someone else under your supervision could be seriously injured. If they decide to make a fuss, you and your employer could get in serious trouble for knowingly retaining someone who is incompetent to the point of being hazardous to other employees.

One useful approach is to document. Every time there is an incident, you note the time, what happened, the potential (or actual) consequences of her incompetence, and the people who were there. When you talk to management, share that list. I'd bring up the fact that she shows up unannounced at your *home* as well, because that's more evidence that she doesn't understand even very basic interactions. Stress the damage she's caused so far, and the fact that you're worried about both the life and safety of the other employees, and the potential for serious injury and/or lawsuits. Bring in witnesses if needed.

And stop worrying about her sensitivity.  This situation has gotten to the point where trying to be nice is likely to physically endanger you, your job, and your fellow employees. Trying to cover for her butterfly chasing is less an issue of being sensitive to an employee's mental state, and more like hiding a bus driver's alcoholism because you don't want him to get fired. The potential repercussions of shielding them are just too high.

blue2000

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Re: UPDATE pg 1: How to avoid socializing with subordinates outside of work
« Reply #32 on: April 06, 2012, 01:28:23 AM »
You guys are always so right! Annie was out of work for a couple months due to a serious injury she sustained being somewhere she shouldn't have been in the first place and got caught between a gate and a wall and I think she's been treated a tad softly because of it. I'm honestly shocked it only resulted in a broken bone, but an important one. We ended up spending some time together last week because I was involved in another accident (freak accident, unavoidable, just got bruised and it had nothing to do with Annie) and she was the only one who could be spared to sit with me in the ER. She asked if I was still mad at her about the head injury and I was too high on endorphins at that point to have any sort of serious conversation, aside from it being a completely inappropriate setting. I glared at her and firmly said I could have been killed and she finally apologized for the first time since the accident. I had to change the subject after that because I didn't want to distract the easily distracted Annie while flying down the highway at 70 mph (no need for an ambulance).

Big Boss also told me today when he called her reference (similar work, not quite as inherently dangerous) the owner said he was the only one who could work with her because it took so much to keep her focused and her personality seriously rubbed the wrong way with every other person there. Basically, he had to babysit and it's been no different here.

Sigh, Annie is a truly NICE person, very well-meaning, but she's darn incompetent and that's not ok! I've definitely been taking all of your advice to strengthen my spine and be firm with her about not going through me to get things from people who intimidate her and doing her job herself. The funny thing is outside of work she's much more confident, in control and perfectly capable of working something to completion. It's like Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde. Perhaps the difference is she's doing exactly what she wants when she wants and not under someone else's direction and no one tells her no?

Some mental conditions allow you to focus very well on things that interest you, but very badly on things you don't know/don't like. If she is doing something outside of work that she likes, chances are that she would be very confident and able to focus on the task.

It sounds like she wants to change things at work - she wants to do tasks that she knows/likes better because she realises on some level that it is better for her focus and mental abilities. She just hasn't clued in that you can't change your job on a whim! Especially if you are in the middle of 'holding the ladder' for someone. :-\

I think you would be doing her a favour by letting her go. That way she can find something that suits her better.
You are only young once. After that you have to think up some other excuse.

BarensMom

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Re: UPDATE pg 1: How to avoid socializing with subordinates outside of work
« Reply #33 on: April 06, 2012, 10:20:37 AM »
Annie showing up unannounced and uninvited at your door sounds like borderline stalking to me.  I would most definitely document/report that, in addition to the other stuff.  Employers don't want the liability that might come from a stalking situation.

The near-misses and incidents is something that should be taken very seriously.  If you or someone else is killed or seriously injured because of Annie's shenanigans, your employer is facing some serious consequences.  I know this because of several incidents that happened at both my former and my DH's current employers that ended up costing both companies millions of dollars because of employee carelessness.

JoyinVirginia

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Re: UPDATE pg 1: How to avoid socializing with subordinates outside of work
« Reply #34 on: April 06, 2012, 01:51:57 PM »
Time has come that you need to ask boss, and yourself, if keeping cow-irker on job is more important than someones life or body part or completing an essential job that your agency actually gets paid for.
Any upset by cow-irker is, I guarantee, much less unpleasant than your agency being shut down by OSHA while an investigation of death in the workplace is done (assuming you are in us).
What you describe is so serious that I am truly horrified this walking accident waiting to happen is still there! Wouldn't it be kinder to let her go now so she can find a job she might actually be good at?

HorseFreak

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Re: UPDATE pg 1: How to avoid socializing with subordinates outside of work
« Reply #35 on: April 06, 2012, 03:27:50 PM »
Time has come that you need to ask boss, and yourself, if keeping cow-irker on job is more important than someones life or body part or completing an essential job that your agency actually gets paid for.
Any upset by cow-irker is, I guarantee, much less unpleasant than your agency being shut down by OSHA while an investigation of death in the workplace is done (assuming you are in us).
What you describe is so serious that I am truly horrified this walking accident waiting to happen is still there! Wouldn't it be kinder to let her go now so she can find a job she might actually be good at?

I ran into Big Boss again today. Thankfully, we are a pretty tight group who all started at the same place at some point in time and it's easy to have these discussions. I filled him in on yesterday's incident and another thing that wasn't appropriate for her to be doing (nothing THAT major, but it's like the person in charge of holding your ladder gets the owner of the house you're roofing to hold it instead so he can try to "assist" with what you're doing to look like he's being helpful, when in reality you and your team work really well nailing tiles and he's just getting in the way and doesn't understand that you have to lay tiles in a certain pattern). BB is investigating the procedures necessary to fire this person as he's sick of having "charity employees" who don't do their jobs worth a whit. Big Boss was fairly recently promoted to this position and has little tolerance for nonsense.

At the very least Annie is going to have a very shocking meeting about her performance on Tuesday. I'm predicting she'll defend her position by saying she just purchased a house without actually realizing that poor performance = no job and that no one is entitled to employment at any job if you're not performing the basic duties. Her attitude will also be a major point of the meeting. Huffing, eye-rolling and stomping away are not mature ways to deal with minor corrections. BB mentioned that one of the other employees at her same level (other employee is actually a bit more advanced, but same basic job) worked with Annie at a previous employer and warned him about her attitude and competence issues. Other Employee is a wonderful asset and a great person to work with and should be a role model for Annie. So many red flags were ignored!

It does feel good to get it all out and know I'm not crazy. I haven't heard from Annie since I left work yesterday so nothing new there. I honestly don't know what kind of job she would be good at. I know what her degree is in and it's a field with a lot of possibilities, but her performance at any job is going to hold her back. I almost wish I could just shake the entitlement out of her! She still complains about the basic skill test Big Boss gave her a few months back since that was "insulting her intelligence" and "BB hates her."

Petticoats

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Re: UPDATE pg 1: How to avoid socializing with subordinates outside of work
« Reply #36 on: April 09, 2012, 12:58:41 AM »
I'm relieved to see this update! I shared PPs' worry about the danger her incompetence is putting you and others in. I hope she'll find a job that suits her better--or at the very least where her capacity to do harm is minimal.

tartxcherries

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Re: UPDATE pg 1: How to avoid socializing with subordinates outside of work
« Reply #37 on: April 10, 2012, 08:59:43 PM »
Wow, I just read all of this for the first time and I commiserate with you OP on all you have had to deal with so far. I'm glad BB is starting to look into/possibly address these things though. Any update on today's meeting with Annie and the BB?

tiff019

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Re: UPDATE pg 1: How to avoid socializing with subordinates outside of work
« Reply #38 on: April 11, 2012, 04:15:17 PM »
Regarding the Annie's desire to be social with you outside of work - be prepared/warned that if she is terminated she may redouble her efforts to be your 'friend'. Especially if you have used the supervisor/subordinate roles as a reason to not socialize with her. Be firm that you need your 'me' time (alone time) after work, and do not wish to socialize after work hours. It's not rude to turn down an offer to socialize with someone - as others have mentioned plans can include a simple bath and night of watching tv!

good luck!
=) tif

HorseFreak

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Re: UPDATE pg 1: How to avoid socializing with subordinates outside of work
« Reply #39 on: April 11, 2012, 08:23:37 PM »
The meeting has not taken place yet, I believe BB and Boss are trying to avoid the situation and there have been some other major issues come up over the holiday weekend that had nothing to do with Annie. She had another minor incident today which put me in another somewhat precarious position. This time it was more of a problem with not thinking a whole process through. She told me something was ready, I started my moderately dangerous task (one of my least favorites) to find that she hadn't done her part completely. I will admit to raising my voice and yelling out/growling, "When I ask you to set up the darn *task* you need to *finish process* so I can do my part without getting killed." Just substitute the similar, but stronger word in for darn. I was very stressed at the time and in kind of a dangerous position. She got upset and asked to complete it for me and I kind of growled and told her to get out of the way. It was a similar to task to moving a piano down a flight of stairs, but Annie locked the door at the bottom and you were stuck wrestling a heavy, dangerous object that would easily crush you while you wait for Annie to unlock it. Unlocking the door is something I review with every new group of students and should be basic for her.

Again, if it was an isolated incident I wouldn't get that upset, but the pattern of not thinking is the problem. More documentation has been sent. I spoke to someone at another facility on the same property and she offered to take her on at a reduced level if they don't want to fire her outright.

kakack

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Re: UPDATE pg 1: How to avoid socializing with subordinates outside of work
« Reply #40 on: April 12, 2012, 09:40:02 AM »
At this point, I would tell BB and Boss that you will have nothing to do with her and you want her out of your hair YESTERDAY.  Their delay is inexcusable, especially when she is putting other people in danger.  I would not hesitate to mention "OSHA inspection" in your next conversation.

JenJay

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Re: UPDATE pg 1: How to avoid socializing with subordinates outside of work
« Reply #41 on: April 12, 2012, 11:25:59 AM »
Is there any way you can refuse to allow her to work? I know you can't fire her or probably even send her home, but can you tell her to do paperwork, run errands, clean up another work space, etc.? It seems to me that having her involved in your work is endangering you on a regular basis and since the bosses are taking their time doing anything about it I'd be taking whatever action I could to keep her the heck away from me! I'd just straight up refuse to allow her to touch anything and/or refuse to finish anything she'd touched.  :-\

JoyinVirginia

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Re: UPDATE pg 1: How to avoid socializing with subordinates outside of work
« Reply #42 on: April 12, 2012, 12:42:45 PM »
Op, you must take care of yourself. Please refuse to let walking disaster area do anything with you. Tell the bosses they must take responsibility for her.

bopper

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Re: UPDATE pg 1: How to avoid socializing with subordinates outside of work
« Reply #43 on: April 12, 2012, 03:43:56 PM »
I agree...when someone is constantly causing safety issues, then just refuse to work with her.  Tell them that the task cannot be done until she is replaced because 3 major incidences in 2 weeks (or whatever) is too many and you are not willing to further risk your safety because of her.

gramma dishes

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Re: UPDATE pg 1: How to avoid socializing with subordinates outside of work
« Reply #44 on: April 12, 2012, 04:48:55 PM »
I agree...when someone is constantly causing safety issues, then just refuse to work with her.  Tell them that the task cannot be done until she is replaced because 3 major incidences in 2 weeks (or whatever) is too many and you are not willing to further risk your safety and the safety of others because of her.