Author Topic: Annoying Coworkers don't go away, they just get replaced!- the fat lady sings,p4  (Read 15784 times)

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DavidH

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Re: Annoying Coworkers don't go away, they just get replaced! (epic length)
« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2012, 01:23:17 PM »
If my colleague gets up and says I'm just taking a break, but still using the computer, I might say I understand, but of course I understand the concept of you're taking a break.  I might also say, okay, or have a good time, or see you later, or no problem, or no problem, I don't need to work on that computer today.  It has no bearing on whether I now know not to jump in or the correct safety procedure since that wasn't really covered in the I'm taking a break but still working on the computer.  If I were being snarky I might ask why you are telling me this.

The only way we know that the right response would be I'm sorry about yesterday, I have now learned the safety procedures is the context she wrote. 

Take another example:

Poster writes my colleague told me she was taking a break from the machine, but was still working on it and I replied, I understand.  She seemed annoyed at my response.  Did I do something wrong?  I think we'd all say no, your response was fine. 

I'm not saying he was right at the beginning, but that if the OP wants to know if he understand the right procedure now she has to ask, not obliquely allude to it by saying she's taking a break now and is still working with the apparatus.

Surianne

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Re: Annoying Coworkers don't go away, they just get replaced! (epic length)
« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2012, 07:18:34 PM »
I agree, David.  I'm not sure what the coworker was supposed to say instead of "I understand"?

He's been talked to.  At this point, OP, I don't think it's your responsibility to make sure he knows the procedures -- he's been instructed in them.  If it happens again, address it then, but for now, assume he's up to speed.  Or, if you're really worried that he could ruin your experiment (I'm not sure if that's the case -- I found the timeline confusing) then talk about it with him before setting yours in motion next time.

Onyx_TKD

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Re: Annoying Coworkers don't go away, they just get replaced! (epic length)
« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2012, 07:29:21 PM »
I agree, David.  I'm not sure what the coworker was supposed to say instead of "I understand"?

He's been talked to.  At this point, OP, I don't think it's your responsibility to make sure he knows the procedures -- he's been instructed in them.  If it happens again, address it then, but for now, assume he's up to speed.  Or, if you're really worried that he could ruin your experiment (I'm not sure if that's the case -- I found the timeline confusing) then talk about it with him before setting yours in motion next time.

He didn't say "I understand." Instead he said he didn't need the apparatus. That is exactly the problem. His answer does not confirm that he has learned the rules that this apparatus is not available for him to use while someone else has it reserved. His answer implies that the reason he won't jump in and use the apparatus while the OP is gone is because he doesn't need to use it that day, not that he understands that it is not available.

kherbert05

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Re: Annoying Coworkers don't go away, they just get replaced! (epic length)
« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2012, 07:46:01 PM »
Background: My Mom once evacuated a research lab right before two arrogant Masters students exploded their experiment. She had told them to stop what they were doing and double check their instructions/plans. They told her they were Masters students with undergraduate degrees from Rice and didn't have to listen to some foreign lab tech (Mom was Canadian). She told everyone else to get out, sounded the alarm, went to the their adviser. They poured a very strong acid into a very strong base and got a very strong reaction. They were lucky noone was hurt or killed.  (they had misread the instructions and used the wrong chemical.)

That said I don't think the higher ups did enough
Barney should have all privileges suspended until he takes and passes a remedial  how you behave safely in a lab class.

Maddie should be relieved of her supervising duties until she demonstrates she has a spine. She should have NOT allowed hit to continue to use your equipment for 10 minutes. She should have demanded he stop immediately, clean up his mess, and leave the lab not to return till she had a conversation with him. That conversation should still be ringing in his ears 10 years from now.

His "that's ok I don't need it" should have been met with "NO you don't get it. You do NOT under any circumstance touch that equipment, because you could ruin my experiment. His response shows he should NOT be allowed to use the lab till he gets it.
Don't Teach Them For Your Past. Teach Them For Their Future

Surianne

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Re: Annoying Coworkers don't go away, they just get replaced! (epic length)
« Reply #19 on: November 02, 2012, 08:07:02 PM »
I agree, David.  I'm not sure what the coworker was supposed to say instead of "I understand"?

He's been talked to.  At this point, OP, I don't think it's your responsibility to make sure he knows the procedures -- he's been instructed in them.  If it happens again, address it then, but for now, assume he's up to speed.  Or, if you're really worried that he could ruin your experiment (I'm not sure if that's the case -- I found the timeline confusing) then talk about it with him before setting yours in motion next time.

He didn't say "I understand." Instead he said he didn't need the apparatus. That is exactly the problem. His answer does not confirm that he has learned the rules that this apparatus is not available for him to use while someone else has it reserved. His answer implies that the reason he won't jump in and use the apparatus while the OP is gone is because he doesn't need to use it that day, not that he understands that it is not available.

I was using "I understand" as short form -- sorry for the confusion.  I meant, the problem in the past was that he used the apparatus when he shouldn't have, yes?  (Let me know if I've got that wrong.)  So by saying "I don't need it" he's made it clear he won't be doing that -- using the apparatus when the OP needs it.  What else was he supposed to say?  "I don't need it, but even if I did need it, I acknowledge that I should not be using it"?  People don't really talk like that.  I guess I'm unsure as to what the problem was with the guy saying he didn't need it, when the OP's goal was to find out if he would be using it.  He answered her question, yes?

Onyx_TKD

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Re: Annoying Coworkers don't go away, they just get replaced! (epic length)
« Reply #20 on: November 02, 2012, 08:27:17 PM »
I agree, David.  I'm not sure what the coworker was supposed to say instead of "I understand"?

He's been talked to.  At this point, OP, I don't think it's your responsibility to make sure he knows the procedures -- he's been instructed in them.  If it happens again, address it then, but for now, assume he's up to speed.  Or, if you're really worried that he could ruin your experiment (I'm not sure if that's the case -- I found the timeline confusing) then talk about it with him before setting yours in motion next time.

He didn't say "I understand." Instead he said he didn't need the apparatus. That is exactly the problem. His answer does not confirm that he has learned the rules that this apparatus is not available for him to use while someone else has it reserved. His answer implies that the reason he won't jump in and use the apparatus while the OP is gone is because he doesn't need to use it that day, not that he understands that it is not available.

I was using "I understand" as short form -- sorry for the confusion.  I meant, the problem in the past was that he used the apparatus when he shouldn't have, yes?  (Let me know if I've got that wrong.)  So by saying "I don't need it" he's made it clear he won't be doing that -- using the apparatus when the OP needs it.  What else was he supposed to say?  "I don't need it, but even if I did need it, I acknowledge that I should not be using it"?  People don't really talk like that.  I guess I'm unsure as to what the problem was with the guy saying he didn't need it, when the OP's goal was to find out if he would be using it.  He answered her question, yes?

The way I see it is this: Barney screwed up the day before by using an apparatus that he knew was already in use by someone else. After screwing up someone else's experiment because you broke the rules, it shouldn't be surprising when that person takes extra steps to make sure it doesn't happen again. So, the next day, when that same person told him directly that the apparatus was still in use despite the fact that she was not going to be physically present for a while, it shouldn't be much of a stretch to realize why she's mentioning it.

If he grasped what they told him yesterday, then he should be thinking "Apparatus is in use --> I won't touch anything."
If he doesn't need the apparatus that day anyway, "Apparatus is in use + I don't need it --> I won't touch anything."
If he does need the apparatus that day, "Apparatus is in use + I need to work on it soon --> I won't touch anything."
I.e., it doesn't matter whether he needs it or not because the result is completely the same.

The fact that his immediate reaction was "Okay, I don't need it" instead of, e.g., "Okay, I won't touch it" or even just "Okay" implies to me that he thinks whether he needs the apparatus makes a difference. If his labmates are ever going to be able to trust him to work in the lab unsupervised, then he not only needs to get that idea out of his head ASAP, but he also needs to make it clear to his labmates that he understands the rules and is going to follow them.

Surianne

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Re: Annoying Coworkers don't go away, they just get replaced! (epic length)
« Reply #21 on: November 02, 2012, 09:05:11 PM »
Personally, if I were asked a simple question, I wouldn't have time to put that much thought into it, and consider all of the possible responses and scenarios that they would imply before replying.  With that amount of delay I'd imagine the OP would get pretty annoyed and assume I wasn't even listening! 

So I'd likely reply "No worries, I don't even need it today" and think that was acceptable and that it didn't imply anything more than assurance that I wouldn't be using the apparatus during her break. 

If he messes up again, then yes, it's a major problem.  But there's no reason to analyze every word he speaks as to how much it differs from the perfect answer.

Mental Magpie

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Re: Annoying Coworkers don't go away, they just get replaced! (epic length)
« Reply #22 on: November 03, 2012, 03:35:29 AM »
I don't know, if I screwed up the day before and if the person whose experiment I screwed up said something to me, I would be going out of my way to show that person that I would not screw up again.  That means I would say more than, "I don't need it today anyway."  I would probably say, "I won't touch anything."  I would want to show that person I was competent and just had a really stupid and dangerous lack of judgment the day before. 
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

Shopaholic

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Re: Annoying Coworkers don't go away, they just get replaced! (epic length)
« Reply #23 on: November 03, 2012, 03:55:27 AM »
Thanks for arguing my side, Onyx - I had to go before I could address David's question last night.

It is highly unusual for anybody to point out that they are on a break while using Apparatus (or any other thing, for that matter). For one, it is very clear that it is in use because it is on, and there are things scattered around in it.
Second, it is in the interest of someone wanting to use Apparatus to inquire if it is free.
However, Barney has shown that our regular practices don't apply to him so I went out of my way and somewhat sarcastically pointed out that I was still working, despite it being blatantly obvious.

What I expected is "I understand I was wrong yesterday.I won't do that again" Or at least a normal human facial expression expressing contriteness or shame. I know if a senior member of my lab had said something to me like that after having screwed up, I would be completely red-faced. (Exactly what you wrote, Mental Magpie)
Instead, he acted as if I was doing him a courtesy.
It's not as if I expected an "I'm so sorry I put you, your fetus and every other person in the lab at risk."

David, Barney was there. He knew exactly what happened. He didn't need the context of my OP.
There was no miscommunication. I asked him if he knew I was working, he replied "yes", then tried to blame Maddie.
If he had asked "why are you telling me this?" - it doesn't necessarily have to be snarky - I would have replied "because your actions yesterday demonstrate that you don't know the proper lab protocol for shared equipment."

FWIW, the whiteboard sign-up for apparatus is right next to Apparatus.

When I mentor a new student, I explain what we are doing, then detail the hazards we may be working with. I explain the precautions we will take and why we take them. My method is usually "You watch me do this once (or as many times as you need), I watch you do it once - or as many times as you need until you feel confident enough to do things independently. Then, I will be in the area for any and all questions you may have"


DavidH

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Re: Annoying Coworkers don't go away, they just get replaced! (epic length)
« Reply #24 on: November 04, 2012, 08:16:11 PM »
I'll try it this way.  You didn't ask the question you wanted the answer to.  You sarcastically told him you were taking a break and then didn't like his response. 

The normal response to I'm taking a break just isn't "I understand I was wrong yesterday, I won't do it again", so expecting that answer to a sarcastic comment is unreasonable. 

If you want that response, then you need to say something like, "I'm still annoyed about yesterday, have you now learned what you did wrong and do you now know how to correct it."

Being worried is still fine, wanting reassurance that he now understands is still fine, expecting that reassurance as a response to a sarcastic comment, just isn't reasonable.

Mental Magpie

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Re: Annoying Coworkers don't go away, they just get replaced! (epic length)
« Reply #25 on: November 04, 2012, 09:49:12 PM »
I'll try it this way.  You didn't ask the question you wanted the answer to.  You sarcastically told him you were taking a break and then didn't like his response. 

The normal response to I'm taking a break just isn't "I understand I was wrong yesterday, I won't do it again", so expecting that answer to a sarcastic comment is unreasonable. 

If you want that response, then you need to say something like, "I'm still annoyed about yesterday, have you now learned what you did wrong and do you now know how to correct it."

Being worried is still fine, wanting reassurance that he now understands is still fine, expecting that reassurance as a response to a sarcastic comment, just isn't reasonable.

How was her comment at all sarcastic?  Sure, it wasn't a straightforward comment, but I just don't get how it was sarcastic.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

rashea

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Re: Annoying Coworkers don't go away, they just get replaced! (epic length)
« Reply #26 on: November 05, 2012, 10:10:43 AM »
I'll try it this way.  You didn't ask the question you wanted the answer to.  You sarcastically told him you were taking a break and then didn't like his response. 

The normal response to I'm taking a break just isn't "I understand I was wrong yesterday, I won't do it again", so expecting that answer to a sarcastic comment is unreasonable. 

If you want that response, then you need to say something like, "I'm still annoyed about yesterday, have you now learned what you did wrong and do you now know how to correct it."

Being worried is still fine, wanting reassurance that he now understands is still fine, expecting that reassurance as a response to a sarcastic comment, just isn't reasonable.

How was her comment at all sarcastic?  Sure, it wasn't a straightforward comment, but I just don't get how it was sarcastic.

She just said it was sarcastic:
so I went out of my way and somewhat sarcastically pointed out that I was still working, despite it being blatantly obvious.

OP, I get why you are upset. But, he's been talked to. I think at this point you need to decide what would make you feel okay with this situation enough to move on. Then, go after that. If what you want is for him to say, "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have put you at risk without your knowledge, and I should have asked you before touching the apparatus" then go talk to him or his mentor and say that. That's a reasonable request. What's not reasonable is throwing out a PA comment and hoping to get that back.
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Vermont

Mental Magpie

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Re: Annoying Coworkers don't go away, they just get replaced! (epic length)
« Reply #27 on: November 05, 2012, 02:39:56 PM »
 :-[ :-[ :-[ I thought I was in a different thread...my apologies.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

rashea

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Re: Annoying Coworkers don't go away, they just get replaced! (epic length)
« Reply #28 on: November 05, 2012, 03:26:25 PM »
:-[ :-[ :-[ I thought I was in a different thread...my apologies.

That explains it. You're usually so careful to read everything. I thought it was a bit odd.  :)
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Mental Magpie

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Re: Annoying Coworkers don't go away, they just get replaced! (epic length)
« Reply #29 on: November 05, 2012, 07:50:37 PM »
:-[ :-[ :-[ I thought I was in a different thread...my apologies.

That explains it. You're usually so careful to read everything. I thought it was a bit odd.  :)

Haha, this is the second time in a month or so (I recently did it to Twik); maybe I need to get myself checked!  I blame it on basic training frying my brain  ;D
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.