Author Topic: Immune to Social, Non-verbal, and Blatant E-Hell Cues  (Read 6689 times)

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LEMon

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Re: Immune to Social, Non-verbal, and Blatant E-Hell Cues
« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2012, 06:34:36 PM »
It sounds like you have some ideas for your first question and are beginning to see you can demand time alone for yourself. 

My thoughts were regarding your second question.  I'm trying to understand just what he is doing: is he interrupting other conversations?  Staying on his subject even when the group has moved on? Could you give us more details there so we can help you.

Consider him your practise subject for your inmate work.  Spine polishing 101.  Getting Your Way Firmly 102.

RooRoo

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Re: Immune to Social, Non-verbal, and Blatant E-Hell Cues
« Reply #16 on: November 10, 2012, 09:16:32 PM »
MM, I agree with Amara. Seriously.

If he doesn't take non-verbal, or indirect, cues, anyone who works with him is in danger. If an inmate you're dealing with is getting hinky, muscles tense, using indirect dominance language, Mr. Oblivious is not going to be ready to get your back. He won't be casually strolling over, joining the conversation, squaring his shoulders. He won't even notice that something bad is going down until it gets physical.

At the same time, he won't see when he needs someone to get his back. And he won't be able to tell when he's making an inmate angry, either.

In either case, your workload doubles - because reading body language is part of the job.
"Someday we must write a book of Etiquette for sensible people," said Mrs. Morland, "though apart from a few rules it really boils down to an educated mind and a kind heart." ~ Angela Thirkell, Never Too Late

Deetee

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Re: Immune to Social, Non-verbal, and Blatant E-Hell Cues
« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2012, 11:12:19 AM »
Before we all speculate on how this will affect Mental Magpie's job, can I clarify that they would be working together. My assumption would be that the new trainees would be paired with experienced people and, depending on the size of the institution , the overlap could be minimal.

JenJay

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Re: Immune to Social, Non-verbal, and Blatant E-Hell Cues
« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2012, 11:33:39 AM »
Before we all speculate on how this will affect Mental Magpie's job, can I clarify that they would be working together. My assumption would be that the new trainees would be paired with experienced people and, depending on the size of the institution , the overlap could be minimal.

I don't know specifically where MM will be working but the prison systems in general are severely understaffed. Many prisons can't hire as needed but have to wait for the gov't to release their budgets (some have been on hiring freezes for years!). when they finally get the green light to hire they need the staff desperately so usually new hires get posted to work alongside everyone else, wherever they're needed, and no special care is taken with regard to their level of experience (except not being assigned posts/shifts requiring additional training/experience). It's basically a "sink or swim" situation where you're encouraged to ask questions as needed but expected to figure it out pretty quickly. It's a line of work that either suits you or not and if it's not going to work out it's best for everyone to get that squared away ASAP.

If anything, chances might be greater that they will work together because more experienced COs will be placed in higher-security posts while the newer people will start off with the "grunt work", so to speak. It's hard to say in this case, though, since the guy in question was a CO before who quit and has been rehired. They might assign him more duties because they assume he should remember how to do them OR they may keep him with the new-hires to send him a message that nobody cares what he thinks he knows, as far as they're concerned he's new. Based on his annoying behaviors in training I'd bet on the latter.

Mental Magpie

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Re: Immune to Social, Non-verbal, and Blatant E-Hell Cues
« Reply #19 on: November 11, 2012, 11:41:26 AM »
Please do not be in fear of my ability to be "mean" when I have the authority to do so.  I have absolutely no problem telling someone what they need to do for me and to do it now, when I have the authority to do so.  Part of the problem is that this is a fellow coworker; I do not have the "authority" so to speak.  We are peers, and thus I am approaching this differently.

I may not be working with him immediately for the reasons Deetee brought up, but in a short time there is a possibility that I may.  I do not want to be in the position of him thinking, "She snubbed me once, in front of everyone, so I'm not going to do my job today just to get back at her." 

JenJay, this isn't Bernie from my other thread.  However, I will be working with both Bernie, too.

LEMon:  We were sitting on the bleachers.  Gregory (the one I am having problems with) was sitting on the first bench.  I was sitting one bench up and to his right.  Another coworker, Michael, was sitting another bench up to my right.

Gregory: (Some mundane comment about dogs).
MM: That's cool. (Fully turns her back to Gregory to face Michael (remember, he's up and to my right while Gregory is down and to my left)) Do you have a Turtleshell or a Coconut Shell?
Gregory: We have a Turtleshell, Coconut Shell, and a Pea Pod.

You should have seen Michael's eyes; I thought they were going to bug out of his head.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

Amara

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Re: Immune to Social, Non-verbal, and Blatant E-Hell Cues
« Reply #20 on: November 11, 2012, 11:42:16 AM »
I put this here because this is a coworker, and I will even be working with him in my facility.

This is the first line in the original post. But even if MM will not be working directly with him (as in a two-person team), his disregard or ignorance of nonverbal cues is a danger to everyone--his work colleagues and the other inmates.

JenJay

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Re: Immune to Social, Non-verbal, and Blatant E-Hell Cues
« Reply #21 on: November 11, 2012, 12:02:08 PM »
Ohh I completely missed that, thanks for clarifying.  :)

SleepyKitty

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Re: Immune to Social, Non-verbal, and Blatant E-Hell Cues
« Reply #22 on: November 11, 2012, 12:24:59 PM »
I do not want to be in the position of him thinking, "She snubbed me once, in front of everyone, so I'm not going to do my job today just to get back at her." 

Do you have any concrete examples of him having done this before? I ask because it makes a difference for my advice.

If you have a very good reason to believe he will do this - for example, he has done it to someone else - I think you need to go and talk to whomever is in charge of the training and calmly and factually lay this out. Address it not as a social thing, but as a work thing. "Supervisor, I'm concerned about working with Guy because he has a history of not doing his job in response to perceived slights. I believe this will be an issue with me in the future. How do you want me to handle the situation if it comes up?"

If you don't have a good reason, I would ask why you believe this is how he will respond? Is this just a vibe you get from him? If you're not sure, I think you need to just be firm and frank with him when you don't want to chat with him, and then wait and see what happens. If he does start slacking, then go to the supervisor and say the above. But don't borrow trouble before you're sure it's going to be trouble. 

Mental Magpie

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Re: Immune to Social, Non-verbal, and Blatant E-Hell Cues
« Reply #23 on: November 11, 2012, 12:39:58 PM »
I do not want to be in the position of him thinking, "She snubbed me once, in front of everyone, so I'm not going to do my job today just to get back at her." 

Do you have any concrete examples of him having done this before? I ask because it makes a difference for my advice.

If you have a very good reason to believe he will do this - for example, he has done it to someone else - I think you need to go and talk to whomever is in charge of the training and calmly and factually lay this out. Address it not as a social thing, but as a work thing. "Supervisor, I'm concerned about working with Guy because he has a history of not doing his job in response to perceived slights. I believe this will be an issue with me in the future. How do you want me to handle the situation if it comes up?"

If you don't have a good reason, I would ask why you believe this is how he will respond? Is this just a vibe you get from him? If you're not sure, I think you need to just be firm and frank with him when you don't want to chat with him, and then wait and see what happens. If he does start slacking, then go to the supervisor and say the above. But don't borrow trouble before you're sure it's going to be trouble.

It is only a vibe, but I get both from him and from other people I have seen with his personality.  They do absolutely everything over the top: talk over the top, and when it isn't received well, react over the top.  The other day, he was trying to get someone's attention.  He went from a meek inside voice straight to a full on shout that startled everyone around him instead of maybe raising his voice just a little, moving himself in front of the person so that she would see him as he tried to get her attention, or any other such intermediate thing.  He went from A to C without ever even considering B.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

SleepyKitty

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Re: Immune to Social, Non-verbal, and Blatant E-Hell Cues
« Reply #24 on: November 11, 2012, 01:35:29 PM »
I do not want to be in the position of him thinking, "She snubbed me once, in front of everyone, so I'm not going to do my job today just to get back at her." 

Do you have any concrete examples of him having done this before? I ask because it makes a difference for my advice.

If you have a very good reason to believe he will do this - for example, he has done it to someone else - I think you need to go and talk to whomever is in charge of the training and calmly and factually lay this out. Address it not as a social thing, but as a work thing. "Supervisor, I'm concerned about working with Guy because he has a history of not doing his job in response to perceived slights. I believe this will be an issue with me in the future. How do you want me to handle the situation if it comes up?"

If you don't have a good reason, I would ask why you believe this is how he will respond? Is this just a vibe you get from him? If you're not sure, I think you need to just be firm and frank with him when you don't want to chat with him, and then wait and see what happens. If he does start slacking, then go to the supervisor and say the above. But don't borrow trouble before you're sure it's going to be trouble.

It is only a vibe, but I get both from him and from other people I have seen with his personality.  They do absolutely everything over the top: talk over the top, and when it isn't received well, react over the top.  The other day, he was trying to get someone's attention.  He went from a meek inside voice straight to a full on shout that startled everyone around him instead of maybe raising his voice just a little, moving himself in front of the person so that she would see him as he tried to get her attention, or any other such intermediate thing.  He went from A to C without ever even considering B.

Personally, I still don't really get the progression from his clear weirdness with interacting with people to won't do his job. I think that's just me, because in my mind "work" and "talk" are totally separate things, and over the top behavior doesn't immediately connect to one's work ethic. But I do trust that you know him well enough to think this will be a problem, and you've got the context for thinking he would refuse to work in response to a perceived snub, so I take your word for it.  :)

Unfortunately, I only see two options. One, give him what he wants, and therefore avoid the perceived snub. Two, draw whatever boundary you feel comfortable with and deal with the fall-out when it happens. I would go with two, frankly, and I'd do it immediately. Better to find out that he's going to use work to get back at you while you're still training than when you're on the job.

And one more thing:
Please do not be in fear of my ability to be "mean" when I have the authority to do so.  I have absolutely no problem telling someone what they need to do for me and to do it now, when I have the authority to do so

You always have the authority to draw personal boundaries in any type of relationship with another person. You have authority over you. And what this guy is looking for is you - your attention, your conversation, your time. Whether or not he is your peer vs. an inmate vs. a subordinate has nothing to do with it. To quote your OP: "He also thinks it is absolutely acceptable to completely usurp my time. " This is your time, and your boundaries, over which you have authority. You're not trying to exercise authority over him, you're exercising authority over your own personal rights/boundaries.

Good luck!

blarg314

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Re: Immune to Social, Non-verbal, and Blatant E-Hell Cues
« Reply #25 on: November 11, 2012, 07:52:49 PM »

Quote

Personally, I still don't really get the progression from his clear weirdness with interacting with people to won't do his job. I think that's just me, because in my mind "work" and "talk" are totally separate things, and over the top behavior doesn't immediately connect to one's work ethic. But I do trust that you know him well enough to think this will be a problem, and you've got the context for thinking he would refuse to work in response to a perceived snub, so I take your word for it.  :)


I think the issue is that the job requires a high level of ability to interact with difficult, upset people, and to be able to gauge moods. Not doing so - reacting inappropriately, ignoring clues that someone's emotional state is getting unstable, not knowing when to get backup - can result in actual danger, both for the employee, the person they are working with, and people around them.  Plus, the employee has a considerable amount of power over the people they are working with - if an inmate doesn't like the way they're being spoken too, they don't have the same options that someone would in another situation, like walking away or refusing to continue the conversation.

I know people with obnoxious social skills who are good at their jobs. I don't know any who can switch from being obnoxious and oblivious to socially adept and sensitive when the work shift starts.

TootsNYC

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Re: Immune to Social, Non-verbal, and Blatant E-Hell Cues
« Reply #26 on: November 11, 2012, 08:56:12 PM »
Please do not be in fear of my ability to be "mean" when I have the authority to do so.  I have absolutely no problem telling someone what they need to do for me and to do it now, when I have the authority to do so.  Part of the problem is that this is a fellow coworker; I do not have the "authority" so to speak.  We are peers, and thus I am approaching this differently.


ah, but we are telling you, you DO have the authority to do so. You ALWAYS have the authority to decide that you don't want to be in a conversation with Gregory.

So you can turn back to Gregory and say, "I am conversing with Michael. Please don't interrupt."

You DO have the authority to say, "I don't want to have a conversation right now, Gregory--please go away."

You DO have the authority to say, "I'm vegging out, Gregory--I don't want to talk."
Then if he persists, you have the authority to say, "Gregory, please go away. I don't want to talk."

You should be pleasant in your tone of voice, but be firm.

And some of it, you may need to just work around, especially if there is an audience, so that he can save face a bit.

Mental Magpie

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Re: Immune to Social, Non-verbal, and Blatant E-Hell Cues
« Reply #27 on: November 12, 2012, 12:38:59 AM »
My apologies, I wasn't clear on what I meant when I was talking about my authority to tell the offenders what to do.  I was replying to a few posts that made it seem like I was afraid of having to tell someone what to do even if it would upset them, or that I need to work on my spine in order to interact with offenders.  That is not an area in which I need work with my spine at all.  I have no problem telling someone under me what to do when it is my job to tell someone under me what to do.  That's what I meant when I said "my ability to be "mean" when I have the authority to do so".

I realize I have the authority to govern with whom I interact, and thank you for reminding me.  The problem is, I don't quite know how to exercise it as I am not in a position to do (as I am with the inmates...does that make sense?).  Your examples are good ones of what to say, I just have to remember to do it and that I'm not rude for doing it.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

JeanFromBNA

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Re: Immune to Social, Non-verbal, and Blatant E-Hell Cues
« Reply #28 on: November 12, 2012, 03:49:34 PM »
What about saying that you are "not up to chatting right now?"

LEMon

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Re: Immune to Social, Non-verbal, and Blatant E-Hell Cues
« Reply #29 on: November 12, 2012, 03:56:14 PM »
MM, thanks for the example of him interjecting when you were talking to Micheal.  I would be direct with him.  "That question was for Michael."  Each and every time.  He won't get body clues; he's proven that.   Then back to Micheal.

If he won't get polite verbal responses, you may have to have a very direct conversation about how you feel about his actions.  "I want to get on well with you, but I cannot when you interrupt and shout."

But I would go for polite correction each time.  Set an example for others and they may soon follow.