General Etiquette > All In A Day's Work

Hostile Coworker

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TootsNYC:
use phrases like

"As you know, my approved work schedule is Tuesday through Thursday. Unfortunately, I cannot shift that to a different day without a least X notice; since it's 5pm on Thursday, I can't really rearrange the schedule for an early Monday meeting."

And every time she cancels a meeting, email everybody and say, "I've removed that meeting from my calendar, as you requested. I am available X days/times. Because there seems to have been confusion in the past, I am not normally scheduled to work on Fridays and Mondays. I am willing to be flexible, of course, but I will need at least 36 hours' notice to rearrange my schedule."

bah12:
I seriously hate these "email everyone under the sun" and "reply-to-all" multiple times cycles we tend to get into at work.  And it's an endless cycle.  You feel you should reply-to-all because otherwise the others might think that you are unresponsive and she has a point.

Your workplace needs an email policy to avoid someone like your coworker clogging up everyone's email for what should be a conversation between 2 people.  But since that's something that only your management can solve (and I suppose company culture plays into it as well), I would do this:

Either you or your direct supervisor send an email to everyone you work with (and their supervisors) that outlines your work hours and days Tuesday - Thursday.  The email can also state that while you are willing to change your schedule to accommodate a need, you need X days notice in order to do so.  Otherwise, the meeting will be scheduled while you are at work. 

I also think there needs to be some sort of "cancellation policy" as having someone book your time and then cancel at the last minute can cause backlogs in legitimate work you may have when you are busier.  Maybe this is something that can be addressed when you are busier.

As for how to handle her in personal interaction, I would go with polite and professional.  Just pretend that she's never sent you or anyone else one of those emails.  And I know it's easier said than done, but if/when she starts acting crazy, because you refuse to, it will come back on her. 

GreenHall:
I agree with the above, but based on the Thursday evening requests for Monday meetings, I would either explicitly spell out that you need x OF YOUR working hours/days notice, or just default to a week. 

I'm not sure of a clean wording, but would be concerned that even the standard phase 'x work days' could get twisted since the standard work week is M-F, but yours is T-Th.

TootsNYC:
Actually, if I were your boss, here's what I would do.

First, I'd have a confidential conversation with HER boss, to say, "I've noticed this pattern of her linking both of us in--it's coming across like she's tattling to you and to me about rescheduling meetings, etc. So I just want to make it clear: I think my employee is doing the right thing--I'm happy with how things are. My policy is that he needs X days' notice to reschedule his shifts.
   "And I'm tired of always getting looped into this. So here's what I'm going to do: I will reply to her directly without emailing everyone. And then I'll ask her to pick a time that fits with my department's coverage."

And then at the next email, I'd reply directly to her and say, "My department is not staffed to have meetings on those days. You will need to schedule your meetings on Tues, Wed, or Thurs. If something is so urgent that you can't fit it in on those days, please email directly to me to request that I change the schedule. However, I've noticed that you frequently cancel meetings, so it's hard to see things as being that urgent. You will need to explain why I should change my department's schedule in order to accommodate you.
    "Should you wish to hold this meeting on Tues, Wed, or Thurs, you may email Tom directly."

And I would *not* loop Tom in, nor her boss. In a way, I think that actually would be more powerful.

Twik:

--- Quote from: TootsNYC on November 16, 2012, 02:06:45 PM ---use phrases like

"As you know, my approved work schedule is Tuesday through Thursday. Unfortunately, I cannot shift that to a different day without a least X notice; since it's 5pm on Thursday, I can't really rearrange the schedule for an early Monday meeting."

And every time she cancels a meeting, email everybody and say, "I've removed that meeting from my calendar, as you requested. I am available X days/times. Because there seems to have been confusion in the past, I am not normally scheduled to work on Fridays and Mondays. I am willing to be flexible, of course, but I will need at least 36 hours' notice to rearrange my schedule."

--- End quote ---

Actually, I think too much emphasis is being put on flexibility here. It encourages the coworker to believe that you're complaining, but you CAN jump to her tune when she whistles.

I'd rewrite the above as:

"As you know, my approved work schedule is Tuesday through Thursday. Unfortunately, I cannot can only shift that to a different day without a least X notice with a 36 hour or more notice; since it's 5pm on Thursday, I can't really rearrange the schedule for an your proposed early Monday meeting will not be possible. Please let me know when you can reschedule for a time I am available."

For the second part,

"I've removed that meeting from my calendar, as you requested. I am available X days/times. Because there seems to have been confusion in the past, As a reminder, I am not normally scheduled to work on Fridays and Mondays. I am willing to be flexible, of course, but I will need at least 36 hours' notice to rearrange my schedule if you wish to meet on those days."

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