General Etiquette > All In A Day's Work

When someone is just really bad at their job-making a complaint

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AllTheThings:
I'm wondering what you can possibly say to someone who has utterly failed at doing their job, while still remaining polite.

Background: my best friend, Janet, and I wanted to move into the upperclassmen apartments at our college. We needed to others to live in the apartment with us, so Janet invited Rita, a classmate, and I invited Paula, who was quickly becoming a new friend of mine. Rita ended up being okay, but Paula ended being horrible. She suspect that either she was jealous of my friendship with Janet, or that she sensed that Janet had bad self esteem problems and wouldn't fight back, so she started off making small comments to her when Rita and I weren't around to tear her down. It escalated, and Paula would outright bully Janet when they were alone. I found this out about all of this when Paula went too far and broke Janet's picture frame. In hindsight, what I had just learned explained a lot of Janet's odd behavior, and I felt terrible at not noticing that anything was wrong.

Rita and I told Paula we wanted her to leave the apartment as she had purposely created such a hostile situation. Unfortunately, she refused to leave, and as we could not actually make her leave, we contacted the Housing Department, and went for an appointment with the new assistant director.

The problem I have is with the way this woman handled this situation. I understand that she has to listen to everyone's side of the story, but even after seeing the evidence, including text messages and the broken picture frame, she still seemed convinced that this was just some silly dispute and that if we looked deep inside ourselves, the four of us would find that we really loved each other  ::) She clearly believed Paula when she said that the frame must have fallen off the wall on its own, even though I pointed out the foot-shaped dent in it. I'm no crime scene investigator, but come on. She just said, "It could have gotten like that from falling, anything is possible." She finished the session with crappy advice about how we should all try to be more understanding of one another, and even tried to get Paula and Janet to hug! (she relented when it was clear they absolutely did not want to hug each other). Even if it had been just some silly fight where both parties were in the wrong, that is still completely inappropriate. I know she is supposed to be impartial, but she seemed determined to ignore everything and act as if this was just a silly, easily solved problem.

The Paula problem got better, as she moved out on her own, due to a combination of me refusing to hang out with her, as well as Rita, Janet, and I refusing to share any of our stuff with her. She got that I was serious about that when I took the TV remote from her and told her to get off my chair and sit on the couch that belonged to the apartment.

I am still bothered by how this was handled, and I want to send a complaint to the assistant director, as well as the head director. I'd like to basically say:

Dear Assistant Director,
I am very displeased about how you handled my situation. Either never do that again, or else find a job that doesn't involve helping others.
Sincerely,
Me
PS: Your grasp of physics is horrendous.


Only, not stupid  ;)



Deetee:
Like all complaint letters you lay out in detail what happened and what you think should have happened.

In this case, it would depend on the actual options available, but I would not expect one person to be removed from a housing situation because the other three did not like her. Once you have a legal right to live somewhere, it is generally difficult to be removed.

AllTheThings:

--- Quote from: Deetee on November 30, 2012, 11:48:05 PM ---Like all complaint letters you lay out in detail what happened and what you think should have happened.

In this case, it would depend on the actual options available, but I would not expect one person to be removed from a housing situation because the other three did not like her. Once you have a legal right to live somewhere, it is generally difficult to be removed.

--- End quote ---

Student housing is different than regular housing, I've seen people be moved for stuff like this, especially since she broke her stuff. Maybe at this particular time she couldn't have been moved, but she wasn't even given some kind of warning. We weren't taken seriously. This wasn't just a matter of us just not liking her, Paula verbally abused Janet.

AliciaLynette:
Honestly, in this case, I'd make sure that the letter included all the facts along with something like 'When we spoke to you about this harassment by Paula of Janet, your attitude was incomprehensible since you appeared to ignore the clear bullying and property destruction and thus made us all uncomfortable with your handling of the situation.  Please could you explain to me exactly why you insisted that Paula's behaviour towards Janet was not a problem, and precisely how Paula and Janet (not to mention myself and Rita) were supposed to live together for the rest of the semester/year without further problems.  Furthermore, why was Paula not given a warning regarding her behaviour, since that was why we had the meeting with you?'

And make sure that the head director is aware, and gets a copy of any correspondence if the assistant director doesn't accept her errors.

Good luck!

camlan:

--- Quote from: AliciaLynette on December 01, 2012, 05:33:58 AM ---Honestly, in this case, I'd make sure that the letter included all the facts along with something like 'When we spoke to you about this harassment by Paula of Janet, your attitude was incomprehensible since you appeared to ignore the clear bullying and property destruction and thus made us all uncomfortable with your handling of the situation.  Please could you explain to me exactly why you insisted that Paula's behaviour towards Janet was not a problem, and precisely how Paula and Janet (not to mention myself and Rita) were supposed to live together for the rest of the semester/year without further problems.  Furthermore, why was Paula not given a warning regarding her behaviour, since that was why we had the meeting with you?'

And make sure that the head director is aware, and gets a copy of any correspondence if the assistant director doesn't accept her errors.

Good luck!

--- End quote ---

This.

I know that at some schools, the protocol is that at first, the students who aren't getting along as roommates are told to make it work. The administration simply doesn't split up roommates until they have given the situation a "good try."

It's not a policy I agree with. It was applied to me and a roommate who was not of my choosing. And try as I might, we did not get along. The situation ended very badly, and the college ended up changing the "Must try to get the roommates to get along at all costs before switching them," policy quite abruptly.

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