Author Topic: Polite way to say: You need to be responsible for yourself  (Read 3647 times)

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pierrotlunaire0

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Polite way to say: You need to be responsible for yourself
« on: December 12, 2012, 02:52:55 PM »
BG: I manage a staff of 10 clerks.  There is one clerk who has over 24 years working here at the DMV.  I "inherited" her 3 years ago when the office she was assigned to was closed down.  If it had been my choice, I would have preferred not to have her: she is extremely slow, does not keep up well with changes, and is difficult to work with, mostly because she really needs constant supervision and guidance to do anything.  As an example, when she transferred here, I handed her an office key at 10 am, and she told me at 12:30 pm that she had lost it.**  I am constantly arranging to have her passwords reset.  Bottom line: she is a lot of work.  End BG.

Mollie is retiring as of New Years (yeah!), and she is worse than ever - more forgetful, more distracted, slower.  Last night, the floor supervisor (Toni) and I were leaving when Mollie came back in.  Her car wouldn't start, and she needed the address if where we are to call for a tow truck.  We asked if she needed a jump, but she mumbled it was something else and wandered back outside. 

I felt very bad: this is Michigan, and it was cold outside.  OTOH, Mollie has a key and an alarm code to wait inside until the tow truck came.  Except, knowing Mollie, she probably doesn't know where either are.  We asked if she was going to wait inside, but she said no, and went back out.

I am so torn here, because Mollie is not a likeable person.  She also constantly places herself in bad situations (she parks in the one spot in the lot that is not lit even though this means she walks farther than anyone; we also have to hide candy and sweets from her because she is diabetic, and will eat them until she is ill).  I am just so tired of feeling that I should be taking care of her when she won't take care of herself.

What I said last night was, "Well, if that is the decision you have made," and I left.  She also lives less than a mile away.  How do you politely deal with someone you don't like when you see them not taking care of themselves?

**She found the key a week later -- in her shoe, where she had placed it for safekeeping.  She finally remembered it was there when it caused a blister.
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CaptainObvious

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Re: Polite way to say: You need to be responsible for yourself
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2012, 03:19:49 PM »
BG: I manage a staff of 10 clerks.  There is one clerk who has over 24 years working here at the DMV.  I "inherited" her 3 years ago when the office she was assigned to was closed down.  If it had been my choice, I would have preferred not to have her: she is extremely slow, does not keep up well with changes, and is difficult to work with, mostly because she really needs constant supervision and guidance to do anything.  As an example, when she transferred here, I handed her an office key at 10 am, and she told me at 12:30 pm that she had lost it.**  I am constantly arranging to have her passwords reset.  Bottom line: she is a lot of work.  End BG.

Mollie is retiring as of New Years (yeah!), and she is worse than ever - more forgetful, more distracted, slower.  Last night, the floor supervisor (Toni) and I were leaving when Mollie came back in.  Her car wouldn't start, and she needed the address if where we are to call for a tow truck.  We asked if she needed a jump, but she mumbled it was something else and wandered back outside. 

I felt very bad: this is Michigan, and it was cold outside.  OTOH, Mollie has a key and an alarm code to wait inside until the tow truck came.  Except, knowing Mollie, she probably doesn't know where either are.  We asked if she was going to wait inside, but she said no, and went back out.

I am so torn here, because Mollie is not a likeable person.  She also constantly places herself in bad situations (she parks in the one spot in the lot that is not lit even though this means she walks farther than anyone; we also have to hide candy and sweets from her because she is diabetic, and will eat them until she is ill).  I am just so tired of feeling that I should be taking care of her when she won't take care of herself.

What I said last night was, "Well, if that is the decision you have made," and I left.  She also lives less than a mile away.  How do you politely deal with someone you don't like when you see them not taking care of themselves?

**She found the key a week later -- in her shoe, where she had placed it for safekeeping.  She finally remembered it was there when it caused a blister.

After 3 years, she doesn't know the address of her employer? I'm not sure if I would say anything since she is retiring in 2 1/2 weeks.

bah12

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Re: Polite way to say: You need to be responsible for yourself
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2012, 03:22:00 PM »
It doesn't sound like she's asking anyone to help take care of her though. She's careless and forgetful and doesn't seem to have too much common sense and I get that it's frustrating for your to see, but it does sound like she is taking responsibility to take care of herself...however badly that may be.

And it sounds like you don't have to deal with it too much longer.  It's mid December now and she's retiring at the New Year.  So, really your problem is solved.

If you are concerned about her well being, then perhaps you can ask her what her retirement plans are.  Hopefully, she has someone that can help look after her at home and will communicate that to you when she answers that question.  That would at least give you some peace of mind.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Polite way to say: You need to be responsible for yourself
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2012, 03:37:02 PM »
I think I'd be going around muttering, 'Twelve more days, twelve more days...', changing the number in my head each morning.   ;D

You can only do so much for someone.  If they refuse to help themselves, there's nothing you can do unless you are their caretaker.  It was really nice of you all to hid the candy but the fact that you had to?  Mind boggling.
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Re: Polite way to say: You need to be responsible for yourself
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2012, 03:44:37 PM »
I have one that I'm counting down 1 1/2 years.  I envy your two weeks.

I understand being torn between being a compasionate person and being frustrated because she doesn't seem to help herself.

Take a deep breath, pretend you're Dorothy...there's no time like January, there's no time like January.

On the good side you have some Holidays....you won't have to deal with her for an extra day! lol.

BeagleMommy

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Re: Polite way to say: You need to be responsible for yourself
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2012, 03:53:42 PM »
First, stop hiding the candy/sweets.  Mollie is an adult diabetic.  She knows she's not supposed to have sugar.  It is her responsibility to take care of herself.  If she wants to eat the candy until she's sick she's the one that will feel lousy afterward.  Sorry, this is a big pet peeve of mine since I never ask people to refrain from sweets because of my diabetes.

As far as the other stuff goes, she's retiring in 2 1/2 weeks.  I think the best you can do is roll your eyes and count down the days.

bopper

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Re: Polite way to say: You need to be responsible for yourself
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2012, 03:58:20 PM »
First, stop hiding the candy/sweets.  Mollie is an adult diabetic.  She knows she's not supposed to have sugar.  It is her responsibility to take care of herself.  If she wants to eat the candy until she's sick she's the one that will feel lousy afterward.  Sorry, this is a big pet peeve of mine since I never ask people to refrain from sweets because of my diabetes.


They may hide the candy because she just eats too much and they don't get any.

blue2000

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Re: Polite way to say: You need to be responsible for yourself
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2012, 05:19:02 PM »
First, stop hiding the candy/sweets.  Mollie is an adult diabetic.  She knows she's not supposed to have sugar.  It is her responsibility to take care of herself.  If she wants to eat the candy until she's sick she's the one that will feel lousy afterward.  Sorry, this is a big pet peeve of mine since I never ask people to refrain from sweets because of my diabetes.


They may hide the candy because she just eats too much and they don't get any.

Or they have to deal with her going home sick/being off work/etc. If she is going to bail in the middle of a rush of people because she stuffed herself with candy again, I'd hide it too.
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MrsCrazyPete

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Re: Polite way to say: You need to be responsible for yourself
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2012, 05:57:35 PM »
I wouldn't say anything. She is an adult and can take care of herself, theoretically.
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snugasabug

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Re: Polite way to say: You need to be responsible for yourself
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2012, 06:50:47 AM »
I have a different take on the situation as you present it....

You say you have "inherited" her just 3 years ago and she is due to retire shortly? It is possible that she is showing early signs of Alzheimer's / dementia?  Maybe that explains her speed and her forgetful mind.

Her not being a "likeable" person should not have any bearing on your professional rapport with her.  She may be more work, and less "fun" than the others, but she is a part of your team.  I am personally surprised by your reaction to her car issues.  An ounce of humanity, not to mention your role as her manager, might have offered to stay with her until the tow truck came.  Maybe she was frazzled and just in need of someone to show some compassion? 

I'm sure she can sense that she is a nuisance to you and her team.  She doesn't need you to hide the sweets, she needs you to be patient with her and show her some compassion. 


cicero

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Re: Polite way to say: You need to be responsible for yourself
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2012, 07:06:23 AM »
since she is retiring in two weeks, I would have been a little nicer to her in a semi emergecny type situation. If it wasn't too much of a bother to me, i would have helped her wait inside and made sure she knew the codes etc., only because as you say it is very cold outside and she is obviously in need of some help.

for the other stuff (candy etc) i wouldn't bother any more as she is leaving soon.


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MyFamily

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Re: Polite way to say: You need to be responsible for yourself
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2012, 03:31:24 PM »
If Molly had wanted help, Molly should have asked for help.  There is a whole thread going on in the Coffee Break folder about giving PA people what they want - she didn't want to wait inside, she didn't ask for any more assistance beyond getting the address; the OP gave her the assistance she requested.  I don't see what they did wrong here.  Would it have been nice to do more? Sure, but my guess is that Molly has set it up where the OP has had to step in and fix her problems so many times, they are burnt out on doing it. 


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siamesecat2965

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Re: Polite way to say: You need to be responsible for yourself
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2012, 03:54:39 PM »
If Molly had wanted help, Molly should have asked for help.  There is a whole thread going on in the Coffee Break folder about giving PA people what they want - she didn't want to wait inside, she didn't ask for any more assistance beyond getting the address; the OP gave her the assistance she requested.  I don't see what they did wrong here.  Would it have been nice to do more? Sure, but my guess is that Molly has set it up where the OP has had to step in and fix her problems so many times, they are burnt out on doing it.

This was my take on the situation as well.  I work with someone kind of like this. For a while, she and her husband only had one car, and they live in PA, where we are in NJ.  Neither one of them had cell phones at the time either, which I just thought was kind of unwise, due to the distance she had to travel to work.

He was driving her to work, and picking her up. But while he knew what time the store closed, and how long it took him to get there, many times, we were leaving, and he still wasn't there.

She tried the PA route one night, moaning about how she wasn't sure what time he was going to make it, and so on, and asking out loud, "I wonder what time Starbucks closes?" I think she was trying to get one of us to say "oh don't worry, we'll stay and wait with you" which wasn't ok with any of us. Many of us work 2 jobs, and at the end of the day, we want to go home. Her transportation sitaution is NOT our problem.  In an emergency, absolutely, no problem, but this went on for several months, and it got old fast.

So I said to her, well, call and find out what time they close. Which turned out to be 10, an hour after we do. So most of us leave, and then she and the one other employee (a friend of mine) leave, and he's still not there. She offered to drive her down the strip mall but no, she'd just wait. So she left. While some may say not cool, it was a well lit area, and very safe. And there's also a diner just up the road, which anyone would have been happy to take her too, but as neither one had a phone, no way to let him know.  So she sat outside, and he came about 15 minutes later.

My friend told me later another manager commented to her SHE wouldn't have left her there alone, but hey, our feeling was, your DH knows what time you get out, so it behooves HIM to be there and waiting for you, not the other way around, and it isn't any of our jobs to wait for him with you, OFF the clock.


Moray

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Re: Polite way to say: You need to be responsible for yourself
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2012, 04:21:34 PM »
I have a different take on the situation as you present it....

You say you have "inherited" her just 3 years ago and she is due to retire shortly? It is possible that she is showing early signs of Alzheimer's / dementia?  Maybe that explains her speed and her forgetful mind.

Her not being a "likeable" person should not have any bearing on your professional rapport with her.  She may be more work, and less "fun" than the others, but she is a part of your team.  I am personally surprised by your reaction to her car issues.  An ounce of humanity, not to mention your role as her manager, might have offered to stay with her until the tow truck came.  Maybe she was frazzled and just in need of someone to show some compassion? 

I'm sure she can sense that she is a nuisance to you and her team.  She doesn't need you to hide the sweets, she needs you to be patient with her and show her some compassion.

This is a little harsh, don't you think? Personally, if I told my boss "I got this" and they demanded to stay, I'd be uncomfortable.

The OP didn't leave her in the lurch. She offered help and was turned away *repeatedly*

They only hide the candy because she makes herself sick and *therefore puts more work on them*

She's her manager, not her minder.
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