General Etiquette > All In A Day's Work

When you overhear two managers complaining about you (UPDATE Post #28)

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oceanus:
Susie started her job as an Admin Asst about a month and a half ago at a small company, and she does work for several managers.  For whatever reason(s) there have been several people in and out the door over the past couple of years; i.e., people don’t last long in that position.  That was a red flag, but she needed the job.  Things are not exactly working out, and Susie is already looking for another job.

Yesterday while approaching the office of HR Manager, Susie heard one of the managers and the HR Manager saying negative things about her.  HR Manager said “……….yes, I know, she takes EVERYTHING personally………..”  She stood at the (opened) door a moment, then they saw her and stopped talking.  Susie stepped in, put HR Manager’s mail on her desk, stood there a moment, then asked “Is there a problem I should know about?”  Managers just looked at each other and shook their heads ‘No’.  (From what she overheard, Susie is 100% positive they were talking about .her)  She said “Good, glad all is well” and walked back to her office. 

Today nothing was said about the incident.

My comment to her is that once she heard them, she probably should have cleared her throat to let them know she was approaching.  I don’t think she should have asked or said anything other than maybe “Excuse me, here’s your mail.”  Now Susie is thinking the axe will fall any day (she is still on probation) and she’ll be back collecting unemployment.

Any other thoughts as to what she should have done, and what – if anything – she should do now.


starry diadem:
Your comment to her is spot on.  She was very foolish and comes over as aggressive and rather unpleasant to deal with.

But I must admit I had to laugh.  They were talking about someone taking everything personally and she jumps to the conclusion that is was about her?  Way to go in confirming that impression, if indeed they were discussing her. 

lady_disdain:

--- Quote from: starry diadem on January 25, 2013, 04:09:34 AM ---Your comment to her is spot on.  She was very foolish and comes over as aggressive and rather unpleasant to deal with.

But I must admit I had to laugh.  They were talking about someone taking everything personally and she jumps to the conclusion that is was about her?  Way to go in confirming that impression, if indeed they were discussing her. 

--- End quote ---

I have to agree. From what she overheard, nothing was pointing to her directly. The awkward pause would be natural if they discussing any employee and someone came in.

Even if she had been mentioned by name, she mishandled the situation. She should have knocked on the door (even if open, to announce herself) and left the paper. Later, she should have asked for a private chat with one of the two managers and say that she accidentally overheard a phrase when she dropped by that day and how could she improve.

Hmmmmm:

--- Quote from: lady_disdain on January 25, 2013, 07:16:25 AM ---
--- Quote from: starry diadem on January 25, 2013, 04:09:34 AM ---Your comment to her is spot on.  She was very foolish and comes over as aggressive and rather unpleasant to deal with.

But I must admit I had to laugh.  They were talking about someone taking everything personally and she jumps to the conclusion that is was about her?  Way to go in confirming that impression, if indeed they were discussing her. 

--- End quote ---

I have to agree. From what she overheard, nothing was pointing to her directly. The awkward pause would be natural if they discussing any employee and someone came in.

Even if she had been mentioned by name, she mishandled the situation. She should have knocked on the door (even if open, to announce herself) and left the paper. Later, she should have asked for a private chat with one of the two managers and say that she accidentally overheard a phrase when she dropped by that day and how could she improve.

--- End quote ---

This.

TootsNYC:

--- Quote from: lady_disdain on January 25, 2013, 07:16:25 AM ---
--- Quote from: starry diadem on January 25, 2013, 04:09:34 AM ---Your comment to her is spot on.  She was very foolish and comes over as aggressive and rather unpleasant to deal with.

But I must admit I had to laugh.  They were talking about someone taking everything personally and she jumps to the conclusion that is was about her?  Way to go in confirming that impression, if indeed they were discussing her. 

--- End quote ---

I have to agree. From what she overheard, nothing was pointing to her directly. The awkward pause would be natural if they discussing any employee and someone came in.


--- End quote ---

I think you are mistaken.

from the OP:

--- Quote from: oceanus on January 24, 2013, 10:26:13 PM ---
Yesterday while approaching the office of HR Manager, Susie heard one of the managers and the HR Manager saying negative things about her.  HR Manager said “……….yes, I know, she takes EVERYTHING personally………..”  She stood at the (opened) door a moment, then they saw her and stopped talking . . .  (From what she overheard, Susie is 100% positive they were talking about .her)


--- End quote ---

Susie overheard more than a single phrase.

But I do agree that confronting it does underline the "she takes things personally / she is looking for offense / dealing with her is a minefield" impression.

For now, Susie should either completely drop it.

Or, go in person and confidentially to the HR manager and say, "I couldn't help but overhear a lot of your conversation. I want very much to have a good work experience here and to be a valuable member of this team. [because she does, even if she leaves; she wants to leave a good impression behind her]
   "I would appreciate any information you can give me that might help me work with the managers more effectively. And if you have any advice for me, I'd welcome that."

And then she needs to seriously think about whether she DOES take things too personally, AND whether there's anything she can do/say to COUNTERACT that impression.

She should also remember that even if she thinks other people are overreacting and reading too much into things, the reality is that they THINK she takes things too personally.

So she needs to do some major PR work. Be cheery and friendly, even to that manager. Bite her lip whenever someone corrects her or whatever, and not show any reaction that's negative.

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