Author Topic: Being ignored in the workplace  (Read 7058 times)

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watson

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Being ignored in the workplace
« on: February 23, 2013, 07:47:56 AM »
I had to calm down a coworker today. While she was doing some work, she heard a loud discussion about movie tickets. She got up and saw that it was four members of her team. She asked what was going on and one of them told her "Not to worry about it." Not satisfied with that answer she asked again, they ignored her. It was only after about two minutes of asking what was going on that a junior member of the team admitted what was going on. One of their clients out of appreciation sent movie tickets and they were fighting over it. What made her angry was the fact the other members of the team ignored her question and it is also part of her job. One of duties is interacting with the clients, so she needs to know if things like this occur. She did not even want the movie tickets, she wanted to know what was going on. She complained to her supervisor who told her to let it go. Which even annoyed her more because she felt as if she was being dismissed.

She was ready to scream at someone before I calmed her down. She told me that this was not the first time something like this had happened and she was sick and tired of it.

I told her I understood where she was coming from. Getting ignored in general is annoying. But it was not worth getting angry about. I told her to keep her cool for now.


Phoebelion

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Re: Being ignored in the workplace
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2013, 08:48:35 AM »
Management was wrong to blow it off.  Especially due to the fighting over the ticket.

The client is expecting to be thanked.  And your co-worker interacts witht the client.  What is his impression of her going to be?

And why didn't the client send enough for the whole team?

A fruit basket would have caused less problems. 

camlan

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Re: Being ignored in the workplace
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2013, 09:18:39 AM »
It does seem as if your co-worker over reacted to the situation.

However, I can understand why she's upset.

1) It's her job to track gifts from clients. This was such a gift; she needs to be informed about it.

2) Her co-workers ignored her perfectly normal question. That's rude.

3) Her supervisor blew her off. I suspect this is because your co-worker treated this as "They are being mean to me!" instead of "My co-workers are preventing me from doing my job."

If I were your co-worker, I'd wait until I was calm and then I'd go to my supervisor again and ask for a meeting. In the meeting, I'd point out the following:

My job is to track gifts from clients. It is clear that I'm not getting notified about all the gifts that come in. Is there a way that all gifts can be sent to me first, so that I can track them and send the appropriate thank yous? If I can't get the gifts first, how can Supervisor and I work together to make sure that I am notified of each and every gift? I'd stress that this is important so that I can do my job properly, not because I want first crack at the gifts.

Then I'd gently bring up the fact that there doesn't seem to be a good method in place to distribute the client gifts. Individual co-workers seem to get them and share them around, while no one in authority knows about. This means that the gifts are not shared equally. It would be appreciated by all the staff if a better method of distributing the client gifts could be put into place.

This puts the emphasis on doing the job correctly, which is really the key point that you want to bring up to the supervisor. It also addresses the problem of who gets the gifts, but without pointing fingers at the co-workers who were fighting over the tickets.

I suspect that the co-workers were ignoring your friend because they didn't want her to get a ticket. If the distribution of the gifts can be put into an official rotation or something, that problem would cease to exist.
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Zilla

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Re: Being ignored in the workplace
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2013, 09:58:21 AM »
Is she a coworker or over them?  If she was a coworker, she should have asked specifically, "Why are we discussing movies?  Is there something I should know regarding a client?"  Instead of what's going on?  It makes her sound nosy and trying to be a "boss" when she isn't.


If she is over them and they report to her, then she should say, "Excuse me, do not tell me don't worry about it.  We are on company time and talking about movies.  Why?" 




NyaChan

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Re: Being ignored in the workplace
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2013, 12:40:30 PM »
Is she a coworker or over them?  If she was a coworker, she should have asked specifically, "Why are we discussing movies?  Is there something I should know regarding a client?"  Instead of what's going on?  It makes her sound nosy and trying to be a "boss" when she isn't.


If she is over them and they report to her, then she should say, "Excuse me, do not tell me don't worry about it.  We are on company time and talking about movies.  Why?"

Yes, I agree with this this.  Before it came out in the OP that the problem was with her needing to know that a gift had been received, it seemed like she was trying to get herself invited to their movie outing and they were trying to avoid it very badly.  If it actually is her job to keep track of what clients give the company, then if she has a complaint it should be worded in those terms.

oceanus

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Re: Being ignored in the workplace
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2013, 04:25:51 PM »
Unless I missed or misinterpreted something, CW’s job does not consist of tracking clients gifts; she interacts with clients.  Big difference.

They were rude, and imo they were trying to exclude her, for whatever reason.

Approaching supervisor again and “calling a meeting” just to discuss the movie ticket issue would not be the route to take.  Supervisor has already responded,  However, at they next staff meeting I might mention it and even ask why the response was “never mind” (or whatever). 

citadelle

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Re: Being ignored in the workplace
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2013, 05:44:26 PM »
If my supervisor told me to let it go, I wouldn't bring it up at a staff meeting. That could be seen as insubordinate.

oceanus

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Re: Being ignored in the workplace
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2013, 06:10:37 PM »
If my supervisor told me to let it go, I wouldn't bring it up at a staff meeting. That could be seen as insubordinate.

Okay, you're right.  Since supervisor said to let it go, then keeping track of client gifts isn't CW's job and others are not impeding her from performing her duties. 

LazyDaisy

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Re: Being ignored in the workplace
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2013, 10:11:17 PM »
The story as presented actually makes the friend sound like a rude busy body and snowflake. She overheard them discussing movie tickets. Why would she think she had a right to know what they were talking about to the point of walking over and demanding? Then they initially let her know it wasn't any of her business and she continued to badger them, rude x2. I'd ignore her after that too if only because my next response wouldn't be polite. I suspect Supervisor told her to let it go because she was in the wrong.
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ladyknight1

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Re: Being ignored in the workplace
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2013, 10:32:27 PM »
I would advise your co-worker to approach the situation with a cool, level head the next time something like this occurs. This particular incident is over.

Supervisors do not respond well to people being hot-headed, and I believe that is how the supervisor saw her.

oceanus

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Re: Being ignored in the workplace
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2013, 10:54:59 PM »
Quote
She told me that this was not the first time something like this had happened and she was sick and tired of it.

What does this mean - not the first time she's been excluded, ignored when asking a question?  Seems like there's more to it.

cheyne

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Re: Being ignored in the workplace
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2013, 01:44:06 AM »
I will disagree with some PP's that it isn't Friends business unless it's her job to track gifts.  If the tickets were given to the team to use, and Friend is part of the team, then friend has a right to know about the gift and have a say in how the gift is used.  To tell her, "Not to worry about it" and dismiss her question is dismissing her as a team member.  For her supervisor to tell her to "Let it go" also shows dismissal of Friends contributions to the team. 

All team members need to be aware of any gifts given otherwise the same people get the "goodies" time and again.  Unless there is a written policy on how client gifts are to be distributed, all members of the team should have an equal say in what happens to those gifts.  (In some companies any gifts are distributed by the supervisor, are handed over to upper management or must be refused outright.)  It sounds like some team members wanted to take the tickets without the knowledge of the whole team.

I would have Friend calm down and then research her company's policy on client gifts before saying anything in a meeting or to her supervisor.  Friend should also try and keep her feelings and demeanor professional when addressing this topic.


cicero

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Re: Being ignored in the workplace
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2013, 03:33:32 AM »
I don't know if this is a problem in the workplace (unhealthy corporate environment) or a problem with your co worker and her reaction/over reaction to things that happen. it's hard to tell from the OP.

I do have to say that if one of my co workers (or, if i were the supervisor, then one of my subordinates) was *that* upset over a gift, that would not bode well for that worker.

That doesn't mean that she is *wrong* for being upset (again, we don't know all the details), but it looks like she (a) badgered a group of teammates and (b) kicked up a fuss and went to her supervisor. again, this was about a gift.

I think she needs to let this one go. and she needs to take a look at herself and her workplace - are these things that are constantly happening to *her*? is she getting *that* steamed and angry about things to the point that people don't want to respond to her? or is it a dog eats dog type of place?

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Shoo

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Re: Being ignored in the workplace
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2013, 12:28:44 PM »
Once she has cooled down, I think she needs to schedule a meeting with her supervisor and ask if there is some reason why she, specifically, was excluded from the group's gift.  There's something weird going on there.  Either she's a part of the team or she isn't.  If she *is*, then why is she being left out?

A frank discussion with her supervisor is in order.  But cool heads need to prevail.

oceanus

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Re: Being ignored in the workplace
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2013, 12:35:21 PM »
The problem there is she has already talked to supervisor and has been told to let it go.