Author Topic: Please help me gain some perspective  (Read 3282 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Pioneer

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 116
Please help me gain some perspective
« on: February 27, 2013, 10:02:12 AM »
A few weeks ago, a coworker sent me an e-mail, then immediately telephoned to advise that she had just sent an e-mail.  It just happened again today!  I'd be less annoyed if I had ever in the past failed to be helpful and prompt, but I haven't. 

I know . . . it reflects more on her than on me, but it is borderline insulting, and I'm grinding my teeth.  We have separate but equal positions within the company, and we report to the same supervisor.  No, I don't want to tattle.  I want to remain professional and don't want the word "princess" to somehow escape my lips.

There is wisdom among eHellions.  Please share some with me today!  Thank you.
"Try to live your life so that you wouldn't be afraid to sell the family parrot to the town gossip." -- Will Rogers

Oh Joy

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1349
Re: Please help me gain some perspective
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2013, 10:10:05 AM »
I'd likely start with a friendly, 'Yes.  Why do you ask?' 

Then take it from there.

Best wishes.

Yvaine

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8855
Re: Please help me gain some perspective
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2013, 10:12:30 AM »
Was there anything actually rude in the way she notified you? It's annoying, absolutely, but she may be worried about technical issues rather than your work ethic. I've been known to tell people I've sent them an email if I'm worried it may land in their spam or go into the void and never be seen again--it's more of a "let me know if you don't get an email" than a "I don't trust you to act on this email."

ETA: And you can reply with a quick "Got it! Thanks!" and then get to it in whatever timeframe is reasonable.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2013, 10:14:30 AM by Yvaine »

Pioneer

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 116
Re: Please help me gain some perspective
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2013, 10:40:56 AM »
Thanks for responding.  No, her tone is not rude, is rather painstaking solicitous if you know what I mean.  It's more an unspoken, "I'm not sure you are intelligent enough to realize I just sent you an e-mail 48 seconds ago, so I'm going to read it to you now" kind of way.

There's no chance her e-mail to me would be lost in a void.  She telephones within two minutes, basically ensuring that Her e-mail gets My attention, which of course it would anyway.  Make up your mind, Princess.  Call or write, not both.  I don't need Her to remind Me to do My job.  At the very least, wait an hour then call.

This particular item arrived yesterday afternoon, will take me 1/2 hour to process and her 3 hours after I hand it off, and it is due in five weeks.  I often move items to the top of my queue to accomodate emergencies or even lack of planning, but this coworker is The Boy Who Cried Wolf.  There are seventeen others who want their jobs right now, and it actually slows the process when Everything becomes Something to Search for because it is Critically Important.

"Try to live your life so that you wouldn't be afraid to sell the family parrot to the town gossip." -- Will Rogers

JenJay

  • I'm a nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standards of nonconformity.
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6048
Re: Please help me gain some perspective
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2013, 11:02:01 AM »
It sounds like she's calling because she wants to nudge her request to the top of your list. Next time she calls I'd say "Yes, I see it in my inbox. Was there something you forgot to include? No? Then I'm confused why you called. I can assure you I'll get to your request as soon as I'm able."

If it's more an issue of her worrying it's lost maybe start replying to her emails with a quick "received" and then tell her "Coworker, you seem to be concerned that I'm not getting your emails. I'm happy to notify you when I get them if you'd like. Please give me a couple of hours (or whatever is appropriate) before calling to follow up, as I don't check my email while I'm working on a project."

If it happens again I'd get more firm and email her "Coworker, it is not necessary for you to call and tell me that you've emailed and reiterate what you need. The amount of time I spend verbally discussing your request takes away from the time I could be spending working on it. I assure you I receive your emails and I will get to your request in a timely manner."

LadyClaire

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 9891
Re: Please help me gain some perspective
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2013, 11:35:16 AM »
This is what a read receipt is for. I'd be annoyed by the calls, too.

postalslave

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 93
Re: Please help me gain some perspective
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2013, 12:34:35 PM »
It sounds like she's calling because she wants to nudge her request to the top of your list. Next time she calls I'd say "Yes, I see it in my inbox. Was there something you forgot to include? No? Then I'm confused why you called. I can assure you I'll get to your request as soon as I'm able."


This.

On the flip side, I work with someone who calls me prior to sending me an email  ::) I still can't understand the logic behind that one..

siamesecat2965

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8685
Re: Please help me gain some perspective
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2013, 12:38:27 PM »
UGH. My former CW, known as Useless did that, but he'd come hover over your desk, asking if you got his email, if you didn't respond as quickly as he thought you should!  Useless, as his name might suggest, did very little, and was given very little responsibility. The rest of us, however, were and are, very busy. And most of his stuff wasn't anything that needed our immediate attention.

I would always glance at it, and if it was something that needed to be dealt with ASAp, I woudl, but if not, it irked me that when I didn't jump, he'd come over "just to make sure I'd seen it"  No matter how many times I'd politely tell him yes, but I was busy doing other more important task, and I'd get to his shortly, he still came over and hovered. Thankfully, Useless is not with us anymore.

RebeccainGA

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1207
  • formerly RebeccainAR
Re: Please help me gain some perspective
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2013, 12:42:14 PM »
I'd say "Thanks, got it, will prioritize it appropriately" and disconnect as fast as I could. I had a coworker that did that, and she drove me NUTS. Yes, it's very, very rude to do.

bopper

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 12337
Re: Please help me gain some perspective
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2013, 02:08:19 PM »
I have worked with people that are very busy or get alot of emails or only check emails twice a day and can often miss email or not respond in a timely fashion and you almost had to alert them a different way that you sent an email.  But it was easy to figure out who you do and don't have to do that with.

I would just mention to her one time "Bertha, something just occurred to me.  I notice that you call me everytime you send an email. I am sure you have had people in the past that don't check email often but I am not one of those!  So let me spare you that extra effort...you don't need to call me. Say, did you get that HR memo yesterday? What did you think?"

Mental Magpie

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5273
  • ...for the dark side looks back.
Re: Please help me gain some perspective
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2013, 06:35:03 PM »
It sounds like she's calling because she wants to nudge her request to the top of your list. Next time she calls I'd say "Yes, I see it in my inbox. Was there something you forgot to include? No? Then I'm confused why you called. I can assure you I'll get to your request as soon as I'm able."

If it's more an issue of her worrying it's lost maybe start replying to her emails with a quick "received" and then tell her "Coworker, you seem to be concerned that I'm not getting your emails. I'm happy to notify you when I get them if you'd like. Please give me a couple of hours (or whatever is appropriate) before calling to follow up, as I don't check my email while I'm working on a project."

If it happens again I'd get more firm and email her "Coworker, it is not necessary for you to call and tell me that you've emailed and reiterate what you need. The amount of time I spend verbally discussing your request takes away from the time I could be spending working on it. I assure you I receive your emails and I will get to your request in a timely manner."

This is a perfectly polite and straightforward way to handle it.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

EllenS

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1368
Re: Please help me gain some perspective
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2013, 06:40:20 PM »
Well, I suppose it depends on what your jobs are and how you are supervised.

I will do the email/call "double-up" from time to time, because my direct supervisor is kind of high-maintenance, and if he wants something NOW, I have to show that I am making the effort to get it.  Is it possible she's doing it to placate someone higher on the food chain?

PastryGoddess

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4705
    • My Image Portfolio and Store
Re: Please help me gain some perspective
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2013, 12:50:42 AM »
Do you have caller ID?  If so, just don't answer the phone.  If she gets up to come over and harass you, then you can reply with a non-committal "Yes I've received your email and have prioritized it"  and go back to whatever you were doing. 

Pioneer

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 116
Re: Please help me gain some perspective
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2013, 08:46:53 AM »
Thank you, Gang!  I knew you would make me feel less insane.

I purposely didn't share all because I wanted advice for Just one topic, and whether or not I was giving her too much space in my head.  (Yes, I know the answer is, "Yes, you are.")

To clarify, I'm New Business and she's Customer Service.  And our mutual supervisor does NOT micro-manage, which is another reason I love my job.  They hire good people, turn us loose and treat us like competent adults.

The first time she called to tell me I had an e-mail, I was working on someone else's project so set my phone to filter calls so that I could concentrate, then begin her project.  She.Walked.Over.To.My.Workstation to tell me that my phone was set to Please Do Not Disturb! 

Last week, she telephoned to ask me to look something up for her.  (We are way past New Biz, well into Customer Service Territory, so it's really her job.  But as I said in an earlier post, I've never failed to be helpful or prompt.)  So I responded, "Sure.  Let me get out of this other program and access the site.  <Waiting for website to load, still chattering>  You know, this website isn't password protected.  Anyone can go in and look this up."  She chirped, "I know, but I don't know how to navigate it as well as you, and it's just quicker for me to have you do it for me."

Grrrrr. 
"Try to live your life so that you wouldn't be afraid to sell the family parrot to the town gossip." -- Will Rogers

RebeccainGA

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1207
  • formerly RebeccainAR
Re: Please help me gain some perspective
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2013, 08:57:16 AM »
Pioneer, sounds like you have a real peach on your hands. I have had to retrain a couple of coworkers over the years, and I handle it like this: when they ask me something they can find themselves, I act as if they asked HOW to look it up. I walk them through it. No matter how much they protest, I tell them "oh, it's not trouble, let me show you". I refuse to do it for them.

After the second or third time of this, they usually get the hint.