Author Topic: Get off the phone, get off the phone, GET OFF THE PHONE!  (Read 3221 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

VltGrantham

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 488
Get off the phone, get off the phone, GET OFF THE PHONE!
« on: April 10, 2013, 11:36:50 AM »
I'm at the end of my rope on this issue.

Our property manager runs a chat room (I guess one of those party line things) and has taken to wearing his blue tooth everywhere he goes.  This means that every single time he comes into the office, not only am I interrupted by his just being there but by the constant stream of chatter as he talks away.

What is even MORE annoying than that, is that sometimes I will have to answer the phones or, heaven help me, actually ask HIM a question.  He acts as though I am completely rude for interrupting him and has to explain to whomever he is talking to that he's "talking to the secretary" or "that's going on in the office."

The truth is it's gotten to the point where I really believe it's effecting his work -- both quality and quantity.  Not to mention he is annoyed by anyone who interrupts his chat sessions (or at least it appears that way).

I am going to have to say something, because I'm really about to blow up over the issue and like I said, it's effecting his work.  I am not his supervisor per se, but I am responsible for him in a lot of ways and making sure his work gets done.

Can anyone help me find the right words?

nutraxfornerves

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1842
Re: Get off the phone, get off the phone, GET OFF THE PHONE!
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2013, 11:42:41 AM »
Is he running this chat room on your employer's time?

Are you planning to talk to him directly or talk to his supervisor?

If you don't directly supervise him, then you have a legitimate reason for going to the supervisor and saying that there is a problem that is affecting the quality and quantity of your work and the manager's.

Nutrax
The plural of anecdote is not data

VltGrantham

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 488
Re: Get off the phone, get off the phone, GET OFF THE PHONE!
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2013, 11:52:28 AM »
This is part of the crux of the problem.

Yes, he's running the chat room on employer time.  I believe he sees it no differently than listening to an MP3 player, etc., because his hands are free to work.  The problem is, I'm often finding him holed up in empty classrooms chatting away, talking to the people who lease space from us, or just standing in the middle of the room looking around because he's so busy talking, I think he can't figure out what he should do next.

I'm not his supervisor, but I do supervise his work.  He's slower and accomplishing less.  I'm also seeing the "looks" from people when he goes walking by just chatting away on company time.

Hillia

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3705
Re: Get off the phone, get off the phone, GET OFF THE PHONE!
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2013, 11:55:27 AM »
If I were a tenant, paying money for professional managment services, and that professional manager spent *my* time running his personal sideline, I would be irritated beyond belief, and investigating ways to break my lease.  I am not receiving what I paid for, period.  When this guy is on the clock, he should be 100% attentive to his employer's work.  And heaven help him if I got an impatient look or an eyeroll for interrupting his conversation.

            Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Free Weight Loss Tools

MyFamily

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4528
Re: Get off the phone, get off the phone, GET OFF THE PHONE!
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2013, 11:58:14 AM »
I think you need to say something to his supervisor.  Let them know what you've observed regarding his work performance and do not get into the chat room issues.  For all you know, he may have permission to do this (I know, not likely, but possible), and your concern has to be how his not doing his assigned job is affecting you and the tenants. 


"The test of good manners is to be patient with bad ones" - Solomon ibn Gabirol

onikenbai

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1141
Re: Get off the phone, get off the phone, GET OFF THE PHONE!
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2013, 12:00:14 PM »
So essentially he's working a second job (paid or not) on the clock of primary job?  That's highly unethical.  Really this is beyond an etiquette issue.  Just report him to the upper echelon as there is no way he is paying attention to what he is doing and somewhere along the line his is going to make a mistake that is going to cost the company.  At the very least, he is doing only a half-hearted job of what he is supposed to be doing because his head is elsewhere.  Plus he seems to be affecting the quality of work of others because he is annoyed when he is actually called upon to do his job.

The question becomes do you want to report him in an email or by phone to the uppers?  Either way you are perfectly justified in expressing your concern over his quality of work, or lack thereof.  He is essentially running a project management gig on the side.  People take entire courses in project management, they do not take courses in listening to ipods.  They are not the same thing.

jedikaiti

  • Swiss Army Nerd
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2443
  • A pie in the hand is worth two in the mail.
Re: Get off the phone, get off the phone, GET OFF THE PHONE!
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2013, 12:07:59 PM »
Document, document, document. And take that to his supervisor.
"The problem with re-examining your brilliant ideas is that more often than not, you discover they are the intellectual equivalent of saying, 'Hold my beer and watch this!'" - Cindy Couture

Knitterly

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1535
    • That other knitting blog
Re: Get off the phone, get off the phone, GET OFF THE PHONE!
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2013, 12:17:12 PM »
I'm at the end of my rope on this issue.

Our property manager runs a chat room (I guess one of those party line things) and has taken to wearing his blue tooth everywhere he goes.  This means that every single time he comes into the office, not only am I interrupted by his just being there but by the constant stream of chatter as he talks away.

What is even MORE annoying than that, is that sometimes I will have to answer the phones or, heaven help me, actually ask HIM a question.  He acts as though I am completely rude for interrupting him and has to explain to whomever he is talking to that he's "talking to the secretary" or "that's going on in the office."

The truth is it's gotten to the point where I really believe it's effecting his work -- both quality and quantity.  Not to mention he is annoyed by anyone who interrupts his chat sessions (or at least it appears that way).

I am going to have to say something, because I'm really about to blow up over the issue and like I said, it's effecting his work.  I am not his supervisor per se, but I am responsible for him in a lot of ways and making sure his work gets done.

Can anyone help me find the right words?

Are you the secretary?  Because that seems to me like he is dismissing you to the party on the other end.

If not, I would say (in only a slightly louder voice), "I am not your secretary, I am the {your position}!  I need you to end your personal call so that I can talk to you about {issue}."

And I would immediately take this issue to the one who holds authority over his job.

amylouky

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1416
Re: Get off the phone, get off the phone, GET OFF THE PHONE!
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2013, 12:17:40 PM »
He's essentially spending all of his work day on a personal phone call. I don't know of any employer who would be okay with that. Not to mention that it has to be distracting, thus affecting the quality of his work (I'm assuming he does maintenance-type things?) and potentially leading to dangerous mistakes.
Definitely report this to whoever is above him. I wouldn't try talking to him directly, since you're not his supervisor.

cheyne

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1015
Re: Get off the phone, get off the phone, GET OFF THE PHONE!
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2013, 12:44:26 PM »
This isn't an etiquette issue, it's a safety issue.  Whether or not the device is hands-free, he is being distracted by the conversation.  Being on a bluetooth phonecall is an entirely different matter than listening to music on an MP3. 

When listening to music and the brain needs to concentrate on the task at hand, the music is pushed into the background and the brain does it's thing with the task.  When one is talking on the phone-the brain has to try and concentrate on two separate actions simultaneously.  One of the actions will be pushed towards the back.  If the task is pushed back-the maintenance man, a helper, a bystander could be injured or killed.  Talking is a huge distraction when one is working, especially when large machinery or power tools are involved.

Document and report to your supervisor.  Do not take his dismissive crap when he comes to speak to you.  Speak up clearly and tell him to disconnect from the call while you two are talking about work concerns.  He is being completely disrespectful of your time and position (you are responsible for checking his work, yes?). 

VltGrantham

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 488
Re: Get off the phone, get off the phone, GET OFF THE PHONE!
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2013, 08:38:37 AM »
I'm like the unofficial, official, office manager.  I oversee the day-to-day stuff.  He doesn't really work with power tools per se, but does mostly cleaning.

It's just very aggravating to hear him make excuse after excuse why he could not get something done, yet his work volume has not increased, but his distraction level sure has.

I'm documenting it and I'm going to have a short discussion with him today when he does it--as I know he will.  Then I'm passing the information on to our supervisor.

Oh Joy

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1226
Re: Get off the phone, get off the phone, GET OFF THE PHONE!
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2013, 08:50:41 AM »
What if you treated it like if he were on any other phone call?  Take incoming messages on paper or e-mail instead of interrupting, saying 'let me know when you're done with your call so we can talk about XYZ, leaving meetings when he's chatting, etc. 

Might be a good first step to separating the action from appropriate multitasking.

Hillia

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3705
Re: Get off the phone, get off the phone, GET OFF THE PHONE!
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2013, 09:08:55 AM »
What if you treated it like if he were on any other phone call?  Take incoming messages on paper or e-mail instead of interrupting, saying 'let me know when you're done with your call so we can talk about XYZ, leaving meetings when he's chatting, etc. 

Might be a good first step to separating the action from appropriate multitasking.

Running your own business, paid or not, on company time is never appropriate multitasking.  Treating it as such will muddle the situation.

            Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Free Weight Loss Tools

Oh Joy

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1226
Re: Get off the phone, get off the phone, GET OFF THE PHONE!
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2013, 12:10:35 PM »
What if you treated it like if he were on any other phone call?  Take incoming messages on paper or e-mail instead of interrupting, saying 'let me know when you're done with your call so we can talk about XYZ, leaving meetings when he's chatting, etc. 

Might be a good first step to separating the action from appropriate multitasking.

Running your own business, paid or not, on company time is never appropriate multitasking.  Treating it as such will muddle the situation.

That's what I mean.  Make it clear that when he's on his Bluetooth (doesn't matter why) he's not available for work.  If folks have been dealing with him around/during it, they're saying it's acceptable to them.