General Etiquette > All In A Day's Work

Being described as hardworking is demeaning...?

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Margo:
We had a slightly  strange reaction from a (departing) employee ('Louise')  last week and I'm wondering what everyone here thinks.

The employee is someone who has been with us for a fairly short time (less than a year) She is diligent and works hard, but turned out not to be up to the job, and seemed very resistant to change (one example -  being repeatedly asked to do something in a specific way, and within a specific timescale, but despite this, always leaving it to the last moment (about 3 weeks late)  to the extent that the task was taken off her)

As a result, she was given notice and is working out her notice period. She presented us and with her draft of an announcement to the rest of the staff about her leaving (it is usual within our company for an e-mail to be circulated when someone is leaving or joining)

The draft was wholly inappropriate so it was amended and a much shorter, more generic one provided which she was shown before it was sent round

She came back saying she didn't like the wording, which mentioned that she had 'worked hard' as it is "demeaning". It was the specific reference to working hard which she classed as demeaning. Itís not clear from her comment whether she thinks itís demeaning to her, of if itís demeaning to the other staff members who will read the announcement, but either way we were a bit taken aback by the comment.

 Would you see being described as working hard as demeaning?  (It's one of the few things one can honestly say about her - she *was* working hard, just really, really ineffectively)

Yvaine:
From your description, it sounds like she works hard but isn't actually good at the job, and she probably knows this and realizes the "working hard" is kind of a platitude, like winning the trophy for participation.

Hillia:
On the face of it, 'worked hard' would be a compliment, but assuming she knows and accepts that she's being let go because she wasn't good at her job, she may see it as damning with faint praise, kind of like, 'Well, she was really awful, but she did come to work on time every day!'.  Under the circumstances, though, I'm not sure what else you can say - it's not like she made great contributions to the team's success or kept production high or anything; saying she put forth her best effort and worked hard is about the nicest thing you can say.

LadyL:

--- Quote from: Yvaine on April 15, 2013, 11:46:06 AM ---From your description, it sounds like she works hard but isn't actually good at the job, and she probably knows this and realizes the "working hard" is kind of a platitude, like winning the trophy for participation.

--- End quote ---

Yeah, it could read as "Poor thing - she tried her best, but it just wasn't good enough."

Yvaine:

--- Quote from: Hillia on April 15, 2013, 11:48:04 AM ---On the face of it, 'worked hard' would be a compliment, but assuming she knows and accepts that she's being let go because she wasn't good at her job, she may see it as damning with faint praise, kind of like, 'Well, she was really awful, but she did come to work on time every day!'.  Under the circumstances, though, I'm not sure what else you can say - it's not like she made great contributions to the team's success or kept production high or anything; saying she put forth her best effort and worked hard is about the nicest thing you can say.

--- End quote ---

Yeah, this. I can't really fault her for being hurt, but there's not much else you could have done, and she should have probably kept it to herself.

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