General Etiquette > All In A Day's Work

Miss My Way (long) UPDATE!

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Mental Magpie:
There are 4 stations in my division.  For each station, there is one officer per shift, two shifts per day (Day Shift Officer and Swing Shift Officer).  There are also officers who are floaters: they cover a station when that station's officer is on his/her day off.  For the two days off each officer gets, the same floater may not be at the same station.  Each shift has its own set of floaters.  If this is confusing, please let me know, and I will try to explain again.  When each station is manned by its officer, the floater goes from station to station making sure the officer doesn't need anything.  Officers are not allowed to leave their posts at all for any reason other than assigned duties.  Floaters are errand runners first and fill in at stations second.

I am a Day Shift Officer.
Miss My Way is a Day Shift Floater.

Miss My Way, while at the most spending two days at one station per week, likes to change things in the station to suit her.  I spend five days a week at my station, so it makes sense that things should be run my way.  Sometimes she isn't in my station at all, sometimes she's there for just one day a week.  She doesn't just do this to me, so I know it's not personal.

I am not talking about things that can easily be changed back nor comfort things; this isn't a window shade she has pulled shut.  I am talking about rearranging a printed schedule that is printed out once a month.  She will change it to suit her, reprint it, and replace the old one with it.  This does not work for me.  On top of that, this is not her responsibility.  It is my and the Swing Shift Officer's responsibility to have this paper printed each month.  She will use the sheet during her shift, but that's it.  Twenty days out of the month, I and the Swing Shift Officer use that sheet.  The other ten or eleven days, she may never see the sheet at all if she isn't assigned to our station.

This is just one example of how she must have things her way.  There are plenty others.  She also likes to directly undermine other officers when it will be that officer who gets into trouble or will have people irritated at him/her.  My question is whether I should have words with her directly concerning only my station or if I should go directly to our supervisor.

If I do speak to her directly, what kind of words can I use?  I am afraid my anger and irritation will seep through if I don't have words prepared.  I want to remain polite but direct.

EllenS:
Well, I can't speak to other issues, but using the printed schedule as an example, it looks to me like the problem is not that she printed it to suit herself, but that she got rid of the one YOU need to use, right?  I mean, if she printed one the way she likes, and took it away with her, that would not really affect you when you came back.  In other words, if she leaves your station as she found it, no harm no foul.

I would try speaking to her first. I have had problems before with asking supervisors for help in dealing with co-workers.  Often when I am looking for advice or help, it comes off as a formal complaint and escalates when I did not mean it to.

Perhaps this would be an angle to approach her - "Floaty,I have noticed that we have different ways of working (insert examples like the schedule).  I would never tell you how to do your job when you're here, but it is important that I have my station set up and ready to go when I arrive back.  So please, when you are covering my station do make sure to leave it as you found it (with specific non-windowshade examples)."

If you wanted to go a step further and be super-gracious, what about offering her a file folder or part of a drawer to keep "her way" stuff, like the schedule, in?  That way the changeover could be quicker and more consistent.

I would also confine this to your own station and not mention anyone else's. 

doodlemor:
If my memory is accurate you are a corrections officer, right?  If so, then I would think about whether the things that she is doing are safety/security issues. 

Safety issues should be to be reported to a supervisor, other things you may want to deal with her directly. 

If she is actually violating work place rules I think that you should start documenting.  I'm sure that there are very good reasons for any employee rules in corrections, and it could be dangerous to not follow them.

She may be trying to needle you and others - don't let her know how annoyed you are.

gramma dishes:
I would just tell her.  "Stop changing my stuff!!"

If she doesn't seem to know what you're talking about, be very specific about the 'changes' she makes and, if you want to, tell her why they don't work for you and the swing shift officer. 

Give her one chance to stop sabotaging your work station.  If she doesn't stop or if it escalates, go immediately to your supervisor and let him/her know what's going on.

Margo:

--- Quote from: EllenS on April 17, 2013, 07:03:32 PM ---Well, I can't speak to other issues, but using the printed schedule as an example, it looks to me like the problem is not that she printed it to suit herself, but that she got rid of the one YOU need to use, right?  I mean, if she printed one the way she likes, and took it away with her, that would not really affect you when you came back.  In other words, if she leaves your station as she found it, no harm no foul.

I would try speaking to her first. I have had problems before with asking supervisors for help in dealing with co-workers.  Often when I am looking for advice or help, it comes off as a formal complaint and escalates when I did not mean it to.

Perhaps this would be an angle to approach her - "Floaty,I have noticed that we have different ways of working (insert examples like the schedule).  I would never tell you how to do your job when you're here, but it is important that I have my station set up and ready to go when I arrive back.  So please, when you are covering my station do make sure to leave it as you found it (with specific non-windowshade examples)."

If you wanted to go a step further and be super-gracious, what about offering her a file folder or part of a drawer to keep "her way" stuff, like the schedule, in?  That way the changeover could be quicker and more consistent.

I would also confine this to your own station and not mention anyone else's.

--- End quote ---
I agree - I would speak to her first,and be ready to give specifc examples. Documetn that you spoke to her (and what her response was) and if it doesn't change, go to a supervisor. It may be that she thinks she is being helpful, and having someone point out that that isn't the cae may be all that is needed. If she thinks it is helpful, is there a way of redirecting her, to encourage / advise her to use the appropriate channel for her to make any suggestions for change?

I would not say anything to her about other officers' stations, but if you know that she is also doing this for other Officers and that it is a problem for them too, it may be worth letting them know you've spoken to her and will be referring it up, sp that they can do the same if they wish - if there is more than one person reporting the same issue with the same person then it is less likely to come over as a personal problem.

Do you have any kind of deaprtmental meetigns where it could be raised as a general issue?

On a practical level, I would also keep  copeis of things she may change so that yu can at least put things back the way they should be relatively easily.

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