Author Topic: In What Universe....?  (Read 3032 times)

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DollyPond

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In What Universe....?
« on: September 08, 2013, 05:51:52 PM »
Dear E-Hellions,

   I think I must work in the most anomalous “business” situation on Earth.  It is an academic/clinical setting but things that people post here about proper business etiquette simply do not exist where I work.  I wish they did.

   I posted back in December or so in the Professional Darwinism thread about a woman in our newly merged department who was having screaming matches with the new supervisor over her job performance review, etc.  How do we know this?  It was impossible to ignore the volume and content of these screaming matches even through a closed door!  In at least one of these “meetings” the administrator was present and his volume was just as loud as the other two.

   In the end it was the supervisor who was terminated in May (on the premise of a duplicated position in the new department) and not the worker but termination proceedings had been started on the worker.  Now apparently those proceedings have not been continued.

   In the meantime the two original departments have un-merged and our group has merged with a different (thankfully saner) department.

But that’s not the end of the drama.  This past Thursday this same worker had another screaming match this time with her director in an open hallway on our floor for all to see and hear.  She then took Friday off without giving a reason to her new supervisor.

So I am wondering in which universe is this kind of behavior acceptable?  How does this not demean the authority and respect that needs to be given to those in positions above?  And how does someone like this keep getting away with it with no consequences?

*inviteseller

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Re: In What Universe....?
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2013, 06:25:52 PM »
Because they have pictures of their supervisors in compromising positions with goats?  I have worked with people who only communicated by throwing screaming fits and for some reason, they never got fired!  My last job, I had an employee that was argumentative when corrected and she made the mistake in getting in my face one day (to argue about being told she was argumentative!).  I was 8 1/2 months pregnant, miserable and not in the mood.  She got her walking papers right there.  She tried to fight it with unemployment but had been written up over it numerous times and there were too many witnesses of her cornering a pregnant woman and screaming in her face..she lost!  I would suggest you start looking for a job where the supervisors can actually reign in unruly co workers.

siamesecat2965

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Re: In What Universe....?
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2013, 06:33:26 PM »
As long as management lets it happen and takes no action, it will continue. I know at my PT retail job (different setting though) one of the associates had a screaming match with the store manager. I know because i walked in on them, in teh back, going to get something for a customer. I don't know if she quit on the spot, or was told to leave, but she was no more after that. and I know the mgr. wouldn't hesitate to do the same with anyone else.

TootsNYC

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Re: In What Universe....?
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2013, 07:11:00 PM »
They keep their jobs because they scare the crap out of people.


People will always follow the road of last resistance. They'll put up with LONG TERM trouble to avoid immediate trouble.

Cami

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Re: In What Universe....?
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2013, 11:00:55 AM »
I have also worked in an environment like that. It is demoralizing to see people who realllly should be fired kept on or worse yet, given promotions, raises and accoladees. Especially when good employees are let go with no notice to save money for the perks for the incompetents who must have dirty pictures of the boss. I also find it astonishing, but no  longer surprising, that the bosses who make these bone-headed decisions do not understand not only how demoralizing it is, but how these situations diminish loyalty to the organization and respect for the boss individually.

There was one situation I witnessd that was a textbook case for how not to run an organization. A supervisor inserted herself into a contract negotiation she had no business being involved with  --although on paper she was in charge of that area, she had NO knowledge or understanding of contract negotiations in general or this contract in particular. (The actual contract negotiator was on vacation.) Because she was ignorant and inexperienced, she took the carefully negotiated contract that was in our advantage and basically, undid everything to a boilerplate. When the negotiator came back, she just about died. She pointed out to TPTB that this "new" contract was going to cost us THOUSANDS of extra dollars and cause all sorts of problems.  Guess who was praised at the next staff meeting fir her dedication and hard work? Guess who got a raise at the end of the year?  Guess which department had a morale problem and saw their productivity plummet?

DollyPond

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Re: In What Universe....?
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2013, 12:01:05 PM »
I fully agree that it is demoralizing to the "good" co-workers when this stuff goes on and TPTB let it slide.  Most people here just shake their head in disbelief when she pulls these fits  but a lot are wondering how she stays employed.

All is quiet today - so far.  It will be interesting to see what happens come November 1st.  Because of the un-merger as of that date their group will start running a lot of the tests that we currently do.  This particular worker has been made responsible for pre-checking all results before they go out.  She has made little effort over the past few months to actually learn about the tests and what the results look like.  This could definitely have some serious patient care ramifications.

Our new big boss is very good about sticking to firm deadlines and will hold their group to the Nov. 1 deadline whether they are ready or not.  It may be time to make some popcorn.

whiskeytangofoxtrot

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Re: In What Universe....?
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2013, 12:39:27 PM »
Oh wow. POD to the whole thread, so far.

doodlemor

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Re: In What Universe....?
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2013, 12:42:27 PM »
Because they have pictures of their supervisors in compromising positions with goats? 

This may not be far off, unfortunately.  We had several workers who were surly to others, didn't do their jobs properly, and were very much blatant about it.  This stopped after our head supervisor was arrested for shenanigans in a public park, and lost his job.  They apparently had no dirt on the new guy and actually had to work.

LazyDaisy

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Re: In What Universe....?
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2013, 01:50:19 PM »
Your work environment sounds a bit unstable with departments merging and un-merging. It could be that senior management has bigger troubles or a bigger agenda and they just don't care to take the time to properly document and get rid of this woman for now. The other problem is that if most people just "shake their heads," management doesn't have an independent paper trail of complaints. People need to make formal written statements rather than just rely on the fact that "everyone can see/hear what she's like".

I know that when a boss of a boss was being let go for some serious violations that "everyone" witnessed at a university event (about 500 people in attendance), they still took about 4 months for an independent investigator to come in and interview anyone who was at the infamous event and who worked with him in the months before and after. It was so blatant, in my mind he should have been out the door the next business day, but he quickly made accusations of discrimination and then went on disability leave for stress -- which he claimed was the cause of his outrageous behavior  ::) . He knew completely how to work the system, no goat photos necessary  ;).  I bet so does this woman.
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siamesecat2965

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Re: In What Universe....?
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2013, 02:05:07 PM »
We had someone here, who we all dubbed "Useless" for his ability to try and get everyone else to do his work for him, and was generally all around annoying. He'd ask you for the same things over and over, no matter how many times you'd tell him "i sent it to you 3 times; do a search of your email" or, when tasked with writing a brief recap of the month's events, which involved looking at past weekly issues of a pub we did, he'd come and ask everyone if they could give him a "brief synopsis" aka he wanted them to write it up, of things.

We'd always send him packing, but when he arrived in my dept, i think it was the 3rd or 4th time he'd been shuffled around, I'm guessing, due to his poor performance. So rather than address the issues, they just kept moving him. Not sure what finally lit a fire, but I guess they began to document, which took time, and finally showed him the door. I'm guessing he threatened a lawsuit if let go, as he was the type to do that. But I guess they finally got wise and decided enough was enough.

DollyPond

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Re: In What Universe....?
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2013, 02:30:07 PM »
I know that when a boss of a boss was being let go for some serious violations that "everyone" witnessed at a university event (about 500 people in attendance), they still took about 4 months for an independent investigator to come in and interview anyone who was at the infamous event and who worked with him in the months before and after. It was so blatant, in my mind he should have been out the door the next business day, but he quickly made accusations of discrimination and then went on disability leave for stress -- which he claimed was the cause of his outrageous behavior  ::) . He knew completely how to work the system, no goat photos necessary  ;).  I bet so does this woman.

Yes - the actual firing process here for performance issues is very long and drawn out.  This worker was on Performance Improvement several months ago when the original supervisor was still here.  Somehow she was not terminated at the end of that which is VERY unusual.  Normally no one passes Performance Improvement and it is basically a 45 day notice that you will be let go. 

It is much easier to get rid of someone if they are cheating on their time, or committing some other kind of workplace violation.  Poor performance, not so much.  However, I can't understand why blatant insubordination is not in the immediate termination actegory.

LazyDaisy

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Re: In What Universe....?
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2013, 05:42:07 PM »
I know that when a boss of a boss was being let go for some serious violations that "everyone" witnessed at a university event (about 500 people in attendance), they still took about 4 months for an independent investigator to come in and interview anyone who was at the infamous event and who worked with him in the months before and after. It was so blatant, in my mind he should have been out the door the next business day, but he quickly made accusations of discrimination and then went on disability leave for stress -- which he claimed was the cause of his outrageous behavior  ::) . He knew completely how to work the system, no goat photos necessary  ;).  I bet so does this woman.

Yes - the actual firing process here for performance issues is very long and drawn out.  This worker was on Performance Improvement several months ago when the original supervisor was still here.  Somehow she was not terminated at the end of that which is VERY unusual.  Normally no one passes Performance Improvement and it is basically a 45 day notice that you will be let go. 

It is much easier to get rid of someone if they are cheating on their time, or committing some other kind of workplace violation.  Poor performance, not so much.  However, I can't understand why blatant insubordination is not in the immediate termination actegory.
I think that most people don't pass PI because they refuse to change anything. I've seen that over and over -- the chronically late employee is told if she doesn't get there on time she'll be let go...she has a million+1 excuses as to why she just CAN'T be on time and "It's not faaaaiiiiiirrrrrr". Most of these kinds of people claim that's just the way they are and it's everyone else that needs to deal with it.

I can imagine situations where a person could get through the Performance Improvement process with their job intact: if their behavior/performance was caused by some sort of drug/alcohol/mental health problem and they went through treatment successfully; or with additional training and counseling they actually managed to improve their performance enough that supervisors decided it was better to retain a trained employee rather than start from scratch hiring and training a new person. I'm convinced that somewhere in the universal managers handbook is the phrase -- "The hell you know is better than the one you don't."
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jpcher

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Re: In What Universe....?
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2013, 08:46:36 PM »
So I am wondering in which universe is this kind of behavior acceptable?  How does this not demean the authority and respect that needs to be given to those in positions above?  And how does someone like this keep getting away with it with no consequences?

Maybe in a universe where the authority figure descends to the point of "agreeing" to, by feeding the fuel for and matching the vehemence of, a shouting match with his/her underling.

An argument is a two-way street. A true authority figure should recognize the underling's angst, possibly allow the underling to vent for a bit, but should certainly be able to control his/her own anger and definitely not engage him/herself to the point of a dual shouting match where the authority figure is shouting just as loudly as the underling.

Maybe that's why Supervisor was let go? He/She didn't meet the qualifications for good management.






Another thought:

Maybe in a universe where you don't know all the facts? :-\

A CW of mine had been with the company for 28ish years. He was always a happy person, quick with the jokes, etc. but had his humanly-normal "bad" days, like all of us have. When we got a new boss CWs temperament slowly turned to be a bit more surly.

Whenever CW would talk to me in private, his anger kept popping to the top. Not always about Boss, but the work environment/customers and life in general. This went on as a slow simmer for close to 2 years after new boss was hired.

One day during CW's performance review (believe it or not) CW and Boss's argument came to a head. Major shouting from Boss's office. At one point CW left and slammed the door. Boss ran out after him and said "Get back in here! I'm not done with you yet" . . . more angry words, then . . . "You're FIRED A******!" I honestly thought the two of them would come to fist-a-cuff blows.

BigBoss finally came out of her office and shouted "CW! Go home! Take tomorrow off. I'll see you first thing Monday morning. My office. Boss! Go to your office. NOW! I'll give you 15 minutes to cool down then I want to hear a CALM reason from you as to why you allowed this to happened."

I have no clue if Boss was written up, but a couple of months later CW exploded to me with all sorts of anger (we were the only two in the office that day) about how dare Boss write him up. blah, blah, blah. It seems that Boss had already written him up a couple of times in the past.

I said "CW, this isn't like you. What's really going on?"

That's when he broke down and actually started crying. Long story short, he confessed to me that he had a medical condition for several years now. A certain medication that he was taking warned "There might be mental agitation" (Not exact wording.)

Long story short, I learned why CW had occasional anger fits. I know that he discussed his condition with HR . . . I have no clue if he talked to any of the other CWs or Boss or Big Boss.

I found out that there was much more to the reasons why CW acted the way he did when I heard all of the facts. And, in my opinion? An excellent reason why HR didn't allow CW to be fired on the spot.




DollyPond -- I think your post applies more to the first situation that I mentioned above, but you really don't know, do you? (Yeah, a goat party might be a good point, but I don't like speculating in that way. I'm a give-the-benefit-of-the-doubt type of person. ;))


edited to fix punctuation/spelling.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2013, 09:03:37 PM by jpcher »

cheyne

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Re: In What Universe....?
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2013, 09:04:08 PM »
Workers aren't the only ones who are lazy, bosses (even Big Bosses) can be lazy too.  Most don't want to take the time to write documentation on a worker, and most think that you need reams of documents to fire someone.  While this may be true in Gov't and some union jobs, most states do not require a large amount of documentation or a "three strikes" rule.  A worker screaming at a supervisor can (and should) be fired immediately with only the documentation of that one incident.

Bosses, like many people, read and hear about being sued for firing workers and believe all the horror stories.  While there are some perfectly legitimate incidences out there, most employers do not understand their rights (and responsibilities) to rid their workforce of incompetent, disruptive employees.

I had to fire a worker last week.  He wasn't rude or insubordinate.  He could no longer do the physical aspects of the job he was hired for.  He was also stealing time from the company by going on 2 hour lunches while on a delivery and going to meet with a personal contractor while on the clock.  The only reason the Big Boss would accept was that Employee could not physically do the job, BB didn't care about the time theft.