General Etiquette > All In A Day's Work

Special Snowflakes at work

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--- Quote ---After-hours conversations among staff members now frequently center on how unpleasant NM is and how the dynamics of a previously pleasant workplace have shifted since the arrival of NM,

--- End quote ---

Avoid this! Nix it wherever you can.

And focus on the info you're not getting.

And since she's unpleasant, feel free to be as pushy as you need to be. Feel free to stand by her desk and watch her do whatever it is you are urgently waiting on. Feel free to cc: the boss about whatever it is.

--- Quote ---Is the best approach to document (or comment when I am sure to be overheard) and send things up the ladder, even though they're not inclined to do anything about it, or to say something to NM directly?

--- End quote ---

Don't do this obliquely.

First go straight to NM the normal way. Tell her what you need and what your own timeframe requires. Stress that this is so you can meet boss's] deadline.

Then give her time to actually do it. When she misses that deadline, go back to her and say, "I need this now. Please give it to me." And then stand there until she does.
    If she balks and insists that she won't, then go back to your desk and write an email that says, "Boss, I need this from NM or I won't be able to make the deadline you've given me. I've requested that she expedite it, but she says she's too busy because of Reason. What should I do next? Should I do it incompletely without the info from her, should I wait until she's able to do this?"

And if nothing happens in a short time, you go directly to your boss and say, "Did you see that email? What do I do?" And if he says, "get that from NM," then say, "I'm going to ask that you speak with her directly so that she knows this is important enough to stop her other tasks."

also, re: this:

--- Quote ---I object because A. It's dumb (although I haven't shared that with the office)

--- End quote ---

Nothing is inherently dumb.
"Dumb" always has other reasons. It's costly, it's wasteful, it's fixing a problem that doesn't exist, it's complicated, etc.

Just as with her unpleasant personality, erase this. Try to get it out of your own mind, even, but never ever let it seep out, even in tone of voice.

People are allowed to be annoying; they're not entitled to refuse to give you the info you need to do your job.

Ideas are allowed to exist; if you're going to label them "dumb," you ought to be able to delineate exactly *why* they are dumb.

May I ask a few questions

Is NM lateral, above or below you ?
Is there a prioritization of projects ? is this none and communicated  ?

What are the consequences to the company of your work being late ? Is it financial , regulatory or procedural ?

I've been NM to some extent.  At times - I have had regulatory reporting / filing which means signifiacant money to our conmpany.

I've had to put off other people's requests - because their deadlines - were internally driven , impacted internal customers and were procedural.

I did take the initiative to negotiate deadlines, but I did have one person who relentlessly hounded me.  She was told it was OK to turn in the TPS reports late, but she "prided herself " on never missing a deadline.  She was spoken to for not understanding that in this case - priorities were different.

I understand your frustration, but there are usually 2 sides to the situation.  It seems to me that there is a lack of communication... eithe NM has not been clearly communicated to about her role in the team or you have not had ccommunication about different priorities.

What is it you want ? NM will most likely not change.  I'd ask for a departmental meeting to review team projects and priorities.... I think thats what the project manager should do.

Good luck.

Have you or any of your affected coworkers tried taking a kind of correcting-as-mentoring approach? "NM, since you're still new, I think there are some particular procedures about our operation that you haven't gotten the hang of yet / that are new to you; why don't I fill you in?"

If that hasn't worked, I very much like  Toots's suggestion of telling the boss that, after you've made a sustained effort to get the needed info out of NM, he may need to step in because NM is not cooperating and giving you what you need. He can say all he wants about initiative, but you can't physically force NM to cooperate if she's not swayed by email nudges and physically standing over her.


--- Quote from: POF on October 18, 2013, 03:23:10 PM ---May I ask a few questions

Is NM lateral, above or below you ?
Is there a prioritization of projects ? is this none and communicated  ?

What are the consequences to the company of your work being late ? Is it financial , regulatory or procedural ?

--- End quote ---

NM and I are in similar positions on the project in question and overall in the firm, NM has about 5 years more experience then I do. Because we're still small after the downturn, we all wear a lot of hats. I am a project manager or a drudge, depending on staffing needs. NM is the same.

Priorotization of projects: in NM's mind, whatever is on NM's to do list is most critical, but our project manager pointed out yesterday that we all have to multitask. The higher dollar value projects are higher priority, like the project I'm on with NM, but so are tasks related to getting new work.

 Depending on what the deadline is for, being late is usually going to disappoint the client. We agreed to have regular meetings with them and show them XYZ progress. If they think we're disorganized or unable to meet deadlines, this large and prestigious client might not hire us again. But being late doesn't have life or death consequences.


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