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Author Topic: I'm Proud You Caught That - Smug  (Read 9306 times)

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bopper

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Re: I'm Proud You Caught That - Smug
« Reply #30 on: June 26, 2015, 04:55:56 PM »
I agree that instead of "you may not know" you should direct it to the customer "Customer needs the serial number for your group to get the sale.  "    This way you are turning it into what the olddude gets in this transaction.

If he says he doesn't know how, you have to turn that back to him:   "It seems like there's nothing you can do."
People do not like to feel powerless, what it does is it makes the other side feel like they might be somewhat powerless. "So you are saying that you don't know how to find the serial number? "

Deetee

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Re: I'm Proud You Caught That - Smug
« Reply #31 on: June 26, 2015, 05:06:21 PM »
Adding my voice to the chorus.

Be more direct. Don't tell them they are wrong, but excuses either. Just state what it is needed.

If your boss pushes it back on you, then make him DIRECTLY give it to you.

"Boss, do you want me to review the mistakes and omissions or correct them? Because I have enough time to note an error, but if you want me to correct it as well, you need to hire another body."


artk2002

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Re: I'm Proud You Caught That - Smug
« Reply #32 on: June 26, 2015, 06:42:53 PM »
Be more direct. Every time you reply to him, copy both your and his boss. Don't ever step up to do his work. Leave it uncompleted if necessary. "Why hasn't the TPS report gone out?"  "I'm waiting on Jerkface to complete his updates." Make him the problem.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

SplishFish

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Re: I'm Proud You Caught That - Smug
« Reply #33 on: June 29, 2015, 01:47:49 PM »
I'd recommend keeping some metrics on how many mistakes are made and how long it takes to get the corrections. This should help when discussing this with your boss if you can say, "I spent X hours this week alone on chasing down Mr Smug's corrections" or "On average, the rest of the department corrects mistakes within 1 business day, except Mr Smug who takes up to 5 business days to make his corrections."

Your feedback to Mr Smug needs to be more direct, because indirect hasn't worked. Objective facts like "The database requires a 10 digit value in the Serial Number field" or "All contracts must have a manager signature" don't require handholding. You can just state what is wrong and tell them to fix it.

Your boss needs to address the resistance to the new fact-checking procedure. I hope there is a formal procedure written up and posted for all affected to see. Ideally the procedure includes rationale (too many mistakes), roles and responsibilities (tash spots the errors, account managers fix them), and repercussions for repeat "offenses" (if tash has to send the same paperwork back 3x with errors, then you loose 1% of the sales commission).


ChiGirl

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Re: I'm Proud You Caught That - Smug
« Reply #34 on: June 29, 2015, 05:58:01 PM »
I agree with the other posters: document your interactions with him, and stop tying yourself in knots trying to make this guy happy.

Remember that this isn't a social interaction you're having -- it's business.  We often put a layer of friendliness over everything at an office just to make it a happier place, but this guy is mistaking your kindness for weakness.  (The fact that you are a young woman probably plays into this.)  You don't need to be nice, you need to be professional.

The other problem is your boss, so make it your boss's problem, and make it clear that this impacts the company as a whole.  "Hey boss, I'm still having trouble with Jerk Coworker.  This afternoon, I had to spend an hour getting him to acknowledge one simple mistake, and I could have been doing Other Productive Thing with that time.  Do YOU have any suggestions for how I can handle this differently?"  The boss is getting paid the big bucks to manage, so he needs to step up and do it.

mime

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Re: I'm Proud You Caught That - Smug
« Reply #35 on: June 30, 2015, 10:08:30 AM »
I agree with the other posters: document your interactions with him, and stop tying yourself in knots trying to make this guy happy.

Remember that this isn't a social interaction you're having -- it's business.  We often put a layer of friendliness over everything at an office just to make it a happier place, but this guy is mistaking your kindness for weakness.  (The fact that you are a young woman probably plays into this.)  You don't need to be nice, you need to be professional.

The other problem is your boss, so make it your boss's problem, and make it clear that this impacts the company as a whole.  "Hey boss, I'm still having trouble with Jerk Coworker.  This afternoon, I had to spend an hour getting him to acknowledge one simple mistake, and I could have been doing Other Productive Thing with that time.  Do YOU have any suggestions for how I can handle this differently?"  The boss is getting paid the big bucks to manage, so he needs to step up and do it.

I heartily agree with all of this.

You tried the gentler approach of 'aligning' with your CW, which wasn't a bad idea. You've found that it doesn't work with him, because he dismisses you as non-authoritative. Now you need to change your interactions with him-- your spoken language, written language, and body language-- to be more professional.

Some suggestions: keep words minimal and factual, and tones professional (not unfriendly, but not overly gentle). When you speak, don't let the pitch of your voice raise at the end of a sentence they way we raise our voice at the end of a question; keep it even-toned like you're giving a statement or a command (even if you are asking a question, don't bring your voice up at the end). Remember that you are not asking him to do you a favor by correcting his mistakes. You are pointing out the errors and expecting him to do his job and fix them. Try not to ask questions, *especially* "can you correct this?". If you speak to him, remain standing, even if he is sitting.

If he asks a question like "where do I get the invoice number?" then you can answer. If he asks questions like "why do I have to do so much woooorrrrk?" then walk away, like it was a rhetorical question or even a joke.

As for your boss, I agree that you do need to make this more of a problem for him. Maybe tell him that you spend x hours per week on CW alone and ask if there is any action Boss can initiate to get CW up to speed on correct procedure.

I also like the idea of tracking errors that others have suggested. Sending a weekly or monthly update to everyone with hours spent on corrections, or a list of the 3 most common errors, or maybe congrats to the person with the lowest error rate... would bring awareness to the whole group of improvements made and can solidify your position as 'the person whose job is to find and kick back the mistakes'.


Eden

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Re: I'm Proud You Caught That - Smug
« Reply #36 on: June 30, 2015, 10:51:33 AM »
I would call him out on it like the previous poster who holds a similar job suggested.

"John, we need to talk. My job is quality control. I do the same thing with everyone in the office. I do not hold you to a different standard. Everyone else manages to include the customer's PO. I've showed you how to find it. So I can only assume you're deliberately leaving it off to prove a point. We all have to work together. Let's try to make it as pleasant as possible. Please do your job and understand that I have to do mine. "

VorFemme

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Re: I'm Proud You Caught That - Smug
« Reply #37 on: June 30, 2015, 10:53:05 AM »
Some good advice for a tough situation. OP, I just wanted to add that I can see why you thought you were on the right track with soft openings like, "I'm sure you weren't aware, but..." That's exactly the advice I've seen here for other situations, and I tend to go for that first myself when dealing with people I don't know well. Saving face and all that. It's just that with this particular guy, it seems to not be working, and maybe even making things worse, so try switching to something more direct and impersonal. Don't think of it as being mean, or cold, or treating him disrespectfully--it's more like you're trying out a different language to see if that one reaches him, when your original one didn't.

Exactly - if he wants to speak "engineer" with no wasted verbage - use "engineer".

Lil Sis used to have a job (company lost government contract when that whole department shut down) where she was highly valued.  She could turn "engineer" into "English" for the people that the reports needed to go to who were government appointees or highly educated in other fields, but didn't understand "engineer".

She could also turn "English" into "engineer" - which sometimes had the engineers commenting about how "that won't work" and sometimes had them going "well why didn't they ask for that directly" (apparently the non-engineer had been "hinting" that it would be nice if....but the engineer didn't understand "hint". 

They did understand - how does XYZ impact DEF under conditions MNO - the data was in the data base - but you had to specify what data you needed for it to come up.  Running a "general search" didn't work. 

The English speakers would ask how "the vehicle performed under adverse conditions" and the engineers needed to know which vehicle, what particular adverse conditions, and sometimes the location (dirt, gravel, pavement, water landing, and such were tested in different locations - so telling them which location told them what the English speaker was looking for, in particular). 
« Last Edit: June 30, 2015, 11:27:08 AM by VorFemme »
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I explain?

Cali.in.UK

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Re: I'm Proud You Caught That - Smug
« Reply #38 on: July 01, 2015, 02:13:16 PM »
Goo luck Tash, it sounds like a frustrating situation. I agree with other PPs about having your boss, or the boss's boss write a memo or email about your position and your duties/role just so these guys have clarity about it in writing. If this guy continues to prevent you from doing your job, (* and sidenote, I would go to a higher up and tell them that he specifically told you he was doing his paid job incorrectly to mess with you) you should make a formal complaint.

I had a really awful manager a few years ago (I've posted about her before) at an English school I worked at. She was really disorganized and never wrote anything down so she made mistakes constantly, and they were about things that needed correcting (messing up paychecks, added classes to my schedule without telling me, losing necessary paperwork) and she would always take it as a personal slight when the issues were brought up to her. It was an endless loop of uncomfortable conversations. Then one day one of my coworkers did some small thing wrong (I can't even remember what it was, it was so unimportant) and I remember she had this almost creepy gleeful look in her eye and "called him out" in front of all the other teachers. And she kept saying "you know you were wrong, right? You know you were wrong, right?!" in a really condescending tone with that horrid smile on her face. I think she was trying to embarrass him in front of the rest of us but it just made her look worse.

Lynn2000

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Re: I'm Proud You Caught That - Smug
« Reply #39 on: July 01, 2015, 04:46:05 PM »
Ugh, my boss gets smug like that too, sometimes. ::) In fact she just did it today. It's tricky because she partially has a point, but then she just has to rub it in. Like, if she remembers a detail about my project that I've forgotten, she has to be all, "I can't believe I remembered that and you didn't! I know this better than you do!" And so on, usually several sentences. Like I said, yeah, she has a point, I should have remembered whatever, but she could be more professional about it.

Many years ago, she used to give a group of us bonus pay during one busy month, in exchange for us pulling extra duties. That was very generous of her, as she could have required we do the extra duties and not given us any extra pay at all. And we all thanked her when she first told us about it each year. But that was never enough, she continually brought it up out of context so we would feel compelled to thank her again. Once, at an office meeting in front of the whole staff, she explained the situation yet again and then said, "Now all of you say, 'Thank you, Dr. Smith'!" and led us in a chorus of thanking her, like we were five-year-olds. That kind of thing does not make one feel very grateful, you know?

Another time she was telling me about a medical procedure her husband had to have (she does TMI too) and said, "You had that done a few years ago, right? How was it for you?" I don't like talking about private medical stuff with her, but at the time I'd had to, as I needed to take a couple days off work. So now, years later, I downplayed it, like, "Oh, it was fine, not a big deal." Then she goes, "That's not true! You had to take two days off work! I remember your medical history better than you do!" ::)
~Lynn2000