Author Topic: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74  (Read 1473785 times)

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lilfox

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5520 on: March 11, 2014, 03:25:24 PM »
To answer a few questions about Dave's resume service, it appears he was helping spiff up the resumes, probably adding the right keywords as suggested above. The fee he charged wasn't very high, kind of like a filing fee (though he declined to specify exactly how much he earned).

The end of the story is that John, the coworkers, and the manager who knew but turned a blind eye all got written up. And Dave is now free to do his resume coaching full time.

Ceallach

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5521 on: March 11, 2014, 09:50:07 PM »
I'm face-palming today.    My admin team are repeatedly forgetting a very important process.    It's a very simple process, basically about escalating via email to a specific person if a specific scenario occurs.  So if they get a phone call or email about XYZ, email <important person> straight away.    Instead we keep finding a week or so later that they have received a phone call or email about XYZ and done <something completely different with it> instead.   

If multiple people are doing it, I'd normally say it's a process issue, right?  Unclear or poorly trained or something.   Except that the process is very, very clear.   And documented.  And they have had multiple face-to-face training sessions discussing it.   And follow-up emails.     And the last training session was on Thursday.  And then I sent an email on Thursday afternoon carefully highlighting the important step of the process again, and with the full guideline attached.   And they each replied saying that they understood.   And then one of them did it AGAIN on Friday.    :'( 

These are otherwise wonderful staff who are great at their jobs.   The PD part is that this is the one part of their job that interacts with the company director - so everytime they miss this step I'm getting a "please explain" from the director.  (Unfortunately it's often Director who picks it up as she sometimes finds out from other sources).   Hey, it's probably PD for me if I can't get this sorted out!    On Thursday I thought I'd been really clear with them about it, I pointed out that this is the one and only thing that Director cares about, and that Director would rather be notified by mistake even if something isn't XYZ, than not be notified at all.  Director is not a scary person and I don't think they are deliberately missing it, they feel really bad when they realise.    Other manager and I are trying to work out what on earth we can do to stop this happening before Director finally loses it.    If telling them as a group hasn't worked, and telling them individually hasn't worked, and telling them in writing hasn't worked....  I see Director has just send an emailing directly to my team authorising them to give out her mobile number to anybody who calls about XYZ, hopefully that will highlight how critical it is!    (Directors mobile number is never given to anybody external and is blocked!)
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Elfmama

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5522 on: March 11, 2014, 10:14:47 PM »
Protect yourself, then.  If you haven't done so already, write out a document that states you have told them multiple times, on Date, Date, and Date, exactly what those steps are, detail the exact steps, and have them read it and sign it agreeing that you have done exactly that. 
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wolfie

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5523 on: March 11, 2014, 10:19:07 PM »
I would tell them it is becoming a firing issue. That if they can't follow this process their employment might need to be reevaluated because it is that serious.

greencat

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5524 on: March 11, 2014, 10:33:41 PM »
Coming from the other side of the issue - it sounds like maybe they understand the process for what they're supposed to do with XYZ issues, but don't understand exactly what XYZ issues are, and that's what they need training on, rather than how to submit the issues?  You can tell your support staff that problems with the Purple People Eater need to be dealt with by following the Purple People Eater procedure, but that doesn't help if sometimes it comes in being called the Human Grape Jelly Producer and they don't know that.

That kind of workflow issue was very, very common in the department I used to work in - our customers would call the process they wanted done one thing, and all our documentation called it something else (often caused by a name change.)  Or, worse, the thing they were requesting was phrased in such a way that it looked like an ABC problem when it was actually an XYZ problem, but without knowing the exact technical details that differentiate an XYZ problem, we didn't know.

Ceallach

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5525 on: March 11, 2014, 10:48:25 PM »
Coming from the other side of the issue - it sounds like maybe they understand the process for what they're supposed to do with XYZ issues, but don't understand exactly what XYZ issues are, and that's what they need training on, rather than how to submit the issues?  You can tell your support staff that problems with the Purple People Eater need to be dealt with by following the Purple People Eater procedure, but that doesn't help if sometimes it comes in being called the Human Grape Jelly Producer and they don't know that.

That kind of workflow issue was very, very common in the department I used to work in - our customers would call the process they wanted done one thing, and all our documentation called it something else (often caused by a name change.)  Or, worse, the thing they were requesting was phrased in such a way that it looked like an ABC problem when it was actually an XYZ problem, but without knowing the exact technical details that differentiate an XYZ problem, we didn't know.

It's way more basic than that, it's literally if somebody enquires about our services and they're not somebody we're already working with, it needs to go to Director to follow-up.  (No sales team in this industry it's a bit unique, and there are all sorts of different funding criteria and programs which it's impossible for the team to be across, which is why Director needs to handle it.  Otherwise they could accidentally give the wrong pricing or tell somebody no when we can actually help them).

To be fair, there have been a lot of new processes in the past 6 months - happens when a team doubles in size - so I understand sometimes it's just process overload.   Also this is kind of outside of normal role, they spend all day handling 100s of phone calls and emails and processing requests so I can see how they get so used to just dealing with whoever comes through that they don't stop to think that perhaps this one they shouldn't be dealing with.    Ironically they're are doing *more* than we want them to do - we're saying do less!  Just send the details to Director and do not do anything else.  But they're so used to charging through they forget to stop.

I do *think* it's going to stop happening now, but then again I thought that last week!    And sadly PPs are right, it will become a case of warnings very soon.   At least one person already knows she's on a written warning if she does it again, but then of course it's then somebody different who does it the following week.  We are understanding of mistakes around here (have to be, the risk of somebody covering up a mistake in certain situations could literally cause injury or death to a client, so they have to be confident approaching us if they stuff up so we can fix it or risk manage the situation), so we try not to be too iron fist about things.   I would never say it's an outright fireable offence because that simply gives them an incentive to not fess up if they realise they've made a mistake. 
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Ceallach

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5526 on: March 13, 2014, 12:07:12 AM »
A potential supplier just committed PD today.   She is the CEO of a consulting company and here to meet with myself and our MD.   I found her fairly pleasant to deal with,  but our entire admin team have said how rude she was to them when she came in.    I'm not sure of the details (I don't want to derail the afternoon by making a thing of it) but they're a nice, friendly team and have never said that about any visitor in the past.    I was just talking to our CEO on the phone (she's out in meetings today) and she said "<PA> mentioned how rude the lady from X company was!" so it's clearly made an impression on everybody. 

The thing is, she is our preferred supplier in terms of price - there is a higher end one we like but weren't sure if we can justify the cost.  But if we factor in who we would actually like to work with?  Well, then maybe we will justify the extra cost just to avoid her.     Definitely something we will now consider based on that.   Particularly if any of her other staff are going to come in with the same attitudes should we contract their services!     Classic example of a person being polite to the people they think *matter* and rude to the gatekeepers.
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SoCalVal

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5527 on: March 13, 2014, 03:03:24 PM »
A potential supplier just committed PD today.   She is the CEO of a consulting company and here to meet with myself and our MD.   I found her fairly pleasant to deal with,  but our entire admin team have said how rude she was to them when she came in.    I'm not sure of the details (I don't want to derail the afternoon by making a thing of it) but they're a nice, friendly team and have never said that about any visitor in the past.    I was just talking to our CEO on the phone (she's out in meetings today) and she said "<PA> mentioned how rude the lady from X company was!" so it's clearly made an impression on everybody. 

The thing is, she is our preferred supplier in terms of price - there is a higher end one we like but weren't sure if we can justify the cost.  But if we factor in who we would actually like to work with?  Well, then maybe we will justify the extra cost just to avoid her.     Definitely something we will now consider based on that.   Particularly if any of her other staff are going to come in with the same attitudes should we contract their services!     Classic example of a person being polite to the people they think *matter* and rude to the gatekeepers.

Could someone ask the other supplier if they will try to match the rude supplier or meet you partway?  Last year, one of my committees was trying to decide on one of two vendors for a treat for staff (since it was for an event for 5,000, the cost difference was significant).  We were leaning towards the less expensive one, but, then, I pointed out that the more expensive one was a local vendor while the other one was a chain.  I pointed out it was better for the community (and for University PR) if we used a local vendor.  The committee member contacted the local vendor and explained our dilemma, and the local vendor worked with us to bring down the cost so that we could go with him instead.

I've had applicants be rude to me when coming in for their interviews.  Talk about committing PD!  I would send a text message to the interviewers to let them know the applicant was on his/her way (the interview room was at the other end of the hospital).  I would also mention details about the person's attitude if it were noteworthy.  I don't think anyone has been hired yet who I mentioned was rude from the start (often, the attitude would carry over into the interview).



HorseFreak

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5528 on: March 13, 2014, 08:51:10 PM »
Is is PD if you're a boss losing your staff? A coworker of mine got fed up with all the drama and BS at work and put in her notice. She was offered an EXCELLENT job making several thousands more a year for less work, better environment and doing what she set out to do as her career. I'm really proud of her despite losing my best help. She gave a month's notice which was supposed to end just over a week from now.

This morning she texted our boss asking for clarification on some tasks (as Boss requests we do when she forgets to leave a list) and to ask if the unchecked items from the day before (CW's day off) had been done. She gets a nasty text back about how everyone else was working hard the day before and that Boss was sick of her attitude problem. CW's response was to immediately amend her last day to Saturday as to avoid leaving me in a lurch this weekend and will not be working her last week. We don't have a qualified replacement yet and we're going to be in trouble without her.

As for me, Boss nearly broke my cell phone in a temper tantrum when I left it on a counter in between consultation calls with a vendor and threw my keys into a wall at full force when a coworker left them on our receptionist's desk as we were loading and unloading work items from my work vehicle. Boss also slammed a door hard enough to make two pictures fall and shatter because there was some normal, but loud noise from our back room that clients could hear. She also has blamed me for clients complaining about scheduling issues that are completely due to Boss taking on other projects and cancelling the scheduled clients with little or no notice (actually two hours after their appointment on a regular basis). Her solution is for me to start work an hour earlier, but not end any earlier.

She is going through some very tough personal times, but I'm ready to walk as soon as I find another position. 

eltf177

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5529 on: March 14, 2014, 06:35:12 AM »
This morning she texted our boss asking for clarification on some tasks (as Boss requests we do when she forgets to leave a list) and to ask if the unchecked items from the day before (CW's day off) had been done. She gets a nasty text back about how everyone else was working hard the day before and that Boss was sick of her attitude problem. CW's response was to immediately amend her last day to Saturday as to avoid leaving me in a lurch this weekend and will not be working her last week. We don't have a qualified replacement yet and we're going to be in trouble without her.

You're lucky she didn't walk out right then and there, I would have!

Yeah, I'd say Boss is committing PD on a spectacular scale. It sounds like she won't have _any_ workers here soon...

Hollanda

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5530 on: March 14, 2014, 08:02:30 AM »
Where I work has 2 sites. One is site Q and the other site C. There is free transportation to get from Q to C. This can be used by staff or the public.
 
I was queuing for the general public city bus to get me back to the city centre on Tuesday, and overheard 2 young nurses talking very loudly about patients.  Patient identifiers were used (no no) and they were talking in quite a derogatory manner about these people (big no no).  I could have reported them as a member of staff.  Why didn't I? I hate getting people into trouble.  I just hoped they would stop when they realised they could be easily overheard by anybody.
 
Had a manager overheard them discussing patients in that way, these nurses could well have been sacked.  That is PD if ever I've seen it.
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ladyknight1

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5531 on: March 14, 2014, 11:01:51 AM »
Is is PD if you're a boss losing your staff? A coworker of mine got fed up with all the drama and BS at work and put in her notice. She was offered an EXCELLENT job making several thousands more a year for less work, better environment and doing what she set out to do as her career. I'm really proud of her despite losing my best help. She gave a month's notice which was supposed to end just over a week from now.

This morning she texted our boss asking for clarification on some tasks (as Boss requests we do when she forgets to leave a list) and to ask if the unchecked items from the day before (CW's day off) had been done. She gets a nasty text back about how everyone else was working hard the day before and that Boss was sick of her attitude problem. CW's response was to immediately amend her last day to Saturday as to avoid leaving me in a lurch this weekend and will not be working her last week. We don't have a qualified replacement yet and we're going to be in trouble without her.

As for me, Boss nearly broke my cell phone in a temper tantrum when I left it on a counter in between consultation calls with a vendor and threw my keys into a wall at full force when a coworker left them on our receptionist's desk as we were loading and unloading work items from my work vehicle. Boss also slammed a door hard enough to make two pictures fall and shatter because there was some normal, but loud noise from our back room that clients could hear. She also has blamed me for clients complaining about scheduling issues that are completely due to Boss taking on other projects and cancelling the scheduled clients with little or no notice (actually two hours after their appointment on a regular basis). Her solution is for me to start work an hour earlier, but not end any earlier.

She is going through some very tough personal times, but I'm ready to walk as soon as I find another position. 

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Shalamar

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5532 on: March 14, 2014, 11:08:12 AM »
A while ago (on this thread, I think) I posted about two co-workers who were chatting and laughing at top volume close to my desk.  They were so loud, I couldn't hear what another co-worker was trying to say to me.  These two ladies have been reprimanded repeatedly, but it's never done any good.

Today, I was having a conversation with a co-worker who was switching desks.   One of those chatty ladies snapped "Could you please keep it down?  I'm on the PHONE!".  Ah, irony.

Ginger G

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5533 on: March 14, 2014, 11:37:18 AM »
Quote
As for me, Boss nearly broke my cell phone in a temper tantrum when I left it on a counter in between consultation calls with a vendor and threw my keys into a wall at full force when a coworker left them on our receptionist's desk as we were loading and unloading work items from my work vehicle. Boss also slammed a door hard enough to make two pictures fall and shatter because there was some normal, but loud noise from our back room that clients could hear.

That is so ridiculous, Boss clearly has an anger problem.  I could not work with or for someone who acts like that.

Yarnspinner

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5534 on: March 14, 2014, 06:50:44 PM »
*sigh*

In any other venue, this coworker's behavior would, at the very least, get her written up.  Around here, it doesn't even merit a talking to.

I've worked with this woman in one way or another for about ten years.

When we were working in the branches, she was clear with our boss that she didn't want to do any desk time.  So her job was to reshelve books.  This was a twofold problem because:

1) She took both her bible and a joke book around with her, would wheel the cart in between shelves and then, would stand and read the books she had taken with her.  In a room that wasn't much bigger than most Subway Sandwich shoppes, that woman could hide  herself well.

2) If the shelf on which she was filing books was a bit tight, she would come to me and say "It's time to week the books again!"  I would go over to look at the problem and I would say "Those are relatively new books so we aren't getting rid of them.  Also, the shelf above and the shelf below are only a quarter full.  So just shift a few books down or up and you will have plenty of room."  "Is that really my job?"  "Yup."

Her solution was to take the books and stuff them on top of the books already on the shelf. 


Our supervisor wanted to write her up and tried to, but our then director said we couldn't do it because "No one has done it in the past and she is well past probation now."  English translation:  he didn't want a problem.

So these days she gets passed around, department to department, branch to branch, where she does as little as humanly possible, reads her bible and tries to evangelize patrons because "her faith requires it." 

Her current "job" is to keep an eye on the fiction and movie room and help the patrons in there find what they need.  It sounds easy enough for everyone else.  But SHE takes the phone off the hook so no one can get hold of her, takes her Bible and hides in the corner.  If anyone asks for help, she sends them to my team in the computer/reference area. 

This week a patron charged out of the room and over to me with steam coming from his ears.  He wanted the director (good luck with that), but first he wanted to tell me what happened.  He wanted instructional DVDs on how to play piano.  I've bought a ton of them (a "ton" equals about fifteen or twenty because that's all our jobber had) recently thanks to patron requests and was about to say so when he said "and that old lady who supposedly works in there told me you didn't have any.  She didn't even LOOK in the computer.  So I went downstairs and the lady there looked and came up with these!"  He indicated six DVDs.  "So I want to complain to your manager about her lousy work ethic."

So I sent him upstairs to the director's office....where I know he had to talk to one of the Mini-mes....and I am sorry, but they aren't going to write her up 'cause they are friends.  We did let her immediate supervisors know about this.  She's being moved again.  But no one will actually address the elephant in the room. 

I suppose it really is too late to start writing her up....and I cannot understand how this sort of behavior gets so far out of hand.  I used to get spoken to severely just for looking at the backs of magazines while on the desk.