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Cristobal
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  • 2 weeks later...

Two weeks after getting passed over for the booking position at the county Detention Center. I get a call this morning from Eddy County HR, about another position I applied for, and am asked to report back to HR on Wednesday afternoon. Hopefully the second time is the charm!

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  • 3 weeks later...

My truck decided to die today.  Fortunately it waited till I got home, instead of when I was on the 7th floor of a hospital parking garage.  

Weird thing was, the damn thing would start, but also wouldn't turn completely off.  Finally had to disconnect the battery to shut everything down.

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Found out today I have to work even more closely with a new co-worker for the next several months.  Really not looking forward to this.  I don't dislike the woman - quite the opposite - but she's so tightly wound she makes me jumpy.  Been working with her six months, and I barely get past hello with her.  She has a tendency to either shut down conversations within two sentences or just not respond much to the usual emotional cues.  I feel awkward around her because I feel this weird lack of affect when I talk to her.  Case in point: I took a neighbor the ER and night in the reception area (she was admitted) until her family showed up the next morning (husband was out of time on business, rest of family lives out of state).  Mentioned that to my co-worker and she just said "get some more sleep" and walked off.  I assume she thinks I had to check myself into the ER for something or other, but didn't care to ask what was going on.

Sigh.  I could get off the project or probably get her reassigned.  But.... my wife wants me to figure this out.  We both like the woman, but both think she's so wrapped up in her own..... something (life?  Stress?)... that we get nothing from her.  We wife thinks I think that eventually this co-worker gets encouraged to leave because she doesn't fit in or she eventually has some sort of stress-induced.  About two years back, another friend has a stressful workplace situation that culminated in her suffering a minor stroke and losing consciousness in the middle of a meeting.  She was 38 at the time. 

Lol, I've never been good at minding my own business so... my wife is probably right.  I guess I'm going to try to find some way to get through to her. 

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Worked from home this morning.  Got in at lunch time to find the following

1.  We've got no AC.  It's August.  In Texas.  

2.  We've got major flooding, and it's raining in the labs.  There's tens of millions of dollars of electronics and semiconductor test equipment in there.  It doesn't like water.

Gonna be a fun day.

 

And we just got evacuated.

Edited by Robert C
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1 hour ago, Betsy Zeidler said:

WTF would you get someone reassigned just because they don't want to talk to you?  Jesus, do your job and leave the poor woman alone.

Well, part of my job is being her boss since I'm a partner in the firm.  And I wouldn't consider getting her reassigned because she didn't want to talk to me.  I would consider getting her reassigned if I was concerned we couldn't work together and the client would be the one to suffer.  Which is quite possibly the case.  Just to be clear: I just meant I could have her put on a different project, not exiled her to the firm's dungeon.

Beyond that, she's an employee.  Lol, I get nosy about the personal lives of employees on a pretty regular basis.  It's a small firm and a mostly close-knit group.  Employees who don't fit in don't tend to last long.  I could stop making an effort with her but one of the other partners has a bigger problem with her than I do and seems to think letting her go is the answer.  So my plan is to try to work with her on behalf of our client and try to figure out her deal in the meantime.  Honestly. it's cool if she doesn' t like me.  If that's the case, I'd like to know if I did something to tick her off or what.  But.... my impression is that she has no friends in the office and is at stress level 11 on a scale of 1-10.  She has an office full of great people (my employees) who could be a good support system if she'll let them.

I don't mind you guys calling me out for sounding like a jerk, but, honestly, no one reading this is likely to know enough about me, her, or the situation to fairly judge it.

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This has been a terrible summer for me. I have been enduring a lot of problems. One being my issues with the apartment owner came to a head finally. I have been trying to find a new home and it has been incredibly difficult finding a new home. This is on top of family issues I can't fully get into. 

But I think I might have finally found a new home. I am working on building my credit. I have no credit at all, in my adult life I would pay cash in full on everything. I am getting a small credit card and a starter loan. I am also starting college soon and I met someone. I am trying to be positive which is hard for me. I have it hardwired into me, if good things happen, a bad thing will happen in response. But I need to remember people can change, even me,

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Good luck.  Change is hard, but it can be done.

I've gone out of my way this week to try to get to know the employee I talked about earlier - and observe her with her co-workers.  LOl, be careful what you wish for.  Now I'm sorta wondering if the person is just a bit of a jerk. She's not exactly unfriendly to her co-workers, more like oblivious.  People talk to her and she either just responds with some short answer that shuts down the conversation or she shows no empathy or interest in what the person said and the other person fidgets a bit and walks away.  She doesn't seem to do the little things that make social interactions work.  Or make other people want to make them work.

At times, she seems very outgoing when she wants to be. But she turns it on and off like a light switch.   I can't figure out what the issue is.  She seems massively over-stressed.  So.... just a jerk, unhappy at work, or wound too tight and heading for a meltdown?

The issue is more complicated now than it was a week ago.  The firm has around 30 employees and is co-owned by three partners - me and two other people.  I tend to handle a lot of human resources stuff because, of the partners, I'm probably most interested in employees being happy.  I definitely spend the most time talking to employees about things outside of work.  I left a pretty good job to start my own firm, and, as a boss, I'm one of those overly optimistic sorts that wants everyone to be satisfied with their job.  I didn't go out on my own to start a drudge factory where the workers trudge to work, then sadly trudge home and try to forget about the office for 12 hours or so.   I'm not thrilled this person doesn't seem to like me.  I'm less thrilled she doesn't seem to like her co-workers.  

And the idea that she's so over-stressed by work that it's making her miserable really sucks because, ultimately, I'm kinda responsible for that.  If it's work that's making her like this, it's at least partially my responsibility to figure that out and fix it.   

So, yeah, this now seems like it's becoming a work issue.  That probably means Zeidler is not going to approve of how I try to handle the situation.

 

 

 

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IDK, maybe she'd be more satisfied with her job if she wasn't *required* to make small talk on top of it.  If she's really over-stressed by work, look at her workload, has she been taking on extra duties silently?  Maybe she has anxiety issues that are exacerbated by personal interaction, so she does more and more busy work to get around it?

 

I speak from second hand experience here, my wife sounds a lot like what little I've heard of your employee, and she liked her job and other co-workers, but shut down around her "fun" manager because she had so much work that had been piled on her previously that getting up the gumption to be "on" all the time around Soozie was just too much work.

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I once asked one of my employees to try and make make friends with another employee.  She told me "I come to work to do my job, not make friends."  There wasn't much I could say to that because she was right.  As long as this employee isn't being openly hostile and does her job, there really isn't any reason to pry into her life.  

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The way the employee is describe reminds me of myself. I can be outgoing and personable at work but most of the time I am not. This is due to a few reasons, a big one is anxiety, I suffer from high levels of anxiety often and small talk at work is something I avoid because it increases my anxiety. I'm also quite introverted on top of it, social interactions take a lot out of me. I will often actively avoid people I know who make small talk because of this no one at my work seems to mind. I spend most of my time in my office and that's that. I am friends with some of my coworkers but don't go out of my way to talk to them at work either it's just the way some of us are. 

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Yeah, the person you're describing is how I probably come off to the people I work with (minus the bleeding stress out onto others aspect), but I get my job done, so that's really a "you" problem.  There's only one person I actively avoid talking to, and that's because he's painfully OCD (highly useful in little doses for scientists, nails-on-chalkboard irritating in anything more than little), and just being around him makes me grind my teeth. 

Plus, from your initial post about this, she probably said, "Get some more sleep" because you just described a situation that sounds, you know, sleepless.  Who'd think it?

 

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5 hours ago, Player One said:

Good luck.  Change is hard, but it can be done.

I've gone out of my way this week to try to get to know the employee I talked about earlier - and observe her with her co-workers.  LOl, be careful what you wish for.  Now I'm sorta wondering if the person is just a bit of a jerk. She's not exactly unfriendly to her co-workers, more like oblivious.  People talk to her and she either just responds with some short answer that shuts down the conversation or she shows no empathy or interest in what the person said and the other person fidgets a bit and walks away.  She doesn't seem to do the little things that make social interactions work.  Or make other people want to make them work.

At times, she seems very outgoing when she wants to be. But she turns it on and off like a light switch.   I can't figure out what the issue is.  She seems massively over-stressed.  So.... just a jerk, unhappy at work, or wound too tight and heading for a meltdown?

The issue is more complicated now than it was a week ago.  The firm has around 30 employees and is co-owned by three partners - me and two other people.  I tend to handle a lot of human resources stuff because, of the partners, I'm probably most interested in employees being happy.  I definitely spend the most time talking to employees about things outside of work.  I left a pretty good job to start my own firm, and, as a boss, I'm one of those overly optimistic sorts that wants everyone to be satisfied with their job.  I didn't go out on my own to start a drudge factory where the workers trudge to work, then sadly trudge home and try to forget about the office for 12 hours or so.   I'm not thrilled this person doesn't seem to like me.  I'm less thrilled she doesn't seem to like her co-workers.  

And the idea that she's so over-stressed by work that it's making her miserable really sucks because, ultimately, I'm kinda responsible for that.  If it's work that's making her like this, it's at least partially my responsibility to figure that out and fix it.   

So, yeah, this now seems like it's becoming a work issue.  That probably means Zeidler is not going to approve of how I try to handle the situation.

 

 

 

@Player One You sound like a nice chap that it would be a pleasure to work for... That said, let us consider another side of the coin, I think most of you who have known me on this forum would concede that although I do have the capacity to be a jerk, generally speaking I'm pretty chill and easy to get along with.  The last job I truly enjoyed was in Seattle, where I helped transform a rather pathetic dotcom into a huge money maker, I was almost let go for being a "toxic employee" the complaints that went to our C.O.O. included things such as: I was rude when being told about another employee's church and the "prosperity program" that it offered which sounded oddly like Amway, I didn't want to stay after hours for "pizza night", nor did I wish to join the IT Dept and sales staff for line dancing at the Little Red Hen on C & W night, and worst pf all, I didn't choose to go door knocking on behalf of our C.O.O.'s life-partner in his attempts to get elected to the City Council.

I looked at our C.O.O. and said "These things are all true, and ______ is a nice man without an original idea in his head and while I certainly wouldn't oppose his being seated on the City Council, I've lived here over forty years which is long enough to know that the City Council is a joke and the only real changes can come from the Mayor's office. In current office-speak, I'm a gun-slinger or mercenary, you hire me to carry out specific activities which I'm very good at, such as getting the company to monetize data that it was throwing away and that we now show a profit for the first time in our existence. None of which is predicated on my interest or disinterest on socializing outside of work with people 20 -25 years my junior that I have nothing in common with. Now if somebody wants to do the stuff I enjoy doing like playing darts, pool or pinball, discussing science fiction or comic books, I'm right there. But don't ask me to change who I am at this stage of the game because it's not going to happen.

He kind of stared at me for a minute, and the said "Do you really think that _______ would be bad as a Councilman?"

"I didn't say that at all, in fact he'd be fine as a Councilman as that entire body is so ham-strung from doing anything effective that it really doesn't matter who gets seated. That said, I'm not going to spend my evenings knocking on doors so that someone I like as an acquaintance can get a meaningless job."

I got the "we'll talk more about this later" line and never finished the conversation, not socializing or making small talk doesn't mean someone is unhappy with their job. Leave me alone with a computer and an understanding of what your company produces, what it monetizes and more importantly what it DOESN'T monetize and I'm happy as a fucking clam. Doesn't mean that you'll see me Sunday afternoon for the workshop on Prosperity through Jeebus, because you won't.  For some people work is just an interruption of life, we may be awfully good at said work because that's how we're wired,  but at the end of  the day work is just not that big of a deal, it just something that we have to do. Doing it well tends to make life easier, doing it real well (like I do) means you get your own office where you can listen to the Cramps all day and nobody bothers you. 😉 

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@Player One: your business sounds like a high school clique where if someone doesn't meet whatever fake standards you have set, then you assume something is wrong with that person. When it all that's happening is they're different from you.

So what if this lady doesn't want to be super friendly with co-workers? As long as she's professional and does her job, that's all she needs to do. She's not oblivious; she's got her own s*** to worry about with your insistence on her being all kumbaya. You and your partners are willing to let go of someone over them not engaging in non-business small talk. That's sad with how hard jobs are to come by these days. 

If she's stressed over her workload, that's on you and as her supervisor. You can easily change it. But again, you take it back to her not being your friend, as if she's insulting you on some level.

Frankly, your insistence of her adapting to your societal standards is approaching harassment. You're not her therapist, stop with all the personal attention. I bet your continued needling is a major cause for her stress. She comes to work and does a good job, but because she didn't take a coffee break with someone, she's on the chopping block. She likely knows you and your partners feel that way. It probably worries her.

Just allow the woman to do her job. As long as she communicates enough to be a productive member of the team, she's fine. I have never been friends with anyone on any job I had. I may have liked them, but I didn't want to see them after 5:00 PM on weekdays or anytime on weekends. Most of us work because we need to provide food/clothing/shelter for ourselves and possibly a family. That's it. Even if we like our job, that's all it is, a source of income. Leave that woman alone.

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She will most likely be fired next week,  Not by me.  Numerous people received an email yesterday from a major client.  The employee in question has been working at the client's office for the past several weeks as part of an audit team.  Basically, the client blasted the woman for being rude and obnoxious to his staff and questioned her professionalism and competence.  Apparently, the issue had been building for a couple weeks and hit a head when our employee got into an argument with one of his employees Friday.  His employee left work suddenly after learning of a death in the family.  His employee then came back at the end of the day to get the purse she left behind, and our employee took the opportunity to complain because the woman hadn't pulled together some records our employee had requested (she was aware of the death).  The client kinda implied that we should not only not send her back to his workplace, we should fire her.

The email contained an impressively long list of complaints considering our employee has only been there a couple weeks.  Client sent the email to the three partners, the other members of her audit team, a few other employees, and several outside email addresses.  At least one of the outside email addresses belongs to another client.

We're going to meet with her tomorrow, but I can't imagine she survives the meeting.  My partners have no tolerance for her and I'm skeptical there's much upside to me leaping to her defense.  For one thing, her co-workers seem to think she has worn out her welcome, so I feel like I should defer to their wishes.  It feels weird to not back one of my employees, though.  My instinct is usually to have my employee's back and hash out any problems privately.  This isn't the first time we've had to fire someone, but those were usually for more clear-cut reasons (poor work habits, lack of discretion with sensitive company info, etc.)

 

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On the 30th you said you were going to have to work more closely with her

On the 7th you said you had sat down with her and sussed things out

On the 9th suddenly she's been working at a client's office for "the past several weeks" and you're acting like her behavior is something you haven't witnessed in the past.

 

This seems fishy.

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Betsy, do you even know what i do for a living?

I was going to have to work more closely to her.  On a project we haven't started yet.  We've never worked on the same project team otherwise.  Honestly, most of the time, I have minimal interaction with her unless I go out of my way to talk to her.

I had to go out of my way to observe her this week.  She's been working at a client's for the past several weeks.  Typically, the audit team comes into (our) office in the morning, catches up on some of their other work, and at some point goes over to client's office, then they come back to the office to check in at end of day.  A different partner oversees the audit team and they check in with him at the end of the day, not me.  When I see the audit team members, i generally just ask generally "how's it going over there" or make small talk with them.  Not every member of the work team goes to the client's office every single day, and most of the time, they don't spend all day over there.  In most cases, we're doing work for more than one client simultaneously and the day gets split up between a couple assignments depending on deadlines, client availability, etc.  Even when my staff is working out of the building, I see plenty of them at the beginning and end of the day.  And I usually try to go out of my way to be available and visible when people are in the office.  Again, it's 30 people working on a bunch of different projects.  I'm not personally involved in every project.  Plenty of people in the firm technically work for me, but report to someone else.  Those people mostly see in the early AM and at the end of the day 

I did see some of this stuff.  And I heard some things about going-ons at the client's office, but, honestly, I didn't think it was that big a problem.  I kinda thought it would sort itself out.  The client in question usually strikes me as fairly laid-back and the other members of the project team are good employees that don't need a partner hovering over them.  I'm not sure complaining about a woman being slow to get paperwork pulled together due to a death is that much different from turning around to read an email while a co-worker is sobbing about the death of her cat or being told a co-worker went to the ER and shrugging it off without asking why or if they're ok.  Except, of course, that stuff happened in our office, not a client's worksite.

Zeidler's decided I'm the bad guy here.  Fair enough, though what I've typed her probably gives him about 5% knowledge of the issue.  I've probably handled the whole situation wrong.  Including coming on here to vent.  Lol, that's one mistake that's easily correctable.  I rarely come into Land of Confusion.  Guess I should stick to the other forums.  I'm actually thinking about trying to resolve the situation without anyone losing their job, but, if I do, I probably won't be back to post about it.

Anyway, thanks for the input.  I did get some useful suggestions out of it.

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First of all, using 'him' when Betsy clearly identifies differently now is offensive.

I don't think you're a bad person, but your description of this employee is suspect. All you've indicated is she's not very sociable beyond the normal work duties. That's not a good reason to fire someone. Maybe she simply doesn't want to know anything about other people's personal lives. Would I be interested in a co-worker going to the ER? Beyond saying "Oh no, I hope they'll be OK" I likely wouldn't ask questions. Not because I'm cold and callused. I just don't want to overstep boundaries. 

Your description of the matter comes across as your group deciding she's not good enough to be part of your crowd, all because she doesn't take lunch with you. I'm not saying there isn't more to the story, but what you've given us leads us to this conclusion.

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