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Sticky Situation

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Another work realted one... lol!!

Grrrr. My job is somewhat of a stepping stone between "team peon" and supervisor. My supervisor and I have a good working relationship and trust each other, and can easily discuss problems we see with our team in a true objective manner.

The problem is that there's a "problem peon". Almost everything that comes out of her mouth is either a tall tale or a flat out lie... and she lies about everything from her work to things she's done in her personal life to what people in the office have said or done. She's a real... problem... and since she came to us from a really lax supervisor who didn't require attention to detail (and we do), she's now mad as hell at our supervisor and thinks she's getting picked on when we just ask her to do the work correctly. AND, she's combative when you try to point out a problem.

The other day my sup had just about enough and went to personnel to discuss either reprimanding her or dismissal. Although she technically shouldn't have, she told me before she went because she trusts me. But this morning she came in my office, asking me if I told, said there's more "stuff" going on regarding this employee... that's all she said, and left.

My supervisor spent a great deal of the day in conference with the higher-ups about her... and my guess is after a team meeting we had just the other day where we were giving reminders on a few issues we've seen pop up in people's work a lot recently (she was giving the supervisor the evil eye the whole time), the girl got angry and probably filed a grievance with personnel herself, against the supervisor. I don't know, but I'm nearly willing to bet that's what it is.

A little bit after she came in my office this morning, I went in her office and briefly closed the door, and said "what's going on?"... she said she didn't want to talk about it so I said "Okay" and left. I'm concerned that she didn't believe me when I said I hadn't told anyone about her trip to personnel, and since she doesn't want to discuss what's going on I can't get perspective to why she would think that. The only person I told was my husband, during the daily "whatcha do today" chat!

I would just go in her office and tell her that I'm concerned she didn't believe me, but I'm afraid of looking overly anxious about it which would make me look guilty. Should I wait until all is out in the open, or confront her now?
post #2 of 4
I think you should stay out of it.

There are obviously more issues than you need be concerned about. She asked you not to tell anyone. You didn't. Now you just go on as if that conversation never happened, unless she brings it up again. It's obviously an HR issue now, and your supervisor is legally obliged to not talk about it to anyone, including you. She isn't allowed to discuss it with you, and no matter what happens, you don't need to be any more involved.

You can ask, though, how you are to deal with peon's work product from now on. Are you to report her errors? Are you to fix them? Or whatever you have been doing.

Also, be very very careful to keep personality out of this, all you can be concerned about is the quality of her work.
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
That's the stance I've taken thus far, and if she doesn't offer any info about what's going on, that's fine... I'll find out when I need to. I usually keep my nose out of things, but people do tend to come in my office and announce things I probably shouldn't and don't want to hear. It's natural human curiosity to want to know what's going on, but I rarely ask to know... my asking her today was brief, non-pressing, and the moment she said she didn't want to talk about it, I simply said "okay".

What's bothering me is that she expressed a bit of distrust... and ours is a very trusting relationship so that's worrysome. If she did truly believe that I betrayed her trust, it would deeply affect our working relationship. I'm trying to figure out how... and when, to mend that bit of doubt in her mind.
post #4 of 4
I know it's hard, but try not to project what your sup is feeling. She may be indeed be feeling some distrust (personally, I think that cat-people are usu. very in tune with people as well as cats), but she may be just worried. It sounds like your working relationship was a good one prior to this; I hope that things heal quickly for you. Working place woes are the pits!!!
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