I have a co-worker who is over the top negative. He’s Chicken Little of the 21st century. He will take something that’s totally benign and make it a doom and gloom situation. With the sluggish economy, our company has had to tighten its belt everywhere possible. And now that we’re in our last quarter, the owner has asked everyone to make an even stronger effort to watch our spending and to halt all travel until notified. So this guy is moping around even more, if that’s possible, fearing for his job and the fate of our company. Some of us have asked him to knock it off and others have razzed him, but he doesn’t listen. He’s bringing us all down… Help!
Fed up with doom and gloom
Dear Fed up with doom and gloom:
I don’t know your or your colleagues’ attitudes when you spoke to your co-worker, but anything communicated without respect and sincere concern, as well as teasing, would be pointless and fall on deaf ears. I suggest that you and another co-worker approach this guy again, but this time, be sure to show and express genuine understanding in addition to an interest in what he has to say and how he feels. After he has expressed himself, explain your point of view about his behavior and respectfully request that he make an effort to not only understand the negative impact his behavior has on everyone around him but to tone it down as well. Also, come up with a couple of positive things going on in your company or industry that he can, hopefully, direct his attention to.
I was sitting in a major fast food restaurant eating my lunch and minding my own business when one of the employees, obvious by her uniform, walked in for her shift. The restaurant’s manager was sitting near me, where the customers sit, doing some kind of paperwork, and started yelling at the employee about being late. The employee proceeded to yell back that it wasn’t her fault, and that the manager needed to take it up with HRT, the city’s bus service. I felt very uncomfortable with their exchange. This was a discussion the boss should not have had in front of, or even in earshot, of the customers. Shoot, I don’t think she should do it front of the other employees either. If I thought it would have helped, I would have said something to the manager, but I had a strong feeling that she would have had no problem yelling at me too if I had said anything. Do you think I should have said something?
Got an inappropriate earful
Dear Got an inappropriate earful:
Given the way the manager handled the tardy employee, I believe your instincts were right on target. You were smart to refrain from trying to talk to her face-to-face concerning your displeasure with her behavior. There are, however, a couple of other ways you can air your concerns. I checked out this fast food restaurant’s official Web site, and it has a 1-800 toll-free telephone number for its customers to speak directly to a customer service representative, as well as a customer feedback Web page for its customers to file their compliments, complaints, or requests as a result of their experiences at one of their restaurants. I suggest that you take advantage of one of these two viable options.
Our boss decided that we, his staff of two, have to do time sheets. He’s requiring us to break down how much time we spend on our duties on a daily basis. I don’t mind doing it; but my co-worker’s obvious exaggerations are killing me. Even though our boss just started this process, I’m still surprised that he hasn’t noticed the big difference between our sheets since our duties are so similar. And even though we were told that these wouldn’t affect our pay or performance ratings, I’m concerned that since my co-worker’s time sheets look better than mine, she will be seen as a better candidate for promotion. Should I snitch her out?
Taking issue with co-worker’s time sheets
Dear Taking issue with co-worker’s time sheets:
Do not snitch! Since your boss only has to review two time sheets, I cannot help but think that he is aware or will be aware in the near future of the difference between yours and your co-worker’s. This requirement is new, so give him some time to handle the matter in the way he sees fit. One way or another, I am confident that your co-worker will eventually have to defend her records. Hang in there!
© 2010 Rozanne R. Worrell