My supervisor has chosen to change the time of our bi-weekly department meetings to a later time because a guy in our department can’t manage to get to work by 9:00 AM. He always blames it on the traffic. I don’t care if this guy is late for work on other days; that’s not my problem or my business. But when his tardiness affects my work schedule, then I get angry. These meetings had always been set for 9:00 AM and now we’re going to have them at 10:00 so this guy doesn’t miss out on anything we’re discussing. I don’t understand why our boss is changing the time of our department meetings versus making him get to work on time. All of us have to deal with the awful traffic in Hampton Roads. He’s not the only one! Most of us have said something to our boss, but she just blows us off and refuses to listen. We don't think this is right. Do you?
Accommodating the tardy employee
Dear Accommodating the tardy employee:
I agree with you. I cannot support the way your boss is handling this matter. Being on time is a core value of mine. I consider it a matter of respect. She is actually punishing you and your co-workers for doing the right thing and rewarding the other person for his unprofessional behavior. I have a hunch there may be more to this story than you provided in your email or that you may even be aware of
I’m very familiar with the old saying, “The customer is always right.” Having started and still running my own business, I have no problem with this philosophy. But there are those times when one of my customers will make it real hard to stay true to this philosophy and this is one of those times. I’ve had this customer for several months, which is a significant amount of time in my line of work. He isn’t rude or obnoxious to my face, but he’s disrespectful in the way he doesn’t do the things he’s supposed to do for the project I’m handling for him. This isn’t an occasional thing; it goes on every week. I try to remind him in a very nice way, but I always end up hearing, “I forgot,” or “It slipped my mind.” We have weekly face-to-face meetings, and we communicate by email in between, which is the way he wants it. His passive aggressive behavior makes it so hard for me to stay motivated and put in the long hours week after week when it seems like he could care less. What would you do if you were me
Questioning customer’s commitment
Dear Questioning customer’s commitment:
Although a big part of me would want to call the customer out, how I would handle this matter would all depend on whether or not I needed this customer’s business. Am I in a position where I cannot afford to lose his business? Or, am I in a place where I can tell him how I feel about his behavior regardless of the outcome? If I need this customer, I would tough it out and tolerate the way he behaves in order to continue collecting the fees for the work I was doing for him. If, however, I can withstand possibly losing him or I am at a point where I am willing to lose the needed income, then I would respectfully tell him how I feel and ask him if he is truly committed to the project. I would provide him with examples of why I question his commitment, and be prepared for pushback. Sometimes people need to be called out on their unprofessional behavior in order to shape up. Best of luck!
© 2013 Rozanne R. Worrell