To think if you resign from a job you should actually leave

(41 Posts)
vintageclock Fri 17-May-13 12:26:26

I decided to go back to work a few months ago and was lucky enough to get a job that matched my qualifications and is not too far from where we live. The woman I replaced had decided to resign after her second child was born and be a SAHM.

About a month after I started she popped in with her two children for a visit and asked interested questions about how I was getting on, gave me a bit of advice etc. I thought nothing more about it. However, over the last three months she has taken to dropping in at least once a week (and often more) - sometimes with one or both kids in tow, sometimes on her own. She hangs around for ages and is constantly telling me that 'this' is the way she used to do the job, or 'she wouldn't' do such and such the way I'm doing it because....... She also criticised the fact that I had moved my desk around so that I wasn't sitting with my back to someone and tried to persuade me to turn it back the way she used to have it.

She is also dropping heavy hints that she would be happy to come away with us to help with a big conference we're having in June, that her mum would mind the kids and it would be a shame not to 'make use' of her experience. She is driving me nuts at this stage.

DH says that someone in management should be having a word with her and making it clear that she is no longer a member of staff and while she is welcome to return for social occasions she should not be dropping in regularly during working hours and distracting people trying to get on with their work.
AIBU to think her behaviour is way out of line and to make a complaint about it?

Mamafratelli Fri 17-May-13 12:28:06

Smile and nod then ignore. Not worth the fight.

ChocolateCremeEggBag Fri 17-May-13 12:33:33

I would have a quite word with your management but I can see it could be a difficult situation.

You have to make sure that it's clear to them that this woman is not coming into the office on your invitation or request. Then say that it's disrupting your work. I would then leave it with them to handle and try to ignore her if she continues to "drop in"

It does sound like she's bored and misses her old job, which would sound alarm bells with me.

HerrenaHarridan Fri 17-May-13 12:34:51

She's probably lonely, firm but gentle.

Well it's my job and I need to do it how I see fit!

quesadilla Fri 17-May-13 12:35:56

That's bizarre. It sounds as if she is bored and regretting her decision. But it's not fair on you (nor is it very healthy for her.) I wouldn't complain yet, your position isnt threatened, it will only antagonise her and she may have a lot of friends there. I would quietly log all this and store it up, so if it does become a problem you will be able to give details.

Chocotrekkie Fri 17-May-13 12:39:23

I wouldn't make a complaint but I would try to casually drop it into a conversation with management 'oh sorry this is a bit late xx came in again with her kids and I couldn't concentrate again/didn't feel it was appropriate to work on it when she was there' or something along those lines.

Regarding the conference next time she mentions it ask her outright 'so have you asked boss if you can go'

If she starts talking about how you are doing things/where you sit try ''(manager) seems really happy with my work so I don't want to change it but thanks anyway'"

I do feel sorry for her right enough - she sounds like she is craving adult conversation and probably having second thoughts about giving up work but that's not your job to help her..

IdreamofJarvis Fri 17-May-13 12:40:13

Reminds me of David Brent after he'd been sacked smile

Issues are more to do with her than you, she seems to regret her decision. Get your manager to speak to her to set boundaries about her visits to the office.

TheSmallClanger Fri 17-May-13 12:43:04

I don't blame you for feeling a bit put out by this behaviour.

Is the woman universally popular with the rest of the office, or is it possible that they are finding her visits awkward and exasperating as well? I would be tempted to mention it to someone, as she is distracting you. Do you have a sympathetic receptionist or front-desk person of some sort who might be able to help with waylaying and gatekeeping?

GemmaTeller Fri 17-May-13 12:44:51

I'm surprised management are letting her keep popping with children (large office I previously worked in didn't allow children/toddlers/babies because of H&S).

I would ignore her (well, I personally wouldn't have, because I would have said, 'actually this isn't your job anymore and you aren't employed here as my supervisor or manager).

CheeseandPickledOnion Fri 17-May-13 12:48:14

Have a word with management/HR. It's not on. She is no longer an employee and therefore should not be disturbing or advising you.

Make it clear you are not being left to do the job as you wish to.

Wishiwasanheiress Fri 17-May-13 12:51:45

How is she getting in? Don't they have security cards? This should have been removed from her at leave date. Is someone else bringing her in?

WaitingForMe Fri 17-May-13 12:57:33

I think you need to pick a phrase (eg. I'm sorry but I need to get on with something and can't chat right now") that you say before turning away. If she ignores you then repeat and walk away.

Whitewineformeplease Fri 17-May-13 13:02:47

Can you avoid? Go off to the bathroom or the photocopier or something like that when she comes in?

sherbetpips Fri 17-May-13 13:07:48

you need to be careful as she will have friends in the company and people will assume that she is coming in because you need/want the help. Speak to HR but be very neutral but explain that you are finding her visits disruptive and woudl like them to stop. I am surprised they even let her in the building? is is a small company?

CloudsAndTrees Fri 17-May-13 13:13:14

I wouldn't make a complaint, but I would talk to management and ask them if they are happy with the way you are doing things. Let them know that she is coming in so often and that she is trying to tell you how to do your job, but do it in a nice way that comes across as if you are just wondering if they would prefer you to do things differently.

They might tell you exactly what they are happy with about the way you do things, then the next time she gives you unwanted advice, you can confidently say that management are more than happy with what you are doing.

I agree with trying to avoid conversation with her. If you are too nice and make her feel she is more than welcome, she will keep doing it, and she does need to stick to the decision she made and move on.

Pigsmummy Fri 17-May-13 13:15:37

She is probably on Mumsnet so you won't have to do anything! If not then get your mobile out and ring your desk phone every time she approaches? or vice versa?

GetOrfMoiLand Fri 17-May-13 13:18:11

I would stop being so nice to her and look incredulous when she makes suggestions. If she starts making noises about coming away on the conference again I would tell management. It is a ridiculous situation.

Whitewineformeplease Fri 17-May-13 13:21:27

You don't need to be friends with her, a lot can be communicated by you looking surprised and a bit 'put out' when she next makes a suggestion. Then make an obvious excuse and walk off. She'll get the message.

PaleHousewifeOfCumbriaCounty Fri 17-May-13 13:21:57

God this sounds awkward! As others have said, i would speak to HR in case they think your are encouragi her in some way. I do feel a bit sorry for her, she obviously regrets her decision a bit sad

arabesque Fri 17-May-13 13:24:35

Your DH is right. Someone in management should be having a word. Even putting aside the fact that her behaviour is unfair to you, a former member of staff should not be popping in on a regular basis like that during working hours, especially with kids in tow. One visit fine! After that it should be kept to social occasions.
She does sound as if she's bored and lonely at home and is finding being a SAHM not all she thought. But if that's the case she needs to sort it out - make some new friends, find some interests, or get her CV together and start looking for a new job. There would even be nothing wrong with her contacting HR and saying she would be interested in returning there if anything suitable arose.
But her current behaviour is absolutely ridiculous and I am very surprised other people haven't complained about it.

StealthOfficialCrispTester Fri 17-May-13 13:26:24

I wouldnt talk to hr. Just make polite small talk for as long as necessary then say you need to get on. If she suggests doing thinvs differently you need to have something prepared in response.
I feel so sorry for her though and her childre

StealthOfficialCrispTester Fri 17-May-13 13:27:19

Yes I agree someone should have a word. But if I wer the op I wouldnt want to instigate that.

Kafri Fri 17-May-13 13:57:06

This baffled me...

I pop into my work to see people I know well to let people I know have cuddles with ds (am on Mat leave) but wouldn't dream of going in to see someone in there who i didn't know and certainly wouldn't then start telling them how to do their job. How bizarre.

I think i'd approach your boss and have a chat about whether it is appropriate for a former employee to keep coming to tell you how to do your job.

vintageclock Fri 17-May-13 14:39:28

Thanks for the replies. She worked here for fifteen years and was apparently very committed to the job, often brought work home etc. Someone said they were very surprised when she resigned as she seemed almost married to the job. I've noticed when she comes in most people now ignore her; become suddenly very busy; or just give her a polite smile and get back to whatever they were doing. I also heard someone saying they couldn't hear a client on the phone because 'that bloody child was shouting her head off', so she does seem to be annoying other people. I'm the one she keeps hanging around though, and yes I do think she regrets leaving and wants her old job back. I'm on six months probation which will be up at the end of July and I'm worried I'll be let go if she keeps worming her way back in. sad

Picturepuncture Fri 17-May-13 14:57:21

In which case definitely have a quiet word with your (previously her!) manager. Find out for sure if she is annoying others and ask for advice about how they would like you deal with the situation.

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