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?

RedToothBrush Sat 18-May-13 14:31:10

I would be concerned that her being on the premises is deliberately to make you feel insecure and is a real threat to your position.

If management are tolerating it, then they could be facilitating this; however if they don't know that it causing a problem unless you raise it either.

Since you've only been there 6 months it puts you in a more awkward position, which I appreciate. However I would raise it with management as its unsettling you and affecting your work and see how they take it.

If nothing else, it will let you know if they are a good company to work for and support you or if you need to get the CV out again.

StuntGirl Sat 18-May-13 14:10:05

I would also raise it with your manager or HR. In the mean time politely but firmly tell her "I'd love to stop and chat but I'm very busy at the moment".

Her regretting her decision is not your problem.

arabesque Sat 18-May-13 14:02:31

I definitely don't think that having a quiet word with your manager could be construed as 'moaning'. You have put up with the situation for three months now and it is distracting, undermining and unsettling as you try to settle into a new job and put your own stamp on things. Any manager who could not understand things from your point of view would be quite poor at their job imho.

Your predecessor sounds like she was unhealthily possessive about her job and I would imagine, as she was there for fifteen years and even now can't bear anyone else doing 'her' job, the type who was quite change resistant and resented anyone suggesting new or different ways of doing things. The difficulties those people cause often totally outweigh the usefulness of their long experience of the job and I wouldn't be surprised if there were sighs of relief all round when she tendered her resignation. A lot of people are probably delighted to have a new perspective being brought to the job and see you as a breath of fresh air, not second best to this woman as you seem to feel.

Seriously, I wouldn't start slipping out to the loo or the photocopier when she comes in; or take on the task yourself of telling her she should not be coming in so often. Talk to your manager; that's one of the reasons they're there.

Lweji Fri 17-May-13 20:04:58

Play her at her own game by turning up unannounced at her house and making derogatory comments about her parenting techniques.

Or even when she shows up.

Floggingmolly Fri 17-May-13 20:03:08

How is this getting past management? confused.
If nothing else; there are probably H & S concerns and maybe even insurance implications with a non employee spending so much time on the premises.
Speak to your manager, the whole situation sounds ridiculous.

WhizzforAtomms Fri 17-May-13 19:57:24

Could you say to her nicely that while you appreciated talking to her when you were new to the job, you are more than capable now. You are obviously busy with your job so it would be less distracting for you and your colleagues if she stopped dropping in now, with or without the children.

Then have headphones and some involved type of work on the computer you can get on with for her future visits...

SenoritaViva Fri 17-May-13 19:52:38

Good point beals! I don't see why a quiet word with a manager would reflect badly, as long as you don't appear moaning. I would simply point out that X is coming in weekly and such regular visits impact productivity (how long does she chat?) and you are aware that noise from the children has impacted other work members professionally. Or perhaps you can simply ask their advice on how to extricate yourself from the situation without appearing rude since they worked with her for x no of years and know her better than you?

MarjoryStewartBaxter Fri 17-May-13 19:50:11

Play her at her own game by turning up unannounced at her house and making derogatory comments about her parenting techniques.

beals692 Fri 17-May-13 19:17:12

Depending on the nature of your work, I wouldn't suggest going off to do something else/leaving the office when she turns up or she'll be answering your phone and dealing with the queries etc making the point that you weren't around to do it but she's more than capable of picking up your work...

Is your manager in the same office and seeing everything that is going on or would they not be fully aware of the problem?

ParadiseChick Fri 17-May-13 19:03:09

Is there scope to carve some sort of volunteer role out for her?

deste Fri 17-May-13 18:57:46

Next time she comes in, say excuse me and go off for a coffee break. Obviously don't tell her where you are going or when you will be back.

ihearsounds Fri 17-May-13 18:54:58

Does she know you are on probation?

PaleHousewifeOfCumbriaCounty Fri 17-May-13 18:33:56

If shes only dropping in to see you, you need to be reeeeeally busy! Run off to do something else etc...

anxiousmess Fri 17-May-13 16:47:34

Somebody got there first but I had to say David Brent! You need to watch the episode if u haven't already seen it, I think it's the Christmas special, at least it wil help you to make light of the situation, or even better ask her if she's seen it, or even, EVEN better, invite he round to watch it with you...

SenoritaViva Fri 17-May-13 15:07:07

I wouldn't worry. They have to have reason to let you go and give you room to improve. In pretty sure they can't get rid of you because she wants her job back.

I'd pick up the phone as soon as you see her and so she can't talk. Or I'd be straight and say "as much as its lovely to chat I'm afraid I'm too busy for socialising". It's not rude.

Lweji Fri 17-May-13 15:01:50

Leave her at your desk and go shopping?

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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