AIBU to be Bothered by Incompetent Fellow Employee

(75 Posts)
ThreeTroikas Sun 21-Jul-13 20:18:38

Name-changed in case identifying details on past threads.

I'm in a Senior position at work. A year ago, a document controller was taken on who is supposed to file documents and do some admin for my role and some others. I must admit being quite surprised when she was taken on, as I knew her slightly as she is the girlfriend of a guy I know, who is friends with a colleague at work. The reason I was surprised she was taken on is that it is a 25k per annum role and she had no relevant experience and no qualifications, not even a single standard grade. She is 24.

Anyway, she is a nice girl and seemed keen so I cast aside my doubts and worked with her. The job isn't really very difficult but it does require some accuracy as otherwise documents I have completed go missing if filed or saved wrongly. And that is what has happened again and again. I have spoken to her about it and showed her what to do so many times she now pretty obviously resents me and looks pissed off when I come to talk to her. She has no consistency in saving documents in the required format with the standard title, hence it appears that I have not completed and signed them off when I have done. My colleague has the same experience, and she says she just does all her own document control and sends off her documents, but it is time consuming to do so, and it begs the question what this woman is doing all day.

Not only that but she has basic literacy problems. Her spelling is terrible, her grammar and syntax don't make much sense and she cannot produce the most simplest of written reports in any kind of respectable form, so I have to rewrite them for her. Again, I have gone over several times, in as clear and sympathetic a way as I can, her mistakes, and provided her with a template and so on. Again, the same mistakes over and over again.

I have raised the issue twice with the big boss but he simply refers me to the colleague who appointed her, who quite clearly doesn't care and just wants me to put up with her "because she is a nice girl" and "she'll get the hang of it in the end".

Its actually causing me stress, because I have to stay late or go in at weekends to check the documents I've had signed off are filed/sent off. And morally, with so much unemployment, I can't see how she deserves this job. I risk coming across as bitter or having a particular issue with her if I press it further I think. Any ideas? Should I look for a new job myself, because its getting to me a bit.

redexpat Sun 21-Jul-13 20:42:36

I have no idea how to resolve it but I wanted to say that it sounds really annoying and you have my sympathy. Surely she has a yearly appraisal? (sp?) Could you put your concerns to the person who carries this out rather than the person who gave her the job? Who is her line manager? It must be possible to put her on some kind of plan which wil be regularly evaluated. Perhaps get hold of the HR policies and have a read. Also start keeping a diary of the overtime that you are doing, and the mistakes she is making. And I absolutely agree that people who can't do their jobs shouldn't keep them. Incompetance drives me mad.

Has all this not been flagged up in her appraisals?

You need to take it up with her line manager. This is a service they are suplying to you and you are not getting what you are paying for.

YANBU to be bothered. Can you talk to her line manager? I think you ought to officially complain - to her line manager, or yours, every time she f**ks up, specially if it is causing you extra work. You risk being seen as unkind, but in the long run someone has to take the hard line and point out that she is frankly useless. There must be some kind of appraisal policy in place? Can she be put on some kind of policy to force her to shape up or risk getting the sack?

ThreeTroikas Sun 21-Jul-13 20:54:56

She had her annual appraisal 6 weeks ago and it was very general, suggestive of areas where "improvements" could be made, but tbh it was a box ticking exercise. I've raised it with her line manager twice, he just defers to the guy who appointed her (her boyfriend's friend) who isn't interested.

I must admit I don't really get it. I've spoken to HR, they just refer me to her line manager. AMumInScotland you are right, I do risk coming across as unkind or possibly a bitch if I push it too much. If you knew the industry I am in, it would make more sense. This sort of thing does go on, and worse.

If she has been there for a year and is still not doing the job properly I question whether she will ever "get the hang of it". I'd log every instance of mistakes being made, and also every instance of times you have spoken with her to explain the system.

I'd also bring this up in my own appraisal, detailing the errors and the time it cost me to put things right, including the staying late and going in at weekends.

As someone who had a job for a year and spectacularly failed to get the hang of it id have to agree. Difference is it. Almost drove me to a breakdown.

BridgetBidet Sun 21-Jul-13 21:04:33

How come you know so much about her appraisal?

V good question

Her line manager has to take responsibility for things like her appraisals, and bringing up issues that other staff are having with her. Tough if he didn't appoint her, he gets to deal with the situation now she is his member of staff!

I think you just have to raise it each time it happens - with your own line manager if hers won't tak any responsibility for the situation. You certainly shouldn't be having to wate your own work time, or go in specially, to check that she has done it.

ThreeTroikas Sun 21-Jul-13 21:14:59

* Bridget How come you know so much about her appraisal*

Her line manager told the colleague he defers responsibility to go over it with me!

LoveBeingUpAt4InTheMorning Sun 21-Jul-13 21:25:27

You've been nice about but it's not your job to deal with this. You need to raise it formally with your boss

Could you get a new job easily enough?

RenterNomad Sun 21-Jul-13 21:27:23

Good idea from.*AMum*: does your line manager outrank this woman's line manager? And what about the LM of your similarly- inconvenienced colleague?

BridgetBidet Sun 21-Jul-13 21:28:02

I think what you need to do is speak to your line manager. But not in the sense of criticizing her or saying she has to go. Instead talk to your manager about how you are having to do your own document control and that this is involving you working extra hours. Ask if you could have admin support from elsewhere or if you could have your workload altered to allow you more time to do your document control.

I don't think you can really complain about her too much because you will be calling into question the judgement of the line managers and they will not like that. You're not her supervisor so as far as you know she might be doing other work that they're happy with.

I think the most constructive way to deal with it. I think you are in danger of overstepping the mark otherwise.

josephinebruce Sun 21-Jul-13 21:33:31

As a public sector worker....I can't believe she is being paid 25K pa to do admin work!!!!!! Our administrators are on half that.

Sorry, she does sound annoying though.

Shakey1500 Sun 21-Jul-13 21:33:36

I am so tempted to ask if it's the same industry as I'm in because it is freakishly similar to issues I have at present!

ThreeTroikas Sun 21-Jul-13 21:35:45

We share the same line manager.

I might try talking to a different line manager, in a different, but related department, but I get the impression no-one wants to get involved. Its like she's made of Teflon! That's what I mean when I say I don't get it. Its so obvious she is incompetent, everything she produces is full of blatant and rudimentary spelling and grammatical mistakes to the extent that parts are impossible to understand. I guess she must do something that's useful to the company somewhere but I'm honestly not sure what it is as she doesn't actually have that much to do. Perhaps they think she will improve. I actually get the impression they don't care. tbh they are right because me and my colleague correct her mistakes anyway without additional cost to the company.

That aside, it is a good job. Its an excellent salary, its an easy going (!) environment, and I pretty much get left to my own devices, as long as I do my work. Its just this issue that stresses me. Also, its an open plan office and its noisy, and "Miss" is at the forefront of that. She seems awfully popular as a person with the managers and line managers, and people talk about her great personality.

ThreeTroikas Sun 21-Jul-13 21:38:48

OK, its the oil and gas industry.

ilovesooty Sun 21-Jul-13 21:40:35

As a public sector worker....I can't believe she is being paid 25K pa to do admin work!!!!!! Our administrators are on half that

As a worker in the voluntary sector, I concur.

As a senior worker with a co ordination role even I don't get that. It's nearly as much as our project leaders get.

It must be very frustrating to deal with.

josephinebruce Sun 21-Jul-13 21:45:01

Then maybe you should stop doing her work, just do your own and see how long it takes them to notice :-)

I did that when someone in my office was taking the piss.

It's amazing how quickly the other senior managers took notice when they didn't get corrected minutes etc.

Of course the person who was taking the piss no longer speaks to me and has bitched about me to absolutely everyone in the office.....:-(

Stop doing her work. Tell your line manager that's the way it is and it's up to him to make this work, because you are not going to spend your time correcting her mistakes any more. Make it his problem instead of yours - that's the only way you will get him to care.

ihearsounds Sun 21-Jul-13 21:59:29

We had a colleague that we were constantly doing her job for, plus our own. We tried to be nice to her and constantly show her, nicely the correct way to do things. This went of for about a year. Every day, the same mistakes. It was frustrating... She repaid our kindness of not reporting her every time and letting her get on with it, by reporting us for picking on her. Kid you not. Shocked doesn't even cover how we felt.

Because we were doing her work, and constantly showing her the right way, it was harder for us to proof that actually she was incompetent, and should not be employed by us.

After she reported us, we stopped helping her. In hindsight we shouldn't have been as nice as we was, because once we stopped helping it became apparent that actually she was a lot worse than what we thought.

Finally management realised for themselves that our environment was not for this person and sacked her.

Moral of the story. Stop doing her work. You do your work, you hand it to her however you do this. You keep record that you handed her the complete work and let her fuck up on her own. Once her mistakes cost the company money, they will take notice of her and deal with her accordingly.

StuntGirl Sun 21-Jul-13 22:02:49

I agree, stop fixing her work. Unfortunately sometimes companies are shite and will put up with terrible employees for unfathomable reasons. I am currently dealing with this too, its incredibly draining and hard work!

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