AIBU to think this is rude

(37 Posts)
Garcia10 Thu 26-Jun-14 20:02:33

As background, I started a new job recently and was made sales manager of a group of three salespeople. One of them in particular, let's call her H, was very unhappy as she believes she should have had the position as manager however my manager has indicated that her performance, particularly her achievement against her sales target, was well below average so she wasn't even considered for the role.

I had joint meetings with her today in her home city and arrived last night. She was supposed to meet me for dinner (it was just the two of us) at 7.45 pm but arrived at 8.30 pm without any explanation or apology. As soon as we sat down and had ordered our food she then left for a 10 minute telephone conversation, after eating our main course she then disappeared for another 10 minutes. The meal was probably one of the most uncomfortable of my life as she was aggressive and belittling throughout.

Finally, she was very confrontational about paying the bill, as whilst she was correct that the most senior person should pay, she has a company credit card and I don't (waiting for it to arrive). I basically had to order her to pay.

The final straw was today when we had our final meeting, she got into the taxi put her earphones in to start listening to music and proceeded to ignore me for the twenty minutes it took to get the train station.

This is even without the fact that in the seven weeks I have been her manager she has basically refused to co-operate and will not supply me with any of the data or metrics I need to ensure she is doing her job.

I know there are people with far worse problems in the world but I'd be interested in people's perspective in how they would have handled it.

In summary, new job, under-performing and un-cooperative team member displaying aggressive and rude behaviour. WWYD?

JimmyCorkhill Thu 26-Jun-14 20:05:46

YANBU. This was terrible behaviour. I am of no help or support to you though other than to offer sympathy flowers

Can you go above to your manager? Give her a verbal warning?

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Thu 26-Jun-14 20:09:11

I think you have to stamp on it now, tbh. She is having a big fat tantrum and how you deal with it will set the seal on how the situation will play out.

Are you an experienced manager? Do you feel confident following the company's procedure on this? (Presuming there is one?) Because meal aside, if she hasn't reported in 7 weeks I would be starting an audit trail on that right now with a view to disciplining her. Do you have a HR department?

kd73 Thu 26-Jun-14 20:14:12

Please take action as her manager, otherwise she will continue to push the boundaries to prove you as not being up to the job! Take it from someone who knows sad

Garcia10 Thu 26-Jun-14 20:16:18

Thanks for the flowers JC. My problem is that whilst she is clearly under performing (she is at less than 50% of her target) she knows how to say all the right things and seems to have support of the senior management.

I've only been in position for a short time and so don't want to seem to be a troublemaker. I'd love to find a way to manage her so that we can develop a good working relationship and I can help her to make her target. Unfortunately, at the moment she seems determined to undermine me and be as uncooperative as possible.

I so wish I'd stayed in my former job sad.

When I got out of the taxi today I did say that she had been very rude and that I had never been treated so disrespectfully by any colleague in my working career. Her response - she is looking at the bigger picture whilst I'm focusing on the weeds confused.

DoJo Thu 26-Jun-14 20:18:32

PAPER TRAIL! I would send her an email detailing the elements of her behaviour that you find unacceptable (I would probably include this latest stunt under a final point about treating colleagues with courtesy rather than detail every single thing) and keep track of every request she has ignored and copy in whoever you report to.

That way, when you have to invoke the company disciplinary procedure it will be there in black and white and she will either shape up or be shipped out!

sunbathe Thu 26-Jun-14 20:20:12

Purely on the taxi thing, why wasn't that ok? Long day, bit of winding down?

DoJo Thu 26-Jun-14 20:20:22

Did you ask her what bigger picture she was focussing on when she had her earphones in? Was it a TED talk on how to be successful in sales? Was it a motivational mantra? Was it perhaps an audio documentary about the people you were meeting with? Because otherwise she was just being a twat!

DoJo Thu 26-Jun-14 20:20:36

Did you ask her what bigger picture she was focussing on when she had her earphones in? Was it a TED talk on how to be successful in sales? Was it a motivational mantra? Was it perhaps an audio documentary about the people you were meeting with? Because otherwise she was just being a twat!

ApocalypseNowt Thu 26-Jun-14 20:23:51

YY to the paper trail. You need to be really firm. You want a good working relationship....she doesn't so the only way to deal with this is to be tough.

Sorry you're having to go through this OP. Try and remember though this isn't personal to you. She'd more than likely be acting like this to anyone who got 'her' job.

Garcia10 Thu 26-Jun-14 20:23:55

LVWF - not that experienced no. I've managed a similar sized team in the past but they were willing to be managed. The past few weeks have been a massive learning experience for me.

In my career it has never occurred to me that I could just choose not to comply with what a manager has asked me to do. Believe me that nothing I have asked for is unreasonable and is basically only what my manager is asking of me.

I think I need to speak with my manager before I go to HR. My manager was her direct manager before he split the team and brought me into the company and he knows how difficult she is. However, she seems to have a direct line to the CEO and uses it as a veiled threat whenever I ask for anything.

ApocalypseNowt Thu 26-Jun-14 20:25:01

sunbathe It doesn't sound like the worst thing this person has done but i'd wait till my manager wasn't there before starting to wind down.

mineofuselessinformation Thu 26-Jun-14 20:25:12

It wasn't rudeness, it was a big fat message to you that she doesn't give a shit what you think, she's going to do things her way....
You need to jump all over this now. Don't get into a confrontation with her. Send her an email (while doing this, channel 'icy calm' -it's very helpful to give you the right tone) outlining the actions she has failed to take and when she must put this right by. Copy your boss in. Ask your boss what disciplinary action they want you to take.
As for the dinner, her behaviour was totally unprofessional, but you risk descending to her level if you react (and she's likely to deny everything given it was just the two of you). Just make sure you are never in that kind of situation again - always have someone else there who can witness what happens. THEN you will have a witness to her obstructive behaviour which you can then discuss with your boss as yet another example of her poor attitude.

ApocalypseNowt Thu 26-Jun-14 20:26:45

If her line to the CEO was that good she'd have got the job OP! Don't be intimidated by that one at all....but even more important to document whats going on.

Garcia10 Thu 26-Jun-14 20:27:16

Sunbathe - I just think it is impolite to ignore a colleague when you are sat next to them. The working day wasn't over - it was 4 pm and with other members if my team I would have used that time to analyse the meetings we had had and determine the follow-up actions.

ApocalypseNowt Thu 26-Jun-14 20:28:30

Take a pair of scissors op so you can snip her headphones.... wink

SissySpacekAteMyHamster Thu 26-Jun-14 20:29:55

I would speak to my line manager about her. It doesn't matter that you haven't been there that long. There is a good reason they didn't give her your job and you have that job. Don't let her ruin it for you.

Garcia10 Thu 26-Jun-14 20:30:40

Thanks Apocalypse you made me laugh. Just been a hard couple of days. I definitely need to document everything and speak to my manager.

Thanks for the advice.

BonaDea Thu 26-Jun-14 20:30:45

Terrible behaviour. I'd have a stern chat, explaining to get that like it or not you are her manager, her bahaviour was unacceptable, you'd like to draw a line under it and move on, failing which you will start formal disciplinary proceedings.

BoomBoomsCousin Thu 26-Jun-14 20:37:01

Why do you think she has the support of senior management? She clearly didn't have enough support to get promoted. If it's really true that she has too much support, look for another job. You can't expect to excel if a third of your team are useless and undermining you and there's nothing you can do about it.

Otherwise I think you need to call her out on her behaviour. Especially as she isn't performing. Stop talking to her as though she was a peer and just annoying you/not being nice. As a manager you cannot avoid confrontation over poor performance, especially in sales.

What she is doing (especially in failing to give you the data you need) amounts to insubordination. Have a proper meeting with her. Demand the figures within a reasonable time frame. Remind her she is far from meeting her targets and that her treatment of you will do her no favours. Then let her know how she can repair her position within the company and help her do that if she show any inclination to do so.. If she fails to shape up start disciplinary proceedings at the first opportunity. Attitudes like that can destroy a department.

Keep your nose clean. Monitor her behaviour and maybe do some joint customer visits to see whether her customers gel with her.

She's sounds incredibly immature and if she had any sense she would be trying to win your trust.

Once you have a view form,ed yourself and you can quote examples where you think she has been unprofessional especially in a customer facing capacity, then have a frank chat. Ship up or ship out.

Don't be emotional,to base it all on facts.

You will be fine, she sounds like a child.

DoJo Thu 26-Jun-14 21:04:20

You could always ask your manager to fast-track your company credit card in a kind of 'I don't want to be pushy, but I have already had one situation where x refused to use hers to pay for a meal and I would rather not be in that position again as I had to pull rank to get the meal paid for' kind of way...grin

FunkyBoldRibena Thu 26-Jun-14 21:19:37

Weeds. Excellent.

I'd ask her to make a presentation to me and the team on her bigger picture tactics at the next team meeting, and devise a group strategy as to how we are all going to be meeting and exceeding targets by working together.

I'd also book weekly one to ones so that you can go through and discuss the metrics and data.

VSeth Thu 26-Jun-14 21:45:10

Regards paying for dinner I would have purchased this and claimed it back tbh, if nothing else it would have reminded her that you are more senior to her.

You need to send an email to all your team stating what you need in terms of reporting, with a deadline. Then hold a conference call or meeting to allow your sales team to present it. Leave her till last and If she hasn't prepared the information then ask her why, in front of the team. Follow up by email stating how she has missed the deadlines and a KPI, repeat this three times and then go to your manager about a disciplinary

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Fri 27-Jun-14 07:52:27

Ultimately, if one of a team of three isn't performing you'll be down your overall target by a third. Which makes you vulnerable. She's trying to get you sacked so you need to put your big girl pants on and take action, direct line to the CEO or no direct line to the CEO.

Because ultimately, either you fail at this job by doing nothing or you fail at the job by trying to do the right thing - which would you prefer?

(There is of course also option 3 - you succeed, either by establishing a proper working relationship or getting rid. Because CEO's only really care about bottom lines...)

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