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Unwelcoming on my first day [sad]

(12 Posts)
mumof2monsters Mon 12-Nov-12 18:47:29

I have just changed my job temporarily for 3 months or so. It is called a work development post where I do a different job for 3 months to gain experience in a different part of the company.
I am in a new environment and my old boss put me forward for this.
The people I am now working with (technically I am their boss for three months but am usually a grade below some of them) are frosty and unwelcoming towards me.
Today was my first day on my own and one particular women is short and sharp with me and I am convinced she was checking my work whilst I was on a break.
It is sometimes a petty environment but as today was my first day I felt sick with nerves as still a little unsure what I am doing. I was not prepared to ask her for help as she has made it obvious she does not want to talk to me unless she has too.
Not sure how to handle it as have been told by many that she is hard work and I am not the best at confrontation. Please help dreading going into work tomorrow but should be enjoying this opportunity.

MrsCantSayAnything Mon 12-Nov-12 18:51:04

Go in there and be snappy back. I worked with a woman who made everyone's life hell. She would be hot and cold...say inappropriate things that would take your breath away.

Eventually I gave her some back. Not when anyone else was around you understand.

The best way to deal with bullies is show them you have no fear. I would also begin to give her some tasks to do...you're her boss... technically...you can designate then surely?

LadyKinbote Mon 12-Nov-12 18:53:11

No advice as such but possibly their negativity is partly a perception due to your nerves. Just try to relax and be pleasant to them - if they're still frosty it's their problem.

CMOTDibbler Mon 12-Nov-12 18:53:50

I can see that its a situation thats going to be hard on both sides tbh - esp if you are normally a grade below the people you are temporarily managing. I think you have to just plaster a smile on your face, and be unfailingly polite and cheery with the more tetchy staff. Make it a personal challenge if you like, but don't let any atmosphere or what others have told you stop you asking for help.

kiwigirl42 Mon 12-Nov-12 18:56:26

Just keep smiling and thinking 'I'll be moving on in 11 wks, 4 days and you'll be stuck here forever, bitch'

sixlostmonkeys Mon 12-Nov-12 18:57:58

Go to her tomorrow and say something like - I've heard someone in this dept is hard work so I was wondering if I could get you onside, so that I can avoid unpleasantries with whoever this person is. You look like the kind of person i can rely on.

LineRunner Mon 12-Nov-12 19:04:13

I'm just wondering who thought it would be a good idea to make you the boss of people who are on a higher grade than you, and who agreed to all
this?

Presumably that person / those people would have agreed your remit, and how you would set tasks and assess people etc.

I think you need to talk to your own boss and get some clarity.

In the meantime I do agree that you need to be clear, calm and firm, an give people jobs to do (record it for both parties) and make it clear you'll be checking that those jobs are completed properly. You ought to be able to delegate. A lot.

adeucalione Mon 12-Nov-12 19:05:09

I agree that you need to get her on side, and have found that the best way to do this is to make this type of person feel important; tell her that you are keen to make the best of this great opportunity, but feel a bit unwelcome, and that you hope you can rely on her to help you out while you are still learning the ropes. You will see her visibly puff up with self importance and thereafter she will be your best buddy.

maddening Mon 12-Nov-12 19:11:50

Keep asking her - that'll do her head in. Brush off her snappiness - that to will do her head in - she wants to intimidate so don't let her.

Maybe have a 1-2-1 meeting with each of the people below you - a chance to get to know each of them - ask them what they like, the core aspects of individual roles and what they see as potential efficiencies for the team. Take the chance to explain your goals and ask them what their goals are.

Peanutbutterfingers Mon 12-Nov-12 19:19:48

Kill with kindness, it's how I dealt with a particularly difficult person on my team. When she sulked I kept smiling and asking questions about her work and family and just refused to acknowledge her attitude and that she was trying to ignore me. She knew if she didn't respond she would look rude and petty. Passive aggressive but worked

SmellyFartado Mon 12-Nov-12 20:41:15

Have worked with this type of person many times. It boils down to jealousy and insecurity and can be dealt with very quickly.

You've been put in a difficult position really as you are temporarily managing a team that is normally a grade above you. Yes, it's only temporary (looking on the bright side) but you may cross paths with this group again elsewhere in the company after your 3month secondment is up.

Be absolutely clear on what your objectives are for this 3month task and set goals and objectives for each person that you will be managing. Have a group meeting and then individual meetings to talk through what it is you want the group to achieve within the 3month period. Explain to them also what your role is and what is expected of you.

Once the above is clear and you/everyone in the group knows what is expected of them, it will be easier to deal with the day to day.

Be assertive, fair and professional in how you deal with the group and if anyone - this woman in particular - wants to sabotage what you have set out, call them into a 1 on 1 meeting explaining what was agreed and how you will not tolerate any negative behaviour which reflects badly on them as an individual and on you all as a group.

Best of luck thanks

stinkinseamonkey Mon 12-Nov-12 20:42:54

I agree, kill her with kindness

those kinds of bitches women are incredibly vein and fickle, chuck flattery at her and she'll turn

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