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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?

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

Leave her at your desk and go shopping?

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.

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...

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...

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

Does she know you are on probation?

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.

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

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

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?

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.

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?

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...

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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