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To want to scream at my member of staff to SHUT UP!

(41 Posts)
barkinginessex Tue 18-Feb-14 13:37:34

That's it really!
She does not stop talking and she driving me nuts!
She butts in conversations that have nothing to do with her and doesn't add anything useful to them.
Is involved in everyone's business and gets involved in projects and tasks when no one has asked her to which then distracts her from her work.
When I ask her a question I get a long drawn out answer and today when I asked another team member a question she jumped in and answered for him and again the question had nothing to do with her.
She's a lovely lady and obviously I won't tell her to shut up but jeeez why is she like this??

StrawberryCheese Thu 20-Feb-14 00:27:45

OP, do you work with my mum?? Sounds exactly like her, it does me head in.

She will phone me weekly to catch up and talk over/at me, but for example last time she spent 15 mins telling me a story of how the bin men opened the lids of the recycling boxes when it was windy and so the cereal boxes, milk cartons etc. went everywhere, even reaching the home of Mrs Evans at No. 23, you know the one with the golden retriever that has a heart murmur and how she phoned the council to complain. Apparently the person at the council wasn't very sympathetic after she told them this story in fine detail. hmm

Take mum the woman aside and tell her she doesn't need to concern herself with xyz as she should be doing abc.

Monty27 Thu 20-Feb-14 00:19:41

Gwan Plu wink

leezl Wed 19-Feb-14 23:41:58

Same here. I actually fantasise about telling them to stfu sad

pluCaChange Wed 19-Feb-14 23:35:16

I hear what you're saying, LegoCaltrops, but surely that's all the more reason for it to be dealt with professionally/managerially (NOT by my South Park screensaver! shock), before an exasperated colleague snaps. I read another thread this evening about just such a denouement: non-smoker needles a smoker for ages (though smoker keeps up with work, works extra, has tried to quit in the past... various mitigating factors) then smoker finslly snaps back eith a personal comment about non-smoker's overweight condition and constant unhealthy eating. Overweight non smoker has fit about this one comment (versus many dished out), and flounces to HR! Various posters did demand to kniw why and how it got to that point. Terrible atmosphere, and proper hurt feelings.

LegoCaltrops Wed 19-Feb-14 23:05:33

I know it's not professional of her to bring it to work, but could she be lonely? Maybe she doesn't feel listened to elsewhere. I know someone like this.

pluCaChange Wed 19-Feb-14 22:56:14

Sorry, Monty, I thought it best to stay the right side of HR! Would you prefer Queenie's "Mouth is open, Nursie, should be shut." with the talker's face photoshopped in?

Or South Park's "Uncle Fucker" lyrics, rewritten to admonish, "Shut your fucking face, Shoot-Your-Mouth-Off./ You don't know a fucking thing, Shoot-Your-Mouth-Off. / You don't type or file or work your due,/ You just shoot your mouth off all day through!"

Or is that still too vanilla for ya? smile

laloue Wed 19-Feb-14 22:42:07

I have an absolutely lovely and very able member of staff exactly like this. Of late we have started asking her "do I / we/ they need to know this?" . It has become a sort of eye contact running joke and she is , slowly , getting the message. She won't change that much, and she doesn't need to really, but it drives some of the team crazy, so it's in her performance plan to learn when to stop talking , and she's working on it. But I would never ask her to stop being herself....even when she drives us crackers. I think you might just need to find a way to tap her enthusiasm...

Monty27 Wed 19-Feb-14 22:41:29

Oh I was looking forward to that link plu it's a bit vanilla for me, I wanted it to have Homer Simpson or someone shouting 'shut the fuck up'!

pluCaChange Wed 19-Feb-14 22:20:07

Here's a new screensaver for you, barkinginessex! grin

FlockOfTwats Wed 19-Feb-14 16:40:37

"Can you not talk over me/person speaking? It makes it difficult to hear what theyre saying"

Everytime she does it.

FunkyBoldRibena Wed 19-Feb-14 16:22:34

If I worked with someone who told me this I would pour my cup of tea over their head and then quit the job.

Saves the manager a job then. Result.

What on earth is one of those - do you work in a theatre?

It's a plan that makes sure an employee is performing their job correctly. It's not complicated...for some.

IsitwrongtofancyHarryStyles Wed 19-Feb-14 15:47:36

Ps can I just point out I never say 'my staff' in RL! I say 'my team' or 'my colleagues' but on MN I sometimes say 'my stafff' for clarity blush

SarahBumBarer Wed 19-Feb-14 14:36:01

But it's not hard to give constructive feedback that this person needs to be more concise and make points more succinctly. How long has she worked for you? Has she had that feedback? Similary if assigned tasks are being overlooked and she is involving herself with work that she should not be doing this is easy feedback to give and examples can be provided.

So yes - YABU for wanting to scream "shut up" when there is clearly more appropriate action that can be taken.

nennypops Wed 19-Feb-14 13:27:46

So, barking, why did you not jump in as soon as she started speaking and point out that you were not talking to her?

IsitwrongtofancyHarryStyles Wed 19-Feb-14 13:02:51

I sympathise. I have 'talkers' among my staff. They seem to have no sense of when to shut up and when it's ok to have a chat. The latter being when we are not madly on deadline and when the chat is kept to a 2 minute, low decibel affair - not 20 minutes of guffawing and bellowing.

I've had to tell one person to quieten down and get on with their work but yes it's awkward.

They are not busy bodies in the way you describe though. I can't see any other way through this than being blunt and probably re-writing or revisiting their job description/role. I don't think interrupting them or giving them mundane tasks or basically playing games with them as advised above, is a professional response.

Remind them what they are supposed to be doing and what they are not supposed to be doing and explain why - that you are concerned they doing things they're not employed to do or responding to questions that are not about anything within their remit.

barkinginessex Wed 19-Feb-14 12:53:51

For example yesterday I asked another team member where a meeting room was as id never used it, he was about to answer but she jumped in, rambled on for a minute about where it was and then said she would take me there. I had to politely but firmly tell her I didn't need to be taken there and that she needed to concentrate on her work. The other team member I had asked would have given me the answer in needed in 10 words! It's so frustrating.

tasteslikechicken Wed 19-Feb-14 12:02:14

No suggestion that the manager shouldn't take responsibility for managing the issue. I think it also devalues the work of other colleagues if it is perceived that people can just go around putting their twopenneth worth into any area they choose or that people aren't busy enough and always have time for a chat.
Problem needs sorting and it is the managers job to do so.
None of this detracts from the sense that the manager describes a colleague as a possession.

pluCaChange Wed 19-Feb-14 11:57:07

Also, if a manager doesn't take it up in a firm-but-fair way, there's a risk that someone else will do it, without being responsible for the approach or result.

pluCaChange Wed 19-Feb-14 11:55:15

Oh, for pity's sake. Managers being hands-off and not taking "ownership" of a problem is how this shit happens, and then persists, making other people's working lives harder! hmm

angelos02 Wed 19-Feb-14 11:50:12

I always find it interesting when people describe staff junior to them or who report to them as "my" staff.

yy to this

You don't own the people you work with.

tasteslikechicken Wed 19-Feb-14 11:30:51

I think it might be worth considering how you view her. You describe her as on of "MY Members of staff"

She is not your member of staff, she is your colleague though and as such is as entitled to criticism as she is praise.

If you convey that you in some way have ownership of people you work with, even if they do report to you, she may be picking up on your irritation with her and feel "unowned" in comparison to her other colleagues.

I always find it interesting when people describe staff junior to them or who report to them as "my" staff. It says a lot about their self perception and how they view others.

I'd be looking at myself first in this one.

OnIlkleyMoorBahTwat Wed 19-Feb-14 11:16:06

I work with one of those. If I need to ask her something and she is in full flow, usually about one of her DDs who has a waste of space partner, I just give her a few seconds to acknowledge me and if she doesn't, I just say 'Excuse me for butting in, but could I just talk about work for a minute?' grin.

I do not have the time to wait for someone who talks constantly mostly about non work related issues, to stop talking.

MildDrPepperAddiction Wed 19-Feb-14 11:10:23

If she reports to you it's your job to tackle this.

When she butts in or speaks over people tell her firmly 'I'm speaking to x about this. If you have something to tell me about it you can tell me after'. It sounds like she's very childish.

You need to do something as you have a duty to other staff.

Pendeen Wed 19-Feb-14 10:59:55

"not part of her performance plan..."

What on earth is one of those - do you work in a theatre?

pluCaChange Wed 19-Feb-14 09:57:28

Sometimes, people just don't want to do the job they've got, particularly if it's a boring job they've taken because there wasn't anything else available or they aren't competent enough to get a more responsible job.

Learning new things at work is great, but the basics have to be covered. Reminding someone of their mundane responsibilities may seem "harsh", but it is, after all, WORK, and it's quite easy for a manager to be pleasant about the "reminder", in the first instance.

As for the interference with other colleagues, a manager could try, "I understand that you want to be a webmaster/ marketing manager/ party planner yourself, but just think how you would feel if you were in X's position and the job you have waited snd trained for starts being interfered with by a keen newbie... If you accept that you would be frustrated, don't do it to X!"

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