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to leave manager in the lurch?

(27 Posts)
AuntieMeemz Mon 12-Jun-17 16:21:07

I'm dyspraxic and my third job in a row is going to pot.

A few weeks ago, I took on a maternity cover job which seemed would be fine. it turns out to be fantastically complicated and very,very busy.
I'm skilled at organising myself but in this situation it's hopeless.
There has been a month handover but it consisted of the person firing very long,complicated processes to me and then leaving me to it. The training was not the best, but would have been sufficient for most people. I did specify that I was dyspraxic in the beginning, to the manager and said I need written notes. Trainer person says it's too complicated to write notes.

I can't help it, I keep getting things wrong, get confused and work too slowly, so it's not helping anybody. In the past I've solderied on and then been nearly fired(once) or left (once), but this time I don't want to do that

Manager and trainer person have clearly had a meeting and discussed that it isn't going well.and looked to see how they can help me. I was asked to join them today for a meeting and was asked if I would be ready, I don't think i will be. However, I know that in these situations, I just can't do the job.

The trainer person is due to leave in a few days. Should I tell manager i don't think i can do it and let her know she needs to find someone else?

LIZS Mon 12-Jun-17 16:24:18

Remind the manager that you need written processes so that she can tell employee to produce them over next few days. Even if it doesn't work out for you it will be helpful to others.

CaulkheadUpNorf Mon 12-Jun-17 16:26:12

Can you write the notes whilst the trainer is explaining things? Mu colleague does that as she likes written notes to go back on.

Lemond1fficult Mon 12-Jun-17 16:28:01

It seems bizarre that the leaving person isn't willing to write you simple instructions for when she leaves.

I'm freelance, and every time I leave a contract, I leave detailed handover notes for whoever's taking over.

Even something as simple as a list of tasks, broken down into daily/weekly would be helpful. I'd also add links to relevant folders, plus a list of contacts for each job.

I believe they have to accommodate any disability to a reasonable level, and I really don't think refusing to write handover notes is reasonable.

If however, you just don't want the job, feel free to jack it in - life is short. But I don't feel you've been given a fair chance here.

LivingInMidnight Mon 12-Jun-17 16:31:09

You'd meet the definition of disability wouldn't you? Thry should make reasonable adjustments, and written instructions/notes would be a very reasonable one!

Chloe84 Mon 12-Jun-17 16:32:38

Trainer person says it's too complicated to write notes.

It's so complicated but they want you to rely on memory?!

They sound unsupportive and bad at managing.

Awwlookatmybabyspider Mon 12-Jun-17 16:33:46

Youve declared your condition and They've not put anything in place to help you to do your job. Im sure that's against employment laws.

If the trainer finds it too much of a chore to write down notes. Perhaps she needs to think about a career change

AlternativeTentacle Mon 12-Jun-17 16:42:30

Should I tell manager i don't think i can do it

Tell your manager that you can do it but you need written notes and the trainer has said that she can't be bothered to do them. Make sure the manager books a handover meeting, with them there, to go through the notes. There should be working instructions and procedures, it should not all be in someone's head.

AuntieMeemz Mon 12-Jun-17 16:47:09

Thank you all, some good ideas. Trainer has given some very brief notes handwritten after I started the job. I will discuss this with the manager. I have already typed them up. I also wrote my own as we went along, but trainer moved so fast, it wasn't possible to get them done properly. I will trainer to check them.
I think it will still take me too long, and I get confused when doing 3 complicated tasks at once!
Trainer is very young and very sharp (I'm not!) and has spoilt them by doing an excellent job.I
They have all been there many years so I feel like I'm letting the side down when I get it wrong. They are nice, but their patience is wearing thin I think.

chocaholic73 Mon 12-Jun-17 16:52:58

It seems to me that they have let you down, not the other way round. From the start, you told them you were dyspraxic and what you needed in place to help you and this hasn't been done. Unfortunately, with hidden disabilities, it is only too common for people to make all the right noises but, actually, have very limited understanding of the condition. Have you given them any general information on dyspraxia - I know there is some on the Dyspraxia Foundation website? I don't know whether this would help now or whether it is too late but I feel you have been really unfairly treated here. Hope it all works out.

Penhacked Mon 12-Jun-17 16:53:06

What you do is you ask your manager to shadow you for a few hours, with the notes your trainer has provided. I mean literally looking over your shoulder while you work and seeing where you get stuck. Your manager will then see exactly why you cant do the job with the notes you have been given. Most managers manage their people without having ever done the job themselves and can see very well the holes in the training. Those who HAVE done the job should be able to create better notes with you.

Toysaurus Mon 12-Jun-17 17:04:11

Logically if you applied for the job and went through an interview then they feel you are capable of doing it.

You have disclosed a disablilty and asked for written notes as part of a reasonable adjustment. This has not been properly provided. This is their problem not yours. If you like the job then keep with it!

AmIAWeed Mon 12-Jun-17 17:04:41

The key to this is reasonable adjustments. It is reasonable to expect handover notes, regardless of being dyspraxic so absolutely insist on them. If they seem reluctant to, point out that if it doesn't work out with yourself they still need business continuity and need someone to pick up the role when your trainer is on maternity leave.
Then look at the tasks - is there anything in particular in the processes that causes an issue. Is there a cross over point that perhaps a colleague could pick up? Without knowing the job its hard to give examples, but in an admin role, for example, we had a lady who struggled with the post due to low vision, so she didn't handle the post but she took on the teams shredding instead.
Is there any scope for that type of arrangement to simplify the processes?

HunterHearstHelmsley Mon 12-Jun-17 17:09:15

I think it's a little more complicated than the trainer "not being bothered" to write written notes. As part of a reasonable adjustment in my role, I don't write training or processes. I agree you've been let down but not necessarily by the person training.

TheMysteriousJackelope Mon 12-Jun-17 17:09:48

They are terrible at managing and anyone covering that job would end up making mistakes.

There are written procedures for running entire oil refineries FGS. The more complicated the job, the more reason to have written notes. They just have never been bothered to write down instructions which falls on the manager. What if the person currently in the job was in an accident or just upped and left on the spur of the moment?

Can you get hold of an iPad and video the training? Then you have a reference and can produce your own written notes that can be used in the future.

I suspect the trainer is looking out for their job security and that is why there are no written notes - to make out she is irreplaceable.

Belle1616 Mon 12-Jun-17 17:21:51

I am Dyspraxic too.

The trainer is BVU, you said you need notes, and apart from that you should have some kind of manual( that is typed) and task lists. Even if you were not dyspraxic you should have those.

Every job I've had these, I have also written them for other people.

PyongyangKipperbang Mon 12-Jun-17 17:32:26

Lack of written procedures is a common problem that causes utter chaos when the person who has it all in their head either leaves or goes of sick/maternity. Then no one else knows how they do what they do and it can take ages to get back on track.

Every company should have a basic written record of what a persons job is and how it should be done. If you put it in those terms to the manager, that only one person having access to the knowledge required to do the job is very risky, then it might focus their mind a bit and force the issue with the trainer.

PinkBuffalo Mon 12-Jun-17 17:32:39

Oh OP I'm dyspraxia too so I know how hard it is. When I'm training new people at work, I sit with them as many times as needed and we make notes together so they work processes in their own way. If your trainer is leaving, could you ask to be "buddied" up with someone? This might make it less pressurised for you. This is how we work it at my place. My "trainee" who is pretty competent now, will have something she needs help in. I arrange with the supervisor to have less work allocated, and then spend as long as she or he needs for me to be with them.

AuntieMeemz Mon 12-Jun-17 20:26:56

I wish I worked with you pinkbuffalo! I feel so incompetent at the moment. The trainer rants for 20 mins then disappears leaving me with a pile of work. I know she's told manager I'm not on top of it. Trainer has been there years and very good at the job (as well as being very young and very bright).

AmIAWeed Tue 13-Jun-17 08:06:17

She isn't all that bright if she can't teach it to someone else.
Without wanting to sound rude, being able to do something complex that you do every day doesn't make you bright, it means you can follow instructions. If she really understood what she was doing she should be able to break it down and explain it to you and she isn't.

People learn differently, some people see something and get it, others need to understand why something works and affects the next process to learn it. If she were a good trainer she would be able to teach in a style you understand.

She isn't a trainer, she is simply someone who has done the same job for a while, potentially concerned at someone coming in and being better or more efficient than her - who knows, maybe she makes out it's complicated to hide the fact she does very little, I've known quite a few managers like that - refusing to share knowledge, making out something is complex just to save their own job!!
If you know she's talking to the manager about you, go talk to the manager yourself, be proactive. Don't complain though - it's far better to go in with some requests to help you do the job. E.g. a process, potentially with a flow diagram and detailed work instructions. A breakdown of tasks by each day/week/month pending how often they need to do it. Call it a work bible for business continuity, tell the manager you don't want to be harassing them asking for answers, you don't want the lady on maternity leave to be worried about coming back to a mess or being asked questions when off and so now is the time to get this right.
Perhaps highlight her ranting: 'I know X is frustrated with training me which is why she is ranting, but it's making me feel incompetent and that I wont learn it, and I want to.'
Also make a list of all the tasks you need to do, write which ones you feel you can do and which you need help, make it as specific as you can, make her work for you in her training or ask the manager if there is someone else who can help you with specific elements due to the tension between you both.

You clearly want to make a success of this job or you wouldn't be here asking questions, that goes a really long way and is a type of behaviour I would look for in a staff member.

LIZS Tue 13-Jun-17 08:10:58

Agree, she may seem to be good at her job but a lousy communicator and trainer. Or she doesn't want to have her shortcuts and weaknesses revealed by someone taking over and questioning her methods. Don't be overawed by her apparent competence and self confidence.

FrancisCrawford Tue 13-Jun-17 08:20:00

She isn't a trainer

If she was, there would be aims and objectives for the training and she would be assessed on how well the training had met these. In your case, she would have failed

She might be good at her job, but she isn't good at explaining it in a way you can understand

Clear written processes and flow charts would be an essential part of any businesses succession planning and disaster planning. They can only benefit the organisation

PinkBuffalo Tue 13-Jun-17 17:36:28

You are not incompetent flowers but I know how it feels. Definitely try to get some extra support at work. Have you contacted access to work? They can sometimes assist, and definitely keep your manager in the loop. All the best to you, because I know how hard it is.

BoomBoomsCousin Tue 13-Jun-17 22:00:47

I would start looking for another job OP. Not because I think they should let you go, but because they are setting you up to fail. It's not just the woman you are taking over from who is putting you in an untenable situation. Her (and your) manager has allowed his department to operate in a way that is bad for the company by not having good business continuity practices in place and not ensuring the hand over is a success. When that all comes crashing down he's likely to look for someone to blame for it and you will be the easy target. You're also unlikely to enjoy the job when it's this badly set up. I would emphasize to your boss and HR if appropriate the need for written documentation and mention that the training you've been given has been poorly prepared and inadequate (no checking that you've grasped something before moving on, no reference materials, etc.) to see if you can salvage anything at this late stage, but I think it's really just about covering your ass while you look for something else.

Penhacked Thu 15-Jun-17 21:06:53

Do not quit. It very likely not the dyspraxia that is the issue here. Lots to try with the manager before you quit. I would keep a written record of your requests for help with written procedures to your manager (i.e. email what you have agreed)

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