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AIBU to think this is an odd request from a new work colleague?

(244 Posts)
Jellyhater Thu 04-Apr-19 21:05:57

I work in residential care and have just employed a new member of staff. We discussed sleep-ins and she said that she would be able to do one a month on average but would try to be as flexible as possible.

She is now saying that sleep-ins are going to be a problem for her as the other member of staff on duty for that shift is male. He will be in another bedroom at the other end of the house if he is sleeping in, or will be working in the office/ laundry area if he is doing a waking night shift.

She has asked that I facilitate her husband being able to meet this particular member of staff to alleviate his anxieties about her being away from home. There are other men that work in the home, so any of them could cover this shift at any point - does the husband want to vet the whole staff team?!

I want to be a sarky cow and remind her that she had many weeks to tell me that this is going to cause problems but has chosen not to. I am feeling a bit frustrated that she thinks she can manipulate the roster to her benefit and that she is implying that the male staff are not trustworthy. I absolutely will not be arranging any meetings for the husband. A tiny part of me is concerned that this might be some kind of DV issue.

I've not been able to discuss this with anyone at work but AIBU to think she is probably going to be more trouble than she is worth?

NailsNeedDoing Thu 04-Apr-19 21:44:38

I can imagine plenty of women being uneasy with their husbands staying overnight with male colleagues, it's just that the husbands wouldn't ever tell their employers that and would expect their wives to deal with it.

It would be understandable if a partner in this situation were anxious if they have personal insecurities and get jealous easily. They should get over it and deal with it like a grown up without expecting to vet their partners colleagues, but they shouldn't automatically be assumed to be abusers!

Sounds to me like the employee is just trying to get out of doing nights!

Weepingwillow5 Thu 04-Apr-19 21:45:23

This is a strange request , and one which sets off alarm bells that this lady may have problems at home . I’m surprised that some are saying that a co worker should be asked to meet the husband though . If the husband is controlling the co worker could end up as a target. I think you need to say no and ask why she’s asking .

WhereYouLeftIt Thu 04-Apr-19 21:48:09

"She has asked that I facilitate her husband being able to meet this particular member of staff to alleviate his anxieties about her being away from home."
My first thought was coercive control sad. My second was, his anxieties are not my concern. My third thought was - no.

Jellyhater Thu 04-Apr-19 21:48:48

I am speaking to our remote HR service tomorrow for guidance as I feel this is a weird one and isn't going to be straightforward.

She is three weeks into the new role, so still on probation so I do have that as a back-up.

I initially thought it was her attempt to get out of doing the sleep-ins and the tone of her email really annoyed me but something just doesn't feel right.

JessieMcJessie Thu 04-Apr-19 21:49:11

How does the husband even know that the colleague is male? She must have told him, which would mean that she herself also thinks it’s an issue. Weird. I suppose he might have forced her to tell him.

ReallyReallyNo Thu 04-Apr-19 21:49:25

Tell her it’s a completely inappropriate request and it will not be happening, point out the requirements of the role again and ask her if she’s able to meet them or not.
Leave her to have a think and see what she decides.

newtlover Thu 04-Apr-19 21:51:28

OK, so no obvious signs of DA
Maybe just be straightforward- make sure you can speak to her alone and say
'Julie, you say your husband wants to meet your co worker. This is a very unusual request, is there any special reason for it- like a religious requirement? It's not something I'm prepared to do, but is there anything I can do to help?'
make sure you know of local DV services and leave some of their literature (plus other useful stuff, say Samaritans or local wellbeing orgs) in staff room/toilets

newtlover Thu 04-Apr-19 21:56:09

also remind her that all staff have enhanced DBS (they do, don't they)
I absolutely do NOT think it normal for anyone to feel anxious about their partner working in this way- I wouldn't remotely worry about DP in a residential setting with female colleagues (actually that's where he is right now- had never occurred to me to worry)

Jellyhater Thu 04-Apr-19 22:00:47

Maybe the husband has seen a copy of the roster and that's how he knew. I'm not sure.

She does have a contract and a copy of the job description.

I've just reread the email conversation between us both and the more I read it, the more I am convinced she is trying to manipulate the situation.

CantStopMeNow Thu 04-Apr-19 22:01:50

she said that she would be able to do one a month on average but would try to be as flexible as possible
She doesn't want to do sleep-ins and fulfill that part of her contract....so she's probably using her husband as an excuse.

sunshiney78 Thu 04-Apr-19 22:02:27

It’s most likely cultural, however if the job requirements go against her cultural beliefs, then it’s not the job for her.
For example if I were a vegetarian due to religious reasons, I would not expect to work at a butcher and ask not to be exposed to meat.

Jellyhater Thu 04-Apr-19 22:04:44

Yes, enhanced DBS and safer recruitment processes.

I trust all of the male support workers implicitly.

Littleraindrop15 Thu 04-Apr-19 22:07:21

Do not facilitate the meeting and I would say if she can't fulfil the job requirements that she has signed up for then unfortunately you will need to cut her loose.

fattylawmaker Thu 04-Apr-19 22:14:05

I am a frontline NHS professional.

I had a student placed with me & day 1 she informed me that she couldn’t see men alone or deal with men less than fully dressed. She was early 20’s.

50% of our patients are men & this was clearly part of the job! I discussed it with her & she said it was her husbands wishes and that they were Christians. She also has to leave on time to have his dinner ready. I talked to her about this but she was adamant that it was just ‘their religion’.

I spoke to her uni about my concerns and they discussed it with her but said they were not worried & advised religious tolerance! We botched our way through a 6 week placement but about 2 years later she contacted me via FB to say she had left her abusive & controlling husband & to thank me for trying to help her sad

Ilovemypantry Thu 04-Apr-19 22:18:34

I think she’s just trying to dip out of doing the overnight shifts.

Aquamarine1029 Thu 04-Apr-19 22:19:04

Facilitating a meeting between the husband and male staff is completely inappropriate and a total violation of the male workers privacy. You could, and should, lose your job over that if you complied. Obviously, you're not going to. I think I would give this new staff member notice. She sounds like nothing but trouble going forward.

Puzzledandpissedoff Thu 04-Apr-19 22:19:16

She is three weeks into the new role, so still on probation so I do have that as a back-up

Just as well

From experience, I can tell you with absolute certainty that if you facilitate this situation with such a new employee it will get a LOT worse. I therefore agree with the PP about telling her that her suggestion won't be happening, reminding her of the job requirements and inviting her to consider whether it's really the job for her

mrstinky Thu 04-Apr-19 22:28:46

She sent you an email and did not say this to you.

Brienneoftarthiloveyou Thu 04-Apr-19 22:30:16

Agree with @Puzzledandpissedoff I've had numerous employees in the past who seem to think that they can say anything to get their foot in the door & then manipulate you to agreeing to their specific demands once they're settled.

Jellyhater Thu 04-Apr-19 22:34:48

Yes, she emailed me this yesterday and I have been pondering on it for 24 hours.

She has not said anything to me in person and has seen me a number of times since she started. She was emailing me on a frequent basis before she started to chase on progress of DBS, references, start date and other obscure questions. She had plenty of chances to speak to me but emailed instead. We worked a shift together earlier on this week and she said nothing.

KaterinaPetrova Thu 04-Apr-19 22:35:49

She sounds like she could be a nightmare employee. Only three weeks in and is already setting her own rules down and trying to get out of doing the full job requirements.

Absolutely right you shouldn't facilitate her DH meeting her coworkers. As others have said, that would be huge mistake. It's invading their privacy. They're fully DBS checked so there's really no need.

CaptSkippy Thu 04-Apr-19 22:37:25

I think you need to talk to her in person about this and found out more details.

vivariumvivariumsvivaria Thu 04-Apr-19 22:40:03

emailed with him standing over her shoulder giving dictation you, did she?

Poor cow.

ememem84 Thu 04-Apr-19 22:43:53

Did she Actually email you though? If it was me and I’d asked for something like that I’d bring it up in conversation.

I agree it’s a difficult one. And sounds odd but there may be a legit reason for asking--not sure what though--

Peterpiperpickedwrong Thu 04-Apr-19 22:49:39

My first thought was rape/SA victim rather than DV. However, if she can’t fulfill her contractual requirement then yes..
she is probably going to be more trouble than she is worth?

Regardless of the situation I can’t think of any worker in any situation that would be happy to have a co workers husband ‘check them out’ for suitability to work with their spouse-insulting! I also can’t see someone who was abusive to be so obvious in their OH probation period that they had an issue with them staying overnight.

am feeling a bit frustrated that she thinks she can manipulate the roster to her benefit and that she is implying that the male staff are not trustworthy.

This does seem the most likely possibility.

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