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Situation with employee

(19 Posts)
SmiledWithTheRisingSun Thu 07-Dec-17 11:27:07

Someone I manage has been rude to me on numerous occasions.

I have discussed this with them honestly every time & my boss now thinks we should issue an official first warning.

Her view is that we have been as fair and patient with this person as we can and it has not made a difference.

We are out of options. To be honest I'm really sick of bearing the brunt of the outbursts.

I just hate confrontation at work I find it really inappropriate and I know that either way this is going to prove upsetting for everyone concerned. Why are people such knobs?!

Can anyone offer me any words of wisdom for dealing with this? Anxiety levels are running high am having to take LOTS of deep breaths.

daisychain01 Thu 07-Dec-17 12:51:42

I have discussed this with them honestly every time & my boss now thinks we should issue an official first warning

Not in any way minimising your stress, but if you have the support of your manager why do you need to worry? Surely you can to a large extent filter out the employee's noise and get on with your job.

Of course it entirely depends on whether the employee is refusing to cooperate with you and if it's affecting productivity. If so, document examples with dates and times plus impact on you and the team and keep reporting to your boss on a regular basis.

It sounds an nightmare, but seems like it's in the right hands and has the right level of management looking at it.

TheSnowFairy Thu 07-Dec-17 21:26:15

Rude how? Is it at you personally?

SmiledWithTheRisingSun Fri 08-Dec-17 18:48:58

Just looses the plot sometimes then becomes rude. Aggressive. Condescending. Arrogant. Antagonistic. It's like a perfectly nice normal person just suddenly becomes really vile. This happens about every 6 months - a year. The rest of the time they are fairly manageable - although a bit of a loose cannon I suppose.

Then when called on it they deny all and and accuse me of all sorts of trivial stuff. I'm not being funny but I'm a really bloody nice, supportive & patient person to work for. I am very close to loosing it with this person though.

They're basically the most defensive person I've ever met. (Actually thinking they may have mental health issues)

Boss totally backing me up as she knows what they can be like. Actually my boss has said it's time to issue an official warning.

I just hate all the bad feeling this sort of behaviour causes. Why can't people just behave like adults at work
Ffs?!

Just wondering if anyone has any tricks to keeping cool? Positive way forward?

daisychain01 Sat 09-Dec-17 04:49:41

Encourage your manager to start the warning process. If this person is as vile as you have described, control needs to be restored. Unwanted aggression in the workplace constitutes bullying which, although it's not illegal, has a detrimental effect on the workforce. Give your manager facts, exact examples of the person's offensive behaviour, to enable her to build an improvement plan within a set timeframe.

Eg - description of negative behaviours, who has been affected and the impact it is having on productivity.
x weeks to change attitude and show visible signs of improvement.

If your boss is a person of their word and if they value you, they will get the matter under control.

Is the person one of those very longstanding employees who are allowed to get away with every bad behaviour under the sun who everyone fears but cannot get rid of

SD1978 Sat 09-Dec-17 04:59:22

Does this only happen once or twice a year, or are you needing to reprimand this more often? Is there a trigger, that causes the shitty behaviour once or twice a year, or are they just like that? If your boss reckons that you need to adress it, then you should. Although has the behaviour occurred recently, or is it due? Ultimately, whether the employee (or employer) likes the other person or not, a level of respect should be given. If this is lacking despite multiple verbal warnings, I do t see any other choice. You have back up, and support to escalate, so it’s clearly time to. As a manager yourself, whether it makes you uncomfortable to be in the disciplinary role, that’s what needs to be done. I hope that it’s not too difficult to do so.

ThatWasNotLove Sat 09-Dec-17 06:33:30

Issue the warning. What triggers is is their problem, not yours to manage for them. If you manager knows what this person is like and they behave that way with you, I'm wondering how they behave with colleagues of the same level - or lower. It's likely this person is pretty toxic for the general working environment.

Don't think of it as a confrontation. Whatever words you use - and would it be written? - in your head think of it as passing a message on from your manager.

As for avoiding confrontation, you can't: this person will attack you again and again. They're not being held accountable for their actions and so think it's ok.

And if they repeat this behaviour during the warning, then that'll be their second one there and then.

Truly I'm betting that you'll have most if not all your colleagues' support on this.

And arrange to go for a coffee with someone afterwards or at a time you can take 5 mins afterwards. Don't worry about choosing a good time for them! Think about yourself on this.

LEMtheoriginal Sat 09-Dec-17 06:47:57

I am that loose cannon. I suffer from anxiety - if you think this person has MH issues may I suggest you point her in the direction of occupational health rather than simple give a written warning. That would finish me off. Thankfully my employers do understand and I am aware of wider support within the company.

I am a good employee and give 100% to my job . My managers know this and it makes me feel valued that they accommodate me.

tribpot Sat 09-Dec-17 06:59:13

The behaviour needs to be addressed one way or another, doesn't it? When these outbursts happen, is it purely aimed at you or does she behave the same way to other people in the team? I'm guessing there must be witnesses at least as your manager is so firmly convinced it's time to act.

I think I would arrange a meeting - you, her, your manager, to say 'this is the pattern of behaviour. We cannot allow it to go on. If there is some underlying reason for it, now is the time to tell us before we have to issue a written warning'. Hopefully then if there is a MH cause as LEM describes she will declare it. As it's so infrequent, could it be triggered by the anniversary of some terrible event or something like that?

Either way, it can't be allowed to slide. It sets the tone for the office.

Blodplod Sat 09-Dec-17 07:27:19

It’s always hard to know what’s going on and I believe there’s always two sides to a story.. I’m in a situation at the moment. Been in my job 6 mths, Zero direction or management - I literally don’t know what to do on a daily basis, not through lack of skill/experience but my boss has nothing for me to do, thinks I should ‘work it out for myself’ and it’s all very frustrating. I’ve approached them multiple times to explain and try and find a solution to no avail. Added to that it’s a 2 hour drive and they obviously don’t support home working when they said they did. I probably have on occasion come across as a bit unhappy (I’m screaming inside most days and try my best to hide it but I haven’t got the best poker face to be fair). My colleagues are focusing on this rather than helping get to the root of the problem. Apparently a cheery hello is all that’s needed. My predecessor was an absolute nightmare apparently and bought all sorts of toxic negativity to the office. I feel as if I’m absorbing their feelings about her. I’m not having any issues with any other departments I work for, never had these issues in the past. I literally feel as if I’m banging my head repeatedly against a brick wall, and no doubt will leave soon with an unhappy memory for all of us which I’m finding really difficult to cope with as it’s a small industry and all the tools are there for it to work. I have spoken to other directors who agree with me, can see my frustrations and sympathise. Sorry to make this about me, but can you see that there are two sides and maybe you need to get to the root of the problem? I’m sure if my colleague started a thread about me it would be a very different story to mine. Not blaming you OP, but I sense if your colleague posted there would be a different take on the situation.

SmiledWithTheRisingSun Sat 09-Dec-17 09:16:40

Thank me so much for the responses they are really helpful.

Yes I am positive this person suffers from anxiety.

My boss knows the type of behaviour I'm describing as she has also been on the receiving end of it.

This person doesn't have the ability to keep stresses in their private life out work. It feels like these stresses are being taken out on me at the moment.

I have addressed the hostile attitude with them each time it has happened to this extent. This has always led to future arguments / tears / sulking on their behalf. They are an incredibly emotional person and appear to have very little in the way of boundaries.

It's not constant rudeness. As I said the majority of the time they manage to be pleasant & productive. It's averaging out around every 6 months.

I do realise I'm the manger and have to deal with it, I'm just so fed up of it and it's upsetting and yes feels very toxic as someone mentioned. It also takes up stupid amounts of time having to discuss best course of action, document everything and wait for the employee to stop stewing over it all.

God I would be absolutely MORTIFIED if I behaved in this way. It's just so bloody childish and unprofessional. I hate that I have woken up thinking about this on the bloody weekend too.

Then there's a part of me that feels sorry for this person as I'm sure they're not very happy. Yes there's always 2 sides.

zippydoodaar Sat 09-Dec-17 09:49:52

The employee has been very lucky that you haven't taken any formal action so far but that may be what's needed to address the problem.

My friend was subject to terrible behaviour from her boss for several years. Finally, after being told by numerous people she needed to do something about it, she raised a grievance. At the same time, two of his direct reports told him they couldn't work with him if his behaviour continued. I think it was the kick up the arse he needed because work life has been much better for her as a result.

LEMtheoriginal Sat 09-Dec-17 18:25:37

A good employer would have MH support for their staff members. This would surely be better than punative measures. If her anxiety is under control then she won't have these outbursts. Saying that the person mist responsible for her MH is herself and possibly any conversation should be around how she can access help. Either by directing to the companies support services and her own Dr.

My anxiety does affect my work despite my best efforts to ensure it doesn't and events at home DO affect my mood at work. I have quite an emotionally draining job and as such we are supportive of each other. We even have a crying chair!!!

ImNotWhoYouThinkIAmOhNo Sun 10-Dec-17 09:35:51

I feel for you. Had a similar situation at work. Supported this person to the limits of my tolerance - I involved HR (they were also very supportive), we pointed her to support services (she wouldn't use them), etc. She is prepared to lie to uphold her position, ie that everyone is being unreasonable towards her. She sees herself as always the victim.
Line managers were supportive but the processes took so long, that both my supportive line managers left before there was any resolution. I have now changed roles, thank goodness, and no longer manage the person. Their behaviour has not changed. New line managers are in place. One of them knows the troublemaker, and has defended her in the past, but has not seen the situation from our perspective. Hopefully that will change.
This person (at my work) is very manipulative: when a colleague came to me in tears due to the behaviour of the troublemaker, I had to speak to the troublemaker about the 'exchange of words'. Yes, she said earnestly, 'it was awful! Something has to be done about her attitude!' Got a completely different story - and no witnesses, naturally.
Another member of staff has been so upset by the troublemaker that it has triggered an underlying health condition, leading to 2 weeks sick leave - she herself is now getting close to a warning due to her absences, but won't make a formal complaint / raise a grievance against her! I know she keeps copies of all my emails to her, and also makes notes on any meetings or other verbal interactions we have. Last I heard, it ran to 10 pages.

We're public sector. I've had 2 line managers who were ex private sector and were frustrated by the lengthy processes we have to work with. They would both have sacked her and dealt with any fall-out afterwards. HR wouldn't allow that! Are you public or private?

knaffedoff Sun 10-Dec-17 09:49:48

Please address it and sooner rather than later. I used to work for a big organisation which basically made up the rules and changed them constantly. In the end I was being managed by someone, who in my opinion, was not deserving of the role. He was younger, less experienced (so often couldn't help if I had a question) and simply got the management role as the only other male in the department. No interviews nothing. I did challenge the decision with senior managers, putting forward a compelling case for others in the team to be considered and at the very least to advertise the position, sadly I was told the decision was made and the reason for the appointment without interview had been made and that was that. It was so unfair, so I challenged every request and just made myself a right royal pain in the ass! I had really wanted my manager to show backbone and leadership (to show he was worthy of the position), sadly he never did and much to everyone's delight i soon left the organisation. But honestly i really wanted to be challenged and needed it. I turned into a horrible position and as much as I can and justify my behaviour it was not acceptable, I knew it as did everyone else and to simply ignore it just proved my point sad

SmiledWithTheRisingSun Mon 11-Dec-17 10:06:16

We are a tiny charity.
No HR - it's my role to deal with.
It's really stressful.
I have addressed the behaviour / inappropriate manner with this person every single time it has happened.
The problem is they NEVER
admit to being wrong.
I am going to agree the next steps with my boss today. I am leaning towards suggesting supporting them in terms of giving time to deal with home / MH issues and letting them know that if I have to address the hostile manner again there will be a warning given. Does that seem
fair?

ForgivenessIsDivine Mon 11-Dec-17 10:24:58

Honestly... No. You, your boss and your other work colleagues are suffering from this. You have come to the point where a warning is appropriate... letting them know if you have to address the issue again... that is the definition of a warning..

SmiledWithTheRisingSun Mon 11-Dec-17 17:31:44

We are going with the supportive approach. Wish me luck!

winterinmadeira Mon 11-Dec-17 17:38:24

That’s very good of you. Just remember that when/if it happens again you must follow through with the warning.

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