Performance review didn't go well- hygiene

(26 Posts)
SlightAggrandising Sun 25-Nov-18 04:07:49

I line manage a guy who's notoriously difficult (civil service), he's on a restoring efficiency program for a number of things, one of the points in there is his personal hygiene.

When he got to my dept it was eye wateringly bad so I had the difficult conversation with him about addressing it along with some of his other unpleasant habits.

I had to have the same conversation with him on two other occasions as it became quite difficult to share an office with him or let him go to meetings etc as people would talk about him, ask me to sort it out etc.

To his credit, it has improved over the last 2 months (he arrived in May).

I put a paragraph in his review about maintaining the standard he has achieved (which is to not smell, aside from that his turnout is generally poor and he looks "unwashed" but that's more difficult to address).

He got very angry with me and refused to sign his review (he doesn't actually need to sign it but it's a frustration) because he's made so much improvement...

I countered that he had improved but I'd already had to tell him 3 times, I wanted to ensure I didn't have to tell him again. A small part of me dies every time I have to tell a 32 year old that he smells so bad.

He said if I had to mention it again I could say "I told you so" which is entirely unhelpful.

He was really really hard work over a number of other problems as well, being argumentative about the error level that's acceptable in his job (I'm talking spell checking, not complex spreadsheets) and I'm just so fucking demoralised by it all.

Rant over. Just wanted to get it out of my system.

OP’s posts: |
MissLadyM Sun 25-Nov-18 05:05:06

Fucking ridiculous! He's an adult who is lazy and clearly doesn't respect his colleagues or himself!

He must have the hind of a rhino if he's been told several times and still done nothing!

Bigonesmallone3 Sun 25-Nov-18 05:09:55

We had this at work once and it's such an awkward topic to bring up to someone, u think they must know!!
So well done for that!
I guess it's something u just have to keep on at him about until he realises he really needs to take this job more seriously..
Maybe a warning..

Accountant222 Sun 25-Nov-18 05:23:50

We had similar in our office some years ago, not civil service but large international business. He had been in situ from being a teenager, no wife or female in his life to tell him he stunk.

Month end was the worst, he'd be that involved in his figures, he must have left going for a wee until the last minute and dribbled, god by the end of the week our office stunk like an old people's home.

SlightAggrandising Sun 25-Nov-18 07:29:29

It's so awkward to bring up! I genuinely don't think the realises how much work goes into him!

@Bigonesmallone3 he is already on a restoring efficiency programme, the performance reviews run alongside separately but concurrently.

It's agony.

OP’s posts: |
ivykaty44 Sun 25-Nov-18 07:33:38

Is there a reason that he was smelling?

SlightAggrandising Sun 25-Nov-18 07:54:21

He doesn't drive so cycles everywhere and doesn't wash his clothes or cycling kit.
I can see his flat from my office but he'd cycle to the shop or go to the gym, come back dripping with sweat and just put his work clothes back on, hanging his kit up in his office. We have a corridor with offices off it and the smell permeates, people started to close their doors to avoid it which wasn't ideal either.

OP’s posts: |


Bimwit Sun 25-Nov-18 07:59:21

I have found it so hard to get a job i dont know how these mispelling, smelly ppl manage it sad

BikeRunSki Sun 25-Nov-18 08:03:02

Do you have showers at work, and does he know where they are?

Apart from the hygiene, i’m amazed he got into the Civil Service with his difficult attitude.

Isleepinahedgefund Sun 25-Nov-18 08:49:50

Is he on probation?

am not at all surprised he got into CS. This is the main problem with CS competency recruitment - you don't get to find out about their attitude because it's all about regurgitating your application examples. There's no opportunity to ask questions that might reveal a belligerent little fucker. And I bet he was nice and clean for the interview.

I think you have to be really careful regarding the hygiene, he can't be sacked for being smelly. It's almost traditional to have a couple of smellies in every CS office, we have two. The difference with them is that they do their jobs really well and have a good attitude, they just don't have the same standards of hygiene as the rest of us. Woe betide anyone who has to get in the lift with either of them!

I think you can rely on this person to be their own downfall if they won't accept that they need to improve. I would also use his bad attitude as part of it, that's not an acceptable way to behave towards your colleague.

daisychain01 Sun 25-Nov-18 09:23:08

If he joined in May, hasn't he had to pass probation at the 6 month timeframe?

If you are this person's delivery manager, you could make the decision to let him go based upon his poor standard of work and low level of contribution, plus his lack of regard for his personal hygiene. I rarely take such a draconian view but I have to say, keeping someone like that as a CS is not a good use of taxpayers money if he shows so little regard for his colleagues, his belligerent attitude and his standard of work is so bad.

It's only fair to everyone to make the difficult decision at the appropriate time which is at probation, that's what it's for! Unless you're saying "he arrived" from another post, rather than from external non-Govt/PS

BakedBeans47 Sun 25-Nov-18 09:25:13

Give him one last attempt to sort out his hygiene or he’ll be disciplined. This is why I’m glad I’ve spent 10 years working with HR managers. They have no embarrassment around this kind of thing! It’s been approached sensitively and it’s now utterly unacceptable.

Fozzleyplum Sun 25-Nov-18 09:29:19

If he's been employed for fewer than 2 years, I'd be dismissing on the basis of all the issues, but not least his belligerent attitude.

BadRain Sun 25-Nov-18 09:35:04

I agree with others, surely there is a disciplinary procedure that can be followed? At my firm, someone was recently let go with a weeks notice for poor performance as they were still within the probationary period.

There must be a way to get him out, he sounds awful and he is doing himself no favours with his belligerent manner.

HavelockVetinari Sun 25-Nov-18 09:36:51

Yikes, sounds grim. Don't remove the paragraph, talk to his countersigning manager about it - there'll be a disputes process for when reviews aren't agreed upon.

Nat6999 Sun 25-Nov-18 09:37:22

We had one at our office (HMRC) he had been there longer than the office had been standing. In the 10 years I was in the same office as him he wore the same shirt & trousers every day, he was disgusting, we used to dread warm weather, he was the filing clerk. The only time he had any kind of a wash was when he visited the local massage parlour, they must have either been desperate for the money or had very strong stomachs. He eventually disappeared, nobody really knew what happened, the management probably knew but the rest of the staff never found out.

SlightAggrandising Sun 25-Nov-18 11:08:17

He came from another department who gave him glowing reviews, I can only assume to get rid of him. Sadly he's well beyond probation stage.

As has been alluded to, he can give a convincing act for a week or two then the wheels start to fall off.

I could almost throw a stone at his flat, the work showers are about the same distance away!!

Almost heartening yo understand that I'm not the only one with someone like this but so disheartening

OP’s posts: |
OhTheRoses Sun 25-Nov-18 11:20:35

Does your dept have a professional conduct/boundaries guide? Could an ohp referral help? I'm wondering if there might be a medical or mh reason so would go ohp, if nothing performance mgt (work quality and objective around impact on team performance/morale)
If ohp does identify a clinical issue suport to address that and if it relates to a mh issue you might find access to work will help with a solution in practical terms such as laundry and dry cleaning. Believe it or not!

He's a dirty sod who is unaware it seems. Something his mother shoukd have addressed from the cradle.

SlightAggrandising Sun 25-Nov-18 11:42:38

@OhTheRoses I'm certain it's not a medical condition and I'm really wary of suggesting a referral because he's a history of being manipulative and misleading so I reckon it would muddy the waters.

He obfuscates over so much
Me: did you go to meeting?
Him: "yeah, I had to do a bunch of stuff
Me: so you went to meeting at xyz
Him: well no because I was helping [random] with [acronym]
Me: what does [acronym] mean (I know the answer...)
Him: confused umm [random] said [superior] said it was a priority

So now we are no closer to working out if he went to the meeting or not. If he has a medical department to play off against me... I don't think I'll ever establish anything!!!

I know I should be able to manage him better but it's so hard!!!

OP’s posts: |
Isleepinahedgefund Sun 25-Nov-18 14:11:28

Oh dear. You've got One Of Those. The long standing but useless/belligerent employee who is shunted around from department to department for years on end, always accompanied by a glowing review that makes damn sure they become someone else's problems

Civil Service used to be crammed with them, but fortunately not so much anymore. A lot of ours have been performance managed out, which is appreciated by those of us who are trying our best to do a good job and are hindered by these sorts. We had one leave last year, under a cloud, who had managed to do sod all in different departments for over 40 years.

You're finding him difficult to manage because these sorts ARE difficult to manage.

I think your main problem will be that he clearly knows how to play the game, so performance managing him out is going to be quite a task. But not impossible - the 40 yr one I referred to above had all sorts of MH problems and genuine reasons why he struggled to do his job, but in the end it came down to his attitude and unwillingness to even try and work with them to find what he could do. He would deliberately do things wrong so the tasks were taken off him, I'm not even sure what he was doing every day in the end except smelling bad and being rude to all and sundry. In essence, when the pressure was on and management didn't give in to his knowledge of how to play the game, he was master of his own downfall.

grumpy4squash Sun 25-Nov-18 14:12:04

It sounds like you need a separate meeting to discuss your working relationship and communication. During which, you can make statements like "when I ask you a direct question, I would like to receive a direct answer" and ask questions like "how do you find my communication style?" (which you can talk about and then get onto how you find his).
I would keep the smelliness out of it until the other areas improve, then revisit.

daisychain01 Sun 25-Nov-18 14:13:51

Obfuscation can be handled with :

"Did you go to the meeting, and the answer is either Yes, or No"

SlightAggrandising Sun 25-Nov-18 14:30:41

Thank you for advice. I always have great ideas before and after I've met him but my frustration seems to get in the way!!!

OP’s posts: |
GemmeFatale Sun 25-Nov-18 15:25:30

Bob, did you go to the meeting?

Blah blah blah

Bob, did you go to the meeting?

Blah blah blah

Bob, did you go to the meeting?

Until you get a yes or no

SlightAggrandising Sun 25-Nov-18 16:35:40

😞 so tiresome

I could literally rant for hours. 1 man takes up 75% of my time. He's supposed to take work away from me!!!

OP’s posts: |

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in