How do you know if dealing with with pathological liar?

(12 Posts)
Lushmetender Fri 20-Sep-19 15:05:15

We have a team member who is not performing well. She is working on 2 projects which is not excessive. She went to her first client meeting but kept promising giving the team what they needed but never delivered (she’s new but given support to call upon but never reached out to them). At the meeting she said she was mugged but the team were not v sympathetic and inferred she was displaying odd behaviour.

Fast forward 6 months and we have been giving her a huge amount of support. I personally have been working with her breaking things down to manageable chunks and asking her to complete and FU with her. I gave her specific tasks and she’s still not done them 2 weeks later - in fact she has delegated to others so they would do it. I told her to take it back so she can learn and we were due to have a meeting yesterday but didn’t show up.

There was another deliverable due which she was already late on and she didn’t turn up for work or tell anyone what was wrong. I asked her line manager to call to check on her and my boss (who knows her from another life). She texted and replied to say she’d had to take her mum to ER. However she didn’t reply to her immediate LM where she was. I was literally going to call her emergency contacts until I saw she had changed her ooo to say she was out due to unforeseen circumstances.

I feel all just appears a little odd that stuff seems to happen at the tines they do - like IT issues in client calls when she is due to lead the call so I had to take over, saying to her LM she has done a task before yet to me saying she hasn’t, this happening when the pressure is on and being mugged in a hotel where no one else saw any homeless people and saying the hotel had security guards around it?

Something doesn’t add up. I have escalations on all her projects and all want her off them and she’s not able to do basic things. My boss is senior and knows her from another company but keeps making excuses for her.

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MrsMaiselsMuff Fri 20-Sep-19 15:12:42

I'd be asking for evidence next time she comes up with one of these stories.

Are you actually her manager? If not, it's not your place to do anything.

Lushmetender Fri 20-Sep-19 15:15:49

She reports to one of my line managees but part of my extended team

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NeedAUsernameGenerator Fri 20-Sep-19 15:20:07

Sounds like she either can't do the job or has severe anxiety and she's inventing these lies to cover it up.

NeedAUsernameGenerator Fri 20-Sep-19 15:21:21

Has she done any work at all to demonstrate her level of competence?

HollowTalk Fri 20-Sep-19 16:00:51

It sounds as though she's not coping and is flinging blame around. She really needs to be pulled up on giving her work to other people, not showing up to meet you and generally not pulling her weight. I'd avoid talking to her about a mugging, tbh.

What does her line manager say she was like in her previous job? Why did the woman leave?

Cosmos45 Fri 20-Sep-19 18:04:56

I haven't got much to add but was really interested to read NeedAUsername's post about anxiety. We had a guy work for us about a year ago.. He had a horrendous time, his son was rushed to hospital, he crashed his car, split up from his wife blah blah blah.. everytime something like this happened it was when he was due to "perform" - he was a sales person for a software company and by perform I mean do a demo to client or go to a internal sales meeting. He once said he Sh*t himself on the way, another time he said his father died suddenly, another time he had got run over, all of this no-one really questioned because the stories were so shocking and he was so believable you couldn't really question it. It did all come to a head though because a client phoned in and asked if they could sign their order, they had booked five visits with the sales person and each one had been cancelled at the last minute, due to a varying degree of reasons. One he had a car accident, two his wife had a car accident, three his son has been rushed to A&E, four he had been run over in the road and five his wife had been run over. It turned out he was suffering from major anxiety and panic attacks and was signed off. He told us he was ex marines or SAS and it was PTSD but to this day we will never know whether that was true or not. It was so sad because he was this big strong good looking likeable guy with so much to offer but was obviously deeply troubled. I often wonder how he is.. so, the point is, she could be suffering with anxiety rather than being a shirker.. Who knows?

MT2017 Fri 20-Sep-19 18:26:22

I am in my job (not to the extent of pp though!).

I will never send an email to them without copying in someone else so there are at least witnesses to any conversation.

Lushmetender Sat 21-Sep-19 12:05:26

It’s reallly difficult as obviously if her mum is sick you don’t want to pressure. All I know is my boss seems protective and believes everything she is saying! My boss told her to send a mail to her immediate LM but she didn’t. She did put an OOO as instructed. However again nothing on Friday. She took her mum to ER on Thursday so you’d think she’d have time in the Friday to quickly ring in. In the meantime her LM and me are having to do all the work she hasn’t and justify why things are late to the client with nothing (all seems to be filed in desk top rather than shared area), I sent a mail saying sorry to hear about your mum and can you give an idea of how long you’ll be out? Nada. See on Monday I guess. Stuff happens and we all pitch in but the timing of this is not a coincidence. I’m going to have to have a frank discussion as in the past my boss has made me feel awful for inferring the teams didn’t believe her and saying she’s being bullied. I am thinking they were right. They just wanted the work done and she was not delivering. I do get the anxiety thing and I have anther lad in my extended team who is saying he’s stressed and can’t handle it but at least he’s talking to us and we’ve been able to adapt accordingly!

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Lushmetender Mon 07-Oct-19 16:25:20

So this is still going on! Now she is back but keeps nipping off here and there when she feels like it. I changed her direct LM and she asked for a meeting at 7 am her time. She didn’t show and asked if she could move it as she had another appointment but didn’t say what it was for. Her new LM set a simple task for her last Thursday. She didn’t do it and he reminded her Friday. She said she’d do it in the hour on Friday. Nada on Monday morning!

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daisychain01 Mon 07-Oct-19 19:02:02

Are you in Public Sector, @Lushmetender?

This level of incompetence is more likely to be tolerated in PS than industry, where a person like this would be quickly put onto a PIP and managed out (that's from experience in both sectors!). Harsh but reality.

It sounds frustrating that you're all continually having to pick up their workload, and if you don't start taking more formalised action, it will just drag on indefinitely.

In my opinion, it isn't necessarily being kind to someone to carry them for this amount of time without dealing with it, as it affects the morale of the wider team and makes them feel there's favouritism. Your manager sounds like a wet blanket

Lushmetender Mon 07-Oct-19 19:17:06

Hi I’m in the private sector but for some reason my boss has got her back so not sure if she knows more about why she’s so flaky. I would have her to HR by now and I’m very tolerant of staff let as long as they do their work and let me know what is going on - we are flexible. This member of staff has been so cagey about why she was off. I’m thinking it actually had something to do with her rather than her mum but doesn’t wAnt to say in case of losing job. But we can’t keep tolerating this if she is not pulling her weight as we have billable targets to meet! She said she wanted to have 1 hour training sessions each day but doesn’t turn up! She had buddies but didn’t reach out. We’re keeping a record now of events

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