Apologising after a work incident

(38 Posts)
Redandblue123 Thu 05-Mar-20 21:08:18

I was in a heated argument with a work colleague and it ended with me leaving to pick up my kid. I sent an email apology via my boss and the next day my boss said the guy would apologise. I thought it would be good to clear the air and it would be the first time we would speak after the incident. Both of us were at fault and even if you aren’t, it’s just easier a lot of the times just to clear the air.

The person never apologised nor have they spoken to me since.

I’ve approached the situation with my boss as I feel like there is an atmosphere and my boss just said “well unfortunately he didn’t apologise”.

So I’m a bit stuck of where do I go from here? Part of the issue is that I was told “he’s not a dog” when I asked him to look at my work computer as he was doing an admin job wrong and he wasn’t understanding verbally what I was trying to explain (I had everything open to show him). It’s the first time I’ve asked him to come and have a look at the screen. The other times I’ve asked him to do stuff he never does it, very dismissive. He’s obviously got an issue with me telling him to do stuff, if I approach our boss, boss tells me I have to tell him to do it.

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Gazelda Thu 05-Mar-20 22:01:07

It doesn't sound as though you've apologised to him either.
And I wonder if your boss is a bit fed up of being a go-between to 2 team members.
If you want to disperse the atmosphere, I think you're going to have to just put it behind you and act as though nothing has happened.
Does the colleague report to you? Are you more senior? He seems to have a chip on his shoulder about taking direction from you. I think you'd be justified in taking thar issue to your boss with a constructive suggestion as to how to resolve it.

WeAllHaveWings Thu 05-Mar-20 22:25:14

Why didn't got apologise directly? Sending an apology email to your boss sounds like trying to show the boss how fab you are rather than a genuine apology. Not surprised your colleague never responded to it.

Redandblue123 Thu 05-Mar-20 22:31:24

I was excepting the staff member to make contact with me the next day - he didn’t. The staff member was aware of my email, staff member told the boss he would make contact with me the next day, he didn’t. I’ve asked my boss twice about it - boss isn’t prepared to interject.

My boss is also telling me I have to approach people directly, and I’ve told him several times that some people aren’t doing what I asked and it’s better that he does it - yet he still says I have to do it.

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Redandblue123 Thu 05-Mar-20 22:32:45

also is it right that I get told I’m treating people like a dog when I’m asking reasonable things from them?

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AhoyMrBeaver Thu 05-Mar-20 22:37:57

This colleague doesn't like the way you talk to him and your boss has told you to communicate more effectively. You got in a heated argument with a colleague and then 'apologised via the boss' ie you told tales out of school.

Stop being like that.

Redandblue123 Thu 05-Mar-20 23:00:52

There was nothing wrong in how I spoke to him. I asked a colleague and they said the same.

I’ve refused to tell colleagues what to do, and passed it on to my boss, but he says that I have to tell them direct even though I’ve said they don’t do it and I’m not their boss. So it’s a continue situation.

Plus do you think I’m treating someone like a dog saying it’s easier if they come to my computer so I can visually show them when all the computer systems are open and i can properly explain the error?

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Redandblue123 Thu 05-Mar-20 23:03:28

I also didn’t apologies to the boss. I sent an email saying can you pass this on to the member of staff and I also included what I discussed with the manager just before I left.

As I slept on it and the next day I was told the person would approach me, I expected the face to face.

English is my second language

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BBCONEANDTWO Thu 05-Mar-20 23:03:42

If the message is coming from your boss that you need something from your colleagues and your colleagues are not helping you - your boss NEEDS to get involved unless you are senior to your colleagues?

HollowTalk Thu 05-Mar-20 23:03:48

Your manager is the reason why this guy felt he could speak to you like that.

In future I'd put requests in writing (though I know it's ridiculous you should have to) so that you've got evidence of who says what.

Redandblue123 Fri 06-Mar-20 00:27:16

I’m doing that Hallow, everything is now in writing ;) I think my boss knows that’s something is wrong. Yes I actually think there was nothing wrong in what I asked him or how I asked him, and yes my boss is the reason.

@BBCONEANDTWO nope we are the same level, I just do a different job. Yep he won’t get involved.

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LonginesPrime Fri 06-Mar-20 00:37:38

My boss is also telling me I have to approach people directly, and I’ve told him several times that some people aren’t doing what I asked and it’s better that he does it - yet he still says I have to do it

Your boss has delegated this responsibility to you. If you're emailing them the work anyway, you could start copying in your boss if you feel if would give your emails more clout.

But there's no point in dragging your boss into all your workplace disputes - even if it's someone else's fault, this kind of behaviour is going to mark you out as a bad apple.

Redandblue123 Fri 06-Mar-20 00:52:42

@AhoyMrBeaver no I was leaving for work and after the argument all three of us went to a private place. I spoke to my boss 121 afterwards and told him my displeasure. I had to go/it was the end of the shift. I didn’t think it was appropriate to speak to the person so I emailed my boss and asked him to pass on the message. It’s a work environment.

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MilkTwoSugarsThanks Fri 06-Mar-20 01:00:56

Why do you expect him to apologise to you face to face when you think it's enough for you to apologise through a third party?

I guess some of the problem may be in the wording of the email?

I think this is a situation where you should take a good honest look at yourself first.

Redandblue123 Fri 06-Mar-20 01:03:25

@LonginesPrime without going into the specifics of the job, it’s not all the time I’m emailing people. Sometimes I tell them directly. I get your point though. I also think my boss needs to tell the team what I’m doing and that I do have the authority to ask them to do stuff because it impacts my job.

I don’t drag him into all my disputes, sometimes I wish I did. I passed on a message to a member of staff and confirmed they were ok to give the customer a call back before X time, I was told I was being bossy. When people deviate from the protocol, and it was what we agreed would happen, I was told I had it in for the person who was deviating from the protocol. The boss doesn’t give direction when he’s gone, which is also part of the issue. He also doesn’t give his team any work. Instead of commenting on someone’s constant talking and lack of productiviry, he says “I wish I had work to throw at her”. My boss is busy but often the rest of the team aren’t. He says “I wish they would tell me they weren’t busy as than I could give them work”, isn’t the boss supposed to keep in contact with that? When staff apply for internal positions he says “I wish they would ask me for advice on my team member” instead of being productive and approaching the hiring manager. When the team recruited he said “I wish the team leader would approach me and tell me what that team member is like”. As you can tell he’s got social anxiety or something.

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Redandblue123 Fri 06-Mar-20 01:07:51

@MilkTwoSugarsThanks because he said he would? So if you tell the boss you will do something, and don’t do it, it’s for a reason. So he’s obviously not sorry.

I didn’t want to harass the team member via email and it was what I told the boss I would do. I didn’t think it was appropriate To contact the person direct considering the anger but I did think it was appropriate that the message was passed on that I was sorry so the employer and the boss knew. Having arguments at work isn’t appropriate and it’s not a romantic relationship. It’s a work relationship.

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Redandblue123 Fri 06-Mar-20 01:12:02

@MilkTwoSugarsThanks damned if you do, damed if you don’t. I was showing I was willing to make amends and also I was expecting to meet the next day. It didn’t happen. It’s not the act of saying sorry because you did something wrong, it’s the fact of saying “let’s move on, it was a bad situation that neither of us want to be in”.

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Graphista Fri 06-Mar-20 01:25:14

So is that at least 2 other colleagues you've offended with your style of communication? Possibly more?

You DIDN'T apologise and you admit you were at least half responsible for the argument (let's at least be honest and call it what it was. It was an argument in the workplace which is NEVER appropriate) .

An "apology" via the boss in a clear attempt to get him on your side is NOT a real apology.

Quite honestly given how you're coming across here (rigid, argumentative, unwilling unless absolutely necessary to take responsibility for your part in disputes) I wouldn't be at all surprised if the argument was initiated by you and that you're regularly pissing off colleagues with your poor, aggressive communication style.

If for no other reason than it's getting you nowhere (and with the potential of it getting you sacked!) you need to change it.

Possibly its to do with English being your second language but you don't seem to struggle with it on a cognitive level.

Perhaps do some research/get some education from British English sources on communication in the workplace, persuasive and assertive communication is a real skill and reaps rewards.

You also need to approach the colleague you argued with, be the first to GENUINELY apologise and clear the air there.

If you carry on as you are you do risk losing your job.

Redandblue123 Fri 06-Mar-20 01:39:24

I won’t lose my job, what makes you think that?

Passing on a message to someone is now consider offending? No they are bullies who enjoy gossiping and causing mischief, I don’t get involved.

If I email them Phone messages they tell me to write it down. If I write it down they verbally want me to say it to them and they don’t want to take the paper. If I say it to them they say I’m being bossy. So what do I do?

I have also had my work undone despite me telling the person that the boss told me to do it that way. I’ve had people talk about me whilst I’m gone and when I’m back they say “oh wait she’s back” and they stop talking. They say “oh you look busy I’ll do X” which is my job to do, even if I’ve just arrived at work. I say I’m not busy and they still say no it’s ok. They then do the work incorrectly so I approach them and they say you need to do X and they say “I was busy”. Or when I ask them for help they say “I’m busy”. I’ve told my boss, he says nothing to them, says they can’t be taught new tricks. I ask can we at least try to get them to chAnge, he says no.

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Redandblue123 Fri 06-Mar-20 01:46:01

@Graphista no I’ve always been interested in meeting the employer away from our desks to clear the air - by this I mean me saying sorry, him saying sorry (even if he doesn’t mean it) and just saying it was stupid let’s try and prevent it from happening again.

I’ve already said to my boss my side of the story after the argument and expressed my feelings. It’s up to my boss to decide what management action to take.

I understand your point about email but it wasn’t my intention. As I said it’s a workplace, it’s not romance. You have your actions monitored. I’ve also kept the manager monitored as to what was happening.

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Redandblue123 Fri 06-Mar-20 01:49:09

Actually by communicating actions to resolve the situation via the boss is actually the best thing to do. My boss would sack me, not the employee. Therefore my boss also has to be accountable about what actions he took after arguments etc. One resolution to the argument from my part was to reduce the tension by apologise, my boss agreed and he also agreed to email it to him.

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Constandigs Fri 06-Mar-20 02:19:59

'The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. These words are usually credited to the acclaimed genius Albert Einstein.'

I am not suggesting that you are insane at all but would it be worth trying a different approach with your colleagues? It's pretty unprofessional to have a heated argument at work in the first place and I wonder if your colleague objected to your tone when you asked him to come and look at your screen. I understand that English is not your first language but in Britain, courtesy, particularly at work, helps to oil the wheels of communication.

daisychain01 Fri 06-Mar-20 06:19:30

In an ideal world, clearing the air after a heated dialogue would enable everyone to move on. In this case, and probably others ( all my disputes sounds like this isn't a one-off!) you'll just have to move on and hope they will cool down after a while and let it go.

It sounds a bit like you're a dog with a bone, you don't let go until things are done the way you need them to. Maybe try to find out the other person's perspective, bring them on-board. Take some time. Unclench. It may feel like it's slowing things down but building rapport at work needs that investment to make the wheels turn smoothly. If you focus only on efficiency at the expense of team rapport, it has a negative effect, even if your intentions are good.

Redandblue123 Fri 06-Mar-20 10:10:35

Thanks. That’s the issue, I’m trying to move forward but when I’m still getting ignored and my boss is unwilling to do anything, I’m here asking for advice.

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Redandblue123 Fri 06-Mar-20 10:11:12

@daisychain01 people will always do things that you don’t like. And ditto you do things they don’t like. It’s life. Fight to kill.

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