Re: Problem Co-worker

Subject: Re: Problem Co-worker
From: Chris Borokowski <athloi -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 27 Apr 2007 06:47:48 -0700 (PDT)

Ask your manager to suggest that short communications
be done over IM or email, and make the time to speak
to the problem worker and say how much you want to
help her avoid having file share problems, and that
the best way to do it is discuss at the start of each
day/hour who's in what file. The formality will pass
after a few days, because she's asking for
attention/recognition more than she wants to actually
know if you're in the file.

--- abby initio <abby -dot- initio -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:

> Hi,
>
> I'm a longtime member of the list but, since I'm
> occasionally a contractor,
> I'd rather not use my professional address.
>
> That said, I'm having trouble with a co-worker who
> is a low-grade bully. She
> easily accuses others of changing her files (we have
> no version control).
> She doesn't speak to you quietly, but shouts from
> her cube, "So and so, did
> you change my file?" or "Are you in the foofile?" or
> just a general
> accusation to the whole team.
>
> She raises her voice, uses a lecturing tone, and
> quickly escalates to
> confrontation. It's always a conversation that she
> dominates. It's hard to
> get a word in edgewise without similarly raising
> your voice and
> interrupting. When you do, she accuses you of
> causing the problem. Or, you
> stand there realizing that everyone from the very
> quiet teams nearby, some
> of who work closely with the IT manager, can hear
> you. Having the good sense
> to know this isn't wise, you shut up. Meanwhile, not
> a word is said to the
> person who was shouting in the first place.
>
> I could go on, but her behavior isn't so much the
> point. Rather, I'm
> anticipating the likelihood of a discussion with my
> project manager and I'm
> wondering how to handle it. My own thoughts are:
>
> 1. I want to avoid dissing the co-worker. It's true
> that it's not just a
> problem between the two of us. Everyone on the team
> has spoken briefly about
> it. Fortunately, we tend to be professional and have
> avoided gossiping or
> ganging up about her while she's not around. Still,
> it seems to me best to
> avoid hauling out a laundry list of grievances. I
> have documented
> everything, but that was for my own sanity.
>
> 2. OTOH, how do I come at this as a problem-solver,
> without clearly
> delineating the problem -- which is mostly just
> personality. In other words,
> if she's "just this way" then it seems hard to see
> how any of us are going
> to be able to get our project manager to sit down
> with her and ask her to
> stop raising her voice and/or stop accusing others
> of changing her files.
> We're all doing what we can do, from what I've
> observed, which mostly means
> we keep our mouths shut, walk on eggshells when
> she's cranky, etc.
>
> 3. My own instinct would be to have a calm,
> professional conversation with
> her directly, using all the listening techniques,
> but also setting firm
> boundaries such as waiting patiently when she
> interrupts, and then insisting
> on completing my thought. But this seems unlikely.
> She's just not the kind
> of person who will do this. She will yak on and on,
> wearing you down because
> you're always interrupting to try to get a word in
> to the point that it's
> just not worth it anymore. And she just doesn't come
> off as someone with
> whom you can talk.
>
> Anyway, enough rambling from me. Thoughts?
>
> Abby
>
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http://user-advocacy.blogspot.com/
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Microsoft Office, team authoring, plus more.
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References:
Problem Co-worker: From: abby initio

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