SRS Dilemma at work. Need advice.

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by kingtoad, Oct 4, 2007.

  1. kingtoad

    kingtoad OT Supporter

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    This is going to be a very long post, so please bare with me on it, and read it.

    First, a little background on me and the office before I head into our problems.

    I work as a web developer for a design agency. I am the only developer here, because of this, I am pulling the workload of multiple designers. That means I spend a significant amount of time at work. On most days, I am usually the first into the office, and the last one out. It is not uncommon of me spending 14 - 15 hours a day here. The downfall of this is that I am on salary and I do not get paid for these hours. But that's not the issue I'm having.

    About a year ago we hired a freelance production artist to take over some of the workload of the designers and take care of repetitive, brainless tasks like resizing images and cropping images. She had first showed her emotional side when there was not much freelance work for her to do and she started crying and throwing a mini-tantrum, in fear that we won't be using her as a freelancer artist anymore.

    She got the job because she was friends with a co-worker. I myself wasn't too sure of the extent of her abilities, but anyway, she was hired as a full time employee come January 2007. After this, tasks given to her became a bit more demanding and complex. After working with her, I quickly found out that she's not very talented and technologically challenged. She couldn't even accomplish tasks like doing simple Google searches to solve a simple issue. After a co-worker of mine got sick of her asking him for help, he told her that he will no longer help her. So, she started coming to me. I knew she was a neophyte when it comes to this type of work, so I did my best to help her out. At times I've become frustrated because she fails to take notes on certain tasks and I find myself repeating things multiple times to her. She was moved into my office because she was going to start helping me out with a bit of my work overload. She, at first, seemed like a cool chick, fun to work with, all around happy girl. While sharing an office with her I've noticed several things that I didn't like about her. Let me start by listing them:

    1. She was extremely lazy
    2. Watched a lot of movies, played a lot of games.
    3. Cuddled up into a blanket and often times went to sleep
    4. Brings two cellphones to work, often times both are ringing, and she is talking on them several hours throughout the day. Sometimes the company phone as well.
    5. She's extremely loud. Talks very loud, yells, etc. Just your general loud-mouth type of person.
    6. Unprofessional language and behavior. She is constantly cussing and bitching. Every time she gets a e-mail, she talks shit about the person who e-mailed her. Every time she gets a company related phone call, she talks shit about the person who called her.
    7. Constantly saying she hates this job and that she wants to quit.
    8. She's uneducated and not very talented at her job.
    9. She's very distracting with her loudness. I often have difficult times working.

    Despite her unwillingness to be a team player, I still extend my hand to help her as much as I can, since nobody else will. I've even extended my hand even further and had a private meeting with the Vice President of the company. Telling him that she has potential in a lot of her work (which she does) but she needs help. I got her approved to take classes at a college of her choice. I have quickly noticed this was a huge mistake on my part because then she started saying that as soon as she is finished with school she is going to quit and look for a better job. She was practically flaunting it. After a discussion with my co-worker, he agreed to take a step and talk to the Vice President regarding her behavior. He explained that she was lazy, uneducated, always saying she wants to quit, etc. The Vice President says that these are issues she can work through and he has a lot of faith in her.

    Now after elaborating on that, let me begin talking about the source of why I'm actually posting this. As it's been known that she is lazy and unwilling to work here, comes this...

    It was a nice Tuesday morning, as usual, I'm at the office first. I unlock the doors, turn lights on, sit at my desk, then begin working. Now, the person I'm talking about in this post, let's just call her Jean. Jean walks in, we start talking and bullshitting about random stuff, no big deal. I went to the restroom, and as I was walking out of the restroom I yawned (I wake up at 5:30, give me a break). Our project manager in the kitchen heard me yawn, and jokingly says "What was THAT?!". I reply "It was nothing...". Jokingly, she replies "I thought I heard a funny noise coming from you". As we were walking by Jeans office I jokingly said "I think the funny noise might be coming from in here, Jean makes funny noises". My project manager and myself both look at Jean for a response to my dull humor. She stares blankly at her monitor, so I say "Hey Jean, whatcha working on?". She yells at me "WHAT'S YOUR PROBLEM?!". I respond in an almost-equally harsh manner "I don't have a problem, what's yours?". She says something I could not understand. My project manager and I felt it was a bit odd, so we just returned to our desks. Jean began pouting, so I instant message her "Are you ok, Jean?". She responds "DON'T YOU EVER, EVER, EVER TALK ABOUT ME LIKE THAT AGAIN! THAT'S IT! I AM DONE!!". I reply "Jean, what are you talking about?". She doesn't respond. I send another message "Jean, if you have a problem with me... I think we should discuss it and get it resolved". No reply. So I let it cool down for a few hours, then a few hours after lunch, I message her "Are you ok?". She responds saying "Look. I need to be alone right now. LEAVE ME ALONE!". I reply "Alright, I'll give you space, but please know that I did not mean any harm with my dull joke, and if I have offended you, I apologize". No reply.

    The next morning I walk into the office and say "Hey Jean, how are you?". She replies "I'm fine". She ignores me the entire day. She even plans a departmental lunch and "forgets" to invite me. She's talking and socializing with everyone else in the department except me. I don't care that she's not talking to me, but because of her behavior, I think I obviously did something to piss her off. I let it go.

    This morning I'm in the office first, she comes into the office, doesn't say a single word to me. So I say... "Jean... is there a problem between us?". She starts yelling at me "WHY DO YOU KEEP SAYING THAT?! THERE'S NOT A FUCKING PROBLEM. I JUST WANT YOU TO LEAVE ME ALONE! OK??? CAN YOU DO THAT?!". I just say "Whatever..." and put on my headphones. At this point I was pretty fucking upset because I absolutely hate people yelling at me. I sat there in my desk pondering whether or not to escalate the issue to the Vice President, which will in turn probably get her fired.

    I sent an IM to one of our designers telling him about the issue and I'm escalating it to our Vice President. I wanted his input. He didn't like the fact that I wanted to talk to the VP, he says we could easily solve this issue between us. He scheduled a meeting between him, myself, and Jean to get this issue resolved. I knew going into that meeting was going to be a bad mistake, I just knew it, I had that eerie feeling in the back of my head that this was NOT a good idea.

    I sat down in the meeting, and our designer starts "I didn't bring you in here to talk about our website. From my understanding there's an issue blah blah blah". She fucking EXPLODED. She says she wants to be left alone and she doesn't want anyone to talk to her. I mentioned to her that this is an office with only seven employees, it's not possible for us to leave her alone, and if she has any issues we should attempt to get it resolved. I also told her that if she has problems at home she should try and leave them at home and not take them out on others at work. It got worse from here. She started yelling, she started getting in my face, she started screaming. She started crying, spitting everywhere. It was like watching a 10 year old child having a temper tantrum because mommy wouldn't buy him a toy. She's 36. She screamed saying "You're NOT my boss! Bring the VP in here, NOW!". I told her she was acting very irrationally. I didn't want to bring the VP in the meeting because if he saw how she was acting, he would probably fire her.

    Well, she didn't stop throwing a tantrum, she began crying hysterically. And it turns out she has a lot of personal issues, a lot of issues, regarding the death of her husband that happened three years ago. She says she comes to work everyday having to put up with bullshit, how she cares about her co-workers, but she feels like dying everyday. Says that she has too much work, claims that she's been working 9 hours a day. She's obviously very depressed. She's always been overly sensitive and extremely defensive, but not like this. I felt bad, she made me feel like I victimized her. She made me feel like I did something horrible to her. We told her the meeting was over. I apologized to her she went back to her desk. I stayed in the office talking to my designer telling him that her actions were extremely irrational. I suggested that she needed some time off to think things through. He disagreed. He says to wait a few weeks and see what happens. He cares for her, and he likes her, I don't know what the deal is.

    I sit here, with pain in my gut. I feel bad for her, and now I feel kind of sad because I feel like I put her in a bad situation. At the same time, I am extremely angry and frustrated towards her and about this whole situation. It's absolutely impossible to talk to her. I don't know what to do.

    Here's my dilemma. I'm border-line wanting to tell my Vice President about the incident that happened today. Strongly suggesting that she take some time off and that this isn't comfortable, not even in the slightest for me to deal with at work. It's not. Why the FUCK do I have to deal with this shit?

    I don't know what to do OT, I'm having mixed feelings, this is a very sensitive subject, and I really don't know if I'm willing to risk the career of someone who already have a great deal of issues on their plate.

    Help OT. :sadwavey:
     
  2. registeredPORK

    registeredPORK Happy Poo Poo

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    Cliffs for lazy readers:

    OP's co-worker is lazy as fuck and freaks out and throws a fucking temper-tantrum like a 5 year old (she's 36) when they talk about why she's so upset with OP. OP finds out that she's been bringing baggage from home and taking it with her because of her deceased husband of three years. OP has been talking to VP because OP talks loud, blah blah, doesn't treat him right and doesn't do her work. She isn't computer savvy, net savvy... kind of stupid if she's working with a web developer firm (shit, gimme the job). He's having mixed feelings of telling VP because he doesn't VP to fire her because she's going through a rough time. So, he wants OT's help.


    Anyway~~

    One, she might just be making shit up. Hell, she's fucking 36! I can understand that she's depressed and that she lost her husband but at the same time, if you're not yet ready to go out there and go on with your life then don't do it yet. I honestly think that she's just using that as an excuse because why would she be flaunting about after goign to school she'll just quit and find a better job? Daily, you say?

    Red flags.

    I don't think you should feel guilty at all. You're not a mind reader. You can't psychically tell what's wrong with her OR other people. She should of handled it coolly instead of being so fucking overly dramatic about shit like that.

    Two, you have the right to tell the VP about this. She's probably milking the firm for the money while she's throwing a pity-party for herself and laughing her ass off to the bank. Honestly, if someone is going through that much depression, they shouldn't be working at all. Instead, they should be finding help so they can sort out all their shit and put themselves back together. That should be the first step back into society. Not fucking dramatize everything.

    I have no pity for this woman. Sure, everyone deals with deaths in different ways but it doesn't sound like she was making any effort at all to help herself.

    You shouldn't feel guilty, because you didn't do anything wrong. You just made a joke, that is all. If she didn't like it, she could of told you that instead of yelling at you like a 16 year old. I was reading thsi thinking that's 16 or some stupid shit like that. >.>
     
  3. Dreams2Reality

    Dreams2Reality saywhat

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    It's extemely obvious you're not self-centered. In fact, I'd say you're a hell of a person to deal with that, go through that, and in the end still want to help her out. So, kudos to you for that.

    As for an answer / suggestion? Shit, that's one tough fucking cookie. On one hand you have your job, in which although seems to be heavy, you seem to enjoy. On the other hand you have this psycho, who although has been through some rough times, is obviously tearing you apart inside.

    Sitting next to someone in an office who doesn't say a word makes things extremely uncomfortable (I'm going through it right now). If you can honestly tell yourself that her actions / behavior is affecting your work, dedication and production, then I'd say yes, go to the VP. If you feel like it's more of a minor nuisance (which I don't think it is) and it'll blow by, then stick it out.

    In the end I think you need to make sure you're thinking about yourself and your end result. Although what happened with the death is a tragedy, and I'm sure it's not easy to just let go.. in the end, it's not your problem.


    Side Note : I've worked alongside those with heavy depression / emotional issues.. be careful with the moves you make and don't make. I've seen people get fired and treated terribly in the end because a depressed (Not saying they're all the same) person going through a hard time in their life misinterperted(sp?) something minor. When they make it rain, they make it pour.

    In the end, worry about yourself.
     
  4. thewise1

    thewise1 Guest

    I've never posted in here before, and I'm not super familiar with the rules in this forum, so cut me some slack if I say the wrong thing folks, I'm honestly just giving my input as asked by kingtoad :)

    Bud, you've done the best you can do. You can be outgoing and try to help others out, but you've already done that, with nothing but a negative response.

    She's a master manipulator. You got her free schooling, you helped her keep her job, you tried to be friendly to her, you did this, you did that, and guess what? She's shitting all over your efforts.

    So, if I were in your situation as posted here, I definitely wouldn't let her any closer to you - she's obviously too good at manipulating you to be allowed close - and I'd probably try to see if I could move offices. If that gets her fired, that's her fault, not yours.

    PS - I have even less sympathy for her because she doesn't even have the initiative to google a solution to her problems. Those kind of people infuriate me.
     
  5. KatWoman

    KatWoman •••••••••••

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    What a mess!

    In my opinion, it sounds like she's using her husband's death as a crutch or excuse to act out, or a ploy to make you feel like shit. I am not discounting the fact she may still be hurting, but it's been 3 years, it's not like he died a few weeks ago. You never get over it, but you do pick up the pieces and march on. Most sane and rational people are able to fall into a new routine within a few months and can function normally. Most sane and rational people would not get offended for you saying "she makes funny noises."

    I believe the issues with laziness, goofing off, snoozing on the job, chatting all day, talking loudly, unprofessionalism, hatefulness are probably traits that would be there regardless if her husband was alive or not. It sounds to me like either she goes through jobs like toilet paper because of these traits, or she's been at a prior job where there was no professionalism or management in control of the employees and she got comfortable with just doing whatever the hell she wants. We have 1 person in my office who has worked unsupervised for many years, then she was put into a position where she is supervised but she still goes about the day doing things her way. She has even blatently disobeyed almost immediately after being told to do/not do something. Then when confronted she says "oopsie I forgot :hs:" This person is in her 50's too.

    Whether she truly does have problems or not, the workplace is still not an appropriate place for her to act out. Unfortunately, this is a catch 22 because she got the job through a co-worker. If they fire "jean" I am sure that puts the co-worker in an uncomfortable position...it makes that person look bad to the company, and makes that person feel bad because that person is the reason Jean ended up there :hs:

    On the other hand, you don't want 7 people walking on eggshells because Katie Kaboom can explode at anytime. It sounds like she was putting on her good girl face in the beginning and now the real Jean has come out from hiding and she's not going to go back in.

    You've already tried to resolve matters without going to the VP, and even tried getting a 3rd party's help (whose opinion was that it was a bad thing to involve the VP). You don't want to keep swatting at the angry hornet's nest.

    If I was in your shoes, I would see about getting her moved into her own work area/office and out of your space. Have some kind of physical boundary between you two so you don't have to see her. Avoid her at all costs unless you absolutely HAVE to talk to her about a project and keep it short and to the point. You don't have to be rude, but don't be smiley or overly helpful. Pretend she doesn't exist at all other times.

    If you can get her out of your workspace that's half the battle. The other half is to just let her sink herself. She will eventually say or do the wrong thing in front of the VP, especially if your company is that small. And then you won't have to say/do anything further. I learned early on in my current workplace that the less said the better, people do sink themselves eventually and when they do, the ship goes down very quickly.

    You don't want to come off as a tattletale or someone who can't solve problems...so in this case it's best to get her out of your work area (or put up some kind of physical boundary between you) and then let her screw up on her own. If she was so quick to blow up at you for making a silly remark, she eventually will do something stupid in front of the person in charge. If she talks as loudly as you say she does about hating the job, I am sure the appropriate authorities know and may be waiting for the right time to do what should be done.



    Hope this helps a bit :hs:


    :wavey: thewise1
     
  6. kingtoad

    kingtoad OT Supporter

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    Well, the boss came down and she requested to speak with him privately. I hope she doesn't say shit that'll put me into the deep end. :sad2:

    Fuck.
     
  7. KatWoman

    KatWoman •••••••••••

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    I would hope if you've been there awhile and have proven your abilities that he would see that she's the one with the problem. And I would hope that the coworker you had a conference with the other day would back YOU up, he did see her blow up, cry, etc right?

    Let's keep our fingers crossed she's putting in her notice :x:
     
  8. RedDawg

    RedDawg Well-Known Member

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    I hope they do let her go. If she is that unstable and emotional she should not be working in a professional environment, or at least should be able to keep herself together during the work day.

    See what happens after her meeting with the VP, if she is not let go i would request a meeting with him yourself or shoot him an email just to make sure she didnt spin things around to make you look like the bad guy. Youve got 2 other coworkers that have witnessed her have an emotional explosion, i would hope they would back you up if needed.
     
  9. Dreams2Reality

    Dreams2Reality saywhat

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    Speak with him tomorrow.
     
  10. kingtoad

    kingtoad OT Supporter

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    I have scheduled a confidential meeting with the Vice President. I'm not going to give too much detail but I will give enough to convince him she will need to be in her own office.

    We'll see how this goes. I'll keep you updated.
     
  11. kingtoad

    kingtoad OT Supporter

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    Yeah, I really do. I come here to work. I do my job, I do it well, and I do it without bitching. That's what I'm here for. :dunno: Here to get shit done. I'm absolutely flustered that I am stuck in the middle of this.
     
  12. HatSee

    HatSee Active Member

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    Talk to the VP, get her fired as fast as you can.

    Seeing the potential within someone is not the same as seeing them as a valuable employee at that moment. Get her gone and get someone without the drama in there to take over and hopefully do some real work.

    And at the very least tell a human resources person or your manager, or even the vp, just to get anything off you if she turns around in a week or so and tries to get you fired saying you did something wrong. It sounds like she behaves like a child at times, I wouldn't put it past her, it sucks to get someone fired but it has to be done. :dunno:
     
  13. registeredPORK

    registeredPORK Happy Poo Poo

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    Being in a situation that didn't have to happen in the first place is fucking stupid. She put you in this situation without any real reason. She's manipulating everyone to feel guilty and have pity for her and she knows that she's doing a good job of it.

    She 36, not 16. She should know better and she should know better and know how to act professionally in an office environment.

    Keep us updated on this Kingtoad. I hope everything goes well for you.
     
  14. kingtoad

    kingtoad OT Supporter

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    Well, I did talk to my VP after work yesterday. I gotta say, after telling him this I feel a lot more relieved. I was pretty upset that after her little explosion yesterday because she went off and started talking to co-workers about me. She started telling my closest co-worker that I'm trying to get her in trouble and that I have a problem with her. She went crying to the project manager saying how I'm trying to get her in trouble and starting drama. She went to lunch with one of our designers and apparently talked a load of shit about me. :dunno: So, I didn't hold back during the meeting I had with the VP. He does not want us to separate offices because we only have one extra office and that's being reserved for him. He says he wants to talk with her regarding her professionalism and see where she's at. He was very understanding. He also stated he was writing her up regarding her outburst, as it was far out of the level of professionalism required for this job. We will be moving offices next year to a much bigger building and stated that when we move we were going to start fresh and he will not have ANY of this negativity at the new building.

    I'm not really one to bitch or complain to uppers regarding conflict with co-workers. I'd much rather prefer dealing with the conflict with the co-worker and moving up from there. This is the first time I've ever had to do this. He knew the situation was fairly serious when I approached him about it, because I am the person most likely not to do so... as I tend to adjust myself to work around the issues of other people. :dunno:

    I'm pretty relieved right now. Granted, the designer will be pissed at me when he finds out what I told the VP. It's really up to her if she wants to keep her job. If she approaches him in a civil, rational manner, while he goes to talk to her about her "professionalism", she will realize things will work out rather well. But if she does an outburst to him like she did us... I have a feeling the exact opposite will happen.

    My VP said he would keep me updated on the situation. If I hear anything new I'll make an update.

    Thanks for all the help OT. :wavey:
     
  15. registeredPORK

    registeredPORK Happy Poo Poo

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    I'm glad to hear that it went well with the VP. Hopefully that drama queen decides to quit after it all.

    You shouldn't have to be go through all that drama at work.
     
  16. Plasma

    Plasma New Member

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    Fire her - its a no brainer.
     
  17. KatWoman

    KatWoman •••••••••••

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    Good to hear, however, I would see if there's some way you can put a physical boundary between you two if you can't have her OUT of your office. Maybe get a privacy panel of some sort.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. kingtoad

    kingtoad OT Supporter

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    Well, she came into work early this Monday and seemed OK. She read her e-mail from the Vice President stating that he wish to speak with her. He didn't mention about what. Let's just say that my VP's name is John. She immediately starts barking at me after she received the e-mail "Did you speak to John?!". I reply "About?". She points to me and herself referring to the conflict that we had last week. I'm such a horrible liar, I cannot lie or distort the truth in anyway, so I said "Yes". She asks what did I tell him. I told her that I'd rather not speak about that. She kept applying pressure, saying "Did you go to his office? Did you talk to him? Did he come here? What did he say? Did he talk to our Project Manager?" and so on. I just told her I really didn't know. :dunno:

    She dialed her friend on her cellphone and the first thing she says is "I'm sick of this bullshit job". She's always on her cellphone talking to her friends for hours and always bitching about something so it really isn't anything new to me. She says to her friend "Hold on, I'll be right back". And she leaves the office with her phone. She goes outside to continue talking to them. Now, I wasn't eavesdropping. Like I said, we share an office together so it's not really possible to NOT hear such things. Anyway, she comes storming back into the office and I hear her loudly mumble in the hall way "Yup, time to find a new job". She enters the office shaking her head. Now she's sitting at her desk randomly saying things like "Yep!", or "Yup!". :hsugh:

    Whatever.
     
  19. thewise1

    thewise1 Guest

    :rofl: hopefully she just leaves broseph
     
  20. kingtoad

    kingtoad OT Supporter

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    There is an aura of awkwardness in this office right now. :hs:
     
  21. johan

    johan Active Member

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    just ignore her. You've said your piece to the man in charge.

    Now's the time to keep your hands extra clean.
    Stop "helping" her.
    Be a good idea to not be alone with her either.



    She kept saying Yup because she got a talking to, and inside, she knows all of those things are true.

    I've known girls like that. They say it in a "fuck me? fuck you" while rolling their eyes tone of voice.
    Again, interesting, but irrelevant.

    Stay away from her.
     
  22. registeredPORK

    registeredPORK Happy Poo Poo

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    :werd:


    Just keep doing your thing, kingtoad.
     
  23. MattThom01

    MattThom01 New Member

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    Quick thoughts.

    It's not your job to help her fix her problems. It is your job to do the best job you can, and to address situations that affect your performance in any legal and appropriate way you can.

    If she can't do the job properly, she shouldn't be there.

    It's HER responsibility to fix her problems, not yours.
     
  24. kingtoad

    kingtoad OT Supporter

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    Well, I think the situation just got a whole lot more awkward.

    Yesterday she had a really bad attitude at work and it was because the VP had sent her an e-mail asking her to talk to him after work (Read my last post). My VP called me up after work yesterday to give me a quick update about things. Basically what he told me she said was what I expected it to be. Irrational thought, no logic to her argument at all. She claimed that she thought it was unfair that I had went to the VP and that I should have handled it directly with her. This is where I chuckled a bit because I tried to handle the situation directly with her on SEVERAL occasions. That argument basically turned into a "he said, she said" type deal. Whatever. :sad2: He told me to expect an attitude change from her this morning.

    Was there an attitude change? No. She's still storming in here with her typical unethical and unprofessional behavior. First thing that came out of her mouth as she sat down at her desk this morning is "fucking shit!". She's still playing her silly high school games with me.

    I think I lost this one. :sadwavey: I don't like working like this so I think I'm going to start looking for another job.
     
  25. registeredPORK

    registeredPORK Happy Poo Poo

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    Look for another job and at the same time, tell your boss/VP that they basically need to do something about it (like letting her go) or face the facts that you'll be leaving because of this.

    Maybe have someone else move into your office and you move into theirs.

    If they appreciate you then they'll lose her and keep you. What proof do they need that she's disturbing you, being unprofessional and unethical? I wouldn't want to come into work hearing a co-worker talk consistently on the phone nor would I want to hear the constant bitching and moaning of their voice.

    I don't blame you if you want to look for another job, but if you like this one, then fight for it.
     

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