We had a staff meeting for our department at the end of June, and during the meeting the manager decided to have us all take part in one of those ‘games’ managers like to have their staff play, you know the kind that are supposed to boost confidence, team work, cooperation, that sort of stuff.
This one was supposed to be a morale lifter, she taped a piece of paper to each of our backs and handed out pens to everyone. We then had to go around the room and write one ‘positive comment’ on every body’s back. Once this was done we all sat down, removed our paper and read it. Manager then told us to keep it, and whenever we’re having a bad day to just look at it and see all the nice stuff our co-workers wrote about us.
Personally I’m thinking that if you need this stupid piece of paper to make you feel better there just might be something a little wrong.
So I read my comments and see the following:
- She knows a lot
- funny stories to tell
- has a lot of things to say about anything
- very kind and great to work with
- very energetic and great storyteller
- very friendly
- great smile
And I realize that out of the 9 things written, that 4 of them have to deal with me talking or ‘knowing a lot’ which could basically tell me that I’m a know it all, and that perhaps I should shut up. I laugh because I know that I talk a lot and I do ramble on about all the trivia that is stuck in my head. It’s a family joke, I’m the resident Cliff Clavin, always spouting stuff that honestly a normal person has no need to actually know.
But I’m not upset by my comments, I smile when I see them and laugh when I think about the possible hidden message.
Sadly this exercise did not work out so well for a co-worker, she is very dissatisfied with what was written on her back.
Now I admit that I can see how 2 comments might upset her. The first one was ‘Nice to talk to, Love to work without’ which is just mean. I don’t know why someone would write that, it was childish and should never have happened.
The second comment was ‘A managers worst nightmare’ and they drew a smiley face at the end. It was meant as a joke, but she freaked about it, so much so that at first she didn’t even realize that the other comment was there. Now I can see how that joke was taken the wrong way, especially since there is a grain of truth to it. She’s one of those people who call managers on their bullshit, if she’s got a problem she talks to the management and lets them know where she stands. I think that’s a good thing, but still I guess the joke shouldn’t have been made.
The next day I worked with her and she was standing there with her piece of paper and very upset. She asked me what I wrote and I said ‘Always willing to lend a hand to help out’ and she got upset, telling me that isn’t positive. I’m sorry, I thought it was.
She was upset at the stuff that said, ‘nice to work with’ and ‘friendly’. I’m not sure what she was hoping that we’d write, but she wasn’t happy with anything on her paper.
The meeting was on Sunday, so for the rest of the week she’d done gone and worked herself up to the point that during her shift she supposedly went and stood in a corner and refused to look at anyone, or say anything to anyone. I wasn’t there, so I didn’t see it, but you can bet that everyone is talking about it because it was so bad the other co-workers had to go to the manager and tell her that she was so upset, and that they thought she should be sent home to help her rest and maybe calm down a bit.
The manager gave her Saturday, Sunday and Monday off to help her recoup. So imagine my surprise yesterday when at the end of my shift, 2:45, my manager calls to tell me that this co-worker called just a minute ago, to say she wasn’t coming in. I had a room full of children, and I had to get home to get Dev off of the bus. My manager was begging me to stay and I was in a dilemma.
Lucky Sean was home already, so he was able to bring Dev in from the bus and watch him. I stayed at work until 5:00 and then went home, in a very bad mood at this co-worker for leaving me in the lurch like that.
Today I got a call from work, this co-worker has decided who wrote those comments (incorrectly I might add, since I know who actually did it) and she no longer wants to work with those people and she also doesn’t want to work with anyone who is friends with those two people. I was afraid of that, and when I looked at the schedule and saw that on Friday she is to work with the best friend of one of the people I thought to myself that she may not come in on that day.
So I wasn’t surprised when I got a phone call from work today telling me that she’s not coming in on Friday and wanted to know if I want that shift.
I’m not taking it. I don’t want to help her out anymore. Every week when the schedule comes out she bugs me to give up some of my shifts to her. For some reason she’s decided that if I have over 16 hours a week, I don’t want the extra hours. So whenever I get more than 16 hours she picks out the shifts she likes and tries to get me to give them to her. She’s decided that since I have a husband who works, and she doesn’t have a husband to help pay the bills, that I don’t need the money as much as she does.
Plus, if I give a shift away to somebody else she gets all in a snit. On Ceilidh’s birthday I had to give a couple of shifts away, she was already scheduled to work during those times, so I gave the two shifts to other people. She wouldn’t talk to me for a couple of days after that.
This is just crazy what’s going on right now. It’s frustrating, and it makes everyone in our department, first of all talk about all of this because it is so frustrating, and secondly I think she’s blowing it all out of proportion. Sure there were two comments that shouldn’t have been there, but she’s upset about all of them now, and is mad at all of us for not writing what she wanted us to write, which we’re not even sure what she wanted.
I tried to be as nice as possible, I thought being helpful to those who need it is a very positive thing. Sadly I guess I’m wrong.