View Full Version : negative tone at work? clearing the air with supervisor in a good way?

Zoe Girl
11-1-11, 9:22pm
Hi all, yeah you hear from me a lot.

So we had training on Friday. I recieved 4 staff phone calls/texts that morning. One person had strep, another was counting on that person for a ride, and another pair of staff was hopelessly lost. So i walked in a bir late, wanna say 10 minutes, and with the staff I gave a ride to. When I got the list of people to do write ups on that staff was on there so I went over to my sup to just let her know that staff A was on the phone with lost staff and we were trying to give them directions. All fine, but my sup says she had gotten a write up ready for me to recieve for that tardy to be fair all around. It has bothered me all day.

To be fair all around is that the first tardy is generally a conversation. not even a documented conversation at that. trainings are a bit different I understand, but i also understand they finally gave up the total no cell phone rule because we are on call all the time. And also part of the 'fair' is that I have literally NEVER been late. Not since training in August, not over the summer for camp, not for a meeting, nothing. I have had weeks with 3 and 4 appointments for the mental health of my kids and they are ALL scheduled around meetings and trainings. The only one I have ever requested off was my birthday and I was okay if I didn't get it, but I gave up our very special family day in August (it was Warped Tour which not many people understand but okay).

So I want to bring this up in some gentle way, not in a more conflict way, but we have been a very good team and I know these things can fester and affect the team. I also would appreciate being known as the always on time person and get asked what happened rather than automatically written up.

11-2-11, 5:01am
I think you need to sit down and prepare to have one of those "difficult conversations" and try to make sure you are understanding each other.

I would be prepared to explain the situation simply:

1) I was on my way here, planning to be on time, when I learned that most of my team was not going to make it.

2) I chose to do what I could to get everyone here. I picked up the person who needed a ride and asked Staff A to talk the lost staff here. We all arrived a bit late as a result.

Then ask: In this situation, what would you have done differently? My judgement was that it was more important to work as a team to get everyone here on time and support them through their different challenges than it was for me to be on time. I would not have felt comfortable as a team leader not supporting them in that way. I recognize that punctuality is important, and I will work with everyone on my team to plan better in the future, including having everyone review directions and have alternate backup plans for rides, etc. But I ask that in this situation, given the circumstances, you not write anyone up since the situation was largely beyond our immediate control.

If she chooses to write you and the other team members up, you have learned something important -- the rules are more important to her than the team and the outcome.

I would proceed with caution, regardless. This whole situation reeks of dysfunction/poor communication and unclear expectations/objectives. You might not be able to change it. Unfortunately, you may need to sacrifice some ideals and things that are important to you if you are going to survive within it.

Sympathies. And support. YOu can do this. You are good at what you do and they need you. You just have to be very careful to not just show but also document what you do and do the best job you can to make sure your immediate responsibilities and duties are always covered. That's really hard when the people you are responsible for are often letting you down. but again, document your instructions and protect yourself. You won't be able to help your team if this supervisor has it in for you and decides to set you up.


Zoe Girl
11-2-11, 6:07am
thank you lhamo, i am dealing with some negativity in addition to this and so I am goin to tread carefully. I know I tend to be an understanding softie overall but I also deal with people, not just policies.

One of my school sites has a new director and the staff and he do not have good communicatin. I am working with the staff because we need to improve some things however I also got a call from a parent and a parent stop by to specifically comment on him. When I updated my supervisor on this she dismissed it as the parents being friends with the othe staff and not the new guy. And one of the staff that generally updates me is the one she considered late. So we have a major negative and she knows I am going to work with them all frequently, but when a parent is dismissed like that I am concerned about the overall reputation of the team.

Okay I will let you know how it goes, it is hard to go into this knowing that people's perceptions of others are very difficult to change and i am concerned that I am in the 'failing staff' image category.