better at boundaries!
I have a new staff person, well in December she started, who could use a little therapy. She has asked me many times if she is losing her job, and every time I say NO! If there is a problem she will know about it and we will work on it. There are other things, but the calling at night thing. So one time I was off on a Friday and something very upsetting happened so I said she could call me that night. I have seen other missed calls (sooo glad I only gave her my work cell number). And then last night while I was at meditation my phone started to vibrate and I saw she left a message. I texted back at the break and told her I was busy so she said she would talk to me today. Geez. She told me earlier that she needed to leave an hour early on Friday. I am off and out of town on Friday so I gave her 2 options to take care of it herself. She figured it out okay, but I didn't fix it for her. I take care of staff taking time off when it is in advance, when no one else has the same time off, or if they are sick and contagious.
Then I had a parent call the work cell at 4:30 ish, kids were out on the playground at that point. She wanted to talk to one of my staff, she tends to monopolize the staff while they are supervising kids and does not notice things like that. So I told her my staff was supervising kids and couldn't be on the phone but that they could call her back after project time. I feel good about that one, and we are trying to get her to talk to me rather than the staff more, slow progress there.
BTW one of our most (legitmatly) upset parents gave my new assistant a starbucks gift card because she has seen such an improvement in our program and her child. That guy who was not working out talked to this mom once and she went home and cried. Dad had to tell me and I promptly told my staff he could not talk to the parents and made my best effort towards more training, so I have been concerned about repairing that relationship.
Do you have regular meetings with her, say weekly? If you have a regular tine to reassure her she is doing okay maybe that would help quell her fears?
OMG, today she said she couldn't remember why she called me last night. So I suggested she not call me, I turn off the phone and check at 5 am daily. I just saw that she called and left a voicemail while I was driving home. Gonna listen to that at 5 am, not now! Boundaries are work,
I talk to her daily, and we have a weekly staff meeting. So maybe I can track her progress. We did an in-depth bias training today and some of her old stuff came up in the discussions and the trainer met with her at the end to talk privately. I have taken training with him before and so that is great. She grew up with serious trauma and so she may have a lot to work on.
What is your procedure for firing someone? Is there a warning/mediation procedure first?
Maybe you should sit her down, next time she asks (am I getting fired), you should explain that procedure and ask her if she has been involved in any of that. Then explain your not her therapist but her boss (probably in a kinder way).
How do you keep getting these train wrecks of employees? Good grief.
I am thinking you are right that it is a boundary issue, and that goes both ways-- she should not be contacting you at home, and you are not her therapist, and should stay uninvolved in speculating on her mental health and need for therapy. Can you just do what you are doing and enforce the "don't call me at home, and we aren't going to discuss you being fired unless you have done something that meritsbeing fired, and have a meeting with hr where you put this all firmly in their court, and you removed yourself from her worries, and let her know you will be observing your appropriate job boundaries, just as she needs to observe hers? And maybe you need the hr rep at that meeting, to alleviate her fears about being fired, and explain the firing process to her?
I would be very leery about going down that road that starts discussing her need for therapy, etc.