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Thread: Extremely annoying coworker?

  1. #11
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ultralight View Post
    I know I am not responsible for what she does if I manage to deflect her.

    But a goodly number of us will, when we see she is filibustering someone, swoop in and try to distract her from that person. We do this for each other. So I would be going against this team effort and this unspoken contract we have to try to help each other when he get buried by her chatter.

    If she got fired everyone on the team would feel relieved. But that relief would also be coupled with anxiety in many people. Like: "Who is next?!?!"

    At my work we have "ghost bosses." They don't interact with us much.

    Also, in the 3.5 years I have been there I have had 6 direct supervisors. So it changes often.

    Example: My main boss at work, who is a total ghost, once came to a staff meeting at all of our request to tell us about what he does in his role. He said, half-jokingly, "I go to meetings all day."

    Then he literally read a print-out of his own job description from HR to us. He said: "I thought it would be easiest if I just read to you all my job description from HR."

    To his credit, he highlighted some of the description and then later asked us if we had questions.
    to the bolded, the next to be fired would be the person whi wastes everyones time by relating the same tale of a broken microwave over and over. Its pretty simple. Don’t meet the standards? Then you dont have a job.

    if you all have been covering for her by fixing her errors and the bosses dont know, then you own this problem. dont be askin’ ME for advice then, ya’ll can get yourselves out if it.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    to the bolded, the next to be fired would be the person whi wastes everyones time by relating the same tale of a broken microwave over and over. Its pretty simple. Don’t meet the standards? Then you dont have a job.

    if you all have been covering for her by fixing her errors and the bosses dont know, then you own this problem. dont be askin’ ME for advice then, ya’ll can get yourselves out if it.
    My colleague, who was formerly my direct supervisor, who got demoted (for "micromanaging"), told the big dogs about Ms. Annoying being incompetent. She also told HR. The big dogs and HR said: "Retrain her."

    HR does not really fire people. They are well-known as just cheerleaders: "It is team spirit day! Be sure to wear your sports attire on Friday!"
    Last edited by Ultralight; 4-7-18 at 9:58pm.
    I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

  3. #13
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ultralight View Post
    One of my colleagues (a former boss who got demoted) said: "This is a cutthroat world."
    She was referring to getting her fired.

    But I was thinking maybe it could be just a little cut throat and a good group of us could be direct with her and say: "I don't care about your microwave or your archery. You are annoying."
    But I dunno...
    You dont need to tell her she is annoying. You could say, though, that her BEHAVIOR is annoying to you when you have work to do. And your could also tell her you have heard her stories many times and they do not interest you.

    If she is “on the spectrum” as they say, direct interactions get the most mileage..

  4. #14
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    Sounds to me like she is on the autism spectrum, in whch case she really is unable to change her behavior without a lot of direct coaching. Even then, she will never understand indirect/implied messages or body language.

    So what to do?

    - STOP COVERING for her!
    - Speak to her in short, clear sentences, i.e. Please go away. I have work to do, Right Now.
    - Several people should document how many times and for how long she distracts them from their work each day. Just record and put it away in case it is needed later.

    Be Clear with her, but do Not be mean.
    She did not get to choose her behavior, but you get to choose your response.

  5. #15
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    I agree with mschrigo2. I had to do this at work to a group of employees that were always standing around yacking right at my desk. Keep it business and about work.

    "Please stop talking at my desk, you are keeping me from working." "I cannot talk to you right now, I am working." "Please I need quiet right now, I am working." "I am working and need to concentrate, please don't stand behind me and talk to me. I cannot do my work."

    Rinse and repeat each time. Do not turn around and interact because that will lead to conversation, questions, and more wasted time. Be aware of your own interactions with other employees in front of her.

    Because it is about working and getting the job done correctly or you might be the one without the job.

  6. #16
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    If you want to continue rescuing each other, call the phone of the person trapped in conversation with her. "Sorry I have to take this call."

  7. #17
    Senior Member herbgeek's Avatar
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    Early in my career, I used to keep a clipboard handy for times like that. I'd suddenly look at my watch, then grab the clipboard and bound down the hallway with a "gotta go!".

  8. #18
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Lots of good advice here. I "+1" mschrisgo2's advice.

    My experience in matters like this is that subtle clues don't even register with people like Annoying. So do what you have to do. Get up, be polite enough say, "Excuse me", and leave -- even if it's only to the restroom or to ask a coworker a question (even if you could have handled it over the phone or instant message; the physical clue is bigger). When she appears at your desk, ask if she needs something from you and, if she does not have anything specific right then, interrupt (even if you have to talk over her) and declare that you were pretty deep in the middle of working on a task, turn around, and don't pay her any more attention. The task you have to work on might even be noting somewhere the date and time of when Annoying came over to visit you yet again. Just do anything but sit there and squirm.

    And don't think that firing is a nuclear option. First of all, (again, IME) firing someone is a long proscribed process of corrections and warnings before anyone is let go. She may first get a "come to Jeebus" talk with someone who has some authority over her (don't forget, your supervisor has a supervisor, too) and may have a length of time she has to "behave" to stay there. If you're all doing your jobs despite her interference (and having to do her work over again) you have no firing to fear. If you all let her be toxic enough to kill your productivity, the whole lot of you may disappear as part of an efficiency move. Don't let that happen.
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

  9. #19
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    Part of me is laughing evil style, as my brain in a dream last night said lock her in the bathroom, as there are people in the mirrors who care about her "stuff".

  10. #20
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    If firing becomes a matter of employees ganging up on others then yes it's a nuclear option and yes it could be spreading. But it often takes years of such corruption to get fully bad. Management should be doing managing. Lunatics (non-management employees) should not be taking over the asylum. But power abhors a vacuum or something.

    You can tell her to leave. It doesn't have to be because getting your work done is the most important thing to the organization. It can just be because you want to be left alone. But just make sure you don't step on the wrong toes in doing so, and do it with as much respect to her as possible (she sounds absolutely horrible, but since everyone else hates her, there would be a temptation of piling on her that I'd have to be aware of and be careful of).
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

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