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there's not that much to cover

Posted by on Nov. 1, 2016 at 12:15 PM
  • 8 Replies

I have a couple of employees who are a mess.

One is a busy-body, in addition to being gossipy, rude, and nosy. She's an "okay" employee as far as quality of work, but long story short is on her way out.

Another employee gets so frustrated and panicky when things aren't exactly normal - which around here, they never are. Employee 1 was off for 3 days last week and employee 2 covered for her. We had another employee who was off for 1 day that employee 2 also covered for. This is part of employee 2's job. All the previous employees in that position have been able to handle it. All told, the parts that have to be covered amount to about an hour a day. Yes, it's a lot, but employee 2's duties are flexible so that this coverage can be worked in without creating havok. But for some reason, she just can't handle it.

Like I said, employee 1 is on her way out of here. When that happens, employee 2 will be permanently covering some things (as will the rest of us) until a replacement is hired and trained. Probably a few weeks, possibly a couple of months. Obviously permantently covering requires more than just covering for a day or 2 because the WHOLE job has to be covered, not just the daily hot spots. But, with distributing that off between 3 or 4 or 5 people, it shouldn't be overload for any one person. It shouldn't be that big of a deal, but I'm seeing it as just a disaster.

do you guys have employees who just can't handle abnormal workdays? What do you suggest I do to handle this? When employee 1 leaves, her work load will be distributed among a handful of people, so it's not like one person is going to be slammed. It just doesn't seem like it needs to be as difficult as what this person is making it.

by on Nov. 1, 2016 at 12:15 PM
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Replies (1-8):
deccaf
by Group Admin on Nov. 1, 2016 at 12:22 PM

We used to, but she left.  Normal days turn abnormal quickly.  People get sick, day to day stuff gets adjusted.  Life happens.  If you can't handle change, office work is NOT for you!

ljmom24
by Silver Member on Nov. 1, 2016 at 1:22 PM

OY this happens TOO often here. I swear I am the one ALWAYS covering. Then it’s like its ok for YOU to take time off but when someone else does YOU’RE THE one complaining. Like we have a girl going out on maternity “well who is going to cover…its not fair her stuff shouldn’t be pushed on us” well you took medical leave a year ago was it fair to us??? I remember years ago same company different department different co worker who is no longer here complained we had 2 girls on maternity leave at once and manager was like its life. They are entitled to the leave and you would be too. I am not going to complain if they give me her stuff to cover. I’ve been in the situation where the person who was supposed to cover for my leave flaked and it’s no fun coming back to a mess and I would never do that to someone.

Reality is too my department will only get smaller so better to be the one who can adapt. I try not to complain. In some ways division of labor isn’t equal at all but I think my manager sees more than we think so I will just go with the flow. Yup it’s rotten when I am one of the only ones working on a given day and I bite my tongue a lot when those always out complain when they get stuck on a short staff day. It’s not my place to say anything and believe me there are times I want to tell people off. Instead I go home and complain to DH. I come in I do my job, I help when asked and offer to help if I see its needed. My TL is very blunt when people complain about covering "at least we still have jobs"


Marti123
by Platinum Member on Nov. 1, 2016 at 8:29 PM
I find I have to assist people like that with clear expectations of written lists.

Some people are resilient while others not so much. I try to listen empathethically, give 'me a pep talk "I hear what you are saying, but if anyone can handle this, I am pretty sure you absolutely can." and then move about my business. Nobody got time for that!
Marti123
by Platinum Member on Nov. 1, 2016 at 8:30 PM
I honestly don't know any job outside office for that matter, most require a skill of patience & flexibility to survive.

Quoting deccaf:

We used to, but she left.  Normal days turn abnormal quickly.  People get sick, day to day stuff gets adjusted.  Life happens.  If you can't handle change, office work is NOT for you!

adamsmom0116
by Gold Member on Nov. 2, 2016 at 10:44 AM

That's it exactly. There are no "normal days" here. I'm just not sure what to do about it really - other than go down the path of documenting and progressive discipline. I really don't feel like we're asking her to do anything excessive. I mean, it's not like we're giving her 65 hours of work to do and 40 hours to do it. It should all be do-able.

Quoting deccaf:

We used to, but she left.  Normal days turn abnormal quickly.  People get sick, day to day stuff gets adjusted.  Life happens.  If you can't handle change, office work is NOT for you!


adamsmom0116
by Gold Member on Nov. 2, 2016 at 10:48 AM

I hear ya. It's not fair, but then, no one ever said life would be fair. No one promised me that, darnit!

The trouble I am having is that I am the supervisor in this situation. I really don't feel like the workload is unmanagable, even with the additional stuff for covering.

Quoting ljmom24:

OY this happens TOO often here. I swear I am the one ALWAYS covering. Then it’s like its ok for YOU to take time off but when someone else does YOU’RE THE one complaining. Like we have a girl going out on maternity “well who is going to cover…its not fair her stuff shouldn’t be pushed on us” well you took medical leave a year ago was it fair to us??? I remember years ago same company different department different co worker who is no longer here complained we had 2 girls on maternity leave at once and manager was like its life. They are entitled to the leave and you would be too. I am not going to complain if they give me her stuff to cover. I’ve been in the situation where the person who was supposed to cover for my leave flaked and it’s no fun coming back to a mess and I would never do that to someone.

Reality is too my department will only get smaller so better to be the one who can adapt. I try not to complain. In some ways division of labor isn’t equal at all but I think my manager sees more than we think so I will just go with the flow. Yup it’s rotten when I am one of the only ones working on a given day and I bite my tongue a lot when those always out complain when they get stuck on a short staff day. It’s not my place to say anything and believe me there are times I want to tell people off. Instead I go home and complain to DH. I come in I do my job, I help when asked and offer to help if I see its needed. My TL is very blunt when people complain about covering "at least we still have jobs"


adamsmom0116
by Gold Member on Nov. 2, 2016 at 10:51 AM

I think, honestly, she just has a problem with stress management and time management in general. She gets very flustered when things don't go exactly to plan. Like if she's billing and there's a problem with a sales ticket, it kind of screws up the whole day. So yeah. Basically every day is screwed up for one reason or another. That's life. That's how it goes. I'm wondering if asking her to keep a time log would help shed light on where exactly the time sucks are coming from.

Quoting Marti123: I find I have to assist people like that with clear expectations of written lists. Some people are resilient while others not so much. I try to listen empathethically, give 'me a pep talk "I hear what you are saying, but if anyone can handle this, I am pretty sure you absolutely can." and then move about my business. Nobody got time for that!


calsmom62
by Gold Member on Nov. 2, 2016 at 9:29 PM
Those people tend not to last very long in my dept. the best laid plans for your day get moved aside often for employee issues and we wear many hats. You might set up a recognition event in the morning, help someone navigate the employee portal or help with their time sheet, or respond to an angry employee who didn't understand why their manager wrote them up. Meanwhile your compensation survey deadline looms in the background . The teacher in me tries to help the floundering staff member with time mgmt, organization or prioritizing but in the end they just might be in the wrong place..
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