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Seriously?! Again?!


iaawal
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So my coworker/supervisor said "I think X is overwhelmed" so I went into my C/S's office and asked "do you think we should have her list all of her tasks and then take some off of her? Overwhelmed people make mistakes."

 

And she was like "um X came and talked to me..."

 

And I though "Oh shit, not this again." A few months after I first started, C/S came to talk to me because some people told her I was being rude and haughty. Which I wasn't! I'm just autistic and don't understand communication styles that well and don't see the need for smiles and rainbows. 

 

So I changed that. Smiles and rainbows. Stupid small talk. 

 

Me, C/S and boss are very direct in our emails. Boss is a slacker (his words), C/S is disorganized (his words) and I'm into details. But all of us do fine in straightforward emails. 

 

Recent hire (X) is very emotional. This is the girl who wants to be a doctor. The one who got burnt out from 2 9-hour days. 

 

Apparently, she thinks I'm mad at her, I'm making her very nervous and she feels I'm micromanaging her. I talked to C/S and she says I'm her supervisor. 

 

I agreed to add some exclamation points and smiles in my emails. 

 

Seriously, this girl replies to our emails with "I love you guys so much you're awesome!! :)" to something like "Hey, left the sheet on your desk."

 

So now I have to be all smiles and rainbows in person and in emails. 

 

I admit I have been sending cut and dry emails that she's been CC'd on. But they were directed at students. 

 

 

 

 

I told C/S to ask our boss to have a chat with her (on a personal note) about what she should expect in the medical field. Being overly sensitive and expecting everyone to be smiles and rainbows with you is just not the reality there. People are cut and dry. You fuck up, there's consequences. You forget something important, you get reminded in a serious tone. 

Edited by iaawal
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C/S said that a big part is really on her because she's so emotional. Boss agreed. 

C/S said she'd talk to her and would let her know that this is our communication style and that while I was sending those emails I never saw anything wrong with them. 

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It's hard to read people sometimes. Especially when you work in such a diverse workforce. You were certainly not violent and rude in your emails; it's a bit weird. 

 

As far as happy sunshine - have you ever watched body language videos? I've watched some and found them very interesting, sometimes helpful. It's taught me to be able to read some things. It doesn't really help with emails, but it can help other things. 

 

I find the smiles a bit weird. What does she think she's in, 6th grade? I used to be a supervisor and I never sent out emails with smiles. Then again, maybe I'm "out of touch." 

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Your emails were exactly what one would think you'd want from a supervisor, precise, detailed, succinct instructions.

Not unicorn barf.

A nice please or thank you might pad things a little, but is optional.

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Thanks guys. I'm really not worried about this so much now that some time has passed. Like at first I was like "OMG, not this again" but the more that I think about and with your responses, she really needs to grow up. I agree, unicorn barf (lol) is not professional. 

 

She's worried about me micromanaging her but I've already caught a bunch of slip ups in the last 2 days. Like if you want me to trust you, do your job right. That's how I stopped being micromanaged when I first started. C/S saw that I could do my job and now she only micromanages occasionally. 

 

She's going to face a harsh reality when she realizes the medical world isn't all unicorn barf and no one is going to bend over backwards because she's feeling "anxious." 

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I rather someone be cut and dry with me in a professional setting. Honestly when I send emails to my professors or other figures of authority I'm extremely cut and dry. The one thing I always do is just add a thanks at the end. 

 

I can understand how someone who isn't used to cut and dry may at first misinterpret things, but I saw absolutely nothing wrong with your emails. Especially after a while she should come to know your email style.   

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I can understand how someone who isn't used to cut and dry may at first misinterpret things, but I saw absolutely nothing wrong with your emails.

 

Me either.  If she has a problem with you though, IMO she should bring it up with you ... like ask you if she is doing something wrong.  Not get someone else involved in the loop, unless there is a really huge problem with communication.

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I'm probably along the same lines as your colleague - sensitive to criticism and I appreciate the odd smiley face in emails. Another delicate flower. :)

 

The difference is though, I suck it up when someone points out one of my mistakes, and I usually thank them. I'm still new and people pointing out mistakes is how you learn, right?

 

The waves of self loathing at the time are definitely my problem, not theirs. Some people I work with don't bother to conceal their frustration when I mess something up and they don't try to soften it when they tell me, seriously, why I have to do better. If necessary, I hide in the bathroom to cry, wash my face, and then try to do better next time.

 

X just has to get used to different communication styles. Maybe find a therapist to help her deal with things. Anyway, you aren't doing anything wrong and it's her problem, not yours.

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Is there an HR person where you work?  This is something that should fall into their sphere. I'm just wondering if, instead of involving your entire team, an outside person (HR) be brought in to find some solutions.

 

I will say that my management style is pretty brusque, and one of my employees can be damn near impossible if she gets any sort of feeling that she's being criticized.  Since she's my only full time employee (and we've been friends for 15 years), I dragged her into therapy.  This is what I learned:

 

It's her problem.

 

However, what our therapist has coached me to do is to see her as wounded so that I don't feel defensive or criticized by her.  If I don't intend to hurt or upset her and she takes it that way?  Her problem.  It's actually made me kinder to her because I realize, after some pretty frank introspection, that her reaction isn't a reflection on me.  And if I am acting like an asshole, I apologize and stop.

 

Have you had a conversation with this person and explained your point of view and your situation as plainly and honestly as possible?  That can go a long way to bridging gaps and such.  As well, if you're not her supervisor or she doesn't ask you for help, I'd stop micromanaging her.  Micromanaging doesn't really help anyone, and if someone needs that, it should be a direct supervisor. 

 

Your emails are pretty brusque, and that's fine, that's your style.  With that said, there's a middle ground when communicating between unicorn barf and what can come off as being an asshole.  I know this because I default to being an asshole.  You can definitely learn to communicate effectively such that people want to make you happy-- I'm not great at it, but some of my friends are and it's pretty amazing.  And it really is just about how you communicate the exact same things.  Trying to emulate some of that or even taking some social skills classes might help you in the long run if this comes up a lot.  It might just make life and work easier.  It doesn't mean there's anything wrong with you, just that social skills can really help get you to where you want to go.

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Yeah. Some of my emails contain thanks and some even exclamation points. I just posted the more cut and dry ones because I thought those were the ones that "affected" her. Social skills are helpful. And I've learned many over the years. And I possibly do need to learn some more. But I got used to my emails being this way since C/S and boss are also cut and dry in their emails. 

 

I am guilty however of throwing them out the window when shit needs to get done and we're busy as hell. If I ask you to get something done, I don't really want you say "okay!" then burst out laughing for no reason. And I will pressure you once you go past your deadline. 

 

I am her supervisor though so it's my job to train and manage her. I hate micromanaging but it's often times necessary because she will not do things on time or do them correctly.

 

I was sort of thinking she might have an issue that she's 26 and I'm 23 and I'm her supervisor. 

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If you're a working woman with autism, you should know that you will at several points in your career be called rude and abrasive -- not because you missed a social cue, but because you're a woman

 

I may or may not be on the autism spectrum, but my experience has been that if you're a working woman period and you're at all assertive, you're going to piss people off in the work world.  

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C/S met with a former C/S who transitioned into the business/HR/managing side in the department. 

 

This little "issue" wasn't discussed about much. Former C/S said this isn't any issue on my part and my emails were fine. But X needs to work on her emotional issues. 

 

Most of the meeting was to discuss her performance. It's been far from stellar. 

 

She's been lying about her hours. 

 

I've actually suggested a therapist to X. Only because she's come into my office talking about her problems and worries and using me as a fake therapist. And even leaves and says "thanks for being my therapist!" I've told her on multiple occasions that it would benefit her to see a therapist. 

Edited by iaawal
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I know right? 

 

And I went in her office because C/S was like "what she working on?" and I was like "nothing from me, what do you have her doing?"

 

Went in, her task for the next 4 hours were going to be very little. 

 

Seriously. 4 hours worth of pay for that. 

 

I just took on 13 of her tasks. In addition to the fact that I now have to supervise the visits she conducts. Fucking pissed because I have WAY more tasks than her and I just took on more. Wtf. It's a temporary position before she heads on to med school and she's not taking this seriously. I really hope this isn't her work ethic, speed or style in reality. I just hope she's being a slacker because she's not taking this seriously. 

Edited by iaawal
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Wow, not cool. Methinks momma's precious snowflake needs to be terminated, actually.

...and to be told precisely why, if that's legally possible?

I dunno, I just march them out...

But she needs consequences.

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