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Sick of Being Disrespected by Coworker - Meeting Monday - Need Advice

Discussion in 'Coffee Break and Community Discussion Forum' started by Nikki, Nov 19, 2015.

  1. Nikki

    Nikki Well-Known Member

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    For the last couple of months, I have been put down and degraded via email by a manager in our company.

    He is egotistical and treats others like they don't do their job correctly.

    He harps on me about determining root causes in a thorough manner, but when it comes to processing complaints with a customer that is HIS account - all of a sudden he wants to cut corners, not follow the usual process, and sends emails full of profanity - example: "the customer is f***ing* desperate!" I usually print off emails that contain coorspondence pertaining to complaints and put them with the complaint. But I can't when its full of swear words.

    When I ask questions - he replies with snotty remarks, which would indicate that I am stupid or that I should know the answer and not have to ask questions.

    I've become so upset and angry, I have almost resorted to responding to his emails and asking "What did I do to you to treat me this way????" But I don't want this to be a situation where he is giving me enough rope to hang myself...

    I've gone to my HR department twice just to put the issue on record.

    I plan on meeting with my boss on Monday about this. I've had enough.

    I don't want to turn this into a childish, dramatic, "he-is-picking-on-me" situation - but I deserve respect too.

    Any advise on how I should handle my meeting with my boss and what I should say..

    Thanks in Advance,
    Nikki
     
  2. Reluctance

    Reluctance Member

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    This sounds like a pretty tough situation. I don't have much personal experience with this sort of situation, but I would like to try helping and offer encouragement.

    As far as advice, try to keep everything as factual as possible with hard evidence. The two discussions with HR will help with this. It may be difficult to remain composed during your meeting but, unless your boss is incredibly empathetic, it is probably best to avoid this as best you can. Take your time and think through what you want to say. While a flood of emotions may be cathartic for you, it is often difficult for others to remain professional in the ensuing waves.

    It sounds like you are taking all the right steps. You can do this. Try to look at this as one of the hardest root cause problems you may ever have to face.
    At the end of the day it is really your own conscience that you need to live with.

    Good luck
     
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  3. Claes Gefvenberg

    Claes Gefvenberg Moderator Staff Member

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    That sounds thoroughly unpleasant. Any idea as to WHY he acts like this, and more importantly: Is he treating others in the same way?
    Actually... You can! What could possibly be wrong with having his words in print? The way he expresses himself is not your concern.
    That can actually be countered by doing the very opposite (I have been there, and used this passive/aggressive tactic with good results): Treat him with the utmost respect, and PRETEND that you do not notice any slurs coming your way. The important thing is to appear fireproof.
    Exactly: No outbursts... Just pretend it's raining, and you'll be handing him the above mentioned rope. Whether he uses it or calms down (actually not uncommon), is his own choice.
    Ok... Something of a last resort, I presume? So, what did HR have to say about it?
    Fully understandable.
    Precisely: DO NOT do that. Just stick to facts, and do not strike back, warranted or not.
    Of course you do.
    Yes. Once more: Stick to facts. I suppose this situation is an hindrance when you try to do your job? THAT is your leverage.
    ___

    Agreed. Very important, that bit.
    Agreed again: Stay cool and factual.

    Good luck
     
  4. JCIC49

    JCIC49 Member

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    Nikki

    I agree with everything that Claes has said, I have been through a similar experience myself.

    The important thing is to respect yourself you know that what you are doing is of the highest standard if this manager cannot recognise this is their loss not yours. The hardest part is to treat this person with the respect that they are not giving you.

    In the action you are doing keep records of what you have done, who you talked to and when.

    In my case I changed jobs to get away from the situation that I was in.

    Jon
     
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  5. Nikki

    Nikki Well-Known Member

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    Thank you all for your advise. I plan to definitely stick to the facts.

    Why is he doing this? I don't know for sure. But I think it may be a result of me not bending to his wishes and making exceptions for him and HIS accounts. He has tried to convince me in the past to go around certain processes and procedures, and I stick to my guns. I want to remain consistent with what we do here. If I start allowing an exception here and there and not anywhere else, what kind of system would I have?

    I am NOT the only person he treats this way. It seems to be many people. While they may be able to handle his attitude, I just cant keep doing it. I am also sure that I work with him a lot more often than the others, so I am exposed to this treatment more often as well.

    I have responded to his horrible emails just as Claes suggests - polite, kind and unprovocted.

    When I spoke with HR, I really wanted to just make a record of the conversation - I was hoping it was just a "bad day" - and I wanted to vent to get it off my chest. HR is / was aware of why I spoke to them and my intentions if I was continued to be treated the way I was, still am.

    I am going to keep things strictly to the facts - I still have all the emails for evidence - although I don't think I will bring them with me for the meeting, but I will offer them to my boss if he would like to read them.

    I think if I just go in there and speak the facts of the situation and explain he will listen to me.

    Thank you all again for your words.
     
  6. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    When you meet with your boss, make it clear you WILL escalate this, in writing, to the next level if the management don't do something. I'd make it plain to them the ball's in their court to deal with this unhealthy situation. I'm not familiar with US employment law but harassment is certainly not allowed - in whatever form. It's apparently not your performance, or your boss would have been involved, right? Consider seeking legal advice in the mean time - do some research other than on here, in HR forums etc. Keep a comprehensive record of these "attacks".
     
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  7. Nikki

    Nikki Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Andy... My boss is the owner of the company - so if something doesn't get done - I have no where else to turn. But I am confident he will do something.

    I don't complain about others - so for me to schedule an unexpected meeting, I think he will take me seriously :)
     
  8. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    The owner won't want it to become public, which it will. It's a double edged sword. They recruited this person and clearly don't have the necessary to have them fix the issue - or get out. So, it may just take a poke in the eye for them to react appropriately...
     
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  9. Candi1024

    Candi1024 Well-Known Member

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    Just use appropriate key words, like harassment.
     
  10. MCW8888

    MCW8888 Well-Known Member

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    Nikki,
    The above are really good advices that you need to heed when you meet with your boss. Be strong and just stick to the facts. If you emails to substantiate the allegation of sexual harassment, you may consult a lawyer to file a civil case against the company you are working for. In addition the ISO9001:2015 section 7.1.4 notes must address human factors such as (a) non-discriminatory (b) psychological . My advice for you is to continue collecting these inappropriate emails and when your ISO auditor finally comes to conduct the ISO9001:2015, use these documents as objective evidence against Leadership and Commitment. Good luck with your Boss.
     
  11. Golfman25

    Golfman25 Well-Known Member

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    Nikki,

    Let me give you some advice. Be careful what you wish for.

    You say above that the animosity may be because you won't accede to his wishes for his customers. Then you say "what kind of system would I have?" Well it's not your system, it is the company's system. And in no event should the system require something from the customer that the customer is not willing to do or just feels burdensome.

    Since your boss is the owner of the company and this appears to have to do with customers, my guess is your boss will support the customer. He knows one thing. Nobody gets paid, especially him, if the customer doesn't send a check. If your "system" possibly "interferes" with the customer relationship you may have a problem.

    Now when you meet on Monday, don't go in whining about this guy. Just let the owner know you think the guy is a ______ (insert what you want here) and you may end up "kicking him in the knuts" if he continues his boorish behavior. Let the owner take it from there. Good luck.
     
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  12. Sidney Vianna

    Sidney Vianna Well-Known Member

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    One of the fundamental characteristics of a competent third-party auditor is to never get involved with company politics. An ISO 9001 audit is not an appropriate venue for this type of internal issues. Any third-party auditor who would allow him or herself to get involved with this would be stepping on a land mine field. Not everybody likes to play Dr. Phil.
     
  13. Ronen E

    Ronen E Well-Known Member

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    This is not about customer satisfaction or improving the system. There are built-in mechanisms in an ISO 9001 QMS for improvement of ineffective processes. Bullying and trash talk aren't among them.

    If the boss (who's also the owner) can't tell the difference then maybe it's time to move on.
     
  14. Claes Gefvenberg

    Claes Gefvenberg Moderator Staff Member

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    ...and THAT, as we all know, is sometimes the best option in a situation like this, but let us hope that this can be resolved in a more constructive way.

    If the system and the routines in question are sound, I would imagine that the owner will not be amused if someone tries to bully coworkers into allowing exceptions from it. If there is indeed something not right with the way the system is set up, it should be changed... obviously without any bullying: Antics such as described are simply not acceptable. Anyway, maybe the first question should be whether the owner is happy with the procedures in question or not.

    Good luck with the chat, Nikki.
     
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  15. Ronen E

    Ronen E Well-Known Member

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    The cause does not justify the means. If the system is flawed, it should be constructively fixed/improved; killing the messenger is neither constructive nor wise.
     
  16. MCW8888

    MCW8888 Well-Known Member

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    So help me understand How would you pick objective evidence for 7.1.4 notes associated with human factor?
     
  17. Sidney Vianna

    Sidney Vianna Well-Known Member

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    Notes are not requirements and, as such, they are not in the scope of the audit. As for the broader aspect of a potential work environment so full of harassment that impacts on product conformity and customer satisfaction, the auditor would have to have much more evidence at hand through interviews of many employees. One instance of grievance between two employees does not raise to the level of unacceptable work environment.
    And, as always, there are at least two sides to a story. As I said before, if any auditor were to get between these two people a la Dr. Phil, s/he is derelict as an auditor. S/he should be auditing the system, not attempting to do psychological counseling.
     
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  18. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    I agree with Sidney. Attempting to embroil a CB auditor in this and using a clause of the standard to create a corrective action is an act of futility.
     
  19. Jennifer Kirley

    Jennifer Kirley Moderator Staff Member

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    The behavior is described to be directed to others too, so it is not just toward you. That means it isn't about you - it's about this person you are describing. Pathological versus personal. It is time to separate out your feelings and focus on the effect this poison could be having on the business.

    I agree with Sidney: while it's true that the Notes in 7.1.4 address human performance stressors, the note starts off saying "can" versus "must" and, as notes those points are meant to add context - those aren't requirements. For that reason, do not involve the auditor; that would be an improper application of the CB's role and few, if any of us could come out with a favorable outcome from something like that.

    Not being able to include emails with expletives in records can be a problem and should be questioned. As for the rest, unless his performance is posing a problem technically (cutting corners on root cause - do I remember you work in an automotive supplier?) the interpersonal issues should be recognized as his, not yours. For them to be recognized as his, you would need evidence that he's poisoning the waters for others as well. Should you wish to present that as a case, be ready to describe why it matters to the business and/or the customers.
     
  20. Ronen E

    Ronen E Well-Known Member

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    I don't understand it. Have we grown so rough that it is not obvious anymore that EVERYONE deserves elementary respect from co-workers? Why should Nikky build elaborate cases to show that the business suffers from such behaviour, or that it affects more peers than herself? Isn't it enough that she is being grossly mistreated, simply for doing her job properly?... No, this should not need any leverage. If it does, the writing is on the wall. I think that "stick to the facts" is a great advice in this case, and should do.
     
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