Thursday, July 2, 2009

HR Sucks

This week I'm dealing with one mega pain-in-the-ass employee...the kind of employee who, no matter what, is never wrong. She is always the victim and it's always someone else's fault. This person lives with so much drama in her life it makes me dizzy. I've counseled her so many times....and she sits there looking at me with a blank face. She always acts shocked about whatever the topic is, always denies any wrong-doing, and usually strings together a bunch of stupid excuses that includes blaming other employees. She absolutely cannot hear what I'm saying. Sure, she hears me talking...but no listening takes place.

I really am a fair person. I always give employees the benefit of the doubt. I try to give people grace even in hard circumstances. I've had terrific bosses who have taught me the right way to coach someone how to perform better. My main goal in managing is that every employee will leave better than they came.

Unfortunately, I'm afraid that goal is unattainable with this employee. How do you get through to someone like this? Can you just tell someone that their negative energy follows them around like a black cloud? Is "passive agressive behavior" something for which you can write someone up? How do you teach someone not to talk shitty to other employees? How do you present valuable growth opportunities to someone who turns it around into being victimized, picked on, or treated unfairly? And to further complicate these questions....her actual work performance is good.

Two months ago, my regional director told me to fire this employee. Knowing her family situation, I just couldn't do it. I wanted her to have the chance to be better, to grow in her role. To save face. And now I'm having to deal with it all over again. Guess who's feeling like a big schmuck right now?


Marna said...

HR does suck. Sometimes they don't get it until they leave, and sometimes they never do. Sounds like you're on the second option with this one. :(

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

You have my sympathies, lil sis! Teh 'Bride is the head of Youth Services at her library and she has this exact same employee to deal with - a total bummer to be around; passive-aggressive up the wazoo ... but a more-than-competent YS librarian.

I would never want to be a supervisor, I can tell you that.

Teh 'Bride now wishes she'd never agreed to becoming one, also.

Good luck! If you discover how to deal effectively with this type of employee, be sure to clue the rest of us in to the secret!

Elisabeth @ said...

Yeah, I did the whole "counsel her, she'll improve/her life is so screwed up that I can't fire her/I want her to WANT to grow thing for 2 years with my most recent assistant. She didn't grow, her life didn't improve, and she didn't improve.

I fired her 3 weeks ago, and I wish I had done it sooner. The reality of knowing that I wasted so much time and energy on helping foster change in someone who wasn't open to change is disappointing.

Last night, she called one of my other employees to ask for a place to live. The girl lives in a house with at least 10 other people in her family (plus her boyfriend), and they apparently are foreclosing on the house that the boyfriend owns. Their mortgage is $500 per month. Clearly, *someone* in that house could have put their money together and paid the mortgage.

Some people are not willing to grow, and there is nothing we can do to force that change. You can lead a horse to water... word verification is as follows:


Here's proof:

carrie said...

This lady lives with ten other people, too! And she is the only one who do people survive???

Carolina John said...

yea sometimes you just can't help everyone that you want to help. better to help them move on than stick around ruining your work place for everyone else.

Diana said...

I gotta agree with your her ass!
Or....suspend first to prove you mean business and take it from there, but usually getting rid of the "cancer" makes everything better down the road. Her life goes on whether she works for you or someone else. Do not feel guilty, think of the rest of the staff and the patients they take care of.
Best of luck.....have a great weekend!

P.O.M. said...

Hmmmmmm that does NOT sound like fun to deal with. I wonder what would happen if you were so blunt to just tell her how she is percieved and that she's has one last chance. See if it makes a difference. Some people are just happy with their status quo and might take a major shake up to make any positive changes.

Anonymous said...

See this is always the problem with you HR people! You don't look at the issues with the person! Ever try to consider why this person is so negative or why he or she has such a black cloud! You should try to help her with whatever personal issues she is having instead of just firing him or her! I am dealing w a situation at my work where people dont like me and are making stuff up about me to my manager and HR in fact I have been investigated twice and twice I have been cleared! Now someone made something up again and this time I got written up! It is completely untrue! I fought it with HR and instead of helping me they tried to throw text messages and pics I sent from my personal phone to another banker who told me that he didn't care and thought the pic was funny! So I am being retaliated aganist by HR and its not cool now I may lose my job and career because HR and my manager swear up and down that because someone claims it happened three times it must be true! So you can imagine my frustration!

agarwalvina said...

you deserve it becasue u r from HR!! They have so much of atitude, while dealing with people, or recruiting people.. YOU DESERVE IT!