Saturday, February 13, 2010

I had a coworker deliberately try to screw me yesterday and I must say I'm discombobulated by the fact. As by my previous post, it's been, to say the least, a stressful week. The department I work in is the only one that has coverage from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm. There are 8 of us and each week we work a different shift to make sure all those hours are covered. This past week I was working 9 to 5. But the person who was working the 12 to 8 shift had the day off and I was asked if I would cover the 12 to 8 shift and while I didn't really want to, I said I would.

The different shifts run from
(1) 8 to 4 - 4 people
(2) 8:30 to 4:30 - 1 person
(3) 9 to 5 - 1 person
(4) 10 to 6 - 1 person
(5) 12 to 8 - 1 person

The 8 of us have discovered and discussed the fact, that especially on a Friday night, there is simply too much work for one person during the final 2 hours so the 10 to 6 person has voluntarily shifted to the 12 to 8 shift to help with the very heavy workload. I was the first one to do this as it just happened to work out with a lot of shifting around of shifts, that I was the 10 to 6 person on Friday night for 3 weeks in a row and knowing what it's like, I switched to help the 12 to 6 person. Since then every week the 10 to 6 person has done the same - it's a great group I work with. We've run this by our supervisor and she has been very impressed with our 'team playing'

But - yesterday the coworker who had already said she would stay and work along with me on the 12 to 8 shift showed up at 8 and worked the 8 to 4 shift. I didn't really realize this when I showed up at 12, but as time went on, I realized that she had done this deliberately as she was angry with me for something that happened earlier in the week. She is young, very young, and was picked as one of the people to learn the new system in advance and help the rest of us when it went into operation. Because she is young, with a younger brain, and a lack of life experience, she is getting very annoyed and very short with the rest of us when we need help and it's beginning to cause some very hard feelings amongst us. I tried to explain to her that she had to try and put herself in our shoes - we will get this new system - but at the moment she needs to have patience and understand that it's completely 180 degree turn in the way we have done things for years and that unlike most times when you are learning a new job, there are others you can ask for help. In this case ALL of us are new to it and as a result frustrated and tired. In addition, because it's in the health field, there are clients who are in crisis who aren't always getting the same level of care they were the week before and I think that is what is causing the most stress. All of us are people people and we don't want anyone missed because of our new learning curve.

The coworker in question however, didn't take my attempt at advise in the way I tried to offer it and became very angry and hasn't spoken to me since. Now that in itself doesn't bother me. But when she showed up at 8 yesterday morning, without running it by her supervisor and just declaring (from what I picked up by what I was told by my other coworkers) and just said she didn't feel like working 12 to 8, well - I got angry. Because it was a deliberate act to screw me - leaving me by myself for 2 hours, with a brand new system that just started this week, on the busiest night of the week when there are extra case managers working so double the work load for that person (me).

I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that someone would be that vindictive. Thankfully, because it is a wonderful group of people I work with, another person said she would stay and work with me. And a good thing it was as again, it was extremely busy last night and if I'd been on my own, I honestly don't think I could have made it through.

As I said - I'm staggered that a coworker would pull this kind of thing and I'm not sure how I will work with her going forward.

And the real kicker is this person who is scheduled to be the 12 to 8 person next week, earlier before this all happened, asked if I could take her shift for two nights as she had something else she had to do in the evening and I quite cheerfully said I would. Now - do I have a 'sudden' change of plans and tell her I can't do it after all? I don't work that way. But after what she pulled, it makes me almost ill to do it for her.


farmwifetwo said...

If you've already agreed to a shift change keep your word. Don't get into something that can get back to the supervisor and put you in a defensive position.

BUT... should she ask again... "Sorry, I have plans that evening. Maybe another time." Is the response I would give.

Kristie (J) said...

Farmwifetwo: I think that's what I will go with - except *g* I won't add the sorry - because inside it will feel too good to say no and I won't be at all sorry.

farmwifetwo said...

You have to add the "sorry", with that look, the slightly sarcastic tone of voice... looking her right in the eye with the little smile... She won't miss the fact you're not impressed and having been polite... can't do a dang thing about it.

azteclady said...


I've learned, painfully and very slowly, that people never get it when they are in the wrong--it has to be spelled out to them.

In your shoes, I would probably approach her and say, "Are you still planning on having me cover for you this week? Because after the stunt you pulled on Friday and the fact that you aren't talking to me, I'm not sure."

If she has the gall to tell you that she does want you to cover for her... well, I probably would tell her that I would, happily do so, *IF* she understands that what she did was vindictive and childish, and that apologizing--not just to you but to the supervisor as well--would be the mature and decent thing to do.

Then again, if you have to work with this person for the long term, this is probably not the best strategy.

What a bitch, though.

Nancy said...

In my minds eye I believe that a person that has to exact revenge must be a very angry hurt person inside, so instead of being angry with her feel only sadness. It must be so hard to be her. Feel proud that you aren't that way. You can hold your head up high and say I am a good person, I can do the right thing and big huge yeas for me. What goes around comes around but you don't have to be one that does the hurting.

sister Nanc

Mary G said...

Hi Kristie
I find people like that self-destruct eventually. Damn if it doesn't take too long though. No excuse for her behavior but you have to wonder if she charged with training what kind of pressure mgt has put on her. Bottom line:
My theory has always been - let the other person be the bad guy. I'm not going to do anything that can come back on me.

Pamela Clare said...

Aw, Kristie! Sometimes people just suck. I'm so sorry that this person appears to fall into that category.

I agree with Farmwifetwo. Keep your word, but the next time she needs help, she won't get it from you.

I've had my share of getting screwed over by coworkers, and it's always a painful shock to see the ugliness of some people's thoughts in their actions.


Carolyn said...

I don't post here often, Kristy, but this struck a note with me. I would wonder if she's feeling 'out of the loop', since the rest of you have been together for so long, but if so, she's handling it in entirely the wrong way. This is not how to make friends and ... well, I forget the rest of the quote, not unusual these days.

We're integrating a new system in my small office and it's caused a lot of shrillness and time outs and stress, and most of us have worked together for years. My writing partner has just been through a situation similar to yours.

I agree with farmwifetwo; that's how I'd handle it. (Along with much internal bitching, I might add!) But never again. She'd be on her own after that.

Perhaps she'll find it can be darn lonely when you're always right. ;-)

My wish for you is that your learning curve shrinks so dramatically you will no longer be even a little bit dependent on her 'younger', perhaps quicker brain. In real life, as in Romance, sometimes slow is good.

orannia said...


I'm surprised your supervisor didn't ask her why she had changed her shift without permission.

If it was me, I'd think I'd ask her if she still wanted me to help her out by working the late shift twice. Not in a nasty way, but more in a 'checking in' way. It would be interesting to see her response, considering what she has just done. But if she said yes, I'd do it, because I gave my word.

I hope the system gets easier to understand and the tensions lessen. I've been in work environments with in-fighting and it's no fun. I do love how the majority of you are working together though - not just for you but for the customer. Making people less stressed before the weekend is a good thing. There's nothing like a weekend worrying about health issues to increase your BP!

Heather D said...

I have to agree with the vast majority Kristie. It sucks that this young lady has stooped to such a level.

Is the supervisor aware that you are suppose to cover for two of her shifts? Definitely double check with said employee to make sure she still needs your help and then make sure your supervisor is aware of the changes.

As a former front end supervisor that had to deal with swapping shifts to accommodate scheduling conflicts, it is always nice to be informed of who is suppose to be on duty... especially if something goes wrong. As a supervisor I would be wondering why she felt she could just change her schedule without discussing it with me and leaving another staff member short handed and another feeling the need to work over to help out. Doesn't sound like much of a team player to me!