Remember the letter-writer last month who was worried that the person training her at her new job was sabotaging her work? Here’s the update.
Thank you very much for featuring to my question. I was impressed with your complete and thoughtful response. I was blown away by how much the commenters know about database audits and spreadsheet sharing and tracking, and also by the perspectives I had not even considered. What an amazing community! A few commenters requested an update, so here it is…
I wish I had a really interesting update, but the problems I was having training with Jane resolved pretty quickly, and I didn’t need to do anything. Another coworker, “Bob,” took over my training very shortly after I wrote (no explanation about why, but Bob’s role is similar and slightly senior to mine and Jane’s). Bob found fewer mistakes than Jane did, and they were presented calmly, sometimes by sticky note (versus long, emotional, conversations about following instructions). I fixed the mistakes and didn’t make them again – which is a better training approach for my personality. After a week, Bob said I wasn’t making any mistakes, and I was cleared to do my job without close supervision.
I never mentioned anything to Jane or our supervisor about the number of mistakes Jane found because Bob took over her role as trainer. The mistakes Bob found were more in line with my expectations of the type and volume of mistakes someone makes when training for a new position. Some commenters suggested I check the audit logs in the database and spreadsheets we use, but a lot of my pre-Bob training was done on Jane’s computer, and with her login, so there was not a clear way to differentiate between our entries (short of writing down the exact times I was making changes for comparison). I think Jane would have noticed if I saved copies of my work in front of her, but it never came up.
Fortunately, once I started working on my own computer, the mistakes… went away. I have a good working relationship with Bob and Jane, and our supervisor never even mentioned the mistakes Jane was finding.
I have been doing my job since then with very few mistakes, but the other day I made a pretty major mistake (I saved a document to an incorrect client file) and Jane caught it. Jane was actually really nice about it, and I fixed the problem with basically no fuss. The next day Jane left flowers on my desk with a letter saying how well I was doing my job, and how happy she was that I joined the team. I think this gesture illustrates Jane’s preference for relationship-oriented interactions (versus my preference for task-oriented interactions). I still don’t know if Jane was sabotaging my work, but I understand how to work well with her now. Thanks again!