Remember the letter-writer whose coworker kept saying she had no idea how to do her job, and who would text our letter-writer things like, “I don’t know what he’s talking about” while her boss was talking with her? Here’s the update.
I did take your advice and talk to Hank, my coworker’s boss, and let him know the things my coworker Samantha was saying and doing. He was really confused by it and surprised. But he appreciated that I told him, and agreed that he would make a concentrated effort to make sure his communications with her were clear.
Three weeks or so after that, Samantha and I were working off-site (Hank was not there; he was in another location), and I could hear her complaining to one of her peers about a certain issue. As she was walking out of the other person’s office, I heard her exclaim, “F*ck it, I have no idea, I’ll just throw crap in there and let Hank deal with it.”
So I went over to her office and asked what’s going on. She acted like nothing was wrong, so I said, “Samantha, I heard you talking, I know something is wrong.” She said she didn’t want to talk about it. And I told her that if she’s having issues, if she has questions, etc., I would appreciate if she would bring them directly to Hank, or, in his absence, me. And if I hear her saying things like “F*ck it”, etc., she can bet that I’m going to ask what’s going on because that’s my job. She then burst into tears and ran out of the office.
Because our offices have very thin walls, I figured he’d heard it, so I went to my boss’s office and gave him a rundown of what had been happening. Later that afternoon, he then went to Samantha and tried to talk to her, and got about as far as anyone else does.
Later she was very upset at me for talking to my boss, and in that conversation I told her I had also talked to Hank and Hank was making a effort to change his approach to her, and she was very upset about that as well. I explained that I have a responsibility to Hank to communicate things I know that impact him.
Anyway, nothing has really gotten better, but now that she knows I will tell Hank what she says about him, she has pretty much stop complaining to me. I don’t think she’s any happier at work though.