update from the manager with the inconsistent employee with self-inflicted illnesses

Remember the reader who managed an employee with inconsistent work and too much time off for self-inflicted illnesses? She’d drink non-potable water or exercise to the point of exhaustion and have to take days off. Here’s his update.

I’m happy to say that story has a happy ending. We discussed her perfomances at several meetings occuring over multiple weeks, and after I stated that I needed more consistent efforts from her, she understood and became a daily star performer. I since was able to promote several employees, and she was among them. She is now one of my best employees, and I have learned to better handle someone who tends to put themsleves in stressful positions. I still have much to learn, but I feel pretty good about her turnaround.

{ 18 comments… read them below }

  1. Charlotte*

    That’s really awesome. I think as managers sometimes it can be easy to get pessimistic about employees’ chances to turn things around, and it’s good to see a success story to remind us that through good management it is possible.

  2. Mary Wright*

    So true. I find that my dissatisfaction is as much my choice as others’ performance. I can often turn around performance issues merely by changing my attitude and, hence, my actions, in relation to them. Bravo, Manager.

  3. Alice*

    That is great news. I am extremely curious though, how does one obtain non-potable water, and then has the mind to drink it? Gross.

      1. Jamie*

        I would think if tap water is safe than so is the hose…minus whatever grossness is in the hose.

        I personally wouldn’t drink it, but if your water is safe it probably won’t hurt you.

        1. Alice*

          I thought water from a garden hose was the same water that goes through the tap. Even with bugs and possible bacteria from the hose, it’s not technically reclaimed non-potable water. People water their vegetable gardens with a garden hose with fresh water, not recaliamed sewage water. This posts makes it seem like she was somehow obtaining reclaimed water and drinking it.

        2. Rana*

          Water from a hose is fine in the sense that it comes from the same treatment facility as your tap water. However, hoses themselves can leach toxic chemicals into the water (from plastics to even lead!) so it’s a good idea to let the water run a bit first before sipping.

          (I drank from a hose regularly growing up, and I seem to be fine…)

          1. mh_76*

            If you have a well & in-house filtration system, the hose water may or may not be safe depending on what’s being filtered out (iron, probably OK. other things, maybe or maybe not).

          2. Laura L*

            Same here! Drank lots of hose water as a kid, never got sick from it.

            My parents still live in the house I grew up in and the next door neighbors have kids who drink from the hose water sometimes. I don’t think they’ve gotten sick from it. So, yeah, it’s mostly fine.

          3. AgilePhalanges*

            I don’t know if anyone’s reading comments on this post anymore, but wanted to clarify that most residential hoses are probably fine, but if you’re in an area with irrigation, you might want to be clear on where that hose water comes from before partaking. I grew up drinking from the hose, so did the same at a barn I was visiting once, and found out that water came from the irrigation system–animal waste, fertilizer, bugs, and all. I was fine afterward, but it could have turned out quite badly.

    1. fposte*

      Streams and ponds, available in many parks and most hikes. That’s my guess–thirsty on a hike and drank up from ambient water.

      1. Alice*

        Aha. She went on a camping trip and drank from a stream. Still not reclaimed water, but still potentially harmful. Thanks. I was questioning the sanity of this employee.

    2. EngineerGirlUK*

      Fire hydrants in some places contain “raw” or untreated water. This would not be “drinking water”. But how would you connect to a fire hydrant to drink the water?

  4. ChristineH*

    I don’t remember the original post, but I’m glad it worked out so well. I’m curious…did this person make herself sick on purpose to avoid the stresses of her job?

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