People problems

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    People problems

    Though this is partially m y fault... I got mad at this stupid person - it's the cleaner but she doesn't clean anything... If there's a chair with no one sitting she won't move it at all and not pretend to clean at all but when do sit, she pushes her mopp (mop?) aggressively at the bottom of the chairs (with a rag she never bothers to wash) long story short it escalated a bit and I usually let people have their little crazes in relative peace but this was after I was nice to her (my default is be polite) so now every time she gets in to "clean" I get really short tempered... Any advice on how to just give up and mayne turn it around?
    Last edited by Gandhalfit; February 24, 2019, 05:08 PM. Reason: writing from my phone on the bus...

    #2
    Is this cleaner for your house? For work?

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      #3
      for work Brontus

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        #4
        May I suggest brining it up with a supervisor then? Or someone up the chain of heirarchy? If you have already tried to communicate with the cleaner and it hasn't helped, then it might help if it's brought to someone's attention if it's not allowing you to be as productive and focused on your work.

        If you do bring it to someone's attention, you may have to grin and bear it for a while or however long it takes to resolve the situation. If the situation does not get resolved, constantly getting mad at this person won't do you any good. I just got out of a situation at work where I became frustrated at how a co-worker was conducting herself, made a few mean comments and it almost became an HR issue. If you do get mad, just be careful what do and say so you don't end up in hot water.

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          #5
          We did... she gave us (the others really don't like her either) the number to her supervisor and one of the girls in the office talked to her and it ended in: why don't we all try to be more patient. I wasn't there so I don't know why - mind you, it's the same "supervisor" that we caught smoking indoors with the same exact cleaner two weeks ago... I should probably mention that non of us in the office smoke at all so whenever we get the smell of cigarettes it's really annoying.
          I guess what I mean is how can I ignore her without getting annoyed every time she's around (because at this point the issue has been "resolved") or maybe turn things around to the positive (which is highly unlikely... I can be very flexible until someone really gets to me and then I usually get away but I can't this time) she's spitfull with the "cleaning" and the cigaretes (they smoked more often inside - which is not allowed, or even legal) or stood outside the door to the building, smoking so the smoke gets in anyway after the staff (I wasn't there yet so it's according to them) complained about their smoking inside...

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            #6
            I havenĀ“t found a solution either ... yet. I have a similar cleaner at work ... perhaps they are related? I tried the approach with a supervisor after I talked to her by myself (repeatedly) ... unfortunately with no positive result. I for my part ignor her. That works quite good so far - I think in both directions if you get my drift. But one thing is clear: beeing upset by her and her actions is no alternative. As I started meditation a few weeks ago, it helped me in those situations too, though. Perhaps you want to try it out for yourself. So, talk to her again, or take the road to a supervisor as Brontus also suggested above, or just try to ignore here. A colleague of mine has a nice saying when there is something she upsets: "she breathe in and out and says: Good thoughts in ... bad thoughts out ..." it is funny, but those short moment helps a lot from time to time.

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              #7
              I should probably confess that I ignored her until this morning when she approached me (at really close range, like right to my ear which was probably the trigger) and said I need to clean... and then I was like (through gritted teeth) don't, it's fine the way it is... not my proudest moment then she started yelling at everybody else that we're in her way - but I should probably also mention that whenever one of us is not in, she doesn't bother moving their chair and clean under the desk... which is why we all started talking about it a few weeks ago. Then, she was on a 2 weeks vacation and they sent a replacement - who was the loveliest person ever and actually made an effort to actually get stuff clean... that was when we realised how annoying "our" cleaner is... wow that was a long vent... I thought about meditating TheLibrarian for a while now... I'm not entirely sure it would help. I think I need something more creative like maybe picture her begging in the street if we complain or something...

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                #8
                Well, in that case Amirsh since nobody is doing anything productive about it, you'll just have to stop caring, expect it to happen, and try to plan around it. Realize that it's out of your control. There's another co-worker I have who is just a pain to work with and I'm pretty sure he comes to work high on weed. When I first started working with him, it drove me nuts that he wouldn't pull his weight, and we work in kitchen. The bosses didn't like him and nobody else liked him, but we weren't able to find a replacement. Then one day my mind broke and I just stopped caring about work much. As I came to care again, I realized that since he was going to be around a while, I had to plan around him and expect that he was going to be a pain to work with. I don't care about this guy on a personal level, and I'm not saying you have to care about the cleaner on a personal level either, just expect it, try to plan around it, and accept that it's out of your control.

                I feel you on the smoke thing too. My downstairs neighbors smoke weed and it rises into my apsrrment and I hate the smell. Nothing you can really do there except walk through the place with febreeze, lol, or breathe shallow.

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                  #9
                  Amirsh It sounds like a natural reaction to somebody you don't like getting all up in your ear. And at least you didn't yell at her...that might have been a little worse. You did good. You didn't lose control. She did.

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                    #10
                    Brontus yeah you're right - plan around. I suppose I could take a break whenever she's around, it's only twice a day - at least for a start.

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                      #11
                      I personally would do whatever it takes to put an end to smoking inside my workplace--including reporting the behaviour to authorities with the ability to press charges on the legal front, if it came down to that. No amount of meditation will protect your health from the poison of second-hand smoke. So if there are laws in your jurisdiction to protect you from it, why not use them?

                      Re: the issue of the actual cleaning work being ineffective and/or intrusive, "why don't we all try to be more patient" is not an effective solution. If the problem is that the cleaning staff need to clean under the desks and are not doing, then "move chairs to clean underneath the desks" needs to be explicitly added to the cleaners' job description. If the problem is that the cleaner is trying to clean underneath your desk and cannot do because you are in the way, then you need to specifically address the issue of scheduling (i.e.: find a time when the cleaner can clean underneath your desk when you're away from it, which is minimally disruptive to both parties' schedules).

                      Have you spoken with your supervisor about the issue? If the cleaner's behaviour cannot be modified, maybe yours can. If the cleaner absolutely has to clean underneath your desk when she decides it's time to do it, could you take that as an opportunity to stand up and stretch? (Sitting all day is really bad for your body, and taking a couple of extra stretching breaks a day could improve your mental and physical health and your work productivity.)

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                        #12
                        Thanks Rainbow Dragon (for reading all of that as well)
                        A. There are laws- very specific ones protecting public health but the place I work in deals with infrastructure and is kind of a powerful monopoly so if I can't reach anyone on the inside about it, going outside to the authorities will take a very long time and would probably end up in nothing. I thought about maybe filming them do it but that would take time and too much nerves on my part.
                        B. I don't care that she's inefficient. There was never a schedule for it though I do know it from previous places I've worked in.
                        The whole place, as far as worker's welfare beyoned what is neccessary legal is concerned, is a joke. Smoking breaks - in designated smoking zones- is also a requirement. But there aren't any so they can actually smoke right outside an open door.
                        so im really trying to just work on my patience...I do have a doctor's appointment today, I'll tell him and see if he can call someone... Being in a position where public health is his concern, indirectly.

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                          #13
                          It is important to use the appropriate channels of communication, I agree, both re: the smoking and the conflicts with the cleaner. I don't know the specifics of your situation so cannot advise on what those might be. When the internal channels are not working, however, seeking outside help is your only recourse and hopefully would be effective, although you are right in that it can take a long time and only you can decide if the cost versus benefit balance is worth it for you to pursue.

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                            #14
                            You can also continue to climb the supervisor ladder (the supervisor that isn't doing anything has a supervisor that may do something and so on) until you get someone who does something about the issue. You can also make suggestions for solutions. For example: They are smoking inside but there is not a smoking area so lets set one up for them well outside the door way so they have someplace to go have a seat and a smoke. Also on the cleaning lady, the office doesn't like this lady, she isn't any good (list examples above), but we really loved the sub that came in when the other lady was out on vacation. Is there any way we can get her full time instead.

                            Giving the grievance and a solution (even if it isn't the one they use) is a great way to get actions going. Also paper trail, it is fine to talk over the phone or face to face but always follow it up with an email so that you can state later on that this issue was brought up, solutions were offered, and nothing was done. This is especially good if you accidentally blow up on the person and it becomes an HR thing, suddenly your boss is in trouble versus you.

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                              #15
                              so much great insight from so many people here. my 2 cents:

                              is the cleaning contracted out? or done by full-time company staff? if its contracted is it an annual renewal? if that is the case, you may not be able to facilitate change with the spiteful cleaner or the enabling supervisor, but maybe you can through your company contracts person. it might take a long time to be able to initiate legal recourse, but your contracting person doesn't want the hassle of being on the initiating side or the defending side of that. so maybe a picture of them smoking in the doorway to a contracting decision maker moves the needle in the right direction. that would also be the person who needs to hear that the job they are paying for isn't getting done.

                              the key becomes what can you actually control? what can you affect? and the answer to that is you. once you raise the issue to the right people, you've done what you can. and then you clean your side of the street. you have to decide what that means. maybe it means you hand her your trash can, smile and say, no thanks, i'll take care of the rest. maybe it means walking away and knowing its getting about half done but being thankful that something is getting done. maybe it means smiling at her when she snarls at you and being grateful that's not your job or your life and being thankful that you have your challenges and your burdens because the way she's walking through life, her burdens must be really heavy. or maybe it means becoming her new best friend so that she cares enough about you and your well-being to want to make sure that your space is the cleanest in the building.

                              and dont think for a minute that i believe any of that is easy. and its definitely not fair. everybody should be held to the same high standard that you are. *shrug* they aren't and its safe to say they don't all have the same high personal standards either. cant do anything about that either.

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