He Doesn’t Need Supervising; He Needs Babysitting

, , , , , | Working | May 27, 2020

A new employee comes into my office and huffs at me while I’m on the phone. I ask him to wait outside but he sits down and glares at me. I hang up.

Employee: “Finally! That is so disrespectful, talking to someone on the phone when there’s someone else right in front of you.”

Me: “Well, you did come into my office while I was on the phone and my door was closed. So, technically, you were being disrespectful to me.”

Employee: “Whatever. I need to make a complaint.”

Me: “What about?”

Employee: “[Supervisor].” 

Me: “And what’s the problem?”

Employee: “He keeps telling me what to do. It’s so disrespectful.”

Me: “That’s his job. He’s your supervisor. Without him, you wouldn’t have any instruction.”

Employee: “I’m perfectly capable of working on my own.”

Me: “I’m sure you are, but we have a chain of command here. I tell [Supervisor] what needs to be taken care of, and he delegates the tasks to whoever is most able or available.”

Employee: “But that’s so disrespectful. You have to listen to us.” 

Me: “Has he given you something you were incapable of doing?” 

Employee: “No.”

Me: “Do you believe it was unreasonable?” 

Employee: “No.” 

Me: “Did you have an issue with doing what he asked you?” 

Employee: “Duh!”

Me: “And what did he ask you to do?” 

Employee: “Move boxes from the delivery truck! He didn’t ask me; he told me!” 

Me: “But that’s his…” *Deep breath* “Why couldn’t you do it?” 

Employee: “I could do it.”

Me: “So, why did you have an issue?” 

Employee: “I didn’t want to do it! He should have asked me, not told me!”

Me: “Why didn’t you want to do it?”

Employee: “I just didn’t.”

Me: “Did you tell him?”

Employee: “No. I just came here.”

Me: “So, [Supervisor] told you to do something, and instead of telling him, you came here to make a complaint about not liking what he told you to do.”

Employee: “Yes.”

Me: “Maybe you should talk to him before running to me?”

He glared at me again before raising his hands in frustration and leaving, shouting that no one ever listened.

The other managers and I had a meeting the following week, and the above employee featured heavily in our conversations. He had gone to every manager throughout the week trying to make the same complaint. We all told him the same thing.

We called him and the supervisor in, and we learned that he had only been with the supervisor for the first day, before lying that one of the managers told him he was working elsewhere. When we asked him what he was actually doing, he said he just wandered around for eight hours every day.

As no issues cropped up during the week, he pretty much proved he wasn’t needed and was dismissed. He left a letter behind criticising us all for being “disrespectful.”

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