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The Perpetual Training Train

, , , , | Working | May 14, 2021

I have to perform two certain tasks in the morning. One is crucial to get the workflow of my department started; the other is a very complicated task for one single client of ours. Since performing both tasks makes it take longer for me to join my department in the workflow, my supervisor wants management to put someone else on task number two. Apparently, this is very hard for them.

In February, I have a talk about it with my supervisor.

Me: “Still no plan, I guess?”

Supervisor: *Almost laughing* “Well, there is a plan, actually, but I doubt it’s going to work. They want [Coworker] to do it.”

[Coworker] mans the warehouse, and over the last months, his enthusiasm for his job has visibly diminished. Still, I have to train him.

Coworker: “Who decided that I have to do this? [Supervisor] probably, eh?”

Me: “Not really, no…”

Coworker: “They want me to do more and more, while I barely have time left for my actual job! Oh, well, what the f*** do I care? I’ll learn it and then drop it and take a job somewhere else!”

He keeps acting like this throughout every morning I train him. He seems like he’s trying to learn the job, indeed, but he keeps claiming that he’ll learn it and then leave.

Me: “You’re really gonna do that?”

Coworker: “H*** yeah! When I say I’m gonna do something, I always mean it!”

His constant moaning and anger suck my motivation to train him out of me. I have some talks with my supervisor about his behaviour. She’s fed up with his bluff and his lack of work ethic, but since he answers to another department, she can’t discipline him for it.

Supervisor: “You know, he would actually have time to perform his main job if he wouldn’t take smoke breaks every two hours. Or if he wouldn’t get out for an hour to buy lunch.”

We have half-hour lunch breaks.

Supervisor: “But I have spoken to [Coworker’s Supervisor] and he also thinks we shouldn’t take his threats of leaving too seriously. It’s a bluff.”

It probably is, I admit. Still, weeks go by while I am training this completely unmotivated guy to perform this quite complicated task. Then, one morning, I come in and hear my supervisor on the phone.

Supervisor: “Yeah, it’s quite clear to me that someone here is being blatantly selfish. Thanks for telling me.” *To me* “That was [Coworker’s Supervisor]. [Coworker] just called in sick. I’m sceptical.”

[Coworker] stayed home for quite some time, claiming burnout. Meanwhile, I kept performing the task myself. By April, someone from a different location was transferred to our office and learned the task from me… only to get a transfer again by June. Finally, after summer, I trained a more motivated coworker for the task. By then, [Coworker] was reintegrating, while showing a complete lack of motivation.

By the end of the year, I had put in my notice, not because of this weird history, but simply because I found a better-paying job with more career opportunities. [Coworker], meanwhile, was still there, doing his job to some extent, while being disliked by virtually everybody now. So much for his claims that he would leave as soon as possible. Being dissatisfied is one thing; digging your own grave because of it is another.

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