Author Topic: Workplace advice - Annoying coworker I have to work with  (Read 7216 times)

Daisyedwards800

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Workplace advice - Annoying coworker I have to work with
« on: February 15, 2016, 04:38:42 PM »
I work in finance/accounting.  I have to work with this woman who is not trained in finance or accounting, who is around 42.  She came from another department.  She has basic Excel skills, but when it comes to figuring out how cells work together, and problem solving, she has limited capabilities at this point.

I was brought in to improve the spreadsheets and processes for reporting.  I created a new spreadsheet to track metrics.  She is using the old method and spreadsheet.  She overcomplicates absolutely everything.  She overthinks everything and writes detailed comments in cells within her spreadsheet.  She even created a new spreadsheet to write sentences upon sentences of commentary in her own short-hand.

I created a spreadsheet that is very complicated when it comes to formulas but super easy to use for data entry.  Right now, we are using both at the same time to see if we get the same results.  I compare to hers and vice versa.  I give her the correct amounts and calculations and she updates her file.  Some of the changes don't make it in because she is not detail oriented enough but it is not my job to check her spreadsheet (I am not her boss) and these metrics are only a small portion of the final product. 

I need to make sure that I am not seen as a checker of her work on the other 60-70% of the work she does for this final product.  I've already had one person hand me something because this crazy woman keeps going around saying "Daisy and I looked into this." I DID NOT look into this, I am merely developing the new spreadsheet template and process.  I am not checking her work, especially on these other metrics that aren't in the new spreadsheet.  She is sort of acting like we are a team on the whole thing.

Additionally, I do not want to be responsible for her final product because she is working on it till the last minutes, and again, I do not check her work, her manager (he's my manager too) does that.  So how do I separate myself, as I know that she is prone to making mistakes, and if I hand her a list and it says "your file gets a result of 19, I get a result of 20 and the correct result is 20 and here's why" and she's supposed to get her file updated to the right number, and she doesn't, then I don't want to be responsible for that. 

This woman is extremely annoying, on personal calls all day, and follows me around talking about her sick father, her daughter and sometimes even appears to be almost crying from the stress of the job (which is NOT stressful) and it just is driving me nuts.  I've been there about 4-5 months now.

So what can I do ?

Daisyedwards800

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Re: Workplace advice - Annoying coworker I have to work with
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2016, 04:45:00 PM »
ETA: Starting in March we will be using my spreadsheet for the metrics not hers but right now we are doing it side by side to test mine.

mozar

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Re: Workplace advice - Annoying coworker I have to work with
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2016, 04:55:49 PM »
Have you talked to the manager about this? As long as the manager knows it shouldn't be much of an issue. I have 2 annoying co-workers. I told our boss on the first week that "steve" is a blond bimbo. Very forgetful. But I have since realized that if I tell him exactly what to do he'll do it. "Veronica" has no idea what's going on. She has no initiative or follow-thru. I let her embarrass herself in front of our manager a few times and my manager is now giving her work separately.

mozar

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Re: Workplace advice - Annoying coworker I have to work with
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2016, 05:02:50 PM »
I'm also thinking that you were put in that position because they know about Daisy. And why is her age relevant?

Daisyedwards800

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Re: Workplace advice - Annoying coworker I have to work with
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2016, 05:05:55 PM »
It's possible.  I started interviewing for the position in August and she transferred over in about June/July when a previous person left.  The role I initially interviewed was to manage the processes but they thought since I didn't have "managerial" experience I should not be a manager.  The role was never intended to manage anyone just to update how things were done.  I just mentioned her age to give an idea that she has been sort of floating around not settling anywhere at this company (they are a bit old school and I don't think they fire people easily).

mozar

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Re: Workplace advice - Annoying coworker I have to work with
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2016, 07:59:30 PM »
One of the best advice I've gotten from the forum is that if you want to be a manager, you should start acting like a manager. If you make her your problem and figure out how to manage her that will look really good on your resume.

Frankies Girl

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Re: Workplace advice - Annoying coworker I have to work with
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2016, 08:30:37 PM »
I'd speak to the boss first and ask him to please clarify this with her because she is misunderstanding and also misrepresenting your involvement and it is very concerning for the success of the project she is working on. And also let him know about the personal calls, the lack of attention in general to her work, as they need to be aware of this. I would ask the boss to call a meeting with both you, her, and the boss, (or clear it with them to have a one-on-one official meeting with her to discuss expectations and parameters so you can act more manager-ish) so you can explain that you are only working on "X" project with her to show how the excel files should work, but you are not checking it for her and not fixing her errors; that she is 100% responsible for checking over her results to make sure they are correct after you advise her of your results. And that any errors are completely on her, so she needs to be much more vigilant in getting things corrected. That way, you have confirmation that she's been told plainly what the expectations are, and you can get the boss to clarify your role in all of this.

As far as her following you or discussing her personal problems... you need to develop a polite spine. It's basically telling her nicely "Hey, coworker, I'm sorry but I can't talk right now as I have something I have to work on." and then turn away and work. If she continues talking, then something like "Really, coworker, I'm sorry but I need to get this done/don't have the time right now. We'll talk another time." and get back to work. She might think this is rude... but do it with a smile and not any snark in the voice each and every time she tries to discuss personal whine stuff and she'll eventually leave you alone. If it's work related cool, if not, then "don't have the time right now..."

Honestly, it sounds like you and the boss are setting her up to fail, tho. Is that what is happening? Because if she can't do the job at all, then she should be moved to another position or let go if she is incompetent.

Side note: There are plenty of 40 somethings (and 50 and 60...) that can do highly technical/complicated stuff. And companies do still hire 40/50 year olds all the time, so it isn't an indication of how long she's been with your company. Don't be ageist; that's going to make you come across as petty and ignorant. I don't think you are, but you definitely seem to be coming across as prejudiced, and likely didn't even realize it. You should be better than that if you're enlightened enough to be hanging out here. ;)

« Last Edit: February 15, 2016, 10:15:34 PM by Frankies Girl »

AZDude

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Re: Workplace advice - Annoying coworker I have to work with
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2016, 08:23:58 AM »
A few things.


First, you *are* a team. Remember that, even if your work is graded separately, having someone you work closely with screw everything up is going to make you look bad, no matter how well you explain things. People who are seen "passing the buck" will develop a negative reputation. You do not have to check her work, but you should be trying to work together better to improve things. If suddenly shit starts getting done more accurately and more timely, and it corresponds to when you started working with her, this will make a good impression.

Second, your role is to improve the process and the reporting. Stupid people will be entering the data, reading the spreadsheet, etc... long after you are gone. I'm a software developer. I know how agonizing and frustrating coding to the lowest common denominator is(ie: make everything idiot proof and easy to read), but its part of the job. Stupid people are everywhere, so you need to make *all* the processes and the reporting something that your dumbass coworker can do. Even if this means taking on more responsibility than you want.

Good luck.

Giro

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Re: Workplace advice - Annoying coworker I have to work with
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2016, 08:31:24 AM »
I second all of the advice to try and help her learn.  If she hasn't worked in Finance/Accounting that doesn't mean she is incapable of learning.  If she's following you around, it sounds like she wants to get better.  Try to not worry about how her errors may reflect on you and try to focus on how her improvement may reflect on you.

You didn't get a management position due to lack of managerial experience, this looks like an opportune time to develop those managerial skills even if it currently isn't your job.

I've always been one to do the job that I want not the job that I'm in. 

goodluck with her.  Even those old 40-somethings have the ability to learn and grow their skills.  (41 year old here)

Daisyedwards800

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Re: Workplace advice - Annoying coworker I have to work with
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2016, 08:32:49 AM »
Definitely trying to make it stupid proof.  I am not sure setting up a big discussion about it is the way to go but again I don't have the best office politics instincts either.  I am trying to make the spreadsheet as basic as possible for her to enter information.  There are only a few cells to enter information into, and I've created instructions and a glossary.  I think the problem comes in when she enters all the data.  She will have 100 changes to make throughout the month and some slip through the cracks.  Her own process for entering data and adding all the unnecessary commentary really slows her down, and she still enters everything FIRST on her own data sheet (which is a mess) and then she uses the real file to enter the details.  When we have mentioned not using that file anymore and filing the emails where she gets the info as backup and just referencing them, she pushes back pretty hard. 

Daisyedwards800

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Re: Workplace advice - Annoying coworker I have to work with
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2016, 08:33:45 AM »
I second all of the advice to try and help her learn.  If she hasn't worked in Finance/Accounting that doesn't mean she is incapable of learning.  If she's following you around, it sounds like she wants to get better.  Try to not worry about how her errors may reflect on you and try to focus on how her improvement may reflect on you.

You didn't get a management position due to lack of managerial experience, this looks like an opportune time to develop those managerial skills even if it currently isn't your job.

I've always been one to do the job that I want not the job that I'm in. 

goodluck with her.  Even those old 40-somethings have the ability to learn and grow their skills.  (41 year old here)

Oh of course I agree that any age can learn and grow skills, but this particular lady ... maybe.

nobody123

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Re: Workplace advice - Annoying coworker I have to work with
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2016, 02:58:46 PM »
The management obviously knows she isn't an accountant by training, but they moved her into that role anyway, so they're willing to deal with the learning curve.  I suggest you get on board and help her learn.  That's why they hired you in the first place.

If she wants to use her own spreadsheets to think through something, who cares?  Something done at the last minute is still done on time.  The only reason she complains about her life to you is that you must be responding in some way and therefore encouraging her to continue doing it.  Respond politely that you would rather not discuss your personal lives at work the next time she starts, and then ask if there's anything work-related you can help her with.  She'll eventually get the hint.

You do need to remember that you aren't her supervisor, so her personal phone calls are none of your business, tattling to the boss just makes you look petty. 

formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: Workplace advice - Annoying coworker I have to work with
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2016, 03:23:21 PM »
Part of managing and improving processes is getting buy-in from those who are using them.  Your fancy new spreadsheet is going to be worthless if she is inputting crap numbers.  YOU may know that this her fault, but other people will think it is your fault.

Have you talked to her about why she is pushing back so hard on giving up her spreadsheet?

It is possible that there are things that could be added to yours that would soothe whatever fear she has/opportunity she thinks she is filling with her spreadsheet?

If she is really disorganized, then it may be time to brainstorm ways that she can manage that workflow better.

She isn't your responsibility, but she can be your opportunity.

mtn

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Re: Workplace advice - Annoying coworker I have to work with
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2016, 03:39:51 PM »
I had to make a spreadsheet for some of my colleagues--both of whom were around 60 years old (I was 23) and were slow/late adopters to the computer. At the time I made the spreadsheet, I was using it too. This sucker was pretty easy, it was only complex because of all the conditional formatting I had in it. There were 6 cells that could be edited (the cells that they needed). I had every single cell outside of those 6 locked and password protected.

They still managed to mess my spreadsheet up, about 4 times a year. I have no clue how they did it. It should have been fool-proof--I even had an option to over-ride what the formula spit out, which would "open up" more cells for them to put in a description and free-form the answers (this was for valuing cars; so sometimes an interesting one (1964 Impala, for instance) would come around that couldn't be valued using the same strategy as a Toyonda Tauribu or Nissyundai Silverango). They still managed to break my spreadsheet.

Don't underestimate the ability of people who don't know what they're doing to mess up even the easiest of things. Since this new design is yours, expect it to come back to you regularly--especially since you share the same manager. Make sure your manager knows too.

Bicycle_B

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Re: Workplace advice - Annoying coworker I have to work with
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2016, 04:35:36 PM »
Wait.

They know she's not good, that's why they hired you too.  She's not at the point of being fired yet, she's just being shoved into areas that minimize the harm she does.  (You're the harm-minimizing tool closest to her.  That is currently part of your job in your company, even if they don't say so.)  One day she will be gone. 

In the meantime, management will recognize on some level whatever you do with her - mean, helpful, practical, simple, whatever.  If you blow your fuse, they'll remember.  Just stay cool, do good work and gently be clear whenever asked what's going on. 

All the suggestions from other posters are good tactics; use them.  And keep doing what you're doing, you're already in good shape. 

pk_aeryn

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Re: Workplace advice - Annoying coworker I have to work with
« Reply #15 on: February 16, 2016, 09:32:32 PM »
Only escalate to her manager AFTER you just talk to her.  Ask her to stop mentioning both of you when she turns in her sheets to someone.  Ask her to please take her calls outside, as they distract from your work.

A manager wants to see that you can handle minor quibbles like this by yourself.  Only if she refuses to stop and it persists to where it is genuinely harming your work should you take it to a manager.

nobody123

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Re: Workplace advice - Annoying coworker I have to work with
« Reply #16 on: February 17, 2016, 08:43:26 AM »
Only escalate to her manager AFTER you just talk to her.  Ask her to stop mentioning both of you when she turns in her sheets to someone.  Ask her to please take her calls outside, as they distract from your work.

A manager wants to see that you can handle minor quibbles like this by yourself.  Only if she refuses to stop and it persists to where it is genuinely harming your work should you take it to a manager.

+1000.  As a manager, it really annoys me when people come into my office to complain about the work habits of others.  It doesn't bother me if Suzie makes 100 personal phone calls a day as long as she gets her stuff done correctly and on time.  Shame on me for not keeping her busier.  If Suzie is doing something dangerous or in violation of company policy (read: something that will ultimately reflect poorly on me or the department), bring it to my attention.  If she is doing something that annoys you, be a grown-up and work it out amongst yourselves.  If you come into my office to complain about Suzie's personal calls, who is my problem?  I will give you a hint, it's not Suzie.

Frankies Girl

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Re: Workplace advice - Annoying coworker I have to work with
« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2016, 09:02:39 AM »
Only escalate to her manager AFTER you just talk to her.  Ask her to stop mentioning both of you when she turns in her sheets to someone.  Ask her to please take her calls outside, as they distract from your work.

A manager wants to see that you can handle minor quibbles like this by yourself.  Only if she refuses to stop and it persists to where it is genuinely harming your work should you take it to a manager.

+1000.  As a manager, it really annoys me when people come into my office to complain about the work habits of others.  It doesn't bother me if Suzie makes 100 personal phone calls a day as long as she gets her stuff done correctly and on time.  Shame on me for not keeping her busier.  If Suzie is doing something dangerous or in violation of company policy (read: something that will ultimately reflect poorly on me or the department), bring it to my attention.  If she is doing something that annoys you, be a grown-up and work it out amongst yourselves.  If you come into my office to complain about Suzie's personal calls, who is my problem?  I will give you a hint, it's not Suzie.

This IS a performance issue, not a personal issue. I wonder why you think it isn't? Because constant personal calls and lack of good work performance sort of goes with being distracted and distracting. Very annoying and even more so when the other coworkers are doing their jobs and then having to pick up the slack on the under-performer.

If Suzie is making lots of personal calls and distracting others and not doing her job, and it's brought to your attention and you get all pissy like what you sound like here, then you are a bad manager and your workers probably have low morale. You're demoralizing your whole department because you're not being an effective manager and having a serious talk with the offender to shape up - and bonus serving of crap is that you're blaming the victim if they try to come discuss this with you? Wow. 

The only case I could see where this is even remotely the right response is if you have someone constantly coming to complain about other team members. That I could understand.







nobody123

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Re: Workplace advice - Annoying coworker I have to work with
« Reply #18 on: February 17, 2016, 11:31:25 AM »
Only escalate to her manager AFTER you just talk to her.  Ask her to stop mentioning both of you when she turns in her sheets to someone.  Ask her to please take her calls outside, as they distract from your work.

A manager wants to see that you can handle minor quibbles like this by yourself.  Only if she refuses to stop and it persists to where it is genuinely harming your work should you take it to a manager.

+1000.  As a manager, it really annoys me when people come into my office to complain about the work habits of others.  It doesn't bother me if Suzie makes 100 personal phone calls a day as long as she gets her stuff done correctly and on time.  Shame on me for not keeping her busier.  If Suzie is doing something dangerous or in violation of company policy (read: something that will ultimately reflect poorly on me or the department), bring it to my attention.  If she is doing something that annoys you, be a grown-up and work it out amongst yourselves.  If you come into my office to complain about Suzie's personal calls, who is my problem?  I will give you a hint, it's not Suzie.

This IS a performance issue, not a personal issue. I wonder why you think it isn't? Because constant personal calls and lack of good work performance sort of goes with being distracted and distracting. Very annoying and even more so when the other coworkers are doing their jobs and then having to pick up the slack on the under-performer.

If Suzie is making lots of personal calls and distracting others and not doing her job, and it's brought to your attention and you get all pissy like what you sound like here, then you are a bad manager and your workers probably have low morale. You're demoralizing your whole department because you're not being an effective manager and having a serious talk with the offender to shape up - and bonus serving of crap is that you're blaming the victim if they try to come discuss this with you? Wow. 

The only case I could see where this is even remotely the right response is if you have someone constantly coming to complain about other team members. That I could understand.

I'm not at all pissy, it's not my team and my folks.  OP said they were annoyed by things that this person does and wanted to go tattle to the manager without having tried to deal with it themselves first.  I don't think I'm "victim blaming" by asking the OP to take the first step towards fixing a problem that they have with a coworker.  Like I said, if the coworker is doing something dangerous / illegal / contrary to policy, by all means get me involved ASAP.  As a manager, it is my duty to address those things immediately and without compromise.  Being annoying and a slow learner is doesn't qualify as any of those, however.

Frankly, if you go to the manager / HR /whomever, what is the first question they will ask?  It will be "What did they say when you asked them to stop?"  Just like your teacher would ask you way back in Kindergarten.

Now, if there is some work concern like "Suzie always turns in her stuff an hour before they are due, which doesn't allow me the time to properly vet her results and incorporate them into the TPS report.  Would it be possible to have her turn in her numbers 24 hours before I author the TPS report?" that is something I can help with.  If, on the other hand, you come into my office with a "Suzie makes too many personal calls and blabs about her family and takes forever to get her work done and she's an idiot that won't do things my way", I will be much less inclined to take you seriously.

Daisyedwards800

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Re: Workplace advice - Annoying coworker I have to work with
« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2016, 06:54:05 PM »
Only escalate to her manager AFTER you just talk to her.  Ask her to stop mentioning both of you when she turns in her sheets to someone.  Ask her to please take her calls outside, as they distract from your work.

A manager wants to see that you can handle minor quibbles like this by yourself.  Only if she refuses to stop and it persists to where it is genuinely harming your work should you take it to a manager.

+1000.  As a manager, it really annoys me when people come into my office to complain about the work habits of others.  It doesn't bother me if Suzie makes 100 personal phone calls a day as long as she gets her stuff done correctly and on time.  Shame on me for not keeping her busier.  If Suzie is doing something dangerous or in violation of company policy (read: something that will ultimately reflect poorly on me or the department), bring it to my attention.  If she is doing something that annoys you, be a grown-up and work it out amongst yourselves.  If you come into my office to complain about Suzie's personal calls, who is my problem?  I will give you a hint, it's not Suzie.

I certainly don't go into his office to complain and I have never mentioned any of this to him, including the personal calls.  I know that much :)  Managers want to be free of drama and worries.  The problem is she waltzes into his office for every little thing and throws my name in the conversation when I'm not even there!  And if I have a meeting about the project she will start going on and on about tiny little details.  My only point with the personal calls is that she charges overtime to get the stuff done and the boss hates that.

Daisyedwards800

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Re: Workplace advice - Annoying coworker I have to work with
« Reply #20 on: February 18, 2016, 06:56:20 PM »
If you had read my post, you would see that I'm asking what I should PERSONALLY do in my interactions with her to make sure this stuff stops happening, not that I want my boss to fix it.

ender

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Re: Workplace advice - Annoying coworker I have to work with
« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2016, 07:01:47 PM »
Only escalate to her manager AFTER you just talk to her.  Ask her to stop mentioning both of you when she turns in her sheets to someone.  Ask her to please take her calls outside, as they distract from your work.

A manager wants to see that you can handle minor quibbles like this by yourself.  Only if she refuses to stop and it persists to where it is genuinely harming your work should you take it to a manager.

+1000.  As a manager, it really annoys me when people come into my office to complain about the work habits of others.  It doesn't bother me if Suzie makes 100 personal phone calls a day as long as she gets her stuff done correctly and on time.  Shame on me for not keeping her busier.  If Suzie is doing something dangerous or in violation of company policy (read: something that will ultimately reflect poorly on me or the department), bring it to my attention.  If she is doing something that annoys you, be a grown-up and work it out amongst yourselves.  If you come into my office to complain about Suzie's personal calls, who is my problem?  I will give you a hint, it's not Suzie.

This IS a performance issue, not a personal issue. I wonder why you think it isn't? Because constant personal calls and lack of good work performance sort of goes with being distracted and distracting. Very annoying and even more so when the other coworkers are doing their jobs and then having to pick up the slack on the under-performer.

If Suzie is making lots of personal calls and distracting others and not doing her job, and it's brought to your attention and you get all pissy like what you sound like here, then you are a bad manager and your workers probably have low morale. You're demoralizing your whole department because you're not being an effective manager and having a serious talk with the offender to shape up - and bonus serving of crap is that you're blaming the victim if they try to come discuss this with you? Wow. 

The only case I could see where this is even remotely the right response is if you have someone constantly coming to complain about other team members. That I could understand.

I'm not at all pissy, it's not my team and my folks.  OP said they were annoyed by things that this person does and wanted to go tattle to the manager without having tried to deal with it themselves first.  I don't think I'm "victim blaming" by asking the OP to take the first step towards fixing a problem that they have with a coworker.  Like I said, if the coworker is doing something dangerous / illegal / contrary to policy, by all means get me involved ASAP.  As a manager, it is my duty to address those things immediately and without compromise.  Being annoying and a slow learner is doesn't qualify as any of those, however.

Frankly, if you go to the manager / HR /whomever, what is the first question they will ask?  It will be "What did they say when you asked them to stop?"  Just like your teacher would ask you way back in Kindergarten.

Now, if there is some work concern like "Suzie always turns in her stuff an hour before they are due, which doesn't allow me the time to properly vet her results and incorporate them into the TPS report.  Would it be possible to have her turn in her numbers 24 hours before I author the TPS report?" that is something I can help with.  If, on the other hand, you come into my office with a "Suzie makes too many personal calls and blabs about her family and takes forever to get her work done and she's an idiot that won't do things my way", I will be much less inclined to take you seriously.

... did you even read Daisy's post?

Daisyedwards800

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Re: Workplace advice - Annoying coworker I have to work with
« Reply #22 on: February 18, 2016, 07:13:34 PM »
I think he thinks he's my manager and I'm asking him to solve it. 

To clarify, I'm on an online message board and I am asking what I should do personally to resolve it with HER so as not to bother my manager with it and maybe show my own management skills in the process.

BlueHouse

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Re: Workplace advice - Annoying coworker I have to work with
« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2016, 07:37:21 PM »
My advice is to stop calling the spreadsheet "mine" or "hers". You guys have clearly staked out territory and this seems to have a lot of emotion vested in who will win. The op will win the battle, but the CW  is trying to win small skirmishes by holding on to the way she was taught. Is it possible no one told her to let go of the old spreadsheet?  Presumably, someone taught her to use that, and encouraged her to keep using it while you were developing the new tool. Maybe she just needs to thank it, tell it how much it helped, but that it no longer sparks joy.

Also, stop using excel and put this in an excel Access database.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2016, 09:19:44 AM by BlueHouse »

Daisyedwards800

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Re: Workplace advice - Annoying coworker I have to work with
« Reply #24 on: February 18, 2016, 08:11:19 PM »
I have suggested that it's really more of a program than a spreadsheet.  Everyone hates the old spreadsheet.  It crashes for her all the time, and she talks about how long everything takes for her all the time.  Very tedious for me.

nobody123

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Re: Workplace advice - Annoying coworker I have to work with
« Reply #25 on: February 19, 2016, 06:55:32 AM »
I think he thinks he's my manager and I'm asking him to solve it. 

To clarify, I'm on an online message board and I am asking what I should do personally to resolve it with HER so as not to bother my manager with it and maybe show my own management skills in the process.

I am a random internet stranger, feel free to disregard my suggestions.  Someone pointed out that you need to work this out with your CW before taking it to management, I agreed, and then someone disagreed with me and said I was victim blaming, which resulted in some back and forth.

I am glad you realize that the first step is addressing the issue directly with your CW.  The last paragraph prior to "what should I do?" in your original post was about her being an annoying person, which is why I assumed that was an area you were seeking advice for as well.

As for pure work product issues, unless your manager is a total idiot (in which case there isn't much you can do to help the situation), he already knows that CW is useless.  Incompetent folks don't get transferred into a department they know nothing about unless it is the first step of getting them out the door.  And chances are, if she really is that useless, everyone in the building knows she is too, so you don't need to worry about her associating your name with her work.  I assume you politely corrected whomever approached you with the issue when CW said that Daisy looked at it too. 

As someone already said, you can come up with the perfect spreadsheet / system / process and the idiot will still screw it up.  You already acknowledged it's your managers job to check CW's work, so stay out of that aspect of it. 

If her insistence on using her old spreadsheet is somehow slowing you down on the development of your new process (your stated job goal), and you've asked her to just use the new one and she's refused, then escalate it to your manager.  Go in there with a plan.  Frame the issue in terms of how it reduces productivity, describe what you did to try to remedy it, let him know what you want to try next, and ask advice to see if he thinks it is the correct approach or if he thinks of a better way.  You could say something like "You've worked with CW longer than I have, am I approaching this in the correct way?".  Keep emotion and any mention of her annoying habits out of it.

Melody

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Re: Workplace advice - Annoying coworker I have to work with
« Reply #26 on: February 19, 2016, 07:49:15 AM »
Ahhh unqualified accountants - the bane of every qualified accountant's life! Good luck!

AZDude

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Re: Workplace advice - Annoying coworker I have to work with
« Reply #27 on: February 19, 2016, 01:51:39 PM »
I have suggested that it's really more of a program than a spreadsheet.  Everyone hates the old spreadsheet.  It crashes for her all the time, and she talks about how long everything takes for her all the time.  Very tedious for me.

Good luck with this. People hang on to things, no matter how bad they are, simply because they are the same. At a previous job, I found out my co-workers were manually typing in stuff into a database(not data entry, directly into the DB) on a daily basis. This was crazy for lots of reasons, but mainly because it took up so much time and was so prone to errors. On my own time I wrote both a desktop and web app that would do 90% of the work automatically and would error check the rest of the work you had to enter.

My co-workers ignored it and continued to do things the same slow, error prone way they had been for years, even while I was suddenly so much more productive.

mm1970

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Re: Workplace advice - Annoying coworker I have to work with
« Reply #28 on: February 19, 2016, 02:40:56 PM »
Quote
Her own process for entering data and adding all the unnecessary commentary really slows her down, and she still enters everything FIRST on her own data sheet (which is a mess) and then she uses the real file to enter the details.  When we have mentioned not using that file anymore and filing the emails where she gets the info as backup and just referencing them, she pushes back pretty hard.

I don't really know how to fix this.  People get into their own ruts, you know?

I'm 45.  I'm decent with spreadsheets.  But programming (whether in Access, Excel, JMP, SQL) does not come naturally to me, and I'm not terribly good at it unless I practice.  And...I have too much work to do to be able to practice much.

What I really like are databases.  Well, we have several senior engineers, managers, and VPs who pretty much run all their data on spreadsheets, not databases.  It's so hard, because then the data is stored in 4 different places AND they change the title of the spreadsheet from time to time.  I have been utterly unable to get these people to adopt a database.

So I'm doing my best to set up systems that will work with their spreadsheets.  It's painful, inefficient, and subject to error.  I know it's frustrating.  But just do your best to work with what you've got.  She has a system that works for her, and forcing her to adopt your system completely may actually make it worse.