Author Topic: Dealing with a know-it-all coworker  (Read 35080 times)

SKL-HOU

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Re: Dealing with a know-it-all coworker
« Reply #100 on: October 14, 2019, 03:33:49 PM »
After this last incident, i am feeling your pain. I agree with the others, document everything.

LaineyAZ

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Re: Dealing with a know-it-all coworker
« Reply #101 on: October 14, 2019, 04:28:53 PM »
Agree with former player that it's time for HR to audit her resume.  My bet is they'll find exaggerations and/or outright lies on there.  Misrepresentations are cause for immediate dismissals.  Problem solved.

frugalnacho

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Re: Dealing with a know-it-all coworker
« Reply #102 on: October 16, 2019, 09:38:44 AM »
She's driving me bonkers.

Just walked in my office and said I need to write up another incident report because an employee got potassium hydroxide on him.  So I'm like

me: wtf? what happened? 
her: I don't know, you'll have to interview him.  He said he has IBS and his stomach is upset now, which is one of the symptoms of potassium hydroxide.
me: what? That's not from potassium hydroxide, unless he was eating it.  That doesn't make sense.
her: yea it is, I'll print you the SDS.

So right now I see the fucking employee out there working in the lab and he looks fine.  If this was such a big deal why did he not even bother to tell the safety manager and just go right back to work?  Instead he tells her, then immediately goes back to work? I'm skeptical of the severity of the issue when he just goes right back to work.

She walked back into my office and handed me a printed SDS and a printed article about potassium hydroxide poisoning from mount sinai.  Then she pointed to the bullet point that says "abdominal pain".  It's the first bullet point listed under symptoms from swallowing potassium hydroxide.

I'm frustrated because she is clearly an idiot.  His stomach cramps are obviously unrelated to getting a small amount of KOH on his skin.  I'm also frustrated because somehow she is deemed to either be more of an expert, or people are just more comfortable with her so they go to her to talk instead of me.  I'm also frustrated because this is likely not a reportable incident and doesn't really require an incident report, but now I am spending time and energy dealing with it.

I'm going to go interview the employee to get the bottom of what actually happened.

BlueHouse

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Re: Dealing with a know-it-all coworker
« Reply #103 on: October 16, 2019, 10:48:38 AM »
@frugalnacho , in my line of work, safety, QA, and my role are all meant to report up to the top of the chain of command specifically to ensure independence and so that there's no programmatic pressure to change results or alter reports or lessen the importance of any specific finding.  I wonder if your position should be reporting to someone at a higher level or outside the current chain and if you can use that as a way to separate yourself from her and also re-establish the correct reporting chain?  I would stress the importance of independence and autonomy and not wanting any undue influence from anyone else on the program.

frugalnacho

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Re: Dealing with a know-it-all coworker
« Reply #104 on: October 16, 2019, 11:18:09 AM »
I report to the plant manager which is the highest position I could report to. 

I spoke with the employee and it was no big deal.  He just wanted to bring to our attention a potential hazard.  Before disposing of empty KOH bags, there is a fine powder left in the bag, and when pushing it down a small puff was released into the air.  He had all the proper PPE on and was not injured, just wanted to raise awareness so someone else doesn't get injured and get a face full of powdered KOH.  His account of the incident was far different than what she relayed to me.

We've spoken before about OSHA reportable incidents and what qualifies and what doesn't.  This doesn't, but I think she may be thinking we should be doing incident reports for near miss type situations unrelated to reports required by OSHA, although the way she presented it to me sounded like she thought it was a required reportable incident.  I can't tell with her.  She sounds so confident and serious when she speaks, you'd swear she knows exactly what she's talking about, and it makes me wonder "wait, do I need to do an incident report?".  Then I remember all the interactions I've had with her where she displayed a staggering amount of ignorance and I wonder how she even functions.

I also wonder if she has any self awareness.  Does she go home at night and understand how stupid she is? Or is she completely oblivious and lamenting about the stupid manager she has to deal with?  Did she go home and research what a microgram is?  Or did she just totally blow that off and still doesn't understand mg and µg are different? 

frugalnacho

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Re: Dealing with a know-it-all coworker
« Reply #105 on: October 16, 2019, 11:29:34 AM »
I feel like I am getting far more frustrated and worked up about her than I should be.  I try to simply ignore her, but I feel obligated to at least check into everything she brings to my attention.  I'd hate for her to have a legitimate issue that I just blow off without at least checking into it, but I feel like it's a time suck as well.  I'm spending several hours each week dealing with non issues. 

former player

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Re: Dealing with a know-it-all coworker
« Reply #106 on: October 16, 2019, 11:38:24 AM »
What are co-worker's job title and functions and how do they relate to your job title and functions?  Do you both report to the same manager?  The things you are saying about her at the moment seem to have her pinging around the factory like a squash ball with no functional supervision and getting in your way without you having power over her, which can't be right.

Any progress on getting HR to check her CV?

frugalnacho

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Re: Dealing with a know-it-all coworker
« Reply #107 on: October 16, 2019, 01:21:46 PM »
Job titles and responsibilities are poorly defined.  I believe her official job title would be "data entry clerk", but I don't know exactly what her listed job responsibilities are, if she even has any.  I asked for a list of job responsibilities for myself so I know what I'm supposed to be doing, and they don't have one for me, so I'm trying to identify everything I feel should fall under EHS Manager's duties and just do that. This place is culturally like a small mom and pop shop with many people that have a very wide (too wide) range of job responsibilities, and has quickly expanded to be a medium sized company (90ish employees) but with that small shop mentality/culture.  My predecessor was the lab manager (he oversaw chemical inventory, ordering, the chemistry on individual tanks (100+), and making additions to those tanks.  He was also a salesman and provided quotes to customers. He also did everything environmental, health, and safety related.  It was far too much for one person to do, and I see a lot of areas that were obviously lacking.  Not because he wasn't qualified, but because how could you possibly do that much work with one person?  Too many hats, and too much work for a single person.  Maybe when it was a much smaller operation 15 years ago he could handle it, but now they are far too large to have a single person do all that.  Probably had something to do with him abruptly stress quitting retiring 5 months ago.

As far as I know she has absolutely no safety responsibilities as part of her job.  She is supposed to do data entry and order chemicals as directed by the defacto lab manager (who is really a tech with 15 years experience, and has no interest in officially becoming the lab manager).  She is ping ponging around the plant and finding various issues (and lots of non-issues), and as far as I can tell she has just taken it upon herself to do this.  She believes she has more safety training and experience than anyone else, and feels everything around here is inadequate and so is just taking the initiative to get things done, but she has no actual authority to do anything.  She has lots of coworkers convinced she is smart and qualified though, so official job responsibilities or not many co workers view her as somewhat of an authority on safety at this point. 

Management seems to give very little direct supervision to the lab.  In my position I get it, that's why you hired someone with an education and experience, because he doesn't want to have to babysit me and tell me everything I need to be doing.   He doesn't want to deal with the environmental agencies, or safety training, etc, he wants another manager that can work independently and just do the job so he doesn't have to worry about it.  But she probably needs to be getting more supervision.

No I haven't gone to HR about checking into her resume.  HR consists of a single person, who also does payroll and other administrative office stuff.  Seems like we should have more than a single person that does HR as an afterthought, but that's a separate issue.  I have a copy of her resume so I've read it over. She may have lied, but most of the fluff listed is unverifiable.  It's not specific accomplishments, just a list of possible job responsibilities and buzz words.  Most of her jobs look like they lasted 3-6 months, with several gaps in employment between them.  You would think those would be red flags to management, but maybe she had good answers.  Maybe they didn't think the bar needed to be too high for a data entry clerk, or maybe they have such a hard time getting employees willing to work here that they take what they can get.  I've spoken to my manager about her though, and expressed my thoughts, not quite as colorfully as in this thread, but he understands and sees the same issues with her.  I don't want to go to HR about getting her terminated, that seems like a declaration of war and would probably reflect poorly on me if the skuttlebutt was that frugalnacho is crying to HR trying to get someone fired.  I would rather raise the issue to my manager and let him make the decision to check into it.  I haven't been able to meet with him since it was suggested last week though.


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Re: Dealing with a know-it-all coworker
« Reply #108 on: October 16, 2019, 01:37:44 PM »
Right.  So, safety in the plant is about people being where they should be and not where they shouldn't be, right?  So you can issue a safety notice for people whose job description does not require them to be present on the shop floor (such as data entry clerks), to stay off the shop floor except for any specific purposes mentioned in their job description?

The other way to deal with her is to make sure she has so much data entry work to do that she doesn't have time to go smarming around the plant.  How much additional data entry work can she be given?

Tester

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Re: Dealing with a know-it-all coworker
« Reply #109 on: October 16, 2019, 02:35:39 PM »
You SPOKE with your manager...
It is the last time I reply: you write to your manager.

I will just read from now on, I hope I won't read about you being sued because of her actions and because you did not write to your manager.

Other than that it seems it is becoming a really big pain to deal with this and it is wasting your time, I feel your pain.

I have to clean up after several interns and contractors and I am getting tired of doing it.

SunnyDays

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Re: Dealing with a know-it-all coworker
« Reply #110 on: October 16, 2019, 02:49:44 PM »
Well this sounds like a totally dysfunctional place to work.  No one has job descriptions, reporting lines seem unclear, and supervision sound pretty lax.  And a DATA ENTRY CLERK is getting away with these antics?  Yikes.  If I were you, I think I would be looking for another job.

SKL-HOU

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Re: Dealing with a know-it-all coworker
« Reply #111 on: October 16, 2019, 06:50:28 PM »
It is very possible that at a place like that someone assigned her those duties. Also, safety should be everyone’s responsibility. I think she has you so frustrated that it is possible you may overlook an actual safety concern one of these days by having enough and ignoring her. You either need to let it go (which is almost impossible once someone gets under your skin) or look for new employment. I am sure being so worked up and frustrated everyday makes your job miserable.

GreenToTheCore

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Re: Dealing with a know-it-all coworker
« Reply #112 on: October 16, 2019, 07:08:17 PM »
Dude, get out of my head. I can relate exactly to your reactions and thought processes. It is so incredibly frustrating when simple things (introductory physics anyone?) become some grand debate. I feel you.


From some prior experience, I agree with others:
- You have a great advantage that your manager is on your side. Document this shit with quick emails to him - "Hey ___, I appreciate your support with Dingleberry. Since it's in the company's best interest for someone other than myself to be aware of what's going on, here's another instance that occurred today:  time/date, description, business impact (actual or potential)." 
(or something like that, there are much better writers on this forum that could help you craft a clear, suscinct, useful email. Let us know if this would be helpful and I'm sure folks would be glad to write up some examples.)

- Document this for yourself. Start a spreadsheet just for you so you can look back and confirm that you weren't crazy. As time goes on it's easier to convince yourself that it wasn't that bad. For me it's helped to be confident in future situations to be able to look back and confirm "No, I can trust my instincts. It was that bad."

- Build up positive interactions with as many other coworkers as possible.

- Build your DGAF muscle (for the things unrelated to immediate safety).

- Start looking for another job just in case this lasts beyond your sanity's limit.


I also wonder if she has any self awareness.  Does she go home at night and understand how stupid she is? Or is she completely oblivious and lamenting about the stupid manager she has to deal with?  Did she go home and research what a microgram is?  Or did she just totally blow that off and still doesn't understand mg and µg are different?
I think about this stuff all the time. If only I could get into their heads or sign them up for a psychological study... it would be fascinating.



Keep the stories coming!

Linea_Norway

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Re: Dealing with a know-it-all coworker
« Reply #113 on: October 17, 2019, 12:18:00 AM »
As a data clerk, she is probably not very intelligent. And I guess data entry is boring as a job. So she might just be looking for something more interesting to do. And safely sounds a lot more interesting. Unfortunately she is not equipped with any knowledge or education about the subject. She might also be building her resume, being able to add safety work to it.

+1 for documenting issues to your manager and mentioning the danger that safety could be at risk with here involved, doing things wrong.

frugalnacho

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Re: Dealing with a know-it-all coworker
« Reply #114 on: October 17, 2019, 10:41:24 AM »
I spoke with my manager because I wanted to gauge where he was and how he felt about her before I started documenting every little thing via email/writing and requesting that HR scrutinize her resume looking for reasons we can fire her.  I mean if he was totally on board with her and had the wool pulled over his eyes then I can't imagine my documentation emails would come across very well, even if I was correct.  I would look like a crybaby tattletail with every minor detail I brought to his attention, even though IMO all those details add up to a dangerously ignorant employee, and even the instances that aren't actually dangerous are still wasting the company's resources.

So last week I was busy finding the documentation of the initial testing we did regarding chrome, and didn't pay particularly close attention to the sign she wanted to put up.  She emailed a copy of the sign to me and the plant manager when she set up the safety meeting.  She had copies printed off and laminated and ready to post, she thought she was just getting permission from the plant manager during this meeting.   You all know how the meeting went, and that I discovered afterwards that she didn't know what a microgram was.

I've gone back to look a the sign she emailed, and it's riddled with errors.  I don't want to post the actual sign, and I feel like I'm already divulging way too much information, even though it's nothing specific about my company.

The first thing is that she listed PPE as personal protection equipment instead of personal protective equipment.  I mean it's a very minor quibble, everyone surely gets the gist of it and understands, but why not just use the correct terminology if you're going to bother printing and laminating a sign? 

Misspellings:
Mandatory as "Manadatory"
Required as "Requred"
Personal as "Peronal"
Hydrofluricid (wtf is that? I know she meant hydrofluoric acid, but what she typed isn’t a thing)

Inaccuracies:
                Lists Chromium (IV) which would be chromium 4 which isn't common and we don't use, she’s thinking of Chromium (VI) which has a valence state of 6 and we do use. [Chrome (VI) is the bad guy] 
                “OSHA Limits Exposure is 8 hrs w/ PPE” – No it’s not, besides being a grammatical nightmare it’s just wrong.  The personal exposure limit is for when you DON’T have PPE.  The PPE, you know, protects you.  Also she didn’t list what the number values of any of those exposure limits are.  I overheard her tell this exact same thing to another coworker (and I think I've mentioned it previously in this thread) during her initial safety training so this is not an oversight, this is a fundamental misunderstanding of how/why PPE works and is required.
Hydrofluricid (I know I already listed it under misspellings, but it deserves a shout out here as well)
Lists Bronze under "exposures" (but doesn't list a numerical value)
                Why would there be bronze in the chrome room?
                There no exposure limit for bronze.  Bronze is made of copper and tin, and there would be an exposure limit for copper.  Again not an issue because there is no copper or bronze in the chrome room!


I don't understand why she wouldn't have someone proofread a sign she is planning to put up.  Or at least re read it yourself.  We've already been down this road when she laminated multiple copies of the emergency poster that had 10 misspellings and a dangerous order of steps for fire fighting.  And she emailed this directly to the plant manager to request a meetings.  So he has a copy in his email and I could easily bring all these points to his attention. 


As for looking for another job...I just started this job in June after being laid off.  I had 12 years of environmental consulting experience, and got headhunted into a newer position as an environmental specialist about a year ago.   Basically did the environmental for the whole plant, and we had a separate full time safety specialist.  After that plant got shut down and I got laid off I found this job at a smaller plant in a different field, and got the environmental, health, and safety manager position.  I still have a lot to learn, so I am using this place to gain as much experience as I can.  Even if it's stressful I would like to work here and get that experience so I can move into a similar role and actually have some experience.  The company is a bit of a mess, but I am being paid decently, and I am gaining a lot of experience that I didn't get in my first 13 years of employment.  I am going to stick it out and improve the company as much as I can, hopefully making it a safer and more environmentally friendly plant in the process.  If it works long term and I can retire from here in 5 years then that's great.  If it doesn't work long term, I'd still like to gain as much experience as I can in the meantime so I can be more effective in my next role, which I imagine will be something similar to this one.  So as stressful as I appear in this thread, I am going to hold off on looking for another job for a bit longer.

Lulee

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Re: Dealing with a know-it-all coworker
« Reply #115 on: October 17, 2019, 11:33:24 AM »
On the upside, given her history, you only have to make it a short ways into to the new year before she gets herself canned/walks away.  Imagine how badly she must be doing her OWN job of data entry where accuracy is PARAMOUNT if she's doing that badly in all the idiotic things she's doing trying to help with health and safety!

I'd document everything to CYA and then follow your boss's lead as to how to handle her.  He may decide that she's already on her way out and that if you two can contain her misguided enthusiasm for a short while, she'll be out of your hair without any effort or possibly blow back on you two.  He might even have a trick or two up his sleeve on how to accomplish this.  May I suggest putting her in charge of all upcoming holiday related parties/decorations/what-have-you's and spin it up to a major effort like making sure it's done in such a way that no one can find offense (try doing THAT in today's sociopolitical environment).

Meanwhile, beyond containment until her eventual departure, he can guide you best with all his years at the company on how to codify in the processes ways to get people on-board with safety while not allowing any unhelpful "helpers" derail the efforts or worse, get the company into a position of increased liability.  He's the expert out of the two of you in how to get things done within the company.

He likely needs your input to see where "help" like hers is increasing the company's exposure to governmental attention & fines as opposed to her just seeming stupid and annoying.  It's easy to dismiss her so-called work as idiotic but harmless if all you see is typos.  Her mistakes on measurements and the Chrome (IV) versus Chrome (VI) seems to my uneducated ears like her incompetence is dragging the company out into dangerous waters.  The more you focus on the risks, the more he's likely to back you up and he'll have ammunition if he feels the need to get her shoved out the door sooner.

former player

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Re: Dealing with a know-it-all coworker
« Reply #116 on: October 17, 2019, 11:48:47 AM »
So, your complaint is not that she is a bad speller.  Your complaint is "unprofessional standards in published material, with errors leading to an appearance of carelessness on safety matters and potentially creating confusion by mislabeling of safety-critical substances"

Whe is in charge of her data entry work?  Can you make common cause with whoever is supervising her on that side of things?

Tester

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Re: Dealing with a know-it-all coworker
« Reply #117 on: October 17, 2019, 04:06:07 PM »
Ok, I said I won't reply but here I am.
"O MA GA" WTF is that poster.
WTF... I would just call the meeting, prepare the plant manager for what will be a bloodbath and enforcing strict "don't ever touch a keyboard" rules for her.
As a data entry clerk that should do it.
If that does not work, second rule would be "get correct facts based on the law and the regulations" coupled with "do that for your field of responsibility" and "don't expose the company to lawsuits/fines".

I don't know if I would be able to care about what my manager wants, I would send one e-mail pointing out the porblems ( in this case she gave you the ammunition, you are not  a cryaby, you just do your job by pointing out all the problems in that poster). If he decides to ignore it it is his decision.

GreenToTheCore

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Re: Dealing with a know-it-all coworker
« Reply #118 on: October 17, 2019, 05:18:12 PM »


I spoke with my manager because I wanted to gauge where he was and how he felt about her before I started documenting every little thing via email/writing and requesting that HR scrutinize her resume looking for reasons we can fire her.  I mean if he was totally on board with her and had the wool pulled over his eyes then I can't imagine my documentation emails would come across very well, even if I was correct.  I would look like a crybaby tattletail with every minor detail I brought to his attention, even though IMO all those details add up to a dangerously ignorant employee, and even the instances that aren't actually dangerous are still wasting the company's resources.
Ah, gotchya. I was thinking the manager was more on board and was of a similar mindset that she's off her rocker.


So last week I was busy finding the documentation of the initial testing we did regarding chrome, and didn't pay particularly close attention to the sign she wanted to put up.  She emailed a copy of the sign to me and the plant manager when she set up the safety meeting.  She had copies printed off and laminated and ready to post, she thought she was just getting permission from the plant manager during this meeting.   You all know how the meeting went, and that I discovered afterwards that she didn't know what a microgram was.

I've gone back to look a the sign she emailed, and it's riddled with errors.  I don't want to post the actual sign, and I feel like I'm already divulging way too much information, even though it's nothing specific about my company.

The first thing is that she listed PPE as personal protection equipment instead of personal protective equipment.  I mean it's a very minor quibble, everyone surely gets the gist of it and understands, but why not just use the correct terminology if you're going to bother printing and laminating a sign? 

Misspellings:
Mandatory as "Manadatory"
Required as "Requred"
Personal as "Peronal"
Hydrofluricid (wtf is that? I know she meant hydrofluoric acid, but what she typed isn’t a thing)

Inaccuracies:
                Lists Chromium (IV) which would be chromium 4 which isn't common and we don't use, she’s thinking of Chromium (VI) which has a valence state of 6 and we do use. [Chrome (VI) is the bad guy] 
                “OSHA Limits Exposure is 8 hrs w/ PPE” – No it’s not, besides being a grammatical nightmare it’s just wrong.  The personal exposure limit is for when you DON’T have PPE.  The PPE, you know, protects you.  Also she didn’t list what the number values of any of those exposure limits are.  I overheard her tell this exact same thing to another coworker (and I think I've mentioned it previously in this thread) during her initial safety training so this is not an oversight, this is a fundamental misunderstanding of how/why PPE works and is required.
Hydrofluricid (I know I already listed it under misspellings, but it deserves a shout out here as well)
Lists Bronze under "exposures" (but doesn't list a numerical value)
                Why would there be bronze in the chrome room?
                There no exposure limit for bronze.  Bronze is made of copper and tin, and there would be an exposure limit for copper.  Again not an issue because there is no copper or bronze in the chrome room!


I don't understand why she wouldn't have someone proofread a sign she is planning to put up.  Or at least re read it yourself.  We've already been down this road when she laminated multiple copies of the emergency poster that had 10 misspellings and a dangerous order of steps for fire fighting.  And she emailed this directly to the plant manager to request a meetings.  So he has a copy in his email and I could easily bring all these points to his attention. 
I know I said keep the stories coming, but da-amn. This is some unbelievable stuff.

As for looking for another job...I just started this job in June after being laid off.  I had 12 years of environmental consulting experience, and got headhunted into a newer position as an environmental specialist about a year ago.   Basically did the environmental for the whole plant, and we had a separate full time safety specialist.  After that plant got shut down and I got laid off I found this job at a smaller plant in a different field, and got the environmental, health, and safety manager position.  I still have a lot to learn, so I am using this place to gain as much experience as I can.  Even if it's stressful I would like to work here and get that experience so I can move into a similar role and actually have some experience.  The company is a bit of a mess, but I am being paid decently, and I am gaining a lot of experience that I didn't get in my first 13 years of employment.  I am going to stick it out and improve the company as much as I can, hopefully making it a safer and more environmentally friendly plant in the process.  If it works long term and I can retire from here in 5 years then that's great.  If it doesn't work long term, I'd still like to gain as much experience as I can in the meantime so I can be more effective in my next role, which I imagine will be something similar to this one.  So as stressful as I appear in this thread, I am going to hold off on looking for another job for a bit longer.
Nice, glad to hear that this is just a venting space and you're not nearing your bursting point.
Sounds like you have a good plan on what you want out of the experience.


I'll just be sitting here with my bowl of popcorn, waiting to hear how the manager is going to handle this poster shenanigans. Thanks again for providing us with mid-week entertainment.

frugalnacho

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Re: Dealing with a know-it-all coworker
« Reply #119 on: October 18, 2019, 07:21:34 AM »
On the upside, given her history, you only have to make it a short ways into to the new year before she gets herself canned/walks away.  Imagine how badly she must be doing her OWN job of data entry where accuracy is PARAMOUNT if she's doing that badly in all the idiotic things she's doing trying to help with health and safety!

This is a great point and I've been thinking about this a lot.  If she is making this many mistakes and errors with attempting to make company policies and posting permanent signs, how well can she be doing at her actual job?  Is her attention to detail of the same quality in that area?  Does she have any oversight, and is anyone checking up on her?  I know I certainly don't, and I don't know if anyone else is. 

former player

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Re: Dealing with a know-it-all coworker
« Reply #120 on: October 18, 2019, 07:31:13 AM »
On the upside, given her history, you only have to make it a short ways into to the new year before she gets herself canned/walks away.  Imagine how badly she must be doing her OWN job of data entry where accuracy is PARAMOUNT if she's doing that badly in all the idiotic things she's doing trying to help with health and safety!

This is a great point and I've been thinking about this a lot.  If she is making this many mistakes and errors with attempting to make company policies and posting permanent signs, how well can she be doing at her actual job?  Is her attention to detail of the same quality in that area?  Does she have any oversight, and is anyone checking up on her?  I know I certainly don't, and I don't know if anyone else is.
Perhaps you can encourage her that with her great people skills she is wasted in a factory and ought to be in PR and event hospitality work.

frugalnacho

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Re: Dealing with a know-it-all coworker
« Reply #121 on: October 18, 2019, 09:09:54 AM »
She took it upon herself to conduct another safety meeting.   She is insisting that the potassium hydroxide is a reportable incident and we are going to be fined by OSHA if we don't write an incident report.  I simply replied that I don't think that's true, and I'd like to see the specific language that requires it.   

I am drafting up an email to my boss right now about her to see what we can do about getting her out of here.  I'm at like a 1,3,5,7,9 with her because I can't even. 

EDIT: Also to be clear I don't attend her safety meetings, she is conducting it in the lab outside my office. 

BlueHouse

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Re: Dealing with a know-it-all coworker
« Reply #122 on: October 18, 2019, 09:43:04 AM »
Quote
I've gone back to look a the sign she emailed, and it's riddled with errors.  I don't want to post the actual sign, and I feel like I'm already divulging way too much information, even though it's nothing specific about my company.

The first thing is that she listed PPE as personal protection equipment instead of personal protective equipment.  I mean it's a very minor quibble, everyone surely gets the gist of it and understands, but why not just use the correct terminology if you're going to bother printing and laminating a sign? 

Misspellings:
Mandatory as "Manadatory"
Required as "Requred"
Personal as "Peronal"
Hydrofluricid (wtf is that? I know she meant hydrofluoric acid, but what she typed isn’t a thing)

Inaccuracies:
                Lists Chromium (IV) which would be chromium 4 which isn't common and we don't use, she’s thinking of Chromium (VI) which has a valence state of 6 and we do use. [Chrome (VI) is the bad guy] 
                “OSHA Limits Exposure is 8 hrs w/ PPE” – No it’s not, besides being a grammatical nightmare it’s just wrong.  The personal exposure limit is for when you DON’T have PPE.  The PPE, you know, protects you.  Also she didn’t list what the number values of any of those exposure limits are.  I overheard her tell this exact same thing to another coworker (and I think I've mentioned it previously in this thread) during her initial safety training so this is not an oversight, this is a fundamental misunderstanding of how/why PPE works and is required.
Hydrofluricid (I know I already listed it under misspellings, but it deserves a shout out here as well)
Lists Bronze under "exposures" (but doesn't list a numerical value)
                Why would there be bronze in the chrome room?
                There no exposure limit for bronze.  Bronze is made of copper and tin, and there would be an exposure limit for copper.  Again not an issue because there is no copper or bronze in the chrome room!


I would print out the sign, then take a big red sharpie to it, circling every typo, and marking a big red X across the incorrect information.    Then I would put it on her desk with a note that says:  "Please correct typos and incorrect information, then resubmit".

If this happened more than once, I would do the same, but this time electronically and "reply all" to include whoever she included. 

I know this might be considered passive-aggressive, but this kind of thing does have its benefits.  You may even want to act as if you're taking her under your wing by saying "Thanks, I can see you're interested in a career in safety.  If you're serious about learning, please correct typos, correct all inaccuracies, then resubmit" 

former player

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Re: Dealing with a know-it-all coworker
« Reply #123 on: October 18, 2019, 09:50:22 AM »
Quote
I've gone back to look a the sign she emailed, and it's riddled with errors.  I don't want to post the actual sign, and I feel like I'm already divulging way too much information, even though it's nothing specific about my company.

The first thing is that she listed PPE as personal protection equipment instead of personal protective equipment.  I mean it's a very minor quibble, everyone surely gets the gist of it and understands, but why not just use the correct terminology if you're going to bother printing and laminating a sign? 

Misspellings:
Mandatory as "Manadatory"
Required as "Requred"
Personal as "Peronal"
Hydrofluricid (wtf is that? I know she meant hydrofluoric acid, but what she typed isn’t a thing)

Inaccuracies:
                Lists Chromium (IV) which would be chromium 4 which isn't common and we don't use, she’s thinking of Chromium (VI) which has a valence state of 6 and we do use. [Chrome (VI) is the bad guy] 
                “OSHA Limits Exposure is 8 hrs w/ PPE” – No it’s not, besides being a grammatical nightmare it’s just wrong.  The personal exposure limit is for when you DON’T have PPE.  The PPE, you know, protects you.  Also she didn’t list what the number values of any of those exposure limits are.  I overheard her tell this exact same thing to another coworker (and I think I've mentioned it previously in this thread) during her initial safety training so this is not an oversight, this is a fundamental misunderstanding of how/why PPE works and is required.
Hydrofluricid (I know I already listed it under misspellings, but it deserves a shout out here as well)
Lists Bronze under "exposures" (but doesn't list a numerical value)
                Why would there be bronze in the chrome room?
                There no exposure limit for bronze.  Bronze is made of copper and tin, and there would be an exposure limit for copper.  Again not an issue because there is no copper or bronze in the chrome room!


I would print out the sign, then take a big red sharpie to it, circling every typo, and marking a big red X across the incorrect information.    Then I would put it on her desk with a note that says:  "Please correct typos and incorrect information, then resubmit".

If this happened more than once, I would do the same, but this time electronically and "reply all" to include whoever she included. 

I know this might be considered passive-aggressive, but this kind of thing does have its benefits.  You may even want to act as if you're taking her under your wing by saying "Thanks, I can see you're interested in a career in safety.  If you're serious about learning, please correct typos, correct all inaccuracies, then resubmit"
That puts OP in the position of volunteering to train a data entry clerk that she doesn't get on with to do her own job.  It would be a hard "no" for me.

I don't understand why a data entry clerk should be allowed to call safety meetings?  OP: have you told her not to do this?

BlueHouse

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Re: Dealing with a know-it-all coworker
« Reply #124 on: October 18, 2019, 10:19:17 AM »

That puts OP in the position of volunteering to train a data entry clerk that she doesn't get on with to do her own job.  It would be a hard "no" for me.

FrugalNacho would not have to train her, he could simply say "okay, if you're serious about it, why don't you go request training.  Run it through me so I know it's legit, and I'll back you up with HR/Management"   Sometimes the very best workers are created from the most annoying.  If she wants to become specialized at something, this would be a door to get her foot in.   

I once worked with someone with similar annoying traits.  Let's just say I still refer to her as "Becky Buttinsky"  Anyway, she made my life unpleasant at work, so I secretly shared her name/contact info/resume (I don't recall if I actually had her resume or not) to the recruiter who had just landed me the job.  We had similar skills, so any job possibilities he had lined up for me were useful for her.  She actually got a job that I didn't get.  It worked out for both of us. 

Years later, I did have access to the resume of the most useless person I've ever worked with.  After struggling for months to keep a team motivated while they were all angry at useless man (he was their "boss"), I finally sent his resume to recruiter who came seeking me.  It was a better fit for him geographically, and on paper he looked good.  Problem solved! 

My point is, sometimes the best way to block these people isn't with a wall.  It's to let them pass through and to help them on their way somewhere else.




frugalnacho

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Re: Dealing with a know-it-all coworker
« Reply #125 on: October 18, 2019, 11:15:36 AM »

That puts OP in the position of volunteering to train a data entry clerk that she doesn't get on with to do her own job.  It would be a hard "no" for me.

FrugalNacho would not have to train her, he could simply say "okay, if you're serious about it, why don't you go request training.  Run it through me so I know it's legit, and I'll back you up with HR/Management"   Sometimes the very best workers are created from the most annoying.  If she wants to become specialized at something, this would be a door to get her foot in.   

I once worked with someone with similar annoying traits.  Let's just say I still refer to her as "Becky Buttinsky"  Anyway, she made my life unpleasant at work, so I secretly shared her name/contact info/resume (I don't recall if I actually had her resume or not) to the recruiter who had just landed me the job.  We had similar skills, so any job possibilities he had lined up for me were useful for her.  She actually got a job that I didn't get.  It worked out for both of us. 

Years later, I did have access to the resume of the most useless person I've ever worked with.  After struggling for months to keep a team motivated while they were all angry at useless man (he was their "boss"), I finally sent his resume to recruiter who came seeking me.  It was a better fit for him geographically, and on paper he looked good.  Problem solved! 

My point is, sometimes the best way to block these people isn't with a wall.  It's to let them pass through and to help them on their way somewhere else.

The problem isn't (just) lack of training, the problem is that she's a fucking idiot.  She's incompetent and I wouldn't feel comfortable with her being in charge of anything, including data entry.  At first I wanted to avoid the nuclear route and try to work through things amicably, keep her employed but hopefully out of my hair.  But this is a business, not a charity to give a mentally ill woman a platform.  I think it's in the best interest of the company, and everyone at the company, to fire her.  She is wasting my time, our coworkers time, her own time, and company resources.  And she is creating hysteria and getting employees riled up over non-issues.  There are plenty of issues to get riled up about at this plant, but she's not even smart enough to be able to differentiate between legitimate issues vs non-issues, let alone prioritize the legitimate issues.  I would love to set her free and have her move on to something better, but I don't want it to be at this company.  If the call was mine I would fire her today.

And why is a data entry clerk calling safety meetings?  Because nobody is stopping her.  I'm not her boss, even though I would be the safety manager, and I haven't been given the authority to boss her around.  Initially I didn't want to discourage anyone that wants to voluntarily do safety related tasks.  Obviously I don't want total noobs to have any authority to actually do anything, but I would love for them all to take safety seriously and be active participants and give feedback.  You want to get a safety committee together to review and critique our safety policies? That's great, but I had no idea just how off the rails she was going to be. 

So now I'm back to where I was when I started this thread.  My concern is me stepping in and saying "You are an idiot and are woefully unqualified and I'm shutting you and your safety bullshit down and I don't want you to have anything to do with safety moving forward" is going to have some serious repercussions.  It's going to make her my nemesis for the remainder of our employment.  It's going to drive a wedge between me and the other employees because she seems to be well liked, and most of the other employees believe her bullshit even when she's dead wrong - I just don't think I'm going to be viewed favorably in that situation regardless of how correct I am.  It's also going to discourage other employees from wanting to take an active role with safety.  Even if the decree comes down from above me it's going to create problems. Not saying anything seems like an even worse alternative though, and the situation has gotten worse since I started this thread.  My manager is aware of the issue though, and I've just sent him a long email documenting a lot of what I've discussed in this thread.  Hopefully he can manage the situation.

frugalnacho

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Re: Dealing with a know-it-all coworker
« Reply #126 on: October 18, 2019, 02:42:38 PM »
That was pretty quick.  After I shot off that long email to my boss I had a conference call with him and the corporate lawyer.  He thanked me for my detailed email, and said he knew she was becoming a problem but hadn't realized just how big of one she is becoming. He hadn't reviewed her proposed poster in as much detail as I did and was shocked at everything I pointed out.  It sounds like they want to bring some safety consultants in to get things fully on track, and quell some of the fears she is bringing up.  She won't listen to me or my boss (or reason), but maybe she'll listen to an expert.  It also sounds like my boss, HR, the lawyer, and her are going to have a meeting next week to shut her down and put her back in her place.  I'm not sure if I am going to be part of that meeting.  Also not sure if she is being fired or just getting a stern talking to. 


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Re: Dealing with a know-it-all coworker
« Reply #127 on: October 18, 2019, 03:00:43 PM »
I was just about to comment when your last post appeared.  If things still aren’t settled next week then I would get her boss(is he also yours?) to specify exactly what roles each of you will play regarding her duties.  You both have to be on the same page about who does what because it seems that her boss provides an administrative function while you provide an expertise-based function.  I used to have both an admin supervisor and a clinical supervisor and the duties of each were clear as they related to me and to each other, so we all knew where we stood and there was no confusion about reporting lines.  I knew who to go to for a particular issue.  It made everyone’s job a lot easier.

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Re: Dealing with a know-it-all coworker
« Reply #128 on: October 18, 2019, 05:04:08 PM »
That was pretty quick.  After I shot off that long email to my boss I had a conference call with him and the corporate lawyer.  He thanked me for my detailed email, and said he knew she was becoming a problem but hadn't realized just how big of one she is becoming. He hadn't reviewed her proposed poster in as much detail as I did and was shocked at everything I pointed out.  It sounds like they want to bring some safety consultants in to get things fully on track, and quell some of the fears she is bringing up.  She won't listen to me or my boss (or reason), but maybe she'll listen to an expert.  It also sounds like my boss, HR, the lawyer, and her are going to have a meeting next week to shut her down and put her back in her place.  I'm not sure if I am going to be part of that meeting.  Also not sure if she is being fired or just getting a stern talking to.

If they are bringing an expert to calm her down and take care of her worries then she is not getting fired. I don’t know what kind of a workplace this is but if they have a corporate lawyer it doesn’t sound like a mom and pop shop so i doubt they can or would be willing to fire without several steps first. Also, if you are the safety manager why are they bringing someone else from outside and why weren’t you in the know until your email? Maybe she is not just a data entry clerk if they are going through allthis trouble to calm her down.

frugalnacho

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Re: Dealing with a know-it-all coworker
« Reply #129 on: October 18, 2019, 06:34:12 PM »
Yes it's the same boss. Her job has nothing to do with safety and he doesn't know why she's interjected herself.  She's gone rogue. I agree we need some clearly defined job duties.  At this point the problem is larger than just not having clearly defined job responsibilities though, as she has several people freaked out about unsafe conditions due to her fear mongering.  Everything's an "exposure" no matter if it doesn't make sense, or if we have data to the contrary showing it's not actually a hazard.  The problem is that she is louder and more confident so me standing there with lab reports showing ambient air chrome levels are below the exposure limit, and showing we have maintenance records for the scrubber and differential pressure readings demonstrating the control equipment is in working order...well most of these people don't understand that stuff, but they understand that safety Sandy said they need respirators in this area for that specific reason.  It takes a lot longer to gather all of the evidence and the exact regulatory language to refute her than it does for her to make her claims. 

I think they want to bring an expert in to calm the other employees down.  That way it will come from an expert that these are not actually issues. And the things that are issues (there are plenty) can also be addressed. 

Every company in this industry has a lawyer.  Most of them use the same few lawyers that specialize in this industry.  It's a mom and pop in the sense that a single dude owns and has owned it for decades now.  Maybe not a traditional mom and pop with only 2-3 employees, but it seems like the attitude was pretty lax.  My boss was only brought in to run the entire plant about 3 years ago. Company was only like 30 employees a few years ago, so it's undergone rapid growth in the last few years.  They haven't been keeping up with all the EHS stuff during that rapid growth and a lot of stuff being implemented is reactionary.   Like letting hazardous waste pile up until they got big enough to he on the radar and a regulator shows up and is basically like "wtf, you guys need to comply with xyz", so they figure out how to comply with xyz and move on. 

I wasn't in the know because I don't think this plan was hatched until I sent that email today.  The contacting of the consultant didn't happen until during our conference call this afternoon.

We'll see how eager they are to hire a consultant once we get the quote.  It's going to be expensive.

Tester

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Re: Dealing with a know-it-all coworker
« Reply #130 on: October 18, 2019, 09:54:28 PM »
I think your e-mail finally did it and they can't ignore it.
If she sues they can say they had to act and it was not their decision.
I also think the external person is brought in to remove even more of possible reasons for suing "the independent expert said she is wrong".

frugaldrummer

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Re: Dealing with a know-it-all coworker
« Reply #131 on: October 19, 2019, 12:17:45 PM »
I would speak to your boss about your suspicions about her resume being fabricated. If they can prove that she egregiously lied about her qualifications for the job it should be easy to fire her without any risk of it looking like retaliation. Meanwhile document ALL of her lapses in knowledge.

frugalnacho

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Re: Dealing with a know-it-all coworker
« Reply #132 on: October 21, 2019, 09:07:12 AM »
It sounds like my boss spoke with her.  I wasn't there, but I know what we spoke about on Friday.  She is outside my office disbanding the safety training right now and I'm overhearing the discussion.  She said they are calling in an outside consulting firm to conduct the training. It sounds like a total shit show.   Everyone out there is pissed and thinks the company isn't taking safety seriously, even though the best thing that could be doing is currently being done.  Tensions sound high, and morale sounds low, and I'm getting awkward glances from the employees.  I'm sure they all think I am partially/fully to blame.  Nobody seemed to have a problem eating donuts and bagels, and having 10 employees bullshit around for 2 hours on the clock with literally no useful information being conveyed, but they are all pissed that an outside firm is coming in and using up what could potentially be their "bonus money".  They also didn't seem to have a problem her ordering an excess of unnecessary safety equipment, or have any problems with all the shit she wanted to order but was above her monetary limit to order without prior approval (she has approval to make purchases because she is supposed to order chemicals), but a safety consultant is taking away their bonuses.   The company didn't do bonuses last year because of a large fire that destroyed a building, and we are still in the rebuild phase and they aren't doing bonuses this year either (my boss was upfront about this in my interview).  Seems like a myopic view to have when they seem genuinely concerned about safety, but I guess they all felt she was doing an adequate job, which blows my mind because she's so mind bogglingly incompetent. 

She took it upon herself to start ordering bagels and donuts for safety team meetings as well.  I guess my boss approved the initial ordering of food for the first meeting she requested to have thinking it was a one time deal, but he never approved subsequent orders but she decided to order them anyway.  The order of bagels and donuts she ordered on friday the company is refusing to reimburse her for. 

I did speak to my boss about checking into her resume to see if she lied, but she doesn't make any safety related claims on the resume, which makes sense because her roll has nothing to do with safety.  She was hired for data entry and to order chemicals as instructed, and somehow she just morphed into this safety position without being asked.  I said it would still be worth a check to see if she lied, but it sounds like they don't want to fire her.  It sounds like they may be afraid of retaliation if they fire her, even for cause.  It will be little consolation to the company that she was fired for cause if she decides to file reports and put the company under investigation with OSHA.  Even if nothing is egregiously wrong, no one wants to have inspectors up in their business. 

So problem partially solved, and now onto a whole set of new problems with employee trust and morale. 

Laura33

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Re: Dealing with a know-it-all coworker
« Reply #133 on: October 21, 2019, 09:52:36 AM »
Everyone out there is pissed and thinks the company isn't taking safety seriously, even though the best thing that could be doing is currently being done.  Tensions sound high, and morale sounds low, and I'm getting awkward glances from the employees.  I'm sure they all think I am partially/fully to blame.  Nobody seemed to have a problem eating donuts and bagels, and having 10 employees bullshit around for 2 hours on the clock with literally no useful information being conveyed, but they are all pissed that an outside firm is coming in and using up what could potentially be their "bonus money".  They also didn't seem to have a problem her ordering an excess of unnecessary safety equipment, or have any problems with all the shit she wanted to order but was above her monetary limit to order without prior approval (she has approval to make purchases because she is supposed to order chemicals), but a safety consultant is taking away their bonuses.

Well, of course the employees don't have a problem with her ordering the safety equipment, because from their perspective, that is to protect them.  "I want to keep you safe" is a far more compelling sell than "you don't need additional equipment because your exposures are low enough and the company would rather use the money for something else [which will not be your bonuses, btw]."

This goes back to communicating effectively:  you need to be able to see things from others' point of view.  You are clearly right about what the law requires, but these folks don't have your education and experience -- and they're also the ones working with stuff they know is dangerous every day.  She has been effective with them because she knows what they are afraid of and has positioned herself as their protector; when you say it's not necessary, they think, "sure, easy for you to say, it's not your ass on the line."  So if you want to do your job effectively, you need to figure out how to address their fears, even -- especially -- when they are unfounded, and paint the bigger picture for them. 

Roadrunner53

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Re: Dealing with a know-it-all coworker
« Reply #134 on: October 21, 2019, 10:33:42 AM »
The outside consulting company will be the best thing. They see what the issues are or are not. They write up a summary of what needs to be done or if all is in compliance with the law. Once this report is given, I think it would be prudent to meet with your boss and put a plan in place. Decide who the players are in safety management and assign duties. Someone needs to oversee the paperwork to make sure everything is documented. The employees should be invited to a meeting to discuss findings, next steps and confirm that the safety precautions are being followed appropriately according to the consulting company OR if improvements need to be made, tell them what needs changing.

By hiring the consulting company it removes you from being the bad guy. Sets up a program to follow that isn't your doing or Miss Know it all's.

frugalnacho

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Re: Dealing with a know-it-all coworker
« Reply #135 on: October 21, 2019, 11:02:14 AM »
Everyone out there is pissed and thinks the company isn't taking safety seriously, even though the best thing that could be doing is currently being done.  Tensions sound high, and morale sounds low, and I'm getting awkward glances from the employees.  I'm sure they all think I am partially/fully to blame.  Nobody seemed to have a problem eating donuts and bagels, and having 10 employees bullshit around for 2 hours on the clock with literally no useful information being conveyed, but they are all pissed that an outside firm is coming in and using up what could potentially be their "bonus money".  They also didn't seem to have a problem her ordering an excess of unnecessary safety equipment, or have any problems with all the shit she wanted to order but was above her monetary limit to order without prior approval (she has approval to make purchases because she is supposed to order chemicals), but a safety consultant is taking away their bonuses.

Well, of course the employees don't have a problem with her ordering the safety equipment, because from their perspective, that is to protect them.  "I want to keep you safe" is a far more compelling sell than "you don't need additional equipment because your exposures are low enough and the company would rather use the money for something else [which will not be your bonuses, btw]."

This goes back to communicating effectively:  you need to be able to see things from others' point of view.  You are clearly right about what the law requires, but these folks don't have your education and experience -- and they're also the ones working with stuff they know is dangerous every day.  She has been effective with them because she knows what they are afraid of and has positioned herself as their protector; when you say it's not necessary, they think, "sure, easy for you to say, it's not your ass on the line."  So if you want to do your job effectively, you need to figure out how to address their fears, even -- especially -- when they are unfounded, and paint the bigger picture for them.

Yea I get that, but they are scoffing at hiring a safety consultant.  I would think if that was their real concern they would be delighted that the company is bringing in professionals to evaluate all of their concerns.  It's not like they all get giant profit sharing bonuses anyway, my understanding is that the hourly employees only get a couple hundred bucks (which they aren't getting this year anyway!).

I don't know how logical any of them are anyway.  You're concerned about "vapors", but I just saw several employees walk through a cloud of smoke as you smoked a cigarette 2 feet outside of the entrance.  Also we have a god damn ventilation system for your paint booth, and you don't run it because you don't like the noise of the fan.  It's hard to take your concerns seriously when I see you doing that shit. 

frugalnacho

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Re: Dealing with a know-it-all coworker
« Reply #136 on: October 21, 2019, 11:16:12 AM »
Also we are getting clearly defined job duties.  Mine will be a bit ambiguous to start as they don't know exactly what my job duties are.  Like I said, they had one dude here forever that was handling all that stuff, and now that he's gone, and no one knows exactly what he did with all the environmental, health, and safety stuff.  So it's going to be some general guidelines for duties.  I guess if they knew exactly everything that falls under EHS and how to do it, they wouldn't need me. As it stands I think I have a better idea of what my job duties are than anyone else at the plant. It also sounds like once things settle and we get a consultant in and get a more well defined safety program that safety Sandy is going to report directly to me.  Why is she going to report to me? Unclear.  I think my boss maybe doesn't want to deal with her?  And we are both in the lab.

iris lily

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Re: Dealing with a know-it-all coworker
« Reply #137 on: October 21, 2019, 11:29:38 AM »
I dont mean to sound smartass because this comment is sincere:

You are, in addition to making other errors in human communication, failing to understand the importance of free donuts and bagels at a work training.

Laura33

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Re: Dealing with a know-it-all coworker
« Reply #138 on: October 21, 2019, 11:51:54 AM »
Everyone out there is pissed and thinks the company isn't taking safety seriously, even though the best thing that could be doing is currently being done.  Tensions sound high, and morale sounds low, and I'm getting awkward glances from the employees.  I'm sure they all think I am partially/fully to blame.  Nobody seemed to have a problem eating donuts and bagels, and having 10 employees bullshit around for 2 hours on the clock with literally no useful information being conveyed, but they are all pissed that an outside firm is coming in and using up what could potentially be their "bonus money".  They also didn't seem to have a problem her ordering an excess of unnecessary safety equipment, or have any problems with all the shit she wanted to order but was above her monetary limit to order without prior approval (she has approval to make purchases because she is supposed to order chemicals), but a safety consultant is taking away their bonuses.

Well, of course the employees don't have a problem with her ordering the safety equipment, because from their perspective, that is to protect them.  "I want to keep you safe" is a far more compelling sell than "you don't need additional equipment because your exposures are low enough and the company would rather use the money for something else [which will not be your bonuses, btw]."

This goes back to communicating effectively:  you need to be able to see things from others' point of view.  You are clearly right about what the law requires, but these folks don't have your education and experience -- and they're also the ones working with stuff they know is dangerous every day.  She has been effective with them because she knows what they are afraid of and has positioned herself as their protector; when you say it's not necessary, they think, "sure, easy for you to say, it's not your ass on the line."  So if you want to do your job effectively, you need to figure out how to address their fears, even -- especially -- when they are unfounded, and paint the bigger picture for them.

Yea I get that, but they are scoffing at hiring a safety consultant.  I would think if that was their real concern they would be delighted that the company is bringing in professionals to evaluate all of their concerns.  It's not like they all get giant profit sharing bonuses anyway, my understanding is that the hourly employees only get a couple hundred bucks (which they aren't getting this year anyway!).

I don't know how logical any of them are anyway.  You're concerned about "vapors", but I just saw several employees walk through a cloud of smoke as you smoked a cigarette 2 feet outside of the entrance.  Also we have a god damn ventilation system for your paint booth, and you don't run it because you don't like the noise of the fan.  It's hard to take your concerns seriously when I see you doing that shit.

Yep.  People are illogical.  And some people just like to complain, period.  Not much you can do about that.

I do agree that the 3rd-party independent consultant is far and away the best option for a number of reasons.  But I also agree with @iris lily.  ;-)  You have the work expertise cold, so please spend a little time (as you have it) working on the people-management side of things.

(BTW, have I mentioned that I had this exact conversation with my DH 20+ years ago when he moved into his first management role?  He is an engineer, and he just could not fathom why everyone didn't automatically do things his way, because it was obviously the most efficient.  He truly didn't understand that not everyone has "efficiency" as a number one life goal, ya know?  He still scores "0" on the empathy scale, but he has learned to fake it well. because he has learned that sometimes, the most efficient way to get the job done is to spend time on inefficient things like talking to people and learning what drives them).

Roadrunner53

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Re: Dealing with a know-it-all coworker
« Reply #139 on: October 21, 2019, 12:34:15 PM »
Laura33 is right.

The best managers can see what makes each employee a success and what they thrive at doing. If this woman is a data entry person, why not give her the job of data entry of the safety records. For some reason she seems to want to get involved but maybe someone needs to push her in the right direction where she will be useful and not get in the way. If her defined duties are data entry, and that is it, then everyone knows her role in safety. If she steps out of bounds, then she needs to be reprimanded.

Yes, donuts and coffee make people happy.

SKL-HOU

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Re: Dealing with a know-it-all coworker
« Reply #140 on: October 21, 2019, 01:17:17 PM »
Any outside consultant is ALWAYS going to be seen as evil no matter what the goal is. She knows this and using it to her full advantage to side with them. Of course you look like the villain because you have already positioned yourself as against safety Sandy and caused an outside consultant to come in. It is not just about bonuses. Even if bonuses werent a thing at all, they still wouldn’t like an outside consultant, nobody likes being told what they are doing wrong but by a complete stranger is even worse.
Maybe they are all idiots and you are the only smart one but that is not enough to do your job/any job successfully or even to keep a job. You really need to get some people skills asap.

pk_aeryn

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Re: Dealing with a know-it-all coworker
« Reply #141 on: October 24, 2019, 07:00:02 PM »
I’m going to disagree that bringing in a consultant is a good move. If your job is Safety Manager, and they bring in an outside person to explain things to Sandy, that’s stripping you of all authority.  They need to tell Sandy, “He is the safety manager, this is his job, you need to believe him.”

Seriously if they don’t do that, AND all the other employees don’t trust you over her? Just start looking for a new job. This management is toxic and doing you no favors!

FIREedUpCS

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Re: Dealing with a know-it-all coworker
« Reply #142 on: October 24, 2019, 10:05:28 PM »
Your company seems dysfunctional. No org chart or responsibilities?

You let your time and energy get stolen by an entry-level employee, in a different line of work, who is stupid. Why?

If I were you, I would leave or at least CYA because she will go after you if she thinks you are behind her discipline. Given her pattern of lying, she could easily fabricate something about you.

Good luck.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Dealing with a know-it-all coworker
« Reply #143 on: October 25, 2019, 02:07:39 AM »
I think that after the consultant has been there, you should get authority over all safety things. Only management should be above you. But no employees should organize safety meetings without discussing with you and with out you present. Also, you should have authority to approve all safety signs. I think it is totally weird that a data entry person is allowed to do this kind of work on her own. But she probably blufs her way into it. But you with the proper knowledge should be in charge of such things. Make a plan for the organizational change and suggest it to your boss.

frugalnacho

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Re: Dealing with a know-it-all coworker
« Reply #144 on: October 25, 2019, 08:46:30 AM »
Yes the company does seem dysfunctional.  They are in a period of rapid growth, and also a period of rapid change in personnel.  There is a lot of work to be done, and a lot of procedures that need to be established.  We are attempting to right the ship. 

I was hired because of my environmental experience, and also because you want an educated, intelligent person that is capable of critical thinking.  I was not hired because of my safety expertise - I am not a safety expert.  I am able to read the general regulations and comprehend them though.  I have been using past safety audits as guidance as to what needs to be done, but I will probably require the help of a consultant at some point anyway because I lack the expertise.

I am definitely CMA.  I honestly don't expect her to be employed here much longer.  She seems to be butting heads with multiple people.  I am getting the impression that the plant manager dislikes her, HR dislikes her, and the head of finance dislikes her.  I am going to do everything I can to interject my opinion that she is incompetent and dangerous for the company, but she is already doing a pretty decent job of getting that point across on her own.



So how about more fun stories?

Yesterday she filled out an incident report for an employee that didn't injure himself.  He tweaked his groin lifting something, and didn't need medical attention, but wanted to notify us in case it develops at a later date.  That's fine, and it's a good idea to document it in case it does develop, so knock yourself out and fill out an incident report if you like.   When I looked at the report, large portions of it were left over from the previous incident report she filled out.  So I was like "uh...I don't think this information is correct, his name is at the top but the 2nd page is all about a different employee".  She seemed incredulous (again) that she could have made a mistake, so I asked her to open it up and look at it to make sure I'm not going crazy, and sure enough if was filled out with the wrong information.  She acted flustered and blamed it on an earache which she claimed is from the soot from furnace.  After she updated it I sent it off to my boss to inform him that someone was injured (kind of) and safety sandy filled out an incident report, and I specified that I did not review it (I only looked at it to pull the employees name and just happened to notice that it was filled out with incorrect information, I did not spend any time actually reviewing it).

Today my boss responded and was basically like "wtf? this isn't filled out properly. see the highlighted sections", and there were about 10 incomplete sections highlighted.  I just responded that that sounds about right for safety sandy, and that I also noticed the phone number and fax number for our company are incorrect.  This isn't any type of official documentation, it's just for internal purposes, and it was created by safety sandy because she is incident report happy.  I could have spent the time to review it, but I figured it would be better to have another terrible document to put in the file as justification for firing her.  Also I don't have time to babysit her and review everything she does.

Anyway, yesterday immediately after she claimed to have an earache from the soot she went on and on about incident reports.  How we need to write up incident reports for that time someone got chromic acid on their skin.  I said hexavalent chrome is pretty bad to breath in, but it's far less serious to get on your skin.  It's not good, and I wouldn't make a habit of getting it on your skin, but a single incident that was immediately washed off likely poses no risk and he is fine.  She responded and "schooled" me on all the dangers, and if you read the SDS it tells you how dangerous it is and it's a carcinogen and you WILL get cancer, and that it can be "ingested" through the skin and eyes and get in your bloodstream.  It's like she's just intelligent enough to read the SDS and know it's bad, and that it's a carcinogen, and to take a safety class that explains the various routes of contamination, but not quite smart enough to understand the real risk, or how carcinogens work, or non conflate ingested with absorbed.  So close, and yet so far.  I didn't bother engaging her any further on this, just let her ramble on.  I wonder if she thinks a single cigarette WILL give you cancer?

She then moved on to schooling me about the dangers of hydrofluoric acid.  I assumed this was going to be about the corrosive nature of it being an acid, but she threw a total curveball and started talking about how the fluoride can get into your teeth and bones.  We have a new hire, who according to her used to work with hydrofluoric acid.  He was recently diagnosed with carpal tunnel and arthritis, even though no one else in his family has arthritis.  She did some research and is confident he was misdiagnosed with arthritis by the doctor, and that he actually has "skeletosis" from the fluoride from working with hydrofluoric acid, and he needs to go back to the dr and get diagnosed correctly.

On the one hand I am so sick of her and her nonsense, but on the other hand how am I not gonna sit there and listen to those stories? Every conversation with her is surreal. Can you even imagine the audacity and arrogance that someone must have to completely dismiss a medical doctors diagnosis and rediagnose someone that you know nothing about with a non-existent disease based on your internet research?


For as much frustration as she has caused me at least I am getting plenty of good laughs out of it.  My wife has now started a running joke in our house where everything is an EXPOSURE.  Wore your shoes in the house? That's an EXPOSURE! Our child sneezed on you? That's an EXPOSURE, you need to go to the clinic! Is that dust on the TV? That's a soot EXPOSURE! The more absurd the example the funnier the joke is to us.

« Last Edit: October 25, 2019, 08:51:17 AM by frugalnacho »

frugalnacho

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Re: Dealing with a know-it-all coworker
« Reply #145 on: October 25, 2019, 09:16:09 AM »
And she just followed up with me again today inquiring about the duct cleaning in the furnace.  She said she has 2 ear infections, but the one facing the heating vent is worse.  She said she has a doctor's note. She also claimed that she cleaned up a lot of soot from around the lab indicating it's still blowing soot all over. 

BlueHouse

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Re: Dealing with a know-it-all coworker
« Reply #146 on: October 25, 2019, 10:04:04 AM »
If you have an outside consultant come in, you MUST be the one working with that consultant, hiring, paying the bill, determining the content of the speech, etc.  Please make sure your boss understands that in order for you not to be undermined, an outside expert must appear to be reporting to you and explaining things FOR YOU, not coming in to explain things TO YOU and others. 

Just the way the consultant works and refers to you will make a huge difference. 

"Frugal Nacho asked me to come in to explain to you the importance of not overburdening the safety system with false reports" and "As FrugalNacho has explained..."
vs.
The company wants you all to know what is a real safety concern vs. what isn't...(because apparently FrugalNacho doesn't know everything)

Also, isn't it a liability to the company when a report is filed that has nothing to do with the company?  Wouldn't that make you liable for the employee's future groin issues?

SKL-HOU

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Re: Dealing with a know-it-all coworker
« Reply #147 on: October 25, 2019, 11:19:45 AM »
I work for a large corporate company (30k employees). Previous employer was a 100k employee company. We are/were ALL required to fill out at least 2 incident reports a year as a commitment to safety (architecture/engineering consulting companies) at both companies. Anyone has the authority and responsibility to stop work for anything unsafe (mainly applies to construction sites). Near misses are also reported. So while she may be overdoing this, i wouldn’t see it as she has no right to do that based on my experience. She just needs training. She is trying to do a good thing but because she is clueless, she is overdoing it. If the company really doesn’t want her to do this, they need to make it clear to her. It shouldn’t be up to you (you are not her manager) to argue with her about everything. She is pushing back because it is very likely that she thinks you are overstepping (as not her manager). This really needs to be cleared up by higher ups. Otherwise it will just be a battle for both of you every day.

FIREedUpCS

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Re: Dealing with a know-it-all coworker
« Reply #148 on: October 25, 2019, 11:41:53 AM »
SKL-HOU, she has an unrelated position and hasn't held any recent job for more than 6 months. She is way over her skis.

OP, sounds like you are committed to this company in the medium-term. I wouldn't assume she is getting fired though based on what you are explaining about your company and management. Be careful, she could end up being your manager! (semi-kdding...)

big_owl

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Re: Dealing with a know-it-all coworker
« Reply #149 on: October 25, 2019, 12:33:37 PM »
I work for a large corporate company (30k employees). Previous employer was a 100k employee company. We are/were ALL required to fill out at least 2 incident reports a year as a commitment to safety (architecture/engineering consulting companies) at both companies. Anyone has the authority and responsibility to stop work for anything unsafe (mainly applies to construction sites). Near misses are also reported. So while she may be overdoing this, i wouldn’t see it as she has no right to do that based on my experience. She just needs training. She is trying to do a good thing but because she is clueless, she is overdoing it. If the company really doesn’t want her to do this, they need to make it clear to her. It shouldn’t be up to you (you are not her manager) to argue with her about everything. She is pushing back because it is very likely that she thinks you are overstepping (as not her manager). This really needs to be cleared up by higher ups. Otherwise it will just be a battle for both of you every day.

I was thinking somewhere on the internet there's a random forum with a thread on it OP'd by some lady who has a male co-worker who is "obsessed with everything I do and follows me around and nitpick and tries to hold me back at every turn...clearly he's jealous of my rapid rise in the company".  Not saying that's what actually is happening, just thinking it would be funny to read the other side's perspective of the situation.  Wonder what she'd do if she found out she had three pages devoted to her daily antics?



« Last Edit: October 25, 2019, 12:37:00 PM by big_owl »