Working Jerk Updated

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a negative perception.

I’m seen as a jerk in the workplace, some of it deserved and some not. I’m seen as not a team player, sometimes because I used my initiative and it wasn’t welcome. I think I’m seen as abrasive. I want to change. I want to fit in better with my coworkers. What do you recommend I do to improve my situation? Thank you.

Signed, I’m Seen As A Jerk

Dear I’m Seen As A Jerk:

Years ago, after an article titled Working With A Jerk described our Ask the Workplace Doctors site appeared in the Washington Post, questions on that topic that we received increased ten-fold. Evidently, you are not the only one seen as a jerk. The feeling you are disliked probably prompts your question and that is a worthy motivation to change your behavior. However, hopefully your desire to not be seen as a jerk comes from a genuine understanding of what it means to add value to your team and workplace because that is the right way to behave.

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Confronted about Not Pulling My Weight

Question to Ask   the Workplace Doctors about doing one’s share.

I have been working at a hospital for about five years, and have just recently been approached by one of our charge people about not pulling my own weight. When I asked what I could do to change, I was just looked at funny. I am unsure whether to ask one of the other charge people the same thing, or to go to our supervisor about it. According to the individual, our supervisor has not had this bought to his attention. Any thoughts?

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Being Downgraded

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about being  downgraded after leave for pregnancy.

I am sales person. My company was bought  new company. I’m the only sales admin person but new company decided to change and hire another Sales admin assistant to do the extra work in our shop what not in my job. He less hours than me and pay less too.

I got pregnant, manager tell me to train my assistant as my cover, I did and left for 9 months. When I come back new manager told me I no longer was his boss and the man and I will be sharing my job so no hand over.

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I Thought I Dealt With An Error?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about one’s evaluation based on two  errors.

I work as a medical professional. I like to believe that I am a very diligent employee (and previous performance reviews confirm this). But over several weeks I made several mistakes- two of them were very, very common errors related to medications/prescriptions, although in this professional, any error can have potential life/limb-damaging consequences.

One of them was a miscommunication- whilst I concede responsibility; I feel that I shouldn’t be the only person wearing all the blame. When the first mistake was pointed out to me, I thought I dealt with it. I called up the persons involved, fixed it, and apologized profusely. In the 2nd instance one of my colleagues sorted out the problem for me- and afterwards I thanked her and apologized also. However, at the very time that these mistakes were being pointed out, I was otherwise engaged in what I thought another important and concentration-demanding task- so I delayed in handling it, and my tone of voice was also dismissive.

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Accused of Having a Bad Attitude.

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about performance based on attitude.

My supervisor gave me my evaluation form to fill in for my mid-year review; I made some comments on there about him saying I didn’t think he was any good. Now he is accusing me of having a bad attitude, which has only come up with. I was going to speak to my manager but don’t know if it’s more trouble than it’s worth or should I apologize to my supervisor and just get on with it.

Signed, Confront Him or Apologize?

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Given Second Warning

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about warnings: My new supervisor, who started four months ago, doesn’t like me and is trying to get rid of me. At first it was a gut feeling, now it is a fact.

I never thought I would be in this place. I have worked for this organization for over five years with always good performances, an award, raises and commendations from my supervisors. My new supervisor, who started four months ago, doesn’t like me and is trying to get rid of me. At first it was a gut feeling, now it is a fact. She is seeking out my mistakes (of course I am not perfect), so she finds them and she sets me up to fail. In less than three months, I had three warnings. Besides trying to be perfect and looking for another job, what do you think I should do? Should I resign before she fires me? I am really scared, and I am under a lot of stress trying to be perfect. She also has double standards. She requires of me things she doesn’t from others and she herself fails to do. Please tell me what can I do?

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Send Performance Review to Potential Employer?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about sending a performance review:

Is it okay to send a copy of your performance review to a potential employer after a bad reference from a former manager?

Signed, Wondering

Dear Wondering:

Yes, it’s a great idea to save performance reviews for just such reasons. Even if you didn’t have a bad reference, nothing will sell your self-talk so much as positive formal evaluations you received. So, excellent idea! When you send it, the accompanying letter or email should be professional and without serious negative comments about the former supervisor. Just say that you are aware of the negative reference and sorry about it because it doesn’t reflect the work you did. Then you can say that the attached evaluation was submitted formally and represented not only your real ability but the views of your supervisor and the approving manager. (Or whatever fits the situation.) Then, you could add a sentence or two to say that you will perform at the same high levels in the new job.Best wishes in your job search!

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How Can I Ask How I Am Doing?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about performance.

How do I ask my supervisor how I am doing? Also, how do I ask if there are ways that I can do things better?

Signed, Wanting Feedback

Dear Wanting Feedback:

Many people ask their supervisor, “How am I doing?” when what they want to say is, “Reassure me again.” Asking repeatedly about how you’re doing can come across as needy and problematic, so it should be a limited request. It’s true that sometimes that is a good way to open a dialogue about work. However, usually when such a question is asked, it’s because the person asking senses they are in trouble or not doing well. Another problem is that asking, “How am I doing?” may be too general a question. Someone may be doing well with the technical parts of work but not so well in dealing with coworkers. Or, they are doing well with communications but not so well with punctuality.Consider this approach to getting feedback:1. Ask for feedback about work that is unusual for you or that is presenting a challenge. Or, ask about work when you have been counseled for improvement and you want to see if your improvement efforts have helped.Usually you will be viewed more positively if you self-evaluate based on what you know to be job standards and the priorities of your manager. If you are frequently engaged in conversations about work you will probably have a good idea about how your manager feels about you and your productivity and performance and you won’t need to ask him about it often, if at all.Best wishes.

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Defamatory Statements

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about attitude: I have not got a bad attitude, and never have had. I have been praised for my teaching, my flexibility etc. I am upset that this man, whom I have worked alongside for seven years, should suddenly strike out at me.

I work as a teacher, and, as with all schools, an inspection is looming on the horizon. Management employed an “inspection expert” to cast his knowing eye over the school, and to talk to the whole staff about the fun to come. I went to the meeting, but, with a fever of 102 degrees, sat with my coat on and my arms folded. I also left ten minutes before the end, apologizing as I had made an emergency doctor’s appointment, and needed to go. I was diagnosed with pneumonia, and had ten days off work, suffering.

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Employee Development Planning

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about leadership.

Areas I would like to in=mprove in as a Lead, Supply Technician.

Signed, Wanting Some Ideas

Dear Wanting Some Ideas:

Hello and thanks for contacting us. I’m glad you’re asking about professional development, because I would like for you to look at your question (really, just a statement not even a question) as you wrote it. Consider what your Number One developmental need might be! I think you will see that it is probably in communications in general and written communications, specifically. I say that with a good heart and a smile, and want you to know that many people have similar improvement needs–but the improvement can be accomplished with some work and extra effort.You are apparently a Supply Technician who would like to become a Lead (Supervisory or Team Leader Role) or you are currently a Team Leader or Senior Supply Technician and have been asked to develop some professional development plans for yourself. This might be part of regular evaluation programs in your organization or it could be you have been asked to do this as a way to improve your performance.

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