Threatened By Coworkers

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about ill treatment by two employees:

Two maintenance workers have shown me continued hatred to the point of me documenting their behavior and actions for the past 3 months. Their daughters work for me, and they told their daughters to punch me in the face. Their daughters are minors.The other day, one of the daughters was a no-show and the other came in with a severely disrespectful attitude. I sent her home and her father started to yell at me in front of customers.

Our general manager pulled him aside to calm him down and he was using the “f” word, telling the GM that he needs to control my “f’ing” attitude. I learned that both of these men told their daughters to punch me in the face, girls I have treated with kindness despite their father’s actions towards me.

Signed, Worried

Dear Worried:

This seems to go far past a “workplace communication” problem. My first thought is that the GM needs to be much more involved. I doubt that either of the two girls will assault you, if you have treated them with kindness as you say. Punching someone in the face is a serious thing for someone to do, especially for young girls. But, it seems prudent to contact the GM anytime you have to sanction them in some way. Ask for his advice about it so you have his full support ahead of time. Talk to your GM and tell him how you heard about the advice to the girls to punch you in the face.

Perhaps he could intervene and talk to the girls directly, warning them about the foolishness of that kind of talk. Since he heard the foul language in front of customers, he may be more than ready to take on the maintenance workers and require that they change–or else. (This also points out the problem of having family members working together!)I hope you can keep building the good relationship with the girls. It sounds as though they need a positive influence in their lives.Best wishes as you work through this worrisome situation.

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.