Unheard Complaints To Managers

Question:

A coworker left a note telling me to “just quit.” I contacted 2 or 3 managers, but no-one took it seriously. Now I’m in trouble for calling a coworker an idiot, and its being blown up, way out of proportion. How do I get them to look at my complaints without being called an attention addict?

Signed,

Wrongfully Accused


Answer:

Dear Wrongfully Accused:

First you say that you reported that a coworker sent you a note telling you to “just quit” and that your complaint about that to managers was not taken seriously. Next you say that you called a coworker an idiot and how is it “being blown up, way out of proportion.” That demeaning label you called a coworker, you think is being taken too seriously. And you sign this your question to us as “Wrongfully Accused.” Obviously, you don’t get along well with one or more of your coworkers. Whose fault is that? Yours or theirs? Or your managers? From here, there is no way to know the answer to that question, but it is clear that you think of yourself as a victim. To not mince words, I think, the odds are that you must be in part at fault as well as could be a coworker and that you will continue to have trouble with a coworker and with your managers. Moreover, forget about getting an answer to your question: “How do I get them to look at my complaints without being called an attention addict?” Forget about the old saying “a squeaking wheel gets the oil.” You need to quit squeaking and seeing yourself as wrongfully accused. You need to focus on doing what you are hired to do and no doubt that includes working cooperatively with coworkers. I’m sure that reading what I’ve just written does not make you happy. Probably you are thinking that workplace doctor doesn’t understand. He doesn’t know what is like to work where I do. He’s a full of it as are my idiot coworker and whoever sent the note to “just quit.” He doesn’t see how they are blowing my name calling out of proportion! Have I predicted your reaction to this advice correctly? My advice isn’t to completely forget what has happened, but it is to make it right. Rather than seeing yourself as wrongfully accused, apologize to your coworker for calling him/her an idiot. Take time-out to determine how you might work together in ways that do not bug each other. Talk through who should do what and how you might help each other.

The same goes for the relationship with your boss. Quit complaining about your complaints not being taken seriously. Rather be a can-go guy or gal, one who takes assignments seriously and who make suggestions about how to do the job better and quicker. Be one who sees ways to cut waste, wasted supplies, wasted energy, and wasted time. Do that and your managers will see you as one who adds value rather than as one who doesn’t get along with coworkers.

Does this make any sense? Is it possible for you to change yourself in ways that you see yourself and the way others see you? I don’t know, but would like to have you tell me once you think through what I’ve sent you. Tell me how my closing sentence might apply to you and your workplace: Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS.

William Gorden