Employees who don’t accept the authority of the boss, providers who
think the customer is definitely not king and HR professionals who
believe their advice is law.
The conversation wasn’t going well. In fact it was going so badly I
had to say,” Do I need to remind you who is the Director here”. It was
a relatively straightforward issue. There had been a complaint, a lot
of complaints from the cleaners, about the state of this individuals
office. The line manager had tried and failed to get a clear out.
Stacks of old files and historic reports covering every surface, the
desk had long since disappeared from sight, the rows of filing
cabinets were bursting at the seems and had wobbly towers of folders
and files perched on top, the widow ledges were piled high with
documents restricting the natural light and turning the office into a
cave . The floor space was largely taken up with boxes contains paper
work. No wonder the cleaners refused to enter. In frustration the line
manager turned to the Health and Safety officer who had no hesitation
in condemning the office as a fire hazard and issuing an ultimatum for
its clearance. This is where I came in, the ultimatum having been
ignored. I summoned the individual to instruct them to comply with
the Health and Safe report. And they proceeded to tell me why they
needed all the files , reports and folders. Clearly they were a
hoarder unable to throw anything away but it was their arsey attitude
that forced me to remind them who was in charge.
You know the type, they know best, and rather than accept that their
boss is telling them to do something they persist in arguing and being uncooperative.
More recently I experienced the same arsey attitude as a customer.
Basically I was told what I wanted couldn’t be done, wouldn’t work,
and wouldn’t look right. It wasn’t clear whether this was advice based
on experience and expertise or whether the provider thought it was
just too much trouble. This was defiantly an example of the customer
is not king.
Back at work and a telephone conversation with a senior HR person
about what to do next following a serious incident resulting in the
immediate suspension of an employee. We discussed the known facts in
detail. I shared some concerns. They said in view of what you have
told me you should do this. I said thanks for the advice but now I
have had a chance to talk it through with some one impartial I‘m going
to go the opposite way. To which the rather arsey response was
,”well if your not going to take my professional advice I really
don’t know why you bothered asking for it”.