I can’t tell if I’m just grumpy or whether it’s actually annoying, but the new ATR Coordinator, and let’s call her J, is more and more looking less and less like the ideal candidate we hired.
For one thing, she makes a lot of mistakes. Then, she’s fairly dismissive about those mistakes, especially the moment the words “We need to be careful about…” cross my lips. Okay, I get it, she doesn’t want to be held overly accountable for her mistakes. She’s been here two months, and by most standards, that’s not a long time.
On the other hand, I’m the one who has to clean those mistakes up. I’m the one still being asked simple questions – questions I’d have called “common sense” not many months ago.
I’m will to acknowledge there is a training gap. I’m willing to be the first to say, I don’t know everything there is to know about doing that job. And I know it’s not her fault there are gaps in her education and knowledge. The problem is, sometimes no one can fill them.
I get a lot of questions which start with, “This one’s a little different.” Yes, they’re ALL a little different. That’s part of the job. That’s part of what we told you in the interview. It’s why we asked how you are at independent thinking, at working at and solving problems on your own – because you’re required to do just that.
I also find it amusing I’m the one she’s running to. There are other sources of information, not the least of whom is her boss. (My boss too, btw.)
The problems run the gamut from easy to resolve, which leaves me scratching my head and wondering why she couldn’t come up with that answer alone, to messes in the database I have to clean up on a pretty regular basis. I won’t say I’m counting, but I will say I’m thinking about counting, and going to her boss with the number.
I get pinged from anyone doing the job – that’s a given. I have to fix this, correct that, delete the other, update the next…I get it. Really, I get it. But if the lady who didn’t get the job (let’s call her M) wanted to rub it in about how we made a bad decision, right now, she’d have the grounds.
I feel terrible about this. J needs more time, I’m almost sure, but I don’t know whether I have the patience to continue down this road, which leads me to two choices: go to my boss and find out whether he sees anything similar, or shut up and try to be helpful.
So now I’m left with the uncomfortable notion of trying to determine when it’s okay to stop holding the newbie’s hand. I wonder, almost every day, how long I’m expected to do it. And how long is too long from the perspective of helping. That is, if you never let them learn to swim, how will they learn to swim?
The worst thing she’s done so far looked a lot like running and ducking from an angry customer to me. She says she’s not afraid of angry customers, but did nothing to take ownership of the situation until later. Later, when the angry customer wasn’t on the phone any more. Could be coincidence, and she *did* take the lead on it going forward. I just got stuck with Mr. Angry Customer.
She also doesn’t seem to want ownership of anything done while she was out of the office during her first four weeks with our group. She took a pre-arranged vacation. No problem. She came back rested, and stepped into her role well. It looked good until there were questions and things to do with those ATRs created while she was gone (by me).
She wants me to handle them, but honestly, unless there’s an issue with how they were created – erroneous data somewhere, missing attachment, that sort of thing – those ATRs are still hers to handle. This is her position and she needs to own it.
I have precedent for this; J’s predecessor (also a “J”), only threw me under the bus by sending emails asking me about specific problems and copying my boss. (Later, we learned she was trying to cover her backside and make herself look really good while doing little or nothing.) I can handle that, but sometimes I’m sure J (the new J, not the predecessor) wants me to do her job on those ATRs created in her absence.
Not how it works.
Well, complaining about this won’t help. I have to pick the fork in the road to walk down. Do I sit with my boss and discuss this, or do I sit tight and see where it goes? I’m leaning toward the latter, just because I have no idea how to breach this subject, with anyone.
Maybe I’ll win the lottery and this will be a moot discussion soon. *Sigh*
How’s it by you?
(That amazing photo, btw, resides here.)