15 April 2012

Pop Quiz, Hot Shot

Suppose this email landed in your inbox:
From: Health Person (HP)
To: Your Boss, HP's Boss
cc: You, HP's Friend, Person HP Wants to Join Her Gang, Person Who Once Attended a Meeting with All of You

Dear Your Boss,

Thank you for your follow up on HP Friend’s hand-written revisions of the raw data.  She spent many hours sifting through the numbers to provide an accurate picture for the Summary of Findings report. It is disheartening and unprofessional that You threw the revisions away as it was a public document. HP's Friend was very clear at the meeting that she wanted them back for the team to use to move forward with this report and Your Boss assured us that the revisions would be returned. It is unfortunate that we were unable to make a copy of the revisions as HP's Friend had taped numerous sheets of paper together for ease of reviewing. These revisions were the only documentation that provided us with clear and accurate numbers for our report.

You talk to Your Boss. You've completed all requested work on this project. (A) You weren't present at the meeting discussed and no information was relayed to you. (B) Public documents are the responsibility of the originator...and, as notes/drafts are not considered worthy of retention, they are only public record if the originator chooses to keep a copy. And, most importantly, (C) this is not the first time HP has publicly harassed you. (For kickers, keep in mind that HP has responsibility for K-12 standards against cyberbullying.) and (D) the giant printed spreadsheet would have been unnecessary of HP and HP's Friend had completed their personal responsibilities when the data was submitted (instead of giving it to an untrained secretary...who apparently did also not know how to use a xerox...but this is somehow all Your fault).

Your Boss says that s/he will talk to them. You talk to the HR department, who tell you to just ignore the junior high taunts, although they would be quite happy to call in HP's boss in for a chat. But hey, you trust Your Boss will do the right thing.

Only time goes by...and you discover that the problem has been made far worse, as evidenced by forwarded emails from Your Boss. Monday afternoon is your next big meeting with all the players. What do you do?

1 comment:

Ms Characterized said...


What do YOU want out of the meeting? You might consider asking somewhere near the beginning what everyone else expects to get out of the meeting...reprimands? Firings? Better understanding of one another? Establishing stronger protocols?

It seems to me that you've already made your case. You apologize and explain, or vice versa, I think. And then stand your ground.

I might leave out letter C if or until I needed to establish that it's a hostile work environment -- that catch phrase is a pretty big gun, but if you have to use it, you have to use it.

Refuse to be baited. Simply explain your case again and your confusion over the many misunderstandings.

Good luck. Hope you blog the follow up. Sending positive energy your way.