Captain’s Log 5,629
We had an explosive staff meeting yesterday. I let it explode because tensions have been running high and people have been stressed. It’s still amazing when I hear adults blame everyone else for their own failings and shortcomings. It is so picky with a certain individual that I am beyond understanding. This person will not even ask the office assistant to order more notepads or pens. That request always comes to me. I made it clear that I do NOT WANT to be responsible for this individual’s writing supplies. The answer was…ridiculous. “I don’t want to be accused of making a mistake, so I take everything to the top.” That is so manipulative it makes me want to scream! This same individual will come upstairs and tell me there is an oil spill on the floor. This individual will NOT clean it up or inform the facilities manager. Yesterday, I was informed by this individual that the toner is low in the copy machine, the curtains are crooked, a piece of canvas needs to be reattached, there is a light burned out in the kitchen, and we need more Post-It Notes. The staff was also accused of “stealing” tools. When we went to the tools storage area, the tools were right where they were supposed to be. The answer was “They weren’t here yesterday!” No, the tool-stealing fairies came in during the night and messed things up. And then they came back the next night and put everything back. Those bad tool fairies!
This kind of thing is maddening. I started out the meeting correctly by asking everyone around the table what we did right for the latest exhibit. Then, I asked what we did wrong. Everyone owned up to mistakes in timing, planning, execution of the installation, etc. All but one. I was told how my asking this person to make a few unexpected phone calls delayed that individual’s part of the exhibit by almost two weeks. I honestly don’t know how spending 20 minutes on the phone twelve weeks before the exhibit was opening could cause such a delay, but I guess somebody needs to be the bad guy. Those must have been really long phone calls, eh? I finally got fed up with the delay and had the entire exhibit fixed in about two hours…..with myself and another staff member. I was tired of looking at the UNDER CONSTRUCTION sign.
I am not a micro-manager by any shake of the stick, but if someone clearly cannot produce results, I will step in and do it myself. Yes, this individual and I have discussed the problems of staying on task, completing assignments, working with the team, and the bad attitude that rises like a dragon from the mists every time somebody has a question. I have encouraged this individual to ask for help and assistance. I have asked this individual to step up and take ownership of projects and assignments. But I really get nowhere. I get a sullen, moody person who rarely says hello to office mates or other staff.
More than appropriate
This individual is now started to isolate and stay away from the group. Will not eat the community lunch that is provided once a month, etc. I think there are serious issues underlying this behavior, but I cannot legally ask questions about this. Instead, I have to change the rules to make the playing field appear to be more “fair” and accommodating. It takes a toll on everyone but these are steps that must be taken to do the right thing.
I swear, when it rains, it pours. The Confederacy issues have finally been settled, and now I have Crabby Pants to deal with.