Crabby Pants

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.

does not play

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.


Filed under Captain Poolie's observations

19 responses to “Crabby Pants

  1. I know that you are the only one who “knows” why this has to continue but I am wondering if there is a written policy of employee expectations. Write the person up for every infraction, make them sign the document, give them a period of time to make it right and with a certain number of infractions, they are discharged. There has to be some way you can control them…can they be demoted? Can they be shadowed by another employee? Obviously they are very unhappy and have few “friends” at work. My only other suggestion is that this person has to report to you every day at a set time with the list of observations and then must go to the people who can accomplish these tasks and repeat the list. but I am sure you have thought of all of this already.

  2. poundheadhere

    I’m sorry you’re having to deal with yet another challenging individual.

    In a world where ‘politically correct’ takes precedence over common sense, we often are lowered to accommodating behaviors that are grossly unacceptable. I get it; I really do. Unfortunately we often bend too far the other direction to fix things that truly cannot be fixed.

  3. Smile, document, and smile some more. Letting crabby pants go will be a pleasure. Hugs.

  4. Valerie

    Producing a hostile work environment. Needs to be fired. Period.

  5. Patty O'

    Crabby Pants needs to go. The entire staff is impacted by h/her negativity and manipulation. Bye bye.

  6. Some things are important; others are urgent. When something becomes urgent, you step up and do it and worry later about how it might have been done differently. (Everyone should learn that in Management 101.) Example: oil on the floor is urgent because it is unsafe. You clean it up and then worry about how it got there and who should have removed it.

    When you have a team member who cannot grasp that difference, it is time to relieve that person from responsibility for anything. Even if it is a volunteer. I spent enough time working with volunteers to have great respect for them, but every now and then you find one who can’t fit in. Unfortunate but true.

    I think you have one of those — doesn’t fit the team, doesn’t realize there is a team, thinks s/he’s better than the team. How many last chances do you have to offer?

  7. bholles

    Always something going on.

  8. Penny Tushingham

    Crabby pants needs to get a life and grow up. They have no idea what a supportive boss you are. Most bosses would toss their butt out on the street. I think you gave up babysitting a long time ago!

    Pen Pen

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