17 September 2021

Don't Be Rude

 I had to draw a boundary at work this week and I hate that.  One would think that working from home would make this need impossible but here we are.

There is an advocate named Debra whom everyone dislikes. My work has had personnel issues with her but my work never fires anyone.  We have had an issue from time-to-time and I'm just all "No".  She hates that I won't engage with her, which is partially why I do it.  Also, ain't nobody got time for that nonsense.  In all senses of the internet world, she is a Karen.  (people who know me in real just laughed, didn't you?)

There is a report - a simple spreadsheet - that I regularly provide advocates.  Last year, she kept INSISTING I was sending her the wrong list. Not just insisting but telling me I'm doing it wrong. Here's my "weak" point:  I hate doing things twice due to other's ineptitude and I hate more having my work questioned when I know I'm right.

 Anyway, finally, I told my job-partner that I wasn't sending it anymore.  Job Partner intervened and did some "training" and asked to try it again. Then summer came and it wasn't a thing.  

It's a new school year and I've sent two so far. The last one she emailed me this: "Surely the list yousent me those are all other advocate's children not mine"   No please, thanks, or punctuation, or spacing, or greeting or anything, which is typical.  (in case you're wondering: English is her first language, she's in her sixties, she is educated)

So I screenshot her list, the list in the database AND the email I sent into an email and wrote: "These are your kids, here is what I sent versus what is in the database. Please reach out to your partner, my partner or your supervisor for assistance with any database, enrollment, or tech issues.  It seems like the spreadsheet is not a helpful tool.  Let me know if you don’t wish to receive it in the future."  And included my job partner and her supervisors. 

Right after that, there was a zoom meeting with all of the advocates.  We get all the way through the meeting and my job partner reverses a decision about being paperless (GAH!) 

BUT:  It is only for advocates who have a large caseload.  Immediately, Debra is all "I'm going to do THAT.  When are you going to be at the office, Surely?"   I responded that I don't go into the office on a regular basis and that it is intended for advocates with large caseloads.  (she has SIX on her caseload.  The others advocates have FIFTY)  She continues about how hard it is for HER, she HAS to do it and "After the issues you had today, I'm just going to do it."  

Luckily my speaker was off and I wasn't actually even looking at the screen.  I sat there and counted to five because I knew I couldn't fix my face, finally turned and looked at the screen like "Seriously?" and turned away.  No one else said ANYTHING.  I was disappointed; just a "Let's discuss this later" is all I expected.  We disconnected and my job partner texted me a funny response, which I appreciated but how about something right then.

That was Friday afternoon and on Monday it was still bothering me.  So I wrote to the job partner and the advocate's supervisor that I'm respectfully going to opt out of sending reports to Debra as "It's clearly not a tool that is useful to her. It's a system that seems to work for everyone else."    NO RESPONSE.  ACK.  

AND THEN.  I went into work yesterday to meet an advocate - who has 60 kids on her caseload - and Debra had left two forms - multiple pages and one with no identifiers on it - on my shelf.  Not clipped together, no note, nothing.  Well, they became separated and there was a bit of a panic.  I emailed Job Partner to say AUGH!!!!  This is Basic Office Etiquette 101 for everyone. But Debra, apparently.

Job Partner emailed everyone that I no longer work in the office and reiterated that the preferred method is email.  Debra emails To ME almost immediately: "HiSurely I dropped off some paperwork off at the office medical and consent Ibelieve but I’ll have more on Friday so if you want I’ll just leave them fornow and I’ll bring more on Friday let me know thank you"

I just...can't.  OMG.  There was pleasantry so someone has spoken to her about that. Again.  But again with the whole ignoring the process.  Funny thing: I wasn't going into the office next week and I'm gone the following week for a conference.  I SO BADLY want to say You will have to wait.

Instead I responded with "Yes, I picked those up yesterday.  Please make sure they’re clipped together so nothing gets lost.

Going into the office wasn’t on my schedule next week and I am at a conference the following week.  I will swing by on Thursday or Friday next week when I’m in town.  Otherwise, they will have to wait until I return.

It really is best to scan and email to avoid delays.  It sounds like the office scanner is fixed and your partner has been scanning to me regularly."

She responds almost immediately, not with an acknowledgement or a counter offer. But with a "Can I get a consent for my new family thank you"   Trying to point out where I haven't done my job.  Because that's how she moves through life: by deflection.  Then it is followed thirty seconds later with  "Never mind its here thank you"

This is where I turn into Nelly from Little House on the Prairie:

In my old life, I would be all "LOOK, this isn't happening."  But time has tempered that stubborn, Oh No You Didn't, reactionary response.  Also, with someone like her no response is the best response.  And I like to really pour on the big vocabulary/SAT words and professional speak with someone like her. I'm not usually a mean girl but wooboy does she bring it out in me.

Because I grew up raised by wolves and attending redneck schools.  I can go. Trust that.  But that's not who I am anymore.  I found this meme on my phone the other day and it made me think of this situation.  And the old me.

Finally, this made me laugh. I asked my job partner this question:  "What would be a better drinking game? Drink every time Debra has a question or Every time she makes it about her?"  
She simply responded with a laugh and said "Either way, we would die."

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