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Old 03-09-2015, 09:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
Al Talib
 
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Job frustration..... So close to perfect......

..... with one major complication.


In November I started a really awesome job, that is the kind of thing I had in mind since making my shift from plants to working with people.

It's a greenhouse assistant at a private school for disadvantaged children. My duties are to keep the place clean structurally and with the plants themselves of course. This includes flower and vegetable gardens, as well as the greenhouses. I pick the kids up from school for the program, help my boss prepare for special projects... and well basically whatever.

I'm the assistant greenhouser, teacher's aide and all around help guy.

I get some inside work, outside work... I learn about new plants, grow new plants (like pineapple), new techniques (like hydroponics systems) and pest management, without pesticides.

As well I get some classroom/one-to-one time with the kids, who are at the school because of different disadvantages in their life.

Very well rounded job for me and I really believe in the mission of the school.



Now the crappy part.



My boss. She seemed fair enough when I started... heck...
Like we might even be friends. But as time goes on more and more of her idiosyncricities show.

My best example is that I have kids on Saturday, for 3.5 hours.

When I started she said 'Oh, there is the list of stuff to do, but we are here for the kids, help them with their list, get to know them and your list can come later.'

So knowing that I did about half of the chores I had on my own list,
and then for the last hour or so I'd go with with the 3-4 kids I had doing work around the greenhouse.

Flash forward to this last week.....

'I am not having the kids come in on Saturday, you can't seem to focus on your work and make sure the kids are doing what they need to do.'


In between that time.... her lists for the weekend grew and grew and grew, with the expectations of getting it all done, and I started to hear about how the kids weren't doing the chores correctly.


Surprised? No.... I can deal with an impossible list that supposed to be finished, and couldn't be done in 3 days.... AND make sure the kids are doing some of their simple tasks correctly.


She seems to have no consistency. One day it's 'Make sure to always do the plant work first'... the next day when I'm making sure I do the plant work before the cleaning and maintenance work it's 'Well you need to make sure you are getting the cleaning done, and you can't always be doing plant work.'

Which is HOW I was managing the list in the first place. I have a list for Wednesday (when I come into work for the week), which I rarely, if ever get to focus on because I'm handed a bunch of other stuff.... Fair enough....

And I've said 'You have been having issue with me not doing enough of the Wednesday list on Wednesday... and I just want to make sure you see this is why and hope you understand?'

'Oh yeah it's okay.'

Then at the end of the week I get told I'm not doing enough of the Wednesday list, or if I say 'I need Saturday to do some of that Wednesday list' she looks at me like I'm crazy and tells me I should be doing it Wednesday!


:coocoo: :coocoo:


I'm to take initiative, but when I do it's not the correct priority.
When I use the 'correct priority' I'm not using enough intuition.


tl;dr I keep trying to meet her goals, talk to her about expectations and what I'm able to realistically do, and she A. says it's okay and scolds me later or B. Doesn't listen and talks over me.


These are just some examples.


She runs around like a mental case all day, not stopping for lunch, and basically tripping over stuff all day because she doesn't focus on one task.....


I know part of the reason I was hired was to be a grounding force on the team of us two.... but I think instead of being grounding she is running the other direction at the site of someone who is collected and knows how to proceed with tasks in an orderly fashion... that doesn't get caught up in the hype and all but walk off the job like I gather the last two people have done, although no one quite..... says that's what happen... 'Oh they moved onto other things'.... right.


So here I am now. Some months later.

My biggest problem is that I am NOT HER... And truly I don't think she'd be happy with her self as an employee either.... furthermore I don't reckon she is really happy with herself.


Most of my focus at work is wondering how I'm going to get told I'm wrong....
IE. The one speck of dust I missed after sweeping the whole 50k sq.ft houses.

Or when she's going to come in to micro-manage, or move a plant I just set down 1 inch the right or left... depending on where I put it.

And on top of all that I'm starting to really feel bad about myself.


For me work isn't over here and my life over there.
I don't have a spiritual life to help me deal with my work life.
Separation isn't how I roll. I chose this job because it's meaningful.
I want my work to be something that helps me get higher and higher in life...
Not something that knocks me down....
(All the more insulting are the things knocking me down)

And it's being driven into the ground by a crazy person.

I have good moments where I connect with the kids,
and it's fodder to remember my breath and be centered.....
I enjoy working with the plants and all of the other people I work with.
And especially the school's mission.... I feel good otherwise.


But as I said... it's all over shadowed.


The final straw came Friday when my boss muttered (perhaps she didn't mean to say it out loud... as she does talk to herself incessantly)....

"This will be more than you can get done in the morning....... (said quieter) You're doing good"

Said after a week of her being frustrated by the pace with which things get done.

*As I said... her ideas of what can get done rise about what her and I could both do in a week*


I contacted my bosses boss and said I needed some of her time to talk about something that's been rattling around my head for the last month or so.... and maybe she could provide of suggestions, solace or guidance.


That was Friday and she was out... I asked to meet Tuesday (my first day this week) through Thursday (my last one before the weekend).

I haven't heard back from her, but know she'll be ready to talk when I get there tomorrow.



Half complaint, Half plea for validation......

This is sort of at least part of why I haven't had a lot of energy or ideas to share to be around posting much.


I feel pretty drained spiritually.... which means I do all over.
I'm glad it's Lent and I am called to focus harder on this area...
And to remind myself of why I am doing what I am doing for work.


And while I'm not out the door or walking towards the door....
I am looking around for where the exits are.


I'm never had this kind of issue at my jobs before.


I've worked with some jerks, don't get me wrong.
But this... I don't even know what to call it.



~sigh
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Old 03-09-2015, 10:04 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Advice: Kill her, bury her body in the greenhouse, get promoted to her position.


Good advice: N/A



Shitty bosses are shitty, not much you can do. Thick skin or walk are usually the only two options. Going over their head can be ugly.
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Old 03-09-2015, 10:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
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inb4 SoK says "I told you so, you aren't a hard worker like me, I would have those lists done by lunch time, take some more acid hippie"

Jokes aside, that is a tough situation. The person who is in over their head and they compensate not by asking for help but by micro-managing staff, finding fault instead of leading by positive example. I don't want to windbag too much because every situation is different, however it does help to laugh off the craziness of others rather than being dragged down by it. Usually when these situations arise the bosses know that the people they are micromanaging are the best on their staff and think that by piling on they are doing a bigger service than by complimenting the work that gets done, it is a truly weird phenomenon, one that can lead to many restless nights for the employee.
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It has zero political or cultural value. It is reactionary in the worse sense: a gnarled wailing of a million broken losers joined in the comradery of hate and petty personal grievance.
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Old 03-09-2015, 10:59 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Fuck with her.

Fuck with her slow and subtle and destroy what's left of that already fragile psyche. Ruin her for what she's doing to you, to the children, to what seems to be a good organization. Sabotage her initiatives. Say one thing and say you said another. Overwhelm her lack of continuity and frenetic behavior - she's made herself and an easy target - OH! - that I were in your shoes sage.. a golden opportunity
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Old 03-09-2015, 11:06 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir-Ex View Post
Fuck with her.

Fuck with her slow and subtle and destroy what's left of that already fragile psyche. Ruin her for what she's doing to you, to the children, to what seems to be a good organization. Sabotage her initiatives. Say one thing and say you said another. Overwhelm her lack of continuity and frenetic behavior - she's made herself and an easy target - OH! - that I were in your shoes sage.. a golden opportunity
Trying to out crazy, crazy never works.

Crazy is all about not being systematic. Trying to systematically be crazy is a recipe for disaster. Not to mention it's not a good rub for a subordinate.
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It has zero political or cultural value. It is reactionary in the worse sense: a gnarled wailing of a million broken losers joined in the comradery of hate and petty personal grievance.
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Old 03-09-2015, 11:14 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Well, I for one, know you are doing a good job. It's the way you are. You wouldn't feel right if you didn't.

I'm not sure what to say...some people just don't work well with others. And I'm talking about her, not you.

I would just flat out tell her that her expectations of you are too high. Period. It's physically impossible to get done what she wants done. Somethings gotta give!

I realize that would be difficult for you though. You're not a confrontive type person.

I, personally, would have a hard time with her muttering to herself about me. That would really piss me off in a big way. I would say, "Excuse me, I didn't quite hear you." And look her straight in the eye, with no smiling. Then she would feel like an ass.

She sounds like Looney-Toons for real.

Good luck. I love you.
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Old 03-09-2015, 11:25 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xil View Post
Going over their head can be ugly.
FWIW.... Everyone who works in our department knows about how she is/can be. And my boss hired me, unspokenly, but assuredly on the idea I would be able to work with her as an assistant and I swear as a care taker.

I suspect her and I's talk will be more of a commiseration than a 'we can fix her'... I just need some support from the top, to know I have some security in my job, because according to my boss, I might not seem that useful... If I asked, when I have asked... 'OH YEAH! You are good!!!'.... but practically everything she does otherwise seems to contradict that.... like she does with all her actions and words basically.

She isn't a bad person... and I think she might literally have a mental issue.

I just need my bosses boss to say 'hang in there' or 'I will write you a nice reference'.... I'm hoping for the prior option and a few suggestions on how seriously I really need to take my boss.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grieves View Post
inb4 SoK says "I told you so, you aren't a hard worker like me, I would have those lists done by lunch time, take some more acid hippie"


Quote:
Jokes aside, that is a tough situation. The person who is in over their head and they compensate not by asking for help but by micro-managing staff, finding fault instead of leading by positive example. I don't want to windbag too much because every situation is different, however it does help to laugh off the craziness of others rather than being dragged down by it. Usually when these situations arise the bosses know that the people they are micromanaging are the best on their staff and think that by piling on they are doing a bigger service than by complimenting the work that gets done, it is a truly weird phenomenon, one that can lead to many restless nights for the employee.
Thanks man. The mornings are weird or bad, the afternoons are decent to good.

My rule of thumb is you feel like 'WTF?!' after a day to day interaction with someone, once in a while... That's life.... You feel like 'WTF just happened?!' every day.... or several times away... and you, yourself aren't the issue, and you aren't the one lacking in compassion, mental soundness or not trying to work it out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir-Ex View Post
Fuck with her.

Fuck with her slow and subtle and destroy what's left of that already fragile psyche. Ruin her for what she's doing to you, to the children, to what seems to be a good organization. Sabotage her initiatives. Say one thing and say you said another. Overwhelm her lack of continuity and frenetic behavior - she's made herself and an easy target - OH! - that I were in your shoes sage.. a golden opportunity
Well... I DO fuck with her, in as much as I live my life.

I speak clearly and honestly, with professional candor in this case.
(I don't take guff, but I don't give it)

I take breaks when I normally would.
(Coffee, Lunch and Tea-time)

I don't run down the hall ways and through the greenhouses, like her.
I just walk as a purposeful pace.

I try to hold her to her words and live up to what she's asked.
(Only for her to change her mind)

I leave good notes on the weekend so she knows what was done,
and doesn't have to double check my work.
(My notes which 'take too much time'.... 3 mins)

I call her, because she wants called and asked stuff, on the weekends, by myself and the kids.
I think of questions and problems to ask.
(She thinks we don't understand her)


Long and short, I 'fuck' with her by living up to what she asks.
And it makes her mental...

Which really doesn't get me, for myself, to far.

So that's why I want to talk to my bosses boss,
not to get her into trouble, but more to say
'You know what you got me into by hiring me, can you help me out?'


I am flexible and accommodating to change.
But not irrational, eclectic so-called plans.


I 'waste time' doing something, only to get an assignment that is 10x more less. But hey... if she could just say 'thanks for following the list', instead of changing the list suit the hour.... It'd be cool.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mothernature View Post
Well, I for one, know you are doing a good job. It's the way you are. You wouldn't feel right if you didn't.

I'm not sure what to say...some people just don't work well with others. And I'm talking about her, not you.

I would just flat out tell her that her expectations of you are too high. Period. It's physically impossible to get done what she wants done. Somethings gotta give!

I realize that would be difficult for you though. You're not a confrontive type person.

I, personally, would have a hard time with her muttering to herself about me. That would really piss me off in a big way. I would say, "Excuse me, I didn't quite hear you." And look her straight in the eye, with no smiling. Then she would feel like an ass.

She sounds like Looney-Toons for real.

Good luck. I love you.

Thanks, MN.


"Come listen to me talk so I can figure this out"

Normal enough, but it's like she can't process without it.
Good assistant I guess?

The muttering was only about me that once.

Otherwise the muttering is more than someone just talking to themselves...
It's just plain weird.

She does walk away and tell me what to do as she's rushing off to the next thing.

And I walk up to her... in a normal pace and say,

'You had your back to me and were walking way while you were talking. I want to make sure I heard you correctly, could you repeat yourself?'


I'm sure that takes up my valuable time as well!

What about the time I'm supposed to be at home recharging so I can deal with this shit the next day, instead of mulling it over for an hour after I get home?!
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Old 03-09-2015, 01:12 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Is she monopausal?
Both my bosses are and you described them to a t.
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Old 03-09-2015, 02:10 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Kill her with kindness. I hear you on how draining some peoples bad attitudes can be. It is physically exhausting having such negativity around you everyday. Hopefully her boss will realize what a weak link she is.
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Old 03-09-2015, 02:12 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turmaline View Post
Is she monopausal?
Both my bosses are and you described them to a t.
What's Monopause? Is that like menopause, but you do it in one stop?

I have no idea how to deal with difficult bosses like that. I do resent them, however, as I never feel my kind of crazy gets the same street cred as theirs. Seriously, there are some fucked up fuckers out there who seem to just go about their fucked-up'edness at work like it's perfectly normal. Never causes them a moment's trouble.

Maybe I need to pick a flavor of crazy that doesn't focus so strongly on the fact that everyone above me is an idiot, whether it's true or not.

Anyway, you could go to her with some examples of how her expectations are in contradiction. You tell her you want to do a good job, but you feel like you're getting mixed messages, and that makes you uneasy in your job.

Either that, or Xil's idea.



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Old 03-09-2015, 02:24 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Rev View Post
What's Monopause? Is that like menopause, but you do it in one stop?

I have no idea how to deal with difficult bosses like that. I do resent them, however, as I never feel my kind of crazy gets the same street cred as theirs. Seriously, there are some fucked up fuckers out there who seem to just go about their fucked-up'edness at work like it's perfectly normal. Never causes them a moment's trouble.

Maybe I need to pick a flavor of crazy that doesn't focus so strongly on the fact that everyone above me is an idiot, whether it's true or not.

Anyway, you could go to her with some examples of how her expectations are in contradiction. You tell her you want to do a good job, but you feel like you're getting mixed messages, and that makes you uneasy in your job.

Either that, or Xil's idea.



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People have an easy time looking past crazy if the person is with them, and they are in the middle of the chain and their subordinates are getting the job done.

People don't have an easy time dealing with a "fuck this place and these people, pay me" rouge at the bottom of the chain.
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It has zero political or cultural value. It is reactionary in the worse sense: a gnarled wailing of a million broken losers joined in the comradery of hate and petty personal grievance.
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Old 03-09-2015, 02:35 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turmaline View Post
Is she monopausal?
Both my bosses are and you described them to a t.
She is 44-45..... I know this.

But her experiencing menopause hasn't come up in any work discussions.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Let's Chill View Post
Kill her with kindness. I hear you on how draining some peoples bad attitudes can be. It is physically exhausting having such negativity around you everyday. Hopefully her boss will realize what a weak link she is.
I was definitely hired for my 'grounding effect' to quote my boss's boss.
And I think that might be part of the issue.

She can't retain control over her me
(like those in the past who she has, and who have quit after a few months)

And part of the grounding effect is definitely 'killer her with kindness'....
I definitely response politely when she is making no sense or on a rant and not able to get things organized.

Also, it's clean in many ways she trusts me.
And she asks me for a lot of my opinions.

Most of this stupidity revolves around her task list which never stops growing,
doesn't have a lot of order,
and is expected to be complete.

There is constant expectation of adjustment on my side,
but none are happening on her side.

I just took a nice walk with my Wife (It's 54f outside)
And we chatted about some points to talk with my boss's boss about...
How to keep it focused and on point and about me.
Not about what my boss is doing wrong.


Quote:
Originally Posted by The Rev View Post
Anyway, you could go to her with some examples of how her expectations are in contradiction. You tell her you want to do a good job, but you feel like you're getting mixed messages, and that makes you uneasy in your job.
That is definitely where I went about things with her,
and she only meant it with talking over me,
and telling me basically more contradictory stuff.

So in short, what you said is basically what I'm going to say to her boss.
Her boss knows most of what I'm going to tell her, about my boss's personality.

I don't expect my boss to change really...

I jut want to get some assurance that my review won't be shit,
and to get to balance on how serious I need to take my boss's 'ambitiousness',
verse what any one person can get done in a day....

And that my head boss knows this is all going on.

I'm content to keep confronting my boss with her own 'mixed priorities',
in a manner that lets her know I am working my best on these things,
and that is there is an issue it's okay to address it with the understanding that I am, in mind.



Thanks folks.



Keep it coming.



And I figure I'll have this talk sometime this week with my head boss.
Then I'll let you know how it went....
And hopefully might also have some 'how it will go from here on' to share.
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Old 03-09-2015, 04:01 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Old 03-09-2015, 04:16 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I've worked with a few of her type over the years. It's not you, it's her mind set due to issues in her life that you can't change.
Be very careful how you approach this issue. Crazy, Ignorant, Prejudice etc. managers generally have a reason why they have lasted so long.
Make sure she's not the bosses cousin ,or that her husband is the brother of the Head ADmin or something.
This should cool her jets a bit., write everything down and ask her for priorities.
Verify what she said and use it later as answers to her own questions about undone jobs.
When a person is constantly reminded that mistakes and un achieved goals are failing( with evidence) because of what they are doing , they tend to stop asking questions of the person who points it out.
Just a human habits observation.
Basically, if she won't change her game then you change yours.
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Old 03-11-2015, 02:15 PM   #15 (permalink)
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inb4 SoK says "I told you so, you aren't a hard worker like me, I would have those lists done by lunch time, take some more acid hippie"

Jokes aside, that is a tough situation. The person who is in over their head and they compensate not by asking for help but by micro-managing staff, finding fault instead of leading by positive example. I don't want to windbag too much because every situation is different, however it does help to laugh off the craziness of others rather than being dragged down by it. Usually when these situations arise the bosses know that the people they are micromanaging are the best on their staff and think that by piling on they are doing a bigger service than by complimenting the work that gets done, it is a truly weird phenomenon, one that can lead to many restless nights for the employee.
Honestly I think he has a similar, yet less serious problem of communicating to people and getting to the point. His OP is a rambling where he repeats himself.

There are people who you have to 'adjust' your tactics with. Sage doesn't do that. He takes the same approach with everyone.

The best communicators can read who they are dealing with and adjust their tactics accordingly. Assertiveness has never been more important in our society. It's why people are afraid of me probably. I'm tall, good looking, and therefore everyone expects me to have alpha vibes. Since I don't, they get scared and confused. That's likely the case with him. They want him to take charge.
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Old 03-11-2015, 02:22 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Well, you took a different approach anyways.

And yeah.. I don't think he wants to get fired.

Sometimes you know your place in your job.. You don't just go assert your shit all over the place.
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Old 03-11-2015, 03:47 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Well, you took a different approach anyways.

And yeah.. I don't think he wants to get fired.

Sometimes you know your place in your job.. You don't just go assert your shit all over the place.
I mean assertive as opposed to passive aggressive. Sage seems like the perfect guy to work with difficult people serving them. That's different than working alongside someone else who has their own problems expressing themselves. This could be a case of 2 positively charged ions coming together.

I hate to bring up acid as the culprit or anything, but acid.
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Old 03-11-2015, 04:14 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Sorry to hear Sage.


Honestly, she reminds me a lot of the kind of person my mother can be. It is a truly maddening personality type, and i feel for ya lol.

I wish i had some sort of wisdom in dealing with it to pass on, but idk.
The best i got, and it really is a fairly successful approach in at least limited frustration(by no means eliminating it though), is just "Yes"ing that person to death. Just agree with whatever the fuck they are saying in order to shut them up about it as fast as possible.

She will still try to hassle and micromanage everything, but just "ok, yep. ok" her and she will shut up faster and leave you alone. Trying to reason is pointless.
Agree with her, and then just go about your business as you would.

If you are getting the main chunk of what you need to get done done, then while she will surely continue to hassle you, she can't really say or do much beyond that.


Keep doing this till you have established your position enough where you can just tell her to STFU and leave you alone straight out. (maybe in a more kind way but yeah).
Just fully get the point across that you get your job done, do it well, and then also make the point that nobody else could put up with her shit and last at this job like you, to cement your position.


But yeah. IME the hassling will never fully end. You can only mitigate its impact/amount.
Goodluck m8.
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Old 03-11-2015, 09:37 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Well, you took a different approach anyways.

And yeah.. I don't think he wants to get fired.

Sometimes you know your place in your job.. You don't just go assert your shit all over the place.
Enlightenment.
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It's probably just you. Marijuana users tend to be mentally ill and the THC just exacerbates their shortcomings as human beings. You can't believe anything a pot-head says, they're all incompetent and unreliable, not to mention liars and murders.
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Old 03-11-2015, 10:01 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Your boss is trolling for some hippie sausage. she wants a good boning by the pineapples.
Step up or move on.
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sometimes you just gotta agree with bondi.
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It's probably just you. Marijuana users tend to be mentally ill and the THC just exacerbates their shortcomings as human beings. You can't believe anything a pot-head says, they're all incompetent and unreliable, not to mention liars and murders.
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God I hate being on bondi's side

Video meliora probeque deteriora sequor.
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