Y’all . . .I need some advice and thoughts on a 100% non-pregnancy/baby related matter. Normally, I’d vent/talk to La, but she’s away supporting her dear friend and aside from physically not being here, she also has enough on her plate and this seems, in comparison, rather trite. So, I’m asking for your thoughts.
I believe I have mentioned that I recently started supervising a new employee where I work. I also want to clarify a few additional details:
1) I didn’t supervise this position prior to the new person coming on. I was promoted while the position was vacant and it was determined that one of my new responsibilities was oversight of this position
2) We are a very small organization – just 5 people full time, another half time, and one “consultant” who is here about 8 hours/week. Of this group of 7, I have worked with four for the three years I’ve been employed here.
3) We have a super relaxed and awesome work culture (ie: flexible hours, option to work from home when necessary/able, casual clothes, we can bring our dogs when necessary*, we’re all a LOT of fun, obvs.) AND we get a LOT of shit done for a teeny tiny staff, and we are (if I do say so myself) a group of f’ing brilliant folks.
So, new person, who I’ll call Babs, started in July. She has a big personality (kinda loud, kinda brash) but that was a good thing, as we are majority introverts and the job called for someone who, well, wasn’t. She oversees the youth program, so this kind of personality is an asset there as well, and the young people seemed to like her. Initially, I had a few struggles with her because she wasn’t super respectful of my boundaries (ie: would barge into my office to ask a pretty low-importance question, sent me tons of e-mails the day before a scheduled check in, etc) but I was able to guide her pretty well and that’s taken care of. But there have been a few things lately that have been bugging me, and I can’t tell if 1) she’s just generally on my nerves now so everything she does I see through a filter of annoyance or 2) she’s legit kind of out of line.
Here are the ‘infractions’:
1) I blogged about this, but: she took on writing a small grant for her program, then wasn’t able to finish it so she decided to just not write it, with 0 notice to me or the executive director. When I asked her about it and requested her to send whatever she’d worked on, she said she didn’t have it (she was offsite and it was saved to a place I couldn’t access it and she didn’t have handy) and when I, effectively, said “well get it” she sent it with some sassy business about how it “really impacted the meeting she was at.” I let it slide and wrote the whole grant in about 3 hours.
2) Due to some changes in staff structure and funding, and in part because she had been talking about how she needed a second job because she wasn’t making enough money, we decided to offer her a shift in her current job (more responsibility) to better fit with organizational goals, and a pay raise. (of note, she got an initial probationary increase of 2K recently) the raise wasn’t huge, but it was an additional 2K (which means she’s gone up 4K since July, kind of unheard of in the non profit world.) When we offered her this, her immediate response was to say “I’ll think about it” and ask if it “really fit with the strategic goals” (never mind that my boss and I, you know, WROTE the strategic plan.) Two days later she finally thanked us for the offer.
3) We met again about the offer and she asked for an additional 2K. She’s been here 3 months. She has done her job ok, but she hasn’t like, blown us out of the water or anything.
4) She works unusual hours sometimes (part of working with youth) and complains about it ALL THE TIME (she knew this was part of the deal when she took the job.) She also can take time in exchange. She does. A LOT. She wasn’t logging this time or even putting her time out of the office in her calendar.
5) We reimburse for mileage to required meetings over 10 miles. She submitted a reimbursement for every trip, even those that were just 1-5 miles. She was pissed when I told her we couldn’t pay her for those trips.
4) She bought a dog while me and our ED (who is my boss, I’m #2 in the org) were out of town at a meeting. When we returned, it became clear she was bringing the dog to the office everyday. (See above – not unheard of, but none of us ever brought our dogs daily, and we generally let other staff know ahead of time if we were bringing them.) When our ED brought up making a formal “dogs in the office” policy, Babs told us “I only bought the dog because I thought I could bring the dog with me.” and “The youth told me M (former person in her position) brought her dog everyday, so I assumed it was ok.” She never asked, or even told us, she was getting a dog. She was visibly upset when we told her she would need to find alternative options for the dog for at least a few days a week, and said something like, “well, what am I supposed to DO?”
5) When I checked in with her about the dog incident, she said she’d felt “attacked” and when i clarified that maybe some additional communication prior to getting the dog (like, I dunno, asking your BOSS or the executive director) she basically shrugged it off. She kind of framed having the dog like being a single parent.
Ok, so . . .am I just seeing all of these tiny things and being bitchy, or is this some seriously entitled bullshit?
I’m writing her deliverable tasks/workplan for the next 6 months, and my plan is to evaluate her ability to do the tasks we give her for those 6 months and then decide if we keep her. But the problem is, she isn’t BAD – she does her job sufficiently, she’s just not humble or thankful or grateful. And those things get under my skin.
Ideas about how to supervise someone like this? I’ve LOVED all the other folks I’ve supervised in every other job and have lasting relationships with all of them. This one is HARD.
So, what ya got for me?