Work Advice – What To Do When Your New Coworker Is AWFUL

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This topic contains 79 replies, has 14 voices, and was last updated by  Ela_Hara 5 days ago.

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  • #1567655

    drag0nfeathers
    Participant

    (FYI, this is long so if you don’t wanna hear me whine about work then you can skip this thread LOL)

    So I am in a situation… a situation that is getting harder and harder to deal with and I need advice other then “find a new job”

    I’ve worked with this girl for almost a year now. (as background I am a Kitchen Designer at Lowe’s currently. I have been doing it for 5 years and before that I was a designer at Home Depot for 8 years so I have been designing a long time) There are only 2 designers in the store so it’s me and her. I lost my previous co-designer because he retired. He was the kind of co-designer you pray for. Knowledgeable, helpful, thoughtful, considerate, and above all… COMPETENT.

    My job consists of helping customers, designing and selling complex designs including cabinets, countertops, backsplash, flooring, and installation services. Designing functional and beautiful kitchen and bath spaces, you get the idea. But Lowe’s isn’t a design showroom. It’s not the 8-5 Monday thru Friday deal. It’s a hardware store so there is also aisle maintenance, downstocking stock product, pulling and loading orders, cleaning and maintaining the department, and of course dealing with all the customers whether it be to sell someone a washing machine or find the correct sized nut or bolt for their project. So there is a lot going on all the time. It’s retail.

    So… I get this new girl. Never designed a day in her life, but because she has no experience hey can low ball her on pay right? Wrong. She makes just a few cents less then me… someone who’s been designing for over 10 years. Okay fine… minimum wage has increased drastically over the past year with the fight for 15 movement, so I guess it’s good they are raising the pay of new hires… whatever. I’m comfortable, so it is what it is. I’ve tried barking up the I deserve a merit raise tree, it’s not happening. Fine. So maybe she’s a go getter and will work hard for her money then… She’s only 22 so 18 bucks an hour is pretty good right… well that’s also a no. The girl doesn’t do a damn thing except sit on her butt and play on her phone all day. She also has 2 kids (a 2 and a 6 year old) so she wants to work “mother’s hours” but it was explained to her prior to taking the job that this is a full time/full flex position and weekends and nights are required… but does she ever work them? No… I work them all.

    I don’t have kids… and I could deal with it if she were at least willing to learn and strive to be good at her job, but she can’t sell a single design without a huge issue blowing up and causing a million problems. Cabinets don’t fit, doors and drawers open and collide with eachother, some cabinets can’t even be installed because they’re not meant to be used in such a way. Example, You can’t hang a wall peninsula cabinet on the wall… (a wall cabinet that has doors on both the front and the back) They are meant to be installed against a ceiling… hence why they have working doors on both the front and back… so why are they going to hang the door side against a wall? They’re not… so you sold the customers a cabinet that can’t be used, and cost twice as much as it should have if it were sold correctly… This is just one example. If you aren’t a designer I don’t expect folks to know what I am talking about… and I realize she is inexperienced. I try to show her what she does wrong and she has the attention span of a flea. She has her nose in her phone within seconds. She makes all the same mistakes I made as a rookie designer but she won’t learn how to not make the same mistakes over and over if she doesn’t learn what she did wrong. However it’s always someone else’s fault. “That’s what they asked for” she will say. They asked for something they can’t install that cost twice the price as the thing they needed? Sure okay. I tried looking over her designs before she sold them and she got offended and said she didn’t need my help. Okay… fine then deal with your problems then and stop shoving them all at me to fix. Then she just schedules consults to fix the issues on her days off so I get stuck doing it anyway.

    So I have been putting out fires for the past 11 months basically. Cleaning up messes I didn’t make and getting screamed at by angry customers who’s kitchens I didn’t design. I’ve had it out with management time and time again and nothing changes…

    So now the nice weather arrives. Two weeks prior to Mother’s Day 2019 I was told by my manager, that she approached him and was read the riot act because I had Mother’s Day off and she did not. I was off per my standard rotation and she did not request it off, but in her argument it should have gone without saying because she is a mother and I am not that she should have had Mother’s Day off. Because of similar prior issues with her schedule accommodations she did not ask me to switch because I had already had occasions such as this with every other holiday I happened to have off per my rotation. (4th of July 2018, Halloween 2018, & Christmas Eve 2018 which I was off for all but then forced to work because she snapped about not having the hoilday off with her children. Halloween and 4th of July annoyed me since I worked every other holiday, but Xmas eve was the last straw as that is the only holiday I really wanted and at that point more then deserved) so she has been reluctant to ask me for any favors since I made clear I was done doing them for her because of being forced to work every holiday because of her complaints to management about her schedule.

    Nevertheless, I was feeling generous and switched my schedule anyway to accommodate her request as I had no plans anyway. Management approached me nicely and I didn’t refuse. So then she repays the favor by calling out that Saturday to ensure she would have the entire weekend off. Mind you the prior weekend was my weekend off also but I also had to work for her as she provided documentation from a doctor because she said her face felt numb. She goes to the doctor like 4 times a month with bogus doctors notes. The last one was because her toe hurt…

    I had already been in discussions with her via Facebook instant messenger no more then 30 minutes prior to the call out asking when she had put in for vacation time for so I could put in some for myself and be sure not to overlap when I was told she was not coming in do to car trouble. I messaged her simply “I switched so you could have mother’s day off and you called out today. I guess you got your weekend off. LOL” She responded by calling my manager directly on his personal cell phone and stating I called and yelled at her and cussed her out for not coming to work. This was not true in any way shape or form and but I got hauled into the office and asked to hand over my phone so they could check the message I sent her which I gladly obliged. With an eye roll I was told not to message her again.

    It took every ounce of strength within me however as she posted photos throughout of her and her family on snapchat riding bikes and going go-carting… in the meantime I am the one at trouble and working the weekend alone. She apparently had no trouble getting there but couldn’t quite make it into her job. It was absolutely gorgeous weather that day too. The whole ordeal when right up my behind sideways and is what I would call the final straw that broke my back.

    Numerous times she has stolen my sales by selling my completed jobs because my schedule is a complete disaster to accommodate her, some of which being very large kitchen cabinets sales. We’re not on commission but we do get recognized for high sales. She has scheduled stock kitchens for pick ups on her days off while not pulling them and me getting stuck doing it, she does not clean or dust anything without being told by management to do it and if she does she is easily distracted and often leaves the task unfinished. She does not take out the trash, she does not clean up her mess, she does not ever properly close the department to leave it “opening ready” by pulling cabinets forward, sweeping, or down stocking or any sort of routine aisle maintenance. If a display needs attention or there is a safety issue she will point it out but do nothing about it. It will sit for days unless I fix it. She takes no initiative what so ever and constantly leaves early, using her kids as an excuse.

    The real fault is of management and the lack of accountability… I feel like a complaining little kid when I have to try and explain why this is completely unfair. I come in looking miserable and everyone thinks it’s because I hate my job… I don’t hate my job! If I hated my job I wouldn’t be here. People see me pissed off stomping around the department, and it’s not the job, it’s her and her zero accountability.

    I tried to get ONE Saturday off. Just ONE about a month and a half ago. Nope, couldn’t have it because she did. So I was forced to call out. However, because I didn’t want any customer to get screwed over by coming in and expecting me to be here I closed myself out for the day for appointments. That was nobody can schedule a consultation and come in to find nobody there to help them. She saw that I closed myself up and when she asked why I expressly said to her because I can’t come in and you already have the day off so I have to call out. PLEASE don’t run and tell management. She acted appalled like she would ever do such a thing. I come in that Sunday, and I get spoken to because her mother told on me. Oh yea, I forgot to mention… her MOTHER is the manager of the front of the building… You like that?

    I’ve just hit my 5 year mark and now I get 3 weeks vacation plus 5 holidays so it’s almost like 4 weeks vacation a year. I’m not going to quit because of this entitled little upstart…. I just don’t know what to do to deal with her. She’s got it in with management because of her mom… the fact she called my manager on his personal cell phone I think is completely inappropriate but nobody seems to care. I want to punch her in her smug face. Anyone else would have long been fired. Now I caught her in my designs trying to change things so my orders have foul ups because if I have a mistake then apparently that makes her look good? Luckily I am so OCD I double and triple check everything before I sell it and have now resorted to putting a lock on my filing cabinet to keep my customers more private.

    It shouldn’t be like this. My old designer and I helped each other, worked together, and thought about each others well being. We rotated holidays to be fair, rotated weekends and each did our fair share of work around the department. We would make sure our own orders were pulled because we would feel bad if the other person got stuck doing extra work that wasn’t their responsibility. If you were closing you swept and did trash, if you opened you down stocked… I have to do everything all the time no matter what and the fact management doesn’t care makes me want to just be a useless lump too, but if I did that my butt would be gone! I also just can’t be that kind of worker… no matter my job… even if I was a poop shoveler I would still take pride in my poop shoveling. I just can’t be that useless idiot that has to be told what to do. If something is dusty… clean it. If something is messy, fix it… it’s common sense.

    I don’t know what to do. I’ve been trying to transfer to a different store, but even that is impossible. My manager has me on a freeze here with the district manager and requested for me not to be moved because it would be detrimental to the store… Despite our store not being the highest grossing and her stealing about 80K worth of sales this year from me I am still the 3rd designer in the region for sales…. so they KNOW I do all the work… I guess they think I’ll just keep taking it like a door mat forever… I have so far but I’m really at my breaking point.

    I truly believe calling corporate or HR will do absolutely nothing… so what to do other then go gangsta and slash this chicks tires… no.. that was a joke… maybe…

    No really… it’s like working with someone who knows they wont get fired because mommy is a manager… so I guess get rid of mommy who is protecting her, but she’s been a manager here for almost 2 decades so that’s not gonna happen… I’m definitely not having kids to combat this…. so that’s out. All I can do it try and make her so miserable she quits but that’s kind of hard when she has such an advantage over me.

    Any thoughts?

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    #1567670

    Ela_Hara
    Participant

    You say you’ve got 3+ weeks of vacation? Take at least two weeks of them together and close out/complete your jobs so they are in a position that no one needs to do anything further with them while you are gone. Then let her crash and burn on her own in those two weeks and implode. Then Management can see what a true screw up she is and how much you do and clean up behind her.

    If you have happy clients that you worked with prior to her, or even current ones that she hasn’t screwed over, see if they can give you shining reference letters and keep a copy for your records, like a portfolio. It’s possible that you may need to go somewhere else. It doesn’t hurt to look, and if you do find another company that sounds promising, go for it. I would also strongly suggest setting up a LinkedIn account and adding your Kitchen Design experience, etc. You may get a headhunter from another better company offer you something.

    It would be so gratifying to have a ‘real’ Kitchen Design company offer you a position and letting Lowe’s Management at that store know they might loose a good thing… Think about it.

    Sounds like you deserve a LOT better, and what’s worst is that They know it but are continuing to take advantage of you.

    Good Luck!

    *~*~*~* Ela_Hara: The DragonKeeper *~*~*~*
    "And now, Draco, without you, what do we do? Where do we turn?"
    "To the stars, Bowen. To the stars."

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    #1567671

    StormDancer
    Participant

    I am sorry you are having such a hard time with your co-worker. All I can suggest is to physically document what is going on and contact a division manager rather than the store managers. Your situation is why there are nepotism laws.

    A division manager may be able to help you get a transfer as well.
    Just be sure to present any complaints and documents in a very calm professional manner.

    I really hope you are able to get something worked out.

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    #1567696

    Bodancia
    Participant

    Sorry to hear about these co-worker issues. Sadly, if you’ve been in the work force for a while, you run into these types of situations. Eventually, these kind of workers DO get their just desserts. Really. Trouble is, it can take way too much time. As a responsible and competent employee, it can grate on your nerves and give you extreme stress. No easy way out. Document, document, document. Go to HR. Try and always take the high road. And sadly, do look for another job, because sometimes it just isn’t worth it to have to deal with this kind of constant stress and frustration.

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    #1567697

    Tig3r06
    Participant

    Sorry to hear about these co-worker issues. Sadly, if you’ve been in the work force for a while, you run into these types of situations. Eventually, these kind of workers DO get their just desserts. Really. Trouble is, it can take way too much time. As a responsible and competent employee, it can grate on your nerves and give you extreme stress. No easy way out. Document, document, document. Go to HR. Try and always take the high road. And sadly, do look for another job, because sometimes it just isn’t worth it to have to deal with this kind of constant stress and frustration.

    I agree with alot of what everyone is saying. I have been in a similar position and just be aware that you could get retaliation even with all the documentation and managers knowing exactly what the employee is doing. It happened to me and I had a real illness they could use to retaliate. It is against the law, but it still happened. As soon as my diseased gallbladder was gone and I felt like a brand new person I left. After the way I was treated while sick and how they let the other few people hide in rooms to not help customers and tell them no straight to their face, I didn’t want to work for them any longer. I made $20/hr plus commission and worked there 12 1/2 years, I had over a month of vacation every year and amazing benefits. Really hard to give that up after that much time and fight, but going back to school to be a medical lab technologist is the best choice and I wish I could have felt better sooner to start sooner.

    I’ve been in sales my whole life otherwise and it sounds like you’re an expert in your field too. You need and deserve to work for a higher end company, one that will appreciate all that you do, not just appreciate you to cover for other’s incompetence.

    #1567710

    Ela_Hara
    Participant

    I’ve been in sales my whole life otherwise and it sounds like you’re an expert in your field too. You need and deserve to work for a higher end company, one that will appreciate all that you do, not just appreciate you to cover for other’s incompetence.

    Exactly!
    It may be hard at first dragOn, but you will be much better off if you can try and find something better. At least you will be in the driver’s seat of your career and not feeling like a passenger with no control waiting for the car crash to happen.

    Good Luck!

    *~*~*~* Ela_Hara: The DragonKeeper *~*~*~*
    "And now, Draco, without you, what do we do? Where do we turn?"
    "To the stars, Bowen. To the stars."

    >>> Come visit me on deviantArt at http://ela-hara.deviantart.com

    #1567711

    GardenNinja
    Participant

    I don’t have advice. I just have a couple stories with some similarities to yours.
    I work at a chemical plant as a control systems engineer. The one that involved me personally didn’t make me have to lose days off or anything like that. I am very good at what I do. I was assigned to work with a new programmer. She didn’t have a lot of experience. I would review what she wrote, and point out errors and inefficiences. She didn’t seem to learn from having her mistakes corrected. Then she came around constantly while I was supposed to be working on other things, asking how to program such-and-such. She couldn’t keep track of her versions, and kept losing her work. She didn’t properly document the changes she made. Then she had to program a major change. She ran her simulation for me, great, it runs through the new product with the new raw material. Did you test any of the old products? Why would I? I didn’t change them (they all run the same program). I tried one, and her program blew the new raw material into another raw material’s tank. There were a lot of other problems, too. Not only didn’t she test existing products, she did not even test what would happen if the sequence had to hold (e.g. a pump didn’t start when it was supposed to – have to put equipment in a safe condition, and have to recover properly when put back into run). I got so frustrated working with her, I ended up staying late to fix the program. I didn’t want something potentially unsafe downloaded to the real system. In retrospect, all I was doing was delaying the inevitable. I am apparently the only programmer here that tests different scenarios, because when I moved to another office, other senior programmers had to check her work. She downloaded something screwed up. It started charging a raw material — and didn’t stop. They had to dispose of a reactor-full of crap. She got fired.

    My keyboard is broken. I keep pressing "Escape", but I'm still here.

    #1567712

    GardenNinja
    Participant

    The other situation was a lot closer to what you are dealing with, and ended horrifically. The HR person was a personal friend of the COO. Her son got a job as a maintenance supervisor. A large part of that job is walking down maintenance jobs with operations personnel to ensure the system has been properly made safe to be worked on – starting at 7:00 am. He consistently came in hours late. Operations personnel got the impression he wasn’t paying serious attention to his job when he did show up. Mom defended him. Then the lack of pre-check caused a disaster. A maintenance worker got boiling water poured all over him. He couldn’t get out from under the flow at first because his partner was blocking the narrow steps off the small platform. The partner fell down the steps in his haste to get out of the way, and needed stitches on his forehead. He had to miss a couple days work (fortunately they are union, so he didn’t lose pay). The guy who was standing under the boiling water was in the hospital for an extended time, and needed skin grafts among other things.

    With your job, I doubt that your coworker could cause something that catastrophic. But she could cause your store to lose business. Take deep breaths, document, and calmly go above store management. Don’t focus mainly on the injustice to you. From their point of view, that is incidental. Instead, start and end with how they may end up losing business to other companies (like Home Depot).

    I guess I did have advice after all.

    My keyboard is broken. I keep pressing "Escape", but I'm still here.

    #1567733

    merrillannwhite
    Participant

    Take deep breaths, document, and calmly go above store management. Don’t focus mainly on the injustice to you. From their point of view, that is incidental. Instead, start and end with how they may end up losing business to other companies (like Home Depot).

    I agree. Big companies are most likely to listen when you tell them something is happening that will lose them money. You said they don’t want you to transfer because that store needs your sales? If you show them that she isn’t producing and is causing problems for customers and is impacting your ability to make sales and keep customers happy it could help. You haven’t gotten any cooperation from your immediate management so you should definitely go over their heads. Just be calm and document everything. I also agree that you might want to look for a job at a higher end company. Also putting your name out on linked in or other sites might get you some offers that you could negotiate into higher pay and/or keeping your vacation time. It might also show Lowes that you are serious about the situation not being acceptable.

    #1568058

    drag0nfeathers
    Participant

    Thank you everyone for taking the time to read all of my rant, LOL

    I haven’t been able to get back on to reply because now she has taken to snitching on me for being on the forum as well so now that she’s felt for the day and I’m here until 10pm lets go through all the suggestions

    Ela_Hara, you have no idea how bad I would love to do that but you can’t take that much vacation at once. The most I can get is 5 days… She gets almost 3 weeks in a row because she’s going to Portugal, but I can’t have more then 5 because I’m not going anywhere… so yea… that’s fair. *rolls eyes* I am however taking vacation in about 2 weeks where I took my 5 days as they said I could, then stacked my two days off at one side and two days off at the other so 9 days total. That was the most I could get approved. Last time my phone blew up a half a dozen times a day but now with all that’s going on I plan to have my number blocked from my coworkers questions. This will either show them she can’t handle it by herself or (more likely what will happen) I will have a pile of problems to deal with that got pushed off for a week until my return.

    Stormdancer, believe me I am documenting everything now. I have a “draft” style email I keep now because I’m too paranoid saving anything to the actual computer that is now keeping a tally of her attendance, all my orders she has stolen or altered, and all other things of that sort. Not so much because I am trying to get her fired but I want to have it documented should anything happen and I need that ammo to back myself up. And Bodancia totally has it right that these things take FOREVER to work themselves out. You have to REALLY screw up to get in trouble here. In one sense it’s cool that management is so laid back, but on an accountability standpoint it really sucks for the “hard workers” to see lazy folks not getting reprimanded. It makes those hard workers want to just screw off all day too. It’s like a few rotten apples that taint the rest of the bunch and eventually you end up with a basket of rotten apples.

    A lot of the older folks around here just weren’t brought up that way. I hate to be one of those with the “these kids now-a-days” speeches but it seems like 75 – 80% of folks under 25 just do NOT know (or more likely, just do not care) in having any pride or integrity in their job performance. It’s all about doing as little as possible, meeting only the bear minimum to just not get fired.

    I put my resume on ziprecruiter and glass door and ended up with a bunch of spam. Job offers for stuff that has absolutely nothing to do with my skill set and are mostly just pushy phone sales jobs. Not my bag. I could go to a design center but honestly my biggest perk of Lowe’s is the fact I don’t have to dress up. Almost every other design center you have to wear slacks, a skirt or *shudder* a dress. NOOOOOPE! I need to find a design job in a nice lumber yard where I can wear jeans and t-shirt…. *sigh*

    In the mean time we are still playing silent treatment. I guess this is how it’s going to be until the next time we butt heads over the schedule.

    Funny thing is my vacation coming up spans over her weekend off. I did it that way on purpose. When that happens you have to work the weekend, it’s always the rules. You can’t leave the weekend uncovered. She can pick two weekdays off while I’m gone, but work the weekend. Well of course they are making an exception and letting her still keep her weekend off, even though if the roles were reversed I’d have to work. I think it’s come down to I need to start being a pissy little whiner like her and when management gets upset just tell them if she’s allowed to do it then how come I’m not? I don’t want to be like that, but I’m also sick of being a door mat.

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    #1568123

    Kim
    Participant

    Gosh I typed a big whole reply here the other day and then when I submitted it it said I wasn’t logged in and I lost the whole thing. Sorry you’ve had to deal with this. I basically said in my other post that I agree you should document everything and go to the management above management, whoever you can get that’s highest up and tell them everything so her mom can’t defend her. Basically tell them they need to deal with it and if they don’t it’s her or you and that if she doesn’t know how to do her job that she needs to be put in another department or fired. It’s not fair to you or anyone else to have to deal with someone who’s incompetent and lazy and expects special treatment. You shouldn’t have to be stressed out by someone who doesn’t deserve that job if she can’t handle that kind of responsibility without getting help or people to fix all her mistakes. It baffles me that they would keep someone on who made more than one big error with a customer.

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    #1568129

    GardenNinja
    Participant

    and if they don’t it’s her or you

    Oh no. Nope, nope nope nope. I’ve been an observer in these kinds of things several times. Management does not like ultimatums. That makes YOU the troublemaker. Drag0n does not want to lose the job, and you do not make those kinds of threats unless you are ready to follow through. No, you describe how she is interfering with your ability to make sales. You document how she is interfering with the company’s goal (i.e. making money). If you have the data, compare before and after sales rates.

    My keyboard is broken. I keep pressing "Escape", but I'm still here.

    #1568136

    Bodancia
    Participant

    I have been in the work force for a long time, and have seen all kinds of bad scenarios. Sadly, life isn’t always fair. Especially when it comes to co-workers who have some kind of in with management. You really don’t have many options. You can document all you want, but if this person has an in with management, then it doesn’t matter. If you love your job and your salary, you just have to hang in there and do your job. Trust me, over the long term, something WILL happen with that person, and they will get their just desserts. But you don’t want to be the reason for it. They will get bored, cause a HUGE issue, or quit eventually. Meanwhile, do your job, be a good co-worker, maintain your reputation with customers, and look for another job. Sometimes another job is truly the only solution.

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    #1568137

    sherry10151982
    Participant

    Also I would try to get pictures of her on her cell. Be your own detective. I am so sorry you have to endure this constant stress; there are always stressful things at work, but co-workers shouldn’t be one of them.

    Most “Millennials” in today’s society are very entitled and they think they’re owed something. They want fair, but only when it concerns them.

    Hang in there, and like my grandfather said that I’ve never met; it’s always easier to find another job while you already have one.

    #1568364

    drag0nfeathers
    Participant

    *sigh* I tried to transfer to a closer location and got denied… so much for relocating.

    and you’re absolutely correct Gardeninja, and ultimatum is never a good idea because managers will double down on that in an instant. They don’t like anything that even has the slightest resemblance of insubordination or a poor/bad attitude, I think they would rather be screwed then give me the satisfaction of them complying to an ultimatum.

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