I read your last column about an employee having problems with an administrator’s passive aggressive behavior. I’m dealing with similar behavior but it’s with a co-worker. He and I are equals but his job supports everyone in the office. There’s a total of eight people in our office, so we only have one IT guy for all our computer needs.
I really have no idea why this guy has an issue with me. I’ve racked my brain and can’t think of anything I’ve done to tick him off. I’ve even asked him a few times if he has a problem with me. He always gives me a look like he has no idea what I’m talking about. His response is so fake but I know not to push it for fear it will just make matters worse.
Every time I ask this guy for computer assistance, he manages to never to do it when he says he will. I absolutely dread it when I have to follow-up with him, because I can count on him either acting like he totally forgot my request or that he didn’t recall saying he would get it done in the timeframe we had agreed upon. He has affected my work deadlines and commitments so much so that when I have a computer problem I try to accommodate for the delay I know I’m going to have with him.
At our weekly staff meetings, our boss always ends the meetings asking if anyone has any other issues they want to discuss. I have enough sense not to say anything about this in these meetings, but because I have a real good relationship with our boss, I’ve been able to talk to him about it in confidence. He agrees that the guy is undermining me, but promises not to say anything even though he’d like to. He even told me that this has been happening to someone else in the office, but this person has also been trying to deal with it on his own.
I know I can’t have a great relationship with everyone I work with, but I’m desperate for this guy to do his job so I can do mine.
Do you have any suggestions?
Fed up with co-worker
Dear Fed up with co-worker:
I applaud you and the other employee for trying to handle these matters by yourselves, but now it is time for your boss to take charge and squash this inappropriate behavior.
I understand why you do not want your boss, who also manages the IT guy, to say anything, but I truly believe it is your best option. When the IT guy does not do the work or does the work late related to your or the other employee’s computer issues, he is not only impacting your and the other employee’s work performances, but he is also impacting the overall effectiveness and efficiency of your entire office.
Ask your boss to address the matter the next time he has a one-on-one with the IT guy. You and the other employee should provide your boss with documentation of the dates you have requested computer assistance, the dates the IT guy told you the work would be done, and the actual date it was taken care of. If necessary, your boss will be able to use this information when he meets with the IT guy.
During the one-on-one, your boss should ask the IT guy why there are delays with the work he does for you and the other employee. If the IT guy blames the delays on the two of you or gives some other lame excuse(s), your boss can refer to the aforementioned documentation you provided him. The boss can also make it clear that personality conflicts cannot get in the way of any work that needs to be done.
If the IT guy is not receptive, your boss can implement a task order list in which the IT guy will have to keep detailed records of all the work he is requested to do along with the dates of the requests, proposed completion dates, and actual completion dates. This list will require him to be more accountable and will, hopefully, flush out his passive aggressive behavior.
Workplace Woes – Roze Knows®