Today I had to have a stern talk with an employee regarding her appearance and attitude. Basically, the conversation was one-sided and the gist of it was, “shape up or ship out.” In the past this person has proven to be a great employee, very focused, talented and able to keep up with her demanding schedule. Recently, however, I have noticed she has become a bit lackadaisical and hostile.
One of the first things I have noticed is her appearance. I run a casual office, but business casual is not the word to describe her attire. On a typical day, she wears fleece pajamas or sweatpants and an oversized sweater. Shoes do not seem to be important, as she prefers to work in cozy socks. Her hair looks like she just popped out of bed (which more than likely she did) and make-up is non-existent. I know appearance should not matter, but come on, girl, you never know who might pop by for a visit! Aside from her appearance is her attitude.
In the past she has been quiet and focused, but more and more I hear a lot of grumbling coming from her work area. She either mutters under her breath or shouts loudly. I have heard her say things like, “This is driving me crazy”, “I can’t take one more minute” and on occasion she curses like a sailor. When she is really frustrated, I swear you can see fangs! It is not a pretty sight and heaven help the person who interrupts her during one of these meltdowns. It would truly scare small children and grown men alike. Afraid her attitude was creating a hostile work environment, I felt the talk was in order.
Thank goodness she took the warning well and did not have to be escorted off the premises. She agreed to make an effort to dress appropriately at least a few days a week. As for her attitude, she promised to try to step away from her work station when she gets overwhelmed. I suggested she take a short walk or grab a snack, maybe pop in her iPod for some relaxation. She did whine about needing a vacation (big baby). While I’m not sure we will be able to work that out, I did promise to do my best to accommodate her needs. I am truly grateful she was cooperative and I was not forced to go all Donald Trump on her pointing my finger and shouting, “you’re fired”, because SHE is ME!!!
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