Help needed with woman at work

Old 09-15-2007, 08:12 PM
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Help needed with woman at work

I am a manager of several people including two supervisors.
One was recently promoted to that position. Before she was just a part timer, but her work was so amazing that she deservedly got a promotion to super. She is a shining star, capable, and downright brilliant.

She did an incredible job of taking care of her department so much so that the regional manager was impressed as heck! Of course if he's happy, my store manager will be doubly happy due to the fact she makes him look so good. She has become the "Golden Haired Child" in his eyes.

Since getting the position, she has become the psychpathic bi*** from hell.
It's like a HUGE power trip the likes of which I have never seen before.

Well, another employee knows a man I will call John who knows this girl. John claims that this girl and the girl in the cash office were lovers at one time. And, that the one in the cash office was/does take coke occationally. John used to work at a bar that these two girls frequented.

I take this in as gossip mostly, but today, I notice that the supervisor girl is running around like a chicken with her head cut off. She couldn't focus on one thing for trying to do 10 things at once. Several employees complained about her abrasive comments.

We are missing almost 2,000 in cash out of our safe since about 3 weeks ago. These two girls are making everyone believe it's the assistant manager, but I am beginning to wonder if it's her and the cash office person. They are constantly whispering and close.

I found out that she went through everyone in the stores files and knows how much everyone makes, including myself! When I approach the store mgr about this, he blows it off and says he'll take the keys out of the file cabinet where he always left them (right in the lock itself for any one to open)

She pilfers through my office. She is constantly bad mouthing me in secret.
She is borderline with me about insubordination.
The store manager is one of those who does nothing all day then leaves 3 hours early. He's a really nice man, but does not do anything at all about problems that arise in the store.

She is garnering a gang against me. Sorta like a pack of dogs.
It's getting out of hand, and the store manager won't do much about it.

Office politics being what they are, it's hard to decide what action to take.

I would appreciate any feedback on this. It's a real quandary. I have never had to deal with such a narcissistic control freak like this in my life. (axh included).
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Old 09-15-2007, 08:25 PM
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Do you all drug test? If so, is there a way you can initiate one for her, even if it means calling HR anonymously and suggesting it?

Sounds like time to keep track of the cash accountability on the shifts that she, or her little buddy, works. If you make a paper trail for it, you'll probably be amazed at how quickly the evidence will stack itself against her, if that's what's really going on.

As far as the insuboordination thing goes, have you talked to her about it? Maybe she's not aware that you know of her actions (as far as talking about you behind your back and such) and if you confront her she may be scared into stopping. If not, and your boss still won't do anything about it, then I would go to the next level beyond him. Not to get him in trouble, but because things like that will begin to affect the way customers view your store, if it hasn't already, and they can really hurt business. If you put it that way, I bet the next level of command will be glad you went to them about it.

I worked in a supervisory role handling the cash office for years at a store... and I am so glad I got out instead of going into management, for similar reasons. Politics can be hell.

Good luck!
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Old 09-15-2007, 08:33 PM
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Keeping track of the cash is a problem. Only the one girl works in the cash office.
The store manager just sits back and lets everyone do their own thing without his participation.
Fortunately, that's his problem, not mine.

I don't know about the random drug testing thing. Our company doesn't do it.
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Old 09-15-2007, 08:33 PM
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Since you are her boss, I believe I would give her a written warning about her behaviour and lack of responsibility and then if she continues, fire her.

Chaos breeds chaos in offices, and this isn't going to get better as long as she's around. Going into cabinets that she knows she should not be in (key or no key), pilfering through anyone's desk and bad mouthing her boss (you) are intolerable.

Second thought, forget the warning and just fire her. She'll figure it out all by herself.

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Old 09-15-2007, 08:57 PM
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Difficult situation and she sounds like a real winner to have to work with now that she is on a power trip.

If you can't get her fired, perhaps you can focus on the things you know for sure and the things you as her manager can take care of...pilfering through your office, not focusing on tasks and being abbrasive to co-workers...they all sound like things that you as her boss, can address. To me, it is kind of like establishing boundaries at work too. If she realizes you are not going to accept her behavior and roll over, perhaps there is a possibility of change.

Hugs - Dealing with a hostile work environment is the pits. I hope things change soon.
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Old 09-15-2007, 09:01 PM
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If I had my way, she'd have been gone yesterday. I can't believe someone this good is so whacko. Maybe genious comes with this behavior.

I already have tried to talk to her. Know what her answer is?
LOL, can't you see the spoiled little brat?
She simply can't see beyond her own ego.
She watches me like a hawk ever ready to report me to the man who loves her most, my manager! Of course she has nothing to take to him or he'd be talking to me.
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Old 09-16-2007, 04:56 AM
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Geeze loueeeze this makes me so glad I don't work in Retial anymore and it makes me so grateful for my guvmint job (tho office politics there can suck too).

I would do a few things.

1st check out your State's harassment and stalking laws. Huh? Yeah.. in there there may be something (like going thru your stuff or trying to get you in trouble at work) that classifies as harassment. It may be a long shot but heck.. you can do it by reading the law.

Second, get yourself very well versed on what your can and cannot do as her supervisor. For instance, if she is pilfering thru your office and your desk, let her know you expect this to stop. IOW let her know you know and your space is not hers to go thru. then lock it. If that means buying your own file cabinet with your own key and putting things in it and locking, then do so. It may be a pain, but you are protecting you.

Write down everything she does that is not in your best interest or is borderline insubordinate, complete with dates and times. If you have to go to the legal system complete information is important.

last, if you can, suggest to managment that a camera be installed that watches the cash area to see exactly WHO goes in where that is. If more $$ is missing, the camera doesn't lie. This action will have to take place when these two are not there and un beknown to them and other employees for it to work.

Last, if she has a computer on her desk and there is inter-office email, review the computer policy where you work and then MONITOR her computer. yes. That is legal at a place of employment and anyone inappropriately using a company machine is up for charges (and if may help with the harassment thing too).

Best luck and don't let this turkey get you down.
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Old 09-16-2007, 06:16 AM
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WW, in regards to how this woman responded to you when you tried to talk with her.
Her I feel like you affronted etc. I have a suggestion.
A good way to respond when someone is not objective enough to listen to what you are trying to say and goes into I feel, say I'm sorry you feel that way and continue
to address her as needed. Try and stay very calm, steady and objective without getting emotional.
When I feel is again stated repeat again I'm sorry you feel that way, now let me continue and do. Make I statements, not you do this ,that and the other thing. It has helped me to write down the things I need to communicate to a difficult person so as to be prepared and objective when addresing them. If they start interrupting
you, calmly say Please listen and don't interrupt. I am willing to hear what you have to say once I, your supervisor, address these important issues. That way you tell her clearly, firmly, with authority, without reacting emotionally.

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Old 09-16-2007, 06:18 AM
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I don't know what state that you work/live in but here in Illinois we have a law, and all you have to say is ..... "I'm sorry ma'am, your services are no longer required". Bye-Bye now!

Of course, she will file for unemployment compensation...your company can fight it.
Theft and insubordination are (2) very valid reasons for denying unemployment compensation to this little "B-och" (as the cool kids say it).

I agree (again) with Ann, "Chaos does indeed breed chaos".

Good Luck,
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Old 09-16-2007, 07:57 AM
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Having been a supervisor myself, but one without the "definite" power to fire someone, I have a few ideas.

It sounds like she reports directly to you and you report directly to the store manager. It also sounds like your store manager is not responsive to suggestion and would rather delegate the dirty work than make it his priority.

Write down the things about your employee that you find to be a problem. Make an appt. with your manager to talk about these issues, perhaps in a general manner. "I think x, y,z, can be problems in an office and I propose a,b,c to deal with these issues as they arise." You may not have to point out specific instances where it involves this woman.

Tell your boss that as a manager yourself, you want to run the best ship you can and you need his help. Suggest a meeting with the regional manager, your store manager and yourself. Outline what you see as detriments and make your suggestions for improvement. Hopefully they will be impressed that you are being proactive in a management capacity (as is your right) and then new guidelines and regulations will be set for EVERYONE, not just your problem employee. Using the fact that over 2 grand is missing is a perfect "excuse" for implementing new procedures.

If things get cracked down, her "Gang" might not appreciate it so much and realize it is coming as a direct result of her behavior.

As for the direct insubordination, you have a right as her supervisor to 1. do an oral warning, which you have done 2. a written warning 3. a suspension and 4. a termination. Please get a lock for your office of drawer and keep the key. It is not ok for her to go through your drawers, especially when there are personal and professional documents to be seen.

Hope it works out for you....
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Old 09-16-2007, 09:11 AM
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Wascally, A lot of good advice above. I hope things improve for you. My daughter always tells me that a lot of professional people use coke and that is why they function so well. She said it makes them the most amazing multi taskers. Now I am not saying that is her problem, but I wouldn't rule out the fact that someone might have stolen the coke out of her lunch.

I wish you luck with this one..........Lo
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Old 09-16-2007, 12:42 PM
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Document, document, document!!!

In writing. Names, dates, situations.

You will spend most of your time doing this - but it will become necessary in the long run.

Due to the theft, suggest in writing to the boss that a camera (locked) be installed in the cash room. That is just good policy.

Get an audit trail established. Follow it.

If you are her supervisor, and your boss is not supporting you - you have an issue with your boss. A conversation may be in order. Document that, as well.

I wish you well. ((hugs))
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Old 09-16-2007, 05:41 PM
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Wow! Some great suggestions given before me.
Nothing is worse than getting stressed and aggrievated at work.
Work is stressful enough without coworkers adding to it.
I recently transferred to a new "store" as the lead of my own department
and am making a few changes per the visual merchandising manual.
At a 5 minute meeting the other day, I made it clear about the changes I'll be
making and if anyone doesn't mind, I'd like to post these changes on the bulletin board in the breakroom. I received lots of encouragment and feedback.
Pretty accepting behavior, and boy am I sure glad.
I hate being around gossipy, backstabbing, troublemaking, b-otches. lol
Good luck and lots of supportive hugs from a fellow pot-stir'er.
I say...remove the unwanted hare, wild wabbit. j/k lol

Love ya,

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Old 09-16-2007, 07:36 PM
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Ya know, all this info is good for me. It just reinforces the inevitible.

Our store has always had these kind of troubles. There was another woman who had called the hotline on nearly everyone in the store, created the most hostile work environment, lied about everyone...
And the store manager did nothing. Nothing untill the hotline was called on me.
I was enraged inside. So, I sat down with him, as well as the asst mgr, and told him I would not stand for this kind of treatment, nor would I sit idly by while a woman with mental issues destroyed this entire store with her gossip, lies and manipulation.

He then took initiative to get the ball rolling to get rid of her. The woman eventually cornered herself and fell into her own trap. She didnt' have a leg to stand on and eventually quit.

Now she's back only in a different person. Clearly this girl is a self important narcissist. I thought I had seen it all before, but this one is taking bullying to a new level.

I guess I needed to hear your comments so I can gather my thoughts about all this crazyness at work. I appreciate every single post, believe me, and welcome any others.
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Old 09-16-2007, 09:28 PM
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when I was an office manager I used the expression CYA cover your a--
documenting is key after a few weeks or so of documenting you'll look at it and have all the ammo you need to do whatever you have to.
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Old 09-17-2007, 06:03 PM
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Ah, the importance of the document tool!!
Documenting can slay dragons!

I had a discussion with the manager to get him to realize there is a big problem starting up.
He's aware. Now, all I have to do is get him to see it with his own eyes. He doesn't want to know about things like this. They just add to his stress. But, it's a necessary evil he's gonna one day wish he'd dealt with earlier on.
In the mean time, I am keeping calm and not letting her abberant behavior get to me.
It looks like a long road with this, but I am prepared.
Thank you each and every one for letting me express my aggrivation.
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