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  1. #1
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    Angry Help Being Political and Motivating with a Former Co-worker I could care less for....

    Situation:
    Former co-worker throws shade, asks for input, advice and 'help' with a new position on my current work team.

    This person managed my travel and admin duties with attitude and shade on my former job. She was a new college grad. She exhibited disrespectful attitudes that I overlooked because they were just too immature to address. It was easier to be nice as I needed to get my work done. She brought all the high school behavoirs I left behind in the 80's into the workplace-pettiness, cliqueshness, shade..blablabla. When I see her on the work campus, it's the same thing, shady hellos, if at all. We travel in similar circles, so I'm always cordial and polite addressing her face to face-but distant. She half way speaks, with eyes rolling from neck down (no eye contact).

    This indiv audaciously emailed and asked me to give her insights into a position on my new team. In my position, I can influence that decision either way. She has inaccurately interpreted my polite demeanor. I would like to use this as a learning opportunity for her to reflect and grow from - One of those bitter-sweat pills that sting at first, but settle in as morsels of wisdom in the future. Regardless of the shade, I was young and ignorant to office politics once too-so I have empathy. What I don't care for is the negative culture she helped to metastasize to infect my current team, nor assisting her.

    She sent a long email; I'm basically looking for some crafty words of wisdom to address:"Have any advice, suggestions, anything?" (translation, will you put a good word in for me?)

    I really want to present a growth opportunity for this individual to reflect upon her choices and own them-if not now, like I said in the future. If I answer too hastily, the focus will be lost. Thoughts?
    Last edited by KnottyAuthor; 04-06-2015 at 01:28 PM.
    KnottyAuthor aka Cheleski

    The Knotty Truth Series: The OG natural hair care book series on natural hair,culture & science

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Help Being Political and Motivating with a Former Co-worker I could care less for

    Hmmm, maybe ask her to reflect/brainstorm/make a list of what behaviors she brought to the last team to "stir your memory"; and when she responds with a list of flowery BS correct her on it like, "Hmmmm, 'positive attitude'??? Weren't you the one that started the rumor about Jane Doe?? I don't seem to have the same memory of your work ethic and positive attributes, what would you want me to say to Ms. BossLady?"

    Are you willing to meet in person to hash this out/guide her, or you want to deliver a quick and dirty "No ma'am!" to the poor girl?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Help Being Political and Motivating with a Former Co-worker I could care less for

    ha, you good and direct....
    I'm not interested in expending real energy on her, she's a know it all and needs to let life learn her.

    I gave her an evasive..seems like you have it all worked out, moving through the process, I'm still in my position as blablabla...It sounds like you’re ahead of the game, Congrats!


    phew
    There was no response, so I think that was evasive enough. Thanks for response!!!!! I did like it
    KnottyAuthor aka Cheleski

    The Knotty Truth Series: The OG natural hair care book series on natural hair,culture & science

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    Default Re: Help Being Political and Motivating with a Former Co-worker I could care less for

    It sounds as if you have is sussed KA.

    I just wanted to add that I've made the mistake, in the past of helping such a person up the ladder, in the hopes of improving their attitude. Lets say it turned out to be a bad idea. So you're wise in not nurturing and encouraging someone who will bring hostility into your team.

    In similar situations I've seen the delivery of "I'm not sure you've achieved the maturity levels required to deliver the level of team work required for the post, I feel further experience is needed before you're ready for the post/responsibility". Or words to that effect. It had the person reviewing their attitudes and approach to work.

    DeBe

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    Default Re: Help Being Political and Motivating with a Former Co-worker I could care less for

    Sounds like you've got it all figured out. I would keep her at arm's length.

    To be honest, I'm just not sure she'd accept the message from you vs. taking it the wrong way. Granted, if she's serious about her career she would, but, if she were serious about her career, wouldn't it be smart of her to behave better in the first place?
    "The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it." - Chinese Proverb

    "Fall seven times a day, stand up eight." - Japanese Proverb

    “All truth is good, but not all truth is good to say.” - African Proverb

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  8. #6
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    Default Re: Help Being Political and Motivating with a Former Co-worker I could care less for

    Thanks you 2! I had the opportunity to share my input with my Director who was doing the hiring. She thanked me and agreed to forego considering this candidate.

    I dont interact with the young lady besides Hi and bye as I see her throughout the work campus (maybe 3 times a year if that and 1-2 social work functions). She barely speaks or acknowledges my presence as I smile and try to engage politely. I would engage more bc I know how to be political and keep my freenemies close. She's young, catty and likes to not speak, roll eyes etc...

    So, when it came to this opportunity, it's a missed opportunity - for her. I just wanted her to know - I'm not the one to come to for 'help' with your career. I can't reference her positively and she did not do handle my admin tasks with a good attitude. Do I think she's pissed? Yeh, probably, just like my kids are when I tell them 'No'.

    If she doesn't learn a lesson that's fine. I just reflect on who I was in my young 20s in the workplace. I was extremely respectful towards tenure and experience-and those with the ability to mentor me along my career. I may not have cared for the coworker; but, I respected the hierarchy of job experience etc and realized quickly that burning bridges was not a good idea for career advancement- fake it until you make it. I have run into quite a few recent grads that initially begin competing with tenured workers, expecting positions of authority simply bc they have their degree awarded in 201X.

    This is somewhat a rant, but you get the gist.. Ya' should have played nice in the sandbox young padawan (sp?).

    Life will learn ya. As grandma said. Keep livin'.

    *sidebar...I guess I'm old now, ha
    Last edited by KnottyAuthor; 04-21-2015 at 11:41 PM.
    KnottyAuthor aka Cheleski

    The Knotty Truth Series: The OG natural hair care book series on natural hair,culture & science

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  10. #7
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    Default Re: Help Being Political and Motivating with a Former Co-worker I could care less for

    "*sidebar...I guess I'm old now, ha"

    You and me both I'm trying to get used to the notion that I'm now viewed a lady of a certain age.

    Glad it worked out KA. It's a shame about the young lady, but the shame is of her own making. I've never forgotten the "respect your elders", training I had as a child. No matter their position in the work place, an older black person will get my respect until/unless they give me reason to do otherwise. White too, but more so black.

    I've never had an older black person who is lower on the work totem pole, abuse the respect I've shown them. If we ever get to talking, I've no problem acknowledging out loud, that my generation stand on their shoulders to achieve whatever we manage to achieve. Just as the next generation have the opportunity to stand on our shoulders to achieve what they can.

    The little girl at your company chose to kick out the ladder from under herself.

    DeBe

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