mijn collega beledigt me als ik vragen stel, met mijn baas praat over ADHD en mapril 10, 2020
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It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…
1. Company ordered people to quarantine, then told them to use PTO for it
A few weeks ago, we were informed by a client that they were possibly exposed to COVID and were seeking a test. As a precaution, everyone who works with that client (almost half the team) was instructed by the owner to quarantine at home, and would be informed when the test came back or when they could come back in. During that time, which ended up being a week and two days, very limited communication went out to people. Finally, they let them know the test was negative and as long as they felt okay they could come back. I was not one of these individuals, but I did help one of them write a professional email to ask how they would be compensated for that time, since it was a forced quarantine by work.
This is a truly high stress, very physically and emotionally demanding job, and we’re given 40 hours of PTO a year, which is combined sick and vacation. The official response from the company is that the quarantined people can use accrued PTO to cover that time, but the company will not be paying beyond that. I am LIVID. I truly can’t imagine staying with a company who treats people that way. Am I overreacting, since I wasn’t even affected by this? I already started sending out resumes and feel completely differently about a job that prior to this was the best I’d ever had.
No, your company is being crappy. People were potentially exposed via work, and work ordered them to stay home. Telling them to take the time out of their miserly one week of PTO is the act of a crappy company that’s not concerned about being fair or supportive to its workers.
That said, these are weird times, many leaders are panicking about how their companies will survive this, people are stressed, some are still applying old rules rather than adapting for new realities, and it’s possible your company just … got this wrong, without it making them irredeemable. What else do you know about them and how they treat people? Are they open to pushback on this? Given that you said this job has been the best you’ve ever had, I’d look at the whole picture, not just this one thing. (But also, this is a job that gives you one week of sick and vacation time per year, so I’m thinking your bar might have been way too low before now.)
2. My senior colleague insults me when I ask my boss questions
A senior colleague constantly discourages me from asking basic questions. I will address the questions to my boss, but since we are in a shared office space, the senior colleague will interrupt or follow up my boss’s reply with open negativity. This person will react to my questions with non-verbals (eye-rolling, scowling, and shaking head “no”) or remarks like:
– “Why do you need to know?”
– “Why are you asking Boss that?”
– “You’re not going to be here that specific day, so you don’t need to know about it at all.”
– “That doesn’t concern OP.” (Addressed to our boss while I am still present.)
I have already asked my boss to talk with my colleague about these demeaning comments. My boss is not this colleague’s boss. They are peers in the organization and are both vital to its operations.
I’d like to reply in the moment when my colleague makes these discouraging comments. What phrases would you suggest? All I can come up with is, “I am allowed to ask questions.”
Your coworker is a jerk. I’d just reiterate that you’re speaking to your boss, not to them. Repeat, “I was asking Jane and I’d like to hear her answer” as much as necessary. You could also throw in, “If Jane agrees with that, I’m sure she’ll tell me.” There’s also, “This is something I’m working on with Jane, and I’d like to confer with her” and “This is something I’m working on with Jane, and you don’t have the full context on it.”
Whether or not you can address the jerkiness more head-on depends on the politics in your office, since this person is senior to you. But in some contexts you could say, “When I ask Jane a question, could you please let her respond rather than jumping in? She often has more context on why I’m asking than you do.”
But also, when you asked your boss to address it, what was her response? It’s problematic that she’s hearing all this and not shutting it down.
Last, can you minimize the number of times you need to talk to your boss within earshot of this colleague? Can you IM? Save up questions for a short daily confab in a conference room?
3. Should I tell my boss I’ve been struggling with ADHD since working from home?
I’m in my first job out of school; I’ve been there almost a year. My manager seems to appreciate my work, often thanking me for being on top of projects, etc. This is our busiest time of the year, and this crisis has brought up a lot of old bad habits in me that are likely related to what I’ve self diagnosed as ADHD.
At the office, I have a multitude of very specific coping mechanisms that make my problems pretty much non-existent, and even helpful sometimes. However, I’ve been having problems replicating those coping mechanisms when working from home, and it means I’ve been making more mistakes than usual and I’m far less productive, so I’m working longer to make up for my lack of productivity. I’m working on this problem, and honestly it is getting better. But I’ve been wondering about whether to bring this up with my boss. I do think she’d be more understanding than bothered, but I don’t know if I should make a big deal of it or how to approach that conversation.
It could be helpful to let your boss know that you realize you’ve made more mistakes than usual lately, that you think it’s due to adjusting to working from home, and that you’re actively working to figure out systems that will better serve your work in this new set-up. But I wouldn’t mention the ADHD; there’s too often still a stigma associated with it, and you risk your boss forever seeing you through an ADHD lens — for example, seeing a simple mistake as a sign of ongoing disorganization when she otherwise would have given you the benefit of the doubt.
4. Voluntary furloughs
If you take the voluntary furlough option due to COVID-19, can you just show back up to work when you want to?
No. If you’re furloughed, the company has done that so they don’t have to pay your salary for a particular period of time, and they’ve planned their staffing levels (and who else is and isn’t furloughed) accordingly. You can’t just randomly announce you’re returning; you’ve got to wait for them to decide they can afford to being people back.
It’s also worth noting that some furloughs become permanent, if the company decides it can’t bring you back at all. How likely that is to happen depends on your industry and how long your company can maintain itself with a partially or completely furloughed workforce.
5. Listing outlier accomplishments on a resume
I work in one of the industries that has seen high demand during the coronavirus pandemic. My question is about how to list accomplishments on my resume that came out of this unprecedented time. My manager just sent out everyone’s numbers for March. In March, I made 82 teapots (for example). Our team average, with my numbers included, was 32 teapots per person.
I’ve always been a top performer, but this is crazy for me. (Granted, I worked 60-65 hours a week in March to deal with the demand, when we can normally stick to the usual 40.) Most months, I’ll make something like 35 teapots, and the team average will be 20.
I would like to include a line about my March numbers on my resume, if only to show how I can step up in times of high demand/crisis. But I also obviously want to make it clear that these are not my normal numbers!
You could say:
During emergency coronavirus response, increased teapot production to more than double the team average (producing 82 teapots in one month, versus team average of 32 per person that month)
Make sure you also mention that you consistently out-perform the team average in normal months too!