Thursday, May 1, 2014

Conflict in the Workplace

I wanted so much to go to the Pirates-Orioles game today.  At the beginning of the week, looking at the schedule versus the weather, it didn't look so good.  The Bucs and O's were due to play a pair of games on Tuesday and Wednesday, but the forecast was for rain.  As we saw over the past several days, we didn't just get rain.  We got a monsoon!  I felt a bit like Noah yesterday.  Anyway, with the rain came postponements, and the Os and Bucs ultimately decided to play a doubleheader today, since it was an off-day for both teams.  It was gorgeous outside, and I kept thinking how much fun it would be to take off early and head up to Camden Yards and catch the games.

Alas, I'm just a bit too responsible about my job, and we had a few issues that cropped up today at the office that required my attention.  There was just so chance for a game, let alone an early departure.

Work was a bear today.  I was assigned to an additional team of workers at our other facility, in addition to my 80 employees in Silver Spring, back in October.  It was a challenge, to be polite.  I struggled greatly trying to find my way with them.  They are a much more blue-collar workforce, which is different from my typical white-collar Feds, so I couldn't really identify with them.  I also misconstrued what my role was to be with them.  I thought I needed to work towards making their jobs better, knowing the work would be phased out over the next year or two, and when I wasn't able to do that, partly due to their resistance and issues beyond our control, I found myself becoming more and more stressed over the situation, to the point that it was having a negative effect on my health.  My boss recognized this, and she determined that perhaps my personality might not be suited to that particular workforce.  So, after I practically threw up all over her and she had to talk me in off the ledge, she made a switch.  I was angry at first, since I felt like I had failed, and that doesn't sit well with me, but after a great weekend free of stress and some great sleep, I bought into the idea.  My former boss was assigned to that team instead, and I'm now in a position to help him get up to speed.  However.....

Several weeks ago there was an incident between a couple of employees over there, with one alleging that he was harassed by the other.  I've never encountered a situation like this before.  I had to do an investigation, and I ended up finding that there was no basis to the accusation, despite the one employee adamantly stating that he was being targeted.  Following the investigation, I concluded that there was no issue, and after discussing the situation with the union rep, he agreed that if the one employee talked to the other about their issues, it would likely lead to a happy ending.  I discussed this with the accused and he agreed to talk to the accuser, and I closed the whole issue.  Well, today it blew up again, with all parties, including the union rep, claiming I never resolved the issue.  I thought I had gotten away from the issues and the stress and all, and I was dragged back in.  I had to resolve it, even if I had concluded that it was already resolved.  So I met with all of the parties.  After a lengthy, sometimes ugly discussion, I finally got through to the accuser and the two guys shook hands, hugged, and I felt a sense of relief.  I hesitate to say that it's completely finished, but it better be.  I'm tired.

Have a great evening, everyone!

By the way, the Os beat up on the Bucs in the first game, but the Bucs came out hitting in the 2nd game.  It's 2-0 in the 4th.  Wish I could stay up to watch it.  I'm really tired.....

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