All that is
What I learned this week
1. James Ol is a pig. Let me elaborate:
I've learned to trust my instincts more. If i feel that someone has the tendency to take advantage or is cavalier, then they usually are. I knew that James ol was when we had a conversation a few months ago when i first joined, about the difference between the old manager and the new one. The way he described pip to me, as being indecisive and meek and unauthorative enough - his tone in doing so was a bit unkind. He struck me on first meeting as someone who probably wouldn't look out for the underdog, who would in fact if the opportunity arose, be quite cruel.
So that was my initial instinct and this opinion has been strengthened by every interaction ive ever had with him since. His mannerisms, his tone of voice, his delay in responding or just plain refusal to respond to emails.
So this week James thrusts a herculean task upon me, carefully disguised at first of course, as minor work. I knew this, (but admittedly I kind of liked an excuse to speak with some people i'd met at the xmas party and wanted to see again. There are one or two guys in particular, but that's a different rant in itself).
So i go about the whole with with a can-do attitude, and in my opinion, I tackle the task with seemingly no sweat. I create a time schedule with names of everyone in the building, and send them out with well worded mass email. I was quite pleased with myself for doing that.
But at one point, on the second day after i send out another mass email giving times to those who missed the first session, james suddenly sends me an email with a list of names, saying the following people already have pics. And so I email those people on the list, and cc'ing james too, saying 'Hi all, James has just informed me that you already have photos on the system and so no need to come etc'
After about an hour, i get an email from James saying "..I really didn't appreciate your email.... 'James has just informed me..as it gives the impression to others that I have not been giving you relevant info, when we both know i have..." I was a bit shocked, and a little worried especially after the whole rachel thing - I hate to be thought of as rude or anything.
So i show it to rachel for advice, (and future evidence at my innocence, if it ever spiralled out of control) who says just send him one back saying 'sorry, didn't even think about it...'
then i show it to elaine who says - i would just go and talk to him, emailing will make it worse..
But i still think I should email just in case he were to show the email to someone, the trail with my response would be there, explaining my thoughts, rather than just having his reprimand there. So despite elaine's advice, i send it out anyway.
I don't directly apologise, as i don't feel i should. Ok. I'll admit, by saying 'James has just informed me'.., I did slightly want to illustrate or hint at his disorganisation - which there is to a large scale - (he never responds, getting a task out of him is like trying to get water outta stone, you'll have to ask him at least 2 times, remind him before he does it) and our conversation the week prior resulted in us saying we'd take photos of everybody, even those we already had on system as the pic had to be a specific spec. Then he sends me this email saying oh these people don't need it - after I had already sent mine off. So i was a bit irritated.
And yes I think I looked through my hundreds of emails received on those 3 days ( i hadn't had the time to check my inbox thoroughly, as i was spending 2-3 hours at a time waiting around for (idiots in some cases) to turn up for their photos. So i think he did send me a v short email with a link to the drive of where those with photos already in the system where. Well he should have been more assisting - not just sending a link but should have sent that list in the first place. He probably has a bit of a reputation for not getting back to people, or being disorganised or just plain lousy work, which is why he probably got touchy about it. I'm sure that's why.
2. Gratitude makes people feel good - It makes me feel good. Many people know this - the way that you can 2x2=4. but few people understand or adopt its principle. Or think they don't have time for it..
To increase the weight of your compliments, establish yourself as a trusted resource. This means you need to be able to give people bad news as well as good news. I will never forget the employee who told me, "You know how everyone laughs at your jokes at the staff meeting? Well, the jokes are not that funny, but since all those people report to you, they laugh. You should stop with the jokes."
I was crushed to hear that I was not funny. But it would have been worse if I had been allowed to go on and on. (Though sometimes I tell myself that I really was funny and that particular employee just didn't get my humor.) Still, this person's subsequent compliments meant more to me because I knew she was honest.