A Pyyrhic victory at work? Or am I taking this way too seriously?

There is a particular co-worker I have at my tutoring job who makes things difficult for me. One of the challenging things about dealing with her is that she doesn’t do anything blatanlty bad, but rather chronic, mundane details skipped which pile and snowball in my head. The frustrating thing is each time something happens, its easier to think,

*“Just let it go, Incubus. No point in getting all steamed because you co-worker left five minutes earlier. Your job is more important than whining about a co-worker’s job.” *

But these ‘little’ things keep happening. Stuff like leaving work five minutes late, dumping small tasks that coworker is supposed to do on me, making me have to stay a little extra (I don’t mind the staying extra, its her dumping it on someone else that bugs me). At first I thought it kind of petty to be the office tattletale every time she didn’t bother to sharpen the pencils for the next day, or signed off without letting the manager know (kind of important at my job). But the more things that affected me, the more I thought it was my obligation to point them out, for my sake! If these things bother me so damn much, why don’t I do something? Hell yeah! :mad:

So I started bringing things up with the manager. And no small surprise, the manager knew about everything coworker did that I complained about. By now coworker’s rap sheet is growing pretty big; I’m starting to wonder if the manager even talked with coworker, because if the manager knew, why is this stuff continuing to happen? :mad:

Today, I found out coworker is quitting the job to go away to college. This news was kind of a mixed bag for me. On one hand, I dont have to deal with all the stuff regarding this coworker (and I don’t really have a problem with anyone else, in fact most of them are saints by and large). But on the other hand, it feels like the coworker is escaping punishment by quitting before being confronted/reprimanded over it. Enough stuff bothered me that I was starting to feel vindinctive over it. Because I feel like it was kind of a pyrrhic victory- yeah coworker is out of the picture, but but never really seemed to get punished.

The price of working with a staff of High School students, I guess :frowning:

Whoops, meant to say coworker frequently left five minutes early. Yeah, came in slightly late, left slightly early, whined about stuff a three-toed sloth could do in a timely fasion, chatted it up with a coworker buddy when they had the same shift, goofed off when the manager was in a conference, etc.

Count your blessings that this person is gone. I know how it feels to want someone to get what’s coming to them, but right now the only one who’s being punished for her actions is you, and you’re doing it.

At some point life may “get even” with her. Or it may not. Not worth getting an ulcer over it.

Accept my sympathies. It’s the little stuff that gets to us, at least when there’s no big stuff to complain about. But it seems clear that your co-worker viewed the job as not important enough to give it more time, attention and effort than she did. Your employer did not view her job as important enough to either take steps to improve her performance or replace her. Neither of them saw any downside in passively forcing other employees to take up the slack. This may be the actual source of your feelings: you want to feel that the work you do is valuable, but are betrayed on all sides by people who behave as if it is not. Punishing or otherwise correcting your co-worker (who was there only in the short-term) was not necessarily a cost-effective option for management, but it would have signalled the other employees that it would not tolerate disrespect for you and your other colleagues, and that’s what I think you needed and didn’t get. So you can let your ex-co-worker out of your head - she was merely incidental to the problem.

You are not alone. There are millions of workers who are viewed as disposable by their employers, and see their jobs as disposable in turn. In a sense, both sides are right, but it isn’t a healthy situation for anyone, and least of all for the odd employee who desperately wants, quaintly, to take pride in themselves and in their work.

You spin it in a very good way, King of Soup. You are right- it bothers me because it feels like sometimes my role in the job isn’t that important if other people are getting away with stuff that is giving me grief.

Another thing that I have been doing that helps is building up a network of friendly and committed coworkers- like I said, most of the other coworkers do their job just fine. What I have found is that by giving great praise to newer coworkers who really help me out, I get people that are sort of ‘on my side’ in a way, so that hopefully if another person gets hired and pulls this kind of stunt, its not just me who is complaining about it, its half the staff. And while the managers might balk at harsh displinary action stemming from one quiet complaint, many louder complaints might have a more powerful voice in the whole thing.

It is particularly important to me, because I have been working there a long time in comparison to most of the staff (2 years) and I’m one of the most experienced employees there. I’ve gotten to the point in my job where my managers hope to see me have a ‘leadership’ role as I get promoted. In order to satisfy them that I can pass muster functioning as a ‘master sergeant’ type position in the center, I need to be able to deal wtih situations like this properly and think, “Is this serious enough to discuss with a manager? Do I just have this irrational hatred against this person?”

Incubus that is one sorry assed manager you got there. He/she should have dealt with rotten co-worker a long time ago. Chronic lateness and a history of leaving early, even if it’s only five or ten minutes shouldn’t be tolerated, nor should pushing assigned tasks off on others.

I have the joy that is know as management as a part of my job. It is my responsibility to notice when someone I supervise isn’t living up to his or her job. Occasional lateness and an occasional need to leave a few minutes early are one thing. When it is a daily or almost daily occurence, it is a problem. I have fired people for chronic lateness, leaving early excessively and for not performing certain tasks in a timely manner. Once it it pointed out and it continues, then it’s obvious the person is not going to change. That’s the time to get rid of him/her and promote or hire somebody who cares enough to do the job right.

I’m glad you’re rid of her. It would have been better if your boss had done something but there are some people who shouldn’t be in charge who get put in charge anyway. Sounds like you got one of those there.