I don't care what your opinion is...just shut the f*ck up and do what I say!

Although you’ve been given some really terrific advice already, and as a manager, I applaud the track you’re on, I do have an idea.

At my company, we operate on a team management matrix. Which means if you have a great idea, you probably get to lead the team to implement it. This process actually shuts down this type of whiner. These people are “part of the problem” rather than the solution. If you anticipate that, and counter with an assignment, often they’ll drop the issue when they discover they have to do the homework – and legwork – on their own.

Ask for a 20-page proposal including cost analyses, benefits and drawbacks, budget proposals, staffing issues, the works. Make him justify the additional (?) expense of implementing his ideas by showing where the revenue will come from to offset… or prove with hard numbers from accounting, exactly how much money his brilliant ideas will save the company, annualized, of course.

In short, send him on a million little wild goose chases, let him hang himself by stepping on the wrong toes, and leave him hanging out to dry. Give him enough rope…

And, if the workload in a call center can’t allow him going off to research his proposal, then he’ll just have to do it on his own time. Dedicated employees will do whatever it takes to implement a great idea.

Meanwhile, search for his replacement, continue to document and don’t let him get away with ANYTHING! I’d use him to my fullest advantage. Then after you fire him, you’ve got a desk full of well thought out proposals to which you can attach your name… or maybe not. That’s another moral dilemma!

You have my full support, for whatever that’s worth!

First, thanks everyone for the good wishes and advice. What follows is a slightly fictionalized account of what happened at my meeting with Problem Employee (PE) today. The gist of everything said is pretty accurate, but just in case for confidentiatity reasons, I’m doing some rewriting.

I’d spoken to my boss about the theme of the upcoming meeting, just in case. I’d also given him the list of behaviours I expected changed from PE at once. He was fully behind me.

Me: PE, we have to talk. Disconnect your phone and meet me in the conference room.

PE: Good. I’ve got some things I want to say too.

Me: <Thinking>…th’ hell? What’s he want to say?

Inside conference room:

Me: Why don’t you go first.

PE: Ok. Fenris, you’ve changed man! When we were just tech’s you usedta be cool. It was about the teching, man! The Teching. Now it’s changed. You’ve changed. You don’t care about the teching anymore. All you care about is power and authority man. That’s it. You’re tripping on the power and you’ve forgotten the teching.

Me: <thinking> Good fuck. He’s given me the “rock-n-roll” speech[sup]*[/sup]. My friends and I use it all the time as a gag (“You used to care about the Chinese food, man! Now all you care about is the MSG!”), but I’d never expected to hear it done seriously.

Me: <aloud> …ummmm…ooohkay. Let’s grant that I have changed…were you going anywhere with that thought?

PE: Yeah, man. I can’t stand to watch you spiral down in your desperate clawing to be on top of the heap. I’m out. There’s a job opening up in <another call center in the same building run by a friend of his> in a couple of weeks. I’ve already qualified for the intradepartment transfer. I’ll give you my official two week notice then, but I wanted to let you know that I don’t hate you man, but only because I’m not into hate. But I pity you because you’ve forgotten what it’s like to be a tech, man. You’ve forgotten!

Me: <thinking> Yeah. I take tech-support calls for at least three hours a day, minimum. Plus I have to make time to get all the supervisor stuff done. I must’ve forgotten what it was like to work as a tech cleaning up one of your messes in the 20 minutes since the last time it happened.

Me: <aloud> Gosh, PE. I didn’t know you felt so strongly about this. I’m sorry to see you go. I’ll consider this your formal resignation. I’ll have the form filled out in about 20 minutes for you to sign. We’ll just cross out the “two week” notice bit and write in “four week”. That way, it’s all taken care of.

PE: Well, I didn’t mean to be too rough on you, but someone had to say it. No hard feelings?

Me:<doing a happy dance inside, poker-faced outside> None at all.

There was more, but that’s the upshot. As an aside, I got my first supervisor review forms back on Monday, completely retyped by HR, so I’m supposed to have no idea which tech said what. And while some of them had some gripes (a couple of which were legit and I need to correct), overall I rated extremely well. Except for one review. Gosh, I wonder who’s it was. :rolleyes:

Anyway, fingers crossed, knock wood, etc, he’s gone within the month. I called his soon-to-be-new supervisor (a friend of his) to let her know that if PE needs to be trained or anything, let me know and I can let him go earlier. After all, we’re all working for the same team…etc.


[sup]*[/sup] The “rock-n-roll” speech: Some movie or other featured a version of this speech using the word “music” in place of “teching”. I don’t remember the movie anymore, but it’s a funny bit.

You handled that beautifuly, Fenris.

Will there be a party in your department the day * after* Mr. PE leaves?