so I kind of crossed a line today at work (long)

Background: I am a foreign aid worker in Afghanistan and several units working for me. Two of the units are working on a joint activity. One of the units is high maintenance and IMHO lazy; they are the type to take they’re full lunch hour, go home exactly when it is quitting time; this team is also a little older and experienced (Unit A). The other unit is made up of a lot of kids in their mid to late 20s; they are a hard working bunch, they stay late, eat at their desks when necessary and generally give a shit about doing a good job (Unit B).

When I’m not around, Unit A bullies Unit B. The leader of Unit A loves to say “that’s not in my scope of work,” for any shit job he doesn’t want to do. When given a task, he also loves to ask “what is Steve doing?” Steve being a member of Unit B, implying that Steve can do the job.

Unit A is on better behavior if I am in the room, but are shits when I am not. Today, I walked into a meeting between the two units, and the leader of Unit A was saying, “why do I have to do this, what’s Steve doing?”

And I said, “he’s looking at naked pictures of your mom, how does that make you feel? Now go do your job.”

So yeah, I might be in some trouble.

For what it’s worth (which is exactly zilch), I LOL’d.

Sounds like it might be time for a come-to-Jesus smackdown with Unit A.

Yeah, thanks. A little more background, I specialize in working in conflict zones, which is a rough and ready environment. Most places, I could get away with more than this, have a beeer with whomever’s ass I chewed and move on.

But, I am new to this organization, which prides itself on collaborative decision making and being nice to everyone. I’m kind of the bastard who gets stuff done, but pisses off people in the process. We’ll see what fallout I have brought down on myself. Oh, and Unit A is definitely on my list of people to ‘chat’ with.

I’ve read your post a few times, and I still can’t see what it was you thought you did wrong.

Well, in general implying someone’s mom is whore is frowned upon in the work place and the person I said it to is exactly the type to file a complaint with the home office.

As long as looking at naked photos of A’s mom is in Steve’s scope of work, UnitA can go fuck himself.

You didn’t imply she’s a whore. Perhaps they were very artistic naked shots.

Well she’s not necessarily a whore - she could be a supermodel! Honestly, some people just can’t take a compliment.

I’ve always preferred working with the bastards who get shit done. Got any job openings in Unit B?

I’m quite a fan of Yer Mom but haven’t seen the naked photos of the band.

Perhaps next time it would be better to say, "It doesn’t matter what Steve’s doing, I’m giving the job to you.

They get an hour for lunch, and they actually use the WHOLE hour?! :eek:

I realize there’s something to be said for initiative, and being asked to do something extra once in a while is fine. But if my employer said I had an hour for lunch and then routinely got pissed off that I actually took that time… Well, that’s passive aggression and not cool in a boss / supervisor.

As for the other stuff, yeah you probably could have phrased it better. But it may or may not be a big deal depending on who talks to whom about, if at all.

Starving Artist believe me, I don’t open with ‘naked photos of your mom,’ it’s the kind of comment that builds over time, and I had made a comment very similar to what you suggested, but this time they didn’t know I was going to be in the meeting and reverted back to old habits.

Mach Tuck, we work a six day work week and get paid for 8 hours a day, but in reality people work much, much more than that. I usually work about 11 hours a day and so do a lot of other people (although today, I’m taking a little in house leave and farting around on the SDMB). If someon needs to take a longer lunch every once in a while, no one complains, or if they want to get home early it’s no big deal.

What can I say? We’re foreign aid workers ain a conflict zone and we’re supposed to give a shit. If I have people working for me who aren’t busting their ass trying to dump work on people who are maxed out on effort, I’m going to call them on it. I might not punish someone who does the bare minimum, but I’m sure as shit going to stick up for the people going above and beyond. I’m also going to remember who really worked hard when it comes time to do evaluations. I don’t think that is passive aggressive, I think it is doing my job.

I’m with Mach Tuck, it seems pretty unreasonable to sign people up for an eight hour a day job with an hour lunch break, and then get angry when they want to work eight hours a day and take an hour off for lunch. If you want them to work eleven hours a day and not eat lunch, you should make that an official part of the job.

The older guys aren’t busting their ass because they aren’t trying to impress anyone the way the younger kids are. You should take a lesson from them. Eventually you’re gonna realize that nobody was really keeping score after all.


Why is it that when I want to stick to the terms of my contract (at work), I’m somehow the bad guy with an attitude problem? I see this all the time with regard to safety procedures, work hours, break times, etc. WTF???


ETA: I don’t see that your comment is something that will get you fired. In the long run it’ll prolly increase the respect both Units have for you as a boss. The message (“STFU and do your job”) seemed pretty clear to me.

I absolutely could give a fuck about keeping score. This isn’t some job in an office park along the parkway, where you pop down to Subway for lunch and then maybe off to Starbucks. We are motherfucking aid workers trying to provide assistance to wartorn communities, if that can’t get a person out of the bed in the morning and get them motivated to break a fucking sweat then fuck them.

And if you all end up burned out noone gets helped. Routinely working outside your usual hours sucks and will have negative effects on your work eventually. Sure when the bropwn stuff is hitting the fan, or a big project is going live or whatever, all the stops get pulled out, but routinley? You asked for 8 hours a day with an hours lunch in the contract, don’t get upset when that’s what you get. If you want more change the contract.

We are in smack dab in the middle of a big project, pull out all the stops moment, and it is only going to get more intense for the next few weeks. Should the people who feel strongly about getting their lunch, leaving on time and not doing anything expressly written in their Scope of Work be able to do so at the expense of the people who give a shit? How is that fair?

Like I said in the middle of a big project you get stuff done. EVen outside of this, when within normal hours you pick up your share, and don’t try to defer everything to your colleagues. That’s just wrong.

Perhaps paying them for all the hours your asking them to work would motivate them?