View Full Version : A co-worker called me disrespectful; wants me written up


Simargl
03-09-17, 09:39 PM
I had to attend a training class for work:

* Two 3.5 hour sessions (7:30am-11am)
* Wed & Thur
* Normal job for the rest of the day

My Dept has has a lead trainer and two people who help him.

The lead knows that I have a better time focusing when I doodle. I basically just crosshatch. I also listen better if I'm looking down or away when someone is talking nonstop.

This isn't news. People pick up on it. My boss is aware.

I normally take my first dose of Dex at 10am but I took it at 7am because I wanted to make sure I was paying attention and absorbing everything.

I actively participated. I answered questions. I took part and even hammed it up a little in the role playing activities.

However, one of the lesser trainers decided I was being disrespectful by not looking at her when she was talking.

She reported to my boss and probably the department manager that I was not engaged in the training and I was disrespectful.

My boss pulled me aside and asked me if I was upset. She knows that I would never actively be rude or disrespectful.

I explained the lack of eye contact, my boss understood- it's not a new behavior.

She also knows that I -always- doodle.

It's not like I -never- make eye contact. I do-- but when it's a string of words/explanations, I tend to tilt my head and look to the side or at the floor.

This helps me focus and process on every word that's coming out of the speaker's mouth: Partially ADHD, partially minor hearing loss from not being responsible enough with loud music.

My boss said told the trainer that I have a different learning style. She knows I have ADHD, which I know is dumb, but I had to explain my roller coaster year with med adjustments. She's actually pretty understanding-- her god daughter has ADHD so she sort of gets it.

I asked other people who attended the training if I seemed rude or distracted. They all said no. I was very active. They were shocked that I was called out (reprimanded?) by the trainer.

I feel called out over nothing. The lesser trainer has seen me as a threat in the past even though I'm not. We have different goals.

She also likes to knock others down to make herself look better. She sucks up and says the right things to the right people.

She's made statements like "I like writing trainings because I'm telling people what to do in a non-direct way. They're like puppets I get to manipulate.." paraphrasing but that's the tone and gist.

She's constantly bragging and trying to show off how smart she thinks she is. She's the kind of person I try to avoid.

I rarely get angry but I was having waves of rage over this today. I would calm down, dwell again and the anger would build back up. Luckily, no one can tell when I'm angry. I don't take it out on people and I try to process it before taking any action.

A couple friends know I'm furious and commented on how freaky calm I am. It's a blessing and a curse but mostly helpful in an office setting. >.>

Maybe I needed to rant and get this out.. a friend is pushing me to talk to the dept manager. I told her that I need to figure out how I'm feeling first.

Understanding boss or not- this is still a mark against me even if it's not as harsh as the trainer wanted.

Any advice on how to handle a situation like this or personal experiences are welcome..

Maybe I should let it go but I don't want to be a pushover for this bully. She'll come after me again if she thinks I'm weak or she'll go after someone else.

Little Missy
03-09-17, 09:44 PM
I would not dignify her behavior with a response unless you absolutely have to. It sounds like it'll turn into tit for tat to me.

Simargl
03-09-17, 10:02 PM
I would not dignify her behavior with a response unless you absolutely have to. It sounds like it'll turn into tit for tat to me.

Yeah, I can see that happening too. I hate how people seem to get away with being awful.

dvdnvwls
03-09-17, 10:04 PM
There are people who study one book (or less) and suddenly declare themselves a body-language guru. You've probably got one of those.

To me, it sounds like you may have already done the right thing and don't need to go further. I can't tell because I know so little about your company and the individuals involved.

Little Missy
03-09-17, 10:06 PM
Yeah, I can see that happening too. I hate how people seem to get away with being awful.

Yep. As hard as it may be, take the high road until she corners you. She may not just because you're not reacting.

aeon
03-09-17, 10:48 PM
If something eventually needs to be said...

Focus on your surprise that a trainer would rush to judgment without first engaging in inquiry and dialog, in particular because of the risk of decisions being made on the basis of inaccurate or absent data.

Also, such a judgment is a moral and personal one, that is both incompatible with, and inappropriate for, a professional environment, as well as one poorly-suited for a trainer, who must cultivate a relationship of mutual engagement in order to be effective in their role.

If you want to be really helpful (arf!), you might suggest said trainer participate in a class on Nonviolent Communication, a la Dr. Marshall Rosenberg, where they could learn about communication styles that encourage engagement, respect boundaries, and engender the consideration of multiple perspectives that are simultaneously valid.

That'll fix 'em! ;)


Cheers,
Ian

aeon
03-09-17, 10:57 PM
I mean, really, that kind of behavior speaks to a seeming lack of insight on multiple levels and across a few domains. People like that tend to prove to be liabilities in the medium- to long-term.


Cheers,
Ian

Pilgrim
03-09-17, 10:58 PM
Just be open and honest. Get it out there.

Fuzzy12
03-10-17, 12:07 AM
You've handled it well. Like the others have said I think the best eould be to let it go.

I do the same by the way. I look down or into the distance to focus on what someone is saying I'd be furious if someone called me disrespectful for that. Uggh :mad:

stef
03-10-17, 05:09 AM
Yep. As hard as it may be, take the high road until she corners you. She may not just because you're not reacting.

I was going to say the same thing!
Actually this is a total win for you (except for this actually being "written up")

- you have the reinforced proof of your boss' support
- your colleagues noticed nothing, thus your behavior is totally acceptable
- this just backfires for her, because it gives her a bad reputation and people who know what happened and have signed up for the same training, will now think, "oh, wait, so training session with her...hmm..":eyebrow:

sarahsweets
03-10-17, 05:11 AM
I think you should let it go until it happens again. You have already talked to your boss about it, and I am sure the trainer would be disappointed to know that you didnt get any kind of on the record talking to. If it comes up again with the trainer- tell her that you are more comfortable discussing these things in the presence of your supervisor and suggest a meeting with the three of you. Either she will have the wind taken out of her sails cause she knows she has no business, or she will agreed and she can make a fool of her self righteous self in front of your manager by bringing up such a non-issue. From now on, try and get her to give any notes or feedback to you via email or written simply because you want something other than your memory to refer to should you need to address it with someone above her.

Postulate
03-10-17, 04:40 PM
Other details aside, your trainer is a crushed person. She was the type of child that, when she was 9, ran home with her 10/10 exam copy saying "look, daddy! I got a 10/10!" and her dad ripped her exam copy and threw it in her face. Her parents crushed her during childhood so she has a constant need to be validated and appreciated and every time she gets a clue that someone might not, she will use every resource available to her to destroy that person.

Do not underestimate her authority and connections. You might think she got over it, but on her laptop with her fingernails, tic-tac-tic-tac-tic-tac-tic-tac-tic-tac-, she's talking to 15 other bosses trying to get you fired. Be very careful and on your guard. Report every single detail to your boss, the one you trust, including your fears. You may be dealing with a person in a position of power who has a mental problem and who is fixated on you.

dvdnvwls
03-10-17, 06:09 PM
Just a note: if you do find yourself "cornered" over this, it seems to me that the person was complaining purely about your appearance, and apparently did not do anything to investigate further. Complaining that a person was simply looking in a certain direction is frivolous, as far as I can tell.

The entire actual substance of her complaint is "I thought maybe he wasn't listening". Very VERY flimsy.

Postulate
03-10-17, 06:44 PM
Just a note: if you do find yourself "cornered" over this, it seems to me that the person was complaining purely about your appearance, and apparently did not do anything to investigate further. Complaining that a person was simply looking in a certain direction is frivolous, as far as I can tell.

The entire actual substance of her complaint is "I thought maybe he wasn't listening". Very VERY flimsy.

She will never be judged over that, in this corporate setting, it's his reputation over hers. There is a real possibility that she has the ability to get him fired, and that she is set on getting him fired, so I would be very careful. Like, nobody is going to tell her, "you should have investigated more, or you should have" they would rather fire him then to have to tell her that.

I have a question for OP, how come he ended up in that situation? What's his profession? I would not accept to be in that situation, I would go as far as looking for a job.

unstableAngel
03-10-17, 07:10 PM
Postulate said it best, imo, sounds like this person is on a power trip and very insecure. Not traits befitting a supervisor.

Simargl
03-10-17, 07:28 PM
If something eventually needs to be said...

Focus on your surprise that a trainer would rush to judgment without first engaging in inquiry and dialog, in particular because of the risk of decisions being made on the basis of inaccurate or absent data.

Also, such a judgment is a moral and personal one, that is both incompatible with, and inappropriate for, a professional environment, as well as one poorly-suited for a trainer, who must cultivate a relationship of mutual engagement in order to be effective in their role.

If you want to be really helpful (arf!), you might suggest said trainer participate in a class on Nonviolent Communication, a la Dr. Marshall Rosenberg, where they could learn about communication styles that encourage engagement, respect boundaries, and engender the consideration of multiple perspectives that are simultaneously valid.

That'll fix 'em! ;)


Cheers,
Ian

Rosenberg. Perfect. Iíll tuck this idea away for later.

Her behavior was inappropriate. All of the dept. trainers were formally in the same position that I am in now. I donít believe any of them have formal training/education for their current role. The lead was thrown into the job because heís smart and personable. I donít think he actually wanted the job but there werenít any eligible candidates for the position at the time.

They added the associate trainers a little over a year later because the department was asking too much of one person. There were several complaints on the quality and lack of training. He was overworked and unable to catch up.

I have the option to send feedback. Itís supposed to be anonymous but who really knows. Iím doing what I doówhich, is overthinking everything.

Iím going to follow the advice from this thread and leave it alone as best I can for now. However, sending my own feedback is tempting.

dvdnvwls
03-10-17, 07:34 PM
Don't send feedback. Especially not now after this long.

Postulate
03-10-17, 07:46 PM
Is there a possibility that your boss spoke to your trainer before training started and asked her to pick a hole in your coat and escalate a report to her so she would have a reason to fire you? You said your boss knows you have ADHD...are you sure she's on your side here? She didn't sound too supportive when you met her after the escalation. She asked you if you were upset or sad (she had read the report!!!)

I have no idea what to tell you...is there anyone in that company who you trust with your life, who can help you?

Simargl
03-10-17, 08:09 PM
Don't send feedback. Especially not now after this long.

They sent out the form for feedback today.

I'm leaving it alone and distancing myself from the situation. She's digging her own holes. You were pretty spot on with the 'flimsy' comment.

Also, We're both women.

Simargl
03-10-17, 08:59 PM
I was going to say the same thing!
Actually this is a total win for you (except for this actually being "written up")

- you have the reinforced proof of your boss' support
- your colleagues noticed nothing, thus your behavior is totally acceptable
- this just backfires for her, because it gives her a bad reputation and people who know what happened and have signed up for the same training, will now think, "oh, wait, so training session with her...hmm..":eyebrow:

So True. I've already heard other co-workers making complaints.

A lot of the actions I want to take over this are purely emotional and won't provide any positive results.

She doesn't have a real argument against me. And if I step back, I can see that I have a better standing in the dept when it comes to respect, likability and helpfulness.

Bully mentalities set me off. My first reaction is to stand my ground and prove they underestimated their target. Which, in the end, can be damaging to anyone who's involved.

I'm glad I've learned to slow my roll over the years.

Anyhow-- Thank you, Stef. I felt calmer after reading this comment. It's the perspective I needed and now I feel a little more grounded.

Postulate
03-10-17, 09:06 PM
They sent out the form for feedback today.

I'm leaving it alone and distancing myself from the situation. She's digging her own holes. You were pretty spot on with the 'flimsy' comment.

Also, We're both women.

Sima...I don't want to burst your bubble there, but with an official escalation report from your trainer to your manager, that resulted in a disciplinary meeting with your manager, you're in it deep. I'm not sure you realise the full extent of it. In a situation like this, you have on average 3 weeks left with the company. I know it hurts to look the other way because deep down you hope it won't happen, but is hope really something you have time for? If I understood their plan well, and, I had a girlfriend who was an HR manager, they want you to finish training, then give you a week or two on the floor, then...that's it.

Like, what would you lose if you start looking for a job?

Simargl
03-10-17, 09:07 PM
You've handled it well. Like the others have said I think the best eould be to let it go.

I do the same by the way. I look down or into the distance to focus on what someone is saying I'd be furious if someone called me disrespectful for that. Uggh :mad:

Thank you. (: I thought it was common enough. I've never had anyone else at work complain about it.

Simargl
03-10-17, 09:20 PM
I think you should let it go until it happens again. You have already talked to your boss about it, and I am sure the trainer would be disappointed to know that you didnt get any kind of on the record talking to. If it comes up again with the trainer- tell her that you are more comfortable discussing these things in the presence of your supervisor and suggest a meeting with the three of you. Either she will have the wind taken out of her sails cause she knows she has no business, or she will agreed and she can make a fool of her self righteous self in front of your manager by bringing up such a non-issue. From now on, try and get her to give any notes or feedback to you via email or written simply because you want something other than your memory to refer to should you need to address it with someone above her.

Thank you, Sarah. I'm letting go of this. I doubt she'll ever confront me but if she does, I'll suggest the meeting. I'm done being upset over this. She had Thursday and Friday. I own the weekend.

But I do feel like I'm in a better position if this comes again.

dvdnvwls
03-11-17, 08:40 PM
Also, We're both women.
Sorry about that - I wasn't paying attention I guess

Cyllya
03-12-17, 07:09 PM
Man, I hate it when anyone gets all indignant over someone else's eye contact patterns. That's something where the norm varies wildly by region, so it's equivalent to her deciding you were "disrespectful" because you spoke with an accent.

Anyway, it sounds like the folks in charge and your peers who witnessed your alleged disrespect all think the complain is unfounded. So I agree with all the folks that say you don't have to do anything.

If you do end up having issues over this, here's some articles about how doodling helps you focus (https://smleo.com/2014/04/08/doodling-and-the-mind-drawing-your-attention/) and eye contact is distracting, which makes it harder to speak (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-we-shouldnt-always-insist-eye-contact-cognitive-wajdi). Could be handy if your superiors are the sort to be convinced by actual facts/data/science.

I had something similar happen once. Someone with more authority (not over me) and seniority with a reputation for being condescending and obnoxious accused me of being rude, in front of a bunch of people who didn't think I was being rude. My situation was more directly confrontational though. My boss had a meeting with me to get my side of the story, and I think she asked other people what happened, but that's the only official action I'm aware of in regards to the incident. They might've made a note about it in my "file" or something, but there was no disciplinary action... at least not for me! It actually feels like my accuser has been politer to me than she was before the incident, and I've noticed her switch to a less grouchy tone of voice when she's talking to someone else and sees me coming! So I actually suspect she got herself in trouble.

Genghis
04-16-17, 10:45 PM
Simargl: I'm new here to the forums, but not new to the working world or to the "office politics" that often come with working in an organization. Because of my ADHD I couldn't read through the two pages of posts that came before mine, so I may well be repeating some of the advice that has already been given, and if so I apologize.

I think the biggest factor in your favor in your situation is that your direct boss knows your particular "foibles", and it sounds like they have your back.

It's hard to say what's really going on with the junior trainer that you're having the problem with. If it were me, I would invite them out to lunch or coffee (on me) to chat and try and clear the air in a non-judgmental way, with a genuine desire to find out why the other person was bothered by my behavior and to hopefully create some mutual understanding between us. Doing this would send a couple of messages: 1) I do care (to a point) about how my actions may affect others, and 2) if you say stuff about me behind my back and I find out about it, you and I WILL have a conversation because I am NOT a pushover who can be bullied.

Anyway, that's just my two cents' worth. Best of luck!

~Genghis