Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Another co-worker ?

I recently blogged that I don't really need to be in the office to do my job. The only reason I go in there, is because as a rule, I feel a lot more productive and I like the socialization piece, when I am not in the field, writing or dealing with client issues.

Anyways, recently, one co-worker in particular (who has a completely different entry-level role, "staffing cases") has started to make comments to clients and co-workers and even ME yesterday, that "I'm off" if she doesn't see me in the office. She also gets extremely annoyed if I do not answer the phone.

Now you all must note that my boss has told me and other co-workers on my team who are social workers/case managers that we do NOT have to answer the phone because we don't have time for this (i.e. dealing with aides, reception, and phone calls that 99% of the time have nothing to do with us). We would NEVER get work done ever if we had to answer the phone since it rarely stops ringing.

Anyways, yesterday, Ms. Thing left at the end of her shift and had one of the other people in her role come into my office and say "We need you to answer phones the rest of the time you are here".

It really aggravated me. I ended up leaving about 5 minutes later.

One of our other case managers who works out of another office will not even GO into her office for this reason because the staff have literally yelled at her because of the phone issue(it's a really busy, stressful home care environment).

I KNOW though if I say I was told that I/we don't have to do this, it will create drama even though I know my boss will back me/us up.

I don't want to come off as holier than thou, because I know that's how this looks, but I AM also at a different level education and experience wise and none of the RNs and managers are expected to answer the phones and take messages either. (I have my Master's degree and have been a manager and supervisor before myself). Again, not something I can pleasantly point out to certain people........

My boss even made a comment because "someone" told him I was "off" last week because I was in the field doing intakes and working from home. He joked that I better "stop slacking off".

Basically, what it comes down to, is that I just share space with them. If clients and other agencies need me, almost 99% of the time they will call me on my cell phone. (Same for the other case management staff on my team).

How do you gracefully and professionally deal with co-workers like this? I am not completely ready to stop working out of the office just yet. Just driving into the parking lot lately though gives me anxiety because of this nonsense that goes on.

I share a space with another case manager and we often just close the door so we can focus on our work, but I know that makes the other staff members blood boil.

P.S. I also think some of this tension that has begun to escalate is related to the fact that in my new role, I have been bringing on a lot of new cases. I work at a for-profit, so the bottom line is to make money. Often some of the higher-hours cases are clients that are known to be difficult with a lot of annoying issues, so staffing coordinators often get stuck dealing with that on the home-care end. (Even though case managers are dealing with it too just as much).


  1. It actually sounds like this shouldn't even be your issue to deal with. It would be more adequately (and appropriately) addressed at a management level - your manager talking to their manager, or however the structure works at your place. I realize that you still have to deal with their annoying behaviour in the moment, but it sounds like you're doing your best!

  2. Thanks!

    I have actually suggested to my boss that we need to have a meeting for both my office and the office my colleague works out of (they are brand new to doing our programs which is where I think some of the resistance/tension is coming from on her end).

    Also the staff that give us (Service Coordinators) the most crap have the title (Staffing Coordinator). They really DON'T understand what we do and I suspect because it is a similar-sounding title, feel that we should really be responsible for the same work they are which is far from the case.

    With particular workers, anytime there's a problem with any client from our program (even if I have never met them) it's usually, "Oh you deal with that, so here, deal with them".

    Again, not my responsibility AT. ALL. but I don't think they get it.

    There is also serious lack of supervision on site (big bosses work from different offices and "may" stop in weekly) so I am 100% sure this also contributes to what is going on.............everyone has free reign to say and do whatever the heck they want which is so not cool or appropriate, and I think because some of them are older or have been there longer think they can get away with it.