Mental Health Thread #8 - Fall is here!!

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So very wrong that it is warmer where you are than where I am. Not that I wish this cold on anyone, but I live South of the Mason-Dixon for a reason!

Then you'll really think this is wrong: here in my part of Alaska, it has been close to 50 degrees every day for the last week and the forecast is sunshine and more low 50's temps for the weekend. I'm not rubbing it in or anything, I have nothing but sympathy for those of you who are experiencing such cold temps. It's just weird how we've had very little actual winter weather this winter and other parts of the country have been totally slammed with snow/ice/ridiculously cold temps.

We got one brief sprinkling of snow a couple of weeks ago and my teenaged granddaughter was complaining about how it shouldn't be snowing in February. She clearly doesn't read or watch the news about what's going on in other parts of the country.
Elle, sorry you had to call the tournament off after all your preparation you mentioned elsewhere that you did but it certainly sounds like the right call though.

txls - wonderful - congrats.
I was visiting - heck, is she Pro or Doggie on this board? - out on the west coast where it was high forties and low fifties, watching my home town getting battered by a blizzard on the national news. That was great fun - not. (Except the part about not being in the blizzard. That part was good.)
She's Pro. It's snowing here now - oh I so wish warm weather would get here.
Are you now physically able to go into work? I know you have still been working but from home.
I went in Friday - took three hours to get in and three hours to get home but I was there. I have my work laptop with me just in case over the weekend - we're supposed to get rain but as I told my boss, If I don't take my laptop it'll be snow.
I guess working from home is nice except for maybe going stir crazy due to not being able to get out due to the snow.
It's snowing again today. It was supposed to be rain but now it's snow. 1-3 inches, they're saying.
:( - that's about all I can say, cbg.
At this rate it will be summer before I can even think about coming for a visit. Cancelling the tournament was the right call. It means twice as much work for me, but we got a foot of snow, then an ice storm. The Governor issued a state of emergency and ordered everyone off the roads mid-day. Weather was supposed to hit late Saturday afternoon. I hit the store at 11 to pick up a few items along with half the city. As I walked out my door, the first tiny flakes were just starting to fall. A half hour later on my way home, I had to clean off my car and it was a white out. It took me 10 minutes to drive the mile back to my house.
Any advice for counseling an employee who is developing a martyr complex? We had a rough Dec and Jan but things are much better now and she's still making comments along the lines of poor me I'm so busy.
She told me this morning "oh I'm gonna lose my vacation because I don't have time to take it." Her anniversary date isn't until June!
Tell her she can come work for me and learn what busy can be. We have:

* 22,000 benefits-eligible employees and retirees
* Two new vendors as of January 1
* Four health plans with new plan designs as of January 1
* Two brand new, never had them before health plans as of January 1
* All the associated problems with (gasp) CHANGE
* The kind of entitlement mentality you would expect from professors at the country's oldest university
* Something like 8 feet of snow on the ground after five significant snowstorms in a three week period
* A Mass Transit system whose problems are making the national news
* Two fewer employees on staff than we ought to have
* The residue of a highly embarrassing, nationally reported, error to how our life insurance policy was administered that is affecting 11,000 employees

And I have a 4 hour a day commute on a good day, which is currently turning into a 6 hour a day commute - with the MBTA issues I am having to leave the house at 5 am or shortly thereafter in order to be sure of getting to work by 8:30, and leaving work at 4:30 means if I'm doing well I may be home by 7:30.

Tell her unless she can beat that, I'm not impressed and she should shut her trap.
I can't even imagine that kind of commute, much less all the rest. I will be sure and tell her you're not impressed. :)
DH is pushing me to ask to work from home 1-2 days a week on a regular basis. I think he's right. I'm not sure how long I can keep this up.
txls, I think a person like that is just wanting to vent and get attention. I'd suggest simply responding in a not very interested tone, "That does sound hard" or "I'm sure you can work it out" or "it has been tough" or something like that and excusing yourself as quickly as possible. Anything you say in return is validating her-if you tell her she's not that busy, she gets to argue. If you sympathize, she gets to pile on. The way to neutralize is to not participate, and she'll go bug someone else who will give her the attention she craves.

As long as we are trading coaching tips, anyone got one for a clock watcher? I've got a new employee, and overall I'm happy. But she clock watches and is out the door at 5:01 exactly (salaried position, and no, it shouldn't be, but I've learned to pick my battles). So maybe she has an hourly mentality; I'm sure it's the first job she's been salaried. Now I'm not some unreasonable person who expects my team to stay all hours or come in weekends. I'm talking-she will be out the door at 5:01 even if what she was working on would take less than half an hour to finish. Today she was making files-it probably would have taken fifteen minutes tops to just finish what she was doing, but instead she left it till tomorrow. Maybe it shouldn't, but that drives me batty. Especially because this company is really understanding about working around errands, kids, doctor appointments, etc. But sometimes it feels like no one gives us the same consideration in return.
I have mostly ignored her comments, but some of them aren't directed to me, I just overhear. And I know it's for attention or sympathy, I'm just getting tired of it.

Your person may be having a hard time adjusting to salaried, or may have worked elsewhere hourly where overtime wasn't allowed so she was required to leave at exactly 5:00. I think I would simply address the issue of things being left undone and carried over until tomorrow. I discourage that from my people because, you never know what tomorrow will bring. That may at least open up a dialogue for you to find out what her reasoning for leaving so precisely. Could childcare be an issue?
In my experience, most of the "martyrs" I've met just wanted attention. It can also be a way of letting everybody know how busy they are so when errors are made they have the handy excuse of being overwhelmed by too much work. I agree with ferretrick, don't engage, because whatever you say will likely just add fuel to her fire one way or the other.

Luckily, I haven't ever had to deal directly with any clock-watchers. But one of the funniest/most aggravating stories I remember hearing from a supervisor dealing with it was about the employee (back in the day before we all had desktop computers/phones, etc. that keep accurate time)who looked at the different clocks in different areas of the department she worked in and figured out which one ran a few minutes faster and decided that was the one she was going to go by at the end of the day. The supervisor noticed that she was leaving at what his watch said was 4:55 every day so he asked her why she always left five minutes early. She replied "No, I don't, I always leave when the clock in the breakroom says it's 5 p.m.!" I'd be willing to bet she paid more attention to the slower clocks when it came time to come to work in the morning, however! :)
txls, she should be glad she has a job.
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