Poor Excuses, Poor Leaders Can Break Workplace Relationships

The reason I couldn't get this done was because...
I apologize but I couldn't...
You should have seen the traffic...sorry I couldn't...
I really wish I could....
You see, what had happened was...
I was unable to get that completed due to....

We have all heard the valid excuses as well as the invalid ones.  What were the solutions that the worker came up with to get the project done?  What decision had been reached?  Did things eventually run smoothly?  Was the excuse a valid one and what efforts are being made to resolve the issue?

Nothing is ever resolved with the poor excuse maker unless you jump right in and do some things yourself!  He or she doesn't know how to come up with a plan.  The excuse maker either doesn't know how to problem solve or doesn't want to.  Excuses show up in full force when an employee is unhappy, unreasonable, difficult, or simply lazy.  We don't always know what is occurring emotionally and/or physically with a worker until he or she is tested.

A once great working relationship goes up in flames when a person cares more about self rather than the collective especially during a time when he or she is needed the most.  Managers, supervisors, co-workers and others begin to formulate their personal opinions.  They assume the worse, "He is unreliable...she is untrustworthy...They are lazy!"  Too many excuses and heads begin to roll.

The one who is listening to the excuse whether valid or invalid can be a poor listener.  Not only is the workplace challenge eating up a lot of time and money, but now the one who simply jumps to conclusions and falsely assumes someone is a liar, lazy or something else isn't handling the problem either.  Throwing words at a situation without action won't make the problem go away!  Asking one's self, "How can I resolve the issue?" is better than saying, "What the?  Who the f&ck is responsible?  That son of a...!"  Where is your plan, Leader?

Sometimes excuses show up because there wasn't any contingency plan from the start!  In the event, this happens, what should we do?  What are the tools we can identify to solve this problem?  How many hands do we need on deck?  How much will this cost us?  What requirements can we put in place that won't push people into wanting to cover for themselves?

Excuses are also covers for what is really wrong with a workplace relationship that appeared like it was good at one point when it really wasn't ever.  For instance, an employee may not want to assist another employee because they don't like who they work for, may be fearful of ramifications or being taken advantage of, or may also be looking elsewhere for employment.  Workers begin to stop putting their best foot forward when they feel the following:  a lack of respect, overworked, manipulated, or abused.  The frequent excuse such as:  "I couldn't come to work because..." may not always be an issue going on at home, but how about someone who simply fell out of love with the job.

Nicholl McGuire
Author of What Else Can I Do on the Internet and this blog owner.

When a Loved One Doesn't Like to Work

Relatives close to the one who doesn't like his or her job or worse doesn't want to work five or six days a week, tend to be mistreated and disrespected.  These difficult men and women rarely smile, prefer to spend much time alone, easily irritated, most often miserable, and don't want to talk much or not at all on most days.  Children are encouraged to go to their rooms.  Wives are quickly shut down when they want to communicate.  Husbands are ignored.

No matter what you might ask the unhappy one, "I'm fine, everything is okay.  Why are you asking me that?  Nothing is wrong with me..."  Sure.  We must remember that many workers, who were once lazy children, didn't necessarily let go of their rebellion toward work especially if they grew up around strict parents.  As children, when they didn't step it up at home, they were called, "Lazy!  Good for nothing!  You better help or else!"  So it isn't any wonder why these workers have a negative attitude toward employment.

People who don't like their jobs or don't want to work at all can't stay in hiding for long!  Potential candidates will initially respond positively to being up for a "challenge" during an interview.  However, the truth comes out once they are hired.  We notice the following:  they are frequently late for work, delegate most or even all responsibilities to others, often request time off, avoid any customer service confrontations, and the list goes on!

Relatives catch hell when these poor performers are held accountable by their managers for their sub-par work ethic, lack of enthusiasm, and downright laziness.  On the way home, the tension of the day is building.  They will never tell the full story about what really happened at work.  Rather than be honest with themselves and others, they prefer to lash out on anyone who asks, "How was your day?"

Children are not parented effectively and nor are marriages nurtured by selfish, lazy people who not only don't like to work a job, but don't like to help build their households either.  Their lack of performance is not restricted to just a job.  They choose roles out of necessity.  They simply need money while they don't put too much thought in how their negative attitude about working might affect their loved ones, friends, coworkers, managers, and others in the short or long term.

Anyone who notices a relative or friend often acting mean-spirited without any explanation, but it seems that the mood is connected to work, you can attempt to get the individual to talk.  However, if they refuse to be open and rather ignore you, well then you have a right to distance yourself from the negative worker!

Don't be surprised if one day they lose their job or quit.  Save your money and pay off debt if you rely on this person, it's only a matter of time.

Nicholl McGuire

Your Selfish CoWorkers


Quitting the Job When You're Really Supposed to End a Relationship

Why would any woman or man in a relationship riddled with lies, emotional abuse, and other ugly things want to quit a job?  Wouldn’t he or she need money especially if the relationship is coming to a slow end?  For some heartbroken couples, it is easier for them to cope by creating distractions rather than addressing issues.  Blaming the job causes them to focus on something other than the spouse or partner who really needs to go!

Being in an unsatisfying relationship will make you think that issues you are faced with are really not at home especially when a partner is repeatedly suggesting it is your job that is keeping you stressed.  
Maybe it is the partner’s spending habits, the extracurricular activities he/she or children are involved in that they desire your participation, or the fact a partner simply doesn’t like you working around women and/or men.  Quit enough jobs in a short period of time and you will soon discover that your workplace isn't the problem, but the issues a possibly jealous, argumentative or controlling partner has placed upon you.

Here's why some people do the unthinkable, like suddenly quit a job, while maintaining a miserable relationship:

1.  They have convinced themselves that things will get better in the relationship if they didn’t have to deal with difficult people at work.  Although this might be true in some cases, this may not be an accurate perspective when the partner is the one who is blaming the job and putting you up to quitting it for selfish reasons.

2.  Moving on to a better opportunity while promising a troubled mate how much better life will be is a good excuse not to deal with chronic relationship problems.  You are buying time, because you aren’t ready to call it quits.  If a partner is thinking about leaving, he or she might change his or her mind in order to reap some benefits such as: a new house, monetary gifts, relocation to a desired state, family planning, getting out of debt, etc.—all the things that an increase in income might bring.

3.  A spouse, family member or friend may have advised that it might be in your best interest emotionally and/or legally to take on a job that pays less money and requires less responsibilities.  However, once again, consider how involved others are in choosing your new career path?  Once again, are you avoiding relationship difficulties by distracting yourself with a new job search?

4.  The person assumes that is what a partner might want is to quit the job, because he or she often complained about it. When in all actuality, he or she just can’t manage anymore both job and relationship challenges.

5.  The controlling partner redirects the blame on his or herself for causing certain relationship problems on to your job.  He or she is never at fault.  “Why don’t you look for another job, Honey.  You know how you can be when you come home from work.”  Maybe the one, who will soon be unemployed, simply wants to come home to no one. 

Consider all factors before ending a job especially if it is one that you personally like.  Sure, it has its share of challenges, what job doesn’t?  Your personal life may be hindering you from being a success—don’t let it!

Nicholl McGuire is the owner of this blog and the author of WhatElse Can I Do on the Internet? She also owns and contributes to a blog entitled, Laboring to Love an Abusive Mate.


What's Wrong with the Job? 12 Possible Reasons Why Employees Leave

There are those reasons employees don't mind sharing with others as to why they don't work for a certain company any longer, but then there are those work observations they would never discuss because they wouldn't want to burn any bridges.  Human Resources may know, but then again maybe not especially if some staff are too chummy with managers and supervisors or at fault.

So the following are some straightforward reasons why some workers leave that can be uncovered either before you take on a position, while you are working there or after you start a new job working elsewhere.  Notice the cost savings and the headaches you no longer will have if you suggest some practical workplace changes.

1)  It was boring working there.

What exactly are one's duties and when put into practice is there really enough work to hire someone for eight hours a day for five days a week?

2)  Managers, assistants and other workers were divisive.

Notice how frequent the staff fraternize.  Do they realize that their socializing is costing the company time, money and quality of work?  Further, this kind of atmosphere often causes tension.  Is it really necessary to visit a manager's office more times than one goes to the bathroom?  All the talk definitely isn't about work.

3)  People are lying to protect their jobs.

Some of the selfish, vindictive, veteran employees are also the most harmful!  They have protected their jobs for so long with their secrets, lies, denials, and cover-ups that no wonder why new employees never seem to stay.  Notice a pattern with a veteran employee who often points out the mistakes of others, doesn't bother to train effectively, and always has excuses as to why something wasn't done accurately.

4)  Management couldn't care less about the issues that were raised.

Time and time again employees point out challenges and provide solutions and nothing seems to get done.  No wonder why there is a high turn-over!

5)  Co-workers had unchecked personality disorders that impacted business.

"That's just how he/she is..." says the supervisor excusing yet another offensive comment by a trouble-making employee.  Not good enough!  Why aren't write-ups fully enforced?  When a disorder is increasingly causing problems in the workplace either an employee gets help or is terminated.

6)  Substance abuse ongoing with a staff member.

Often taking breaks, lying about one's whereabouts, the odd smell on clothing, glassy or blood-shot eyes, hmm, someone has a major problem.  When the addict makes repeated errors, nothing is done.  Say goodbye to another observant worker who has had enough of the excuses as to why work is incomplete or not done.

7)  Flirtatious managers and/or supervisors.

You would think with all the sexual harassment policies in place one wouldn't even attempt to cross the line, yet he or she does.  Rather than raise the matter up with upper management and possibly face backlash, one attractive employee after another leave.  Does anyone ever notice anything?

8)  People stole and then covered things up.

Before one is thrown under the bus, he or she is out of there!  No one wants to work among thieves and liars if they have good sense.  Employees like this are always saying, "I'm just borrowing it." Sure.  "You didn't see that...Those numbers are correct."  Yeah right!  

9)  Management and/or supervisors were unreachable at crucial times during business hours.

So grateful to have help, yet far too eager to put one's phone on vibrate or off.  Now what is the new employee supposed to do?  You guessed it, figure things out rather right or wrong.  That split decision-making gets old over time.  Employees surely burn out too!

10)  Owners didn't bother to spend money to fix recurring problems.

There are ways to get things done, but you won't like them.  The employee is going to take matters in his or her own hands especially when management is ignoring phone calls.  He or she is going to walk just when you need him or her the most.  Making excuses and telling lies to customers' gets old.  Fix the problem!

11)  Worked far too many hours while the company was slow to hire new employees.

So the company wants to see how much work can be done with as few hands as possible.  Great cost-savings move; however, sooner or later expect your best workers to start looking elsewhere for more pay with less responsibilities.

12)  When customers' issues arose, management often took their side even when they were in the wrong.

What happened to team work makes the dream work?  Not only are staff being cut, but now customers are always right too?  Don't be surprised to see an employee's resume saved on the desktop.  Some customers have their share of hidden agendas and they sure aren't in the best interest of the company.  Listen to your employees with an open mind; rather than a mind ready to go on attack!

Recognize any of these things occurring in your establishment, you know what to do, be proactive before your good workers walk!

Nicholl McGuire manages this blog and many others.  The wife and mother of four sons is an nonfiction author and inspirational speaker.  She also works offline providing administrative support.


Lying Co-Workers: Denials and Cover-ups

You know you have family members who you just can't be around you for long because they are liars, but sometimes co-workers can be just like that too!  From lying about who stole lunches out of the breakroom fridge to personal purchases using the corporate credit card, these lying co-workers do nothing more than cause unnecessary tension at the workplace and eventually cause good workers to look for employment elsewhere!  If you suspect you are being lied to by a co-worker or many co-workers, here's what you do.

Document and gather evidence.

Before you can make an accusation, you must have evidence and proof that the liar is guilty.  The day the act happened, time and date, video image(s), conversation with or between others about questionable acts, witnesses who saw the act, financial statements that show someone lied, days the guilty employee was supposedly working, personal days off while participating in act impacting the company, etc.  No amount of complaining to Human Resources, managers or supervisors will do much if you have nothing.  However, keep in mind they too might deny, lie and cover-up when they are friendly with the lying coworkers.  So document what they told you as well like a refusal to believe that what was said was true.

Confront the liars with witnesses present.

You don't act like a lawyer in the courtroom when confronting them but rather you simply ask, "What happened to the lunches that were in the fridge last week?  Where are the receipts of those purchases you made using the corporate card?  Now where might I find those items?"  Liars deny everything, so what you will do next is either share what you know with management or if you are in a leadership role hold a meeting and present evidence.  The witnesses, some who might even be a bit bias, will have nothing to do but just stand there.  Busted!

Note the consequences.

Was there any action taken for rule-breaking?  If not, note your observation and keep it handy for when business owners, presidents, or other significant leaders come to town.  You can also send information along with attachments via email prior to their arrival or simply make a phone call.

Plan your future.

When you have observed that management has no intent to investigate a matter, handle a situation, or rather lie too, cover-up, or deny something had occurred, then you escalate the matter.  If nothing is being addressed from top leaders, start looking for another place to work. Chances are there is a nest of more corrupt things going on you have yet to uncover.  No job is worth putting your good name, health or freedom in jeopardy!

Nicholl McGuire is the author of What Else Can I Do on the Internet? and other books.


Leadership Falling Out of Love with Staff

When you first started working with your staff, you were confident in your choices.  It appeared like everyone got along and work was getting done, but in time things changed.  You noticed that one tends to be argumentative, another has a troubled personal life that trickles into the work place periodically, and others make up their own hours and do personal business on company time.

Your love for the staff you brought on board has faded away.  You tried to excuse their behaviors while suppressing your thoughts about them.  You talked with each about their weaknesses and strengths, but your meetings only caused more tension.  You even felt guilty at times for how you felt, the tone of voice when you explained things, and made up for your actions or inactions on matters by gifting your staff.  Yet, despite everything you have done, you wish your staff to be different.

It happens; leaders everywhere experience great frustration with staff.  They do almost everything to motivate their workers to do better at the workplace.  However, when bridges have been burned, negative attitudes appear to be going nowhere, and anger between staff members steadily rises, it is time to do what many leaders hate, put seeds in their heads about going elsewhere before one has to terminate each.

From mentioning other places to work in casual conversation to systematically leaving certain staff out of projects, some leaders know how to gradually end their loveless relationships with employees.  You might have to any one of the following things to better workplace relationships or end them altogether.

  1. Express how you feel to each staff member about his or her actions or inactions at the workplace.
  2. Let your staff know that you will be making changes in the near future if they should not do any better.
  3. Outline what it is you expect from them and follow up.
  4. Set a timeline on when you need to get things done.
  5. Don’t hesitate to reprimand the most troubled of the group in front of others when he or she is being argumentative.
  6. Show appreciation when you observe staff making changes.
Oftentimes there are no easy solutions when a staff has gotten away with so much over a long period of time.  Some may have established connections that might reverse the tables so that it makes you look like you are the bad guy or gal for your criticism.  Re-evaluate how you manage your staff, be sure to have others at the workplace or those in waiting in the background who know the positions of those you plan to terminate.

In time, the love for your employees will return, but not in the same way that it once was.  You will find yourself wiser, more observant, less emotional or connected to them having gone through this experience.


Are You Giving Your Favorite Employee Too Much Power? Worker Favoritism

You respect his or her advice, enjoy talking with him or her about workplace challenges, and often use the favored employee to assist you with a number of projects.  However, he or she is not a favorite among other leaders or workers and is not experienced enough to do certain things.  Besides, once superiors find out there is evidence of worker favoritism you or someone else just might be out of a job.  

There may have already been some employees who have warned you about favoring this person, but you don’t see what you could be doing that might be creating some tension at the office.  A moment of self-reflection and a few changes could bring your employees’ concerns to a halt.

One.  Have you put the so-called favorite employee in charge of something that he or she is not equipped or experienced enough to handle?

You may have failed to inform others what your plans are in detail.  Therefore, they wonder what might be going on that you would put someone inexperienced in charge.

Two.  Have you ever asked the favored employee to spy, lie, or do other things that caused your least favored team members discomfort?

If so, there just might be a bit of cocky confidence exuding from that favorite employee which is leaving people feeling sore.  Don't be surprised when the people rise up and want to throw your favorite over the boat or out the door.

Three.  Have you found projects for this person to do that has over-step boundaries in other departments?

Making this person feel like he or she is more superior than others was your first mistake and now he or she feels like one is the head of everyone and everything.  In time, the individual will be dictating you too!

Four.  Have you let this person come in late, leave early or take days off whenever he or she wanted?

Well that's just not fair.  No matter the reason, workers are watching and they ain't happy.  What are you going to do about this blatant favoritism?  Many leaders lost great team members over little things like that.  Favoritism creates division if you haven't noticed by now.

Five.  Do you find it difficult to explain your favorable actions toward the worker to other employees?

Business and pleasure just don't mix.  Employees figure out there is more going on than meets the eye why else are you doing so much for a single individual and so little for a group, huh?

The more you give to a person, like a spoiled child, the more they will want.  Are you prepared for the backlash when you no longer favor this worker?  Something to think about.


Crazy-making Co-Worker Driving You Crazy? 6 Tips to Help Get Him, Her Out of Your Hair

When you have a crazy-making co-worker, there are many things you can do rather than just deal with "the issue" on a daily basis.

1)  Confront the co-worker on what is bothering you only after you have reported the issue to human resources or a supervisor or manager who doesn't particularly care for him or her as well.  If you confront prematurely, the co-worker can flip the script and tell someone you are the problem.

2)  Document the times and days the co-worker is saying and doing things that bother you.  Be sure you have this information before you bring up to those who can help alleviate the situation.

3)  Question the co-worker about why he or she does the offensive thing.  Note his or her response.  For instance, if he or she is often tardy and is impacting your work, ask if the individual can start showing up on time.  If there is a reason or many reasons for the chronic tardiness, then note his or her response.  If it continues to happen, you will need to notify management and request that he or she show up to witness the chronic tardiness.

4)  Explain how the offensive behavior is making you feel.  Of course, a nonchalant co-worker is going to continue with the negative behavior, so escalate the matter.  If nothing is addressed, begin looking for other employment.  You might mention to a supervisor or manager, something like, "I no longer feel comfortable coming to work due to the following..." be sure this is in writing.  If you are a good employee, the manager most likely would not want to lose you and will deal with the matter.

5)  If there are witnesses, ask them if they could share what they have observed to management.  They may have already discussed what they don't like to the co-worker and he or she just ignored them too.  Getting others to talk about what they are witnessing/experiencing whether good, bad or otherwise is one way that gets results sooner rather than later.

6) Request to change your work schedule or be removed to another area or department.  If it is feasible and you really like the company, discuss with management about making adjustments to your schedule or work location.  This also puts management on notice that there is something ongoing that is causing the change and it is then that a caring authority figure will question why the sudden change.

Whether a co-worker is annoying with daily story-telling or crazy-making when it comes to not completing tasks, whatever the issue, it is always better to watch, document, confront and share rather than keep everything bottled up inside.  Too often irritating managers, supervisors, and co-workers end up remaining at jobs because no one either bothers to speak up and/or escalate matters; instead victims either find themselves terminated due to the annoying co-worker manipulating the situation against them or quitting a job.

Keep in mind the crazy co-worker may know he or she is the least favorite and will attempt to fault-find, be sure you are performing your job well and you have people around that will support you.

Nicholl McGuire is the blog owner and author of these workplace journals.


Would You Like to Reduce Those Office Hours While Working Part-time from Home?

Take a look at your expenses, do you really need to spend most of your time at a single job that you may not like to obtain all your wealth?  Why not make this year the one that you receive money in additional ways like offering your service(s) independently while you work part-time for "The Man" or "The Woman"?  You can actually pull this off!

1)  Take a look at how much money is being spent or given away each day, week and month on things you, your spouse and children really don't need/like/want or feel at peace about.

2)  Add up the cost of the expenses you must spend each day, week, or month (groceries, rent, utilities, telephone, etc.)  Check to see if competitors are offering those services at better prices.  If you don't want to shop around, there are apps and virtual assistants online that can help with that.  Otherwise, ask a relative to do it for you.

3)  Now find out how much you could potentially make if you were to offer a product or service independently on a part-time basis.

4)  Create a business plan highlighting the key elements that might make your business successful.
Think of where you might obtain customers. List the highs and lows of the business.  Note who you already know who could aid you in your business endeavors.  Spend break and lunch hours in addition to weekend and evenings at least for a few weeks cultivating your plan.

5)  Plan to reduce your hours in about six months or more when the business is showing potential since you had already reduced some expenses.  Notice how much money you have saved and use that to assist with future marketing campaigns.

6)  Create your marketing plan based on the kind of product or service you are offering.  There is no one size fits all in marketing that is how so many people fail at business.  Be sure the plan brings traffic!  You should have business inquiries via email, phone, word of mouth, etc. and those inquiries should turn into sales sooner or later if your business is that good.  If it falls short, revise your plan, but don't give up!

7)  Don't share the details of your plan with skeptical relatives and friends, consult with professionals in your industry.  As long as bills are getting paid, there is no need to involve everyone in the infancy of your business.  Be selective of the company that you keep!

Nicholl McGuire is the owner of this blog and author of What Else Can I Do on the Internet? and other books.  She is also a speaker and part-time virtual assistant.

5 Signs You are Fearful of the Workplace Bully

Some people will never get any further than they are in their positions simply put because they have been deemed a bully whether they know it or not.  You see, workplace bullies are like those school yard bullies in old movies, they feed off of verbally insulting and physically assaulting others.

1.  You avoid this person whenever you can.

Whether it is taking the long walk to the bathroom rather than the short one pass the bully's desk, you worry about this person saying or doing something to you.

2.  Your stomach drops whenever he or she comes around and you nervously attempt to compose yourself.

How many antacids do you take?  It's obvious that you are letting this person negatively impact your health.  Schedule a doctor's appointment and take some personal time off!

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash
3.  You lie to the bully so that he or she isn't angry at you.

Fearful or worried that he or she will punish you in some way, you tell lies and more lies just about every time the bully asks a question or wants you to do something.

4.  You attempt to befriend the bully by sharing information that your co-workers shared with you.

Integrity is a thing of the past for you.  Whatever the bully wants to know to keep you out of trouble, you give it to him or her, if only your co-workers knew, you are the mole!

5.  You do almost anything the bully asks without objection even at the risk of getting fired.

The bully convinces you it is "okay, alright...I'll cover for you."  You know it is unethical, but you don't care just so long as the bully stays off your back, but what might the owner or investors think?

If you have this kind of stress as a result of a bully in the workplace, it's time to talk to someone in Human Resources, an unbiased manager or seek another job.  Bullies aren't worth losing your health or wealth!

Nicholl McGuire is the author of What Else Can I Do on the Internet? and other books.  Get your copy today!  She is also the owner of this blog. 

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