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Conflict with co-worker / possible acknowledgment form to sign
8

Conflict with co-worker / possible acknowledgment form to sign

Conflict with co-worker / possible acknowledgment form to sign

(OP)
Good day to all,

I work in a technical sales position. My job is to respond to leads, make equipment selection and to some extent provide technical support on products. Generally speaking I've quite good interactions with colleagues. I receive between 5 to 10 leads per day and these are generally coming via phone, emails or live chat. I think of myself as a serious contributor who strive to deliver to quality and schedule, well at least stick to that.

A while ago, I had frictions with a colleague who manage the logistic side of things and who happens to be closely related to the line manager. Frictions have never been verbal, but we've had some sort of heated email exchanges where we disagreed on the handling of some tasks, on who should be doing what, etc. One particularly difficult exchange was in the context of a stressful situation which involved big delays in delivery of an equipment and that made the client very upset.

Long story short, in my written communications with the colleague in question I've stated my dissatisfaction at few occasions and on a chain of replies back and forth I stated something like "which part of my answer don't you understand?". At some point, I involved the line manager to let him know my frustration with the colleague. I do not remember otherwise having used any harsh language, offensive words, demeaning terms, etc., never ever. I was then invited to attend a meeting with HR and line manager and they made a case against me stating that I did hurt the feeling of the other colleague, that my behavior was disrespectful and that I lacked professionalism. The colleague sent screenshots of all communications to HR but this was expected.

HR qualified the quote "which part of my answer don't you understand?" as being the main issue and that it is the main reason for me being qualified as disrespectful. They qualified this as "the incident" (using HR own word). In general they stated that they appreciate me to stay on board but have problem with "my behavior". For what it matters, I am in my fifties and the colleague I've a conflict with is in their twenties or early thirties. Please don't get me wrong, I am not saying that age matters or should matter, should never been the case, but really wanted to give you some more context.

Finally, at the end of that meeting, I was asked by line manager to acknowledge that I was disrespectful and showed lack of professionalism. Probably to state this in writing on the meeting records but I am not sure, because the meeting just ended without any written minutes (at least so far). He said if I cannot acknowledge immediately he is expecting me to think about it and can acknowledge later.

I think this is all to it. Would you be so kind to share your opinion on this situation: could you advise if it is correct I was disrespectful towards the person and do you think I have to acknowledge the qualifications as disrespectful and unprofessional as stated ? (like I stated, probably I will be asked to sign for some sort of "acknowledgment form" but honestly I don't know what they want to do exactly - just seen them typing on their respective laptop during the said meeting).

Thank you kindly.

RE: Conflict with co-worker / possible acknowledgment form to sign

2
This is why "friction" should never be dealt with over emails, texts, or other written forms of communication that remove all of the other important facets of human interaction.

You meant "what part of my answer did you not understand?" as, perhaps, a gesture offering to expound upon and explain yourself better to ensure that adequate communication took place. You also could have meant "you're an idiot with the brain the size of a peanut." When things are not entirely cordial between two people, the latter is more likely to be perceived.

I'd give them something like this: "My comment was not meant to be disrepectful or unprofessional, and I'm sorry that <colleague's name here>, the chain of command, and human resources misunderstood me. I'll work on improving my communication in the future."

You're not admitting to something you didn't do, you're acknowledging the real problem, and you're offering a solution.

Whether they accept it or not, I'd probably be looking for a new job.

RE: Conflict with co-worker / possible acknowledgment form to sign

I try to always be positive, and always be percieved as being positive. "I am at your service to explain further, if needed." would have been a much wiser choice of words.

Good Luck,
Latexman

RE: Conflict with co-worker / possible acknowledgment form to sign

You're fighting the wrong battle. You're fighting a political (and family) battle with knowledge and logic. At your age, you should know that doesn't work.

RE: Conflict with co-worker / possible acknowledgment form to sign

Have a face to face talk with him in private, hash it out quietly.

Chris, CSWP
SolidWorks
ctophers home

RE: Conflict with co-worker / possible acknowledgment form to sign

All good responses.

Time to rise above the occasion. Do not let others provoke you into this type of behavior. Be the better human.

Focus on your own work and not those of others. Get this matter resolved and forget it.

RE: Conflict with co-worker / possible acknowledgment form to sign

Can you find employment, elsewhere? A bad choice of words and you are in an untenable situation.

So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: Conflict with co-worker / possible acknowledgment form to sign

Depending on the circumstances of the first discussion/gripe with your manager you might challenge HR's involvement as unnecessary and harsh. Unless something egregious has occurred managers should be resolving these issues at lower levels within the team and not jumping straight to HR. That said, if management is out to getcha then it might be time to either find a dark corner within your office or another employer.

RE: Conflict with co-worker / possible acknowledgment form to sign

I recommend reading the book: "Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High" by Grenny et al. And don't communicate through email. Meet with them in person.

RE: Conflict with co-worker / possible acknowledgment form to sign

(OP)
Thanks to all of you for your responses and for taking the time to write.
Very much appreciated.

RE: Conflict with co-worker / possible acknowledgment form to sign

Whatever you do, don’t sign anything. It will only be used against you.

RE: Conflict with co-worker / possible acknowledgment form to sign

(OP)
Thank you. Despite having clarified (verbally) that I do not think having been disrespectful and if so was the perception or the interpretation, it was not my intention to show disrespect. Manager now is coming back again in writing and asking me simply "I am following up, do you have any feedback?"
I guess he is expecting me to acknowledge the qualifications in the terms as stated. Not clear what would be the consequences if I do not comply or take stand and maintain my explanation (I am thinking of course of termination as most obvious consequence). There is no written notes of the meeting by the way, at least nothing has been communicated to me.

Any guidance further?

Thanks guys.

RE: Conflict with co-worker / possible acknowledgment form to sign

Update your resume and start looking for other options.
If you sign something, or reply to an email acknowledging their opinion, they can then use that to fire you for cause and deny you unemployment, provide bad references, etc.
If necessary, only discuss this verbally in person. Best approach would be to just ignore it and hope it blows over. Use it as a lesson for future communication.

RE: Conflict with co-worker / possible acknowledgment form to sign

(OP)
Thanks for the advice on not to sign anything (or confirm in writing). Do they have sufficient grounds for firing me giving how bad the situation is? I know that this is anyhow 'at will' employment but I also know termination will be through company procedures. Is this now a disciplinary action taking place and they are keeping notes all along the way but confidential, I guess so, right ?

RE: Conflict with co-worker / possible acknowledgment form to sign

All depends on your company's policies, procedures and whims.

Frankly I would not consider the situation all that bad. I have seen companies do absolutely nothing for far far worse things. But a lot depends on your company's politics.

RE: Conflict with co-worker / possible acknowledgment form to sign

Quote:

All depends on your company's policies, procedures and whims.

And your state's laws; some states are "at will" employment states, where a company can fire you for no stated reason.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Conflict with co-worker / possible acknowledgment form to sign

(OP)
These are the options I foresee at this moment:

- Ignore manager's request for feedback and just focus on work; not answering may get me into troubles, but let's see what happens.
- Hit back: the comments/qualifications made during the meeting, the body language, etc. turned out as excessive.
- Resign and avoid this toxic manager (no employment benefit).
- Escalate to manager's manager.

RE: Conflict with co-worker / possible acknowledgment form to sign

(OP)
Is it an option to reply to manager's request for feedback as follows:

" For record purpose, may I ask you please to send me an email stating what the issue is that you ask me for a feedback and I will follow up as I deem most adequate. Thank you."

RE: Conflict with co-worker / possible acknowledgment form to sign

I would avoid any more email exchanges on this subject. Go talk to the manager in person, and simply state something like “I understand your concerns about previous communications, and will improve my communication in the future”.

And do not go to your manager’s manager, unless you know the upper manager very well and have a good relationship, and are certain they will respond well. Which is not likely. It will likely only make your relationship with your manager much worse.

RE: Conflict with co-worker / possible acknowledgment form to sign

You have run afoul of a precious snowflake that is butthurt by a perceived insult and has run to mommy to make the bad man say he's sorry. Maybe you should buy your snowflake some ice cream or a toy to help make it all better.
I see more and more of this all the time and its mind boggling to me that HR wouldn't laugh at the snowflake and kick him out of the office.
I would do this:
1) Polish my resume and start sending it out.
2) Would not acknowledge anything, write anything, sign anything, or discuss anything regarding this with anyone. If I received any communication regarding this, I would consult an attorney.
2) Keep my head down and do my job until I get a new job.

RE: Conflict with co-worker / possible acknowledgment form to sign

Any place which would get you into any kind of meaningful trouble over something so minor is NOT a good place to work.

Take the hint and move on.

(www.spitfireresearch.com)

RE: Conflict with co-worker / possible acknowledgment form to sign

Yes Eric, his position is untenable, and if possible he should seek other employment. Things will not likely improve.

So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: Conflict with co-worker / possible acknowledgment form to sign

(OP)
Just to inform you about further developments.
After doing some probing, it is my understanding that they are preparing a notice for either harassment or workplace violence.
I was told that the person in question went on to the HR and started crying. Under law, it seems that the intent is not a requirement, it is the impact or the effect that is important and this is their basis for action. It is not written anywhere, but they would expect me to apologize and acknowledge as a condition not to serve me the notice at their discretion (or to still serve it no matter what).
Any help further?
Thanks

RE: Conflict with co-worker / possible acknowledgment form to sign

Never apologize for anything in such a scenario and do not accept their terms! It won't help maintain your references for the next job or erase any bullshit "wrongdoing". An admission/apology will only finalize their case against you as an admission. Give the company and the p**sy who brought it to HR the middle finger (literally and figuratively) and have fun burning a bridge.

RE: Conflict with co-worker / possible acknowledgment form to sign

I’m usually wrong about these kinds of things and could never be a politician, but I think you should just be humble and apologize. Show that you understand the person’s feelings. A more powerful employee showed some frustration in an email and the less powerful employee felt criticized. Do it in writing if that’s what they need, but better would be a sit down with the two principals and your bosses. Then you should just let it go. Smile and be sincerely cordial to this person going forward.

RE: Conflict with co-worker / possible acknowledgment form to sign

@Joe_mech,

My two cents: When you say "Despite having clarified (verbally) that I do not think having been disrespectful and if so was the perception or the interpretation", you basically dismiss any wrong doings on your side - and this may be what yo believe. hHwever, theres always two sides to any subject and while your intentions were what you think, they may not have been percieved this way. You seem to fail to recognise this and your own suggestions for solution all seem to reflect this. Its not about being humble (or being humiliated) its about allowing for the possibility that you did word it in a way that you didnt intend to do.. In this situation i think you read the situation wrong and should allow for you having worded your observations poorly.

Of course, if you meaning _were_ to be disrespectfull and think your colleague deserved this you might as well maintain this...

And i think thres a couple of trolls here in this tread that will do you mare harm than good to listen to unless you are looking fo an escuse to change job. But saying: "I got kicked out the last place because some d....... complied to my boss about me being disrespectfull" prbably ranks just above saying "that you got caught faking milages statements..."

--- Best regards, Morten Andersen

RE: Conflict with co-worker / possible acknowledgment form to sign

Quote (I’m usually wrong about these kinds of things)


I think you summed it up... no apology is needed and definitely nothing in writing. His position, as I noted much earlier is untenable and any action on his part can only lead to grief... IMHO... and I'm usually not so humble. If they 'write you up', then it's best to reply to 'set the record straight'... further to your letter of ???, I disagree with the 'content' for the following reasons...

So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: Conflict with co-worker / possible acknowledgment form to sign

Quote:

Under law, it seems that the intent is not a requirement, it is the impact or the effect that is important and this is their basis for action.

That's scary and dangerous.

If you end up signing anything, be sure it is strictly factual. e.g. "I said x. So-and-so complained." as opposed to "So-and-so was attacked."

RE: Conflict with co-worker / possible acknowledgment form to sign

Not sure how the legal-eze works in the US' northern suburbs (CA), but apologizing or otherwise admitting guilt stateside changes this from an innocent misunderstanding to intentional wrongdoing. If its intentional wrongdoing then HR can say "yes" when asked about disciplinary problems by future employers/recruiters regardless if the OP voluntarily leaves, and this also opens the door to be fired for-cause. If the issue remains as a single misunderstanding over interpreting ambiguous words then the OP's employer may still lay him off for no stated reason (at-will employment), but HR cannot say the OP did anything wrong to poison future employment opportunities without opening themselves up to a major lawsuit.

I wouldn't advise against signing everything. Ultimately, if the boss or HR wants something on paper and you think everybody can move past the issue then you could write a rebuttal focused on facts - An email from confused coworker was received but did not clearly state why they were confused. You replied to ask why they were confused and had no intention of offending or disrespcting said coworker. Rather than approaching you, or you and the manager to expedite resolving concerns at the lowest level the coworker chose to bypass polite and professional (policy?) standards to take the concern to HR, however did not do so until X days/emails late. The coworker's confusion as to your email remained unresolved for Y days, delaying work for Z days. You have been told by the manager who is a direct relation of the coworker that you MUST admit guilt to the allegation (HUGE labor law violation stateside btw) and instead are submitting this to rebut any claims made against you and assert your innocence.

RE: Conflict with co-worker / possible acknowledgment form to sign

When you sign, spell your name wrong and sign with your non-dominant hand.

RE: Conflict with co-worker / possible acknowledgment form to sign

“Crying”?? Over what was said per original posting above? Seriously??

Find a new job. Now. Don’t waste any more time. And don’t sign anything, as many of us have stated above.

Have you discussed this in person with your manager?

RE: Conflict with co-worker / possible acknowledgment form to sign

Typical workplace drama. Its stressful but I wouldn't loose sleep over it and if you are then start sending out resumes. In the meantime as TheTick said cross your fingers and sign something factual or apologize in person then move on. I have seen the whole apologize in person thing work and also not work. This was related to cursing at someone in the workplace and in the two cases that come to mind the person who cursed was not fired.

RE: Conflict with co-worker / possible acknowledgment form to sign

If intent is not a requirement and only the effect is considered, then it seems as if you are in an indefensible position. In order to avoid a potential situation like this it would almost be necessary to not communicate at all with anyone at work. You have no control over anyone's perception.
This whole thing is crazy and is subject to get worse as more and more precious, tender snowflakes fill the workforce.

RE: Conflict with co-worker / possible acknowledgment form to sign

(OP)
Thank you so very much for all the answers provided.

For you to know, I finally decided to resign. I consulted with an expert (external) who told me that - in the most likely scenario -their goal is to fire you for cause and make it harder for you to make claims, challenge decision, obtain exit package, etc. I was told that there is a good chance they have a letter ready to be sent out with a list of alleged claims and what they could do is add on top (as an aggravating circumstance) that the person refused to acknowledge / correct misbehavior etc. In the event misbehavior is acknowledged, this also has some drawbacks in the sense that acknowledgment in itself will limit the possibility of claims; also as "by-product", the employer secures employee "obedience" to authority (to which extent remains a question).
Finally the expert told me that by resigning, what I will be doing is just make their life much more easy and give up all rights for claims including unemployment benefits; expert stated for quasi-certain that after they would receive my resignation, they would just do nothing and will be let go. So, I could have decided to stay and see what happens, most likely I would be fired with bad record but have the option to go to court and challenge what they substantiated as grounds for termination. It would be a long process, costly and not granted the package would be significant. I just gave my resignation even though I do not have a job lined up and have a family to feed. It seems like they were happy with it (well so far).
All said and done, I think this is the best way I feel I respect myself only future will say if I made the correct decision.

One important take away, when you attend any meeting with management, HR (and especially HR), ask to receive written notes before leaving the meeting. Be paranoid.

RE: Conflict with co-worker / possible acknowledgment form to sign

Quote (When you sign, spell your name wrong and sign with your non-dominant hand.)


You forgot the lol... has to be in the dark, where no one can see you sign it and you have to be wearing gloves, so no fingerprints or DNA... else it may be just as good as one signed using your right name... pipe

So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: Conflict with co-worker / possible acknowledgment form to sign

Good luck in the future... a painful learning experience, at best. The written notes is a good touch...

So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: Conflict with co-worker / possible acknowledgment form to sign

(OP)
Thank you

RE: Conflict with co-worker / possible acknowledgment form to sign

You seem to be fishing for a rational explanation for an irrational situation. Stop. Walk away.

Accept that crazy exists. THAT is your rational explanation.

Could you have handled things better? Yes. Would it help? Sounds like the answer is "no".

Don't fight a battle that's over. Someone gamed the system specifically to hurt you. No win, except to leave with your skin.

RE: Conflict with co-worker / possible acknowledgment form to sign

Quote:

Accept that crazy exists. THAT is your rational explanation.

A fact that many of us have to face during holiday visits...happy Canadian Thanksgiving btw...

RE: Conflict with co-worker / possible acknowledgment form to sign

(OP)
TheTick, yes, you're most probably right.

CWB1, thank you and same to you guys in anticipation..

RE: Conflict with co-worker / possible acknowledgment form to sign

(OP)
Hello, still need a piece of advice...if you can help me out

I have given my resignation to the Manager who said that they respected my decision. So, at this moment, I am no more part of the company.

However, while I was trying to download my latest pay slips, I saw that my status in the system is indicated as "terminated" (so not as "resigned"). I think this was certainly done out of madness so to jeopardize my future job search / prospects as my profile would appear as "terminated" during background check - if I am correct.

Considering the fact that I do not want to deal with these (quite dangerous) people anymore, what would you advise? should I send an email and confirm the status with HR? Can they do more harm?

RE: Conflict with co-worker / possible acknowledgment form to sign

Send them a note that the information is incorrect and should be corrected. If you have an attorney, check with him to see if it's OK to include him, but he's to take no action. Add his nome to your letter to the company as one of those CCd... if nothing happens, it's good to have a copy of this letter on file, and add "Without Prejudice" as the first item in your letter. pipe

-----*****-----
So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: Conflict with co-worker / possible acknowledgment form to sign

I think you may be reading too much into the use of the term "terminated" here. Your employment was, in fact, terminated. It was terminated by you. That's one of the features of at-will employment: the employment may be terminated by either party at any time and for any (legal) reason. I'm not an HR guru, but I doubt they have a separate status for "quit" and "fired"...anyone who's no long there is simply terminated.

RE: Conflict with co-worker / possible acknowledgment form to sign

You should still have the clarification letter on file.

-----*****-----
So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: Conflict with co-worker / possible acknowledgment form to sign

(OP)
Thank you dik and PhamENG. Points well noted.

Just for sake of exploring other routes. When I sent my letter of resignation, I did not receive an acknowledgment.

So, is it an option to ask for the resignation letter to be acknowledged, say for my own record?

RE: Conflict with co-worker / possible acknowledgment form to sign

Did you or were you able to send it by 'registered mail'? I'd still correct/clarify their item of termination, and you could mention your letter and date. Send this one by registered mail or courier.

-----*****-----
So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: Conflict with co-worker / possible acknowledgment form to sign

(OP)
Thank you very much

RE: Conflict with co-worker / possible acknowledgment form to sign

"...further to my letter of resignation, dated ???, I would like to correct..." YVT Joe

-----*****-----
So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: Conflict with co-worker / possible acknowledgment form to sign

Not sure about up north but stateside you can usually call the state unemployment office and find out how your leaving was categorized as that affects your eligibility for state unemployment compensation.

RE: Conflict with co-worker / possible acknowledgment form to sign

Joe:
You can always ask a reference letter from the company.
Typically these say something on the lines of:

"
To whom it may concern

We hereby declare that Joe Mech was an employee of this company from XX/XX/XXXX to YY/YY/YYYY.
His last position with the company was AAAAAA
Joe is leaving at his own accord.
...
"



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