How do I gracefully curb my employee's know-it-all tendencies?
March 17, 2012 6:28 AM   Subscribe

How do I gracefully curb my employee's know-it-all tendencies?

The person I manage is very new to the profession but thinks she knows it all. this affects the work when she does not listen to me because she thinks she knows better. She often corrects me and others on minor points and makes assertions on things which are not clear cut or outright wrong. She does this at meetings in front of my manager and externals.

Her natural strength is details, but her downfall is understanding the bigger picture. This unfortunately impacts her work, which requires her to examine details but then requires her to make sense of all of these details to create systems. Her work habits are inconsistent and scattershot. Because she misses overarching causes, it diminishes the effectiveness of her detail work. She lacks the ability to approach her work in an organised way because she gets distracted by details and when I ask for progress updates I get very long woolly explanations that don't answer my questions. And while we don't have clients in my profession it is very important to build relationships with colleagues outside our team to secure their buy-in. We have to fight a perception that our profession is a bunch of pedants who make things harder for the business. This behaviour has lost us at least one user whom she corrected and nitpicked with.

I'm fairly new to this area of my profession but have ten years experience. I've not managed people before but have informally been a "camp mother" type for younger/newer employees who turned to me for guidance because I am old etc. I have not had to deal this situation before, usually I would have won her respect by this stage. My employee does not recognise my experience and does not listen to me. It seems she feels superior to me because she has some knowledge of one work area I am totally ignorant about. My manager who has expertise in this area says she's not very good at this work but I have no authority to comment (yet - I'm working on getting training but it's actually not one of my priorities or in my JD).

I know that some of this behaviour is insecurity. There is some weird class issue thing going on, she makes a lot of effort to impress on everyone how middle class and (very British) she is. She has regional accent which is stigmatised in the UK which she tries to cover up with RP. I sometimes think this extreme self-confidence is a snow job. She gets terribly upset when I confront her about her assertions when they are clearly wrong, she digs her heels in even deeper and insists she is right. Then things are awkward for the rest of the day. She becomes even more annoying after these interactions, relentlessly picking up on minor problems with my work ("these words should be hyphenated, you missed a full stop here") as if they are major faults. I do not react to this behaviour.

I have talked to her about not listening to me, immediately after the incident. I told her what she did, and why it annoyed me and what affect it had on the work. I went away thinking I had made myself clear. Months later she jokingly talked about how I was highly offended because she had done such and such, (small potatoes) rather than taken on board the fact I was upset that she doesn't listen.


I've had feedback from colleagues that my employee is pedantic. I've had two staff members informally tell me they were insulted or offended by something she has said or done. The person who managed her before me hates her (though he is a little immature). My manager doesn't rate her. Her work is at most adequate, but I want to take into account that she is young and new to the profession and I think this behaviour, though a little extreme, is typical for anyone who is bright, hungry and new to working life. her contract ends in a year. Some days I feel that she'll never turn this around enough to make me want to renew it. The thing is I want to give her a chance to improve, I don't think it's fair to give up on her.

I think I have to raise this with her directly. I'm worried for her, and I think she has potential if she drops this behaviour. How do I address this so the message actually goes in and without making her so defensive she won't accept the message. I think this is a hindrance to her progress, but I think she is so young (she is 28 but a very young 28, this is her first real job) and new that she could still turn this around with a bit of guidance.

I have tried positive role modelling. I have tried not losing my cool over the little stuff and pulling her up on the big things immediately. I'm sure this must happen to a lot of managers to some degree. How do I curb her more extreme behaviour and find a positive channel for it?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (17 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
I think firing her would be one way to provide input that might ultimately assist her in curbing the more extreme behavior and encouraging her to find another way to express it. She sounds like she is toxic for you, your team, your customers, and that she isn't substantially assisting you in getting work done-why keep her?
posted by arnicae at 6:49 AM on March 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


I would focus on clear-cut work product first, as opposed to nebulous concepts like "attitude" - unless there are specific attitude things you can clearly point to, like getting off message in meetings. In other words, work on her output, not on her character flaws.
posted by yarly at 6:55 AM on March 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think that you need to pull back a little and remember that you are in a work environment. She is not acting professional and you are not either. It is not your job to help her, to guide her or to fix her. If your office has an HR person then ask that person to recommend counseling for her but otherwise, you will need to have her removed from your office. Think about your other employees. I am a good worker that everyone loves. I have quit a job before because a co-worker was so awful I couldn't stand going into work anymore and having to deal with her. Do you really want to risk losing good people because of one nut?

If having her fired truly isn't possible then I suggest you take away her power. Right now she has all of it because she is annoying the hell out of you, forcing you to think about her too much. She is getting the attention and creating the drama that she wants. You will need to learn how to ignore her. When you have to correct her, send her an email instead of doing it face to face. That way, if she responds in a way that isn't professional, you have it in writing. Refuse to see her face to face as much as possible. Pretty much, get her out of your site and out of your mind. Focus on the employees who are not awful and work on making their work environment as pleasant as possible.

Understand that she doesn't like you, will never like you, and will most likely stab you in the back as often as possible. She is not a team member.
posted by myselfasme at 7:11 AM on March 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


I have an employee like this, whom I've had to bring up short just recently. The only things I can suggest are the following:

1) When you bring her up short, make sure you have extremely concrete details of what was wrong, why, what the impact was. She may be more likley to "get" the fact that her behaviour was improper if she can understand exactly how and why it's having an impact on her work.

2) Give her the bigger picture. If she's young and inexperienced, it may be that she doesn't understand how her behaviour has a knock-on effect throughout the organization. Many young employees don't know where they fit in the org structure, not really.

3) Escalate strategically. Speak to your manager about your efforts to address this behaviour, and if she doesn't take your correction, get him involved. In the case of my employee, she won't recognize anyone's authority except the highest executive, which makes correcting her difficult. But I do escalate to my boss, who has the authority to tell her it's do as we ask or there's the door.

4) Understand that her insecurity is what's making things awkward, not you. She's so insecure that she can rationalize a talking-to as you being histrionic. That to me is a red flag, and one I would be bearing in mind when the time comes to consider renewing her. In fact, I would make it crystal clear to her that you will be involved in the decision to renew her contract, and her disrespectful behaviour towards you is not doing her any favours if she wants to continue being employed.

Good luck, this is not an easy situation.
posted by LN at 7:14 AM on March 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Ideally this is the kind of thing you want to correct before it gets to this stage, with daily feedback. Given where you're at, I think it's time for a good, old-fashioned Come to Jesus meeting. Schedule the meeting in advance and do it in private, just the two of you. Explain that it's come to this because if she continues on as she is, you will not be able to renew her contract, but you feel she has potential and deserves the chance to improve her work. Have an itemized list to work through, and have set boundaries thought out ahead of time.* Focus on specific details about her work performance and how it has impacted your end users. Explain that these things are unacceptable. When she tries to argue, and she most certainly will, stick to your guns and reiterate your boundaries.

After the Come to Jesus meeting, you will need to continue to be on top of maintaining those boundaries and establishing that (a) you have the right to do so, and (b) you will use that right. It doesn't sound like you've laid out or enforced boundaries for her before, so you will need to be very, very consistent about doing it now.

You don't have to treat her like she's stupid. You do have to enforce upon her that these actions are inappropriate in your setting, and you will not accept them.

*EG: Do you really care if she criticises your full stops in private, or is it critique in public that needs to stop? You don't have to set the boundaries all the way at zero tolerance -- you just have to be clear about where you are setting them.

Finally, I keep recommending these, but I really do think you'll find them helpful: Women Don't Ask, which will help you with your negotiating strategies and being more assertive in ways that work for you, and Don't Shoot the Dog, which will help you be more consistent about thinking through, setting, and enforcing boundaries.

I should note that I'm assuming, from your description, that you're her direct manager and have the power to not renew her contract. I'm also assuming you'd be talking to your manager about this in advance -- not to ask permission, more to give them a heads up and find out what your documenting requirements are for this kind of thing. If I've misunderstood something and you're actually more of a mentor, this won't hold. But I still recommend the books above.
posted by pie ninja at 7:16 AM on March 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Making a few guesses here - you seem to me, based strictly on what you've written here to be:

- a manager who is supervising someone who is more technical in at least some areas than you are.
- supervising someone who is, to put it charitably, a gifted savant needing some refining in the social graces. To put it uncharitably, a little shit.
- an amiable in terms of your usual approach to dealing with people. You dislike confrontation and (not criticizing, just appraising your communication style, admittedly based on little information) are probably more comfortable in the arena of human relations than in dealing with the hard facts. Again, not a criticism, nor am I saying you don't understand facts, just talking about where your comfort zone is. You're pretty perceptive about emotional content and "where she's coming from." Companies need both types of people.

I'm a lot that way myself, and I'm a manager as well. For the most part, I'm more technical than my actual staff, but less technical than my outside contractors, and I've seen this type of situation several times - more often with contractors and even clients, but it's the same situation, just wrapped a little differently.

Ok, first thing to know - you're a manager, and making sure your team interacts correctly and produces the desired outcomes for the rest of the company/your customers/the world *is* your job, not the technical minutia that she might be better at than you. So don't feel inferior because of her supposed technical acumen.

Next, you need to quit worrying so much about whether she's going to make it, whether you're making a mistake, etc. Your job is to look out for your company, and from the stories you've told, most people would have fired her by now. So you've been more than fair; it's time for a sit-down with her.

Depending on your company's size and structure and whether you've got an HR department that's actually a resource, you may want to confer with them about how you handle this. It would be ideal to have an HR person in the room with you and her for what follows - it would both signal to her that you're serious and help keep the conversation on the rails. And by all means, if you have an HR pro at your disposal, take their advice and not that of any random person on the internet, including me.

If you work for a smaller company or firm where there is no HR or they're merely the people with the legal forms, at least discuss this with your boss or the owner of your company or firm.

That said, whatever form it takes, you need to bring her into an office and tell her that you're going to have a conversation with her about her work performance. Don't ease into it, don't start with a gloss about her sterling qualities that make you want to believe in her. Calmly and professionally, outline the mistakes she's made, and what the consequences have been for the company. Don't bring up things that have just hurt your feelings, EXCEPT where she has contradicted you in public, ex: "By quibbling with me about ___ at the company meeting, you wasted a lot of manager's time and undermined me, which is a problem for you because I'm the person who is supposed to be advocating our role with the rest of the company. You made us all look bad, including yourself."

Be as short and succinct as possible, and don't let her start debating with you. If she interrupts you, tell her that it would pay her to sit still and listen for a minute, and then you'll give her a turn.

Then give her a turn. Take notes as she runs her mouth, because by the time she's through you may be ready to fire her. Don't interrupt, don't reply, don't react. If she's humble and reasonable about it and asks questions, answer them, give advice, whatever, but again, don't get into a debate. Managers don't argue with insubordinate subordinates

Tell her (or let the HR person tell her) that she's going to be under probation, or in a performance review situation, or whatever language your company uses if it has an outlined procedure. Then start keeping notes on these episodes in the future (to be clear; start documenting stuff NOW - you don't have to wait for the meeting).

This way, if you do end up terminating her employment, you can feel positive that every chance has been given.

As to how you handle a person like this day by day, I agree it's not good to quibble or nag all the time. It may be helpful to remember you are her manager, not her friend. You can have a good work relationship with people you aren't socially synced with. But there's nothing wrong with pulling her up each and every time she makes a significant mistake. There's also nothing wrong with telling someone to be quiet in public if she's making an ass of herself (and you) in public, although I would save actual discussions for private.

For further reading:

Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most - Bruce Patton
The No-Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't - Robert Sutton
(both available at Amazon, but I figure you know how to operate Google and the Amazon site :-) )
posted by randomkeystrike at 7:17 AM on March 17, 2012 [13 favorites]


It sounds like your attempts to deal with this problem have lacked structure. You don't need to help her be less of a know-it-all, or a better person. You need to provide very precise constructive criticism of her work, ideally with examples of what you expect.

You're psychoanalyzing her pretty heavily, here. I realize that some of your vagueness comes from not wanting to explain exactly what her job is, but a great deal of what you are describing here is your impressions of her as a person, not as an employee. I would do the best you can to let go of her "class issues" and the fact that "her downfall is understanding the bigger picture." Instead, focus on her behaviors.

"She gets terribly upset when I confront her about her assertions when they are clearly wrong, she digs her heels in even deeper and insists she is right."

I would make it very clear that you respect her and her opinions, but if she cannot take criticism from you, her boss, she cannot continue to work with you. I assume that she has some academic background, right? (At 28 and in her first real job, she must.) You might try to explain that she is expected to learn and grow in this role, and that making mistakes is a common and acceptable part of that.

Personally, I think that an employee who will occasionally challenge you is a great thing. She needs to be able to respect you first, though. You are in your position for a reason.

I agree with LN about concrete details. As her supervisor, you should be able to explain that her progress reports are unsatisfactory, why the are unsatisfactory, and what a good progress report might look like. A fantastic boss might ask her to structure her progress reports in a way requires her to do her work in a slightly more organized fashion. Likewise, if she is driving away clients, you need to be able to tell her that this is happening, explain that it is a Big Deal, and tell her exactly what needs to change. This isn't about overall perceptions of your profession, it is about concrete things that she is doing.
posted by catalytics at 7:20 AM on March 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'd say print out a tight, tactful but very clear and specific version of your post, hand it to her and ask her to read it carefully and be ready for a meeting the following day. Then see what steps she proposes to take to improve the situation. Maybe it'll work. But this sounds more like an emotional/psychological problem that can't be fixed in the workplace, and you may have to sack her if if it continues.
posted by fivesavagepalms at 7:22 AM on March 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


responding to one particular thing pie ninja brought up - my own policy with co-workers who jibe me about pedantic things in PRIVATE is to laugh at them. That gives them an out and reinforces the idea that I'm not encouraging them to form an Improve Randomkeystrike Committee.
posted by randomkeystrike at 7:23 AM on March 17, 2012


It sounds to me like you both have learning to do.

Your employee is making the usual mistake of thinking that the job is to do the work. It is not. The job is to satisfy you, the boss. Your job is to set appropriate standards so that all the work gets done.

You need to make this clear. You also need to make clear what your standards are in all of these interactions. Then you need to hold these standards firm.

I agree with those suggesting that a private meeting with focus on these issues is needed. Set out clear expectations. Put as much into writing as possible. Check in daily, and *explicitly* identify how things are going relative to what you discussed. IMPORTANT: you remain the boss. If you find that what you thought were not the right expectations, have another meeting and announce a change. This should be guidance for your employee, not a straightjacket on what you can request.

Make it clear that this is a broad issue you are getting as feedback from your internal customers and about your employee's continued career success. The consequences should be clear (no contract renewal), but the conversation should be about how you can work together to succeed.

You'll know if it is working within thirty days. Reboot if necessary. If nothing changes after ninety days then it is time to part ways. It really doesn't matter what causes personality conflict. If you can't work it out in a quarter of a year you are not likely to, and in that situation it is the boss who stays and the employee who goes.
posted by meinvt at 7:38 AM on March 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Do not talk to your employee like you've framed this question. Her personality and psych issues are irrelevant. The concrete items are what she needs to address-- acting appropriately in front of clients, acting appropriately with her coworkers (especially superiors), and getting her job done. Address those things as matter-of-factly as you can, and lay out consequences if they aren't met.
posted by supercres at 8:04 AM on March 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


I think that you need to pull back a little and remember that you are in a work environment. She is not acting professional and you are not either. It is not your job to help her, to guide her or to fix her. If your office has an HR person then ask that person to recommend counseling for her

I disagree. I think you have behaved professionally, and as her manager, it IS your job to help her, guide her, and fix her [poor work performance], if it is possible.

She is young, and I think you've hit the nail on the head about how she lacks the big picture.

I manage people, and this tendency that you describe in your employee is absolutely maddening. My mother spent her career working in HR, and she was firmly of the opinion that there is a way to talk about, and correct, ANY behavior that is problematic. Even fairly subtle, toxic behaviors -- there's a way to talk about them.

I am pretty sure the right approach is a behavioral approach, where you pinpoint the problematic behaviors and lay out clear expectations of how they are to be corrected. That is, you don't speculate about the source of the problems so much as you just specify what behaviors are problematic and make it clear how they are to change:

she does not listen to me because she thinks she knows better.

"You did not listen to me when I told you how to complete this assignment, and the result is [list problems with her assignment]. I expect you to listen to me and follow the instructions and guidance that I give you."

She often corrects me and others on minor points and makes assertions on things which are not clear cut or outright wrong. She does this at meetings in front of my manager and externals.

"It is not appropriate for you to correct me. That stops immediately. If you have questions about why I did something the way I did, the appropriate way to do that is to bring it up to me in private, not in a meeting with other people."

Her natural strength is details, but her downfall is understanding the bigger picture. This unfortunately impacts her work, which requires her to examine details but then requires her to make sense of all of these details to create systems.

"You need to work on understanding the bigger picture. Your work falls short because you don't take into account the big picture of what we do here, and the result is [list the problems her missing the bigger picture causes]."

Her work habits are inconsistent and scattershot. Because she misses overarching causes, it diminishes the effectiveness of her detail work.

"Your work habits are inconsistent and scattershot. I need more consistency from you."

She lacks the ability to approach her work in an organised way because she gets distracted by details and when I ask for progress updates I get very long woolly explanations that don't answer my questions.

"You need to approach your work in a more organized way, for example [give examples of how she has failed to do it, and what a more appropriate approach would be]. I don't want long, rambling explanations when I ask for a status update, I want concise, clear explanations that show you are on track. If you need guidance along the way you are welcome to come talk with me."

This behaviour has lost us at least one user whom she corrected and nitpicked with.

"Your nitpicking over details has cost us a user, [explain how that happened]."

She gets terribly upset when I confront her about her assertions when they are clearly wrong, she digs her heels in even deeper and insists she is right. Then things are awkward for the rest of the day. She becomes even more annoying after these interactions, relentlessly picking up on minor problems with my work ("these words should be hyphenated, you missed a full stop here") as if they are major faults.

"I am your manager. It is inappropriate for you to act in an upset and enraged manner like you did when I corrected you [describe an occasion when this happened]. It will not be tolerated for you to pout and storm around after I offer my criticism, direction, or guidance. Your behavior in that way is a problem, and it must change."

--------------
I think part of the problem here is that you don't enjoy managing people -- understandable, since it does require a very thick skin -- and you've let her get away with a lot: the pouting, the insubordination, the obnoxious attempts to show you up in front of your colleagues.

But you apparently have a LOT of support from your colleagues regarding this woman. Do not be shy about changing tack abruptly and immediately, and keeping her on a short leash. Her performance is totally unacceptable.

I recently had someone work for me who was completely toxic, and I let this person get away with a lot because it was utterly draining to correct her -- I would get the "long woolly explanations," the excuses, the toxic attitude, the pouting and storming about, etc. Every time I would feel like I corrected one problem behavior, another one would pop up. Finally, my attempts to constructively address the problems ran the employee off. But yes, it sucks. You have to reassert control without remorse; reestablish your dominance as the alpha dog. I think your employee has, to some extent, rattled you and she thinks she's the dominant one. You have to put her in her place, which is below you and submissive and respectful to you.
posted by jayder at 8:44 AM on March 17, 2012 [12 favorites]


Some things to consider, which may (or may not) be applicable...

Often times when people act in ways that could be interpreted as know-it-all, they are actually trying to show "I know my stuff" because they're either insecure, or feel like they need to prove themselves to their new colleagues.

Here it sounds like she has actual grounds for being insecure because she really is disliked, not valued and at risk of losing her job.

In these cases, counter-intuitive though it might seem, you might need to reassure people that they are valued and that you get what their strengths and capabilities are.

Of course you can, and probably should, combine telling them what you value about them and how you really want to help them succeed with letting them know very clearly that they are not doing themselves any favors with their behavior and really need to change if they want to have a career with your organization.

I have tried not losing my cool over the little stuff

"Losing your cool" would probably be unproductive, but I wouldn't step over "little stuff" entirely, especially when she does it to other people rather than you. Let go of being personally upset, but use the moment for teaching how to do better, and reinforcing what standards are expected.
posted by philipy at 8:46 AM on March 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


I see a couple of problems here. The first is that you are new to managing, and the second is that she is new to being managed. Did you get any training on how to be a manager prior to taking her on? Do you have other employees you manage? Is there anyone else who could be or should be managing her? How did you build respect in your "den mother" role and how have you tried to apply that here? I guess what I'm getting at, is that your question is about how wrong this employee is and analysing the "whys" of her poor behavior/performance, without any speculation on what you might be doing that simply doesn't work for her. I'm not accusing you of being a bad manager, but she may perceive, for example, your lack of reaction to her nit-picking or small potatoes mistakes as either not caring or not knowing any better. Neither of those garner respect.

Another problem, obviously, is that the quality of her work/interactions does not match with your company's goals. The solution, in my mind, is that you put her on notice. Serious notice, as in, if you do not address these specific issues, you may be terminated at the end of your contract. Obviously you need to run this by your manager/higher ups first, but if her work is only adequate and she can't build relationships, then what good is she to the company? Make it two-sided. Come up with concrete goals with deadlines. Have your manager sit in. Document document document. Be consistent and clear in your critiques, as well as your positive reinforcements. Re-assert, as much as necessary, that you are the manager and she is the employee you manage -- not the other way around. It's up to her to "get it" as much as it's up to you to "lay it out there."
posted by sm1tten at 9:30 AM on March 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


As somebody who is prone to being a detail-oriented know-it-all when I'm at my worst, my advice is to make sure that you are as concrete and specific as possible when you lay out your criticisms to her. A lot of the stuff jayder suggested would leave me totally mystified because if I knew how to do it, I would already be doing it. Something like "have a better view of the big picture" would never work for me - how do you go about improving that? Something like "make sure to keep in mind how your work impacts department X" would work better. Helping me to understand the big picture by explaining whatever she's missing would help most.

The line about "your work habits are inconsistent and scattershot" wouldn't work for me either - what does "scattershot" mean here? Does she take long lunches, seem distracted, miss deadlines, what? Make sure you have concrete examples of the things you want to change. Put it in writing if possible, since it sounds like she's a pretty literal person. If she doesn't seem to listen when you talk in person, try communicating by email - she might read more carefully than she listens. In any event, I would start with the issue of her correcting others all the time - that's a very specific thing that she can and should stop immediately.

I would try to shy away from the personal and psychological criticisms that you've leveled here, though, especially since she sounds fairly insecure. Her "class issues" should have nothing to do with whether or not her work is satisfactory, or whether she meets the basic social requirements of the job (e.g. not correcting you). It comes across as a bit strange that your post includes so much detail about the ways you have judged her personality shortcomings, and not so much about the way you've tried to manage her and approach her about these things. It makes it sound like this is a personal conflict for you, not professional. You say you've confronted her and tried to discuss things - could you analyze your own behavior in the same detail that you've analyzed hers? What was your manner, how did you express this confrontation? Do you think you might be able to improve your management skills now that you've stepped into this new position?

Being a manager is different from being a "den mother" - people react very differently to people in positions of official authority than they do to trusted den mothers. This question almost reads like "my employee is a failure in X, Y, and Z ways, how can I fix her many flaws?" and this isn't really a question a manager should be asking. Your question ought to be how you can get her to produce good work and work well with the team. Try to focus less on her personally and more on the results and consequences of her actions.
posted by dialetheia at 12:18 PM on March 17, 2012 [7 favorites]


You're new to managing but you think the position and your experience grant you automatic authority.

She senses that you hate her and is trying to impress you, albeit clumsily. Subsequently she is not performing at her best because she knows this and is feeling frustrated. She would know she is not well liked by others and is also grappling with that.

She is a details-oriented person and would probably respond to specific in-the-moment feedback and yet it's clear you have contempt for details.

Den mothers can be patronising to some in a professional environment. At 28 I would feel patronised. Den mothering is not managing.
posted by mleigh at 4:19 PM on March 17, 2012


I was once an annoying little shit employee in many of the ways you described above. I think it had to do with being extremely insecure, knowing that I was terrible at parts of my job but rather good at the others (leaving me feeling simultaneous completely incompetent yet under-appreciated), and not really processing that my supervisor took my brattiness personally - I think that I thought of the way I corrected her and back-talked and rolled my eyes was some sort of hilarious, ironic metacommentary on office power relations, in which it didn't matter what I said because no one listens to my opinions anyway. It definitely took me a "come to Jesus" moment to snap out of it. It took awhile for my supervisor to get to that point (we also were close in age and for the most part actually very friendly, and she was new to managing people), and I honestly hadn't realized how obnoxious I was being until that moment. I was pretty embarrassed but it was a good lesson. Pie ninja's advice on seems pretty spot-on - clear boundaries are definitely key.
posted by naoko at 4:24 PM on March 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


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