I hope I did a comprehensive enough forum search before posting this. My apologies if there's another relevant topic.

BLUF: long-term employee that was not turn-around-able has just been asked to move on and transition out. I have never managed them before now; I was put on the team to take over. The employee will be here for another two weeks and are not accepting my position (which is their "old" position, the one fired from) as their acting manager.

They've assured me in person and in front of the president they would help with the transition because I do not have the depth of knowledge they do for their position. 

However, they are largely doing their previous work (not a bad thing in general since things are getting done), and ignoring requests by me to come by my desk to discuss procedures. The "come by my desk" thing is a little bit of a power play on my part but now that it's done I'm left in a very awkward position since they're not respecting the request.

This is a situation that might end up with the person being walked out ahead of their anticipated time left, but I'd rather try to learn what I can before then.


mike_bruns_99's picture
Licensee BadgeTraining Badge

Sorry if I'm blunt, but this is a time to let your high-D out.

You are in charge of their schedule and deliverables. You are now in charge of what they work on, and don't. 

Send them an email now, that you will be meeting with them tomorrow from 1pm-5pm on the transition. At 1:01 pm, leave your office to find them and work with them on the transition. They no longer have a "choice", you're in charge. If they say they're busy or need to do the old job, tell them that you will deal with the consequences.

It's the results that matter, and they now work for you. It's one thing to not "come by my desk". It's quite another to say no when you go their office/desk and spend time with them.

Good luck!


misstenacity's picture

Thanks. I did something like that, after starting this topic. Just writing it out helps sometimes, too! :)

I followed up on the email by writing, "Ready?". Waited 5 minutes and went to her desk to say, "Ok, let's talk about that client I need info on...." and just launched in.

She was uncomfortable and actually asked that we only communicate over email and our task system after this. Not sure how to take that in. Still pondering.

Thanks again.

mrreliable's picture

I don't have advice, but I've been in a situation that sounds quite similar.

The direct was a person I knew personally. I got her the job at this company. I saw her every day and we had conversations. The lines of communication seemed to be wide open, except....

...every time I asked her to sit down to discuss anything specific (new payroll policies, new operations manager, new projects, etc.,) she would immediately clam up and start a tap dance that would make Fred Astair proud. It wasn't just me. She had broken relationships with all her former managers (and future ones when we shifted her managers in a desperate attempt to bring her back on line).

Discussing something at the kitchen table was fine, identifying an issue at work we needed to discuss produced a near-hysterical avoidance behavior.

She went through two managers after me, then refused to meet with a third when the first two attempts failed, and that was the end of the run for her. I never figured it out. I just knew I was sick of bending over backwards to try to make it work. I think there were issues of rationality going on.

misstenacity's picture

This is the last day for my "new" direct. After today my life gets somewhat simpler but also a bit more crazy as I untangle the rat's nest of stuff she's left behind for me.

Wish me luck!