The last month or so, I’ve been playing dime-store psychologist to $supervisor, all on account of the FNG.
For several months now, the FNG has been marching to the beat of his own drum, and while I generally have no problem with that, he seems to be marching himself right off the proverbial cliff and trying to take our department down with it. For starters, he honestly believed that he no longer needed to be a part of the official shift IM, which is what we’ve used not only to disseminate info, but to discuss issues of the day, figure out who is taking which ticket/wmail/phone call, but also to ask questions if one of us is unsure of something, as well as generally talk to each other, and check whether anyone on the shift is doing their jobs.
But not the FNG. Not only was he refusing to participate, he was actively taking himself out of the chat and setting his IM program to “Do Not Disturb”, meaning we couldn’t IM him, forcing others to email and call him on the phone, neither of which he was responding to in a timely manner, if at all. And when both $supervisor and $assistantSupervisor asked why he refused to participate, he became defensive & beliggerent, saying he wasn’t required to participate in it, and was only required to work for 65% of the shift, and no more. He also claimed he was doing the work of someone several paygrades higher, and more work than anyone else on any of the shifts. When $supervisor asked him to provide evidence to that effect, as well as written documentation in any of the SOP’s where it said the staff only needed to work 65% of the shift, that the shift IM was optional, and other claims he made, the FNG outright refused, instead going to the Union to file a grievance.
$supervisor wasn’t too terribly happy with that. When $unionRep contacted him to discuss the grievance, $supervisor provided several volumes of evidence, including written Reports of Contact, IM’s, emails and call logs spanning the last 4 and a half years, in which the FNG wouldn’t even answer basic questions, or going off on random tangents that had nothing to do with the question or topic at hand, as well as ticket counts, showing in fact that the FNG had the lowest count of tickets, emails answered, calls answered and spent the longest time of anyone in a “Not Ready” status in our phone system. In addition, many of the call logs $supervisor provided showed the FNG was, in fact, taking personal calls from his wife or other numbers not associated with any facility, as well as IM’s from several staff members showing that the FNG was spending most of the times he actually worked on tickets or emails, asking for assistance on even basic issues that people in the same pay grade as him had long-since mastered. That, or the FNG would IM them to ask when the next holiday was, after several emails were already sent out with the dates of the next several holidays, and the FNG himself was told of when the Federal holiday was.
$supervisor provided all of our SOP’s, showing that the claims the FNG made of the 65% work-shift requirement, the IM being optional, etc., were mere figments of the FNG’s imagination. $supervisor even brought forth evidence of several cases of outright insubordination on the part of the FNG, in which he refused to perform even basic work requested of him by $supervisor, and several instances in which he completely ignored $supervisor and coworkers alike, remaining utterly silent during times when there was a flood of emails and tickets, and doing none of them. Dates, times, as well as copies of emails and IM’s were provided to $unionRep, as well as the few responses $supervisor received from the FNG in which he was being outright insubordinate.
And even after the FNG’s telework was revoked for the insubordination and failing to perfome his duties, he filed yet a 2nd grievance, stating that he needed to be on telework because he claimed that not only was he a new father, but his grandmother had recently died and he was never given any time to grieve. This information was all new to $supervisor and $divisionChief, who was also getting involved since the FNG had named him in the grievance. In $divisionChief’s case, the FNG claimed that $divisionChief was yeling at him, when the only proof he could provide to that effect was the FNG’s claim that $divisionChief sent several IM’s that were all in caps. And at no point did the FNG even request to put leave in to go tend to his grandmother’s affairs, or to help take care of his child, despite the FNG’s assertions that he did (and his lack of evidence thereof).
Also, $supervisor had sent an email to the staff of all three shifts, asking if anyone was willing to volunteer to switch to the day shift for the forseeable future, since it was one person short on account of a staffmember’s long overdue retirement. Instead of a simple “yes” or “no” response, the FNG sent a 5 paragraph reply-all email to everyone, telling $supervisor in no uncertain terms (with the entire staff watching) how to do his job, including telling him what should be done to cover the extra slot on the day shift (such as overtime for the techs, doing a round-robin, etc.), his claim that he (the FNG) was doing the most work of anyone on any of the shifts, his claim that he’s trying to better himself by taking classes and becoming an Uber/Lyft driver, and because of that as well as his continuing health issues, the fact that he’s a new father, and an assortment of other topics, that working on the day shift wouldn’t be condusive to his needs. The best part came when one of his coworkers replied to the FNG’s email with “In other words, No”. Whether the FNG responded to that, none of the rest of us know, but needless to say, that was duly forwarded to $unionRep.
Despite the incredible level of stress the FNG’s union grievances have caused, $supervisor has little doubt of the outcome, and the fact that they will rule in our department’s favor. $supervisor wryly admitted that if anyone was going to file the first Union grievance of the department, it was a tossup between the FNG and the Obnoxious Union Narcissist. And talking with other staff on the FNG’s shift, the nicest thing anyone said about him was that the FNG was “worse than useless”, and if he ended up leaving, quitting, or being fired, the performance of the shift, and the entire department overall would actually improve.