Another update from the Jungle…..
Brenda made a hideous mistake today. She agreed to have lunch with Laura, forgetting that Laura would invite Leeann.
Leeann is a controller. She isn’t bossy or pushy, but somehow everything moves at her pace. She shows up late for work most days, usually with a long explanation. The cat got sick. The dog got loose and she had to search the neighborhood for him. The kids were sick. Instead of telling her to get her lazy butt out of bed an hour earlier each workday, their idiot boss just shrugs.
Today, as usual, Leeann wandered around the office chatting about how much work she had to do. Five minutes before they were to leave for lunch, Leeann remembered that she needed to return an important phone call. It will only take a minute, Leeann assured them. Fifteen minutes later, Leeann was finally ready to go after a stop at the restroom.
As they finally headed out the door, Leeann offered to drive because she needed to run an errand on the way back from lunch. She dug into her giant, squishy purse for several minutes trying to find her car keys. Brenda slid into the back seat feeling light-headed from rage, despair and hunger.
Leeann stared out the windshield and sighed. Then she dug through the console for her sunglasses. After another sigh and a seat adjustment, she finally backed out of the parking space. Leeann paused at the exit to debate with Laura about where to go for lunch.
Brenda lost patience and said loudly from the back seat, “Just pick one. I’m starving”. Brenda’s stomach was growling so loud that the noise was audible to a passing pedestrian.
After lunch, the trip back to the office detoured to a drugstore so that Leeann could drop off a medication for a refill. As they waited in the drive-through lane that snaked around two sides of the drugstore, Brenda considered her options.
What options are available to Brenda?
- She can lean out the car window and scream, “Help! I’m being kidnapped!”
- She can leap out of the car and call Uber or Lyft to take her back to the office.
- She can make a mental note to never, ever have lunch with Leeann again.
Every office has a Leeann. To limit the productivity and morale hits caused by your office’s Leeann, set clear performance metrics. Then apply a combination of coaching and progressive discipline until she either hits the required metrics or doesn’t.
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