Once upon a time, at a company not so different from its competitors, a new employee was hired. Addison was bright, cheerful and had graduated from college near the top of her class. She believed that hard work was all she needed to advance her career.
As with every fairy-tale, an evil troglodyte lurked in a cubicle down the hall. His name was Larry. He joined the company many years ago and never advanced beyond cubicle world. Beneath a façade of pleasant chitchat lurks a very angry employee.
Addison bumps into Larry in the break room as she tries to figure out how to use the single cup coffee maker. Larry helps her while sarcastically commenting about how good life was when they still had the Mr. Coffee machine. Addison finds his acidic commentary mildly amusing and thinks he might be a friend.
Alas for the fair maid. At the next staff meeting, Larry questions the decision of Wanda, the manager, to designate Addison as the leader on a new project. Larry privately thinks he should be leading the team based on his seniority. Addison seals her fate by saying she’d be happy to have his help. Wanda shrugs and agrees. She’s a manager, not a knight in shining armor trying to rescue a fair maid, especially one too stupid to sniff out danger.
Addison’s first hint that she is not going to live happily ever after happens at her first team meeting. Larry interrupts repeatedly with helpful suggestions, all of which she rejects. During the next week, Larry visits each team member to express his concerns about the imminent failure of the project due to Addison’s inexperience.
Wanda hears via the grapevine that the project is tanking so she calls Addison in for a status report. Larry sees Addison walking down the hallway towards Wanda’s office. Quick as a flash he scampers down the hallway, pushes past her, and turns in the doorway to Wanda’s office to smirk before slamming the door in Addison’s face.
When Addison finally meets with Wanda, Larry’s poisonous comments have taken effect. Wanda says she’s worried about progress and needs to replace Addison with an older, more experienced worker.
- She can loudly proclaim that Larry the troglodyte has sabotaged her career and begin crying.
- She can plot a suitable revenge against Larry, but he’s had years more experience at this sort of backstabbing.
- She can search for a mentor to help her learn how to fight troglodytes in the future.
In the actual situation, the new employee gave up believing in fairy-tales, resigned and joined a competitor, feeling older and slightly wiser. Avoid this fairy-tale by implementing effective HR policies.
If your company is struggling with HR issues, Corporate Compliance Risk Advisor can help you create HR policies that are appropriate for your company’s size and then serve as a resource to your staff as the policies are implemented.
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