What would you do? Employee Problem.

MAC_AddyMAC_Addy Member Posts: 1,740 ■■■■□□□□□□
I have an employee under me that I have had some problems with. I'll go back to the beginning - when we interviewed him, he was great. Seemed knowledgeable on the topics (he was only hired for field support, so the questions weren't that in-depth). Now, when he was first started, I had some doubts as he asked me what system we're running and some odd questions etc. I gave him a complete handbook that contains IP's for printers and for some of our field offices. Apparently, this didn't do any good because I'm constantly being asked what the IP's are for EVERYTHING.

Now, let's move forward in time a little. I have to baby-sit him through almost every task. Now, I wouldn't mind if I had to assist on a couple of things that he wasn't sure of, but I have walked him through the same thing at least 10 - 15 times.

He claimed on his resume that he was a systems administrator I and II previously. He once asked me what AD was... and whenever I reset a password for people I do it in a format that contains the date - I accidentally put a different date one day, he asked if I could reset it again because AD didn't assign the correct the date. Interesting.

Let's move a little more ahead. Last year I didn't hear from him for a week, he didn't show up at the office, or any other office. I was extremely busy at the time, so I only had time to investigate this for about an hour on a Friday. I let it lie as we were all extremely busy due to a major upgrade on our network. Come to find out, he was at home, not working. I told my boss about it, and they pretty much did nothing. In fact, I have told my boss and me having to do my tasks, and his, and he's getting most, if not all credit for it. I have also heard from people that he's bad mouthing me by saying "He doesn't know what he's doing", when he calls/emails (spamming) me every time he has a ticket to work on. I guess my company condones people not working to work all that much. Very frustrating!

Sorry for the rant, I have told all my superiors everything, but they don't do anything about it.

What would you do in this situation?
2017 Certification Goals:
CCNP R/S

Comments

  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAMember Posts: 4,174 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Do you not have any authority over this person aside from being his technical lead (no hire/fire/write-up)? Are there any other people in your department that see this kind of thing going on with this person.

    I would start documenting these little things, and I would stop being so passive toward this guy, because he is probably kissing the right butts, making himself look good, and snowing over the people in the company that matter. Stop holding his hand and tell him that he needs to develop the ability to find solutions on his own. Continue referring him the the same documentation that you already provided to him instead of just giving him the information. Document these things too, or he will complain that you are unwilling to help. All the while, remain cordial and willing to mentor (within reason).

    Yes, I have worked with this type of person before.
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
    Working on: RHCE/Ansible
    Future: Probably continued Red Hat Immersion, Possibly VCAP Design, or maybe a completely different path. Depends on job demands...
  • rsuttonrsutton Member Posts: 1,029 ■■■■■□□□□□
    I've run in to this problem a few times and every time it has resulted in me firing the person. I have a few guidelines for handling stuff for like this:
    -Document the poor behavior clearly and show him the write up. It should be very clear a)what your expectations are, b) how he is not meeting those expectations, and c) what he needs to do differently to meet expectations
    -Clarity is your friend here. It sounds like you are being too nice. Instead of helping him with the IP questions, I would say "I already sent you the IP spreadsheet, you should check there before asking me".
    -I recommend having a process that results in either him being fired, or him improving his performance. It would look something like a verbal warning, followed by a few write ups, followed by termination. Either way, it needs to be clear to him that he is not performing and that it will result in his termination if it is not improved.
  • jm0202jm0202 Member Posts: 87 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I agree with was is tell here to handle the situation: set goals and document, document and document.
    However, I don't know in your case, but in my company you need to coordinate with HR and let them know what you guys want to handle this situation. If you don't let HR know, at the end you can get in trouble!
  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    Throw the rest out of the window. The guy didn't come to work for a whole week. He should be fired.

    If they won't fire him maybe it's time for you to start polishing up your resume and find a real place to work.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • mistabrumley89mistabrumley89 Member Posts: 356 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Throw the rest out of the window. The guy didn't come to work for a whole week. He should be fired.

    If they won't fire him maybe it's time for you to start polishing up your resume and find a real place to work.
    ^Agreed
    Goals: WGU BS: IT-Sec (DONE) | CCIE Written: In Progress
    LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/charlesbrumley
  • MAC_AddyMAC_Addy Member Posts: 1,740 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Throw the rest out of the window. The guy didn't come to work for a whole week. He should be fired.

    If they won't fire him maybe it's time for you to start polishing up your resume and find a real place to work.
    I agree with you on both of these terms. Unfortunately I don't have the authority to let this person go. However, I can, and have been documenting this case for nearly 6 months now. So I have quite a bit to back it up. I told my boss about it, and they didn't really seem to care my the whole situation.

    On another note, I was supposed to get a review and raise over 9 months ago. When I first heard of it, my boss was supposed to be here within a week for the review... 9 months later... nothing. I am in a management role, but the only jurisdiction I don't have is firing. Although, I can make recommendations to hire. I wouldn't want to hire another person because he'd have to shadow the current guy, and we can't have that. I told my wife about this, and she's royally angry with the situation. I think I'll give them another 3/6 months, or enough time for me to pass the CCNP tests. That'll be good resume fodder.
    2017 Certification Goals:
    CCNP R/S
  • White WizardWhite Wizard Member Posts: 179
    Stop helping him with everything??

    If he has no idea, let him ask someone else rather then essentially doing his job for him. I agree not showing up for a week calls for immediate termination so I'm not sure what your management is thinking.
    "The secret to happiness is doing what you love. The secret to success is loving what you do."
  • MAC_AddyMAC_Addy Member Posts: 1,740 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Stop helping him with everything??

    If he has no idea, let him ask someone else rather then essentially doing his job for him. I agree not showing up for a week calls for immediate termination so I'm not sure what your management is thinking.
    I have stopped helping him. We do have a helpdesk, he's now spamming them with calls and e-mails. I think the reason why the higher-ups haven't let him go yet is due to available positions. The IT department here is VERY lean, and they're worried that if they let this guy go, they won't hire another person. I told my boss that it wouldn't make a difference since I'm doing all my work and his work, too.

    I'd like to add that I really do appreciate everyone's reply to this topic, and I'm glad that it hasn't happened to just me. You feel awfully alone when something like this happens when your boss' won't do a thing about it. I'll just keep doing what I'm doing - working, studying, and documenting his mistakes.
    2017 Certification Goals:
    CCNP R/S
  • IristheangelIristheangel CCIEx2 (Sec + DC), CCNP RS, CCNA V/S/R/DC, CISSP, CEH, MCSE 2003, A+/L+/N+/S+, and a lot more from m Pasadena, CAMod Posts: 4,133 Mod
    I wouldn't altogether stop helping him but I would make him search for answers. Start making him Google and search for common answers to common questions. If he's going to always make you hold his hand, then don't let it be easy for him anymore. If he calls you and asks you what a common term means ("What is AD?"), ask him what are the steps he took to find that information on his own and then give him tips ("Type this into Google and read through the results"). If he calls you for help to fix a problem, ask him what troubleshooting steps he took. Instead of giving him the answer directly, start asking him pointed questions to guide him in the right direction.

    One of two things will happen from this: 1) He'll learn and stop asking you as many questions or 2) he'll get frustrated and stop asking you questions which is his loss...

    I had an old English teacher who used to say "I hate hand holders" and I always remember her for that statement alone. I can't stand when IT people won't even put the effort into looking for answers and expect you to hold their hand through every problem.
    BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
    Blog: www.network-node.com
  • MAC_AddyMAC_Addy Member Posts: 1,740 ■■■■□□□□□□
    If he calls you for help to fix a problem, ask him what troubleshooting steps he took.
    It's funny you should mention this. Just this past week he forwarded me a number of tickets to work on. He said that he "had taken all the troubleshooting steps he could, and determined that it was broken" I asked him what he had done, he never replied. I called him, he said he "followed the standard procedures on the ticket", but never elaborated on what those were... Long story short, it wasn't broken, he just didn't do ANYTHING to troubleshoot. Which, this is an all common thing with him. He doesn't troubleshoot, and when people get mad at him, he calls me.
    2017 Certification Goals:
    CCNP R/S
  • IristheangelIristheangel CCIEx2 (Sec + DC), CCNP RS, CCNA V/S/R/DC, CISSP, CEH, MCSE 2003, A+/L+/N+/S+, and a lot more from m Pasadena, CAMod Posts: 4,133 Mod
    That's where you hold his feet to the fire and CC your boss in the e-mail. Just explain very simply that you don't want repeat the same troubleshooting steps so if he could clearly articulate what troubleshooting steps he followed, it would make your job a lot easier. Be super nice about it but at the same time, be firm.

    If he doesn't respond, send a separate e-mail to your boss saying that you're really trying to help out here but he's not giving you any information or detailing any steps he took.
    BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
    Blog: www.network-node.com
  • ZomboidicusZomboidicus Member Posts: 105 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I was in similiar situation twice in the past 4 months in the company that I've been working for. Fortunately for me, they are both long gone. The first time that this one guy I helped took all the credit while I did everything for him, was the last time I helped him. I ignored all calls from him (which was probably unprofessional of me), so he ended up having to rely on the senior tech for troubleshooting. He eventually started showing up late, calling in on busy times like holidays, and started leaving early as well. Then one day he stopped showing up. I heard he is now a stay-home dad.

    It's funny how all these incompetent people all show a similar trait.
    2016 Certification Goals: Who knows :D
  • MacGuffinMacGuffin Member Posts: 241 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Throw the rest out of the window. The guy didn't come to work for a whole week. He should be fired.

    If they won't fire him maybe it's time for you to start polishing up your resume and find a real place to work.

    Agreed. There's a legal term for this, "abandonment". The time that must pass varies by state I assume. I would also assume one week is sufficient everywhere in the USA.
    That's where you hold his feet to the fire and CC your boss in the e-mail. Just explain very simply that you don't want repeat the same troubleshooting steps so if he could clearly articulate what troubleshooting steps he followed, it would make your job a lot easier. Be super nice about it but at the same time, be firm.

    If he doesn't respond, send a separate e-mail to your boss saying that you're really trying to help out here but he's not giving you any information or detailing any steps he took.

    I had an issue somewhat like this only I was the low guy on the totem pole and the slacker was my direct report. I had asked my manager for a new chair at my desk since, being as tall as I am, the standard issue chair did not fit. I've dealt with things like this before in prior jobs and it usually is not an issue. With my height it's pretty obvious the standard chair would be uncomfortable. Nothing happened for weeks. Then I e-mailed my manager and his manager with the request. Not an hour later I get a reply e-mail from his manager and I see my manager running to my desk asking something like, "How big of a chair do you need?" I don't know if there was some other conversation between the two but I never before or since saw that man so concerned about my work environment. I got my chair in two days.

    Of course my situation does not compare but it does show that things can happen if the right person knows about the issue. If I learned anything in college it is this, you can do anything so long as you get the right person's signature.
    MacGuffin - A plot device, an item or person that exists only to produce conflict among the characters within the story.
  • White WizardWhite Wizard Member Posts: 179
    I wouldn't altogether stop helping him but I would make him search for answers. Start making him Google and search for common answers to common questions. If he's going to always make you hold his hand, then don't let it be easy for him anymore. If he calls you and asks you what a common term means ("What is AD?"), ask him what are the steps he took to find that information on his own and then give him tips ("Type this into Google and read through the results"). If he calls you for help to fix a problem, ask him what troubleshooting steps he took. Instead of giving him the answer directly, start asking him pointed questions to guide him in the right direction.

    One of two things will happen from this: 1) He'll learn and stop asking you as many questions or 2) he'll get frustrated and stop asking you questions which is his loss...

    I had an old English teacher who used to say "I hate hand holders" and I always remember her for that statement alone. I can't stand when IT people won't even put the effort into looking for answers and expect you to hold their hand through every problem.

    It seems to me that this person lied on their resume and has a very poor work ethic as he is blatantly lying to a superior (MAC_addy). He claims to have IT knowledge but considering what MAC_addy has said, he in fact knows next to nothing let alone is proving that he is capable of taking it upon himself to find a resolution to a problem and instead hands it off.

    With that said, I would not help out at all. I'm just wondering how he even got the position to begin with considering a background check should have revealed at the very least if he lied about where he was previously employed.

    People like this make me very upset when there are many others here that would kill for such a position and that work very hard.
    "The secret to happiness is doing what you love. The secret to success is loving what you do."
  • EdTheLadEdTheLad Member Posts: 2,112 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I would speak to the boss and say how your regular work is being compromised due to the extra attention that you must give this guy. I would ask the boss if he would prefer you to complete your work or help this guy. I would then tell the boss that i want all requests from this guy to go via him so that he can see the extra work load your dealing with.
    I'd personally tell the guy that your very busy and could he please cc the boss with any requests otherwise i wont look at them, tell him you want the extra work load monitored due to performance based bonuses etc or the like.

    Your boss doesn't care about the situation once the work is getting done, by having this conversation you are effectively making him responsible for incomplete tasks. After this i guarantee he will start to pay attention.

    I've been in this situation many times.
    Networking, sometimes i love it, mostly i hate it.Its all about the $$$$
  • aftereffectoraftereffector Member Posts: 525
    Have you ever read The One-Minute Manager Meets the Monkey? It's a very short business management book. I've found PDF copies of selected chapters on the web, as well as the paperback in most bookstores. I read it about six months into my first management job and it completely changed the way I think about task delegation. It is not necessarily the secret decoder ring of employer-employee work relationships, but it might help out your situation quite a bit.
    CCIE Security - this one might take a while...
  • WafflesAndRootbeerWafflesAndRootbeer Member Posts: 555
    Back when I worked for a certain company that begins with the letter C, this stuff was the norm with many of the workers. I was the only one getting any real work done and when I came on the scene, I increased the ticket closing rate to the 80's/90's because of the lack of quality workers. Management didn't care in the slightest and wouldn't address any concerns as they were happy to take whomever the staffing agency would toss into their bowl and run with them so long as they didn't do anything offensive.
  • PristonPriston Member Posts: 999 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Sounds like the company I work for waffles.
    A.A.S. in Networking Technologies
    A+, Network+, CCNA
  • no!all!no!all! Member Posts: 245 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I have someone who I work with who is exactly like this. We're both contractors from the same company and he started a few months after I did. He's abused prescription drugs at work, calls out constantly, he's very messy, claims to have his MCSE but couldn't tell you the difference between a straight through and a cross over even by looking at them. He also mumbles. Not a thing I can do...I feel your pain OP...I do indeed...
    A+, N+, S+, CCNA:RS, CCNA:Sec

    "In high society TCP is more welcome than UDP. At least it knows a proper handshake" - Ben Franklin

    2019 Goals: CCNP:RS & relocate to St. Pete, FL!
  • Kinet1cKinet1c Member Posts: 604 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I work with a person above like this. It was brought up with management. It was ignored. I'm moving on and they're stuck with them, hope they have fun. :)
    2018 Goals - Learn all the Hashicorp products

    Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity
  • petedudepetedude Member Posts: 1,510
    Throw the rest out of the window. The guy didn't come to work for a whole week. He should be fired.

    It can be tough to take action if you don't have existing policy.

    Most big outfits I've worked for have a policy regarding "job abandonment", e.g. if you don't report in or call for three days you've resigned your post. These companies also usually have a nice prepared letter they send to the "resigning" employee.

    The OP's company should adopt such a policy, blare it loudly, then make use of it the next time this guy vanishes.
    Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.
    --Will Rogers
  • ally_ukally_uk Member Posts: 1,146 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Wait a systems administrator previously who doesn't know what Active directory is? dafuq?
    Alarm bells have rung i'm not a Systems Administrator or at that level I am a minion but even
    I know what the Hell Active directory is.

    Don't let people pick your brains you have worked hard to get where you away tell him to go and
    research, If he doesn't like the response follow it up and just say if I have to hold your hand
    every time you will not develop the full understanding of the technology or acquire the skills
    to troubleshoot.

    Seriously guy at works tries to pick my brains all the time I'm a biatch! :) will respond well if you
    want to learn this stuff then do what I did RTFM :)
    Microsoft's strategy to conquer the I.T industry

    " Embrace, evolve, extinguish "
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