Co-worker Walked Off Job?
Joan Jerkovich - January 7, 2014 7:00 am
I work in a professional office and my co-worker, who I know to be under contract to give a six-month notice when quitting, just handed in notice for two weeks. There is no justifiable reason this person couldn’t give full notice. I’m livid as this means I will have to double up on work duties to get the job done. I know that the office manager will be frantically looking for temporary help and a replacement, but the job is so specialized that it won’t happen quickly. In the meantime, I’m stuck working harder because that’s the kind of team player I am. Do you have suggestions for coping and can I give this co-worker a piece of my mind regarding this short notice?
Can you give them a piece of your mind? To that I say, hell yes! Go for it! Let ‘em have it! Write your letter or vocalize your feelings, but keep your words and tone of voice professional. Not because they deserve that level of respect, but because you will want to preserve your own professional reputation. Yes, I know this blog title isn’t accurate as your co-worker didn’t exactly “walk off the job”, but they might as well have! (Not hard to tell this question really got me riled up! Grrrrr….)
There are reasons why contracts for highly skilled professional jobs require a lengthy notice. The number one reason is, as you mentioned, because they are hard to replace. When a critical employee leaves abruptly, disruptions in the servicing of your clients and customers falters, along with employee morale. Since you mention that no justifiable reason was given; shame, shame, shame on this person for doing this to you, your fellow co-workers and the company.
This time of short-staffing will be made easier if the key players, you and management, sit down together and strategize how you will get through this. Maybe you need to let your clients know that you abruptly lost a key employee (they don’t need to know how or why) and ask for their understanding and patience as you do your best to fill in the gaps. Maybe your work tasks can be prioritized, just as a Doctor would do triage in a mass emergency where manpower and resources are insufficient for the amount of patient care immediately needed. While I commend you for being a team player, set limits on how much you are personally willing to sacrifice through this transition. Pace your self as the job search may take longer than expected. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my years in business, it’s that there are many work tasks we think are important, that are not critical to the survival of the company. Hang in there and let me know how things turn out.
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• What strategies will you employ to get through this crisis the most sanely and efficiently?
• What professional attitudes will you maintain as you manage this disruption?
• How will you set personal boundaries and practice self-care during this busy time?
Who is Joan? What is a Board Certified Life Coach? How do I call her show or send her a life coaching question? Find out @ Joan Jerkovich