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is this appropriate?

globetrotter

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co-worker sent out an email today telling many people (I don't know how many, but over a dozen) in the company that yesterday she learned that her father is dieing of cancer, and wrote about 200 words to detail his health situation. she then went on to explain that this is the reason for some of her recent fuck ups at work, and to ask for forgiveness for yet to be announced fuck ups. while I do, sincierly, sympathize with her, I felt it was a great deal more information than I needed.


any thoughts on this?
 

gdl203

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Sounds like an invitation to talk about it. She may not have friends/family/therapist she can talk to. One/some of the recipients may feel like taking her to lunch/coffee to give her the opportunity to talk about her feelings - others will register the information and move on, while realizing that she's going through a serious personal crisis.
 

GreyFlannelMan

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Too much information, in my opinion. If she wanted to explain her situation, she should have done so privately with her boss or colleagues who might have been affected by her recent screwups.

We all have our personal problems. We all have to learn to deal with them whilst performing our jobs as expected. And if a situation is so bad that it causes us to screw up pretty much everything, then perhaps taking leave is in order....
 

rach2jlc

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Originally Posted by gdl203
Sounds like an invitation to talk about it. She may not have friends/family/therapist she can talk to. One/some of the recipients may feel like taking her to lunch/coffee to give her the opportunity to talk about her feelings - others will register the information and move on, while realizing that she's going through a serious personal crisis.
I agree. While I don't necessarily think it appropriate to go into the kind of detail she did, at least it is good that she mentioned it so you can keep it in mind. It doesn't excuse "fuck ups" at work, by any means, but it does at least give you that extra bit of awareness so that you can maybe take an extra step in assisting her that normally you wouldn't. As GFM mentions above, if the fuck-ups get to the point that it is impacting EVERYBODY's work or the drama becomes too much, then absolutely a leave of absense might be best. You can be sympathetic and understanding all day long, but at the end of the day, it's a place of business and work MUST continue.
 

acidboy

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No it is absolutely not appropriate. BUT she sounds like she's crying for someone to talk to. I don't know if you would or could talk and listen to her, GT, but it seems that she really needs someone right now. HR should be on top of this.
 

Agnacious

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Bearing in mind that I have been accused of being "the most unsympathetic person on earth", I would say this is entirely inappropriate and frankly smacks of someone looking for a pass on not doing their job. They are making a preemptive strike by sending out this e-mail and will use this as a way to garner sympathy come review time, because after all, you would be horrible to hold non performance due to a dying father against her. Right?

I disagree. I have had similar situations like this one before. I have suggested taking a leave of absence to attend to their situation, or floated hiring temp personal to help take up for the loss of performance. These ideas are never embraced because this is not what the person is looking for.

Either way by this I let the person know indirectly that I expect their job to be done and if they can't do it I can find someone who can. This changes the dynamic of the situation in that the person is now on the defensive and they know they will be judged on the metrics of the job rather than someone that should be given latitude.
 

JayJay

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Originally Posted by Agnacious
Bearing in mind that I have been accused of being “the most unsympathetic person on earth”, I would say this is entirely inappropriate and frankly smacks of someone looking for a pass on not doing their job. They are making a preemptive strike by sending out this e-mail and will use this as a way to garner sympathy come review time, because after all, you would be horrible to hold non performance due to a dying father against her. Right?

I disagree. I have had similar situations like this one before. I have suggested taking a leave of absence to attend to their situation, or floated hiring temp personal to help take up for the loss of performance. These ideas are never embraced because this is not what the person is looking for.

Either way by this I let the person know indirectly that I expect their job to be done and if they can’t do it I can find someone who can. This changes the dynamic of the situation in that the person is now on the defensive and they know they will be judged on the metrics of the job rather than someone that should be given latitude.

+1. I'm not completely callous, but her approach doesn't work with me. It has the opposite effect.
 

Douglas

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I suppose I don't know what you mean by "inappropriate."

If you mean "is it a reprimandable offense akin to sending out a dirty porn picture on corporate computers," I say hell no.

If you mean "is it an odd thing to do?" then I say yeah, I would think so.

If you mean "is this something I ought to be concerned about as an employer?" then I say perhaps. If it is a high-performing person who has slipped up a bit more than usual lately and sent this to a few close co-workers, I'd let it slide. If this is part of a pattern of behavior by a subpar employer then yes it is an issue. In other words, its an issue within a certain context, but I wouldn't think so if it is an isolated thing.
 

danyllau

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Not appropriate... I am against "attention whores", so I may be a bit biased. It sounds like the company and your team is not small too.
 

Piobaire

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Certainly no appropriate and as acidicboy first said above, HR needs to be all over that.
 

Edward Appleby

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Seems to me that if she was going to bring the situation up at all, it should have been on a personal basis. If she has a limited working relationship with one of the "victims" of her fuckups, she should just apologize and leave it at that. For people that she's on somewhat more familiar terms with, she could bring up the reason for her failures, ala "My father hasn't been well lately", then if people feel it's appropriate they can discuss it further. Either way, a mass email detailing her father's illness doesn't really seem appropriate.
 

SField

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Originally Posted by globetrotter
co-worker sent out an email today telling many people (I don't know how many, but over a dozen) in the company that yesterday she learned that her father is dieing of cancer, and wrote about 200 words to detail his health situation. she then went on to explain that this is the reason for some of her recent fuck ups at work, and to ask for forgiveness for yet to be announced fuck ups. while I do, sincierly, sympathize with her, I felt it was a great deal more information than I needed.


any thoughts on this?


In a professional situation you are right, it is too much information. In office politics it was a horrible move and yes, by current standards in the work place it was innapropriate. However, consider this on a larger human level. I think it calls for compassion and understanding. It's important to sometimes be able to remove oneself from the immediate situation (in this case, the office and it's culture/politics and social norms), and look at it from a larger perspective.

Existentially, is what she did bad? No, not at all.
 

sho'nuff

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Originally Posted by globetrotter
co-worker sent out an email today telling many people (I don't know how many, but over a dozen) in the company that yesterday she learned that her father is dieing of cancer, and wrote about 200 words to detail his health situation. she then went on to explain that this is the reason for some of her recent fuck ups at work, and to ask for forgiveness for yet to be announced fuck ups. while I do, sincierly, sympathize with her, I felt it was a great deal more information than I needed.


any thoughts on this?


not appropriate at all. she needs to learn some discretion.
 

acidboy

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Guess she won't be welcome to the company Christmas party then.
 

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