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Inside Self-Storage Magazine 12/99: Ask The Waldmans

December 1, 1999

4 Min Read
Inside Self-Storage Magazine 12/99: Ask The Waldmans

On My Last Nerve

DEAR WALDMANS: I recently started a new job working for a storage facility. It is adifferent atmosphere than what I have worked in before. The office is small and the onlyother employee that works with me has a real attitude problem. At first, I thought maybeit was just my own uneasiness being in a new job. It is evident that a lot of people arethreatened by new employees. Some have a fear that the new person has only been hired totake over their position.

Now, I have tried to be nice to this person and not be a pest. It is hard when you arenew and never worked in this kind of business before. I don't want to aggravate her morethan she already is, but how am I suppose to learn if she has such a bad attitude? I foundout yesterday she went to the manager and told him I ask too many questions. How can Ipossibly handle this situation in a diplomatic way? I am not sure of the relationshipbetween her and the manager. This kind of environment is not good, especially when I needthis job and want to learn so badly. Please give me some advice before I am so exasperatedthat I walk out the door--I know that is not the answer to this problem. Please help me.

--ON MY LAST NERVE in Mississippi

DEAR ON YOUR LAST NERVE: First, can you be certain that you have not agitated thiswoman? Sometimes, it is very difficult to know how personalities will coordinate. Maybe ithas not been enough time for the two of you to become suitable co-workers. As for hergoing to the manager, I agree that was inappropriate. She needs to approach you upfrontwith her concerns.

It seems evident that she is not willing or, perhaps, does not know how to confront thesituation. Some people go straight to management with every little problem. If I were inyour place, I would tell her I need to have a talk about the two of you working together.I would also be honest and let her know that you know she had gone to management aboutyour style. Be very professional and calm. At this point, your nerves are over the edge,but arguing will not be advantageous to the circumstance.

This sounds to be a difficult chore on your part, but I think it is time to developsome kind of working relationship both of you can live with. After all, you probably willbe working with this individual more hours of the day than you spend with your family. Tryto develop an association that will be beneficial to both of you. Maybe, once you haveaddressed the problem, she will divulge the real reasons that she dislikes you. Therecould be something else that needs to be discussed.

It sounds like you feel that she resents your being there. A few good questions to askyourself before trying to analyze the situation are: Has she always been the only personin the office? How long has she worked there? Are you younger and more aggressive than sheis? Maybe she feels apprehensive about you taking over. There could be many reasons forthis kind of reception to you. If you initiate a meeting of the minds and develop anunderstanding, I am sure you can work out a better relationship. Sometimes, however, thereare times when personalities or people just never mesh. If this happens to be the case,you must make a decision. Will you be happy with this type of arrangement? Or will you bebetter off to look for another job? Finding the answers to some of the questions abovewill help you come to a conclusion.

A father-daughter team, the Waldmans are self-storage owners/operators and attorneys. In addition, Ms. Waldman holds a master's degree in labor and employment law from Georgetown University. The Waldmans are co-authors of the industry's leading series of books on self-storage operations: Getting Started, Forms, Policies & Procedures and South Carolina Tools. Another creation of Ask The Waldmans are their colorful posters designed exclusively for the self-storage industry. Comments and questions for ASK THE WALDMANS may be sent to: The Waldmans, P.O. Box 21416, Charleston, SC 29413.

E-mail: [email protected]; Web: www.askthewaldmans.com

Views and opinions on legal matters are those of the authors. Professional counsel should be obtained before any determination or positive action is taken.

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