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Thread: Issued a final warning at work - I have questions

  1. #1
    Platinum Member WithLove's Avatar
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    Issued a final warning at work - I have questions

    Today I was given a final warning in my job. I have some questions and would like to just feel out if my instincts are right.

    My warning is for attendance and a couple of other work-related errors I've made in the past few months. I love my job and I love my boss, but I've had a very rough year in terms of health and personal/family problems, and my attendance has suffered. I'm not arguing the warning - I agree with it. Basically, I was told that I do a great job most of the time and that I have a lot of potential to grow in my company, but the position I am in is one where I am trusted to be here and do my work properly and timely. My boss explained that he understands and even sympathizes with the issues I've had to deal with this year, the reality is that the kind of company I'm in and the field this is means that outside of this office, no one cares what happens to me and mine, and what matters is getting my work done. He told me that he loves my work and that he trusts it, and he hopes I will be here in a year, five years, ten years, but that I need to really ask myself if this is a career I want and if I think I can basically buckle down, deal with whatever's going on in my life and make this job my priority.


    I want to keep this job. I love the field I'm in and I have a good position here. I am trusted with many things that I've never really done prior to working here and I've come a long way. I like feeling that what I do is important. But the reality is that I am not really an asset right now, until I prove that I am.

    I sat through the meeting with my boss and the office admin basically trying to keep from sobbing. I cried and made notes of things I need to improve on and listened to them tell me that they like me and want me to be here, but that I've missed so much work that it's a big deal. I couldn't really say anything without ugly crying, so I didn't. But now that I've had the talk, I want them to know that I heard them, that I agree with what they say and that I love it here and want to be an asset again. I want to continue my path with the company and prove that they did well when they hired me.

    I know that the only way to do that is by action, but I wanted to also maybe send an email to them both to at least give them the confirmation that I took the meeting to heart and that I will do better. I don't want them to think that it fell on deaf ears because I didn't really respond. Is it a good idea to do this, or should I just not mention it again and strive to improve my performance as instructed?

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    I think a quick email might be good! Let them know that you appreciate the meeting and that you are going to make the needed changes. Keep it simple. Don't apologize. Just say thank you, I heard you, I am going to do my job well, and keep it at that!

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    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by WithLove


    I know that the only way to do that is by action, but I wanted to also maybe send an email to them both to at least give them the confirmation that I took the meeting to heart and that I will do better. I don't want them to think that it fell on deaf ears because I didn't really respond. Is it a good idea to do this, or should I just not mention it again and strive to improve my performance as instructed?
    I've been in the other seat, as a supervisor with young people, such as yourself and had the very same conversations that either fell on deaf ears or took years to turn around.

    In my experience, I can expect to get defensive answers and resistance to take any ownership of the feedback that's given.

    It's typical in my company that I reiterate in writing everything we just discussed and email it them. It serves as reinforcement and documentation.

    From this side I would very much appreciate a letter from an employee after a challenging conversation like this. I think it's a good idea. More importantly, prove them wrong with actions that back up your words.. But I think you already know that :)

    Hang in there!

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    Platinum Member Clio's Avatar
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    Imo, the latter, unless they sent you a letter to reiterate what they told you. Actions always speak louder than words.

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    Gold Member SarahLancaster's Avatar
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    You can send a note, if you like, but your actions will speak much louder than any words you might say.

    How do your personal issues at home keep you from getting to work on time?

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    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    I'm sorry to hear about your troubles at work. I think you can pair a brief word with your boss with long term actions. Arrive to work on time, make sure you plan ahead for any appointments or issues that might conflict with your work schedule, try and work around your work schedule a little more effectively and follow up with your coworkers on the work that's been missed. It sounds like your missed attendance as affected the team and they have probably felt it more than your boss in particular. Do you genuinely see your attendance improving? It didn't sound like this was up to you in the first place. If the circumstances have changed you might like to keep your boss and your teammates in the loop.

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    I had to write up a member of my team for not following procedure, including being consistently late. Being late or absent means someone else has to do your work without getting any of your paycheck.

    My associate has promised me time and again to do better but the actions have not followed. This person will be termed in two weeks if there is not significant improvement.

    I admire you for admitting your responsibility and for wanting to make positive change. Let them know in a brief email, then follow up with action.

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    I think the note is a nice idea, but I think that your actions are what is important.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member maew's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Hollyj
    I think the note is a nice idea, but I think that your actions are what is important.
    Agree.

    To be the devil's advocate... OP I hear you say that you love your job, your boss, and your company, I have to ask though... are you absolutely sure you can do this without suffering physically or emotionally? I can tell you don't want to give up and I think that's admirable, however I also think it's very important to sit down and reflect on whether or not you really are capable of doing what they ask. Because if you do this and you continue to struggle, you only hurt yourself and them more in the long run.

    I say this because I had someone working for me that really struggled, for months, to keep up with her performance... she knew in her heart that she wanted to be a stay at home mom but was afraid to let go and take the plunge... so it was a constant battle of her hearts desire and her fear... towards the end of her performance improvement plan she got news that her husband was transferring and they would be moving, and she would be able to stay at home. I am very glad it happened that way because it got to be her choice... the other option would have been terminating her which is awful for everyone involved.

    No right or wrong answer just food for thought.

  11. #10
    Platinum Member WithLove's Avatar
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    Thanks all for the advice.

    I do foresee my attendance issues improving over the next half of the year. I missed a lot of work earlier in the year due to breaking an ankle. They allowed me to use a work laptop to work from home, so I still worked, but not at the capacity I'd normally work at and I wasn't able to do about half of my normal duties. I also had a very ill family member that clung to life for the duration of 2019 and her frequent hospital visits required me and my mom to tag team in order to make sure she wasn't alone, so I missed some work then as well. She passed a few weeks ago, so that's done. But the physical and mental toll of both of those things made me miss additional work occasionally, and that should not have happened.



    I am not able to use a work laptop at home anymore, but hopefully next week we are migrating from one work program to another, and the new one is cloud-based, so I can access it at home. It will be nice to work on some things from home that I can't get to sometimes during the day, due to taking work calls. My job is 8-5, but in reality I could work much more than 40 hours per week and still not be "caught up"; and for now, I am okay with putting in the extra time without the extra pay in order to prove that I'm here and I'm willing to do anything I need to do in order to stay.

    I think I will sleep on it and then send a polite "I heard you and I'm taking actions to improve my performance" email to them both tomorrow morning.

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