How do you juggle IM, email calls and a visit on foot ALL from the same colleague? HELP!
Ah a classic case coworkers stalking you electronically. Let me guess:
A colleague calling you and getting your voicemail and says: Hi 30s, I emailed and IM’d you, did you get my message? Oh, no? OK I’ll just come by your desk. Thanks I’ll see you in a few minutes.
Then upon arriving: Did you get my messages?
You: Umm no I’m busy, haven’t looked at email.
Coworker: Oh, OK I’ll just wait.
You: You know I’m pretty busy I’ll get back…
Coworker (interrupts): Well I really need it now (tilts head, hands on hips, angry look).
Is that pretty much on? Seen it countless times. George does this often.
Tough dilemma. Think you have two choices.
1) Tell the CW to get the hell out of your cube and to leave you alone as the CW isn’t your boss.
Not necessarily a bad choice, although if you do it how I probably would, odds are HR will be paying you a visit. Is it worth it? Depends on a lot of factors-your boss’ attitude, the CWs power, etc. only you know your specifics.
If it’s George…totally worth it as HR just rolls their eyes.
2) Tell the CW, “You know what I have a very important deadline that my boss gave me. And, a ton of other priorities that are already set. Once they’re done I’ll gladly see how I can help you.”
They’ll no doubt object. At which point you give them the old “talk to the hand” and tell them sternly, yet politely, that your boss sets the priorities not them.
While they may still be pissy, the reality is you have something to stand on here. Your boss can’t object as you are supporting him/her. And, the CW can’t go running off to HR saying you aren’t a team player, because you are 1) supporting the boss first and 2) said you’d get to the CW’s thing
when hell freezes over eventually.
I’ve gone with both strategies, but which I choose depends on the situation.
However, the beauty is which both, the odds are great that whatever it was they needed will be resolved by the time it were to come back to you!
P.S. A word of caution. If the Stalking Coworker is your boss…skip #1 and 2 above. In that case, do whatever it is their asking for, but suggest that when he/she has something hot, to just come by and tell you. If you or they are not in the office a call to your cell is the next best thing. But, suggest that your email and text are overloaded so it may get lost in the electronic piles.
Bossman/lady trumps all, but you can still learn how to manage them!
Got a burning question? Need some advice? Never fear…CV is here! Shoot it over to me at CV@TheCubicleViews.com