Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Prima Donna

My new trainee is REALLY winding me up at the moment. She just has such a prima donna attitude, and everything has to be done at her command.

A bit of background - recently my firm merged with another firm, which she worked for. Trainees there seem to have had a choice of staying where they were, or taking advantage of the wider range of seats in my firm. She asked to move across (but not specifically to my department).

However, there are, shall we say, some cultural differences. Partly it's because we do a completely different sort of work to what she's used to, and we have different business processes. We don't have to be quite as specific when recording time, for example, because our fees tend to be agreed with clients and are never assessed by a court. We only have a couple of files on the go at any one time, with a small number of contacts on each file so we know things like phone numbers and file numbers without including them on every piece of work we do. And the sort of work we do doesn't lend itself to an electronic case management system.

I'm not claiming that our processes are perfect, far from it. But it's the way we do things, and for the sort of work we do it probably works better than the processes where she used to work. But oh no, every day I get a barrage of whingeing that she can't work out our document management system (otherwise known as saving things in the right folder in G drive), or has to look for a phone number because there isn't a n electronic contacts system for each case (despite the fact there is often only one contact in the first place...). I don't care what case management system she used to use. We are not changing it because she thinks it would be easier for her. And the sooner she starts trying to use our system, and stops whingeing, the better she'll get on.

She just keeps finding fault with everything. The other day her boyfriend sent her some photos on email. Nothing to do with work, obviously. The system blocked them, and she actually phoned IT and had a go at them because the photos had been blocked. Erm, have you read the email policy sweetie? Yes, everyone DOES send personal emails, but phoning IT and whingeing about personal emails being blocked may not be the way to make friends and influence people. Particularly not when you tell them their system is a load of crap. I think they know more about the IT system than you do.

And as for her boyfriend. I really don't care about her personal life. I don't care how much he earns. I don't care what she's buying him for his birthday. OK, so I make a little small talk, but when I'm working I would rather concentrate on my work than getting all the gossip about him. I'm simply not impressed that he's a footballer, and I'm not going to get all excited by the prospect.

She complains about her commute over from Manchester (where she used to work), but doesn't seem to have made too much of an effort to find somewhere over here. She complains that her boyfriend isn't helping her look (they don't live together) and is trying to get her mother to look, but doesn't seem to be making too much effort of her own.

Things don't always go to plan, and things aren't always what you're used to. But I'd much rather just settle down to working with things the way they are rather than ranting and raving about how they could be better. If you can't change the way things are, you can change the way you react to them.

You may have gathered that she's been winding me up a bit today.

But it's not just at work that I see this attitude. Sometimes, when meandering around in fat-internet-land I come across people who complain about how they can't do this and they can't do that and they can't exercise or eat healthy because of this or that or the other. I'm not saying that some people don't have some valid excuses, but when those people then complain about how unfair life is because they can't do exactly what they want and be thin, then I want to throw something at the screen and tell them to get over it.

OK, you might have a shit metabolism, or you might not be able to do certain forms of exercise. But that doesn't mean that you can't make yourself healthier in other ways, or even just have a healthier self-image. Not everyone needs to, or can be, stick thin, but you can change the way you see yourself and your life, and focus on the things you can do, even if it doesn't change your weight.

If you're not willing to change who you are, and the way you do things, you'll never lose weight and keep it off. Simple as that.

And if my trainee doesn't change her insistence that everything her old firm did is better, I'm going to kill her.

Change can be good!


Blogger Eh... Not so much said...

I know what you mean about people who won't change. I've read message board postings from people who say, "I want to lose weight, but I don't like milk, or veggies, or cooking, or exercising." Uhhhhhh, okay... and how do you think that's gonna work?

Do I love eating broccoli and going to the gym? Not every day. But I never would have lost the weight had I not changed some habits.

1:30 AM  
Blogger Floating Princess said...

Thank you! I have wanted to say this myself to a few people for a looooong time!

2:26 AM  
Blogger Lee said...

Thank you! I'm glad you posted this. I was just about to eat pizza.....but now I'm going to make a salad instead!

You're right. We DO make excuses. And until we stop making excuses and changing our habits, our lives will stay the same - or continue on a downwards spiral.

Cheers. :o)

7:03 AM  
Blogger K said...

I wonder why she moved placements, if she liked the other firm so much better? And why she didn't try to find out what your firm's working practices were like before she started moaning about them?

As for the personal chatter, that might just be an adjustment thing. I went from a job where everybody was fairly social and wanted to know what was going on in your life, to a job where everyone was totally professional all the time, and found the transition a bit weird.

When I was 18 I used to work with a girl who went on about her fiancé all the time. Which I thought was so boring and self-centred. And then I met my boyfriend and had to stop myself from telling complete strangers how wonderful he is... Maybe your trainee just isn't too good at overruling herself?

9:35 AM  
Blogger Shauna said...

hear hear! well said.

i was reading some reviews of the Bodydoctor book on amazon the other day and people were slagging it off saying it doesn't work and you need to buy special equipment (dumbells!) and it's too hard. and then in the next sentence they said, "i haven't actually tried it though". so giving up before they even started, in other words.

it also bugs me when i read running blogs and people comment saying "i wish i could run and get fit like you, i have bad knees". well derr, do something else! there's plenty of other kinds of exercise out there... sometimes it takes awhile to find the right one.

change is hard but it is so worth it, and the more you change the more addictive it gets.

i dunno how you have managed not to punch your trainee, she sounds like a royal pain in the butt!

10:32 AM  
Blogger Haloranch said...

I have often thought that I have no excuse for not losing weight because if I want to, I can exercise and I can choose to eat sensibly. If I don't, I have only myself to blame.

I have a paraplegic friend in a wheelchair. She has great difficulty losing weight because she can't move her body. She eats very little and yet, it's too much because over the years I've known her, she has gradually gained weight. I bet she wishes she were me.

10:58 PM  
Blogger Sandra said...

How judgmental can you get?

Yes, we should all be accountable for our actions and there are some deluded people out there. But I've come to realise that some people actually don't know anything about nutrition or options they could try or whatever. A lot of people use the blogs to find out what works for other people. To find some inspiration. Maybe some of them are just moaning minnies but perhaps they actually want o get some information?

Actually you don't know what the circumstances are for those people you've just generalised and slated in a paragraph.

You've been successful and good for you. Why feel the need to pour venom on those less successful?

To be frank, I am sick and tired of the negative blame culture in the media and then having to hear it all over again on the blogs I used to enjoy. Everyone seems to have their knives sharpened for overweight people - even those who used to be among us.

I don't find it motivational. I find it offensive and I won't be back here.

2:24 PM  

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