Jack was a new manager of a small team. It wasn’t his first management, but it was inside a larger corporate office, where this team sat.
They were a small intimate team and Jack felt it right that they should do the stuff that he need not do, so he left it to them to do the drudge work.
Not that he told them these were his expectations, he just left the work undone otherwise.
His new team struggled with this, as they had before been managed by a Sam, manager who consulted them well, who treated them fairly and, as far as possible within the organizational framework, had been democratic with them.
Everyone enjoyed working with Sam, so Jack had a big hill to climb already, before he started being all quiet and keeping himself to himself.
Indeed, he never even offered to make them a coffee when he was having one, though they did it for him.
Jack created an enemy out of his team. Although disliked because of the way he chose to do things, he was tolerated by most of them.
But Yvette really didn’t like him.
Yvette was, frankly, rude and awkward with Jack, so much so that everyone in the team noticed.
Jack sought sympathy from the others in the team. They really weren’t on his side, though they also felt Yvette was going too far.
This went on for 6 months. Jack become so frustrated that it depressed him. The rest of the team felt they were tippy-toeing round Jack and Yvette on eggshells.
Jack decided to leave.
Now, once he decided to leave, he also decided that he wasn’t going to take this nonsense from Yvette any more. In a one-off difficult conversation, he explained to Yvette that her behavior was unacceptable and that he wasn’t prepared to tolerate it any more.
Once Jack had this one-to-one to explain the facts of working life to Yvette, she understood. In fact this clearing of the air significantly improved their relationship, because Yvette now understood the relative positions they were in and the Jack had put his foot down.
For Jack, this action came too late. He had already resigned and decided to move on.
For an outside observer, it was patently clear that Jack needed to be firm with Yvette very early on and the issues would have been resolved easier.
But Jack didn’t like even the thought of confrontation. His choice was to absorb the dragging low-level stress that Yvette peddled for six long months.
It’s a tough call.
Grasping the nettle and having it out by firmly stating your position face-to-face early on, or suffering the frustrations and worry and ignominy of belittlement behind your back for six months.
Or is it.