Wednesday, October 4, 2023
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my worker makes off-color jokes — Ask a Supervisor

It’s “the place are you now?” month at Ask a Supervisor, and all December I’m working updates from individuals who had their letters right here answered prior to now.

There shall be extra posts than standard this week, so hold checking again all through the day.

Bear in mind the letter-writer whose worker was making off-color jokes? Right here’s the replace.

Thanks for publishing my letter. I had my overview assembly with Fergus a couple of days after it was revealed and used a script similar to the one you described. I additionally approached it in a reasonably low-key approach relatively than considering of it as disciplining. As I anticipated, he was very receptive to the suggestions, and as quickly as I introduced it up, he knew what I used to be speaking about. I defined that there was all the time an opportunity somebody may overhear one thing like that and never realise it’s a joke, but additionally that extra merely it simply mirrored badly on him, which I didn’t need for him. I additionally acknowledged that Martin was the one to make the primary joke about drug references, however that Martin isn’t usually somebody to emulate anyway.

Fergus took all of it on board and wasn’t immune to the suggestions in any respect. We talked about how joking round at work isn’t the identical as joking round with your mates, even in a reasonably informal environment like our workplace. He did briefly deliver up the concept that being near the road was a part of the joke, however I made it clear that at work that line is far additional again. He agreed and stated he’d be extra cautious together with his jokes and feedback sooner or later.

And he has been! There was as soon as incident the place somebody introduced a supply to his desk and there was some transient joking round the concept that it may be intercourse toys or one thing, I piped up with a “guys…”, Fergus clocked it instantly and stated “sorry!” and that was that (and the worst of the joking had come from the opposite workers member, anyway).

The feedback on the unique publish had been actually useful, particularly from some individuals who had been on the opposite finish of suggestions like this and the way it opened their eyes a bit. A couple of folks felt that I ought to have been calling Martin up on his joke as nicely, and never singling out Fergus. Nevertheless I don’t handle Martin and actually wouldn’t have the standing to deliver it up with him – my group has a fairly flat construction and Martin and I are about equal within the hierarchy. Plus he’s a lot older than Fergus and has been within the workforce considerably longer (and been at my firm a couple of 12 months longer than me), and he’s NOT the kind to take suggestions on the style stage of his humour significantly nicely. So he can hold making no matter impression he needs, I’m not going to make that one my drawback!

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