Here's the perfect way to lose respect in an office. Say these words:
"That's not my job."
When she said this, the very young woman blinked at me like a doe and crimped her lips a little.
I clamped down hard on my temper. "This is exactly your job. If it's not yours then whose is it? It's about the whole organization and staffing so this falls under your area. That's your job."
She tried again. "Well, with everything else on my plate I've just sort of pushed this back on the backburner." She said this while sitting on top of her desk, after having finished chatting with a coworker. Her laptop was dark.
"I suggest you move this up to the front burner. I just gave the ambassador incorrect information based on this." I shook the paper in my hand. "That's unacceptable. How long do we have to wait until something comes from this office without mistakes on it?"
She sat on her desk. "I'll fix it. I'll post the revisions on the shared drive so everyone can access them."
"Thank you. I appreciate it." To take the sting of this encounter away, I will probably have to find a way to make this a coaching opportunity, but for now, I'm still frustrated.
(Yes, I have officially become my mother. And now I understand all those women who rode me hard when I first started working in corporate environments. To those women I say this: I'm sorry for every bitchy, ignorant thing I muttered under my breath when you walked away. You were right.)