Miss Manners: I think my co-worker’s lapses warrant firing

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I work with a management team of four people. One member of the team is constantly making mistakes that the others have to scramble to correct after the fact.

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She brushes it off and says things like, “Oh, I’m such a bad typist” after sending embarrassingly erroneous emails to employees, with no second thought to proofread before sending.

She will completely forget the main tasks that she was hired to do, and when she does remember to do them, she does them half-correctly, forcing others to finish/correct the tasks.

These, in my professional opinion, are fireable offenses, especially if they’re recurring.

I’m sure you’re thinking, “Why don’t you go to her manager?” To put it frankly, our president and VP could not care any less about operational minutiae. They’re very hands-off.

So how do we mention her constant mistakes, in the hopes that she will improve, without hurting her feelings?

GENTLE READER: You must be candid with her: “You may not think it’s important, but when we send emails to employees that have typos in them, or leave them with unfinished projects, it makes the company look bad and forces the team to pick up the slack. Is there something we could do to help you make sure you proofread and finish these tasks? Perhaps there is a more efficient platform we could ask leadership to provide.”

Miss Manners suggests this collaborative approach, as it is kind and clear. But it is not without a whiff of warning that upper management may have to get involved. Even if everyone knows that the threat may be ultimately empty.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I changed my mind about moving into a seniors’ nonprofit housing group, and they have returned my down payment, as expected.

I am an LGBTQ adult, and, with the exception of one gay couple, the other members all seemed to be heterosexual.

After I agreed to join the group, they treated me coolly at social events. I tried to talk with them about my experiences (using “I” statements), but they bristled and said I was being negative, so I just decided to cut ties.

Other LGBTQ adults also visit this group, then leave; I just got more involved than most.

Now, in the exit paperwork, they keep writing about how they miss me and hope I will visit often. I came to the conclusion that they value diversity on paper but not in person.

I’ve tried to take the high road, as I now focus on friendlier organizations. Is there any written message I could share with this group about the mismatch between what they say and what they do, in terms of diversity?

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GENTLE READER: “While I appreciate your values and mission to attract a wide range of residents, I hope that you will continue to strive not just for diversity, but also inclusivity and equity, where all members feel welcomed and that they belong. I am afraid that my personal experience fell short.”

If nothing else, Miss Manners hopes that you will have given them an education on what their own buzzwords really mean.

Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website, www.missmanners.com; to her email, dearmissmanners@gmail.com; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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