After re-reading yesterday's post, I realized that I might have left out a few things. So just for my own edification (and maybe yours too!), here are some other details.
Yes, I was written up in April, along with my coworker. We were both "charged" with insubordination and lack of professionalism, with the guarantee that if we didn't improve, we would be terminated. Isn't it a little odd to write up your entire staff on the same day, for the same things? Shouldn't that reflect badly on the manager, perhaps as a sign he couldn't keep his staff in check? Apparently not. During the write up meeting, I actually said as much, and also gave my boss a piece of my mind about his lack of consideration and respect, treating us as if we were stupid, not listening or believing us, among other things...
It should also be noted that not once in my entire work history had I been written up. Not even in my high school jobs! I'm not perfect, I've had things about my personality or work style brought to my attention (ahem, lateness, ahem), but nothing on this level. My coworker had a spotless employment record as well.
I will freely admit that with this guy, we were not angels. As those of you who know me in real life or via other channels know, he was really difficult to work with, and we were snippy with him. We tried to work around his quirks, but we were often met with resistance or laughter, directed at us and our ideas. Nice, huh? We stopped giving him information, waiting for him to ask for it, since if we didn't do it in his rigid method, it made matters worse. It's funny, now that I'm removed from the situation, it's hard to recall all the things that occurred.
Between April and November, I made a conscious effort to be nicer to him (or at least more professional), not show any attitude, and so on. It seemed as if when Chris received his diagnosis, this guy started dialing up the pressure on me. Did it really? I don't know. I don't want to be paranoid, but maybe he saw it as a great opportunity to begin getting rid of me. He seemed to be more nit-picky about things not looking perfect, wanting me to respond to issues on the weekends (including things that I could not resolve, like fixing errors on the web site, when he knew that IT needed to be involved), and having me do projects that were not fully explained, then changing his mind during them, leaving me with pieces of unfinished work.
During the fall of 2012, I was not fully present at work and I wasn't doing everything that I should have been. I think it was visible that my head was elsewhere. I believe employers have the responsibility to make their employees better workers. This was a sentiment shared with me by my aunt, who works in employee training for a national cable provider. Now, if I was a boss, I would have met with my employee, asking if she was really OK, did she need to take some time off, that sort of thing. I believe that when employees are supported, they will do their best work. Not in the hand-holding way, but just "we know you're going through a tough time, and we know you'll get back to your former productivity levels, but please take a month (or whatever needed) to get yourself back to full speed." It is expensive and time consuming to get rid of, and then replace, an employee. To me, it makes more sense to lose an employee for a month or three, versus documenting a case for their dismissal, then working on hiring and training a new employee. But that's me. The idealist.