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I lead a team at work; two novices work under my direction.

One of them is compliant and has a good attitude, but lacks confidence. The other has a whole lot of confidence and nothing else.

He is pretty young; came to this program straight out of highschool and he still acts like a kid. Let's call him "little man".

He doesn't listen very well and is more concerned with when break time is than actually putting work in.

I've also noticed that he can get pretty disrespectful with some of his superiors. He doesn't come at me like that, but there's an older woman who works with us that he openly cusses at and another higher level apprentice that he likes to talk down to. I suspect that he considers these people to be beneath him or less worthy of respect and that is why he treats them this way.

I have told him how unbecoming it is for a man to speak like that to any woman, much less one old enough to be his grandma and who is just trying to teach him how to do his job, and as for the other apprentice, I just kind of let them have their discourse, as he is more than capable of biting back at little man.

I avoid lecturing him about general life stuff because I'm only like 7 years older than him and at the end of the day I am there to train him to do a profession; I'm not his dad. The one time he cussed out the old lady was just too much for me to shrug off, though, so I had to let him know about that.

Although he doesn't come at me with blatant disrespect, sometimes he can be annoyingly petulant and unreliable when asked to task.

There have been a number of times that I have wanted to chew him out or otherwise really lose my cool.

I don't because:

1) he is really, really small. Like 5'4 and 100 pounds flat. It wouldn't be becoming of my big ass to intimidate someone who I outweigh and tower over. Not to mention that since I am in charge of him and have way more experience, it would just be unprofessional.

2) I was a shitty kid, too, once, not going to lie. Probably worse than him, too, because I had a bark [i]and[/i] a bite.

But there were people around me who, despite my constant attempts to shake them off, never gave up on trying to speak sense into me and guide me to where I needed to be.

I gave these people hell; far more than they could have ever deserved. I can never repay them or make amends enough for it.

And so, I regard maintaining calm and reining in my fury in regards to little man's immaturity, a form of penance for my own past actions and attitudes.

He does seem to slowly be getting better as a worker, so this approach is effective; it is just a slower process than I would like sometimes.

That is fine, though. If I can maintain this demeanor in the face of this guy, and in the face of the many other developing people I probably have yet to train, then maybe one day my karmic debt for being such a shitty kid myself will be repaid.
DearAmbellina2113 · 41-45, F
You're a good dude. Despite what you say.
Eternity · 22-25, M
@DearAmbellina2113 Thank you. I'm alright sometimes.

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