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Take the initiative when lacking proper training

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in Your Office Coach

Question: Although “Bonnie” is supposed to be my trainer, she will not communicate with me. She works in another location, so I never see her. When I email questions, Bonnie either ignores them or sends back one-word answers. I refuse to talk to her by phone because she is arrogant and rude. After four months in this job, I am not as far along as I should be, because I'm constantly struggling to figure things out on my own. What do you suggest?  Abandoned

Answer: If you aren’t getting the expected training, then your boss needs to intervene. However, you should exhaust all reasonable alternatives before involving your manager, and so far you haven’t done that.  

Unless you develop telepathic abilities, your only options for communicating with Bonnie are email and phone calls.  Saying “I refuse to talk to her by phone” not only sounds childish, but also makes you part of the problem.  

If phoning Bonnie will produce the necessary information, then you need to overlook her unpleasant personality and make those calls.  But if that strategy fails, it’s time to ask your manager for help.

For example: “Although Bonnie is supposed to be training me, I’ve had trouble getting information from her by phone or email. I’m worried about falling behind.  Do you have any ideas for improving communication with her?  Or could you suggest another trainer?”

By helping your boss recognize Bonnie’s coaching deficiencies, you may prevent future employees from having to endure such a long learning curve.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Sfoster October 5, 2014 at 1:56 pm

I am having this exact issue the only other things I can add is that when I was hired, it was known I did not have the qualifications and had not done any type of insurance billing. I was promised I could be trained by the Clinic Coordinator who has since been out of the offie more than she is in and basically dumped me into the Dept Head’s lap.The problem with this being, she is busy with her own duties and she has made negative remarks in front of not only the CC but our co workers such as “I feel you should research every available avenue before asking questions, I will teach you to the best of my abilities but I am not a good teacher and I actually feel kind of sad that you did not get the trainer I had because she was the most awesome teacher ever. and things like I’m not trying to say you are dumb or anything but I spent x amount of time with you going over xovers and you still continued to ask me question after question.” She made a big deal over some mistakes I made on the aforementioned crossovers and then handed me another stack several days later. When I asked her to go over them with me again, she then brushed me off and said my errors were only oversight errors and still did not go over them with me. I later discovered that she was going in behind me on the software and correcting my errors but has never mentioned this to me but I have learned she mentioned how I “messed up some claims and she had to fix my errors.” I have sent my boss emails and spoken with her via phone about these issues and I feel as if she makes light of my concerns and she states things we will do in order to get me trained, but then never follows through. I now have anxiety every Sunday knowing I have to return to work and endure this form of bullying. Please advise.


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