I don’t know what to do about this situation at work, and I’m freaking out

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  • September 25, 2022 at 5:37 pm #1116171

    I work for a commercial cleaning company. Have been for 5 months. About 70% of the employees are special needs. There is this autistic guy I was working with a few days ago. He is going on vacation soon so he was showing me what to do when he’s gone.

    When we clean the bathrooms, there is a cup we keep the toilet brush and another little brush we use to scrub the outside of the toilet. Those are supposed to stay separate from everything else. Anyways, there is another brush that we use to scub the sink. Thats supposed to stay separate from the toilet brushes to avoid cross contamination. When I was working with this guy he had the brushes in the same cup. So he had the sink brush with the toilet brushes. I try to tell him but he says “im training you”

    After the shift is over I call my boss and tell her what happend except for the im training YOU part. She said “oh no. Thanks for letting me know”. I call her a couple days later and I ask her if she by chance talked to him about it. She said no but She’s going to talk to his mentor so she can talk to him about it. I then stresses how dangerous it. She agreed. She then asked me if I could take the sink brush and soak it in some disinfectant. I had already done that so I told her. I forgot to mention that earlier in the story. So that is the last time I talked to my boss about it. I don’t know what to do now. My brother and dad said I should give her a couple days and if nothing has been done then I need to tell her that I’m gonna report the company. I dont want to do that. I know I need to report the company but I’d rather quot before I do that and not tell my boss. What am I supposed to do now?

    September 25, 2022 at 6:17 pm #1116172

    You’ve already done your part by telling your supervisor. You followed up once. She told you how she was going to address it. I don’t think it’s appropriate for you to keep questioning her about it. If this is really freaking you out, you could ask her one more time if she knows whether it’s been dealt with, and say it is really concerning you because the guy told you to do it this way, and if he trains other people he’ll be training them incorrectly and causing contamination.

    But honestly this isn’t your problem anymore. Definitely do not tell your boss you’re going to report the company, that’s bad advice.

    September 26, 2022 at 6:55 am #1116175

    Agree wholeheartedly. Your boss clearly recognized the issue and has said she is handling it.

    She doesn’t owe you any updates or follow up information. Think about it this way, if someone raised an issue about you, would you want your boss to continue talking to this with the person who raised the issue or would you prefer that your boss addressed it with you individually?

    If you see this again, report it again. If you see it a third time, you know something is wrong with the company and you should leave.

    September 26, 2022 at 7:04 am #1116177

    Right, when someone’s behavior gets reported, the only people who are going to be aware of the follow-up action are the people directly involved, meaning the person who got reported, their supervisor, and anyone who was harmed by the person’s behavior, like in the case of a harassment complaint. This is a work performance issue, and naturally you would not be involved in the follow-up.

    September 27, 2022 at 6:04 pm #1116237

    So if I do leave, should I report the company as well?

    September 27, 2022 at 6:36 pm #1116240

    I don’t think there’s anything to report the company for. You saw someone using an incorrect and potentially dangerous procedure. You did the right thing and reported it. Your boss said thank you and that she’d deal with it. Which is exactly what she should say.

    If you see the behavior happen again, you can report it again, but until then I think you have to assume it’s been resolved.

    What would you report? That you saw someone doing something incorrectly? Or that you’re not sure if your boss addressed the incident?

    September 27, 2022 at 7:25 pm #1116241

    Wait, are you going to leave the job and report the company because of what you saw? You told your boss what you saw and she’d said she’d follow up. Where’s the issue? Because she didn’t by the time you’d asked again. I’m not exactly sure, but even if she had spoken to him or hadn’t, it’s not your business any longer. She literally doesn’t and maybe even shouldn’t tell you when she has or hasn’t spoken to your fellow workers, because it’s private and personal.

    I would be careful of who you’re getting job advice from because “threaten your boss that you’ll report the company,” isn’t really the best advice, if you want to keep a job or have a reference.

    September 27, 2022 at 8:35 pm #1116242

    Hi, I work in HR – you handled the issue appropriately. You reported to your supervisor. Your part in this is done. Supervisors do not have to update you on the matter. If the issue does not happen again, then it has been resolved. There is nothing to report the company for – and who would you be reporting the company to??

    Also, I think you maybe have a problem with the fact that “About 70% of the employees are special needs.” Where I work we have a day program for what you call “Special Needs” adults ( I am not going to try and explain why that is not the best term to use anymore). Anyhoo, the program that we have offers job training to our clients. Janitorial is one of those skills. Your supervisor reaching out to your co-worker’s mentor is standard for these types of programs. Because not just job skills are developed through these programs, but also life skills and interpersonal relationship skills. You seemed to take offense at your co-worker’s “im training you” comment but in their eyes, showing you what to do while they are on vacation is training you. But maybe you think that you are superior to a “special needs” individual and have jumped on a chance to prove that with your repeated reporting to your supervisor and threats to report the entire company.

    Sorry, for the rant – but I see all too many prejudices in the workplace against people who are differently abled. I am just asking that you look at your motives here and consider that the advice your family has given you is over the top and not productive.

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I don’t know what to do about this situation at work, and I’m freaking out

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