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Support staff workplace responsibilities -Trainer's guide

Chapters

Scenario 10 – Phuong


Scenario outline

Phuong has been working as a supported employee at Tangent Business Service for the past two years. Phuong works in the same area as Simon, another supported employee. Their supervisor, Vicki, has noticed for a while that Simon and Phuong do not appear to get along very well. This became very clear last week when Phuong pushed Simon over.

Key points

This scenario is primarily about:

Bullying can lead to de-motivation and discontented staff who do not communicate effectively. It can also give rise to a divisive workplace culture that can result in staff turnover, absenteeism and impaired performance.

This scenario is about horizontal bullying which refers to bullying between workers at the same level.

In this scenario it would appear that one worker is being isolated and ridiculed. You may wish to explore the cultural aspect of this scenario. You may also want to explore harassment and conflict resolution in more detail.

You could invite your organisation's human resources manager and/or union representative to discuss this scenario with the supervisors.

Workplace story

Phuong – a supported employee at Tangent Business Service

Photo of Phuong

Vicki – a supervisor at Tangent Business Service

Photo of Vicki

Simon – another supported employee at Tangent Business Service

Photo of Simon

Photo of Phuong infront of a machine

Phuong has been working as a supported employee at Tangent Business Service for the past two years. Phuong works in the same area as Simon, another supported employee. Their supervisor, Vicki, has noticed for a while that Simon and Phuong don't appear to get along very well.

Photo of Phuong and Simon entering Vicki's room

[Vicki – calling out]: Come on, fellas – what's the rush?

[Phuong]: Watch it, mate. What do you think you're doing?

[Simon]: Hey, listen – I'm not your mate. Just get out of my way next time.

Photo of Simon talking to his colleague

[Simon]: You know, you think he'd know when to back off – he's very SLOW … if you know what I mean …

[Small group – laughing]: Yeah, we know what you mean.

Photo of Simon and his colleagues

[Phuong]: Oh, come on -I need a seat. Can you move your bag please?

[Simon]: Sorry -I mentioned to Jan I would keep her a place, (sarcastically) SORRY MATE.

Photo of Simon and his colleague

[Phuong]: Really, can't you move up one?

[Simon]: Sorry. Don't take it personally but can't you just find another seat? Why don't you sit next to someone more like you? Anyway, Vicki is watching you.

Photo of Vicki

[Vicki]: Is everything alright? Everyone got a seat? Phuong, are you alright? What's the matter?

[Phuong]: Nothing. I'm just getting myself a spot.

[Simon]: Gee mate, you're so small you can squeeze in anywhere.

[Vicki]: Come on now, settle down.

Photo of Vicki talking to her team

[Vicki]: I want to talk to you two. It appears you have a few issues.

[Simon]: I reckon Phuong's got some issues but they're nothing to do with me. I'm just trying to do my job.

[Phuong]: What do you mean I have some issues?

[Simon]: Jeez, you're a bit touchy, mate.

[Phuong]: Don't you 'mate' me. Isn't that what you said?

[Vicki]: OK, fellas, cut it out.

[Simon]: Phuong, you're getting yourself all worked up over nothing again. Don't go getting your noodles in a twist (laughs).

Focus questions

Exploring the issues

Debrief questions

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