Joanne works in one of Las Vegas’ premier hotel properties. The Las Vegas strip is home to 20 of the world’s 27 largest hotels. Joanne has held her job for the last three years and based on seniority is pretty secure in her place. She works on a team of 6 women and 6 men who operate one of the hotel’s special salons. All 12 of them must work together to get the job done and more importantly, keep the customer service level very high. This means lots of behinds the scenes cooperation and communication.
During a recent shift, Joanne headed to the laundry area deep underground to bring fresh towels and robes back to the service area. Behind the scenes in a giant hotel is remarkable. It is a maze of hallways customers never see. The hallways resemble streets and even once in a while experience traffic jams with hotel staffers coming and going.
Joanne would normally push a large bin of dirty towels down to the laundry area and retrieve a new bin of freshly folded towels. She met Roger in the hallway. Roger was tasked with the same job on the men’s side. Push down the dirty and retrieve a new bin. Roger met Joanne in the hallway and said, Joanne, you need to push this bin down to the laundry and get a new bin for me right now. I am busy with customers. Joanne said, “Pushing your bin is not my job. You take care of it yourself.” At that point, Roger became angry and began yelling at the top of his lungs telling Joanne that she was lazy and this was not fair. He kept saying he was too busy and since Joanne was already in the hallway, that proved she had nothing to do. A moment later, Roger had disappeared around the corner. Joanne was in the hall all alone and a little shaken up after having to endure a co worker’s tirade.
She took a short break and headed for the HR office to report what had happened. The HR professional on duty asked Joanne to write a statement and turn it in the next day she worked. Joanne agreed.
About an hour later, Roger found Joanne and apologized saying that he was under pressure and it got the best of him. He assured Joanne that it would never happen like that again. Joanne nodded and went about her business.
The next day, the HR Director called Joanne and asked her to come to her office. She said that an associate had complained about her saying that she yelled at a co-worker and demanded that he do her work for her. Meaning, pushing the laundry bins downstairs and restocking the towels and robes. Joanne was shocked. She asked the HR Director if she spoke to the other HR Manager about what happened yesterday? The HR Director said no. She pulled an envelope containing the written statement about Roger’s actions from the day before. She said, “It appears that Roger is trying to turn the tables on me. He has reversed the situation from the other day and is now accusing me of doing what he did.”
The HR Director accepted the written statement from Joanne and thanked her. She said that she would look into it further and reinforced that writing a statement immediately after something like this happening will now protect her from disciplinary action.