Toes Stepped On At Work

We have a relatively new employee in the company. They joined less than a year ago.
I feel like they’re the director’s new pet.
They drafted a really messy SOP for something that they have not done for the company. It contained a lot of things that they got directly from the director - someone who has also not performed the aforementioned duties. It has been a running struggle between the rest of the company and the director - something that I see as healthy, akin to checks and balances - but the director is now using that new employee as their proxy for stepping on toes.
I created the template for the SOPs. They have refused to follow it. I also serve as editor for all SOPs, but they keep telling me not to touch theirs…but theirs is the messiest in use.
Today, they sent out a new version. It’s still a mess. They disregarded all proofreading sent their way.
I’ve already decided to upload a proofread version. SOPs here are to be standardized and representative of the quality we expect. Theirs is neither.
How can I bring this up at the next meeting?

(Edit) This would be less of a deal, but they keep badgering everyone about following a report format…when they refuse to follow the SOP format.


What is an SOP? Whatever it is, it sounds like a quality control issue. It should be apparent to management that this thing isn’t being produced with consistent quality. The thing to bring up is the need for a well defined procedure and consistent adherence to it. Then ask for ideas on how this can be accomplished. Ask if or how the SOPs can be improved so that folks are willing to follow it.

Maybe the director’s toe stepper on-er, aka “Toady,” can be convinced that the process will be more efficient and less nerve wracking if these SOPs are used correctly.

Anything that can make the boss or co-worker look bad or feel embarrassed during the meeting is best left unsaid. Meetings were mostly frustrating for me. They seemed mostly about people trying to impress each other and productivity was an afterthought if it occurred at all.

If you can figure out how to convey your ideas in a way that the boss thinks it’s their idea, things might get a bit better. I used to do that by asking leading questions and those with built in answers.

If Toady is the enforcer, the director must place importance on being popular, at least to the extent possible. That means this person is especially willing to embrace ideas that make her/him look good.

Perhaps none of this is applicable, but it may trigger thoughts that can be helpful.

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Depending on the nature of the work, if you can’ do anything more, then leave an email trail, print out the emails and keep them safely at home (or somewhere secure outside of work).

If you’re the person to sign off on SOPs, then how about sending an email formally citing some of the non-adherence to the usual standards
(give examples… this document does not meet the criteria for X or Y. Usually this is stated as Such and Such for the clarity of all parties")
This way, you can also attach what you think is a more suitable SOP for your company, and formally recommend it. If they chose to keep the messy version, then it’s out of your hand. Cover Your Own Butt…
State what your issues are, suggest a more suitable SOP (i say more suitable rather than ‘better’ so it sticks to facts, precedence, and not feelings). Office politics can be a real headache. Do your job, state your positions clearly, print stuff and keep the trail. IF things blow up afterwards, you can fall back on this email trail and say you did your job, recs weren’t followed, out of your hands.


Hey, thanks for the brainstorming! You definitely sparked some ideas for dealing with the situation.

PS: SOP stands for Standard Operating Procedures.

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Ahh, this would have made for a much more measured course. I actually went and uploaded the standardized version (and kind of stressing about it).
My blood can run hot, which is something I’ve gotten better about managing, but I still sometimes do stuff like this.

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