I have been working at a coffee shop. Most time I work alone or with one other employee. Recently we got a new manager and hired new employees. One of them I have been having a conflict with. I won't sugar coat this and realize there were things I could've done better like be more assertive before it became a big problem. On the first day I worked alone with him the store was very quiet. I found him very annoying. He would take out his tablet, put on music I didn't like and dance in circles around me. A lot of it's hard to put in words but he has mannerisms I find difficult to deal with. For example he would walk up to me, block my way when I'm trying to do work, and tell me a personal story like how drum sales went up when the song that was on the radio first came out.

The next day I asked if he could take a turn taking out the recycling. He said no because there wasn't enough. I can't clearly remember what happened next but we had an argument and shouting was involved. He said he shouldn't have to take out the recycling because I was petting a guest's dog earlier and wasn't doing my job. I told the manager what happened. She told the COO (which I didn't even know we had) and she came in person to make sure everything was OK.

I felt the rest of the day we worked well together. And the next day. However today he told me he refuses to work with me and has complained to "head office" about my "work ethic". I told him I need to step outside to make a phone call. I was on the phone with the manager and he comes running outside yelling "where did you put the orders! they aren't where they are supposed to be!" I asked him why he was so mad and he said because the other coworkers left them in a slightly different spot so it was like I wasn't following the rules: in reality we don't have such a specific rule, basically I placed them a few inches away from where he said other people told him to leave them.

He seems to have trouble understanding priorities. For example when I'm talking to a customer he probably shouldn't interrupt to ask where more bags are so he can preemptively get them. When I try to politely point these things out he gets really mad.

While I would like to keep the job, I feel the company has cared very little about fairness and safety. For example the employee handbook said we are supposed to have an emergency panic button and we don't. We just got a new manager who seems a lot more hands on. We agree I shouldn't work with him. I asked if she could fire him and she said no because he complained directly to head office and it's in their hands. I didn't really know there was a head office that got involved in things like this, I thought the manager was are only point of contact.

Considering this is only his first week I'm surprised they are not giving me more benefit of the doubt, was this a foolish assumption? Before this job I've never had to work alone with someone and I've never had such a confrontational disagreement. I'm wondering if there's any legal rights I should be aware of, and if nothing happens, what should I do? If I get to keep working full time and not work with him again, I would consider this resolved.Also the manager asked me to write to her saying I thought our issue had been resolved. Why would she want this?

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    I'd recommend to talk to him about issues in a way that makes him aware how childish he is. But to do that you should set yourself apart from childish behavior, which perhaps isn't the case when I read you are activating upper levels to decide if recycling waste is full enough to be taken out... holy sh$$ you are serious about that? This situation could become a sequence of stupid acting and also stupid reaction. So first of all create a noticeablee difference between you and him before you take further steps.
    – puck
    Jul 12, 2021 at 6:27
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    "For example the employee handbook said we are supposed to have an emergency panic button and we don't."- did you ask the manager about this? Panic buttons are usually discreetly placed so it's possible you just haven't seen it. Jul 12, 2021 at 11:33
  • The reason the manager would want that written note is to shut down any liability for her inaction in the event of further complaints on your part, so don't write it if you're not happy. Probably better to send the opposite written note. Jul 12, 2021 at 13:27
  • A coffee shop with one employee working sometimes has a Chief Operations Officer... Ok. Jul 12, 2021 at 23:30
  • @GregoryCurrie they have a head office so presumably it's a chain Jul 13, 2021 at 10:59

2 Answers 2


He is new, he seems to be rude and clearly exceeding personal bounds (dancing around somebody) and professional behavior.

Talk to your manager before the probation period of the guy is over.

  • Should I report him for saying he wants me to leave the workplace and that he refuses to work with me (his words)?
    – user127275
    Jul 12, 2021 at 9:56
  • @user127275 Of course. Refusing to do his job is something the manager will care about much more than him hurting your feelings. Jul 12, 2021 at 10:59
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    @user127275 - Report the employee for what?
    – Donald
    Jul 12, 2021 at 11:41
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    @Donald telling me to leave the workplace
    – user127275
    Jul 14, 2021 at 23:59
  1. Talk to your manager. They should be the first line of communication. Don't ask them to terminate him, but rather explain your concerns.
  2. Talk to HR. The role of HR is to help mediate things like this. You make your concerns known to them, they gather information and handle things from a higher level. As he has already gone to "head office", your best bet is this step. That's the same level of communication.
  3. If you have concerns about your safety in the job...why are you there? If I felt unsafe because of the work environment, and the company wasn't willing to address my issues after I reported to HR, I'd be polishing up my CV and heading for greener (and safer) pastures.

The thing is, you don't get to tell other people (and especially not the company in general) what they should/shouldn't do. The best you can do is communicate your concerns effectively and evaluate what to do should they not deal with the issue (whether safety or co-worker abuse).

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