You have decided to just say nothing and continue to listen. Joan continues:

“Joe, my husband, has a teenage daughter who has been married but it is breaking up, I believe. Also, his boy, who is two years younger is supposed to be living with us but has run away twice within the past two months. Everything seems to happen at the end of the week and over the weekends.

First the daughter comes home mad at her husband, then the husband follows, and they have a scene. Sometimes they make up and go back to their house, and sometimes not. Then the boy goes off and the police phone me to come and get him. Thursday night at midnight I had to drive to Cardiff to get him out of jail and didn’t get back until after 8pm last night.

All of these things happening on Thursday/Friday and into the weekends are very upsetting to Joe. I think he must be going through the ‘change’. He has been so upset and I worry about his mental health because of all of this, on several Fridays I have been afraid to leave him at home for fear of what might happen between him and his kids. But I know I am causing you problems, and I really hope that I can get all of this sorted out soon as it is starting to affect my mental health and wellbeing too”

What would you do now?

Which of the steps listed below would you take? 

Open each one in turn and decide which to take in response to the problem above. Use the link in your chosen response to see the consequence of your action.

Explain to Joan that you cannot begin to really understand how all of this is affecting her, however, you suggest that she waits 2 weeks to see how things settle, then you can both discuss it again.

Click to choose this response

Tell her that her personal problems are her own, but that efficiency is your business. Tell her that she must improve or consider leaving.

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Suggest that Joan take her problem to her family doctor or Church minister.

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Be friendly but tell her that you are going to place a warning letter in her HR file that states that she must improve the following month.

Click to choose this response