When to say goodbye to a member?

Hey guys! I need some advice/wisdom on how to handle a particular member.

In December, we rented out one of our private offices to a company owned by two guys, so they are technically both members. The guy who came in to sign up is a great guy. However, I wish I had met his partner before I had approved their membership, because he's kind of a jerk.

Quick recap:

- When they had not even moved in yet, my co-owner and I were in a quandary concerning the potential of converting one of our two conference rooms to an office, as we had had more interest in office rentals than conference room space at that point in time.

We sent out a message to our current members, as well as those two gentlemen (who had signed up but not moved in yet) to get their input on the matter, and also to see if any of them would be interested in the new, larger office (former conference room). The majority of the feedback we received from the members was negative, with most of them stating that they felt like they would be getting cheated a little if we only had the one, smaller conference room. The two guys who had just signed up didn't get back to me right away, but I had enough input from the others to determine it wasn't the right move for our community. So I contacted everyone to inform them we were just going to keep it as a conference room for now.

Apparently, that whole scenario rubbed the other guy (the one who I hadn't yet met) wrong, as he felt like we were offering them a larger office then just took it back, which isn't at all what happened. He never expressed that to me personally, and I was never made aware of this until, at a networking event with a lot of people, he pretty much was going around the room shitting on us, saying how his office was so small that they could barely move around in it, etc, etc, and not saying anything good about his office, our space, or his experience.

After it happened, I opted to go to the first guy (the one who I had met and who had signed up for them) because he seemed more level-headed and approachable, and also because he was the signing party for their business. I told him about the experience and how it had left me (and others) with not a great impression. I asked him if they were still happy with their arrangement. He was emphatic about loving the office and the space. He apologized for his partner and basically said, "That's just how he is."

I reiterated that we wanted them to be happy, and if they were not happy, they were free to leave. He promised me that they loved the space and said he'd talk to his partner. This was about a month ago.

Yesterday, we had another social event. I was unable to attend due to illness, but today, one of my members let me know that this same guy was making rude comments again, in the meeting and in front of a large group of people, about how small their office was, how they were always bumping into each other, etc, etc. She said it was uncomfortable for everyone.

In addition to his lack of couth and public speaking skills, the guy has kind of just been a little off-putting to everyone. To put it short, he's a dick. He also has recently taken to leaving his office door open and playing music loudly. (I hadn't addressed that yet because it is a fairly new thing and also no one was complaining about it, so I let it be for the moment.)

At any rate, my instinct is to schedule a sit down with the both of them, and to lay things out on the table (i.e. let them know that we'd love for them to stay, but it is really important that they are considerate to the other members, to the space, and to us, or else we'll need to cut ties.)

Have any of you had similar experiences you can draw from to give me some advice?

Thanks in advance!

“schedule a sit down with the both of them, and to lay things out on the table (i.e. let them know that we'd love for them to stay, but it is really important that they are considerate to the other members, to the space, and to us, or else we'll need to cut ties.)”

Jerks are jerks and it sounds like this guy’s partner might have just resolved to deal with his negativity, which means he’s basically gotten a pass to do whatever he wants. Approaching it head on is definitely the right move. You can be firm without treating it like a threat. Set expectations and let them step up, or step out.

No amount of money is an excuse for letting someone be disrespectful or a jerk in *any* business. That’s not just Coworking. :slight_smile:

Alex

···

On Feb 8, 2018, 2:28 AM +0800, Kevin Haggerty <[email protected]>, wrote:

Hey guys! I need some advice/wisdom on how to handle a particular member.

In December, we rented out one of our private offices to a company owned by two guys, so they are technically both members. The guy who came in to sign up is a great guy. However, I wish I had met his partner before I had approved their membership, because he's kind of a jerk.

Quick recap:

- When they had not even moved in yet, my co-owner and I were in a quandary concerning the potential of converting one of our two conference rooms to an office, as we had had more interest in office rentals than conference room space at that point in time.

We sent out a message to our current members, as well as those two gentlemen (who had signed up but not moved in yet) to get their input on the matter, and also to see if any of them would be interested in the new, larger office (former conference room). The majority of the feedback we received from the members was negative, with most of them stating that they felt like they would be getting cheated a little if we only had the one, smaller conference room. The two guys who had just signed up didn't get back to me right away, but I had enough input from the others to determine it wasn't the right move for our community. So I contacted everyone to inform them we were just going to keep it as a conference room for now.

Apparently, that whole scenario rubbed the other guy (the one who I hadn't yet met) wrong, as he felt like we were offering them a larger office then just took it back, which isn't at all what happened. He never expressed that to me personally, and I was never made aware of this until, at a networking event with a lot of people, he pretty much was going around the room shitting on us, saying how his office was so small that they could barely move around in it, etc, etc, and not saying anything good about his office, our space, or his experience.

After it happened, I opted to go to the first guy (the one who I had met and who had signed up for them) because he seemed more level-headed and approachable, and also because he was the signing party for their business. I told him about the experience and how it had left me (and others) with not a great impression. I asked him if they were still happy with their arrangement. He was emphatic about loving the office and the space. He apologized for his partner and basically said, "That's just how he is."

I reiterated that we wanted them to be happy, and if they were not happy, they were free to leave. He promised me that they loved the space and said he'd talk to his partner. This was about a month ago.

Yesterday, we had another social event. I was unable to attend due to illness, but today, one of my members let me know that this same guy was making rude comments again, in the meeting and in front of a large group of people, about how small their office was, how they were always bumping into each other, etc, etc. She said it was uncomfortable for everyone.

In addition to his lack of couth and public speaking skills, the guy has kind of just been a little off-putting to everyone. To put it short, he's a dick. He also has recently taken to leaving his office door open and playing music loudly. (I hadn't addressed that yet because it is a fairly new thing and also no one was complaining about it, so I let it be for the moment.)

At any rate, my instinct is to schedule a sit down with the both of them, and to lay things out on the table (i.e. let them know that we'd love for them to stay, but it is really important that they are considerate to the other members, to the space, and to us, or else we'll need to cut ties.)

Have any of you had similar experiences you can draw from to give me some advice?

Thanks in advance!

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Sounds like a problem I would have a conversation about, or maybe several conversations. I encourage you to consider whether his intention is to be rude.

Some people lack social skills and they do well to have a partner or business associate who has them, which it sounds like he has. Usuall these people have some other skills which that same partner lacks.

When I see a dynamic occurring which involves this kind of dynamic I think it is important to find out if indeed, the coworker is just like that and if so if there is a reason for that. I do this because there are quite a lot of hidden disabilities amouong the entrepreneurial class. If the space itself is for him problematic, then while the partner is telling you “he’s just like that”, the partner is also telling him “a coworking space is just like that”. Neither of which is necessarily true.

Now, having a disability is in no way a disqualifying condition for being a jerk, it is possible for these two things to be comorbid. :slight_smile:

But it would be a terrible shame I think if some fairly simple adjustment would make the space more accessible to the coworker, and thus end the problem in that way, and I missed it because I never explored the possibility.

The key is to ask him if there is anything you can do to help him feel more comfortable and welcome, not to ask him if he has a disability. And then I would prceed from there.

I think talking to his partner is not enough to know at this stage what you are dealing with. I would talk to him. You might be surprised.

···

On Wednesday, February 7, 2018 at 7:28:05 PM UTC+1, Kevin Haggerty wrote:

Hey guys! I need some advice/wisdom on how to handle a particular member.
In December, we rented out one of our private offices to a company owned by two guys, so they are technically both members. The guy who came in to sign up is a great guy. However, I wish I had met his partner before I had approved their membership, because he’s kind of a jerk.

Quick recap:

  • When they had not even moved in yet, my co-owner and I were in a quandary concerning the potential of converting one of our two conference rooms to an office, as we had had more interest in office rentals than conference room space at that point in time.

We sent out a message to our current members, as well as those two gentlemen (who had signed up but not moved in yet) to get their input on the matter, and also to see if any of them would be interested in the new, larger office (former conference room). The majority of the feedback we received from the members was negative, with most of them stating that they felt like they would be getting cheated a little if we only had the one, smaller conference room. The two guys who had just signed up didn’t get back to me right away, but I had enough input from the others to determine it wasn’t the right move for our community. So I contacted everyone to inform them we were just going to keep it as a conference room for now.

Apparently, that whole scenario rubbed the other guy (the one who I hadn’t yet met) wrong, as he felt like we were offering them a larger office then just took it back, which isn’t at all what happened. He never expressed that to me personally, and I was never made aware of this until, at a networking event with a lot of people, he pretty much was going around the room shitting on us, saying how his office was so small that they could barely move around in it, etc, etc, and not saying anything good about his office, our space, or his experience.

After it happened, I opted to go to the first guy (the one who I had met and who had signed up for them) because he seemed more level-headed and approachable, and also because he was the signing party for their business. I told him about the experience and how it had left me (and others) with not a great impression. I asked him if they were still happy with their arrangement. He was emphatic about loving the office and the space. He apologized for his partner and basically said, “That’s just how he is.”

I reiterated that we wanted them to be happy, and if they were not happy, they were free to leave. He promised me that they loved the space and said he’d talk to his partner. This was about a month ago.

Yesterday, we had another social event. I was unable to attend due to illness, but today, one of my members let me know that this same guy was making rude comments again, in the meeting and in front of a large group of people, about how small their office was, how they were always bumping into each other, etc, etc. She said it was uncomfortable for everyone.

In addition to his lack of couth and public speaking skills, the guy has kind of just been a little off-putting to everyone. To put it short, he’s a dick. He also has recently taken to leaving his office door open and playing music loudly. (I hadn’t addressed that yet because it is a fairly new thing and also no one was complaining about it, so I let it be for the moment.)

At any rate, my instinct is to schedule a sit down with the both of them, and to lay things out on the table (i.e. let them know that we’d love for them to stay, but it is really important that they are considerate to the other members, to the space, and to us, or else we’ll need to cut ties.)

Have any of you had similar experiences you can draw from to give me some advice?

Thanks in advance!

Nice discussion … I agree with all comments, in my years of experience approaching things honestly but with an open mind generally produces the best result and long term relationships. Sometimes, things just aren’t meant to be though, and then it becomes, to Alex’s point, life’s too short to deal with a jerk and the relationship needs to end.

···

On Thursday, February 8, 2018 at 6:19:51 AM UTC-8, Jeannine van der Linden wrote:

Sounds like a problem I would have a conversation about, or maybe several conversations. I encourage you to consider whether his intention is to be rude.

Some people lack social skills and they do well to have a partner or business associate who has them, which it sounds like he has. Usuall these people have some other skills which that same partner lacks.

When I see a dynamic occurring which involves this kind of dynamic I think it is important to find out if indeed, the coworker is just like that and if so if there is a reason for that. I do this because there are quite a lot of hidden disabilities amouong the entrepreneurial class. If the space itself is for him problematic, then while the partner is telling you “he’s just like that”, the partner is also telling him “a coworking space is just like that”. Neither of which is necessarily true.

Now, having a disability is in no way a disqualifying condition for being a jerk, it is possible for these two things to be comorbid. :slight_smile:

But it would be a terrible shame I think if some fairly simple adjustment would make the space more accessible to the coworker, and thus end the problem in that way, and I missed it because I never explored the possibility.

The key is to ask him if there is anything you can do to help him feel more comfortable and welcome, not to ask him if he has a disability. And then I would prceed from there.

I think talking to his partner is not enough to know at this stage what you are dealing with. I would talk to him. You might be surprised.

On Wednesday, February 7, 2018 at 7:28:05 PM UTC+1, Kevin Haggerty wrote:

Hey guys! I need some advice/wisdom on how to handle a particular member.
In December, we rented out one of our private offices to a company owned by two guys, so they are technically both members. The guy who came in to sign up is a great guy. However, I wish I had met his partner before I had approved their membership, because he’s kind of a jerk.

Quick recap:

  • When they had not even moved in yet, my co-owner and I were in a quandary concerning the potential of converting one of our two conference rooms to an office, as we had had more interest in office rentals than conference room space at that point in time.

We sent out a message to our current members, as well as those two gentlemen (who had signed up but not moved in yet) to get their input on the matter, and also to see if any of them would be interested in the new, larger office (former conference room). The majority of the feedback we received from the members was negative, with most of them stating that they felt like they would be getting cheated a little if we only had the one, smaller conference room. The two guys who had just signed up didn’t get back to me right away, but I had enough input from the others to determine it wasn’t the right move for our community. So I contacted everyone to inform them we were just going to keep it as a conference room for now.

Apparently, that whole scenario rubbed the other guy (the one who I hadn’t yet met) wrong, as he felt like we were offering them a larger office then just took it back, which isn’t at all what happened. He never expressed that to me personally, and I was never made aware of this until, at a networking event with a lot of people, he pretty much was going around the room shitting on us, saying how his office was so small that they could barely move around in it, etc, etc, and not saying anything good about his office, our space, or his experience.

After it happened, I opted to go to the first guy (the one who I had met and who had signed up for them) because he seemed more level-headed and approachable, and also because he was the signing party for their business. I told him about the experience and how it had left me (and others) with not a great impression. I asked him if they were still happy with their arrangement. He was emphatic about loving the office and the space. He apologized for his partner and basically said, “That’s just how he is.”

I reiterated that we wanted them to be happy, and if they were not happy, they were free to leave. He promised me that they loved the space and said he’d talk to his partner. This was about a month ago.

Yesterday, we had another social event. I was unable to attend due to illness, but today, one of my members let me know that this same guy was making rude comments again, in the meeting and in front of a large group of people, about how small their office was, how they were always bumping into each other, etc, etc. She said it was uncomfortable for everyone.

In addition to his lack of couth and public speaking skills, the guy has kind of just been a little off-putting to everyone. To put it short, he’s a dick. He also has recently taken to leaving his office door open and playing music loudly. (I hadn’t addressed that yet because it is a fairly new thing and also no one was complaining about it, so I let it be for the moment.)

At any rate, my instinct is to schedule a sit down with the both of them, and to lay things out on the table (i.e. let them know that we’d love for them to stay, but it is really important that they are considerate to the other members, to the space, and to us, or else we’ll need to cut ties.)

Have any of you had similar experiences you can draw from to give me some advice?

Thanks in advance!