Sadly disappointed me today. He got mad at me, and in a joking, but angry way, pushed a trash can across the stockroom at me. Two other people saw it, and came to me concerned about his aggressiveness towards me. Oddly, it had not really registered on my radar screen. Which is bad. In fact, really bad, because I am usually really, really strict on code of conduct in the workplace. But with this employee, he reminds me too much of my kid - and for whatever reason - I tolerate it. (That bothers me a lot in and of itself, that I just did not even react when he was obviously aggressive towards me.) I am not sure what it is about this kid (27 is not exactly a kid, but still) - but I feel extremely close to him and protective of him. He is bi-polar, and comes to me all of the time for advice, and guidance about what he should do about his mental instability. I feel like the things I say to him really help him - and he tells me how much he trusts me and appreciated the time I spend with him. Then, in the same breath he will walk out the door and say something completely disrespectful to another employee in front of me - as if he is almost challenging our relationship. Like a kid. Truthfully I feel like it has turned into a really dysfunctional relationship, and I am going to have to not be his mentor or "life coach" and only be his boss. However, that saddens me ALOT - and I am not sure why. I guess because I really wanted to help him, and I can't? In fact I am doing a miserable job at it? Or maybe because I really care about him as a person and I cannot feel that in order to be an effective boss? Or maybe I am projecting what I have not been able to do for my own kid onto this relationship? I don't know - but it feels pretty messed up. I rarely, rarely get sad if I have to discipline an employee - and I am known for being really black and white with the rules. But this kid - he made me cry. Not because he was rude, but because I was unsuccessful in helping him be more successful in the workplace.......and because I can no longer have this mentoring type of relationship with him..........and because the writing is on the wall that I will have to fire him...........and maybe because I am sublimating the relationship I had with my difficult child onto this person since my difficult child is in Residential Treatment Center (RTC)? Any thoughts? I know, it sounds weird.