I dreamed about The Problem last night. In the dream, she was doing everything wrong. I had to keep reminding her about our conversation and how she was on notice. I kept letting her get away with her same bad behaviour and every time she'd do something and I would catch her and shake my finger at her, I would remember that I was supposed to fire her. Instead I just kept giving her these "now, now, we talked about this" speeches in an annoying sing-song voice.
Today I found out that she went to another person in my office, the salesman for my branch, and wanted to discuss the issue with him. Our salesman was the branch manager years ago when I was hired with the company and The Problem was at one point a valuable (and valued) employee. She regularly went to him with her stories of unfair treatment and attempted sabotage from her co-workers. Today, she went to The Salesman to get him to talk to my boss about the recent corrective action I took against The Problem. It is an absolute mess. The Salesman, at least, refused to get in the middle of it and told her that she needed to deal with me. That's one good thing.
I am frustrated with this situation. I am extremely invested in my job; I take it very seriously, and I probably get a little emotionally involved with my tasks. Not to the point where I am too close to my employees, but to the point where I cannot leave the problems at work. I bring them home with me, carry them around and have them constantly on my brain. This makes me a hard worker, a good employee, but it also increases my stress and affects my personal life. I am frustrated that this has become such a deep issue. I feel as though I have taken the appropriate steps; I don't feel like I failed at any point. But I'm sure having a hard time turning this problem off when I leave the office.
Especially annoying for me is that I am spending so much time and energy dealing with this issue, time I could be devoting to valuable tasks like preparing projects for my group to work on when their volume runs low, or evaluating policies, or completing performance reviews ... there are seemingly a million other details that need my attention, and instead I am listening to others vent about the tension in the office, or discussing The Problem's behaviour with my salesman. Perhaps this actually counts as the "negative behaviour" I wrote her up for ...