Boss Hasn’t Fired Terrible Co-worker!

Question:

I was recently hired by someone that I’ve known for a few years to be the “manager” of a new retail store that he opened up. I was under the impression that I would manage the store and have one of the girls from his other store working there with me full time. However, at the last minute before the new, second, store opened up, he hired a friend of one of the other women that works for him in the original store. Now instead of the first girl that I mentioned, I work with this new woman. Since January is a typically slow time in the retail year, we are the only two people working in the new store.

Now, my problem is that she is extremely offensive verbally, making the most inappropriate remarks both in private to me, and in close proximity to customers on more than one occasion. From a woman who is older than me (I am 28 and she is 37), it is unbelievable to hear the ignorant and racist things she has to say. Some of her topics of conversation have been religion, whether or not someone was a transsexual, how her boyfriend is too fat to tie his shoes, and that she really has to “pee bad”, and that was in front of customers. In the unfortunate time when I am alone with her, it gets much worse.

I believe I have a vested interest in my boss doing well in the new location. I believe that firing this woman will only help him establish the store as a place that people will want to visit over and over again. However, despite three or four instances where I expressed my feelings about the situation, he is reluctant to do anything about it. I have guaranteed him there would be no issue with having all the hours covered, and in fact he has several current employees who have been with him for quite some time that have told me they would like more hours. These are people that he knows and trusts and have proven them selves. This new woman has not proven anything other than she will potentially piss off some customers and make a bad name for the store. My boss says he is not hesitant because of any loyalty he may have to the woman that made this horrible recommendation, but I cannot see any logical reason why he would not let me get rid of her. As far as I see it, the longer he lets her stay, the harder it will be to do what has to be done when she finally screws up big-time. This is a job that I enjoy very much and I think I am rather good at it, but this woman makes me extremely uncomfortable and I feel that my only option now may be to look for another job for myself. Of course this would be a last resort, but any advice that you may have would be help. Thank you.

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Friend Fired For Drinking!

Question:

A friend at work was terminated a few weeks ago for violating a company policy of having alcohol in her system at work. Less than two weeks later, four employees were actually caught drinking at work, and their only punishment was a record of it put in their personnel file. She was a good personal friend of mine but not very well liked by her employer or other employees. Would this be a discrimination case? Actually all she wants is her job back. Thank you.

Signed,

Friend

Answer:

Dear Friend:

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Changed Jobs And Should Not Have!

Question:

I have recently changed positions. I was a bank teller and now work for a finance company in the call centre. I am finding the call centre work to be extremely demanding and think I am losing my mind. I was part time and now full time, I have been so stressed with the call centre that I asked to do part time. > I am so embarrassed to leave, but am not sure what to do, the bosses are so nice but saying the same thing over and over really gets to me. I don’t know what to do. I love the full time pay but am not coping. Any suggestions?

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A Co-worker Friend Might Be Laid Off

Question:

In a private board meeting, I learned that my best friend is about to be laid off. My friend is in the process of buying a new house. How should I handle this situation?

Signed,

Worried For Her

Answer:

Dear Worried For Her:

This is an ethical question we have addressed another time from another employee who was in the know of a termination of a friend. In that case the employee, who sent the question, knew her friend was about to be fired and was about to go in debt for a new car. If she disclosed that the boss was interviewing someone to replace this friend, the friend might quit early and it could get back to her boss that she was betraying a confidence. In a similar way, you are facing the same problem–your friend is in the process of buying a new house and is about to be laid off. What do you think you should do? From the little you say, I assume that what you learned what revealed in confidence.

If you hint to your friend, “maybe you should check with your boss to learn how stable is your job before you sign the papers of a new house”, surely your friend will suspect you know something she does not. And when the friend confronts the boss, undoubtedly he will suspect that what you learned at the board meeting had been disclosed–in Washington D.C. terms “had been leaked without the boss’s permission.”

Have you spoken with the boss, or whomever will be the bearer of bad news to your friend, to apprise her/him that this co-worker is in the process of buying a house, probably under the assumption that her job is secure? Once you put this ball in that individual’s hands, you have opened the door to the ethical dilemma you feel–wanting to help your friend and expecting the friend once she gets the bad news to confront you, “Did you know anything about this and if so why didn’t you warn me???” And because you know that friends do not lie to one another, you cannot say, “No, I had heard nothing.” The boss then should make her/his wishes known about what is ethically permissible for you to do or not do. Putting your self in other’s shoes, both a friend’s and your organization’s, is WEGO mindedness.

There may other ways to work through this should I or shouldn’t I say something. If so , please let us know.

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Survived Reorganization But Quit In Disgust!

Question:

I left a large consumer goods company in late 2004 following a re-organization. I expressed my disagreement with several aspects of the reorganization that included relocation of all shared services to a southwest location. The accounts payable procedure was so inept that vendors and 3rd party manufactures were not being paid and no one was addressing this issue. My job was to deal with these companies. In my personal case, I tried unsuccessfully to define my reorganized job responsibilities with my new VP and a co-worker with the same job title as mine. These employees were both from another business unit that was consolidated with my BU.

I survived the reorganization, but the reorganized company was so onerous to work for that I forced my ex company to pay me severance. I’ve been looking for work for over a year. I’ve been very close- down to one or two other candidates and me, but no job offers. “Something” always falls through. I’m now considering that I may be “blackballed.”

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Co-workers Are Trying To Get Rid Of Me!

Question:

I am doing accounting job. There are three other girls in the accounting office except me. I work so hard. And I do anything I can. I always say” no problem” and always finish anything earlier than others. So my manager gave me “excellence award” in last December. Other girls are jealous of me. And they thought I have been treated better. So many times they tried to get rid of me. Half year ago, one of them told my manager that I complained about my salary. But I never did. Last month two girls told my boss that I read her personal Email when she went to lunch. I didn’t even know what Email she was talking about. Today that girl told my boss that others have deleted one of her spreadsheet and only accounting staff can access that file. I tried to get away from trouble. But they can’t leave me alone. They told everyone in the company I was so rude to them. But only thing I did is doing my work and talk nothing to them. I really want to sue them to ruin my reputation. Can I do that? Who can help me? Thanks!

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Dear Rumored To Be Fired:

Question:

Today I came down with a case of the flu. When I called work my GM informed me that I need a doctor’s excuse to remain employed. I was very surprised because I don’t miss much work, not nearly as much as some of my co-workers. I do not have any health insurance so it is hard for me to afford doctor visits. Is it the employer’s responsibility to pay for doctor’s visits when they require an excuse? If it is, is there a place online that I can prove it to them? I live in the state of Wisconsin if it matters. Thanks for any help.

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Losing Sleep & Coming To Work Is A Chore!

Question:

Thanks so much for your website. It’s helpful to see that I am not alone in having difficulty at work. Recently, I read the posting “Loner at Work Has Us Concerned” and I really appreciated your response. I am the “loner” at my own workplace. I don’t socialize that much at work as I have a very full life outside of the day job. I have a big family (though I don’t have children myself) and other commitments which I love and so really have no room nor interest in going out for lunch with the crew or the Friday night drinking and parties, etc. I have gone out with them a couple of times, but don’t really like it much. My lunch hour is the time I like to use for errands, sitting in the sun, planning or going for a walk. I don’t need to share much about myself and so I don’t. I realize that I am not in an ideal environment, but I am willing to do the work that I was hired for.

In the last month, however, going to work has been a chore. I have been losing sleep. I have been having trouble getting to work on time and was absent for a few days, enough for people to notice. My mind goes in circles about small conversations I have at work. I have been feeling depressed and it seems to get worse everyday. I do work in a poorly lit windowless basement 7.5 hours a day so that doesn’t help. I feel I am on the verge of being fired. I know this is a lot. Any suggestions?

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Set Up By Managment to Be Fired

Question:

I have a new boss, and my old senior RDO quit in March. The new boss has made racial comments and now has had other employees call and make false accusations in order to get me out of the company. I have worked 3 years for this company and worked hard to get from being a cook to a excutive director. I am on leave, for the alligations, but during an HR meeting, they told me I was set up to fail by my previous SRDO. I rebutted with witnesses to the actions of the employees seeking revenge and also told them of my senior executive director’s racial comments. I am still on leave even though they told me I am cleared of the other charges. What can they do to me now? How else can I fight this? Should I go ahead and quit? Should I get a lawyer now?

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I Quit Suddenly, Want What They Owe Me!

Question:

It was not what I planned to do when I got up this morning.

I have been working a at law firm for over two years that had nightmare written all over it from day one. I had no idea what sort of place this was when I accepted the job offer or the horrendous things that would go on there from verbal harassment/abuse (directed at me and other staff persons), sexual harassment (towards the younger female employees), excessive foul language, employees coming to work drunk, employees hostile and aggressive abusive behavior towards other employees, a supervisor calling another supervisor the “c” word (and apparently smashing her face into a file cabinet causing her to bleed several months prior to me joining the “team”)..I will spare you the remainder the brief descriptions of the massive war stories I have accrued from working at this job. The final straw for me today was when I learned that a new employee, only there one and half months, was not coming back for another month due to an auto accident. I know she was not happy there once she had a small sample of the chaos, disorganization, mismanagement and verbal abuse that she witnessed and relayed same to me as well as another employee. She was the replacement for another employee who finally gave her notice after working there 6.5 years under a verbally abusive and harassing tyrant who drove her to the edge. Another employee just recently gave her notice as she was not being paid enough and also, was continually harassed by the same supervisor. This is a “mom & pop” operation so the supervisor is a family member and therefore, has been permitted to get away with this. The supervisor continually piled on more work even though I had told him on a dozen occasions that I was overloaded and could not handle anymore. His failure to plan for distribution of workload of the employee who quit (giving them 6 weeks notice I might add) and failure to recognize the existing recurring problems in this office have been created by himself. Although I tried to keep up with the work, stay calm and not lose my temper after he failed to respect my repeated requests, I lost it and left.

I know the consequences of quitting a job. I have a fair amount of money in the bank and have good emotional support from friends and family whom have tirelessly listened to my weekly accounts for the past two years of the nightmare called my job. I know that quitting a job is not a mature thing to do, I should have another job before I find a new one, etc. and so on. I am a rational, intelligent, honest, hardworking, responsible, reliable person. Doing something like this is COMPLETELY out of character for me. I have never quit a job in my life. This has been a long time coming. I have been putting resumes out consistently for the past several months and for the past two years sporadically. I have had a couple of interviews but am being VERY careful about where my resume goes this time. In the meantime though, I am owed my final paycheck for this week along with some accrued vacation/sick time. In New York State they are obligated to pay anything owed to the employee as I understand unless there was something in the company policy stating differently if I am correct. And of course, this rinky-dink operation has no written policies.

I do not want to contact the employer directly. I am LIVID and do not want to be caused further emotional distress. I have had enough.

I still can’t believe I quit my job.

Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated.

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