A Co-worker Who Snitches With Hopes To Get A Job

Question:

A co-worker of mine, who was recently hired and only has casual work, is snitching to the supervisor about everything and anything that anyone does. This individual is a member of a three party co-worker triangle and invites the supervisor into their little social circle outside of work.

The individual in question wants a permanent position but due to union agreement, the only way he could obtain a regular position would be if another employee got fired. This is obviously his intent. He has tried and failed previously with another employee. He is pathetic and breaks company policy himself. What to do with him other than watch my back?

Signed,

On Guard


Answer:

DearĀ On Guard:

There really isn’t much you can do to stop someone from reporting wrongdoing, unless you can show that the employee is falsifying his statements about co-workers. But I can understand that this is not a good working environment and is bound to create resentment.

If there is an employee union,perhaps the union could be asked to assist in some way. Or, perhaps you or others could write to HR and express concerns about what is happening. Or, you could discuss your concerns with your supervisor.

If there is a policy about outside socializing between levels, and you can prove it’s happening, maybe it’s time for you or someone else to do some reporting!

One good thing is that rarely is someone fired over small matters–even a bunch of small matters. Unless an employee is doing something that is a firing offense, it is likely that those in authority will soon become aware that one employee is making a great deal of trouble for the others. On the other hand, if what is being reported is really happening, maybe the other employees need to not only watch their backs, but start watching their behaviors and change them!

You say that the employee is part of a three person triangle that socializes together, so apparently he has some friends. Maybe his behavior is being misconstrued. Unless you have personally heard him report multiple things, there may be a chance that he is not the sole person responsible for what is happening.

One thing to avoid is hostility that shows at work. That will lead any observer to view the employee as the victim and you and others as bullies. Instead, be courteous and civil. Then, look for an opportunity to honestly discuss what seems to be happening. There is no rule against that, and as long as you are unthreatening and remain courteous you will have done nothing wrong. But it may be what it needs to get this out in the open.

In the meantime, be careful of your own actions and focus on your own good work. That is the best defense against having negative things reported about you.

Best wishes with this situation!

Tina Lewis Rowe