Lazy Co-Worker Drives Me Nuts!

Question:

I’ve tried calling a three way meeting. Things improved between my co-worker and myself for two weeks. Next time I brought it up, my boss wouldn’t get involved. He won’t admit the co-worker is careless or lazy and just likes to talk. The laziness has improved, the carelessness has improved as well, and he doesn’t talk when the boss is around. He calls me and asks stupid questions to waste my time rather than trying to find the answer himself.

The problem – he baby-sits the boss’s ex-wife’s kid when no one else will, this means the boss doesn’t have to, and this happens a lot.

I’ve given up wasting my time and won’t answer the phone when he calls and ask that his questions come to me via emails or faxes. Basically I’m trying to keep him from wasting my time. The latest, is I email or fax over questions re orders, I am working from home due to jerk and our inability to correct the problem, (my co-worker is passive aggressive – he gets @ me to make me look bad by being underhanded). My boss can’t see it. My boss is furious, says people have to talk. Blames me for the company being dysfunctional. From my perspective, if we each did our job properly, boss makes product, coworker assembles and ship, I invoice and post receipts, the company would not be dysfunctional. But, I get mad when the co-worker screws up the order, and replaces it but doesn’t note on paperwork (saying everyone makes mistakes)

(boss also does this) I think a written note to the file is necessary track exactly what comes in and goes out. Coworker and boss let flirting women of certain distinction get low, low, low prices (we don’t even cover cost. Not every customer gets same treatment, even those whose volume is high, but are strictly businesslike. When I bring it up the boss gets mad. Now the latest, when my co-worker called, he didn’t leave a message its just “Hi its Rick call me. I think he should say what he wants. So I emailed and said fax over or email what you need. Now my boss is furious and won’t acknowledge my emails / faxes. When I send one, I am asking for clarification on an order, or price?

Signed,

Frustrated


Answer:

Dear Frustrated:

What do you do next? Bite your tongue, persist in restating the problems that cost the company when not done correctly, or vote with your feet. For sure, bad practices do not change easily, especially when the boss won’t insist on facing them. So unless you have the guts to persist, you are left with coping with incompetence and finding a way to keep you sense of humor. Obviously in your workplace there is no sense of delighting the customer and creating a lighthearted yet professional working climate.

Work is tough enough without dealing with apathy and lack of cooperation. But there are some good places to work. If you cannot help yours earn the WEGO spirit, you will be faced with the choices I’ve mentioned above.

William Gorden