Lazy Co-worker

Question:

I work in the surgical department of our local hospital as a housekeeper. I work the afternoon shift and my co-worker does the day shift. She has assigned duties. If it is busy, she is to let me know what she didn’t do. Well she always says everything is done. It obviously is not when there are things left for days at a time. In the past I have gone behind her and redid work that she said was done. I have quit doing this. She extends her 15 minute breaks to 30-45 minutes. Surgery staff has complained about not being able to find her and she has had to be paged to come and do her job. This holds up the surgery flow. She has been talked to by management about these things but it’s only getting worse. I have been the one who went to the department manager.The last time she was talked to was 4 days ago because I pointed out some serious issues. She was told to correct them but to date nothing has been taken care of. I am very picky as this is the surgical area and needs to be as clean as possible. My coworker just doesn’t seem to care. I feel like I am banging my head against the wall. Im sure that management is sick of hearing me complain. I just can’t work like this. Can you give me some advice as to what else I can do.

Signed,

Sick of Lazy Co-worker


Answer:

Dear Sick of Lazy Co-worker:

You have probably done all you can about this situation. You are to be commended for following the chain of command and for you dedication in keeping a key hospital area clean. However, if management does no more than talk about the issue with no formal action, you are in your own words probably “beating you head against the wall.” One suggestion comes to mind. Try leaving this co-worker notes when she leaves work undone. Tell her you did not have time to complete the task in keeping with your assigned duties. State the importance of a sanitized area and ask her to try and complete the task(s) on her shift. Keep copies of these notes for future reference. Realize, however, that it is not your responsibility to do her work. Perhaps if left undone long enough, the professional surgical staff might complain to management. This action on their part will probably promote a more definitive move by management. In the meantime consider asking for a transfer to a another department. Hospitals almost always have needs for housekeepers- -especially on the evening shift. When the transfer comes to fruition, ask for an exit conference with your current supervisor if one is not granted automatically. In this conference, thank this person for the opportunities afforded you and state how much you like the current department. Emphasize that your request for transfer came about only because the first shift work was not being completed leaving the department in an unsterile condition. Emphasize in a courteous manner that you feel patients and professional staff deserve better. End the conference by again thanking this person and ask for constructive criticism relative how you might improve your work in your new assignment. Good luck

Barry Hester