Should I Tell the Boss?

Question:

I work with someone, who is on her cell phone, email, my space, and instant messenger at least 50 % of the time. She is the highest paid person in the office and doesn’t help the rest of us out when she is needed to. The boss trusts me, but I am not sure I want cause any friction here.

We only have 4 employees and 2 of us are looking for other jobs even though we like the ones we have, because of this woman. She may not be stealing money but she is stealing time that she is getting paid to do her private business.

The boss was out of town and I know that the other 2 ladies have been clocking in and then leaving while on the clock and coming back and clocking out. This bothers me because one is a preacher’s wife. Should I tell the boss?

Signed,

Annoyed


Answer:

Dear Annoyed:

Seeing co-workers misusing time while we are working arouses our “it ain’t fair” button. A button that we found we had when a brother or sister sluffed off and we were doing the chores. Should we tell dad or mom? Or should we bite our tongue?

Two specific “ain’t fairs” bother you: 1. You say you and another co-worker are looking for work elsewhere because you are irritated with one co-worker who tends to personal matters during working time and who doesn’t help when she needs to. 2. You also say that two of your co-workers took off during the day and didn’t clock out for that while the boss was away.

Should you tell? Should you keep your mouth shut when you know co-workers are stealing time for which they are paid to work? Let me set forth several other questions that, if answered, might help you know if and when you should go to the boss: ·Would you want a co-worker to report something you did wrong to the boss without first speaking to you about it? ·Isn’t it nice if your workplace is flexible enough to allow some time for personal matters during work time? ·Have you talked in a staff meeting about use of time and helping one another when needed? ·How are assignments made? Are some of you faster than others in completing them? Are projects all the same and take the same time to be completed? Are there ways to cut costs, time, supplies and energy? ·What might you and your co-workers do to be excited and proud of what you are doing? Who are your internal and external customers? How do know when they are pleased? What information do you need to learn if the work you do makes a difference? ·Is there any fun in your place work? Any thing that might be done to its décor to make it more pleasant?

Do you get my point? Your note to us is focused on matters that would be prevented or could be easily corrected if you put your mind to answering the bigger questions; questions that deal with how you want co-workers to behave toward you and about how you might make your work group friendly and productive. From what little you say in your question, it is evident that you work in a setting in which individuals are assigned jobs and you have little or no sense of working as a team. Your boss apparently sometimes leaves you all to do what is assigned or to just do what you know needs to be done.

There is no excitement, no passion for the job, and that’s the way it will remain until and unless you or someone speaks up, not to complain or tattle on each other, but speaks up to say, “What can we do to make coming to work more that a have-to-do chore? How can we make this place more pleasant, more beautiful and maybe even more profitable? How can we make each other’s jobs easier?” Sure you can hunt for another job, but the same “ain’t fairs” are likely to be there. Sooooo what will you do? I suggest that you put on an “I won’t complain” bracelet on one wrist and an “I can make this a place in which I want to come to work” bracelet on your other wrist.

Probably this is not the kind of advice you expected. But it’s free and you can find someone to tell you what you want to hear elsewhere if you don’t like it. In short, I’m saying: ·Don’t complain to your boss. ·Do speak up and speak up again to that boss and your co-workers to enlist them in making your work group into a winning team. Working together can be a pain unless someone says forcefully WEGO, WEGO, WEGO. Will your tell us what you choose to do and how it works, say in a couple of weeks?

William Gorden