Annie's Mailbox: Time to go over boss’ head to get results on slacking coworker
Dear Annie: I have a co-worker who often shows up late, constantly complains about how he doesn’t want to be “here” (in this city, at this job, etc.), spends most of his time reading Facebook posts aloud or trying to chat with the rest of the people in our department and generally wastes his time when he’s supposed to be working.
Our department works on a very strict deadline, and he often finds himself in a time crunch at the end of the day and asks the rest of us to do his work for him. When we say no, he either calls our boss to complain that we “aren’t helping” or tries to scare us by saying that it’s “everyone’s fault if we miss deadline.”
Several co-workers have tried to explain this to our boss, but this guy always has some excuse that our boss is more than willing to believe. I am pretty sure it’s because they were friends before our boss was promoted. But this co-worker is making our boss look bad, along with the rest of us. I think our boss is truly blind to the fact that this guy barely does his job, and produces subpar work.
It bothers me that this whiner is dragging the rest of the department down. What should I do? – Confused and Frustrated
Dear Confused: We think your boss overlooks this guy’s ineptitude because it’s easier than dealing with the situation and possibly losing a friend. But it damages the company, not to mention morale.
If there is a human resources department or your boss has an immediate supervisor, this is where you should direct your complaints. Make it a group effort with others from your department. Don’t criticize your co-worker’s personality. Simply say that you are concerned deadlines will be missed. If told to send your complaints to your boss, explain that you have already done so and it hasn’t made a difference. In the meantime, encourage this co-worker to look for another job, perhaps in another city where he will be happier. Try to do it with sincere concern for his well-being.
Dear Annie: This is in response to the letter from “Morose Mom,” whose adult children kept borrowing money and never paid it back.
As each of our children graduated college and went on to lead adult lives, we instituted a very strict rule: Your credit is only as good as your last loan. They had to pay back one in order to borrow again. And guess what? It worked. We’ve had every loan (we don’t charge interest) repaid and would not hesitate to let our children borrow again, especially if they found themselves in an emergency situation.
When my husband went back to college for a post-doctorate, we found ourselves with not quite enough money to make it to graduation. His dad loaned us $5,000, and as soon as my husband started work, we began paying Dad back. After the entire amount had been repaid, Dad’s wife said of all the adult kids, we were the only ones who had ever done so. – Responsible Adult in Florida
Dear Florida: You did it right. Unless parents want their loans to be gifts, a repayment schedule should be set up and followed. A parent who continues to loan money to a child who never repays it is asking for a lot of aggravation.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. You can also find Annie on Facebook at Facebook.com/AskAnnies. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.