Friday, November 1, 2013

Lazy Co-Worker Leaves Hard Worker In A Spot

Dear Tazi:

I have a co-worker who does absolutely nothing. Our jobs are pretty autonomous, so we don’t have to report to the boss or have him check in on us very often. While I take this level of trust as a compliment and work hard to prove I am worthy of it, my co-worker “Eliot” takes advantage of it.

Eliot and I are on salary, so we do not have to punch a time clock – we just fill in a form at the end of the week with the hours we worked. While I arrive early every day to settle in, grab my coffee, etc. Eliot comes in an hour late and immediately takes an extended coffee break. If someone has a question he ignores them, so people have learned to come to me instead which puts the bulk of our workload on me. Eliot then leaves an hour early every day, and puts in for a full eight hours on his time sheet.

I want to say something to my boss about Eliot, but we are union workers so the most that would happen would be that Eliot gets a verbal warning, and then a written warning if it happens again. In the meantime, I would be stuck working with him in a very uncomfortable environment – I am the only one who knows what Eliot does (or rather doesn’t) all day, so he would know it is me who reported him. I love my job, but Eliot is making me miserable!

Worthy Employee

Dear Worthy Employee:

You don’t have to tell your boss what is going on in order for your boss to see what is going on; there are ways of alerting him without coming right out and telling on Eliot.

The next time Eliot starts shirking his duties, coming in late, or leaving early, contact your boss with a reason why his presence is immediately needed. Your boss will probably notice Eliot’s absence, even if he does not comment on it. After a few times, your boss should catch on that you are trying to get him to take notice of Eliot’s absences and may ask you about it. If he does, don’t cover for Eliot; tell your boss that he “always does this” but you were not comfortable complaining about him because you have to work with him. Form there your boss can make it look like he discovered Eliot’s poor work habits without any help from you.

Union or not, you have the right to a harassment-free workplace. If Eliot starts acting hostile towards you in any way, report it to Human Resources and they will see that Eliot is punished for his retaliatory acts. It is workers like Eliot that give union workers a bad name!


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with Bachelors degrees in Communications and in Gender and Women's Studies. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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