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what to do

 
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What do you do if you notice that a person in your company is slacking off, not performing his/her job responsibilities but no one in the mgmt seems to be noticing it (for > 1.5 years). Would you keep quiet because that person may have frienships or network connections which may be the reason his/her behavior is not frowned upon? Is it really any of your business? Or is it your business because you happen to be a shareholder in the company you work for???
 
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How big of a shareholder? If you happen to have significant stock options maybe you have grounds, just because you own a few thousand shares, don't expect much. Practically speaking, the board of directors represents you. Frankly, unless this is a serious problem and you have a lot of influence, I'd be very careful about saying anything.

--Mark
 
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The workplace can be a political realm, in which certain individuals are associated with �the right people.� Usually, these individuals can get away with performing little or no work, long coffee breaks, excessive days off, and other non-work related activities. I learned this the hard way.

2 � yrs ago, my team hired a technical architect consultant with 8yrs of high experience who was supposed to lead our development team. After having spend long days with this person, I quickly learned that he didn�t have the experience that he claimed to possess. In fact, I a junior developer who had just graduated from college was actually training this high profile consultant. The consultant didn�t even know how to code a simple if else loop. Before long, the consultant was draining our budget because he was billing long hours since he didn�t have a clue about anything. Since I wasn�t a consultant, I was given the task to come in on weekends to clean up this person�s work. After much consideration, I decided to tell my project manager that the consultant really didn�t possess the experience that he claimed to have. Unfortunately, I didn�t know that the project manager and consultant were VERY close friends. As a result, my project manager demonized me. He made numerous daily attempts to make me seem incompetent. Furthermore, the consultant turned the whole team against me also. He took credit for a lot of my work and told them that I didn�t belong in a J2EE project. I became miserable. Eventually our project exhausted its budget. So it was cancelled. I was placed in a different project. The rest of the group, including the consultant, the project manager, and the rest of the team were all laid-off.

If I have another chance to tell or remain quiet, I am going to remain quiet. I am going to make sure that I am properly credited for my work.
 
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Hi !

If you want the most clever and realistic choice, don't say anything.

In case you want to do something anyway, you should tell your hierarchical superior, BUT taking precautions :

_ First have a real reason to complain : "I must do part of his job while he should do all of it", "he made an error which will have a bad impact on whole group", or anything like this, or you will look like a weasel who unfrankly talks bad in others' back. If you have no real reason to make reproaches against one of your job mates, you will be looked bad anyway.

_ Then ABSOLUTELY ask for an advice to your hierarchical superior, stating that he is the first and only person to whom you told about this issue, respecting hierarchical order, you don't know what to do, and by default you will keep your mouth shut. Your superior will certainly give you the right instructions, which should be "thanks having talked to me first, don't say or do anything, I will examine this matter". Either he will discover this fact and will investigate taking precautions too, or he will already be aware of it and will behave accordingly. Anyway you will have your mind free, as the relevant person (your superior) knows your issue and will handle it. Even if he doesn't do anything for political reasons, he will appreciate you to report to him only and no one else, remaining silent afterwards and no further complaining. If nothing is done later it will suggest this person is protected, so if you had made to much noise you would have suffered instead of him despite being in your right.

_ Have this discussion with your hierarchical superior only orally, don't write anything so that no trace exists so as to risk make the issue obvious with a necessity to fix it if someone else finds out.

Best regards.
 
Prema Chakravarthy
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Thanks for your suggestions.

It is just that the rest of the people work so hard to pull their weight...
Agreed, keeping quiet will be the best thing.
 
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Nobody likes a tattle-tale, except the tattle-tale himself. Is his performance affecting your work? If it is, then you can always say that you couldnt deliver A, because you were waiting for B, which didnt come on time. If it is not, then there's an opportunity for you to show your skills, right there. But, whatever happens, make sure that you get credit for your work.

Jayesh
 
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Originally posted by Prema Chakravarthy:
Thanks for your suggestions.

It is just that the rest of the people work so hard to pull their weight...
Agreed, keeping quiet will be the best thing.



Situations like this can get very political. Often the apparent slacker is actually spending vast amounts of time polishing their position in the corporate political hierarchy. Such people usually have a huge amount of power until they offend the wrong person and get the boot. If you feel that your work is being seriously impacted the first thing to do is to DOCUMENT it. Ensure that the documentation is in a form that can be dated and proven, so that the slacker can't say that you just made it up. One very old fashioned way to ensure a timestamp is to write it down in a letter and mail it to yourself. When you receive it, DO NOT open it. The postmarked unopened letter is useful in court. All computer derived timestamps can be faked!
 
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I was a senior systems manager for many years and I never saw complaining about someone else's day to day work turn out well for the complainer.

Jayesh gave you a good approach. Be sure you get credit for what you accomplish. If you are waiting for this person to finish his piece, just explain that you are waiting on him in a way that doesn't set him against you or put your boss on the spot to do something. All you want is the piece you need to finish your project.

As for being a shareholder, that sounds good but I think you are just angry about someone in your group not pulling his weight. Are you willing to lose your job for the good of the company? No? I didn't think so.

Generally, bad workers are the first to go when there are lay-offs and we (management) don't have to prove on paper that someone is bad enough to fire for cause. Even if that doesn't happen, it's not your responsibility.

Your own advancement doesn't depend on putting someone else down. It depends on doing good work, getting proper credit, and gettng on well with everyone you work with.

By the way: There are easy ways to fake a dated sealed envelope. If you want to prove a date, have each page notarized.
 
Prema Chakravarthy
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Mike Gershman is right, people like this are the first ones to go when layoffs happen. I have seen it myself over the years. I knew a person with a real minor handicap perform poorly, management couldn't get rid of her. They were afraid of getting sued! But when layoffs came, she was the first one to go.

I was able to switch to another dept. recently and I don't work with this person anymore. So, I don't see any reason to think about this anymore. It is clear that it is not my responsibility atleast with the way things are now. I am letting it go.


Again, thanks for all your help!
 
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As said, don't get involved in company politics.
Unless you're the fair haired boy (or girl) for both your immediate boss(es) and people way up in the chain of command (the CEO and/or CTO are best) it'll only end in tears for you without any effect on the person you're targeting.
And even if you get what you want the relation with your immediate coworkers is likely irrepairably damaged, destroying your work environment.
 
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