Social Question

mostlyclueless's avatar

Should I "tattle?"?

Asked by mostlyclueless (696 points ) March 23rd, 2012

I work in a very small office with only a few people and virtually no direct supervision. Our immediate superviser is in a different building and never comes over here.

One of my coworkers has taken more and more liberties with this over the years. Her contract here is supposedly ending in a few months (although it has been extended multiple times) so she has been job hunting and recently got a part-time job.

She has always been pretty lax about showing up to work, but since the part-time job she has started lying about it. She will tell the rest of us that she has a “doctor’s appointment” when in fact she’s going to her other job—and we know this because SHE POSTS ABOUT IT ON FACEBOOK!

For years, we have ignored her absences and not said anything to our superviser. But I think her lying to us is the last straw—especially because she asks us to pass on the lie to our superviser, sometimes. None of us are willing to lie for her.

Should we tell our superviser what she is doing? Or just wait for her contract to run out, and hope it is not renewed this time?

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20 Answers

Blackberry's avatar

Is she allowed the time off or is she just abondoning work? There’s a difference. It doesn’t matter how she uses her time as long as it’s approved time off.

mostlyclueless's avatar

She’s just not showing up because no one checks up on us.

funkdaddy's avatar

Nothing wrong with telling someone, but personally I think it’s always more respectful to talk to the person first before affecting their employment.

“Hey, we understand you got a new job and we’re willing to help out as needed, but we need you here and I’m not comfortable lying to <supervisor>.”

It doesn’t have to be threatening but at least that way you’re not just tattling, you’re fixing the problem whether she decides to continue or not.

wundayatta's avatar

Is there some reward in it for you? Will the boss like you better? Will you get a raise? Will you be showing responsibility? Do you want the perks of being a tattle? Then tell!

Will your coworkers mind? Maybe one of them should do the telling?

But if the boss doesn’t care about you, and that’s what not showing up says, don’t be so sure they will care to know what you have to say.

Personally, unless it is making more work for you, I wouldn’t consider it any of my business.

poisonedantidote's avatar

Tell the boss she is the best worker you have ever seen, then find yourself a part time job and stop showing up so often, and tell the others to do the same.

The boss is weak, make sure you all get a bite. You have a good chance here to have an easy ride, and if you don’t want to take the risk of getting a part time job to earn extra money, then at least take advantage of having a boss who does not give a crap to have an easy time at work.

Telling the boss is bad for everyone, if the boss thinks some employees are not pulling their weight then he will probably whip all of them to make sure they are all running well.

If you tell the boss, prepare to work harder for the same pay, those small things you appreciate, such as that first coffee in the morning that lets you do nothing for the first 15 minutes and still get paid for that time, could vanish.

Not to mention that people have been known to both kill and commit suicide over jobs and money.

JustPlainBarb's avatar

I would ask to meet privately with your supervisor. If this is affecting office morale or others getting their work done, they need to know about it.

Tell them the facts you know for sure and let them handle it. It’s not fair for someone to get away with this AND be so cocky about it.

Definitely don’t lie for her. If she asks you to, be straight with her that you don’t condone what she’s doing.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

I don’t understand the philosophy, but companies have recently been stressing that they don’t want tattletales in their companies. The reason I say that is because my son was filling out applications for a job about a year ago, with Walmart and Lowe’s, and had to fill out a 50-question questionaire that went into “what would you do” extensively, and a lot of the questions were about whether you would tattle if you saw a co-worker doing something bad. The answers were always NOT to go to the supervisor. For that reason, I would stay out of it.

marinelife's avatar

Yes, you should tell. It is not school. It’s real life and work. Presumably, her work impacts yours and the others. the fact that she is not there when she is supposed to be, and is lying about it hurts the company.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

@marinelife I agree with that philisophy, for sure. Why companies don’t agree with it is beyond me.

funkdaddy's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt – Did they actually give answers? It’s a personality test, so generally they don’t tell you how many you got “wrong”.

I would think if there was a “lesson” it was more that they want people who are able to think for themselves and work independently without constant supervision.

Walmart is a big place, it’s easy to get lost ~

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Not answers. But just for fun I took the test, answered the questions the way I thought a corporation would want me to. Also I have lots of experience so thought I would ace the thing, but at the end it told me that my services were not needed. Ha-ha. And I answered all the questions with reporting to the supervisor (such as seeing employees that were goofing off, stealing, etc.)

chyna's avatar

I wouldn’t tell. It would make you look like a tattle tale.

MrItty's avatar

Is she getting the job done? If yes, then maybe you should be as relaxed about the rules as she is, as the rules clearly aren’t relevant. If not, then the boss should notice on his own and fire her. If he doesn’t notice, then that’s his problem.

The only way I could see this affecting you is if her not showing up somehow creates a hardship for you – if she’s slacking in her duties, and you’re the one who has to pick up the slack. If that’s not the case, stay out of it.

mostlyclueless's avatar

@MrItty, she is not getting the job done at all. Unfortunately our superviser is overwhelmed, having a lot of personal problems, and generally does not have much skill at managing people.

You all are right that the effects on me personally are only indirect. The main issue I have is financial. The part of our budget that pays our salaries is fixed, so the money that is used to pay her to do nothing and lie to our faces and our superviser’s face about it could be used for something else.

MrItty's avatar

Sounds like your supervisor is as guilty of not getting the job done as she is. You should ‘tattle’ on your supervisor to his supervisor.

Coloma's avatar

If you lie to cover her lying you are both liars. lol
Yes, I would talk with her first and let her know you are NOT willing to lie/cover for her any longer. Give her the option to either step up or to be aware that the jig is up. No need to be spiteful, just honest, clear and direct.

Bellatrix's avatar

If the work is not getting done, could you speak to your boss about hiring someone to do the overload of work that isn’t getting done? Wouldn’t that perhaps encourage your boss to look at people’s outputs? If your boss asks “well isn’t xxx supposed to be clearing this xxx” perhaps you could just say “I don’t know. You would have to look into that”.

tinyfaery's avatar

Does it directly affect you in any way? If it doesn’t, then I say don’t do it. Very few people will trust you and you might just end up having an asshole supervisor who is constantly looking over your shoulder.

mostlyclueless's avatar

@tinyfaery, I don’t know if this counts as directly affecting me or not, but I have been thinking more about why I feel compelled to tell our superviser. I think the main thing is that I am really worried that if (really, when) the superviser finds out what has been going on with her, he will be really angry at us for not telling him.

There is a lot of trust involved with letting us have this much freedom and she is really abusing it. I worry that I am abusing it too by not letting him know.

Trillian's avatar

What does the company handbook say?

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