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judochop's avatar

Should I let my boss in on a co-worker who lies through his teeth?

Asked by judochop (16070points) October 12th, 2009 from iPhone

Okay so it’s a touchy subject but it is really starting to bother me.
First. I work for a small world wide company and in my city there are only 3 of us.
Second. I am brutaly honest. To the point where I sometimes get kicked in the teeth for telling the truth where I could easily lie to cover myself up. This sometimes effects bonuses and pats on the back more often than not.
Third. My co-worker apprears to shine like the sun however lies constantly to cover himself up.
I am not jealous however I’m getting sick of being talked down to. My co-workers lies paint a false surface for our city.
How do I approach this if I should at all? I am not looking to get anyone in trouble just to open the surface again and level the playing field.

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17 Answers

PandoraBoxx's avatar

What is your reporting structure? Is this person your peer or manager?

Jeruba's avatar

@judochop, I followed you right up to this point:

…of being talked down to. My co-workers lies paint a false surface for our city.
How do I approach this if I should at all? I am not looking to get anyone in trouble just to open the surface again and level the playing field.

How do the lies amount to talking down to you? What do they have to do with the surface of the city? I think we need a clearer understanding of the situation before we can give a useful response.

judochop's avatar

I report to my manager. The liar is just a peer.

torch81's avatar

If you are doing this just to get onto an “even” playing field with the liar, then DON’T. People get caught up in their lies sooner or later.

If there is a chance that someone will be irrevociablly harmed by his lies, then you have a duty to the potentially injured people to make them aware of the situation.

I guess the question you need to ask yourself is, “Why would I tell my boss about this person’s actions?” Answer truthfully and you will be a long way to a decision about what to do next.

judochop's avatar

@Jeruba leveling the playing field and referring to the surface of the city means this:
my co-workers lies shadow the truth of how things really are in my field of work. By lieing my co-worker paints a false picture in the realm of “bumps” we encounter for work.
Does this help at all? I realize being vauge does not help however I am looking for some directional help without having to explain what I do.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Does he make it seem worse than it is, or better than it is? Will his lies result in the office closing, or are the problems that management needs to address but doesn’t because the coworker paints an overly rosy picture of the situation?

judochop's avatar

My co-worker makes it seem
better than it is. Leauges better! The office won’t close however I can’t and won’t compete with my co-workers lies any longer. This hurts my position because our manager we report to does not work in the “field.”

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Use numbers, send charts to management. Promote fact based decisions. As in,
Dear Manager,
I have been noticing a trend in ___ and decided to keep statistics for the last three months to determine if what I’m seeing is an aberration, or is there a trend. This is the pattern I’m seeing (insert chart made in excel chart wizard, followed by overview of data.) This seems to be indicative of ____. There are several things that might help to mitigate this trend, including___. Can we set up a phone conference to discuss?

Copy everyone in the office, and your manager.

Samurai's avatar

Your boss may already know about this, I recommend you just leave it alone an focus on what you can do better, or at least settle it between you two, no need to go telling the boss.

The honest constructor earns in the long run.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

@Samurai raises a good point. You always run the risk of “shoot the messenger” syndrome, which telling the truth results in staff reduction, or the office closing, and you find yourself unemployed. You can tell the truth by pointing out what real problems are, but you’d better be prepared to offer solutions. Whenever you’re tempted to say “Someone should do something about ___,” remember that you are “someone.”

You need to ask yourself honestly if your motivation for telling is improvement, or discrediting your coworker. Only you can answer that. Thinking with your ego can be dangerous.

filmfann's avatar

Let your manager figure it out. If you rat him out, you will lose some of your managers respect.

whatthefluther's avatar

Is it something that will become obvious to your manager in time?
If so, and when it does, will he know that you were aware of the snow job and chose not to bring it forward?
If so, you may find both you and your coworker out of a job.
It’s hard to give you a suggestion without all the details, but I suspect your best action will become apparent to you once you think it through. Good luck.
See ya…..Gary/wtf

tinyfaery's avatar

I’ve learned the hard way that one should never rat on a coworker. There might be certain issues that you are not privy to. It sucks, but I think you should let it go. Hope for karma, or whatever you might believe in.

Darwin's avatar

Never rat out a co-worker, but always document what you do so you can prove your worth to the company. An activity which is also known as CYA.

Also, never point out a problem until you can also suggest a solution and how much money, time and/or supplies the solution will save the company.

And, as @PandoraBoxx says, communicate in writing in “businessese,” with appropriate graphs, pie charts and statistics.

And why don’t you want to tell us what you do?

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

Nobody earns respect by being a tattletale. Unless it directly effects you and your ability to do your job, let it be. The lies will eventually come out on their own. And if they don’t, so what? You choose to be a honest, straight forward person, while your co-worker chooses to lie. But that is ultimately their choice. It’s not up to you to tell them how to live their life, however wrong it may be.

Haleth's avatar

You may not have thought of it from this perspective, but the tone and word choice of your question make me think that you might have poor social skills when you’re dealing with your manager and co-workers. (“Brutally honest?” “kicked in the teeth?” It’s rare to hear such violent terms when you’re talking about a job.) The phrase “brutally honest” also makes me think that you’re not using tact and diplomacy. Telling it like it is is awesome, but this might be too negative. It’s really hard to work with someone who’s filled with righteous indignation, and if you were to report your lying co-worker your emotions might color your story and make you look petty or vindictive. You should work on having a better relationship with everyone you work with- deal them in a healthier way. Gather objective evidence about your co-worker- for example, he reports that you earned x money but really you earned y. Pick your battles. If what he is doing is really hurting the company, then report the facts to your manager. Stuff like this guy talking down to you should be dealt with on your own. If you deal with this in a fair and objective way, the facts should speak for themselves.

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