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Should I Complain About A Lazy Co-Worker?

Should I Complain About A Lazy Co-Worker?

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Dear J.T. & Dale: A co-worker literally spends the majority of her day playing computer games or texting her husband. Another co-worker has been taking care of the first co-worker’s clients for years. The employee who doesn’t do much work also is president of the local union and is something of a bully. Management is aware that she lacks a work ethic, but does nothing. In the meantime, the employee who does more than her share of the work is very tired and wonders if she has any rights. – April

DALE: Rights? It’s not that kind of economy. Sure, there are a few general legal protections, but those rarely are relevant in personal workplace disputes. Perhaps there’s some union hierarchy to call upon, but I doubt you’d be writing us if that were a realistic option. So instead of thinking about rights, let’s think about options.

J.T.: For simplicity, let’s assume that the hardworking but weary co-worker is you, April. Why won’t management do something about your co-worker? Perhaps they feel it’s preferable to keep her in her union position. Could it be that she sides with them in exchange for her cushy job? I don’t know. What I do know is that if a company is aware of an employee issue and hasn’t taken action, it never will.

Yes, you could start complaining, but that’s unlikely to succeed. If the excessive work is taking a physical toll, then I think you need to look for a different job. When employees are miserable, their performance suffers, and they usually end up getting fired for poor performance. Don’t let that happen. Either make peace with the situation or move on.

© 2012 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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J.T. & Dale

“JT & Dale Talk Jobs” is the largest nationally syndicated career advice column in the country. J.T. O’Donnell and Dale Dauten are both professional development experts.