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Ethically challenged


A co-worker of mine is intelligent, relatively personable, and skilled. The problem is that she is ethically challenged. She tends to shirk her duties if she thinks no one is watching. When she’s caught, she always has an excuse; it’s always someone else’s fault, or she claims she’s overworked (not true, she does as little as possible).

She’s had a continuous problem with mis-use of her Empire-issued credit card. She keeps putting personal expenses on it. When she gets caught (which is every week), she claims she got mixed up, or insists that it was a legitimate business expense even if it wasn’t. It’s gotten so bad that my superior shuts off her credit card whenever my ethically-challenged co-worker is not traveling. This makes a lot of work for my superior, and also makes a lot of work for my office manager who has to scrutinize every charge with a microscope. I found out recently from my office manager that co-worker’s credit history is ruined, she has debt collectors chasing her, and she keeps spending beyond her means. Hence her habit of charging personal expenses on her Imperial card.

We privately discussed taking her card away, but then she would have no money to buy her travel, and she would then be unable to work. We then discussed terminating the co-worker, but we were planning to build up a paper trail of reprimands first.

Co-worker either smelled something in the wind, or simply got tired of being questioned about her ethics violations. She turned in her 2-weeks’ notice. The problem is that she’s so disgruntled now at the client site, her client has unceremoniously thrown her out. That’s very bad behavior for a consultant. Co-worker blames me and how I’ve handled the transition to her replacement, which is amusing because I haven’t done anything except take a request from the client to find a replacement. But then, it’s always someone else’s fault with this co-worker.

I can’t remember meeting a consultant who had these sorts of personal problems. I’ve known alcoholic consultants, but they usually can’t hold a job. I don’t think there’s a causal relationship, but I do think there’s a positive correlation between these data points:

  • uncontrolled spending habits
  • not taking responsibility for mistakes
  • trying to do as little as possible
  • clinging to a victim mentality as a perennially-unhappy lesbian
  • thinking it’s okay to change one’s voter registration from Democrat to Republican so that one can vote in the Republican primary, and then changing the registration back to Democrat
  • thinking it’s okay to explain an absence at the client’s site with “I took sick time,” but not reporting any sick time on the timesheet and instead billing a full 40 hours

It’s definitely a pattern. I hope we can avoid hiring such people in the future. Perhaps a simple credit check would do the trick.

  1. Stephanie permalink
    2012-07-25T18:22:42-04:00 18:22

    You really see a different mess of people here on this earth, don’t you….


  2. 2012-07-25T13:34:48-04:00 13:34

    Some people are just hard to be around – whether at work or privately.


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