Unethical Co-worker

I have two co-workers that do essentially the same job as I do. One of them is a female, and a devote Christian (Southern Baptist) with an excellent work ethic. The other is a male who has expressed his intention to retire at the end of the year (or the beginning of next year) and is 66 years old. His work ethic is not so great. He spends at least one-half to two-thirds of his day of the phone or on the computer attending to personal business (I know way more about his personal life than I wish to).

Last Friday, another co-worker came into our room and needed the male co-workers assistance. He asked my female coworker to do it for him, as he was “working on a letter for a friend”.

I don’t think it would be appropriate to report this incident to the boss, as it didn’t directly affect me, and I also have no supervisory responsibilities for him.

My question is: Is there anything that I should be doing other than praying about the situation? What should I say to the male co-worker if he brings up the subject or asks if the female co-worker is upset with him? The ethical lapse is very disturbing to me, but it is important to me to respond in a Christian manner. Any suggestions?

If he’s had a lousy work ethic for 66 years, he won’t be changing now. He’s clearly coasting to retirement (and I’ve worked with people who were *26 *and coasting to retirement).

I would stay out of it. If he asked me to do his work for him, I’d refuse, but to get into a three-way mess is asking for trouble. If he were to ask me whether the third person were upset, I’d suggest he ask her.

In the meantime, prayer certainly can’t hurt.

That sound like good advice. At least it will only be several months, instead of several years.


my knee jerk reaction would be to report at it is clearly putting the other workers in a very unfair situation. But I definately see where the other posters are coming from. At his age he isn’t likely to have some great revelation and change his ways. Especially because he’s going to retire soon. And if he is going to be staying for only a matter of months, then I can’t see it being a huge detriment to the company.

Ya, I would stick it out and do what you can without making a huge deal out of it. Once you weigh it out it really would cause more grief to him than save for your other co-workers.

***Suppose this person was 40 or 50? Would we say …well you can’t change him/her. Habits are hard to break at those ages too. While I’m not so sure I’d get in the middle, this man is in essence stealing from the company when he spends 50% or more of his day not working, but collecting a paycheck. I don’t know how the company can afford to keep someone around who doesn’t have an interest in working. I recently worked with someone who is in his late 50’s and did pretty much the same thing you indicate this coworker of yours does. He eventually was fired, eventually his lack of performance showed through…the thing was in his case, he was lying and fabricating his sales numbers. A few people had complained about him, because his lying brought down the entire department’s numbers, but eventually it came out in the wash.

No one is perfect and everyone has an off day. But someone who deliberately sits around 50% of the time not doing his/her job, is in essence stealing from the company. Call it coasting to retirement, I call it something else. :wink: Not sure what you can do about it other than pray, but I don’t view what he is doing (or not) as minor. I will pray for him, that his work ethic improves. ***

If your co-worker feels ill-used in this situation, it is her place to make a report. If you are concerned enough, I would talk to him about your concerns. This gives him the opportunity to demonstrate if he’s willing to change the behavior. If he didn’t and work productivity were compromised, then a report to administration would be appropriate.

I know this is a tough situation. But in effect he is stealing from the company for being paid and not doing his job.

Save your breath, he’ll be gone soon.

I’m almost in the same position (as your soon to be retiree). With ‘only’ six months to go, it’s unlikely he will change his work habits, and what’s the point ?

Mother Teresa says, do not dwell on the faults of others. It may be that after 30 or 40 years of working, some day you may be in the same circumstances.

I know thirty years ago, I was young and energetic, and motivated to do more than my ‘fair share’ of the work burden, and I saw folks close to retirement slack off. It may not be much of an excuse to shirk responsibilities, but don’t you think after many years of working, us old timers deserve a bit of slack.

I’ve put in a lot of years, I won a lot of awards, accomplished far more than I’ve ever dreamed possibly, and I’m ready to be put out to pasture. I will be the first to tell you that my last year thus far has been very difficult in terms of motivation and productivity. I expect my last few months will get worse and not better as I get closer to my retirement date.

Sometimes I wonder if it would not be more honorable to just quit outright since I know I am not putting forth my best efforts. I am just putting in the time to maximize my benefits. Yet, my co-workers and boss keep asking me to stay on, even beyond my planned retirement date.

I don’t want to justify slacking off on the job, because it is a problem and can affect morale and it is wrong. However someone who is soon to retire and has put in many years of service should be given some consideration.

I look at it this way. I could have retired two or three years ago. IF I had, I would be drawing about 60% of my salary on pension for not even being here. BUT since I am here, I am basically working for 40% of my salary. So IF I do more than half of my usual duties or responsibilities, the company is still ahead by my continuing to work even at a reduced level of efficiency.

I know, it’s pretty lame fuzzy logic, but that’s what gets me through the day.:shrug::stuck_out_tongue:

You sound just fine, wcknight. You’ve earned it and so, probably, is the fellow described in the opening post!

You’ve all given me some food for thought, and some additional patience with this particular individual. It’s helpful to hear a different perspective on things sometimes.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.