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In dire need of a pep talk!!

November 29th, 2006 at 07:38 pm

I'm such a chicken...

Let's rewind to yesterday. My 2 little helpers at work submit their hours twice a month to my boss. Because she cannot actually check them and make sure they are correct, last week she asked me to check and approve them before sending them to her. Well, one of them has gone overboard. I actually do keep track of their hours (yeah, ok, it's a little sneaky, but I had a few suspicions). He has submittted a whole 12 hours more than what I have. I am very mad because I know he knows he didn't work that many hours. Now, I have to make things clear that I will not tolerate that, but I'm so not that kind of boss. I'm the kind of person that will leave you alone as long as you do what you're supposed to do. I hate confrontation. I'm getting all shaky right now just writing about it.

But I can't let him get away with this either. Our boss is a bit of a pain (ok, she's a huge pain), but it doean't mean you can take advantage of it like that.
All morning I've been telling myself to talk to him. I just can't get my butt of this chair!!! I need you guys to motivate me... It WILL BE DONE BY THE END OF TODAY!!

16 Responses to “In dire need of a pep talk!!”

  1. tinapbeana Says:

    maybe it would be easier if you talked to him and gave him the option "either you can talk fix the hours that are on your sheet, or i can talk to THE BOSS about this, but either way it's going to be corrected and it will not happen again". and if you're in a supervisory position i would document it, have it written, etc. per your HR policy if there is one.

  2. Lau Says:

    Tina - I was thinking of telling him I would let this one slide, but have a timesheet in the office starting tomorrow where they'll write in their time when they walk in and out. I do not want to involve our boss, but if I have to, I will.

  3. all4money Says:

    Well, I'm a supervisor and my staff knows that I'm the same way you are... do what you are supposed to do and I'll leave you alone. However, they are also very clear that I will not be taken advantage of and that I expect full and complete honesty concerning their time worked, etc. I do not keep track of every minute because I don't have to... they have all earned my trust and I know that they work the hours that they report because of that trust.

    I'm assuming that you are this person's supervisor? My advice is to sit down with the individual and ask him if there might be a mistake or something... don't "confront" him right off as it will make for a very defensive conversation. Instead, ask him for your help in verifying the time reported as it doesn't coincide with your records... Come from it with the angle that maybe you missed something. If you attack him off the bat, he'll be very defensive and the working relationship might not be quite right after that, if you know what I mean. Take a deep breath and calm down before you go talk to him.

    Now, if you are just a co-worker, then you might want to just address your concerns with the boss and let him/her handle it.

    I was someone's supervisor onces and his time sheets NEVER coincided with his actual time worked. This individual did not like me one bit because I was his boss but was female and 30 years younger than him. So, since I couldn't get him to be honest about his time, I decided not to approve his timesheets any longer as it was unethical for me to do so. I spoke with my boss about it and we agreed to let the "bigger" boss approve this guy's timesheet from then on. After we did that, it was on the other boss's conscious whether or not he let the time reported slide as I was no longer involved which was just fine with me.

  4. fern Says:

    I agree with tinapbeana's approach. I definitely don't think you should "let this one slide." What he did was dishonest, he's probably done it before and it shouldn't be tolerated...at all.

    You need to be firm and set the tone for everything moving forward so that this does not become a continuing problem. You don't have to be confrontational, but speak plainly, directly and to the point, that you believe there is a discrepancy and that perhaps HE made a mistake in writing down his hours; don't say that perhaps YOU made the mistake. Put the burden on HIM to correct himself. If he cares about his job, he will.

    There are some employers who would not tolerate this even once, so don't waffle on this. Good luck. Be firm.

  5. Broken Arrow Says:

    My personal opinion, anyway, is that even supervisors are human beings. And as human beings, if we are not comfortable with something, AND if there are other avenues we can pursue (different departments such as HR, or the boss above us), then we should avail ourselves to that option as well.

    What that person is doing is defrauding the company. It's not just office ethics. It's plain illegal. As a legal matter, if you really, really don't want to handle it... then I would find someone else... unless you are someone who is in a position to hire and fire people. Then... I'm sorry, you're most likely stuck with it either way. Big Grin

    In terms of handing this, I would try to be as simple and straightforward about this. Whenever you get nervous, please remember that you are not the one getting in trouble. You didn't make this mess. You don't even have to fix it perfectly.

    Sometimes, people expect "perfection" from their supervisors. (Of course, people like that have never been supervisors.) Some supervisors even think that way. However, we're all human beings, and interactions between human beings are often times never quite perfect.

    Well, anyway, I hope that makes you feel better. Short of beating this person with a baseball bat, there isn't a whole lot you can do here that will go wrong for you. Smile

  6. Lau Says:

    Thanks so much to all 4 of you for taking the time to write these long comments... Well, I did e-mail him, which is funny since we're all (four of us) in a 12 ft x 12 ft office, and all have our backs to each other. No privacy is fun sometimes... (that WAS sarcastic)
    I wanted to keep a trail as Tina suggested. I hope I didn't pass as a coward in the meantime.
    I simply asked "if I missed something?" (fern - I just read your comment) "... or if he might have made a mistake?". He replied asking me to send my record of his hours, which I did (was that a mistake??)

    Broken Arrow - I would send this off to the boss, but she constantly complains that she takes care of things that she shouldn't (we're a startup and as the CEO, she does do things that she shouldn't), so I don't want to hear this again. In addition, I want her to know that I am able to resolve these kind of situations without her needing to interfere.

  7. Broken Arrow Says:

    Email is a form of documentation, so I think that's a fairly sensible move.

    Regardless of what you decide to do, we're behind ya. Smile

  8. paigu Says:

    I concur with tinapbeana as well. Since this is a first time offense, then you need to set the standard NOW instead of the third or fourth time down the road. Good luck1

  9. fairy74 Says:

    in addition to correcting it this time, he now knows you're watching and keeping track on your own as well, so that may slow some of his devious behavior down, some people will just try to push it over the line!

  10. Lau Says:

    Ok.. well, I showed him what I had in my records. He agreed that I was right and that he "might have made a mistake".
    Paigu - since they sent their hours directly to the boss before and she didn't know whether it was right or not, that's probably not the first time he does this. He might have gotten away with this for a few months.

    Fairy - I agree... he does know now. So no more excuses!

  11. Carolina Bound Says:

    Good for you! You handled it! Isn't it funny how we get nervous when someone else is at fault? I'm just like you, I hate to have to correct or reprimand someone.

  12. Thrifty Ray Says:

    Sounds like you've got this one handled...but obviously there is a gap in the checks and balances of the system as it has been. Sounds like it's time to recommend a fix to your boss (like, from now on you'll double check the timecards and initial them before they go to her for final approval.)

    In addition, you might think of other areas that need a procedure revamp...these types of oversights can break a new company if theyre not caught and corrected!!!

    A proactive supervisor is invaluable to a busy CEO!!! ...you could progress your career by turning an uncomfortable experience into a real positive for the company.

  13. Lau Says:

    I really appreciate everyone's input on this. I am so glad I didn't "let it slide" as I said I would earlier.

    Carolina - you are so right. WHY is that we feel so unconfortable dealing with someone when THEY are at fault?

    Ray - We don't have any real system. They keep track of their hours on a spreadsheet and send that off by e-mail twice a month. I think I will have some kind of print out where they'll write their in and out times on and which I will check everyday and approve. I really didn't want to go their, and though I could trust them.. Guess I was wrong

  14. tinapbeana Says:

    lau, i'm glad things worked out smoothly. getting someone to admit "they might have made a mistake" is probably as good as it could get in this type of situation! good luck figuring out a system that's effective but doesn't feel like babysitting: it's a hard balance to maintain.

  15. Ima saver Says:

    Good for you Lau. We have had workers pull this all the time, putting down more hours than they worked. They no longer work for us.

  16. Lau Says:

    Well... things are done all worked out just yet. He showed up with more than 1 hour delay this morning. Is he trying to see how far he push me? I'm not happy...

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