Employee unsure whether to do right thing or follow boss's orders

Employee unsure whether to do right thing or follow boss's orders

Employee unsure whether to do right thing or follow boss's orders

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by Rozanne "Roze" Worrell

WVEC.com

Posted on December 8, 2011 at 1:03 PM

Updated Friday, Dec 9 at 11:20 AM

Dear Roze:

I’m in a bad way.  I’m working in residential construction for a general contractor who isn’t doing the right thing with one of his customers.  He wants me to take short cuts with this couple’s remodel so he can move on to other work.  I feel terrible about this.  It’s just not right and these people are decent people.  I’m pretty sure I’ll be fired if I stand up to this guy and I really need the work.  I’m not sure what I should do.  I’d appreciate your help.

Want to do the right thing


Dear Want to do the right thing:

Although I could never support or condone what your boss wants you to do, I do not feel comfortable telling you to do something that could get you fired.  So, if there is any possibility you could do the work the right way and do it in the timeframe required by your boss, then your problem would be solved.  If this is not likely, you may want to consider seeking other employment, but do not leave this job until you have secured another one.  Let your conscience be your guide.  Best of luck!
 
Dear Roze:

I’m a consultant in the defense industry.  Recently, I was put in a very awkward situation with one of my clients.  While sitting in on one of their strategy sessions for new business acquisitions, I observed how out of touch the company’s President was.  He made comments and suggestions that showed how out of touch and oblivious he is regarding this particular business’s needs, but none of his staff would correct him or disagree with him.  And I didn’t think it was appropriate for me to speak up since none of his staff did.  What do you think about this?

Conflicted consultant


Dear Conflicted consultant:

I agree with your decision not to correct the President during the strategy meeting in front of all of his staff.  If, however, you have a solid relationship with him, I suggest you have a one-on-one and respectfully provide him with all the information he needs.  Recognizing that consultants are hired for their expertise, it is incumbent upon them to provide their clients with honest, sage advice.  I am hopeful that this client would want that from you versus being a silent yes-man. 

Dear Roze:

I’m drowning!  December is a real tough month when it comes to financial obligations at my office.  We have a party we have to chip in for in order to attend.  We’re expected to contribute money for a gift for our office secretary, and we’re also expected to participate in the office’s Angel Tree for the Salvation Army and to give food or money for the local food drive.  This year is even more painful to my bank account because the big boss is moving at the end of the month for a promotion and a reception is being held in his honor right before Christmas.  This shindig costs $25.00.  If it was being held any other month or less expensive, I wouldn’t be so upset.  I wish management would be more sensitive.  It’s not like the guy is retiring.  I’d really like to pass on it, but I don’t want to hurt my reputation.  Any suggestions?

Too much in December


Dear Too much in December:

Express your regrets to the big boss, ideally, in person, if not, then over the phone versus in an email or text.  You can also reinforce your sincerity in not being able to attend by giving him a handwritten note or card.

© 2011 Rozanne R. Worrell
 
 

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