Signs You Might Be A Problem Child At Work
You may be a problem child for your employer and not even know because you are convinced you are not the problem. It’s always your boss’s fault, right?
When you are hired, you are probably given an orientation on how the company works and the rules you must follow. The fact that you don’t own the company means you don’t get to interpret the rules as you see fit.
Let’s take a look at 5 individuals and how they have gotten into trouble even though they didn’t think it was their fault:
“You Fooled Me During The Interview”
Kari had an excellent interview and it appeared the company had hired a keeper. Not too long into Kari’s time with the company, the real Kari started showing her real self.
You can be anything you want to be, but when you are at work, using phrases like, “Dude”, “Like”, Totally Cool” and “Awesome” are not appropriate.
Unfortunately for Kari, this did not come across professionally and the company’s customers saw this as a negative. Was this really Kari’s fault or should the company have taken some of the blame?
If the company were more vigilant, they would have addressed Kari’s before immediately. This does not, however, excuse Kari from her unprofessional behavior either.
“The Invisible Woman”
Have you heard the saying, “Give them and inch and they’ll take a mile”? Debbie took advantage of the company. She had major back surgery and the company was very generous with giving her the time she needed to get well.
Not only was Debbie recuperating from major back surgery, but she was also having problems with her husband. Debbie used this problem to her advantage.
She began arriving late to work, left early and routinely went out to her car and took a nap for an hour or two most days.
As is usually the case, the employee taking advantage of the situation, rarely understands that the company begins noticing bad behavior.
Debbie didn’t need to worry about sneaking out to the car anymore because the company videotaped her on many occasions. Debbie now has the luxury of taking naps at home without a job, of course.
“I’m Too Smart To Get Caught”
Catherine was in charge of the petty cash account for her mid-sized company. The company routinely hosted small parties for important customers.
The President always told Catherine to buy quality food for the gatherings. Catherine loved to go out and get the food because it gave her a break in the day.
In the beginning, Catherine would always use a credit card to purchase the food. She knew it would never be questioned if she had a credit card receipt.
Recently, Catherine and her husband got in way over their head with a mortgage that was underwater. Catherine’s husband, Robert, owned his own catering company, but no one at work knew that.
Catherine had this brilliant plan to pick up food from Robert’s catering business and tell Robert to give her a plain Jane receipt. This went on for about 2 years without notice.
The company needed to start cutting back on expenses because of the economy. The President was a smart man and he wanted to examine all the expenses the company had.
For whatever reason, he began seeing paper receipts for all the gatherings the company hosted and remembered telling Catherine that she was supposed to use a credit card in case the company was audited.
So one day, the president was coming back to the office to attend one of the gatherings they had scheduled for that day. Out of the blue, he saw Catherine kissing a man outside a catering establishment.
The President didn’t know Catherine’s husband, but he immediately became suspicious. When he got back to the office, he reviewed the audit on the expenses Catherine was responsible for.
Sure enough, a pattern was occurring. Three months after Catherine was given this responsibility, she began turning in plain Jane receipts.
The President had someone go to the catering business and ask how much it would cost to host a party. Catherine’s husband was not aware that this was a trap.
When he totaled up the bill, it was $300 less than what Catherine had just paid the day before. The President immediately counted up the number of plain Jane receipts and approximated the amount of theft that had occurred.
He figured Catherine had stolen nearly $17,000 and that was a conservative estimate. You can guess how the story ended.
The company could not prove she stole money, but she did not follow company policy with regards to using a credit card and they fired her immediately.
“Hi, My Name Is Debbie Downer”
Kelly is the worst kind of employee a company can have for morale. She didn’t start off that way, but typically someone who is overlooked can become that person.
The classic symptom is that it is always someone else’s fault. Kelly thought just because she showed up every day that that was all that was required of her.
She never saw herself as the problem and when it came time for reviews she was shocked at her performance rating. She never took responsibility for anything and on more than a few occasions she was overheard badmouthing the management team.
Kelly’s tenure with the company pretty much ended as she became more vocal about her displeasure with the rest of the staff and management.
“Help Me And I’ll Make It Worth Your While”
Corporate espionage has been going on for a long time. Like a great spy thriller, there is a thief, an unwitting accomplice, a company buying other company’s secrets and quite possibly the FBI.
Hayley came from a very dubious family. She learned early on that if you were smart you could make a ton of money off of companies that were none the wiser.
Hayley’s sole purpose for getting this job was to steal blueprints and sell them to a direct competitor. It worked beautifully in the past and it should work fine in her current assignment.
Hayley was getting pretty cocky and she really did not do her homework on this company or the company she planned to sell the blueprints to.
One day she went into the blueprint room and her co-worker, Teri saw her in there. Teri thought this was odd because there was no reason for Hayley to be in that room.
Teri causally approached Hayley and asked what was she working on. Hayley gave her some ridiculous answer and Teri artfully played it off.
Teri did this because she had been involved in a sting operation in the past and this reminded her of that. Later that week, Hayley asked to talk with Teri in private.
Hayley approached Teri to see if she wanted to make some big money. Teri acted very suspicious, but played along. She was setting the trap for Hayley.
Hayley always used an accomplice in case the plan blew up. That way she could deny any role in the operation because the accomplice was sent to deliver the blueprints to the competitor.
If Hayley had only known what she was getting herself into…
During the whole operation, Teri was wired and was recording every last detail. Hayley did not suspect anything. Teri was so convincing. The competitor was shocked when the deal went south and the FBI arrested the competitor.
Hayley watched the action from across the street and she laughed to herself when Teri got caught. As she left the parking lot, 10 FBI cars closed in on her and she knew the jig was up.
So what’s the moral to these stories? It’s quite simple. You might think you are getting away with something, but ultimately you make mistakes and you have to pay for them.
Don’t ever think your company isn’t watching you. Don’t do stupid things. Be the best employee you can and you will enjoy your job a lot more.