View Full Version : Unethical Behavior In the Workplace

3-6-11, 10:20am
How do you get beyond unethical behavior in the workplace? This is really bothering me lately. It's been an ongoing issue, and I have tried to get another job without luck. I can't just up and quit.

I have a coworker who regularly cheats to get ahead. Our manager has been informed of this of several occasions and does nothing. Now this month the coworker has done it again and I think this time someone is colluding with her as it involved going into screens the coworker does not have access to in order to change her sales numbers upwards. Again the manager was informed but the numbers were not corrected downwards.

The manager is the owner's prime protege, and company culture frowns on going over a manager's head for any reason. (Other managers have behaved unethically in the past and when caught, the owner asked, "Why didn't anyone tell me?" One worker said, "You wouldn't have believed me" and he had to admit that was true. He has real blind spots when it comes to his direct reports. When he gives his speeches he always says things like, "Make sure you're doing the right thing" but never "Speak up if someone is doing something wrong" unlike a previous partner of the firm who did say this.)

So I guess it falls on me to find a way to not let this bother me since I can't change it.

3-6-11, 12:48pm
First, are you absolutely sure this is happening? Second, is there an HR person at the company? If not, do you have support for your concerns among peers? Sometimes a group approaching the owner has more credibility out of sheer numbers.

If you don't have anyone to tell who will listen, the implicit message is certainly "Don't do the right thing". If you cannot find a way to report your professional concerns, I encourage you to find an ally, hunker down, and ignore this while you keep looking for another job. I believe that this kind of behavior does come out in the long run.

3-6-11, 1:09pm
Yes, I am sure. HR duties are divided amongst several people - no one is in charge of it. Peers, including the manager's second in command, have raised these ongoing issues with the manager to no avail. At most the manager will say, "Don't do that again" and when the coworker does it again, she ignores it again. She never takes any type of action. Half the people in my department came to the company after being long term unemployed and they are not about to do anything to rock the boat because they are scared of being unemployed again although they do express dissatisfaction outside of earshot of the manager when they see this going on. I think if the manager ever left (which she won't on her own) the second in command would address these issues head-on, but she is not going to go over the manager's head to do so.

3-6-11, 5:33pm
Does this affect your job?

Anne Lee
3-6-11, 6:08pm
Just keep looking. And make sure you are in no way involved. Eventually fake sales numbers will be noticed because the revenue won't be there. Watch the fit hit the shan then.

3-6-11, 6:12pm
dmc, it makes me (and others) look like poorer performers compared to the cheater and thus entitled to less of the raise pool than we would get otherwise. The cheater has in the past cancelled out other people's work orders and re-entered them under her own name to take credit for our work which affects our bonuses, though that's not the issue this time. The situation also affects morale.

Don't know why "entitled" shows up twice above - I only typed it once.

3-6-11, 8:40pm
I once worked in a similar environment. You are right you can't stop it. I suggest you do what you can to document your own work to limit how much another can take credit away from you. Meanwhile, seek other work. Where I was, I cried every day for a couple of months before I finally got a different job. And a good thing I did too, as 2 months later the old place had a huge layoff that included my old boss and would have included me.

3-6-11, 9:05pm
YUCK. I am so sorry you're in this toxic environment. My advice... learn as much as you can, and if it doesn't affect your job, document the behavior. At the least, you can present it on an exit interview when you have a new job.

3-6-11, 9:14pm
Thanks for the advice and commiseration everyone. I generally like my job, and I'm good at what I do - had many good years with the company before this coworker came and changed the office atmosphere.

3-7-11, 1:46pm
What about the technical support folks? Got any friends there? Maybe they could work on this vulnerable screen area's security.

3-7-11, 5:34pm
Alas, IT requests have to be marked priority by the employee's manager to get done. I could not get this done without the manager knowing.