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No gray areas when it comes to who’s a manager

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in Your Office Coach

Q: “I recently learned that one of our new employees has a bad work history, but I’m not sure what to do about it. I am a 61-year-old male who came to work here after retiring from my previous company. Although I have over 15 years of management experience, I am not currently in a management role. However, people consider me the unofficial leader in the office.

“Last year, I applied for the job of department manager, but a female was chosen instead. Prior to her arrival, I participated in the hiring of an office secretary. Because I have a keen ability to read people, I did not recommend the candidate who was ultimately selected by management.

“I have now learned from one of my many community contacts that this woman was involved in embezzlement and fraud while working at a small retail store. She was accused of making personal purchases on customers’ credit cards, but was allowed to resign when her parents agreed to make restitution.

“This secretary has access to petty cash and a company credit card. I don’t know whether I should talk with her myself or have my source call the company. What do you think?”  Concerned

A: I think your next step is pretty simple. This is clearly a management issue, and you’re not a manager. Therefore, you should pass the information along to your boss so that she can evaluate its accuracy and relevance. Having done that, you no longer need to worry about it.

Former managers can be difficult employees. Here are some other problematic people: Six Signs that You May Be Hard to Manage .

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Cheryl September 4, 2013 at 1:45 pm

I agree with the advice given. This man seems to be out of touch with reality on several levels. Clearly, he’s not the manager. I haven’t heard the word “secretary” come out of anyone’s mouth in the modern workplace. What was the relevance of mentioning that a “female” got the department manager position? Only one thing comes to mind there.

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