Boss, quit playing around! — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google+

Boss, quit playing around!

Get PDF file

by on
in Admin Pro Forum

Question: It's my boss. While he is a very intelligent man, he spends too many hours a day playing games on the computer instead of completing his work. Last week, he had some priority jobs to complete. When I asked him about it, he said he was Christmas shopping.

I have called him on it and told him he isn't fooling anyone; we know when he's not working. I've told him that his delaying completing his work is affecting my work. He nods sheepishly but does nothing to improve the situation.

Some of his work relates to getting clients to pay their bills. It all seems to work out in the end, but I'm at my wits' end and don't know what to do anymore. The four other men in the office do their work, but a lot of what my boss doesn't finish affects them, as well.

Does anyone have any suggestions? I would appreciate your help.  -- Kim


Dear Kim, It sounds as though your boss is hooked on computer games. It happens. You, as a supbordinate, can't possibly effect a change. It has to come from his higher up or human resourses. You CAN document what you observe and then present it to someone who can make a difference. As irritating as it all is this will take the frustration out of it for you and you will know that something is being done (if it can be done). Your IT person can also see what he is doning from a remote location at any time.

Well, if what he does (or doesn't do, in this case) affects more than just you, what do the others think? Are these 4 men willing to speak up about your boss? (My guess is they probably really don't care.)

If your performance is being affected to the point where you feel that you will (a) not get a raise/bonus and/or (b) that you might lose your job, you need to talk to HR or someone else in charge right away.

You also may want to rethink working with this company. You seem to want to excel at what you do, and there are plenty of companies (and bosses) out there who would welcome a professional such as yourself.

I say there's always 3 sides to every story... yours, his and the truth. Mind your own business.

It is not your place to get involved in this situation if the other managers are not upset enough to do anything. What you can do is document everything that happens (day, date, incident, effect of non-business work by your boss on the company's bottom line)in a notebook that you keep at home to protect yourself should there be any fallout because if you complain about this, you are the one who might lose her job, not the boss. Also, you should think about looking for another job (when you are asked by interviewer why you are looking you can say that your work environment doesn't utilize your skills).

It's unfortunate some have a rude attitude when they post on here.

I would definitely say that if your position or future is jeopordized by your bosses gaming, the best choice would be to keep a documented record of every time you catch him in the act. This has to be you visibly seeing him playing a game, log it on a spreadsheet, and I would even check periodically and see if he's still playing or if it was a 5 minute break. Log everything!!! Make sure you cover your butt, and don't get caught later by a higher-up boss saying you should have reported him and had proof. As for minding your own business, don't listen to that ignorant jerk - minding your own business is why companies are always looking for someone to stand for the COMPANY and not themselves. The company is losing valuable time and money on an employee who obviously doesn't attempt to do much in return, and it's not your fault nor should you take the blame for it. Cover your butt - make sure there's no way they can be upset at you, if someone ends up coming down on your boss.

Good luck...

I would like to give the advice I was given as a brand new recruit in the US Army 30 years ago; "You will see a lot of people getting over, not doing their jobs and even being promoted who don't deserve it. Do your job to the best of your ability and you will be promoted." These words of wisdom have served me well over the years.

I think the best course of action is to speak to the other managers privately and ask what they think you should do. If their advice seems prudent, take it. If they don't want to get involved, just do the best you can or start searching for another position.

Another thing to think about is when your company discovers your manager is goofing off, they may decide to terminate him and eliminate his position (and yours). If you really like your company, you might want to consider trying to transfer within it to work for someone else.

Eventually my dear, it will all hit the fan where your boss is concerned. Until then, be the very best employee you can be and try to distance yourself from his problem. Let your good work speak for itself.

Except when this situation affects your own ability to meet your deadlines, it's not your place to get involved. If you are aware of the situation, surely others are, too. As annoying as it is to see people "getting away with something" like this, situations often happen like this in business. I agree with Karen -- it will all "hit the fan" for him eventually.

You'll need to figure out a way to get what you need from him to meet your own deadlines (as others have said, document everything if it affects your ability to do your own job). Otherwise, my advice is to stay out of it and do the best job you can.

OH MY! Sounds just like my old boss that was fired. Fired for not doing his work and goofing off all the time playing games and surfing the internet. To say the was a horrible experience and it took a long time but it eventually caught up with him where the higher up bosses saw it and got rid of him after giving him many chances. I did keep documentation of things he did not complete which affected others in our office so when they asked why something wasn't done...I couldn't be blamed for it as he did so often. If you have communication with your higher bosses...I'd say leave suttle hints when the opportunity exists but with caution. For example, if they ask where a report was...tell them you did your part and well...then you gave it to your boss. Try to be detailed as much as possible but without looking like your tattling.

Trust will catch up with him. It always does!

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: