Q: "A co-worker told me that he brings a voice recorder to work to catch people talking behind his back. He will tape it underneath a desk or hide it behind a picture. We used to be friends, but I now seem to be on the list of people that he hates. I’ve started searching my work area every morning to be sure his recorder isn’t there. Should I bring this to the attention of human resources?" —Nervous in Indiana
A: Yes, you should immediately have a confidential talk with your HR manager. Your colleague’s devious behavior is both appalling and a little frightening.
His suspiciousness, combined with a growing “enemies list,” may indicate paranoid tendencies. If he feels betrayed, he could decide to seek revenge. So when you report his clandestine activities, ask the HR manager not to reveal your name.
If you fear that HR may fail to protect your identity, describe the situation in an anonymous note. Although unsigned complaints are often disregarded, is unlikely to ignore this one.
© Marie G. McIntyre, All rights reserved.