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Report an office thief or remain silent?

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in Dealing with Bosses,Office Management

Q. I saw a co-worker steal valuable office supplies. Should I keep quiet or tell someone?

A. It depends on a few factors. First, is there a mechanism in place for employees to report misdeeds? Some larger companies have internal auditors who will investigate anonymous complaints. Second, does your company frown on such stealing or is it a freewheeling culture? Some firms don’t care if people steal on occasion if they’re top producers, while other organizations have a “zero tolerance” policy. Finally, weigh what you gain from speaking up. If your bosses will respect you for ratting on a colleague, great. But if they label you a fink, your good intentions can backfire.

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