Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
One of the things we’re hearing about more often in the news is employees quitting or just walking off the job. Or staging protests. Or filing labor charges. Those employee actions shouldn’t be taken lightly. Sometimes employees get so frustrated and exhausted because they don’t feel that management is listening. It reminds me of this story from an HR Bartender reader. It’s a long story, but worth the read.
For about the last six months, there’s been an ongoing problem in my workplace. Every employee has witnessed it and brought to the attention of the owners and still nothing is being done about it.
Shortly after I was hired, another employee was rehired (after being fired for stealing tips). Upon coming back, she has pranced around the place like she is someone of authority. When brought to our manager’s attention, he says he will simply have a talk with her, and nothing is done. Then the crew started noticing that the tips at the end of the night were significantly shorter when working with her than working with anyone else. This was also brought to management’s attention. AGAIN……NOTHING. These were same concerns from the crew that got her fired in the first place.
So instead of any action being taken, she gets extras handed to her like keys and responsibilities that were given to other people. She gets away with leaving work early, taking things from the bar (i.e., beer, t-shirts) without paying for them. She has continuously been rude to customers as well as employees and still has no disciplinary actions taken against her. Personally, she has yelled at me in front of customers telling me to leave and taking it upon herself to clock me out. The crew has threatened quitting because they all insist that there has got to be something going on for her to be getting away with all this crap.
PLEASE HELP, I don’t know what to do. I have taken this to the owners and even confronted her on the money stealing part of it and nothing is being done. I don’t even want to go to work anymore because I feel that my efforts to do my job to the best of my ability are going to be null because as soon as she comes in, she’s going change it all anyway. The way she wants is, even if that means going against health departments orders.
There’s a lot to unpack in this scenario. First of all, there are mentions of activity that could be fine, but they could also be considered inappropriate or illegal like ignoring the health department and clocking out an employee without proper authority. We don’t have enough information on these matters, so we’re not going to directly address them except to say that they do need attention. Again, they could be explained and fine, but they could be a concern.
But what I’d like to talk about is the frustration in this note.
I hate to say it but sometimes organizations hire the wrong people. Sometimes they make what looks like are illogical and bad decisions. Sometimes they ignore employee feedback. I’m not saying that’s what happened here or making excuses for organizations or managers. The reality is though…it happens. And hopefully, organizations are able to get back on track without causing irreparable harm to employee engagement and retention.
I don’t know if the organization in this scenario realizes how employees feel about what’s going on. And if they did, I don’t know if they would do anything about it.
But I do know that the employees who work at this company have a decision to make: How much frustration are you prepared to endure? Only the individuals involved can answer that question. But here are a couple of resources that might help.
There are so many dynamics in this situation, I believe the employees are best equipped to determine what’s good for them. That doesn’t mean they have to do it with no information. And there are many other articles on the internet about when to consider quitting your job and how to talk about it during job interviews.
If the employees decide that they plan to stay with the organization, then think about how you’re going to manage the frustration. Find some personal strategies that work for those moments when it’s going to get crazy.
Personally, I want to commend the employees for sharing their concerns with management and trying to figure out a way to make things work before thinking about quitting. As a HR pro, that’s what we hope happens. Employees give us feedback to make the workplace better. But I also know that when employees bring feedback, the organization has to be prepared to do something with it. And if they don’t, then employees will make their own decisions.
Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby while exploring the streets of Fort Lauderdale, FL17