WORKPLACE / OCT. 24, 2013
version 3, draft 3

Being A Snitch – There Are Worse Things

Someone you work with is breaking the rules or 'slacking off' and not being very subtle about it. You usually find this and when it happens you’re the one who has to deal with it. It happened to me once – a manager of mine did only half of his job and I was stuck doing the rest, dealing with responsibilities that weren't in my job description or pay. I did the wrong thing and said nothing, moaned to my friends, to my parents and carried on. I needed someone to shake me, give me a slap across the face and realise that standing up, that saying no, isn’t something bad, nor something I’m going to get fired for.

In the workplace, it’s hard to remember that everyone has a voice; there’s a social ladder that we have to climb or a position we have to be in in order to be heard. Actually, this is not the case. A friend of mine works with a man who broke a very serious rule in her line of work, and when she found out she queried it and he immediately stormed out of the room – a classic case of a child throwing his toys out of his pram. She double-checked the misconduct with a colleague who agreed it was the wrong procedure and, to stop anything further – or any of them getting in trouble for this one man’s mistake – she told her boss who sent an e-mail around to everyone telling them what the correct procedure was. Immediately she fell into a state of guilt. She felt like a snitch, a suck-up, a back-stabber.

One employee whose actions affect other people – whose laziness you might say – causes more work on your behalf, needs to be reported. It doesn’t have to be your problem, it doesn’t have to be too serious, just mention it to someone who can change it and carry on with your day. There are worse things than being deemed a snitch – how about being the person everyone hates because your incompetence causes more work and agitation amongst your colleagues?

The fear of addressing people who cause problems is something that lingers not just in jobs, but in life. Addressing them, being more assertive, is the way to stop these problems continuing, it’s a way of being professional and true and doing what’s best for the company. Most importantly, it’s about doing what’s best for the other people you work with and to make work more enjoyable, not just for them but for you. After all, isn’t the dream to enjoy our work?

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