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I work in a print-shop that has no doors, so coworkers come in to talk. One person at my company is getting a reputation for not doing their work and just hanging around people he doesn't directly work with to get away from doing work. My manager has asked me to tell this person to leave me alone so that person go back to doing their job.

If this coworker comes into my area to get away from work, should I tell that person to go away because they could get in trouble? This person is getting close to getting fired. I am wondering how to phrase that this person should not spend so much time not working.

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My manager has asked me to tell this person to leave me alone so that person go back to doing their job.

There's your answer, plain and simple. Do as your manager asks. You can stress it by saying "ManagerBob has told me to tell you..."

If he's smart enough, he should get the hint that he's on thin ice. If he can't see that his manager instructing others to tell him to get back to work is an indication of his current state, then he deserves to be fired.

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It sounds to me like there are two approaches here.

  1. Ask them courteously to move along so that you can do your own work. "Hey, can we discuss this later? I need to get back to work." "Sorry, I can't really talk right now - I'd like to get this done today." If it continues, you may need to be a little more direct. "Please don't visit me while I'm working - it is distracting. I can speak to you during lunch/break if you want." Of course, this assumes you actually want to talk to them at all...
  2. Address them privately as a friend (or a concerned co-worker). This one's a little trickier because you don't want to overstep your bounds or misspeak for the company/manager. But something brief which shows your concern for the person. "Hey, I think you should spend more time during the day doing your work. I'd hate to see you get in trouble or even get fired for it." You definitely don't need to push the envelope or get into an argument.

Number 2 is definitely not necessary - it's more of a courtesy. It could also make you very unpopular with the person, so you'll have to gauge if you have enough of a relationship with them to do it at all.

Your manager is another factor - it's unclear from the question what their role is in this whole thing, but they definitely play an important one. It's ultimately their job to discipline employees who are not working. It's your job to get your job done.

  • @JoeStrazzere I meant that it was unclear what role the manager was playing. The only comment about him/her is the instruction given to the OP. Depending on what he/she is doing or not doing may affect what the OP should do. – wildbagel Oct 31 '17 at 17:17
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If your manager has noticed that this person is not doing their job and instead is hanging around people, then you should do as your manager told you and tell him "leave me alone and go back to your job". You could be nice and say "My manager seems to think that you are trying to hang out with other people instead of doing your work and asked me to tell you to leave me alone. If you value having a paid job with this company, you should go straight back to your job. "

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