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Background info

I was hired as an engineer at a company. My duties are outside in the construction site we're at, and a lot of documentation and "office" related work as well. Above me is an on-site leader, and equally positioned to me (I'm not sure what the correct term for his position is), is the person that I have seen sleeping whilst on work, now counting above 10 times. He sleeps in his car in hidden spots, even in his office while I am in my neighboring office. I know that many of the workers at the construction site have noticed as well and are in fact commenting on it to me, and it feels like I am a bit in a weird position. I am also not sure whether my boss knows about it.

I don't want to generate any extra tension between me and my sleeping co-worker as we are in a critical phase of our project now towards its end, but at the same time I don't want his work-attitude to affect anyone else some other place in the future. So I am not willing to confront him directly about it, and at the same time I don't know whether I should talk to my leader here on the construction site.

Any thoughts?

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    Are the workers telling you because they see you as their route to officially complain? Is his sleeping affecting their work? – David K Apr 25 '18 at 13:27
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    Possible duplicate of What can I do to make a coworkers lack of effort more visible? – David K Apr 25 '18 at 13:27
  • I once had a collegue who frequently started a little nap in the office. We were in an open office with 30 people. We just were very quit till he actually fell asleep when we saw him headnodding and then got creative in waking him. ... It was fun .. we were not his manager, so it wasn't our task to deal with this in another way. ... (I don't work there anymore :-) ) – pistach Apr 25 '18 at 14:01
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    I mean it could be a medical issue and the boss is allowing him to do it. Best to stay out of it until it actually affects you. Even then, as Masked Man said, tell them your work if affected rather than commenting on the fact that they are sleeping – SaggingRufus Apr 25 '18 at 14:51
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If you are not this person's manager, you don't do anything. If your work is getting affected by it, you tell your boss that your work is getting affected.

It is your manager's job to manage how much or how little your coworker works. Don't sell your coworker down the river, it is not your problem.

  • Makes it pretty clear that I should leave it be for now. It is ultimately my leader's decision and choice to confront him. Its just that many of my tasks are what they are, and now in addition to this persons silly way of getting work done pretty frequently, not only sleeping, causes me to be more needed in more areas. – denNorske Apr 25 '18 at 19:35
  • @denNorske then you should mention the extra workload on you to your manager, and let him decide what to do. – BgrWorker Jun 27 '18 at 12:09
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Above me is a on-site leader, and equally positioned to be (idk the correct term for his position), is the person that I have seen sleeping

From what I understand you mean that this person is above you, with their colleague being of the same seniority (so some kind of "co-leader" position?)- the important thing to ask here is: Are they responsible for you in any way, if not then whom or what are they responsible for?

If it's under the condition that they're there as "backup" in case they're needed, then this bumps down the "issue" list, but if they're actively meant to be working and supervising, then this is a problem.

Seeing as how this is a construction site, regardless of what's going on- who are they responsible for? I can only assume that they're effectively responsible for all the workers under them- not just in terms of the work they do but also health and safety of the workers, right?

sleeping whilst on work, now counting above 10 times. He sleeps in his car in hidden spots, even on his office wHILE I am on my neighbor office

Over what length of time has this been occurring? If we're looking at a period of several years, to months then this becomes an increasing issue, especially considering the above. Also, how long is this sleep for? Are we looking at brief "power" naps or several hours?

many of the workers at the construction site has noticed as well and are in fact commenting on it to me, and it feels like I am a bit in a weird position. I am also not sure whether my boss knows it.

At this point you need to think- has the other leader noticed as well, or just the workers under them? You aren't in a weird position unless you have seniority over anyone, as they say, the chain of responsibility would somewhat obligate you into doing something- heck, traditionally speaking someone should do.

I don't want to generate any extra tension between me and my sleeping co-worker as we are in a critical phase of our project now towards its end

And yet, they sleep through the critical period, hmm?

So I am not directly willing to confront him directly about it, and at the same time, I don't know whether I should talk to my leader here on the construction site.

Well this is down to you, ultimately. If this person is jointly responsible for you and others- this other leader must surely be aware?

If this was somewhere safer and less serious, I'd say to leave this in the most non-confrontational and passive-aggressive fashion and say "Leave a note for the other leader or inform someone above them".

However, this is not the case as this is a construction site- this is dangerous to whatever degree, so something should be done.

Confront the person when nobody else is around, speak to the other leader or failing that, contact someone above them- but if you do, be prepared and follow through, bear in mind if the other workers will back you up if necessary and have some cards in your hand before you approach it.

If possible research what alternatives there are, depending on where you are in the world consult whatever safety regulations and laws are involved and who enforces them, take notes on the dates and times and if it comes to it, you're prepared.

Otherwise- forget it, get on with things, pray nothing happens and that they aren't responsible for your safety or wellbeing if it does.

  • I would consider this person to have a broad range of responsibilities, such as always making sure the construction site goes effectively around and that the co-workers are having the necessary equipment and tools available. He should also plan around tasks that has to be done - and be actively engaged in the process we're having. Except for the sleeping I consider this person also to be slightly passive - sitting on his phone and not fulfilling his tasks (how I would expect it.) it indirectly affects me who's so much around on the site that has to fill in for the lack here. – denNorske Apr 25 '18 at 19:39
  • I would also add that I suspect that my leader knows about his passive situation, but not the sleeping in direct terms. – denNorske Apr 25 '18 at 19:40
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    Then it's safe to say that they aren't doing their job. Nobody likes to think that someone, nevermind being above them, is getting away with sleeping on the job or doing nothing and being paid for doing as much. If the other leader is aware and is picking up their slack, this isn't so bad but the problem will still persist. It may be best to bring it to their attention but in a roundabout manner, such as saying "I've noticed that (other leader) seems really tired lately, are they ok" or similar. – FeralSquirrel Apr 26 '18 at 14:50
  • I really like that kind of approach, and I could clearly give that a shot. I tend to have a nice connection with my leader - and I didn't think of this before. Thank you – denNorske Apr 27 '18 at 10:07
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Have you tried just waking him up?

If there are tasks waiting for him, just wake him up, tell him its urgent and thats it. Don't comment anything on the sleeping, act like he was at his office and you came by just to tell which task should be prioritized. After all, its in his working time, and its his job to do the task, you have every right to wake him up.

What you will get by doing this:

a) he will know that you (or others) know that he sleeps, and when and where and maybe he will stop doing it on order not to escalate the sleeping issue to the boss

b) if does or says anything else instead of "yes, I'll take care of it immediately" and going straight to his work place, its the perfect time to ask for the reasoning behind this and talk your way to a solution (or at least understanding why is he sleeping during work hours)

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