I have a issue within the small company (under 10 employees) I work for and need some advice.

I have been employed with the company 10 years. During this time I have seen the boss's son come and go many times due to disagreements, arguments, or him simply taking 1-2 weeks off at a time and returning like he never missed a minute.

The guy is early 30s and has never worked for any company but his fathers. He came back to the company about 18 months ago after being gone a few years. This time his father put him in charge of accounting, production and inventory control. We are a M-F 8-5 business. The son lives on the property of the business and does not wake up for work until about 10am. He then makes himself breakfast until 11am then usually takes a hour lunch around 2pm. We catch him most days hiding in his personal office playing video games or on his phone.

Meanwhile production is running out of parts and some customers are 7 months behind on payments. Myself and the other employees are held to very high standards when it comes to performance and attendance. A employee can be reprimanded for being 5 minutes late but meanwhile Jr is still sleeping. Even our part time college students have a difficult time respecting his authority and directions. Recently Jr walked out in a tantrum and has been MIA for 5 days.

I fear the owner is going to let him return. I am paid very well at this job and get many company perks, but this has worn on me for so many years I cannot see myself with the company in 2019 if Jr returns. What should I/we do?

  • Hey Netcrasher, welcome to TWP. Asking "what should we do?" is quite a broad question, as it mainly lacks a goal we can help you with (as what you should is up to you). If you could focus down your question it would greatly help (perhaps focus it on how you want to address this, or what outcome you seek).
    – DarkCygnus
    Commented Oct 23, 2018 at 22:55
  • Also, what have you or your coworkers tried or done so far to address this issue? Have you mentioned it to someone? How?
    – DarkCygnus
    Commented Oct 23, 2018 at 22:58
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    Possible duplicate of Is there an effective way of dealing with nepotism at work?
    – gnat
    Commented Oct 24, 2018 at 5:36
  • "some customers are 7 months behind on payments" makes me think that the company will go under and your choice will be made for you. Is the father aware of this?
    – Mawg
    Commented Oct 24, 2018 at 6:34

8 Answers 8


What should I/we do?

Soldier on for the good money and perks just as you have been for the last decade. This situation isn't going to change. The boss knows whats happening, so do all the employees.

You've had a bit of a rant and should be feeling better now.

I'm not going to advise leaving, you actually seem to have a good stable job and it's not your company. Good pay and stable employment is not as easy to come by as some might think. Add problem free, and it's even rarer.

So while job searching is on the cards in general, I wouldn't do it out of pique just because the boss's son returned. It's not good to back yourself into a corner because of others actions or allow others issues to impact on your peace of mind, it's just a job.

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    Keep in mind that the boss is grooming his son to take over the business. Why else would someone coming in whenever they please be in charge of major business operations? Perhaps that transition will end in tears, but you have little to say in the matter. Might want to find a greener pasture before the person you complain about becomes your boss. Either way, the rules you play by won't be the boss's rules, and since the son doesn't play by your rules.... (yes, he's going to be the boss).
    – Edwin Buck
    Commented Oct 24, 2018 at 6:27
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    If the boss's son is allowing customers to be as much as seven months late on payments (seemingly because he doesn't actually do his job), the job may not actually be that stable in the future (even if it was in the past). That's not something we - or maybe even the OP - are in a position to determine though. The son taking over and (rapidly) running the business into the ground due to a combination of laziness and incompetence is a possiblity they need to be prepared for, and it's likely going to be easier to find a new job before that happens. Commented Oct 24, 2018 at 12:50

You can not win this one.

As the old saying goes, blood is thicker than water. The boss will always favor his son.

You have two distinct and simple choices:

Leave and miss out on the benefits or stay and put up with the way things are.

There are no inbetween options.

I've seen this kind of thing before in family businesses, the son won't change and the boss won't get rid of him. If you complain, you'll be the expendable one, not him.

Yes it is not fair and yes it is annoying but it is what it is.


I am paid very well at this job and get many company perks, but this has worn on me for so many years I cannot see myself with the company in 2019 if Jr returns.

Based on what you describe, it is to be expected that this person will eventually return to the company, sooner or later, as it has happened before.

Considering this fact, seems that you already have your answer: start looking for a new job.

It is unclear what you have tried so far to change this situation, and if you haven't tried anything you should before considering doing so before deciding to leave (although as per your description it sounds like you already tried every other resource).

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    Never ment to imply to wait untill then. Most likely Op should switch and give notice as soon as he lands another, as most offers dont wait for a long time... cutting the sentence to avoid confusion, thanks
    – DarkCygnus
    Commented Oct 24, 2018 at 1:46

It seems like you enjoy what you do given the mention of being paid well and various company perks. I'm like you, if I can possibly prevent myself from having to find another job, I will at least give it a shot.

If you'd like to remain at this company I would begin the process of taking notes and recalling all past significant actions of Jr. Whenever he has done things unprofessionally and whenever he has cost the company money, write it down.

Finally, present your case privately to the owner of the company, and show him exactly why Jr should no longer work at this company. If the owner turns a blind eye/ignore your recommendation, then the owner doesn't care about their own company's well-being and neither should you. Start looking for another job.

  • Getting fired on the spot is a distinct possibility. The owner of a ten-person company knows what his son is doing, and probably doesn't want to be reminded. Commented Oct 24, 2018 at 15:48

Not your problem.

His hours and lack of production should be visible to the owner. It is not a minor role like stocking shelves and he is not rotating.

If you think he is going to put the business under then you should start looking for another job.


Well what you should do is pretty obvious, and you've come to the same conclusion yourself so I'm not sure why you're asking here. The owner is well aware of his son's behaviour and chooses, time and time again, to overlook it. That's your answer. There is no way to better the situation short of the company failing and the owner starting a new one. You're way past due on your job hunt.


You have been personally invested in this company, and it definitely irks you to see someone not working as hard as you have and getting away with it.

You have three things to consider:

  1. Perks and Salary
  2. Company Future
  3. Personal and Professional Satisfaction

Your perks and salary may be great now, but its better you start looking for another job with better incentives. My concern is you stated that your company has delayed payments from customers and if this keeps up, your company will be in deep waters and to then look for job, you would have to settle.

Your feeling towards your workplace will not change as long as your boss's son continues his lazy charade (and your boss obviously knows about it and nothing has changed). And that will affect your work and at some point and to a certain extent, your peace of mind. If you can put this guy out of your mind and can just work, it would be OK, but I don't see that is the case.

Finally, I would suggest you to keep an eye out for better opportunities and also meanwhile try and put him out of your mind.


Start looking for a new job.

While the salary/perks are good that's less important than enjoying your work. It sounds like this is personally affecting you quite a lot. You can't bring this up with your boss since he'll favour his son.

This will not get better, in fact it can only get worse, because one day Jr. will become your boss.

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