Please refer to my previous question to see where I am coming from, as I don't want to make this thread too long.

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So, now that the senior employee left the job and we are still interviewing candidates, the slacker coworker is panicking like crazy as we have upcoming new clients signing up contracts with us and he has no clue how to do the integration. He even asked me if I could handle it and I have no idea what he is talking about as it's mainly focused on the data model and other database related stuff and he's our (supposively) DB guy.

The owner assigned him the responsibility to hire a new team member and that's been another disaster. This guy has no sense of responsibility/urgency that he won't do anything unless I constantly keep asking him(on a daily basis) if he made the job posting,reviewed the candidate resumes and so on and his answer is always NO. It took him over a week to make the posting online and finally found one qualified candidate and did the phone interview with her. Then the smart ass waited for a week to do the onsite interview, and day before the scheduled interview, she called back saying she accepted another position.

I am really frustrated with this guy here. No one knows whats going on and how this person is. Should I tell the owner the company is done and I am out of here?

Owner doesn't discuss the hiring process with me since I am the new guy. He expects(thinks) the slacker to be responsible like any other normal person would be at his age/experience level. Only I (and our ex employee) knows how childish and imatured/incompetent he is. She was smart enough to make her silent exit though. He was leaching her off so far to make his life easy and now he's doing it on me. I was really counting on that interview but now it's too late and we are back on square one.

Sorry, it all came out as ranting, I just don't know how to handle this scenario. I can't believe people like him is even employed with his attitude.

My questions:

  1. Should I open up my frustrations with my owner and tell everything about this guy or simply move on?

Because, if I leave, 70% chance the company won't make it and then I am indirectly burning bridges for future references. If I stay, he will leach on me for another 2 more years so he can retire easily and I am not letting him do that on my expense at any cost. If I leave quietly, I will look the bad guy in front of the owner at time of need.

  • 5
    Look after yourself first. You owe nothing to the problematic co-worker or the owner.
    – IDDQD
    Aug 21 '19 at 16:06
  • @IDDQD - Thanks. I am trying to convince myself with that thought.
    – yonikawa
    Aug 21 '19 at 16:10
  • 3
    @yonikawa Keep telling yourself, "Not my circus, not my monkeys." You're not this guy's boss - the owner is, right? It's therefore the owner's responsibility to make sure he's doing his job, and the owner's problem if he doesn't.
    – SWalters
    Aug 21 '19 at 16:15

The ship is already sinking. React accordingly.

Right now, you have two people present, one of whom is an utter waste of space, and the other of which is you. You personally don't have the authority you'd need to fix things. The owner is off-site, and not paying particular attention. He trusts the waste of space with the important jobs. It is conceivable that you could go hypermotivated, pick up the load for the waste of space and make this whole thing float anyway. It's certainly what the waste of space hopes you'll do. You don't owe them that, though, and it would make your life suck. Don't do it.

Given that you're not going to do that, the entire thing is going to collapse. It will fall apart in a messy, ugly way, and probably pretty soon. Right now, you need to be looking for a job. Once you get a job, offer your two weeks notice as normal. At that point... well, I suspect that you would find some personal satisfaction in telling the owner what's going on in some detail, and the kind of recommendation you'd get from them really isn't likely to be worth all that much, even if they were willing to offer one. Go ahead and let him know then, if you want. At that point, their opinion of you really doesn't mean very much, one way or the other.

  • That's what I decided too. I am going to take it easy on this job hiring. Let him hire if he wants to, I am not doing his job for him. Let the owner figure out why it's taking for ever to interview candidates the hard way. I need to come up with a strong reason to leave in 2 weeks notice now that all expects I might leave as well considering the situation.
    – yonikawa
    Aug 21 '19 at 20:33

Should I open up my frustrations with my owner and tell everything about this guy or simply move on?

You should not open up about any frustrations per say. You should open up about specific problems that you think can harm the company. You do so by explaining each situation and the potential harm each situation has caused in the past and what new problems are likely to cause in the future. You're still employed by them so you have some responsibility while you're still working there, but going on a rant is not going to help.

The "slacker" is obviously very busy as he needs to pick up the work after the senior left. Rather than stating that he has no sense of responsibility you should point out that he's got way too much on his shoulders to handle the recruitment process, which is harming the company's ability to hire. Point out how him handling the operations and the recruitment process has failed, while focusing on the causation of that which sounds like workload rather than incompetency, even if its a potential factor. Suggest solutions. No one wants to hear about problems unless you can offer solutions to the problems that can be addressed.

Is there someone else who could handle the recruitment process? Are there any development processes that can be delayed by a few hours in order to make room for the recruitment process? Can any of the tasks be outsourced? What are the options?

Have you asked the employee why the recruitment process was going so slow? Get an understanding of why things are failing, before taking things further if possible, and address suggestions to him first if that's possible.

Because, if I leave, 70% chance the company won't make it and then I am indirectly burning bridges for future references

They are not obligated to keep you afloat and you're not obligated to keep them afloat. They would fire you on the spot without thinking about it twice if they'd have to. You should leave if you don't think the company has a chance or if the situations becomes unbearable.

That being said you should absolutely do what is in your power to help the company while you're still there and that's what your reference will be for, your job while you were there. You shouldn't burn bridges of course, but if you're being held captive by the threat of a bad reference then its a reference not worth having in the first place since the integrity of the reference is obviously broken and may not be guaranteed if everything goes south.

Besides, you won't need their reference if you've gotten aboard a new company before this one sinks into the ground.

  • Thanks for the response. Really appreciate it. No rational reason to wait 1 week for follow up interview. We did phone interview on Thursday. Candidate was wide open and available. Slacker's line of thought - Friday - lunch appt with friend. (could do it before lunch, but no) Monday morning open- but just in case clients call with issues. Tuesday - fully open, Wednesday - fully open, scheduled interview at 1 pm. I asked him why wait 1 week? His response - ahmmm I don't know I just picked a date. How do I explain this to the owner?
    – yonikawa
    Aug 21 '19 at 17:17
  • Owner keeps calling for updates, slacker dont pick up phone, he doesn't want to tell excuses for not doing his job.
    – yonikawa
    Aug 21 '19 at 17:17
  • Another example - we used local internet provider, $300/monthly. Any time it's cloudy outside, we are out of internet for 2-3 days. I joined the firm and insisted we should switch to big chains and save money and have reliable services. He hated the idea. His response - It doesn't matter, every time I call them to report outage, they pick up the phone promptly and very friendly to me, if not call me back for my voice message. That makes me HAPPY. So I have no issues doing business with them. Seriously? Are you 6 year old to give business to folks who can talk and make you happy?
    – yonikawa
    Aug 21 '19 at 17:25

One of the biggest challenges as a manager is simply identifying the problems facing their employees.

If you take this to your manager / owner in a reasonable, non-offensive manner, they will likely appreciate knowing that this problem exists.

I've had to send an email or two in my time listing out performance issues with someone that was at the same level as myself, on the same team, that was causing serious problems for the team.

It doesn't feel great, but in the end, you have to ask yourself -

  • Am I going to stay here and let these issues continue?

  • Am I going to tell the manager/owner (POLITELY) so that they can address it?

  • Am I going to leave and let these problems lie with the company when I do?

^ This isn't a trick question - Really either of the last two options are solutions, though your company would much prefer you tell them that there's an issue.

On a separate note, if this were a larger company, it's worth saying that if the problem employee were under a different manager, the correct process would be to notify your direct supervisor, and then that supervisor would reach out to the manager of the other employee and work things out from there (people take great offense if you go directly to their manager rather than involving your own)

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