I've had a coworker in the past who was constantly sitting with HR and with the director of the company (mind you this was a 100 people company so not very big), in their offices.

There was not much to actually discuss as it was the first months on the job, and we were both hired with a similar JD, and we were the two person hired on a new team that was being built.

So I am wondering how to approach them, or how to approach HR/director about this kind of thing.

My personal thought is "what does this person have to discuss so much with HR/director, instead of actually sitting down and doing their job?"

Also given that I was teamlead on that team, what could I have done regarding this?

My natural feeling was that this coworker was that they were gossiping about me. Then again, how could HR/director have been so tolerant of him going in their office and constantly having to hear said gossip.

So I wonder if HR is ok with someone regularly and constantly coming into their office and gossiping.

How should one approach this kind of situation?

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    Unless your co-worker's actions are affecting your ability to do your job, then there is no situation that you need to approach. – Peter M Sep 3 '19 at 3:25
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    So in other words you've got nothing – Peter M Sep 3 '19 at 3:29
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    Your whole question is predicated on your speculation about a situation. That is not something that can be addressed in a concrete manner. Hence people are going to feel it is not a suitable question. I hope you have read the Help section on what to ask and not ask – Peter M Sep 3 '19 at 3:42
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    So what is your problem? Did you do their share of the work or just your part and left them to catch up? If you covered for them then tough... – Solar Mike Sep 3 '19 at 4:26
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    "My natural feeling was that this coworker was that they were gossiping about me" - why? – Mawg says reinstate Monica Sep 3 '19 at 7:44

This can also be a time for that person to highlight their accomplishments to leadership. AKA brown-nosing. By remaining extremely visible to leadership they are able to stay top-of-mind for future promotion opportunities. Of course this is just a guess. The easiest thing to do might be to talk to your coworker and see if they offer up any details when you mention you see them with the director a lot.

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  • Surprisingly, they even admitted brown-nosing in a different setting. I've actually thought about why it would bother me, I think it was bothering me because I didn't actually know what they were discussing so much in that room. Also, do they not run out of things to talk about? Like how does this brown-nosing work in practice. Is it possible to just barge in to HR/director office and brown-nose until you get scratches on your nose from how much you brown-nosed? – throwingthrow Sep 3 '19 at 3:23
  • Some people have perfected the art. They mix it with work or project-related discussions thereby allowing the employee an extended period of time in the director's labyrinth. – Lijo Sep 3 '19 at 3:27
  • as long as you are getting the annual raises and promotions you expect it really doesn't matter what happens in that office. if those things aren't happening for you then you can just as easily pick up and get a job down the street. I'm a firm believer in switching jobs every few years. It leads to higher pay anyways. Higher than you would get just climbing the ladder and staying at your current job forever. – Lijo Sep 3 '19 at 3:28
  • that's a very interesting explanation, thank you. With regards to getting a different job if promotions don't happen yeah, that can work. Then again, there's some time lost simply on job-searching, and professional evolution is definitely slowed down if only because of formalities like induction or.. just getting used to a new environment. So if this coworker is the cause of me switching jobs, that would actually be a loss for me (for the previously mentioned reasons) in the grand scheme of things.. – throwingthrow Sep 3 '19 at 3:32
  • As long as you are switching jobs because of things that happened to you as a result of no promotions or raises then I would say the move is justified. unless you find out somehow you'll never really know it was related to whatever that employee was talking about. As for going to a new workplace I have found that ramp up time is relatively small in the grand scheme of things. A meeting is a meeting. When you switch jobs you are simply changing who you are working with and the subject matter of the work might change some but the work is still the same for the most part. – Lijo Sep 3 '19 at 3:59

One should not approach this situation at all. It's nobody's business but theirs. It is however good to be mindful of your relationship to this person, and consider forging your own relationships with higher management.

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  • I don't like the idea of brown-nosing. I also don't really know what to talk about with HR/director if I don't have anything to talk about. I'm actually thinking about "Do I use this person's time the right way?" and if it's about HR/director, if it's not something about paperwork, or conflicts with some coworker, I don't think me being in their office is a good use of their time or mine. – throwingthrow Sep 3 '19 at 3:36
  • The part that bothers me is that HR/director doesn't just throw this guy out of their office for spending such extended periods in there... maybe a reason is they're both women and he's a guy.. – throwingthrow Sep 3 '19 at 3:37
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    @throwingthrow I understand how it might be frustrating, but again, it's literally none of your business. I strongly suggest that you stop policing your coworker's time, and focus on your own. Also, what you might perceive as brown nosing is often called relationship building. People who can build strong relationships are extremely valuable. – Malisbad Sep 3 '19 at 3:39
  • But.. I would understand how relationship building would matter in dealing with customers, except.. we're talking about a junior who has a technical role. In other words, they are definitely not marketing or client-facing. So their role in itself is not one that requires some extended relationship building effort. I mean this is not a sales role, this is a technical role. Uhm, yeah – throwingthrow Sep 3 '19 at 3:43
  • @throwingthrow Not your problem, and relationship building at work can be very valuable. People who excel at management generally excel at relationship building. Technical people would often do well to enhance their interpersonal skills. – Malisbad Sep 3 '19 at 3:46

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