update: I caught an employee in a lie

Remember the letter from the manager who caught an employee lying about sending a FedEx shipment that she hadn’t really sent? Here’s the update.

While the employee is still working here, I did finally get support from my manager (the president) to write her up, and when I did her annual review, it stated all of the incidents that occurred – it was the worst review she had ever received. I was firm and direct and left my emotions out of it, even though she started crying. I explained that we are all going to make mistakes and that I am always willing to help resolve issues when she does something wrong, but lying about it is not going to be tolerated at all. It seems her first instinct is like a teenager: say whatever she can to not be in trouble. I advised her to stop and think before she speaks to make sure that what she is saying is the truth.

The vice president also talked to the owner of the company (who is out of state but came for a site visit) and brought him up to speed and he agreed that she will be terminated the next time she lies about anything. The only reason she wasn’t terminated now is because the parent company just gave out annual bonuses and the owner (who is also an attorney) said that he would have a hard time defending the termination when less than 2 weeks ago she was given a very nice bonus. He was also not very happy to learn that the president has been sweeping this problem under the rug for so long and for not bringing it to his attention earlier.

I now feel like I have the proper backing to perform my job and make sure my direct reports are held accountable for their actions. Prior to this, I felt like it didn’t matter what happened, the president was going to override me and do whatever he could to “not rock the boat.” This all happened about 3 weeks ago and we have had one incident when she didn’t perform a task I had assigned to her; when I asked her about it, she started to lie and say she had started the project but caught herself and admitted she hadn’t gotten to it yet but gave me a time frame of when she expected it to be done. For now, it looks like she is on the right track and only time will tell if she stays on it.

Me again. I know your hands are tied, but it’s ridiculous that your company is keeping on someone who’s known to turn to lying when it suits her. This is not a situation where you should be giving someone chance after chance, and even if she pulls it together for a while, you’re going to have to watch her like a hawk forever. Your company is being silly here.

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