I have a question for e-hell. I have a co-worker who I manage (she reports to me). She is currently pregnant and going on maternity leave soon. She is a very sweet girl from a personality perspective (to other people) but is a NIGHTMARE as someone to work with. She is exceptionally lazy, doesn’t get work done (which I have to then do to avoid missing important deadlines), she comes in to work late and leaves early, spends all her time talking on the phone or surfing the ‘net, she has even fallen asleep at her desk before. She doesn’t have a medical condition, aside for being pregnant, but she milks it where she can. She takes time off for every tiny reason, including tummy aches and headaches and is pretty much the worst worker I have ever known.
The problem is she is generally popular in the office because no one but me experiences her bad behavior. I am always doing her work, because as her manager I am the one who will get into trouble if it isn’t done. She has also lied to me on a few occasions. Recently, a close friend of mine passed away and I couldn’t be at the funeral because she had let me down for a deadline. I therefore don’t personally like her very much and don’t feel hugely generous towards her. I remain civil with her, but I am not taken in by her “bubbliness”.
My problem is that, because she reports to me, people expect ME to throw her a baby shower. This would have to be done at my personal expense (to buy decorations, food and a present) and I unfortunately am having financial issues. I might be inclined to borrow money if it was someone I really loved and wanted to throw a shower for – but how should I handle this when I don’t want to reward her bad treatment of me in the first place??? I am getting nasty comments from people about how mean I am being by not setting a date for the shower and organizing one.
It’s been my opinion for years that work-related wedding and baby showers should either be an employer provided benefit that is done on company time and company expense or it is a private affair planned and paid for by individual employees interested in hosting a shower off the clock and off property. If your company protocol for years has been that management hosts a shower at the manager’s expense and on company time, you are screwed. You cannot now play “non-favorites” and decline to benefit one particular employee. If the protocol in your company is that individuals can plan showers for fellow co-workers off the clock, by all means encourage one of the employees to own that hosting duty. Ignore people who want all the fun of someone else working their backside off to host a party they are not willing to host themselves.