BG: I'm a 4th year (senior) undergrad at my university and I was hired as the photo editor for campus publications for this school year. I have two bosses (editors-in-chief) and I oversee a small staff of photographers that report to me. For the most part the job has been great so far...except for one photographer, who I'll call Sam. When the photographers applied for the jobs, they were read a list of duties, which included responding to all work-related emails within 24 hours. Sam said this would be fine. Also, we do not work set hours due to the nature of our work. We simply have our work turned in by our deadlines, meet at designated meeting times, and get paid a weekly salary. /bg
Well, we're a few weeks into the semester and Sam is driving me insane. He DOES NOT respond to emails. Because we work with very strict printing deadlines, emails are very time-sensitive and communication is key, seeing how we don't see each other on a daily basis. For example, on Monday I sent out an email to my staff to set up one-on-one evaluation meetings, providing them with a list of available appointment times for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Sam never responded to my email, nor any of my subsequent emails asking when he wanted to meet. He's clearly not even reading my emails because his work reflects the fact that he is missing key information needed to do his job.
I told my boss about the issue and they gave me his phone number so I could get a hold of him and ask him what the deal was. They also told me if he continued to be an issue, they *could* fire him, but it's a difficult process. Sam never answers my calls, but will respond to my text messages. When I asked him why he was not reading/responding to my emails, he apologized and said he'd "get on it." (Never answering my question) I told him to consider this a warning.
Well the next day, my boss emails me because Sam stood up a client for a scheduled appointment. I don't know what his excuse could have been because Sam scheduled the appointment himself! I sent Sam a very firm email telling him that his behavior was unacceptable and he needed to shape up if he wanted to keep his job. He apologized profusely (never explaining himself) and promised to change his behavior. He proceeded to then ask me questions about basic job information that he would know if HE READ HIS DANG EMAIL. I told him it was in my previous email and reminded him to read/respond to all emails within 24 hours.
Well the issue is now, the only way I can get him to respond to me is via text message. Even if I send an email, he will not read it unless I text him and tell him to read it. I'm really going batty here. I'm not this kid's babysitter and I shouldn't have to check up on him MULTIPLE TIMES A DAY to get him to read email (and that doesn't even guarantee he'll respond).
I've asked people who know him and they say he is terrible about reading/answering emails. I don't know how this kid expects to get through college, this job, or any future job if he can't be bothered to read a dang email! I've talked to my bosses about it and they're response is basically, "well he responds to texts, so text him." Um...we're talking about pretty dense emails, not one or two sentences (which my bosses know).
On top of all this, Sam's work has been pretty bad. He takes fewer assignments than any staff member, consistently turns in incomplete work, and what is turned in is poor quality and barely usable. I really want to fire him and hire someone who's actually going to be productive, but my bosses seem to be taking the "let's wait and see if it gets better" approach. His terrible work habits are stressing me out, and unfairly putting a bigger burden on me and the other staffers. I have no idea why they don't get rid of him now when there is no redeeming reason to keep him on. My bosses are very aware of the situation. How do I make them understand that he is just dead weight, I'm not his babysitter, and he needs to go YESTERDAY?