Please don't shoot the messenger!!!

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by hearts and roses, Oct 7, 2009.

  1. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Okay, I just have to vent about this to someone. You can even close this page now if you want.

    I have worked for my brother in law for about 15 years in an upper level management position. His son, my nephew and Godson, has worked for us for a couple of years in the capacity of guy-Friday. In recent months, his dad has been preening him for a more important position in the company. It is a position in which he would have to take on more duties and, ultimately, be much more responsible. He would be in direct contact with some of our key clients and account personnel.

    Not for the first time, I received from one our clients an email in regards to a file of my nephew's. Apparently, nephew was sent a notice of a new job back on 9/30 and he simply buried it and never responded, never opened it in our system and never sent acknowledgement. The client was looking for our file number today and decided to ask me. When I opened nephew's drawer of files, lying right on top was a UPS folder - with MY name on it - that he never opened or delivered to me. It was dated 9/30!!! Argh. It just happened to be some important health insurance documents for one of our new FL staff that I had been waiting for!! I was/am so peaved. I took it and continued my search for the other file when I opened up one of his overhead bins and discovered a piece of mail from August 4th!!! This particular vendor had just called yesterday looking for their money and I heard my nephew tell them that we never received thier invoice and to please send another. I wasn't shocked by this discovery, it's happened before. But I hate being the one who has to tell the boss, his father, my brother in law.

    But I did. After I opened the new file and set everything up; after I forwarded the health insurance papers to our new employee. I told him. He tried to brush off my being inconvenienced and also gave the impression that he thought the HR issue concerning the health insurance papers was not that big a deal - BUT - I could see he was boiling. I know he went in his office and called his son - his son called out sick today (he does this almost weekly, can never make it through an entire week and makes up reasons to leave the office throughout the day).

    But here is the thing: The boss will ream out his son, his son will lie about it all, call me crazy and nosy, etc., and somehow his dad will fall for it and nephew will be off the hook. So in the end, I just look silly and as if I were over reacting or being a you-know-what.

    But the truth is that our clients are talking about my nephew and questioning whether or not he's capable of the job. I wish one of them would say something to the boss, because I'm SOOOooOOOoooo tired of being the middlewoman, I hate this position but it's amazing how often I am exactly in this position!!! Not to mention that our other employees notice it all and all talk about the nephew behind his back and make snide comments. Did I mention that my nephew is turning 28 in January - he's no kid.

    Phew, feel better, thanks.
  2. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Jo, what would happen if you told your brother in law that you aren't clear of how you should deal with complaints regarding your nephew and wonder if he would like to take some of the calls?

    Or, next time ask if he minds if you look in nephew's drawers and desk for missing files "just in case they got misplaced"? Then make a lot of rustling and harumphing noises as you do it, and bring to his attention what you have found and ask whether he wants you to take it over or if he would like to give it back to the nephew to complete?

    Seriously, I'd dump it back on the two of them.
  3. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Thanks Witz. I normally do dump it back on them, but this particular time the need of the client was urgent and since I do happen to have a good strong rapport with them, I felt it wiser to handle it myself and then hand it back to nephew/dad. The thing is also, by the time we discover a situation where work has either been ignored or overlooked, it's an emergency, Know what I mean?? I just try to do the right thing. It's this BS baby, 3rd grade behavior and tattling that I hate. Ugh, just grow up already.

    The only reason nephew is still here is because he's too lazy to go find and make a life for himself and my brother in law is too scared to let his son fall flat on his nose. Talk about the need for detachment!!!
  4. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    That's a touchy situation. You KNOW if it was any other employee doing those things, the situation would have been handled long ago. If talking to brother in law doesn't work, I would start forwarding any emails and/or voice mails from clients in regards to his son. A client calls to inquire or complain? Send it to brother in law. If they get you in person, get their info and then go to brother in law and ask how he wants you to handle it. If they get your voice mail, forward the voicemail with your own message asking the same thing. Emails? Same story. Obviously he knows it's an issue but maybe if he sees just how MUCH of an issue it is, he'll do something. (Especially if it's in a nonconfrontational way) It's pretty apparent that this guys is in no way mature enough to handle the type of position his father wants him to have. I understand the concept of a "family" business but if the family will run it in the ground, what good is that?

    As for the mail, is there any way you can get it yourself or have nephew give it directly to you when he gets it? (I'm assuming he's picking it up at a PO box or sorting it???)

    Also, if the other employees are aware of this too and ask you for advice, I would tell them the same thing. Go to brother in law and in a matter of fact way tell him what's going on and ask how he wants them to handle it.

    These kinds of mistakes and issues are a big deal and affect more than just you or brother in law. They affect the other employees, the clients AND brother in law's own reputation. If he wants to continue his business, he MUST understand this.

    Oh and as for the part about brother in law being scared to let his son fall on his face....What would he do if his son was working for someone else and did this stuff? Would he butt in, talk to son's boss or go to work with son and help him? If he's open to talking about this I would ask him that. What was brother in law doing when HE was 28? Hard as it may be, he's going to have to let son fail and learn otherwise he'll be cleaning up after him till he (brother in law) dies.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2009
  5. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Today, when difficult child nephew comes in I know he will have an attitude with me, but I am prepared. I'm just going to let him have it in a very calm and direct manner. If he huffs and puffs, that's his problem. I'm going to remind him that we're a team and that each of us has a job to do and he must do his so others can do theirs. I know it's all going to sounds like white noise in his tiny brain, but I've got to say something and let him know that his BS stories may work on his dad, but they don't work on me and I will not tolerate his whining or lies. Oooh, I'm still so angry whenever I think of it.

    It's so difficult to choose who we should be more angry with, the son or the dad!! Thanks for the support...:faint: