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June 2012
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Don't step into sticky situation

Staff report

Dear Annie: I am the manager of a small bakery. I've had the same employee, "Sue," for the past nine years. She is lazy and uninvolved, and I gave her a so-so review. Much to my surprise, Sue was promoted to management in another facility. I was happy for her achievement, until I heard she was telling others that she was doing the majority of my work, including ordering supplies. She added that I was suffering from Alzheimer's and couldn't remember anything. None of this is true. I think it may have been prompted by my less than stellar review.

Since Sue has been promoted, she has been asking me a lot of questions about how to do her job, because she is clueless. She doesn't know that I am aware of her nasty comments. Last week, another co-worker told me that Sue is bullying her assistant and making her do the majority of her work. She is already making enemies there, and because of her lack of supervision, the bakery is becoming filthy and a potential health hazard.

Should I keep quiet about what I know or contact human resources (anonymously) and report her misconduct, as a few employees have suggested? I am retiring soon and don't really need the drama. - Caught in the Middle

Dear Caught: You have nothing to report other than hearsay from co-workers. You have not witnessed any of this firsthand, and you don't know whether it is true. The fact that Sue calls you for help is meaningless. Many employees rely on others when given new responsibilities. The negative things you already know about Sue were in your review. They promoted her anyway. You can complain about the condition of the bakery, but Sue's new co-workers should be the ones to take responsibility for complaining to human resources now.

Dear Annie: I loved your answer to "Last-Minute Hostess," whose stepson and his family always show up hours late for Thanksgiving dinner. Here's how I would respond to those who arrive late: "You're just in time for a piece of pie!" - Fort Myers, Fla.

Please send your questions to Annie's Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.

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