He Said, She Said: Co-worker takes advantage of Army civilian Print E-mail
Thursday, 16 April 2015
By Shaun and Pamela Collins
Special to GUIDON
This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Ugh! My coworker is so lazy, but because she is “special friends” with our boss, she gets away with murder.  

She takes long lunch breaks, comes and goes as she pleases and often times dumps her work off on other employees in our office. Our department is huge, so not many people are aware that this is going on. Oh, here is the kicker. She is married. I feel like I am always picking up her slack.

My director is unhappy because I am not completing my work like I should, but I can’t with all of her duties piled on me, too. She also gets a lot of money bonuses and time-off awards. I tried talking to our director’s bosses, but they just blew me off.

I don’t know what to do. I think I just may quit.  How can I give her back her work, without being punished?

HE SAID:  I’m going to take a leap here and connect the dots that when you say “special friendship,” you mean an inappropriate personal or sexual relationship.  

Having made this leap, combined with the fact that you have attempted to address the issue with your boss’ bosses, I would not quit before I exhausted the mechanisms in place to address these very issues.  

I would gather whatever evidence you have access to that establishes your beliefs and assertions, then I would file an EO/EEO complaint at the installation level. As you file the complaint I would probably give those supervisors that you attempted to talk to about the issues a heads up, but you do not have to.  

By filing a formal complaint, you initiate whistle blower protection that will help to shield you from retaliation as long as you are not filing  frivolous or baseless complaints.  

If you know there is something amiss about the relationship and there is any form of workplace injustice an AR 15-6 investigation, IG Investigation, or EO/EEO investigation will likely be initiated and could result in the termination of one or both offenders as well as any supervisors  who ignored your previous complaints without investigation.  

Why should you be looking for another job, so someone else can have to shoulder the same burden?  All it takes for evil and injustice to prevail in society is for good people to do nothing.

  There are a number of recourses available outside your chain of command.  If you are serious about pursuing this issue and having it resolved, I would start documenting these instances as they occur.  Date, time and incident.  When you think you have enough to make a case, go to the IG and file a complaint.  I am a huge advocate of handling issues as the lowest level; however, if your boss and your bosses’ boss have determined this a non-issue, and it is effecting you directly, I don’t see any other recourse.

(Editor’s note: Shaun and Pamela Collins were both career Soldiers with a combined history of military service spanning over a half of a century. They have been where you are, so if you are facing a difficult situation, ask them. Send your question to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it This column and other original content from Mr. and Mrs. Collins can be found at http://militarysuccessnetwork.com. The opinions expressed are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the Fort Leonard Wood Public Affairs Office or the GUIDON.)
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 29 April 2015 )