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How do you deal with a lazy coworker?


Distinguished Member
Dec 19, 2008
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I work at a start up and I was so swamped with work that they eventually hired a lady to help with the work I'm doing (QA). After we gave her the job offer she tells us she has to leave every day at 3 to pick up her kids from school and she would come in at 7 to make up for it. We're flexible and figure it's not a big deal as long as she gets her work done.

So 2 or 3 months after she joined she tells us that her husband's job schedule changed so she now has to drop her kids off at school in the morning too (she still leaves at 3 to pick them up). She doesn't mention a time (I felt she did it purposely) but she gets in around 9 every morning. Most people get in the office around 10.

Our company is small so everyone reports to the VP. Basically we have a bunch of projects to test and she will take 1 to 2 weeks to finish each one, I finish them in 2 to 3 days. The projects to test keep coming in continually so if I don't finish them they will pile up causing other problems. After awhile I ask the VP to hire a 3rd person as I'm swamped and he said the lady is new and give her a year to get up to speed and she would start helping me more.

So fast forward a year and she hasn't improved much at all. The VP talks to her and she is now finishing projects a little faster. I felt she was rushing projects to just finish them faster (there were multiple bugs that were found later on that she missed in her testing) and she's not putting in enough time in the office and have a bunch of chats with the VP.

I won't get into it all but I asked to become a manager (won't happen as company is too small) and documented the stuff she did (missing bugs, not running tests she was supposed to, still doesn't understand how our product works, etc.) and asked him to fire her a couple times. He told me he is not going to fire her saying the stuff that she does is repetitive and he doesn't know if he would be able to find anyone who would do that and not be bored. So I tell him I'm going to work from home every Friday then and he's fine with it.

My problem is that there is no accountability in my job. The VP is a hands off type of guy and doesn't want to get into any of it. We have daily stand up meetings (agile) and I miss half of them as I just don't care and he's never said anything to me about it. I started working from home 2 days a week and they don't really care as I still finish all my work, albeit a little slower now.

I know everyone would say to quit the job, but we're a start up and there's a chance we could get more funding or get bought out in the near future so that's one reason I stayed. The other being I need to work on my technical skills before I leave as I would only leave for a better job.

I've talked about it with a few co-workers and they all know how bad the lady is but they said nothing will happen unless I quit. If I quit, she would be the only one to test all the projects and they all felt that everything would snowball and she would be fired.

Have any of you guys been in situations like this before? How have you dealt with it?

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