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'My employee took off work because his dad died. A week later, his dad walked in.' MAJOR UPDATE

'My employee took off work because his dad died. A week later, his dad walked in.' MAJOR UPDATE


Work relationships can be some of the most frustrating ones you'll ever have.

In a popular post on the Relationships subreddit, a man asked for advice on how to deal with an employee who constantly lies. He wrote:

"One of my [25/M] employees [19/M] had to take two days off of work because his father died. A week later, his dad walks into the store. Now I'm catching him in dozens of other lies."

I'm a manager at a shop that's 420 friendly for employees. As long as it doesn't affect your work, we're all a big stoner family. We know who's capable of working high, and who isn't. One of my employees is becoming a bit of a chronic liar. He's a bit of a performer - always doing impressions, and generally being a pretty funny guy, but he's a bit of a slacker. I'll call him Scooby.

One day, Scooby comes in, uncharacteristically quiet, just looking sad and depressed. He was working slower than usual, and not really responding to anybody, in the middle of an otherwise busy kitchen. So he gets pulled outside, and tells the owner of the store that his dad just died, and he was reeling from it.

He told him not to tell anybody, because he's not the kind of person to spread his emotional baggage around. The owner and I gave him a hug, told him to go home, and take as long as he needs. He comes back a couple of days later, and everything seems alright. A few days later, a man walks into the store, and asks to see Scooby.

"I was wondering if I could see Scooby. That's my son."

"You're his dad."

"Yeah, we look alike, don't we?" He did. They looked exactly alike.

So now we're faced with the situation of this kid being a little liar. I pulled my boss (the owner) aside, and asked him what to do. He told me that we're extremely short-handed right now, and letting him go would be counterproductive, because we're in the middle of training 3 people, and letting him go would force the more capable people to work 50+ hours a week (there's basically 2-3 of us, plus the owners).

He told me not to say anything to Scooby, and that he and his wife would take care of it. A few weeks have passed now, and I no longer believe a word out of this kid's mouth. Apparently the owners talked to him about his lying, but since then, it hasn't really stopped. He's taken off of work from vomiting all the time.

At one point, he took three Fridays and two Saturdays off in a row, because of all the vomiting, and various digestion issues. He said he went to the doctor, and his doctor told him he was allergic to eggs, so he stopped eating eggs, and then he was okay. Meanwhile, I'll occasionally catch him eating a pre-packaged egg sandwich we bring for the employees for their lunch breaks.

One time, he came in all sad and depressed again, because his girlfriend broke up with him, and his productivity slowed down to a crawl. We told him to keep his personal drama at the door, and sent him home. That night, I see he and his girlfriend publicly snuggling all over my Facebook feed. I don't know what to do. I can't look this f**king kid in the eye anymore, and my boss won't fire him.

Do I just deal with it, and keep letting this little sh*t look at me in my face and lie to me every time he wants to take off of work?

TL;DR: I keep catching a little sh*t of an employee in major lies to get off of work, and he won't get fired.

Commenters jumped on with their comments, questions, and thoughts.

kornberg wrote:

I'd kill him with kindness while outing him. Mention his father's death on his Facebook. Maybe comment on a gf snuggling photo something like "Oh wow, it must suck so much for you guys to have broken up so soon after your father passed. I am so sorry, please let me know if there's anything you need."

Constantly reach out via phone or Facebook (public and private) every time he gives an excuse as to why he can't work. "Hey bud, I heard you were puking your guts out tonight. Can I bring you anything when I close up the shop?"

If he's posted a picture of him eating something with eggs, say something like "Oh wow, where did you get egg free cupcakes? Were they any good? My little cousin is allergic to eggs and my aunt would love to know where to get those for her." Just pile it on. He's going to either have to confess his lies publicly or stop lying. Or he'll quit. What's he going to say to the boss to get you in trouble?

"RocheCoach posted on my Facebook about bringing me food when I was lying about being sick make him stooooop."

Not only are you laying on the guilt, you're making it really hard for him to save face with his friends and family. Lying about his father passing is really, really low and if a friend or family member catches him doing that just to get out of work, he's in for it and he knows it. He's going to have a lot of uncomfortable conversations and it's going to be awesome.

OP responded:

I actually love this advice. I'm a bit of a hot-head myself, but this advice is gold.

Galgonathor wrote:

Unfortunately this is the ugly reality of work. You can't just fire someone because you don't like them. It is not your problem, it is your boss's problem. Having 50% work done is better than having 0% work done. You talked to your boss, he said that he and his wife would take care of it, don't say anything to Scooby. So just don't say anything to Scooby.

When Scooby comes in and says anything, just go "uh huh, you'll have to talk to the boss" and send him to talk to the boss.

If the boss asks you to deal with it and stop sending Scooby to talk to him, that is fine; tell him no responsibility without authority.

Tell him that if you are responsible for Scooby, then you have authority over him. Since you have authority over him, you are going to fire him for lying. If the boss doesn't like that, then the boss will have to find another way to deal with it, or you fire Scooby. And yes, you must of course follow all the applicable rules, regulations and laws when going through this process and then fire him.

mix-oh-lydian wrote:

If it's been a few weeks, I'd go back to the owner and explain that this kid is just becoming a useless body. It's clear he's just throwing any lie he can think of at you guys in order to get long weekends (sick on only Fridays and Saturdays? Yeah, right...).

The fact that his lies are excuses that are easily disproved (dad walking into the store after he "died", posting him and his girlfriend snuggling online after they "broke up" , and the fact that he isn't even trying to hide the evidence, completely shows he has no respect for you, the owner, the business, his coworkers, or the job as a whole.

A few weeks should have been ample time to train three people to be productive employees, yeah? Get with your owner, show him the evidence, and fire this loser.

OP responded:

We're trying our best to train these new kids, but there's so little time. We've resorted to having people come in at 3AM, to dress donuts in a closed store for 3 hours until it opens, but it's really hard finding people with an availability of 3AM to whenever the f*ck.

misshufflepuff wrote:

Sounds like your employer has no idea how to run a business at all based on your OP and comments. If you are a decent manager, I would start looking for a job elsewhere where you can actually do your job and exercise authority. Otherwise, I wouldn't be surprised if the ship you're on sinks very soon.

OP responded:

I've always had a pretty shaky job foundation, until now. This is the most secure job I've ever had, and business has been great, aside from all the drama going on behind the scenes. The owner was just on a popular food network show, as a matter of fact. I don't see this as a sinking ship, just a rather big wave to overcome and learn from in the future. That being said.

If this is a sinking ship, I want to hold on to this manager position for as long as I can, so that in my future job search, it can sweeten the deal when I mention how much experience I have in management. For now, I'm doing pretty well. I live in an apartment with my girlfriend, and I'm putting food on the table, and roof over my head, and obviously, a stable internet connection.

I just don't see a growing business closing because we're having a, in the grand scope of things, relatively minor dispute between the owners, management, and a dead weight employee.

PotentPortentPorter wrote:

Call his bluff by making him commit to his lies. Ask him about the memories of his father, how he is holding up, how his mother is holding up, how his siblings are holding up, how the funeral went. Which cemetery they buried him for you to pay your respects? Etc. Treat him as if he is telling the truth, let him regret lying when he has to think hard to remember his lies.

This kid isn't just avoiding his own work by lying, he is demoralizing all other employees. It is unfair to shoulder the workload of a lazy selfish employee. How much longer until the trainees are ready to work independently?

OP responded:

Pretty soon. One of them is showing a lot of promise, having worked in a restaurant before. One of them is okay, the other one sucks. We're rapidly trying to interview and hire more people, but the entire process is a pain in the dick.

A few months later, OP jumped on with a big update.

So it's been about two months since I last posted about this incident. A lot of really crazy things have happened, so I'll jump right in. After everything happened with the last post, everybody simply put the dead dad incident in the back of their minds. They were pissed for a while, but they eventually let it go.

I was the last one to let it go, but I eventually did. In retrospect, I shouldn't have, because he never once owned up to the lie. He just acted like none of it ever happened. He tried to come up with lies to get out of working holiday shifts he was scheduled for (Christmas, New Year's) but nobody believed him, and he was told that if he didn't show up to these shifts, that he'd be fired.

He showed up to the Christmas shift, but he "overslept" through the New Year's shift. Nobody cared, because we ended up not needing him for the shift anyway, and one of the new guys ended up covering for him on call. Everybody was pissed at him again, and he's been on thin ice ever since. Then sh*t hit the fan in the past few days.

A couple of days ago, his apparently psycho girlfriend caught him hanging out in a car with one of our mutual coworkers. She had an absolute break down, and started pounding on her window. Scooby hops out of the car to calm her down, and the coworker (Skye) drives off. The psycho girlfriend gets in her car, and keeps trying to cut Skye off in traffic (at least that's the story I heard from my boss).

She eventually lets up, Skye manages to get home safe, and texted Scooby basically cussing him out. Later that night, I make a quick stop by the store owner's house, to pick something up for the store, and they tell me that Scooby called them and told them that he wouldn't be able to work for the next few days, because he got into a big fight with his girlfriend, and she slashed his tires.

The next morning, I show up for my shift, and Scooby calls the store. His speech is all slow, mumbled, and he's slurring his words. I immediately think he's strung out on something (he brags about doing acid, and other hard-ish dr*gs).

He tells me this story about how, the night before, after his girlfriend slashed his tires, she calmed down, and they were walking around where they live (in some warehouse district somewhere, apparently) looking for a store to grab money so they can call a tow truck to come get his car. While walking, he and his girlfriend got mugged. He's fine, but they beat her up pretty badly, and took all their money.

Because of this, he wouldn't be able to work for the next few days (which is Valentine's Day, our busiest day of the year by far). Nobody even wanted to speak to him at that point. So it all came down to this morning. The owner comes in, and I asked her if anyone has spoken to Scooby. Basically, she pulled a string, and his entire wall of lies came crumbling down. I can't make this s**t up.

So yesterday afternoon, Scooby f**king calls the store, with a disguised voice, and asks for one of our coworkers (Ashley, who you can read all about here [we have a really dysfunctional family]). He asks for her, and tells her to meet him out the back of the store with his paycheck that was left for him at the cash register. He did this so that he could avoid having to talk to the owner.

Well she caught wind of it, and showed up out back of the store with his paycheck, but he noticed, and literally ran away. He shows up about a half an hour later, with fresh scratches on his neck. Because apparently when you get mugged by a group of guys, they scratch your neck.

She confronted him about all of it, told him that she doesn't believe a word he ever says, and that she loves him, and wishes he'd stop making terrible decisions. By the end of the conversation, he basically admitted to all of the lies, and he was finally fired.

And thus, is the tale of Scooby, the wandering liar.

TL;DR: Scooby was forgiven for the original set of lies, but built up a new set of lies that were so outlandish and Jerry Springer-esque, that he was finally fired.

The internet was fully tuned into the update.

panic_bread wrote:

He should have been fired months ago.

OP responded:

I agree.

_Billup wrote:

The fact that this happened is crazy, but I have to be completely honest and replaying his lies in my head was rather amusing.

OP responded:

He's the kind of liar where he's so introspective, that he thinks his outlandish lies are going to fool anybody.

_Billup responded:

I mean, I have to give him props. Not only did he allow his imagination to run wild, he probably had himself totally convinced it was true when it's all said and done.

Pathological liars are a unique bunch of people.

And OP responded:

It baffled me. I never knew how this dude was ever getting through his life, but I found out a few things over the course of him working there, that proved that he was just a pillar of bad decisions. That was Scooby's trademark. He got arrested a month ago, and was put in jail, because he fessed up to some shoplifting that his girlfriend did.

He was already on probation from some other s#$t, but he got off on a legal technicality, and got off light. But being in jail for two days didn't do anything to help Scooby get his shit together. His parents kicked him out of his house, and he's been floating between his girlfriend's house, and his ex-girlfriend's house when he and his current girlfriend are fighting.

I know, I know, this s#$t sounds like a bad soap opera, and none of us understands why he's letting himself be put into this situation. He needs his a$$ kicked by someone who cares about him, because he's going down a really bad road.

_Billup responded:

Unfortunately he's at a very impressionable age, and even me at that age was making some terrible life decisions. Difference is that I had family that made me realize what I was doing, and wanted a better life, which happened when I turned about 20.

If he doesn't have the right circle, he's going to have to decide he wants it for himself, otherwise, people get easily strung up in what they have, because they think its all they have.

OP responded:

How does this kid get himself into a good circle of kin when he's constantly alienating himself by being a liar? Does he have to hit rock bottom before he realizes that he needs to get his s**t together before he dies or something?

BitchinTechnology wrote:

He is a dr*g addict how can you not see this.

Source: Was addicted to dr*gs.

OP responded:

I can't see it because I'm not too heavily invested in his life. Everything I told you, except for the phone calls I took, was told to me by the bosses.

Due-Independence8100 wrote:

Lots of vomiting? Productivity at a crawl? Speech slow, confused and mumbling? Op*ates.

Hopefully, Scooby is able to get some help, and OP can deal with more competent coworkers moving forward.

Sources: Reddit
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