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Unread 03-20-2017, 04:57 AM   #1
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Default Dealing with a lying coworker

Hi, All. This is actually my first post and I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask it, I know It's really long, feel free to close it if it doesn't belong here.

Iím working as an iOS developer in a mid-sized company, our IT department has 15 employees, most of them are web developers, the app-team consists of me and another guy (letís call him John). I have been working in the company since October 2015, John has been working there since 2014.

When I started working there I spent a couple of months learning Objective C and iOS development, so I didnít really have to work together with John, that went well and once I was ready, we were tasked with rewriting the app from the ground up.

This is when I started noticing that thereís some bad chemistry between the two of us, first of all John was behaving like heís a sociophobe, insecure and sometimes rude: not interested in going out for lunch together, avoiding meetings, in meetings he would rarely say anything, looking at his computer and not participating in discussions, my other colleagues complained that he is tough to work with and that he often ignores mails and Jira inquiries, at the same time most people viewed him as a hard working busy-guy, thatís because he often claimed to be working at nights up to 80 hours a week. (Unpaid overtime) One thing worth pointing out is that even though he was behaving like this with me and the other colleagues, he never behaved like this with our boss (C.T.O.)

At one point, back in 2015 I took this up with my boss because I thought that John was this way because he worked too much, that he needed a break, and that I was afraid it could negatively affect the quality of our app, my boss told me that itís completely up to John to work that much, and that he was not going to do anything about it.

Then later on in 2016 as we were closing in on our deadline, the things got way more stressful, and Iíve started noticing that John isnít really working as hard as he claims, apart from being totally uninterested in meetings and communication with others, he was really unreliable; when agreeing to do something he would never do that, so I had to constantly remind him to do things, Iíve also noticed that the quality of the code he checked in was really bad, as if he didnít try to do a good job. In the summer of 2016 I left for my summer vacation, I was gone for over 3 weeks, during that time John has only made a couple of commits to our repository, by then I already suspected that something was wrong, but John was still claiming that he worked at night and stuff.

During the second half of the 2016 it got only worse, the deadline was constantly postponed and John was unreliable. When passing by his desk I could see that he was working on some non-work projects, I could tell by the programs he used.

I took this up with my boss again, telling him that I have a hard time working with John due to the fact that heís unreliable in terms of checking in his work and collaborating with others, my boss told me that we should wait until John goes on his 1 month vacation in January 2017 and see if things get better ("because he needed some rest"), before leaving for his vacation we agreed that John was going to set up a build server because of the certificates that were tied to his computer, I reminded him at least 5 times before he left, he said he was going to do this, but he didnít, resulting in me being not able to publish our application, at that point I couldnít stay this no more, so I went to my boss and told him how I felt about this whole situation, my boss told me that we should have a meeting all 3 of us when John gets back from his vacation.

When he came back from the vacation, we had a discussion where I told him that itís hard for me to trust him, and that I canít rely on him, we agreed to start working in sprints to separate our work even more with the help of our POs, the next day my boss called me in and asked me how I would feel if he made John the team lead for our app-team. I told him that this is totally unacceptable because John is irresponsible, and that I was really shocked about all this, my boss told me that John is more mature for this job. Since then we have not spoken to each other.

My suspicions were confirmed when I learned that he is in fact working on other projects at work, he has accidentally checked in some of his personal stuff into our repository, I havenít told him that though. It turns out he is working as a consultant, developing apps for his customers at work, heís often in phone calls and heís rarely working on our work projects. I also happen to know a person that John used to work with in another company for at least 2 years, turns out the same thing happened there too, and in the end, he was kicked out.

Having over 12 years working experience as a Software Engineer, Iím really shocked to see that he actually gets away with all this lying and working on other stuff at work, without even getting caught, the fact that my boss does not see that / believe me, is really hard to accept, Iím at a loss and I donít really know what to do, the problem is that I really like the job and my other colleagues, plus it only takes 15 minutes to drive to the office, which is definitely a huge benefit, given that I have 3 kids at home.

Iím not sure what to do and would be happy to get any advices.
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Unread 03-20-2017, 05:04 PM   #2
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Default Re: Dealing with a lying coworker

Wow! That is a really frustrating situation to be in. I'm in a similar situation with a coworker, fortunatEly most of my work is fairly separate from hers.

Is there some one besides your boss you can report this to, like an HR department? They might investigate more fully. Also, have you reported finding his personal stuff on the repository?

Sometimes boss's have personar relationships with screw ups, that's the situation I'm in. So I have chosen to look for a new position, because like you, I feel the situation is no longer something I can tolerate.

Maybe it's something you can tolerate, based on the pay, the short drive, and work-life balance? But if you stay, keep a long file of everything that transpires and all emails, etc, so you cover your *** and don't get in trouble.for John's failings. Unfortunately it doesn't sound like there is anything illegal going on here, just unethical on John and your boss's part.

Your work has been separated so far, try your hardest not to be on any teams he leads. Just try and protect yourself as much as you can. I think that's all you can do.

Good luck,

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Unread 03-20-2017, 07:23 PM   #3
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Hello joshhsct: Well... I don't know as I have the answer to this. My personal perspective is that this situation simply is what it is. You've done what you can do to try to have some sort of positive impact & it seems to fall on deaf ears. So I'm afraid the answer may be either live with it & enjoy the benefits it does offer or find another job. The thing you do need to be careful of though is that John's poor performance does not end up getting dumped at your feet resulting in you perhaps losing your job. You wouldn't be the first person to end up being fired for someone else's mistakes.

I see this is your first post here on PC. So... to PsychCentralÖ from the Skeezyks! May the time you spend here be of benefit.

PsychCentral is a great place to get information as well as support for mental health issues. The more you post, & reply to other membersí posts, the more a part of the community you will become. Plus there are social groups you can join & chat rooms where youíll be able to connect with other PC members in real time (once your first 5 posts have been reviewed & approved.) Lots of great stuff! So please keep posting!
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