The Brass-Faced One

The other day, an old school friend expressed her frustration with the conduct of a superior officer at her place of employment.

The individual had joined the organization not six months ago, but has made himself / herself quite at home by frequently:

  • having junior staff members run personal errands for him/her or with him/her (i.e. retail transactions)
  • having the institution’s driver transport family members (who are not employees of the institution)
  • having junior staff members assist with tasks unrelated to the job (i.e. school work)
  • making extensive use of the office’s stationery and equipment for personal matters (i.e. printing and copying school work)
  • taking the office’s kitchen stock (milk, juice etc.) for home use

What bugs my friend even more is the attitude that accompanies this behaviour:

(the rhetorical)

  • “I bold eh?”
  • “Why should I do XYZ at home when I can do it at work? There are lots to be had.”

(when faced with reluctance on the part of junior officers):

  • “These are just some small things that we all have to do for each other in the course of our work.”
  • “This was the norm at all the other offices that I worked at.”

Worst of all (when talking about “other” office policies and procedure):

  • “Everything must be above board.”

According to my friend:

  • The superior officer has already demonstrated that any one who tattles on him/her will  not be treated well (a terrible thing if that person writes your performance appraisal, gives approval for time off etc.).
  • The higher-ups are either completely oblivious or are turning a blind eye.

Regardless of where we work (private or public sector), we all have encountered brass-faced people like that.  Short of writing an anonymous letter or suddenly resigning and engaging in a “Things I always wanted to get off my chest” tirade, what should / what can one do in such a situation?

My answer: it depends…


People like that are leeching the resources of institutions.  They have to be added to my “how to buss a business trini-style” list.


~ by mangoandmosquitoblog on August 5, 2008.

2 Responses to “The Brass-Faced One”

  1. Question

    Do they have any real work?
    Are they any good at it?

    Why not hand up a copy of the school work with other work.

    Leave out simple things, that they should spot.

    Apply for a transfer.

    Go to union if you are unionised and say tasks are not on my job description. Union will advise you do not have to do them.
    Once they get involved so will the HR Industrial Relations person. Upstairs will get hint.

    All else fails.
    Start doing up your CV and start looking to leave.

    The market is still buoyant but the downturn is already here, so the sooner the better.


    Welcome back… 🙂

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