On the first day of christmas my employee said to me
The morning after the night before………….
On the first day of Christmas my employee said to me….. Last night on the way home from the office party I crashed and got done for drink driving. I reckon it’s your fault for plying me with drink and then letting me drive.
And I said: Hang on a minute. Yes, we have a duty of care, but so do you. Anyway, we reminded you about drink driving, provided soft drinks and offered to arrange free transport. It’s your own fault.
On the second day of Christmas my employee said to me….. Thanks so much for the promotion and bonus you so kindly promised me last night. I appreciate it very much. You’re so much nicer after a drink or two.
And I said: In spite of my crashing headache and regrets, I have to tell you that I have no idea what you’re talking about and even if I did make a rash promise, you should have known that I didn’t mean it. I know I’ve been living dangerously, but sorry, I deny it all. Even if that loses your goodwill and ruins your Christmas.
On the third day of Christmas my employee said to me…..I’ve got the worst hangover ever. I wouldn’t be any use to you, so I’m doing you a favour and staying at home. Aren’t duvets wonderful?
And I said: I have to inform you that you should be at work and you could have avoided your failure to be here. I shall consider whether disciplinary action will be taken, particularly as you have been warned that you shouldn’t let this happen. I’m sorry if that fails to make you feel better.
On the fourth day of Christmas my employee said to me….. I’m not very happy about not getting a Christmas bonus. After all, we had one last year.
And I said: Well, the Company profits are down so we can’t afford it and you’ve always been told that a Christmas bonus remains at our discretion and depends on how the Company is doing. So, sorry, but no.
On the fifth day of Christmas my employee said to me….. I’m really terribly sorry I was so rude to those visiting clients. I know you’d told me not to let you down, but I just got carried away. And that fight was really just natural high spirits, though I do admit that throwing beer was a bit over the top. Should I write to them and apologise?
And I said: No! I shall have to find out whether they will ever deal with us again. Pity that they are some of our biggest clients. I must investigate and then consider what disciplinary action is called for, following proper procedures of course. It may be a sobering thought, but the consequences could be very serious for you.
On the sixth day of Christmas the young admin lady said to me…..I have to tell you that new man in accounts got completely over excited and acted towards me in a very inappropriate way. Mistletoe is just no excuse! I really can’t be expected to work with him any more. I need protection.
And I said: I shall investigate this matter very carefully and confidentially. Even though it was an office party there are definitely limits to acceptable behaviour. We need to discuss working arrangements for the time being.
On the seventh day of Christmas the new accounts man said to me…… That young admin lady was really flirtatious at the party and looked very upset when I backed off. I think she felt she’d made a fool of herself. I’m worried she’ll do something to get her own back and save face.
And I said: Help!!! Where’s that lawyer’s phone number? And the lawyer said calmly: It’s all a matter of balance, investigation and whom you are reasonable to believe. It may end up in no formal action, or discipline of him if the allegation is true or of her if it turns out to be malicious. My detailed help is available. I then asked the lawyer if I was entitled to early and immediate retirement……
On the seventh day of Christmas my employee said to me:……The photocopier has stopped working. I think it died of shock, and I nearly did as well when I saw what had been copied. I think I can tell who it is! Whatever are you going to do about it?
And I said: We’re going to call the photocopier repair people and bin the copies. We’ll send round in general just to say that such behaviour mustn’t happen again, but otherwise least said soonest mended.
On the eight day of Christmas my employee said to me….. It’s such a deep and crisp and even morning that I can’t get into work, sorry.
And I said: Well, technically we could stop your money, we’ve told you that we may do so, but as it’s the season of goodwill, we won’t. You should realise though that it’s your responsibility to be available for work. Can you do some work from home or work another time? And I must get working on that adverse weather policy so we all know where we stand next time it snows.
On the ninth day of Christmas my employee said to me…..You’ll never guess what I saw last night on the Finance Manager’s Face book page. I’m surprised it’s allowed! Everyone knows he works here. I was really surprised by the photos, never saw him as such a party animal. And I didn’t know he was thinking of ‘jacking it in because it’s so awful’ and leaving, did you?
And I said: There are limits on what should go on Face book and they’re in the IT policy. Face book is private but it reflects on the Company so there are limits. I’ll have a quiet word with the right person. And the MD said to the Finance Manager: Can I see you in my office, now, immediately?
And by then I’d had enough of it all and went off to console myself with a cosy chat to Frances, my lovely lawyer. Who says: A Merry Christmas one and all!
Frances Barker is a solicitor who specialises in employment difficulties. She can be contacted at Blocks Solicitors on 01473 343911 or email@example.com.
Of course the above is very general and you should not act in reliance upon it without first taking specific advice upon your individual case.