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New Hires Condescending Treatment Conflict Policies and Procedures

We hired a new employee, and on her third day she copied a personal hundred page document on our copier. When I asked her about it, she said it is a book she is writing, and her previous employer did not mind if employees use the copiers for personal business. When I told her it is not permitted here, she said she will follow the rule, but it is ridiculous. She has some valuable skills, and I'm wondering how to deal with her.

There are plenty of highly skilled individuals whose attitudes, ethics, judgment, or interpersonal skills totally undercut their effectiveness and tenure on the job.

The larger problem is the way she handled this whole incident. Rather than apologizing, she opted for a confrontation by saying that the policy in question is "ridiculous." And by the way, her implication is that you are ridiculous for adhering to it.

She does not realize that policies of previous employers mean nothing, and this is not simply a matter of wear-and-tear on company equipment. By running her manuscript through the copier, she is using company time for personal business, and that is cheating. She is also tying up the copier, causing possible delays for others who have work-related documents that need to be copied.

At the very least, this matter should be documented in her file, and she should know that any further incidents will lead to more severe discipline, up to and including termination. Unless she gets with the program, she is going to be writing her resume as well as her book.

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