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Family Business Fairness

I work in the same department as the owner's son-in-law. He always comes in late, leaves early, and gets very little done. If I worked the way he does, I'd be fired. Is there anything I can do?

Unless you have some kind of plan to marry into this family, your options are rather limited. Nonetheless, you should try to figure out what is really bothering you here. For example, if this son-in-law has no impact on your work, but his mere presence annoys you because of what he symbolizes, the problem is yours. It will be far more productive for you to focus on getting your job done. By focusing on him, you are letting him interfere with your work.

After all, if the owner spent a tremendous amount of money on a statue and placed it in your department, you might think that it is a big waste, but you do not have to look at it. And, the more you do, the more annoyed you will become. In your present situation, the owner has put a different kind expensive statue in your department, since this one comes in late and leaves early. In a word, if the son-in-law has as little to do with your work as a statue, that is how he should be viewed.

However, if his work or lack of it is interfering with yours, the first thing to do is meet with him. Tell him that you need his help, and then show him what he needs to do and when he needs to do it.

If he is as responsive as a statue, you should then approach your supervisor. Be sure to pay careful attention, since his or her reaction will give you a glimpse into the future.

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