Upset at an employee...need advice.


Choose to be happy
Sep 19, 2006
Ok touchy situation, wierd cimumstances...I will try to be brief.

My DH and I own an import company, I technically do not work there, but do go in occasionaly and do check the books, travel for the company, etc. When DH is travelling, I am in charge....

Today, I am in the office for the company christmas party and giving out of the employees, a salesperson, who I normally consider to be very sweet had a huge box at her desk. As I was saying good morning...just making chit chat, I said ohhh...what did you get. She got all flustered and hemmed and hahed...then she said actually it's not for me, I am not sure who's it is adress to XXXX, we don't have an employee by that name. I just looked at her shocked..

Now, she does not work near the reception area....we have an offsite wearhouse...I can not think of an accidental way she ended up with this at her desk.

She offered no explanation, so I just reached over, scooped up the box and looked at the label...I said, hmmm...well there is a phone number here for the shipper....I know you're busy so I will call, and get this to the right person...I bet it's for the holidays and they're worried.

I did call the shipper and got the person's number and called her.....

But what if anything should I say to the employee? I am very dissappointed, and afraid of her trustworthyness now.

I am so upset, I don't want to even give her the large bonus check I have in my bag for her!
Hmm...that is a toughie..

I would ask her to explain what happened that the box ended up on her desk (maybe it was series of legitimate circumstances?) and see what she says.

Do you have cameras at your business that sees what your employees are doing?

I would also question her trustwortiness..

Good luck - let us know what happens.
As an employer you have every right to ask questions regarding that box.. if there was any wrong doing its your name on the slate not your employees.
Giving the benefit of the doubt, I would simply ask her how the box found its way to her desk? and what was she planning to do with it?. based on her answers you will know which direction to go. Please let us know what happened.
I'd give the benefit of the doubt first... and definitely you have every right to ask questions. Like the others said, there could be a legit reason for how it ended up on her desk (wrong delivery etc) but I agree - her response to your questions raised a little red flag. Keep us updated!
It would make me wonder a little bit especially when you said she got flustered about it. I would just bring it up with her and ask how the box got back there with her..I think that you have every right to ask her. I think you need to address the issue with her especially since it makes you feel uncomfortable. There isn't any way to know what happened if no one asks!! :yes:
I would definantely hear her side of the story, just incase. Also, was the box actually opened? Sorry if i misread, but I dont think you mentioned it.. hmm, if she does not have a legit story, or reasoning or w/e then i have no idea, give your DH a ring and seee what he thinks! Goodluck.. I hope it was just a misunderstanding or something
Thanks everyone. I talked to DH about it and we agreed not to give any of the bonuses out at lunch, so I could have a chance to talk with her.

We just finished lunch and I am going to go talk to her now...I will let you know how it turns out.
Oh, ladies...I don't know what to do!

Ok, so I went by her desk...and said, "I got a hold of the lady for that package, she is coming by to get it." She said, "oh that's did you get her number?" "I called the shipper, they gave it to me"

"So, how did it end up at your desk?"

hesitation, "Oh, I am not sure...I hadn't really looked at it, yet."
Odd statement considering it is is opened...and UPS comes around 10 each day, and this was at 8 AM, so it wasn't from today..., "Well I am glad she is getting it, I am sure it's for the holidays...." She shrugged her shoulders, "I guess" and turned away from me and started typing on the computer...

OK, background here....when packages come into the office we have a rack near the reception area. Receptionist e-mails receipents...packages do not get delivered to employees. Sometimes things are addressed incorrectly, names left off, know how that they go on the rack until someone comes and looks for them.

I brought the package up to the front office, told the receptionist that it was a misdelivered package and the lady was going to come and get it...receptionist, said, "oh, I wondered who that could be for. It was too big for the rack, so I put in on the was there a couple of days...but noticed it was gone yesterday when I put the deliveries on the rack."

So, I have no proof she took it or opened it, but her overall demeanor and circumstantial 'evidence' does not look good.

DH said he is fine with whatever I want to do.

Drats! I think it is obvious she took it, I think if I flat out ask her she will just lie....Sorry to be cras, but part of the problem is we give large bonuses, her's is $6,000 up from $4,000 last year. So no bonus or a significantly reduced bonus is going to akward and sure to raise questions. But I really don't feel like giving her so much money!

We are in CA, and we do have 'at will' employment...meaning if we let her go we don't have to give her a reason, we can just say, it's not working out and time for you to move on.
Whoa.. that is super-sketchy. Thank goodness for at-will employment. Assuming you can do without her for a while, and eventually replace her, I'd fire her butt. There are so many dishonest people out there.
Oohh Twinkle - that is difficult!

I would go with your initial gut feelings....I don't know the employee, but her answers, at the very least, raise doubts.

She didn't really seem to answer to questions - more or less skirted around them, and almost (from her answers) seem disappointed that the package was going to its' rightful owner. I know that if someone was asking me questions, I would at least try to explain the situation - and it seems like she wanted to ignore it. And after what the receptionist said, it definitely looks like the employee just "took" the package.

Have you had problems with her before? Overall, is she a good employee?

I wouldn't feel comfortable giving her $6,000, since that is a significant amount to give.

If you have any doubts, I would let her may be difficult at first, but this is your business and you need trustworthy employees.

Just my two cents:yes: