I found a colleague's resume in the copy machine and noticed that
he lists some of my responsibilities as his own. I don't want him
to get away with this, but I don't think it's common knowledge that
he's looking for a new job, so I don't want to report it to our
supervisor. What should I do?
Betrayed in Baton Rouge
Anyone who has ever been lampooned, made-for-TV-movie'd, made into
a voodoo doll, or imitated in any other way has felt the simultaneous
flattery and consternation of seeing his or her work or characteristics
represented by another. So I suspect you have mixed feelings. On
the one hand, your efforts on the job are so fabulous that someone
else would like to lay claim to them. This is a marvelous feeling.
The attention. The air time.
the other hand, one wants one's name to appear in the credits of
the documentary about oneself, even if the work is unauthorized,
doesn't one? I of course have People to track down transgressors.
In fact, I have made many shareholders in the corporation of Me
very happy as my attorneys have brought home the bacon in the form
of large monetary settlements from legal cases involving unauthorized
use of my Countenance or other personal assets.
love when lawyers use sexy archaic words like "countenance."
Reminds me of a barrister named Nigel...but that was ages ago.)
can ignore your coworker's resume, and bravely assume all will be
vindicated in good time. If he tries to bring your expertise to
a new job and fails, his actions will speak for themselves. Besides,
if you leave the paper on the copier, others may see it and his
secret search will be revealed. This may provide some consolation.
you can remove the resume from the copy machine and, holding the
corner of the paper between the tip of your thumb and the tippy-tip
of your forefinger, walk daintily into his office, hand it to him,
and say, "I susPECT this belongs to YOU, but I'm not SURE because
it looks a lot like something of MINE."
you deliver your lines with the right mixture of indignation and
irony, you could get quite a laugh and still make your point without
destroying the relationship. I try never to do anything that would
result in my having to remove anyone from my little black book.
irony is not for everyone. If you are an honest, hard-working person
who's been seriously hurt, and if this event will weigh heavily
on you, then have the Talk. Ask for a few minutes of your colleague's
time. Explain in straightforward, nonthreatening language that you
are disappointed in him.
of the outcome, your work does speak for itself if your coworkers
and those you report to have integrity and good judgment. As one
of my People once told me, "Never work for people who can't
recognize a good job when they see one."