We had an unpleasant experience with our (now ex) new employee. Let’s call her Ms. N. She was assigned as account executive.
It was all started on 7th September 2020, her very first day at our office. She requested to work from home because she was having a typhus. Trusting her, we allowed her to participate in the on-boarding training through Microsoft Teams. We didn’t ask for a doctor’s note because she said she was WFH. WFH can cause dispute when we have irresponsible employee because we have to measure whether their results make sense or not.
Finally she worked at office on Thursday, 10th September. We lend her the working equipment (laptop and hand phone), access card, and key to our office. I didn’t have any suspicion toward her.
The following day, 11th September, she told us that she was having a fever again. She asked to work from home because she was afraid that she could infected other employees. By the afternoon she told us that she was hospitalized. On 13th September Ms. N told us that she suffered gastric infection and she was allowed to leave the hospital.
Jakarta was starting to have a lock-down again on 14th September. Our office in Jakarta decided to enforce WFH policy. During WFH, we had morning meetings using Microsoft Teams. Ms. N did not attend or left the morning meetings without notification several times. Her working results were poor.
On Wednesday she asked for leave because of her gastric problem, then told us she was having surgery next week. On Thursday she could not be contacted. On Friday her sister texted me saying that Ms. N will have a surgery on Saturday or Sunday.
Ms. N texted me again on Monday, 21th September, saying that she had finished her surgery and will have to recover until Wednesday, 23th September. I was getting suspicious of her story. I thought it was unlikely to suffer a different serious illness in such a short period.
On Thursday, 24 September, she didn’t work and gave no notice. After I asked her, she told me that she was leaving the hospital in the evening because she had to get some injections. My gut told me something was off. My colleague took a look at her Instagram and saw that she posted an update being outside and healthy. We were worried with the office equipment we had lend her. I and one of my colleagues hurriedly went to her home address.
We arrived at her home address around 10.30AM. Being worried that she wrote a fake home address, we were relieved to have confirmation when we asked her neighbor. And guess what!? She was at home. We played fools, pretend to be worried and ask about her health. Then we told her that we were going to upgrade the RAM so we took her office equipment.
I asked her to come to the office on Friday to talk with me and our HR department. She didn’t reply.
Our takeaways from this experience:
- Don’t immediately lend valuable office equipment to new employees
- Whatever the illness is, always ask for a doctor’s note for a paid leave
I still don’t understand what her motives is.