Hi Jane,

I have recently graduated from college and have started interning at a well-established company. It has been only two weeks since I joined this place and I have been working hard to prove my dedication to the company. This is in order to convince my employer that I deserve a job here and they hire me on a permanent basis in the near future. I’m on my best behavior at all times and adhere to the instructions given to me by senior. I reach office on time, am immaculately dressed and just take a short lunch break to be in the good books of my senior as he is the one who will submit my work report.

Last week my senior left office two hours earlier than usual, saying that his wife was ill and he had to urgently take her to the hospital. As it was a busy day, I had to stay back in the office till late at night to complete his share of work as well. I did not complain and pleasantly accepted the extra work. But the next day I overheard him talking to his friend about a concert they attended together and how much fun they had. Now I don’t know how to bring up this topic with the HR manager as I don’t want to jeopardize my future prospects in this company. I don’t want to create any grudges with my senior.

qa-with-jane

Answer:

During the internship period, it is a common phenomenon that the intern has to at times complete the work of his senior as well. It is not really an unfair prospect but it enables the intern to learn the kind of work that you will have to do in future. Also, it will teach you how to work efficiently and get better at your job. If you get a hang of it, your chances of attaining a job at the desired company also increase.

In this particular incident, you need to bring up this topic very tactfully. Even though it is unethical, sometimes a senior employee might have a grudge against you which can affect your relationship with him. After all, he is the one who will have to convince the company as to why should they hire you. But that does not mean that what he did is acceptable. Taking leave is not wrong but one should not lie about the reason. Many people tend to do that but that is equivalent to betraying one’s company. It is a lack of professionalism on his part that he preferred attending a concert when his own work was pending.

You should go and have a private conversation with your HR manager about this matter. Tell him what you heard from your senior and do clarify that you were not eavesdropping, it was completely unintentional. Make it a point to be honest and explain to him that you don’t want to cause any harm to the professional rapport you share with your senior. The HR manager will be understanding about your problem and will make sure you don’t land in trouble and deal with the problem in hand.

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