The straw that broke the camel's back

News on 10 July 2019

“Naughty Boris and the straw that broke the camel’s back”

Boris is a complete nightmare of an employee.

His performance is poor, his attendance is poor, his attitude is poor, his conduct is poor.

Boris pretty much does what he likes because he has not been well-managed for a long time.

Because he is unpredictable, his employer is a little afraid of what he will do and say next.

Lots of little naughty things

Boris has never really done anything significant enough to get him dismissed for gross misconduct.

There have, however, been a collection of lower level issues, that have continually gone unchecked that have caused the problems for the owner of the business.


If Boris was asked to do something, his response was always negative.

He only worked his contracted hours. Even if it meant leaving a job unfinished.

His manager was never unreasonable. If the manager made a request for Boris to assist his colleagues with something, Boris would respond by saying that it was not in his job description.


His sickness absence levels are always a bit on the high side. Every time he hit a trigger and the sickness absence process started, a warning would be issued, and he would come to work consistently just during the warning period.


His capability is not great. He’s not really really bad at his job, but just not brilliant. He’s never done anything that is negligent, it’s always just the little things. Again, any time he triggers the performance management process, he is put through the informal process and a performance improvement plan is implemented. This is followed by the formal process, where he is normally issued with a warning. Once again, during the period he manages to pull his socks up and these little errors stop.


On one occasion he put in a holiday request that was declined. This made Boris very unhappy. He decided to take the day off anyway. He didn’t call in or tell anyone where he was. He was just absent without leave (AWOL). When he eventually came back to work, he had a disciplinary for being AWOL and was issued a written warning. During the time the warning was live, he did the same thing again, so the whole process was repeated and this time he was issued a final written warning.

“My manager is bullying me!”

Boris has raised a number of grievances about being bullied by his manager. The manager is simply attempting to manage him. Boris just doesn’t like being managed. In fact, his behaviour has become almost childlike.

The final straw

Boris went AWOL again.

The manager decided that “enough was enough” and it was time to take some definitive action about the situation.

So much management time had been taken up with managing these relatively low-level issues that Boris seemed to simply enjoy creating.

Not one thing on its own constituted gross misconduct though… but fortunately the small misdemeanours were dealt with appropriately on each occasion. He still had a live final written warning on his file for being AWOL.

It is time for the manager to wave good-bye to Boris.


If you have had a gut full of having to try to manage your own Boris – why not give us a call and see if we can help you.