Helping the Chronically Overworked Find Life Balance

When Something Goes Wrong At Work, Who Has Vijay’s Back?

Chapter 4: Who To Trust At Work?  Part 3

Vijay did not think much of it when the lead scientist asked him to change the method used to track the inventory of a new product under development.  The scientist was the expert, and Vijay rushed the change order through document control in accordance with the governing regulations.  It wasn’t until the scientist requested a second change that Vijay grew uncomfortable.  He discovered a discrepancy in the amount of actual product in inventory versus the amount in the records.  The apparent shortfall would have been further exacerbated by a second change in the inventory calculation method, and in fact could be traced to the first change, the one with his name on it.

Vijay’s first reaction was fear – will I be asked to pay for the missing product?  As Vijay learned more about what really happened, his second reaction was surprise – the scientist had been sending the product from inventory to an academic collaborator, didn’t have the budget to pay for it, and appeared to be requesting these changes to cover her tracks.  And after Vijay went to his manager for help, his third reaction was shock – his manager did not believe him.  The manager made Vijay check again and again, and then left him on his own to meet with the vice presidents of manufacturing and quality.  Leaving a novice to sort out something like this with the VPs is like having a teenager report teacher misconduct, and then explain it to the principal and superintendent without parental support.

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