Hi Everyone! 

Hope you all had a wonderful summer and took some badly needed vacations. I was informed from one collector, Ms. A, at a mid-size stationery company, about a very interesting summer vacation planned by one of her team members, Mr. B. Here’s what happened:

Mr. B told everyone that his wife was going into the hospital for a procedure and that he would be away from work for about ten days. Two days before he was supposed to take the time off, he sent an email by accident to Ms. A, who coincidentally has the same first name as his wife. In the email, he talked about their upcoming vacation and some issue with reservations at a resort. 

As Ms. A read the email, it was soon obvious that Mr. B fabricated the reason about why he needed to take off for ten days. Ms. A was very upset after reading the content because not only had Mr. B previously gone on vacation, but he was also very much needed to handle the increase in the number of past due accounts their company was grappling with. On top of this, Ms. A and Mr. B had worked very closely together for several years and she was completely dismayed by his lack of integrity. 

Because of what seemed to be a long history of credibility between them, Ms. A was trying to figure out what to do. Should she immediately report him to upper management, talk to him directly first, or do a combination of the two.

So, Ms. A decided to let Mr. B know about the email and his deception and see what he had to say. Would he come clean and let upper management know or would he ask her to keep things quiet while he canceled everything? 

Within an hour, Ms. A informed Mr. B that she knew about his unjustified vacation plans. Even though being caught red handed, he immediately launched into how hard he had been working and despite having already taken two weeks of paid vacation earlier in the year, he felt he was still entitled to another two weeks on the company’s dime. Upon hearing that answer, Ms. A did not respond and quickly decided to send the email to her manager for further handling. 

Subsequently, upper management took action against the deception and in the end Mr. B was given a permanent vacation from the company. In view of the decades that he had worked there, it was an unfortunate decision, but in consideration of the company’s policy related to honesty and integrity, it was a necessary one. 

Ms. B was also tasked with finding a replacement and in a couple of weeks, a recent college graduate was hired. Although she did not have collection experience, her fresh enthusiasm to learn was more than enough to begin tackling the delinquent accounts that had accumulated over the past several months. 

Hector the Collector is a credit, collection, and human resources advice column by Nancy Seiverd, President CMI Credit Mediators Inc. Your thoughts and comments (nseiverd@cmiweb.com) are most welcome!

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