My moral compass seems to be on the fritz. Right and wrong are usually very easily defined, but I have a dilemma that falls in the gray area.
I work in home health care. The case I have is a 24/7 case with 12 hour shifts. 6.30-6.30.
I got to work this morning and the person who I relieve usually has her car started and warming up. It’s Michigan, it’s pretty stinkin’ cold right now.
Her car wasn’t started this morning… Weird.
Garbage is taken out each shift and laundry is set out so it can be picked up, washed and returned.
Neither garbage, nor laundry was out this morning… Strange.
The door is unlocked so the next shift can come in.
The door was locked… Crap.
I called my co-worker to ask her to open the door and let me in.
No answer… I half wonder if she fell asleep.
I go get the hide-a-key, come back to the door.
Now the laundry is outside. The door is open.
I walk in, say hello to the person I’m relieving.
She’s yawning. Rubbing her eyes. She has her winter hat on. Acting really strange. Talking about what a busy night she had. Rushing to finish her documentation for the shift.
I go to sign her time sheet.
There are indents from a pillow on her face. Uh oh.
The garbage has obviously not been taken out. Seriously?
There are ants all over spilled dog food that’s been sitting out for a while. Crap.
I really think she fell asleep. A HUGE no-no. And not the first time.
If I pass on my suspicions, she could get in trouble. That could have some pretty serious ramifications for me and the rest of the team. She could quit and we’re understaffed as is. She could retaliate, which would make my life miserable. I’d also feel like a tattle-tale.
If I don’t pass on my suspicions, she could continue to sleep on shift and the client could need something and she wouldn’t respond. Our job is to be there for the client. If she’s sleeping, she’s not doing her job.
Do I say something, or keep my mouth shut. I don’t have any concrete proof that she was asleep on the job, but it certainly looks that way. Do I risk getting a co-worker in trouble and the consequences? She could seriously make my job hell. Do I keep my mouth shut and hope I am wrong and that it doesn’t happen again? The client was asleep so what’s the harm? No blood no foul, but there easily could have been. If she was sleeping, was is an accident, or did she hunker down with the intention of falling asleep.