I have an employee who exercises at lunch and after work.


I have an office manager who started working for me less than 3 months ago. Right off the bat, she started taking 1 1/2 to 2-hour lunches so she could run. This is after she worked out in the morning for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Then she leaves promptly at 5:55 P.M. so she can do 90 minutes of aerobics.

She eats constantly and everything, rice crackers, candy, Chinese food, and junk food. Her desk is a mess and I can’t stand it. She doesn’t finish projects on time, the quality is poor, lies about her work and she denies I tell her things (I have a great memory and write most everything down for her!). She is snappish, openly hostile in front of others and at 33 years of age claims no one has ever said these things about her work pattern before.

I researched her work pattern at other companies and she HAS had the same pattern AND they thought she was bulimic, too. I started adding up the facts.

What do I do – approach her first or just fire her? She has 2 weeks left on her probationary period.

She is driving me mad. I manage 3 departments and I spend more time working on her than any other person or group. She can not be trusted to do the work I assign her. Always asks for extensions, etc. etc.

Help, help, help!

Bulimia is an eating disorder that manifests in large amounts of food eaten in a short time, followed by vomiting. Anorexia is another eating disorder characterized by a preoccupation with thinness and often compulsive exercising. Some of both characteristics are present in your employee.

If she has a job performance that she is not completing in a timely manner and to your satisfaction by working hours as assigned, then you will have to make the decision to terminate her employment based on that not her eating. Seems like you have invested a lot of time documenting her performance as well as talking with previous employers. As her supervisor, you will have to decide whether to continue her employment or not. However, in the United States, you could not fire someone because of a medical or psychological problem as that would be discriminatory. I suggest you talk to an employment attorney thru your human resources department to learn what is acceptable job termination.