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Audit Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself

, , , , , | Working | October 12, 2021

Part of my job is to conduct audits; I do a different area each month. It’s all in the name of improvement and helping, so all audits are scheduled way in advance and I’m pretty reasonable with findings if they tell me that it is about to be fixed or just a one-off and they seem genuine.

It has worked really well. Initially, I was ignored and avoided; now, I’m often welcomed and asked for my opinion… all apart from one area: [Employee]’s department.

I visit him and not only is the place a mess, but he is breaking rules at every step. It is clear he just wants to make himself look good but is costing the company thousands in complaints and damages.

He gives me all sorts of excuses, until I can hear no more and just give him the list of things to fix and a warning: fix them by the next audit or I will escalate. He doesn’t seem to care.

The day before the audit, I pop over to the area to make some notes to prepare for the audit.

I can’t see [Employee], but what I do see are staff brazenly hiding all the incriminating evidence: banned chemicals hidden under desks, reject parts hidden under goods, outdated paperwork in bins, etc. One, not knowing who I am, happily tells me what he is doing and that it’s at [Employee]’s request.

The next day:

Me: “Okay. We have gone through the numbers and staffing; that all looks good. Now, we had several customer complaints about damage due to the use of the wrong cleaners. Has that been resolved?”

Employee: “Yes, we got rid of them straight away.”

Me: “So, there won’t be a bottle hidden under that desk under there?”

Employee: “Err, no?”

I pull out the bottle and make a note on my paperwork.

Me: “Okay. So, next, I’ve been asked about your number of rejects. We have huge costs in parts that we cannot account for. Are your rejects being reported?”

Employee: “Yes, every reject is on the reject shelf.”

Me: “So, a member of staff didn’t hide them in that yellow bin there with the good parts?”

Employee: “Is this an audit or a snooping session? How am I supposed to run a department if you keep coming around checking up on me?”

Me: “This is my second visit, and there will be many more if you refuse to follow policy.”

Employee: “I don’t have time for this. I have actual work to do.”

He stormed off, which was a silly thing to do, because without him there, I had free reign to check the whole area. It didn’t take me long to find a huge list of issues and problems. Even more foolish was to complain to the manager about me “interfering” as, by that point, I had a whole photo album’s worth of his mistakes. He was given “one last chance” but must have blown it as, three months later, he was demoted.

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