Misleading Meetings

Read the scenario and think about your answers to the questions.  Please share and discuss with your team and coworkers.

I work with an individual who creates “meetings” on their calendar to appear busier than they actually are.  Usually, these meetings are short and do not affect business in our office.  However, occasionally these “meetings” are conveniently placed during afternoons near major breaks/holidays, and it’s impossible to locate this person during the time blocked out on their Outlook calendar.

I know this individual isn’t in the office, even if their calendar says they are—they’re often getting a jumpstart on travel or using the last parts of the workday for personal errands.  Normally, I wouldn’t say anything, but it seems like every time they put a “meeting” on their calendar a big issue comes up, and I get stuck with it because they’re not around.  Last time this happened, I called them one hour after work just to say “hey” and they were 2.5 hours away from Omaha on their way to Denver for a weekend with family.  Is there anything wrong with these “meetings”? Should I approach this individual or our supervisor—and what do I say?  No one else seems worried about these “meetings,” but I’m frustrated.

Questions to think about, write about, or discuss with your team:

  • Is this an ethical dilemma? Why or why not?
  • If it is a dilemma, use the Decision Making Model to justify the action you should take.