Surly Sue

Gretchen and Sue work together in the financial aid office. When Gretchen is forced to reschedule a meeting, Sue gets upset and yells at Gretchen for not giving her more notice. This is not the first time that this has happened. Sue has a well-known temper and has yelled at Gretchen before. Gretchen is uncomfortable around Sue and nervous about not doing anything to upset Sue. Gretchen has asked Sue not to yell but it still happens. Gretchen reported the situation to their supervisor, who brushed her off and told her to get a thicker skin. Gretchen avoids Sue and their work product suffers for it.

What should Gretchen do? (You may select more than one option.)

A. Confront Sue in an angry manner.
B. Report Sue through the UC Whistleblower Hotline.
C. Be more accommodating to Sue and avoid interaction with her when possible.
D. Report her concerns to HR and/or Labor Relations.


The best answers are B and D.


The following Standards of Ethical Conduct apply:

1. Fair Dealing

2. Individual Responsibility and Accountability

3. Respect for Others

5. Compliance with Applicable University Policies, Procedures and Other Forms of Guidance

12. Reporting Violations and Protection from Retaliation

UC employees are expected to act in a respectful manner in all dealings with co-workers and the public at large. Sue’s outbursts are unacceptable and Gretchen was right to talk to their supervisor about it. The supervisor had a responsibility to do something about the complaint and failed. In this situation, Sue should use alternate means of reporting Gretchen, including , but not limited to, calling the UC Whistleblower Hotline, reporting Sue to Human Resources, Labor Relations, their supervisor’s supervisor, and/or her Locally Designated Official (LDO) .