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Supervisor Balks at Planning Party for Lazy Worker

DEAR ABBY: I supervise someone I'll call "Kevin." He is lazy, and his work is so sloppy he should have been fired long ago. I and many supervisors before me have tried to no avail to motivate him, but we work in government, and he knows how to game the system. Our unit's reputation has suffered because of Kevin. For reasons beyond my control, we are stuck working together.

I supervise another person who is retiring soon, and I would like to help plan his retirement party. Kevin is also nearing retirement age. When Kevin finally leaves, am I obligated to plan a retirement party for him? He has never lifted a finger for anybody, and he sure doesn't deserve a party honoring the fact that he sat in a chair for 30 years. Or should I not help plan either party? -- STUCK SUPERVISOR

DEAR STUCK: Unless party-planning is part of your job designation, you are not obligated to arrange one for Kevin if you prefer not to, considering what a problem he has been for your unit. A party later celebrating the welcoming of "new staff" would probably go over better.

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