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I don't want to be fired but feel uncomfortable with what my boss is requesting me to do

Tagged as: Big Questions, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (30 March 2016) 15 Answers - (Newest, 31 March 2016)
A female United States age 22-25, *idsummer writes:

I started my job yesterday as an administrative assistant, at a private accounting firm. My boss told me today she wants me to call tomorrow a credit card company and be her and ask them to waive a fee for her.

I feel kind of uncomfortable doing that, because isn't it illegal to pass as someone else, even if they give you permission. She also gave me her social incase they asked.

What should I do?

I don't want to lose my job :(

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A female reader, mystiquek United States + , writes (31 March 2016):

mystiquek agony auntDo not compromise your principles even if it means losing your job. What your boss is asking is wrong and also you would be committing a crime. There are several reasons why your boss may have asked you to do this, the other lovely aunts/uncles have pointed them out. If you do have a HR office, report this. If not, go to your bosses supervisor. If you can't do this, then just tell your boss flat out that you in all consciousness cannot do this and ask WHY she wants you to break the law. You may lose your job but that's a small price to pay rather than committing a crime!

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A female reader, femmenoir Australia +, writes (31 March 2016):

femmenoir agony auntAlso, i would strongly encourage you to take this to HR or onto somebody more senior than your boss.

If you don't know who to approach, ask at HR Dept and find out.

You should speak up and say something, because if you don't, you are leaving her behaviour hidden and she will repeat this behaviour with the next innocent employee.

By speaking up, you're protecting prospective employees.

Also, tell your boss that you will NOT do as she has requested, because you will not do anything that is against your moral and professional principles.

All the best.

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A female reader, femmenoir Australia +, writes (31 March 2016):

femmenoir agony auntHi,

this is wrong and illegal, plain and simple!

Stand by your moral and professional code and always keep your good principles intact, no matter what anybody asks you to do.

There could be a myriad of reasons your boss is asking you to do this, but i bet, all of them are for shifty, shady purposes and you don't want to place your young and professionally innocent self in harms way.

You could lose more than your job, if you went ahead with this.

In a nutshell, do not do it and if you lose your job, well that's no real big deal, because you found out her true colours and who wants to work for somebody this shady anyway?!

Good luck!

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A female reader, chigirl Norway + , writes (30 March 2016):

chigirl agony auntAt a private accounting firm they might not (probably not) have any HR office. That's what big corporations have. Not small, private firms. We never had any HR office in the places I worked privately.

Just decline, put it on your moral code and ask her why she wanted you to do it in the first place? Maybe she's testing you for more shady affairs later on... An accounting firm who does money laundry would certainly explain why she wants you to do this and see if you ask any questions or not...

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (30 March 2016):

Honeypie agony auntI agree with Tisha, GO) to HR and tell them.

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A male reader, Danielepew Mexico + , writes (30 March 2016):

Danielepew agony auntEveryone is right about this being a bad thing to do. The good news here is that you will probably be fired when you refuse to do as your boss asked. And that way you will learn that some things just can't be accepted, even if our job depends on our doing them.

Good luck.

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A female reader, Tisha-1 United States + , writes (30 March 2016):

Tisha-1 agony auntAnd just to further puzzle on this, how strange that someone would just give you their social security number. Hello, identify theft? Very bizarre.

Definitely go down to the Human Resource manager today before the end of the day!

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A female reader, Tisha-1 United States + , writes (30 March 2016):

Tisha-1 agony auntWhat’s really odd about this request is that in the time she needed to take to give you all the details, she could have called the credit card company herself. Very strange.

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A female reader, Tisha-1 United States + , writes (30 March 2016):

Tisha-1 agony auntGo to Human Resources and ask this question. There may be a reason she had to get a new administrative assistant.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (30 March 2016):

Honeypie agony auntThis is not your in your job description (I bet) and definitely on the iffy side, and if I were you I would decline doing it.

While the Credit card company can't tell voices apart, it's still impersonation.

Also working for an accounting firm SHE should (and again I BET) know better.

If she tell you that you are fired, then take it and walk away. IF she is willing to let her employee of 1 DAY! do such a thing... I can only imagine what other shady things she have up her sleeve.

I'd tell her no, that your personal ethics and morals does not allow you to commit fraud in any form or shape.

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A male reader, olderthandirt  +, writes (30 March 2016):

olderthandirt agony auntYour instincts are right... Your "boss" is asking you to do something outside the law and you could get in trouble with the law. So; the real question is would you rather go find a better boss at a new place of employment or hire a lawyer to represent you

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A female reader, chigirl Norway + , writes (30 March 2016):

chigirl agony aunt... Yes this is very suspicious. Don't do it.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (30 March 2016):

Have you considered the possibility that she's testing your honesty and integrity, albeit in a scummy back-handed way?

Never compromise your principles. You must be accountable to you above all else.

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A female reader, Ivyblue Australia + , writes (30 March 2016):

Ivyblue agony auntDon't do it . Impersonating someone else is illegal- Plain and simple. You need to decide NOW just how you intend to set the standard of your professional integrity. Look at the big picture.. if for what ever reason things go pear shaped- who is left being accountable? You. If you do this type of thing for her once, how many times after before you are doing all sorts of questionable behaviour for this woman? if you piss her off in anyway later on down the track, who's to say she wont use it against you? My advice would be to tell her that it doesn't feel right for you to be doing that. This is an accounting firm-SHE SHOULD KNOW BETTER THAN TO BE ASKING YOU TO COMMIT FRAUD. Perhaps it is an honesty test she has set for you. Who knows? At the end of the day I would rather die standing on my feet than live on my knees. If losing your job for having a moral backbone is the result, then I would consider myself lucky.

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A male reader, no nonsense Aidan United Kingdom + , writes (30 March 2016):

Impersonating another person is fraud. She knows it. If you offered to make the call on her behalf, that wouldn’t be illegal (as you’re being honest about who you are), but the company is unlikely to deal with you especially if it’s a personal credit card. She should grow up and take responsibility for her own affairs. If she had any grounds for contesting the fee, she’d be on that phone sorting it out herself. IF you’re not certain that she didn’t mean for you to call on her behalf, ask her again. But you seem pretty clear what she meant. I’m afraid that you have little choice but to be direct with her and tell her you are not prepared to impersonate her in this manner. I completely understand that you don’t want to lose your job, but perhaps she has a boss that you could report this too. If they do close ranks and kick you out, you might just have had a lucky escape. You’re risking more than a job if you do this.

I wish you all the very best.

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