update: sick coworker says he can’t work alone

It’s “where are you now?” month at Ask a Manager, and all December I’m running updates from people who had their letters here answered in the past.

Remember the letter-writer whose friend worked with someone who said he was medically unable to work alone, and as a result she felt unable to take time off? She suspected he might be faking the illness, and she had also found out he was stealing from work. Here’s the update.

Just to warn you, this update will be all over the place like the original submission.

Management at my friend’s job went on vacation. This is a family-owned establishment but my friend is a junior manager. I updated in the comments that Bob had also been stealing by buying some of the products that customers sell to the store that are then to be resold for profit. He would buy really great items directly from the customer and resell on his online store, which in a way makes the store lose money and lose out on great items.

Upon reviewing the evidence that Bob had been stealing, management told my friend via text they planned on firing him when they got back. They were shocked and hurt but also felt it wasn’t enough much of an impact to have to fire him immediately. Although it was technically stealing, they felt being extremely short-staffed was more of a concern than him buying pieces for himself while at work. In the meantime, it was business as usual and luckily she hasn’t been sick. I told her that if she is sick, she needs to be able to leave.

Management returned from their trip and hadn’t mentioned Bob’s firing, as several tragedies happened. One day the store was robbed by several masked men. This had not happened before and she had been working on the store off and on for 10 years. They came in and broke a lot of glass. They grabbed items and ran. This was a financial blow for the business and some workers were thinking of quitting due to the danger. Next, another coworker with cancer passed away. I was aware of this coworker and she had been weak for some time. I remember when she was initially diagnosed and how devastated everyone was. Two years later and she had passed away. Everyone has been in mourning.

As for Bob, he still works there. He no longer sneaks to buy items from customers for his online shop. He does it right out now. Previously the suspicions of him doing this were all putting two and two together. This was speculation from looking over receipts, cameras (with no audio) and the items of his online shop. But now my friend says she has outright seen him but the items and later post to his shop casually. She hasn’t mentioned anything to management anymore because they are already stressed from the robbery, being understaffed and running the business.

As for Bob’s health (which was very controversial). I want to reiterate Bob would discuss his condition daily to all within the company. No one asked him questions until HE would initiate the conversation and had talked for several minutes about it. Think: “Yeah, they say I’m not going to make it.” Reply from friend: “OMG what have they tried!?” etc. She never questioned him or the other staff member who passed away without them speaking of their health. She also never suspected her other coworker with cancer had been fibbing. The last update to his health was he said he only had to around a couple months to live (around the time the letter published) and he had recently gave up on chemo because the doctor said there was nothing they could do. He said he was going to another state for a cancer trial and he and his wife blocked my friend on Facebook during this time. I don’t see a problem with that since she’s technically a manager (but with no firing authority). He came back from the trial and hasn’t mentioned his cancer since and she hasn’t asked.

Update to the update:

Bob has finally been fired for stealing. 

{ 113 comments… read them below }

    1. SpiderLadyCEO*

      Seconding! What the heck is this! It reads like a novel, and is definitely one of the most off the wall updates we have received!

        1. I Work on a Hellmouth*

          I can see the first episode now–the Bob character lives at Sunnydale Estates. With a wall full of squirrels. That may or may not be trained to assist in thievery. The character based on the OP’s friend is sleuthing the whole robbery sitch, which leads her to the office of the assistant property manager character. The APM is sweetly explaining that FFH laws prevent her from giving out any information when a vicious wasp attack leads to a lot of comic floundering and arm waving and folder whacking–and the uncovering of some pretty serious surveillance equipment. WHAT? And it happens to be similar to some of the missing items from the shop! Is the property manager in on everything? How deep does this well go? And then the episode ends abruptly with a car hitting another car right in front of the office and speeding away…

      1. Seeking Second Childhood*

        You know how many shows have an outside character who suspects something is wrong but hasn’t been let in on it yet? I nominate local journalist Bees Knees and her bumbling co-irkers Waukee & Fergus.

  1. OP*

    I forgot to thank Alison and the commenters that gave me insight on one sickness taking precedence over another. One commenter pointed out that if there are less than 15 employees then certain disability requirements don’t apply. Of course this is all in moot since he has been fired. It’s a dysfunctional environment in all.

    1. Kelly AF*

      Now I’m picturing illnesses like poker hands. “I see you a food poisoning and raise you a cancer!” “I believe you’ll find my Ebola Marburg trumps both, gentlemen!”

      1. Liet-Kinda*

        Ebola Marburg? Aren’t you cute. Say hello to my little friend….

        EBOLA ZAIRE.

        *drops mic, staggers away, hemhorrhages spectacularly, dies*

            1. OhNo*

              This whole exchange had me absolutely rolling on the floor laughing, and I have no way to explain to my coworkers what is so dang funny!

        1. That One Person*

          Why do I read comments section at work?! There’s always that witty person that slaps you upside the head with comedy lurking, striking when you least expect it

          Well done I say

      2. Flash Bristow*


        But in all seriousness, one thing that didn’t really arise in the original post’s comments is this: there is no hierarchy in disability, and anyone who tries to play at one-up-manship is acting in very poor form.

        Speaking as a disabled person, my friends and I will empathise with each other. Never is anyone “worse” – each of us has our own struggles and each of us has up and down days. I’m ill, you’re ill, he / she / it is ill.

        The issue might be in comparing a long-term condition / a disability to a temporary sickness. OK, OP’s friend will get better. Bob (taking him at his word) won’t, and is covered by discrimination laws, in a way that someone with a short-lived bug isn’t. Maybe that makes Bob bitter. Maybe that affects why the management treated him with kid gloves until there really was no alternative but to fire him.

        But let’s not get into “my condition is ‘worse’ than yours” – that totally sucks. Instead, I’d stick to “I’m sorry you’re struggling [too] / I’m sorry you’ve been through bad times too, sucks doesn’t it?”

        OK, I’ve had my say. As you were – back to the Ebola Battles!

        1. Someone Else*

          You’re not wrong, but the “hierarchy of disability” in play here wasn’t a matter of two people arguing one had it worse or one would “win” any sort of sympathy battle. The issue was one person said “due to my long term illness, I can’t be alone, so you can’t leave” and the other person said “I’m ill right now and need to leave because of it”. In that moment, there has to be some sort of hierarchy for dealing with both illnesses. It’s ye olde conflicting accommodations.

          1. The Gollux (Not a Mere Device)*

            In general, if the conflict is between “Bob is sick and needs Alice, who is not a health care worker or Bob’s carer, to take care of him” and “Alice is sick and needs to go home/to a doctor,” Alice should be able to decide to prioritize her own needs. (If Alice was a health care worker and not having an emergency, her responsibilities might include getting someone to cover for her–which in some cases might mean “have someone drive them both to Urgent Care.”)

            Conflicting accommodations usually mean things like, Alice’s asthma is sometimes triggered by Bob’s guide dog, or the strobe fire alarms that a deaf employee needs might trigger a coworker’s photo-sensitive epilepsy. Not management deciding that Bob can’t be left alone, but rather than Manager Fergus arranging to be there, he arbitrarily decides that one specific employee isn’t allowed to leave when she’s sick, because the risk that Bob might have a problem is more important than the certainty that Alice is having one.

            1. Seeking Second Childhood*

              In case we have readers with light-triggered epileptic employees… many newer strobe alarms can be synchronized to reduce the risk of triggering seizures. Pretty cool, no?
              An existing fire alarm system might need updates to implement the feature, but synchronization is a thing to consider requesting if you’re renovating or adding new space.

    2. JLCBL*

      I am glad to see the update that he was fired. I am so sorry for all of the terrible things that have befallen this business — you all must be grieving in many ways. May 2019 bring more joy than sorrow.

    3. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

      Thank you so much for the update, OP! It was really helpful to be able to interact with you on the original letter, and now, in the update.

      This whole situation sounds WILD. I’m sorry your friend (and the business) has had to deal with all of this.

    4. CoveredInBees*

      Oh, wow. Sounds like 2019 (and hopefully a fresh start) can’t come quickly enough for everyone involved.

    5. EPLawyer*

      Dysfunctional does not begin to cover it. If they take short staffed as being a bigger concern than SOMEONE STEALING from the company their priorities are out of whack. Also, two birds – one stone: fire the stealer and hire TWO people to take his place. Because if you leave the stealer in place, he acts just like he did which is long term damage to the company. Whereas if you address the problem of short staff you solve a short term problem (not enough staff) and help the company in the long term.

      These folks deserve all the bad things that happen to them. Well not the armed robbery. Nobody deserves that.

    6. bluephone*

      I am both Team Bob Is a Liar and Team That Business Needs to Be Shuttered Immediately For Sucking So Much at Business

  2. Observer*

    What is the business doing to improve safety? That sounds like a bigger issue at this point than the stealing co-worker. Especially since he’s been fired anyway. (I love that added update!)

      1. Observer*

        Yes. Firstly, because the current staff ARE going to be stressed and scared now. And secondly because it’s quite possible that something has changed that has reduced the overall security of the business.

        1. Yorick*

          Yeah, maybe no changes are really needed, but an evaluation needs to be done to determine if that’s the case.

      2. Elizabeth West*

        Hell yes. Plus, if it was easy to rob once, it WILL be robbed again.

        This happened at the cafe I used to work at in CA. They had no AC, so the closers would leave the back door open because they were roasting in the kitchen. One night they were robbed at gunpoint. The parent company didn’t do anything to secure the place, until it happened again.

        If someone had been killed, it would have cost them a lot more. As it was, they installed AC so the closers could actually lock the back door.

  3. Où est la bibliothèque?*

    Nothing has explained why Bob didn’t want to work alone! It definitely sounds like he was faking the illness, and you’d think if was stealing things, he’d jump at the chance to have the store to himself.

        1. EPLawyer*

          That was my first thought which is a terrible thing about someone. It is a different between buying things yourself and not letting the store have them and armed robbery. But this guy is less than straightforward shall we say?

        1. Arctic*

          I didn’t say he was one of them. But that he could have tipped people off/known it was going to happen. And he didn’t want to be alone on the shift if it happened while he was working.

        2. The Man, Becky Lynch*


          Watch you some more 20/20

          There are inside jobs all the time. Some even “rough up” or shoot their cohorts to make it look even more detached and less of a scent for detectives.

        3. Karen from Finance*

          I mean you don’t need a witness for your alibi if a camera already shows you’re at work. The camera is your alibi.

          1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

            Fair point! But having a witness still helps. Especially without audio on the cameras.

            I think alibi is the wrong word is the real rub.

      1. AJ*

        That’s my thinking too. If other people are at work, then it’s not so obvious it’s him doing the thieving. A day there by himself meant he couldn’t thieve.

    1. Jennifer*

      My theory is that he liked the attention. People who fake illnesses love having everyone fawning over them.

    2. Leenie*

      It’s possible that’s he’s even more lazy than greedy. So someone else doing the work while he still got paid won out over the greater privacy for stealing.

      1. Marthooh*

        And maybe he wanted to be able to go home sick whenever he liked, without having to explain or defend decision. Since nobody can argue with inoperable, chemo-resistant, killer cancer.

        1. your favorite person*

          I think this makes the most sense. If he was faking, and I do think it sounds like he was, he was definitely looking for both sympathy and a get out of jail free card for all his behaviors.

    3. Oryx*

      Here’s a quote from the original letter:
      “Bob says that he can not work alone because he might become dizzy, etc. and needs someone there in case that happens.”

  4. Psyche*

    I’m glad things have gotten a little better at least. Not being able to take time off when sick is entirely unreasonable. Even assuming he genuinely needed someone with him, that should not mean your friend gets no time off anymore. The owners should have arranged for better coverage or stepped in themselves. I hate when businesses try to be accommodating by forcing other employees to take up the slack and accept terrible working conditions. It is entirely unreasonable and makes the employer looks stingy rather than generous. Honestly, even with Bob gone, I would probably be job searching.

    1. Curious Lurker*

      I do wonder if Bob put up a fight, trying to use his supposed illness as leverage.

      Speaking of train wrecks, was there ever an update about the stolen antique caboose gifted away by a boss? It’s being recommended by this post. Was always curious about that one!

    2. Antilles*

      Especially this:
      He would buy really great items directly from the customer and resell on his online store, which in a way makes the store lose money and lose out on great items. […] They were shocked and hurt but also felt it wasn’t enough of an impact to have to fire him immediately.
      So, we’re saying there’s an ‘acceptable’ level of employee basically stealing items to sell in direct competition with your store? Like…how was keeping the guy even a point of discussion?

      1. Curious Lurker*

        I’m guessing it was A case of bad vs, worse. What loses more money? An employee stealing the best items for himself or being understaffed?

        1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

          They sound understaffed to the point firing Bob in that moment may be “fire him now and close for days while you sort the schedule out” level. So lose $100 on a sale that moment vs lose 1000s in sales for days closed.

          I’ve seen a few local fast food places shut down early on days they can’t get enough people to work.

          1. Liet-Kinda*

            If the business is this close to the bone, the problem is not going to be mitigated by retaining Bob. It sounds like a retail position, and those can be filled relatively easily, particularly if your standards can be lowered to “does not openly engage in time theft and double-dealing.”

            1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

              Many business setups are this precariously setup sadly. It’s why things are there one day and gone the next.

              I’ve seen first hand “business owners” make the same hamhanded attempts and fail miserably on multiple levels.

              I also worship at the alter of Marcus Lemonis. Everyone go watch The Profit now and do the same, the business world would be better if they could rally like he does.

            2. The Man, Becky Lynch*

              I’m def not saying their thought process is right! I’ve seen the insides and heard the excuses enough that I can ramble them off while walking away, backwards, watching the flames start creeping out of that dumpster.

            3. fposte*

              It’s weird to me too, but I think sometimes you get the “defensive crouch” approach where they’re more scared to move than to deal with the current situation.

              And I suspect owners who were capable and involved probably wouldn’t have hired a Bob in the first place.

            4. Flash Bristow*

              It sounds like a retail position that requires some expertise, to be able to value items in order to buy them from customers, then mark up to an appropriate price for sale. I doubt it’s a position where you could hire someone fresh out of school, unless they had a special interest in whichever types of teapot tend to come through the door.

              They *could* be hiring someone else and training them up, though. 2 people on at once, one the experienced worker, the other the newbie on starter level pay. Voila! Bob wouldn’t have been alone *and* would have had a subject keen to give him attention.

              But sometimes company owners lose sight of things like that when it’s a family business… In my experience they’ll call in Aunty Jean to cover, rather than hiring “properly” from outside, and give them far more leeway than any external hire – and maybe there’s some other detail we aren’t aware of.

              I’m glad Bob has gone, whatever the cause.

      2. That girl from Quinn's house*

        No, this attitude is common at dysfunctional workplaces.

        Many moons ago I ran into lifeguards who couldn’t swim or do CPR and were watching Netflix instead of the swimmers and all I’d get is, “But we’ll be short-staffed so we can’t discipline him!”

        It is better to be open but playing roulette with people’s lives than it is to close and follow the safety rules.

        1. BadWolf*

          At that point, it seems better to have no lifeguard so people know they should keep an eye out versus a false sense of lifeguard security.

          1. The Man, Becky Lynch*


            But I’m certain it’s due to regulations in the end.

            This nightmare setup is why regulations exist but are only effective when properly executed.

            Reminds me of the OSHA reports of places playing fast and loose with regulations in danger zones.

          2. Antilles*

            It would also seem a lot better from a liability standpoint to just post a “No Lifeguard On Duty, Swim At Own Risk” sign rather than knowingly hiring incompetent lifeguards.

          3. Not Australian*

            Mildly OT, but I was rescued from drowning once by a friend. This was in a pool with a lifeguard who never looked up from his newspaper the whole time.

  5. Sadie*

    Speaking as a person with a serious chronic illness, one of the most useful life lessons I have learned is to treat illness separately to morals.

    Some awful people also have health issues. Some lovely people get sick. And sometimes toxic types will use the moral viewpoint we assign illness in order to manipulate others.

    They can genuinely be ill but react in a way designed to make people feel they cannot say no to them or sometimes they aren’t unwell with what they say they are but use it to control situations.

    In either case the illness is a diversion tactic and you have to look at the person and their patterns not the diagnosis. Assuming different morals because of a condition hurts ill people by suggesting illness is a moral issue not a biological one and it allows bad behaviour to be excused which harms others.

    Not discriminating against someone for being ill or disabled is not the same as using health as a get out of jail free card. One is empathy. One is pity. And pity never improved any situation I can think of….

  6. stitchinthyme*

    I don’t know a lot about cancer, but the one time I knew someone who had it, he did his best to minimize his exposure to germs, because his immune system was already compromised by the cancer and treatment.

    1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

      That’s typical. However it seems like Bob had resigned to letting life do to him as it will. He wasn’t taking any precautions to get better or prolong life. So he went off the rails.

      It happens when certain personalities are facing death, they don’t actively dodge it any longer.

    2. Les G*

      We covered this *very thoroughly* the first time around. We’re never, ever gonna speculate our way to a medical diagnosis for this dude, tempting though it may be.

      1. Ananas*

        Thank you, I should know better even without reading the other thread.

        It could also be a case of “choose your poison”–more afraid of a medical emergency when alone than afraid of the risk of disease. I have to admit that the first scenario (in distress alone) does seem scarier to me.

  7. The Man, Becky Lynch*

    FML I braced thinking Bob was involved in the intrusion robbery. I’m feeling so cynical this morning.

    I’m glad they fired him. I hope your friend has a much better year.

    Pro-Tip small business owners, a toxic employee is worse than short staff. You can’t find staff to stick around if give got a horrible staffer around poisoning everything. Whereas when you keep your workers protected from internal BS, they’ll be willing to stick out rough patches and put in more effort.

    It’s sad how many retail stores fail at the fundamentals and naturally suffer the turnover consequences. Then ownership just balls up in a “poor me” position.

    1. CleverName*

      Love your name.

      Your advice is valuable for all businesses, small or large. A toxic person can cancel out all other perks / benefits / positives at any company. They destroy culture. If someone can’t behave, businesses need to find a way to let them go, even if it means they’ll be short staffed or if the person is otherwise good at their job. Eventually, people would rather work somewhere else.

      1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

        ;) Thank you. I’m just a wrestling mark who’s always thinking about what’s best for business!

        For real though. I’ve seen bad employees make and break offices. I quit my last job over a problem staff member.

    2. I work on a Hellmouth*

      I mean, my first thought was “Gee, I wonder if Bob was involved with that,” so at least you’re not alone in cynicism.

      My second through seventh thoughts were as follows: What. WHAT. What. What. What. Good.

  8. Liet-Kinda*

    “They were shocked and hurt but also felt it wasn’t enough much of an impact to have to fire him immediately. ”

    This is the thing that I just….don’t get. Why do managers tie themselves into knots like this? Bob needed to be fired. There was cause to fire him. And yet everyone who could have made that very easy decision was acting like they needed to clear some kind of Hague-type hearing process with evidence and an economic impact analysis to actually do that.

    I understand not wanting to swan around like Apprentice-era Trump barking “YER FIRED” but you do not need to hem and haw and agonize and second-guess and build a goddamned federal court case in your head to fire someone who is stealing time and merchandise.

    1. Sandy*

      Right?? I experienced this too often in my years in retail management. It is so frustrating to watch your boss fail a basic job function and your grandboss do the same(gee, I wonder where boss learned it from?). It’s not fair to anyone, particularly to those who show up, do an excellent job and then watch coworkers faff about and fail to perform and still get the same raise everyone else does. Why do you have manager in your title if you can’t manage people? Firing is part of that!

        1. Sandy*

          Well, that was not my experience in the retail sector I inhabited, making it so much more frustrating that there was an enormous hole in their skill set. It was more along the lines of a family business that couldn’t bear to fire people, even though it was quite a large operation.

      1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

        I think it’s often an issue with how frequently you’re “promoted” in retail if you just show up enough and exhibit some solid gasps at the features needed to run a place on a daily level.

        You’re not trained to manage humans or weed out problem employees presumptively. You’re often hiring anyone who fills out an application and maybe can pass a drug test if you’re at one of the places that require testing.

        I’ve seen non-retail but very basic entry level labor positions churn like that

        However my experience has been also seeing decent people fired for absurd reasons. It’s like if you show up, you’re so safe. You call in once for whatever reason, byeeeeee.

        1. Zin*

          I feel you, OP. So frustrating. And agreed with the tying themselves in knots thing.

          I worked in a a private company that had a scenario like this. Where the person literally failed at pretty much every element of their job for an extended period of time WITH documentation of such failures from multiple sides PLUS was rude AND drove off one of the people we ere required by law and contract to serve but the answer on firing them was always “Well we need to have all our ducks in a row…”

          Seriously? They’ve now violated multiple company policies, failed at every aspect of their job over the course of years, been rude to multiple Administrative staff and their direct reports and now they’ve caused the company to violate a contract for services. What…precisely….are you waiting for? Where’s this huge, insurmountable hurdle or wall that you need to climb to fire them? What is creating this massive impossibility to giving them their last paycheck? Because I’m not seeing it. At all.

          And no, there were no unions involved nor government mandates involved.

          I no longer work there. Neither does that person (they were, finally, fired, after they threatened to burn down the entire office), but watching the anguished hand-wringing from every single higher up over a simplistic issue, immediately put me on notice that this was not the kind of place I wanted to work.

    1. Ananas*

      That’s quite a leap. It’s one thing to make personal purchases from customers, quite another to be an accessory to robbery with threats of assault or death.

      1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

        Criminals don’t usually have a functioning moral compass. Many escalate for a wild array of reasons.

      2. Temperance*

        Not really. He stole from the store, and was fired for it. He has no problem with stealing, dishonesty, or shady behavior.

      3. Sandy*

        I wouldn’t rule it out with this guy and in this circumstance. He’s already been dishonest on his own recognizance. And now what he knows is this: his bosses won’t initiate any consequences for his behavior. So he stopped hiding what he was doing(Ie he escalated his behavior). I don’t find it particularly wild to speculate he might have been involved in outright robbery.

  9. Lady Phoenix*

    Hopefully your friend is job hunting. If it took that long for a blatant thief to be fired, who knows what can happen at that place and how long it will take for them to take action.

    As for the faking illness? (Shrugs) Who knows, who cares, dude is a jerkass and doesn’t deserve respect because he is a jerkass. Jerkasses can be sick too

  10. Fibchopkin*

    Holy Moly… Did this business piss off Sophia Petrillo or something? Feel like the Evil Eye has been cast upon this business…

  11. OP*

    As far as Bob possibly being involved in the robbery. It did cross my mind but it would be such an insane scenario that it just has to be unlikely. The circumstances were definitely bizarre. There has never been a smash and grab robbery before and the items taken were specifically “expensive teapots” that you wouldn’t expect your average Joe to even know were worth anything. I asked had any men been in the store possibly casing things out. The answer was no. These were items that typically women know the value of but cisgender men wouldn’t (unless they researched). I asked how would they even know to reach for those particular items way in the back?

    1. I Work on a Hellmouth*

      Is it wrong that, because I just watched Jurassic Park, I am totally picturing Bob as the Nedry here?

      Anyway, I guess it is pointless to speculate and I’m sure the police are looking/looked in to all possibilities, but I’ve seen enough crazy work shenanigans to rule nothing out. Especially where the Bobs of the world are concerned.

    2. The Man, Becky Lynch*

      My, my, my but if he knows values and was a buyer, he’d know the weird things to snatch in a smash n grab! Makes it sound more like an inside job to me…

      But I’m coming off a Joe Kenda bender…

    3. animaniactoo*

      I gotta say. Your more complete description of the robbery moves the needle for me from “eh… outlier situation” to “uh… why isn’t somebody taking a harder look at Bob?”

    4. Rhymes with Mitochondria*

      Bob is an experienced reseller who works in the shop. He definitely would have known what’s valuable. He also clearly has no ethics about his employment! Bob *definitely* could have directed accomplices on what to take. Or even been one of them if they were sufficiently masked. Yes, it’s bizarre. But it’s also a definite possibility!
      And seriously with the stereotyping? Just because Bob is cisgender doesn’t exonerate him.

    5. Lurk Til I Can’t Help Myself*

      My brain immediately went to Judith Leiber handbags. Tiny, glittery and worth a good amount.

      1. Miss Pantalones en Fuego*

        I was thinking Birkin bag but the same idea. Also this detail makes it seem far more likely that Bob was an accomplice!

  12. Maolin*

    Am I the only one who immediately thought, “Aha! It makes sense now” the moment we learned that another coworker died after a long battle with terminal cancer? I know speculation is discouraged, but I’m thinking since the faking-theory was introduced by OP, that we can acknowledge seeming evidence of that. Given that new data point about the coworker who died, the case for Bob’s factitious disorder aka Munchausen syndrome (primary, not by proxy) is more plausible. Otherwise it’s remarkable he surpassed the stated estimate of 2 months, having withdrawn from all treatment and was not concerned about being around infectious colleagues.

    Hopefully the shop will be drama free and more profitable now that Bob has been let go.

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