should I tell my boss my coworker is working a second job?

A reader writes:

I am in a very weird spot with a coworker, I’ll call her Bella. We both work the same job, the only two who do it at a very large corporation. I like adding coworkers to LinkedIn as I work in HR and have kept in touch with many people over the years. When I looked for Bella’s profile, I found two. One is just for our company and the other is what I would consider her main profile, where she is very much active at promoting her other job multiple times a week. I didn’t send an invite but she was notified that I viewed her profile and within an hour she blocked me and sent me a request via the profile with the company we both work for.

Normally I’d say this is none of my business, but I know she isn’t performing well and will only allow meetings during two hours per day, one of which is after hours for me. It’s been affecting my work.

Besides the fact she is wronging the company, and I am VERY happy here. I have a great relationship with my manager, Alice. She’s the best manager I have ever had and I will not lie to her if asked, but should I mention it proactively? I’m worried that it will come out that I knew and that I withheld it. Since we are HR, are the rules different than minding my own business? Alice and I have a great rapport and I know she would handle the new appropriately without thinking I’m a snitch. Even though I would be … I just really don’t know what to do.

I’m going to assume you’re sure the second profile is definitely the same Bella. It sounds like it is, given that she blocked you within an hour of you viewing it and sent you a connection request from her other profile right afterwards (and I’m guessing there may be other confirmations, like her photo or her work history before these jobs).

If you weren’t in HR, I’d say you wouldn’t necessarily have an obligation to tell your manager about this. You’d still have standing to tell her if you wanted to — the fact that the performance problems and lack of availability are affecting you give you more than enough standing. When someone’s actions affect your work, that’s fair game to talk to your boss about.

But because you’re in HR, I’d argue this is less on the “tell your boss if you feel like it” end of things and more on the “you should share it” side of the spectrum. I don’t know what specific type of HR work you do, but the disclosure obligations for a lot of parts of HR are higher than they are in other departments. Not only does it sound like Bella splitting her time covertly is causing work problems, but she might be running afoul of policies on confidentiality, conflicts of interest, or other professional obligations.

Throw in that you have such a good relationship with your boss and trust her to handle it well, and I’m squarely in the “tell her” camp. If she doesn’t think it’s a problem, then great — she can handle it accordingly. But she should be the one to make that call.

Read an update to this letter

{ 294 comments… read them below }

  1. Here for the drama*

    *gets popcorn*
    I know this was literally just posted, but I cannot wait for an update!

    1. Slow Gin Lizz*

      Yup, same here, I want an update, like, yesterday. If Bella did indeed receive notification and block OP Bella’s obviously going to know it’s OP who reports her. But will OP really care if she burns that bridge? I suppose if Bella stays at this job after OP tells Alice what’s going on and Alice has a talk with Bella about it, Bella could make life miserable for OP. But if Bella is really a poor performer and Alice lets her go because of this, or if Bella is forced to choose between the two jobs and quits this one, it could be a win for OP. The 2nd outcome seems a lot more likely, unless Alice isn’t that great of a boss (but I believe OP when they say that Alice is great). Good luck, OP, let us know what happens!

      1. Presea*

        If Alice is even close to as good of a boss as OP says she is and Bella retaliates against OP for informing Alice, I have no doubt Alice will shut that down one way or another. I don’t think OP has much to worry about unless they’re very, very, very wrong about Alice’s character.

          1. Slow Gin Lizz*

            She probably will be if her performance is that bad, not necessarily from having a 2nd job unless it’s truly affecting this job. And I don’t think Bella would retaliate in a horrific way, but she still could make OP’s life miserable by continuing to be a terrible coworker or not helping OP out with their work. Maybe that’s what Presea means. I agree that Alice will probably put a stop to that if it happens.

      2. Fluffy Fish*

        Well since OP is in HR, it’s unlikely there’s a bridge to be burned. People don’t interact with HR the same as the do with other departments they have to work with. So if there is a reasonable explanation, Bella may not like OP, but oh well.

        If she weirdly had the power or means to make OP’s life miserable at work, then that would be handled disciplinarily. But again, I doubt it.

        However I doubt there is a reasonable explanation. Bella will likely be down one job very shortly.

      3. Clobberin' Time*

        Bella’s second job affecting the OP’s work and is making the OP meet with Bella after hours. That bridge is already toast.

        1. Slow Gin Lizz*

          Yeah, but maybe OP wants to stay on Bella’s good side. I doubt it matters much, just wanted to flag it for OP that no matter how well Alice handles the situation, Bella is going to know it’s OP who told Alice what’s going on. Unless, of course, other employees have also discovered Bella’s other LinkedIn profile, but even if they have, Bella may still blame OP for telling on her. OTOH, maybe Bella is already treating OP differently now that she knows that OP knows she’s got a not-so-secret other job. I do wonder about that, would be great if OP could let us know about that one way or the other.

          1. quill*

            Bella is already likely to retaliate if she’s that kind of person, to try and keep OP from telling their boss. OP doesn’t have much more to lose by disclosing it.

          2. Hannah Lee*

            If there was any hope of staying on Bella’s “good side” that ship sailed when her immediate response to LW viewing her profile was to block LW.

            1) Bella showed poor judgement and a lack of good faith action in the first place by working another job during her work hours of job #1.
            2) She continued to show poor judgement and lack of good faith action by imposing meeting time limits – seemingly do to working 2 jobs – that conflict with LW, her co-worker’s, standard work hours AND having a public easily findable linked-in profile for this other job.
            3) By blocking LW instead of immediately reaching out to LW when she noticed LW on her page, calling to say “hey LW … you got me. Let me explain what’s going on, why I have this second page, why I haven’t spoken to Alice about it, etc” Bella continued her streak of not-above-board actions that don’t deal in good faith with LW.

            LW, there’s very little chance Bella *has* a good side related to you or your workplace. You don’t have to be mean, but there’s nothing good that will come from covering for Bella on this one and maybe something to lose (if Alice finds out LW knew, it could impact how she views LW, or Bella could undermine LW just for knowing her secret, even if LW says nothing)

            1. Slow Gin Lizz*

              You don’t have to be mean, but there’s nothing good that will come from covering for Bella on this one and maybe something to lose (if Alice finds out LW knew, it could impact how she views LW, or Bella could undermine LW just for knowing her secret, even if LW says nothing)

              I agree with this. Reminds me of all the letters Alison gets with people saying they’re tired of covering for slacker coworkers and Alison tells them to just stop covering and let the chips fall where they may. Let Bella’s lack of work ethic reveal its true self and see what happens.

      4. Sbc*

        I also want an update! And I agree with the advice to report but might have erred on the side of discussing how it affects op’s work (only available 1 hour during op’s work day) and not on your theory about why. For all op knows, Bella only does her side job after work hours and her performance problems have another cause (child care, health problems, inadequate training, boredom, just not capable of doing the work…).

        1. Slow Gin Lizz*

          This is a good point but I think if OP knows that Bella’s attention is elsewhere during the work day, that should probably be brought up with Alice (who is, after all, HR). It’s possible, I suppose, that Bella’s other job is all above-board and Alice already knows about it, but evidence leads me to believe otherwise.

    2. I Wore Pants Today*

      I opened this thinking that most on my team have second jobs, like restaurant server, pet rescuer … NBD. This is totally popcorn-alert material. Yikes!

      1. Warrior Princess Xena*

        I just had a thought – if Bella is ‘very actively promoting’ her second job, it might be something like Herbalife or Cutco or a similar MLM. A lot of them promote themselves as being legit jobs. Which would not fix the ‘deteriorating work’ problem but would be not quite right in a very different way from having a professional job.

        1. Slow Gin Lizz*

          OP wrote further down that it’s a sales job. I’m not sure this means it’s *not* an MLM though. Either way, one definitely shouldn’t be actively doing sales calls for one company when working HR at a different company.

          1. Warrior Princess Xena*

            Some MLMs do put in a lot of work to make themselves look like actual businesses, up to and including going public (Herbalife). They may actually be more of a nuisance than a legit sales job in terms of time spent though.

            Easily one of my most entertaining college classes was the day I and a whole group of other final year accounting students were analyzing the Herbalife financial statements. There was much derision and some good advice for weeding out MLMs in our job search.

  2. Somebody Call A Lawyer*

    I wonder if you ought to get viewing access to Bella’s second profile from a different computer where you’re not logged into your LinkedIn profile so you can take screenshots. Because I suspect Bella has now blocked Alice and other colleagues of yours from viewing her other profile as well.

    1. Can Can Cannot*

      There’s a very useful Chrome Browser extension called InCognito that let’s users toggle between public and private when visiting the LinkedIn web site. It puts a button on the upper right part of the browser, and when on the LI site it lets you turn on private mode with a simple button push. Push it again and it switches back to public.

      I have found this to be much easier than navigating the LI menus to the privacy setting.

      1. Julia*

        Incognito mode is actually not a browser extension – it’s just a built-in part of Chrome. And it’s not just for LinkedIn.

        In fact, incognito mode doesn’t switch you to “private mode” the way you’d switch if you went to your LI profile settings. It just logs you out of your LI profile entirely. It logs you out of all your accounts, and won’t update your browsing history, cookies, or form data.

        The wording of your comment is making me think there’s some LI-specicic browser extension I didn’t know about, but Google is turning up nothing, so I assume this is what you meant. FYI! :)

    2. Bagpuss*

      Yes, but I think that even if you can’t see her profile, so are not able to provide screenshots, I think it’s still appropriate to tell you boss – just say what you did here, that you were looking for her to add, that both profiles popped up and as far as you could tell, the other did appear to be Bella, and that irt was very active so definitely not just an old profile from a previous job, and as far as you could tell, not anyone else with the same name, and that the second profile immediately blocked you and that Bella immediately invited you on the one showing this firm, which supports your belief that the second profile is also hers. Your boss can then draw her own conclusions.

      Then it’s up to your boss what digging they do. (I don’t know what googling her name and the other company might throw up, for instance, or whether your boss could just call the other comapny and ask to speak to her, but that is your boss’s decision, not yours.

      I think you can also raise the issues you have had with Bella’s work, her limiting meeting availability etc and make clear to your boss tat you feel those issues need to be addressed in any event, but that the profile may explain what is causing the issues.

    3. CatLady*

      You can also change your visibility settings in LinkedIn so your name is private and Bella wouldn’t actually know who accessed her profile. Useful for the viewer, a little irritating for the viewed :-)

      1. old curmudgeon*

        The drawback to that is that while LI doesn’t tell the other member the name of the person who viewed their profile, it’ll still give your title and workplace. So if you are the only Teapot Handle Facilitator at Acme Porcelain Products, nobody needs to see your name to know that it was you who checked out their profile.

        1. Cynan*

          Yeah, it sounds like OP and Bella herself are the only people with their job title, so that wouldn’t necessarily help much.

        2. Tina Belcher's Less Cool Sister*

          You can actually choose whether to give your full info, just your job title/company, or “LinkedIn member” with no identifying information. I look people up for work a lot so I’m constantly toggling back and forth!

          1. hayling*

            I also don’t let anyone see that I viewed their profile. I “give up” the ability to see who viewed my profile, but that’s not really interesting to me.

    4. Like Chess, But With Puncture Wounds*

      If she’s got a LinkedIn profile, she’s likely using other social media for marketing as well. That should be easy to find.

    5. irene adler*

      Might also just use another browser- on the same computer. I just tried this on someone who blocked me.

    6. Tex*

      OP and her boss are HR. They can probably just call up firm # 2 and ask if Bella is a current employee.

      1. OP*

        We could, but I wouldn’t personally. While her performance here is poor, she might be stellar at her other job and I wouldn’t want to jeopardize that. I have a standing meeting with my manager this week and will discuss her issues and go from there.

        1. MCMonkeyBean*

          I was leaning very heavily into the “tell your boss” camp but this solidifies it for me. It seems clear you are considering it for the right reasons.

      2. Hiring Mgr*

        to clarify OP isn’t Bella’s boss… imo she should take her concerns to the boss and stay out of it from there… I wouldn’t go playing detective and making calls etc..

    7. HumbleOnion*

      If the OP remembers the name of the second company, they could browse the web page. They may have a directory with Bella listed. Heck, if you really wanted to investigate, you could call the company & ask to speak to her.

    8. Hannah Lee*

      I’d almost rather skip that step. If I were Alice and one of my employees told me about another employee’s maybe having a 2nd full time job, and then provided me with a lot of evidence they’d dug around for, I’d start to wonder if there were bad blood between them … because why do that?

      Whereas if one of my employees said “hey, this weird thing happened, I thought I should mention it to you. It might be nothing, but I thought you should know just in case, or if you needed to look into it for whatever reason” and then described what happened so far THAT would sit a lot better with me. The employee isn’t making a judgement call good or bad, they just noted something weird. Then I as a manager can decide whether it’s concerning (it is) and what the appropriate next steps are … I may need to loop in my management, IT to look at activity on company owned equipment to see if Bella’s working both jobs from our computers, networks, etc to figure out what’s going on before talking with Bella. We had something similar happen at a job I had … it wasn’t an employee who flagged it, it was a customer, who just said FYI I saw something Fred the Service Tech but related to another company. Management/IT here was able to look into network activity and found Fred was working a related 2nd job on our company’s time, and network, and had accessed some customer lists to get contact info. It meant Fred’s boss could have a very straight forward sit down with Fred, including server/filelogs, a copy of Fred’s signed non-disclosure agreements, and a new agreement for Fred to cease and desist his second job, return any pilfered company data and a clear next step of termination and legal action if Fred didn’t comply. But there was zero he-said/she-said because management had been the ones to go digging and gather the evidence, details they needed.

      1. Oolie*

        If I were Alice and one of my employees told me about another employee’s maybe having a 2nd full time job, and then provided me with a lot of evidence they’d dug around for, I’d start to wonder if there were bad blood between them … because why do that?

        I think OP is an exception to this by virtue of being in HR. IMO, that gives OP standing to do some research to confirm it’s the right Alice before reporting to Alice’s manager.

  3. Jean*

    If it’s negatively affecting your work and/or the work of the team, you are within your rights to make it an issue. I would want to know if I were your boss. Although I’m curious as to the extent that Bella’s poor performance is already on your boss’s radar.

    1. Where’s the Orchestra?*

      Honestly I would go to Boss/Alice and focus on I’m having work related issues with XYZ, and can’t seem to work out a solution with Bella. It’s causing ABC related backups and preventing me from doing my job fully. This way the focus is all on this job and what I need to get this job done correctly.

      But if asked, yeah I would tell that I suspect Bella has a second job. I really don’t see a reason to lie when asked directly to protect this coworker.

      1. Cait*

        Honestly, I would just focus on what you’re sure of (i.e. Bella’s poor performance is affecting my work). To make assumptions about a second job, however solid they seem to be, isn’t the real issue, esp. if there’s no contract that states she cannot work a second job (at least one that could be non-competitive). I would go to Alice and just lay out what I know about Bella’s poor performance and what I need in order to be able to do my job. Maybe it will end with Bella being fired anyway. Maybe a stern warning will make Bella rethink that second job. Maybe it turns out she doesn’t even really have a second job. Who knows! But I would only focus on what I was sure of and not cast aspersions just yet.

        1. Where’s the Orchestra?*

          I guess I was coming from a “if manager asks you if you have any thoughts on why Bella is having those problems” then I’d report what I knew about the second job. But I’d plan on going into the meeting with the focus of main problem is XYZ with outcomes ABC.

          I’ve had managers in the past ask me what I’d tried and if I had any information about contributing problems in the past. And there is also the fact that OP, Bella, and Alice all seem to be in HR.

    2. starfox*

      Absolutely… I don’t know if I’m just a tattle-tale at heart, but I would tell in a heartbeat. I am not about to do extra work and inconvenience myself so that my coworker can make a double income….

  4. My Useless 2 Cents*

    OP, I know you are blocked on LinkedIn but can you find someone else who is not blocked and grab a couple of screen shots before speaking with manager? Then go to manager with a “I came across this and it concerned me, however, I haven’t spoken to or verified any of this with Bella.” And leave it with that for manager to look into.

    1. catwhisperer*

      OP could also do this herself by logging out of LinkedIn and viewing the coworker’s page (unless the coworker’s account is set completely to private, which I doubt if she’s a frequent poster).

  5. Broadway Duchess*

    I don’t know about this one. If Bella’s performance is poor and affecting OP’s work, why not bring it up before this other profile was found? If OP wants to tell the boss, fine, but this seems to be a whole lot of words to justify doing it. The second profile didn’t need to be the catalyst for that, the poor work product would’ve been enough.

    1. Lab Boss*

      In OP’s shoes I might be inclined to show some grace to someone I thought was doing their best- OP doesn’t say how long Bella has worked at her company, but I could see a sense of “let her get up to speed.” Finding out that my problem coworker was NOT doing their best, and was having trouble because of their secret second job, would erase a lot of that grace.

      1. Falling Diphthong*

        This exactly.

        People’s willingness to be inconvenienced by you is directly proportional to how hard you are trying not to inconvenience them.

        1. Elaine Benes*

          You just clarified so many issues I have with my mother into one tidy little sentence!

        2. Hannah Lee*

          It’s a flip of the “Don’t cross oceans for people unwilling to step over a puddle for you” which was a hard lesson to learn but an important one for me.

        3. Despachito*

          This is so spot on!

          You can cut some slack for someone who is unable to do better.

          You probably won’t if they are able but CHOOSE not to.

      2. Where’s the Orchestra?*

        That’s my thought as well – I’ll extend a lot more help and grace to somebody who is trying. Somebody not trying or working two jobs at the same time…..yeah my willingness to extend sympathy to you has just drastically shrunk.

    2. Eldritch Office Worker*

      We don’t know that it hasn’t been brought up or discussed, those details aren’t super relevant to the letter. It’s just background on why OP might be feeling more pressure to report the finding.

    3. OP*

      I typically would have let the performance go since I’m not her manager and I assume the best in my coworkers (maybe something going on or they need more training) which is why I offer to help and answer questions. When I found the second profile I knew it was her due to photos, and work history. (I also found that she lied about her current employer from when I interviewed her as well but that’s low on my list). It’s frustrating that we are having issues due to her working another job and not that she genuinely needs extra assistance, which I would normally have no problem providing. That’s what put me in this predicament. I didn’t work that well in my letter, I apologize.

      1. BEC*

        “ I also found that she lied about her current employer from when I interviewed her as well but that’s low on my list”

        I’m curious why it’s low on your list? Couldn’t it serve to support your discussion with your boss and provide important context?

        1. Bagpuss*

          I think that would be higher on my list now , as that suggest s that she has twice actively mislead / lied to you/her employers . But it would be pretty high to start with . Is it low now because you think the second job is a much bigger issue, or that you don’t think that lie was a big deal to start with?

          1. English Rose*

            Yes, that’s just changed my view of this issue. Lots of people have side hustles/second jobs etc. For me the key issue would be IF that is what’s causing her work performance. If the work performance problems were unrelated, and the second job is non-competitive, then I don’t see a problem and she isn’t necessarily ‘wronging the company’.
            However, if she lied at interview that puts a different perspective on it for me, making her more inherently dishonest and I would look much more closely at the second job.
            By the way LinkedIn would have something to say – their rules state you can only have one personal profile.

      2. Lab Boss*

        I get it! As someone who also likes to be helpful and assume the best in people, just make sure that if you report this to your management chain that you think carefully about your motivation- There’s a strong case that this is a genuine work problem with work implications, but be careful you’re not acting too much out of frustration that you tried to be helpful and forgiving and now are feeling taken advantage of. I’d feel that way in your shoes but it shouldn’t be what drives you to act.

      3. EPLawyer*

        umm, you also have lying. this person is in HR where integrity is soooooooooo important. You need to bring ALL of this up to Alice: the effect on your work, the lying, the finding out about the 2nd job. Then let Alice handle it. If Alice is as great as you say she is, it will be handled.

        If it isn’t, well that’s a datapoint for you to use in considering your options going forward.

      4. anonymous73*

        In the future I would encourage you to NOT let performance issues go if it’s affecting your work. I wouldn’t run to the manager immediately – I would try and work it out with the individual. But if after doing that there was no improvement, this is definitely something that needs to be brought to the manager’s attention. They’re not in the weeds with their employees day after day and need to be made aware of these types of issues.

        1. Green great dragon*

          Yeh. Maybe not every time, but ‘only accepts meetings in these two hour-long windows’ is definitely one that I would at least mention to any generally competent boss.

          1. Person from the Resume*

            That is fairly wild to me. My team lives on Teams. If someone I met with often regularly had only a 2 hour window per day to meet with me and one hour of that is on the extrememe end of the work day, I bring this up as a problem to my boss.

            I suspect Bella will quit when confronted because she’s clearly prioritizing the other job based on her meeting availability. Maybe she was seeing how long she could get away with it. That yime ends now if you tell your boss.

          2. Cheshire Cat*

            Right, and I’m wondering what happens if you try to schedule a meeting with her outside that window. What about if Alice wants to meet with her outside that window? It’s so inflexible that it doesn’t make any sense.

            *With the caveat that you run into scheduling difficulties when team members are in different time zones. But it doesn’t sound like that’s the case here,

      5. Fluffy Fish*

        Lying about employment during the hiring process is a BIG deal. It’s grounds for immediate termination at most employers.

      6. kittycontractor*

        Listen, I give people the benefit of the doubt all the time, so I get it, but this is just way too much to get over. And now lying!! Nope and let your boss know.

      7. Like Chess, But With Puncture Wounds*

        Wait, what? You discovered she LIED during her interview, and that’s not an automatic fire right there?

        1. OP*

          Boss bowser know about that yet either. I have a call with her this week to discuss. Ugh, I’m normally a keep my head down and mind my own business person. This just sucked me in too far.

          1. Kella*

            If you were involved in Bella’s hiring, and Bella lied during part of the process, putting her integrity in question and therefore her ability to do her entire job, then that *is* your business. If Bella’s performance is impacting your ability to do your own job, then that *is* your business. You aren’t meddling in something that has nothing to do with you. You are taking action to protect both yourself and your company.

      8. Jora Malli*

        OP, I think you’re classifying the interview lie and the secret second job as two separate deceptions, but I don’t think they are. I think she lied to you during her interview for the purpose of deceiving you once she was hired. The two actions are connected to each other and you should present them that way when you talk to Alice.

      9. New Mom*

        I feel your pain. I had a coworker a few years ago who was suddenly dropping the ball like crazy and making all sorts of mistakes after she had been at a company a decade. She had a young child so I assumed it was that and tried to be extra accommodating and then I found out that she had a second job (during our work hours!) and I was so mad. She left to go work for the other company but left her team in shambles and caused a lot of extra work for me and her other coworkers.

    4. Keeley Jones, The Independent Woman*

      I am not sure how long Bella has been there. It reads as if Bella is newer and OP may have chalked up poor performance as just not catching on quickly. Once they saw that Bella apparently is at another job and actively posting about it, it is a different conversation IMO.

    5. HufferWare*

      Very much my thoughts. Why not just say that her narrow meeting availability hours are making it difficult to work together? Her second job might be doing wedding makeup on the weekends and nothing to do with the issues she has at the job she shares with OP. Stick to the facts instead of stalking this person online and creating a big thing.

  6. Twenty Points for the Copier*

    I also feel like the fact that she is very actively promoting her 2nd job on public social media sites impacts things. That makes it both more egregious and less stealth. How can Bella think someone WON’T notice from this job?

    1. TheseOldWings*

      Yes, this is so bizarre. Like, obviously someone is going to find out, particularly if she has the same name, her own pictures, and is heavily promoting the job?! Unless it’s her own business/side hustle or she works part-time (which is still problematic since it’s affecting the OP and her work), I just don’t get how someone wouldn’t think this would get them in trouble with their current job.

    2. Ariaflame*

      Why do people post video of themselves committing crimes to social media? Sometimes it’s unfathomable why people do what they do.

      1. London Calling*

        A friend and I have discussed this in another context and we came to the conclusion that some people really don’t realise that what they post can be seen by everyone. Or they think that because they are OK with it everyone else is as well.

    3. Cat Tree*

      Yeah sounds like this one is actually the side job or second job, and the other is her main one.

  7. LawBee*

    Yeah, my first instinct was no, but this seems like a clear time where your boss needs to know.

    Usually I’m on the side of “it’s expensive to live and sometimes you need a second job” but the second job can’t negatively impact the first job. Bella isn’t managing that very well.

    1. MechanicalPencil*

      I have the same feeling. I often work more than one job at a time, but I ensure that the secondary job(s) don’t affect my primary job with scheduling and so forth.

      Since Bella is so active about promoting the other job with separate profiles, that seems to me like she knows innately that there’s something wrong with what she’s doing.

      1. DANGER: Gumption Ahead*

        Yep. I occasionally pick-up extra work in my off hours, but it is always work done in the off hours. It doesn’t overlap with my employer’s work at all.

      2. Sir Ulrich von Liechtenstein*

        I’m inclined to think that this is Bella’s secondary job, given the other one seems to get more promotion and online presence.

        1. fhqwhgads*

          I’m inclined to think this is the secondary job given she’s only providing a 2 hour daily window of availability for meetings and one of those hours is outside normal business hours for the role.

    2. Falling Diphthong*

      I also think it’s really, really normal for people with two jobs to be completely open about that. Your M-F 9-5 job knows you sing with a band, or work at a party company on weekends. Or your two part-time jobs each know the other job exists and affects your availability to them.

      Trying to secretly combine two full-time jobs with flexible hours in such a way that you do them both poorly is not like openly playing oboe for money evenings and weekends, when your usual job doesn’t expect you to be available and working on their stuff.

      1. Lacey*

        Yup, my work knows about and encourages my side hustle.

        Now, I have worked at places where it was smarter to hide it because they had absurd ideas about what was a conflict of interest (ex. “your side hustle is something we might want to offer clients in the future, so you have to stop”) but even then if someone had discovered it, it would be clear I didn’t do it during my day job.

        1. starsaphire*

          Oh, same here. They all know I write novels. They do not not not know *what* novels I write, lol! And I do not tell them. Better to be a little mysterious than be “that girl who writes smut on the side.”

      2. Sad Desk Salad*

        I think it really depends. I had a “side hustle” prior to starting at my current FT company and a few months in I noticed some overlap between side-hustle clients that could have caused a conflict of interest, so I ended the side gig with no hard feelings from either side.

        I also volunteer part time for an animal rescue doing similar work that I do for my FT job, but there’s no risk of conflict of interest, I keep them strictly separate, and when the rescue work started to encroach on my regular workday, I allocated some of that work to other professionals within the rescue. At one point during a crisis, things got so hairy I complained to the VP “I’m spending more time on this than I do my regular job,” and we worked together to calm things down.

        All this is to say, you have to prioritize one thing, and it sounds like Bella is prioritizing her side thing. I feel like that’s something all parties should know about.

        1. Person from the Resume*

          Signs point to the LW’s company being her “side thing” since it’s not her primary focus.

      3. Bagpuss*

        Yes – and if you aren’t willing to be open then it’s a bit of a red flag that you know it would be an issue. And in most functional workplaces, it would only be an issue of it would be a problem due to conflicts of interest, or something of that kind.
        If you’re actively hiding it then it’s probably becaue you know it isn’t appropriate

      4. Sir Ulrich von Liechtenstein*


        In fact, at OldJob the one manager who was in a band on the weekends often brought his band to perform at company events. No idea on how the COI worked out (were they getting paid? How much? I’m glad that wasn’t my problem) but it was very aboveboard and people thought it was cool.

      5. quill*

        Your day job may not know if you write novels, or paint, or act, or play in a band… because those commitments are scheduled outside your day job, and generally neither their business nor a problem for them. (Generally I wouldn’t say you HAVE to disclose a side job if it doesn’t impact the primary one, because generally I wouldn’t say you had to disclose anything to your job about what you do off hours…)

        (Also, I write. I don’t get paid for it yet but I write and I’m queer, and neither of those things are my job’s business. It’s probably different if, for example, you play guitar at community events on the weekends and your coworkers probably know because they see you there.)

        This one’s a problem because Bella is making it hard to get everyone’s jobs done!

      6. SwiftSunrise*


        My days off from my full-time job are Fridays and Sundays; pre-pandemic, I would frequently substitute teach on Fridays, and my regular boss was fully aware that I was doing that. When I got requests to sub, I was equally open with the teachers and administrators that I worked full time and was therefore only available on Fridays. No one had a problem with it either way, and it worked out nicely because Fridays are a high-demand day for subs.

        (Technically, I’m still on the substitute list, but I’m not yet ready to plunge back into the petri dish of unmasked and likely unvaccinated adolescents if I don’t absolutely HAVE to … and I don’t.)

      7. Despachito*

        I actually think that there is no need to know for your job IF the other job does not affect your main one.

        Here it does, and the case is therefore clear for me.

        For me, the main thing would be – does it affect your results? If the genuine answer is NO, then I’d personally ,have no problem even if you do your second job on “company time”, (if you are able to do the same or bigger amount of you work quicker like another poster this week, or if you are in a position that requires you to be physically there but your work depends on other people who come to you and there are times when nobody comes, and if you decide, say, to write your own book during this downtime, I do not see it as something unethical).

        But the main thing still remains – does this affect negatively your performance in your main job? IF yes, then it is wrong.

    3. Jennifer Strange*

      Agreed. If Bella was able to manage doing two jobs at once without it negatively affecting her performance at either I’d say more power to her, but right now it sounds like she’s doing a poor job at at least one of her jobs (maybe she’s killing it at the other, but she may be doing poorly there as well). In the words of Ron Swanson, “Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing.”

    4. KimberlyR*

      Right. It shouldn’t be reported as “I found this and I’m tattling!” It should be “I have been having issues with X, Y, and Z with Bella and what I need from her, and I also found this concerning thing”

      1. EPLawyer*

        Oh yes. I want to push back on something you said OP about “snitching.” You are grown adult. Report workplace issues that AFFECT your work and quite frankly the integrity of the department, are NOT SNITCHING.

    5. SpaceySteph*

      “but the second job can’t negatively impact the first”
      Sounds to me like Bella is following this principle, but it turns out her job with OP *is* the second job.

  8. soontoberetired*

    If she’s not available for meetings 2 hours a week, and one of those is after your hours that’s an issue without a second job being involved. Talk to your boss.

    1. Sad Desk Salad*

      Yeah, that’s really what it comes down to. She’s a poor performer with unavailability that’s creating problems for the other workers and the company. That needs to be addressed, regardless of the cause.

    2. Like Chess, But With Puncture Wounds*

      This. She’s available for meeting during business hours One Hour A Week.

      Does Alice know this? How can she possibly function without ever meeting with anybody?

    3. WhiskyTangoFoxtrot*

      Bella is only AVAILABLE for meetings two hours per day! Definitely bring this up to Alice.

  9. What's in a name?*

    I understand how Bella working in HR elevates the issue over other situations, but why does OP being in HR require a higher level of disclosure?

    1. Falling Diphthong*

      I would look really askance at a member of HR who knew someone was working two full-time jobs at the same time–and doing a bad job at the one that affected me–but had elected to say and do nothing. HR is invested in seeming to look out for people’s interests and be fair.

    2. Lab Boss*

      As regularly gets brought up here and elsewhere, HR’s primary job is to protect the company. Usually that means keeping them from being sued, but OP here is looking at a truly egregious case of an employee whose actions have a clear-cut harmful impact on how the company can operate.

    3. LisaB*

      It’s also a department-specific general expectation of higher levels of integrity. I’m in a compliance function and it’s the same thing – I expect my staff to be *squeaky* clean. What might be an eyebrow elsewhere is A Deal here.

      1. LisaB*

        To clarify on how that applies to both Bella and the OP – it’s absolutely an integrity issue if Bella is indeed working two full time jobs without clear awareness/approval from management, and that’s regardless of the fact that she’s struggling because of it. For the OP, if they’re also in HR, they also have a higher standard to uphold in raising questionably ethical actions by other employees. “I didn’t bring it up because i thought it wasn’t my business” isn’t ok when you know about about a possible violation of company rules.

    4. Hlao-roo*

      It’s about the job role. The role of an assembler on a manufacturing line is to make widgets, the role of an accountant is to balance the books, the role of HR is to make sure things in the company are running smoothly. So one of OP’s responsibilities is to flag potential problems like a coworker working a second job.

    5. My Useless 2 Cents*

      As HR handles confidential employee information, I do think they need to be held to a higher standard. A secret second job would have me seriously questioning Bella’s ethical and moral views. She thinks it’s okay to go behind the companies back for second job… what else does she think acceptable?

      1. Joanna*

        That’s my concern as well. She’s an HR employee who is lying to her company and possibly working for another company while on the clock with OP’s company. Additionally, we now know that Bella also lied during her interview. As an employee, I would not want someone with so little integrity having access to my personal information. Does Bella have access to employee’s Social Security Numbers or banking information? Yikes.

    6. Fluffy Fish*

      HR is generally involved in addressing when employees are violating company policy – and not all company policies are official written down. Most employers would not knowingly allow an employee to work another job on the clock regardless of whether it’s written as a formal policy.

    7. Observer*

      but why does OP being in HR require a higher level of disclosure?

      Because vetting people for their jobs is part of the job of HR. So, if an HR finds out something relevant to the company in a legitimate way, they have an obligation to disclose it. What the OP did was perfectly normal and legitimate, so this counts.

    8. V. Anon*

      At my company, you *can* work another job as long as it is a) disclosed, b) does not present a conflict of interest, and c) does not conflict with your regular duties. So if I want to teach a Zumba class at my gym on the weekends, I can do that as long as I fill out some paperwork for HR. If I want to freelance for a competitor, no. If I want to work a second job that is remote, but that job also expects me to be available 9-5, no.

      Key words that affect “higher level of disclosure?” As long as I fill out some paperwork for HR. HR is supposed to know about my 2nd job. Someone *in* HR working a 2nd job that the rest of HR doesn’t know about definitely raises the stakes.

    9. The Tin Man*

      Agree with others above, especially LisaB. It’s especially an issue because they must be beyond reproach – if this came out another way would people think OP was protecting someone else in HR that they knew was going against policy?

    10. Jora Malli*

      Part of HR’s function in a lot of organizations is to monitor for potential conflicts of interest, and knowing that your coworker has a secret other job that she seems to be prioritizing more highly than the job at your company would qualify, I think.

  10. Falling Diphthong*

    In past double-job letters I’ve wondered how people handle Linked In, and this letter answers it! Apparently via the same “I don my invisibility cloak” “I can still see you” “No you can’t” of other double lives.

    OP, I think you are good to report Bella simply because her poor work is affecting you. (And whenever we have these letters, there are some “…. Oh! I wonder if that’s why my Fergus is so hard to contact, and does poor work handed in late?” comments from people who just recognized a pattern here that applies to their coworker.) It’s affecting you, and you just discovered a big and obvious explanation for why this is happening and going to continue happening.

    1. Purple Cat*

      We joked watching “24” about Jack Bauer’s “magic hoodie”. As soon as he put that hood up, NOBODY could see him

    2. DD*

      If I was trying to pull off a double job situation it’s difficult to mask yourself completely but you can throw up some roadblocks that makes it less likely you’re easily found by someone randomly searching

      I would try to alter my name at the 2nd job in a way that would make it more difficult to find me and create a Linked In Profile for each version. If I was Jessica Marie Jones and I went by Jessica at Job #1 I might choose to be JM Jones or Marie Jones at the 2nd job. You could also mask some of your previous job history by using slightly different titles that might not come up as easily in search – Production Manager vs Scheduling Mgr.

      This works better if you have a more common last name – but even if you have a name like Gidzikowzinski you could use your maiden name (if applicable) or set up your 2nd Linked in account with an abbreviation like Gid.

      I clearly have thought about this more than I realized. LOL

  11. Eggs and omelets*

    Sounds like the problem is that she’s not available enough. Bring that up to the manager as the problem and work with her to resolve it.

    The second job is not inherently a problem, don’t be a narc and out her to the bosses until you’ve at least tried to just resolve it from a basic availability standpoint.

    If Bella changes her scheduling etc to make more time for LWs needs then who cares if she has multiple jobs?

    1. What's in a name?*

      It matters if Bella is violating privacy expectations or conflicts of interest that could occur in HR more so than in other departments.

      1. Ana*

        That is such a stretch of the imagination. She’s probably just an opportunist collecting 2 paychecks

        1. anonymous73*

          I once had a colleague at a mortgage company who was trying to start his own business by using his access to gather potential clients to solicit. We don’t know what the second job entails, but it’s not that far of a reach to be a conflict of interest.

            1. Eldritch Office Worker*

              A lawyer consulted on the risk assessment of the situation would more than likely disagree with you

            2. anonymous73*

              So you’re just going to keep saying the same thing over and over without an actual valid reason or example of why you disagree?

            3. Jennifer Strange*

              It really isn’t. My husband is dealing with something similar right now at his work.

    2. LawBee*

      She has limited availability because she is prioritizing her second job over her main job. That’s why it’s relevant. If it was a second job that was after hours (like the one I had in my 20s) that didn’t impact her main job, I’d agree with you.

      It’s not narc-ing, but is interesting that Bella blocked the OP from her side-gig account.

      1. NotAnotherManager!*

        I got the impression that this job is the side-gig and she’s more engaged with the job for which OP found the profile.

        I’d start with exactly the info here – she’s got limited availability and performance issues – and let the boss sort it out. I don’t know what Bella does in HR, but my HR team has to be pretty available to make sure people’s benefits are sorted and clearly understood, to get timesheets validated for payroll, to handle any number of employee status changes (hires, terms, adding dependents/spouses to benefits), etc. They’re one of the most responsive groups in my organization, and drop-ins are welcome.

    3. Falling Diphthong*

      I really hate dragging “narcing” or “tattling” into adult work interactions. Accurately stating what someone is doing should be a boring, low-drama thing.

      It’s also what a professional reputation IS. People who know unflattering things about how poorly you work may well share that information when someone asks. They might volunteer it when it affects their own work.

      In most cases “Bella has a side-gig doing llama grooming” would elicit an “oh, cool” because Bella isn’t blowing off her full-time job duties to focus on the other job.

      1. Bagpuss*


        On the face of it, BElla has lied to the company to get a job, is very likely working another job in time she’s being paid to work for OP’s employer and is performing badly.

        It’s not “being a narc” to bring those facts to the attention of Bella’s bosses. It would be inappropriate (and possibly mean that she wasn’t doing her job properl) if she ties her boss’s hands by failing to dsiclose relvant information which is likely to explain why Bella is performing poorly and to be relvant to how the company wishes to address that.

        What OP would be doing is reporting someone’s inappropriate behviour in orde er to enable her employer to takeappropriate steps with as much information as possibe. That’s the adult, responsible thing to do.

      2. Person from the Resume*

        Absolutley agree. There are no narcotics involved in this situation. “Eggs and omelets” use of it inaccurate and inflamatory as it has a negative connotation.

        Informing your boss of relevent facts you’ve uncovered is not narcing or tattling or snitching.

      3. LKW*

        Totally agree. Holding people to an ethical standard is not being a narc. It’s not being a doormat.

    4. EPLawyer*

      She is not being a “narc” by reporting something that actually affects the integrity of her department. She is not a “snitch.” She is not “tattling.”

      This is a BIG DEAL and a good HR manager would want to know.

    5. Colette*

      Why should the OP prioritize Bella’s ability to work another job in secret over her own ability to get her work done?

    6. Fluffy Fish*

      The second job is a problem because OP is in HR. It’s literally HR’s job to address when employees are violating company policy. There may be an occasional exception but most companies aren’t fine with an employee working another job on the clock.

      Lets not call people “narcs” for doing their job.

    7. anonymous73*

      If her lack of performance is impacting OP and her ability to complete her work it’s not being a narc to report it. And her lack of performance is most likely due to this second job.

    8. Observer*

      The second job is not inherently a problem, don’t be a narc and out her to the bosses until you’ve at least tried to just resolve it from a basic availability standpoint.

      Nope to the nth degree. This is something the OP has total standing to report. Reporting things that affect the employer, or that are one’s job to be looking for is NOT “narcing”. The idea is ugly.

      And it’s a classic way that abusers and thieves manage to continue their bad behavior.

      1. Emma2*

        Particularly in a role where you might be called on to advise on disciplining or terminating another employee if they were doing exactly the same thing. Integrity matters.

    9. Where’s the Orchestra?*

      Working the second job isn’t a problem; the problem is either working two jobs during the same hours or giving priority to the other job to the extent that not doing things affects the ability of other coworkers to get their tasks done.

      From OP’s description it sounds like Bella is now in the it’s causing problems zone – and that is what needs to be reported.

    10. Jora Malli*

      OP is an HR professional. They are in possession of evidence that an employee is behaving unethically, and could possibly be violating company policy. They cannot just let it be. OP’s actual, literal job is to make sure employees of the company are in compliance with the company’s policies and ethical standards. It is their job to escalate this.

  12. Riot Grrrl*

    I don’t know if this makes a difference, but the phrase “promoting her other job multiple times a week” stuck out to me. This isn’t something that people who just work a standard day job somewhere do. To me this screams freelance or side hustle or maybe MLM. I don’t think that changes the basic advice, but I’m thinking Bella may have more flexibility in this situation than may be immediately apparent. If that is correct, that should reduce any fear that she is somehow “stuck” and doesn’t have options.

    1. Eldritch Office Worker*

      Depends on their role – it could be a marketing or social media role of some kind. But you’re right it could also be something like a ‘side hustle’ MLM type deal.

    2. OP*

      She works a sales job and is promoting the company, not necessarily her work. Sorry for being too vague!

      1. quill*

        And while you *can* schedule marketing posts on many sites ahead of time, I would bet dollars to doughnuts that responding to questions / engaging in real time with other accounts is part of this job.

      2. umami*

        That makes much more sense as to why it’s an issue! Thanks for clarifying; I also had the impression that it was self-promotion. I’m surprised this wasn’t discovered before an offer was made to her – if it isn’t part of your process, checking prospect’s LI is probably a good step to include in the future. I’ve even noticed that candidates I interview often look me up on LI themselves; there’s no expectation of privacy.

      3. Baby, bathwater*

        So…a MLM?

        Leave the second job out of it. Talk to your boss about how Bella’s work FOR YOUR COMPANY is affecting your own.

    3. Person from the Resume*

      What that signaled to me is that Bella is promoting and working the second job during the day when she’s supposed to be working alongside the LW. This explains why it’s a problem and explains Bella’s lack of availability and likely her poor performance.

  13. RuralGirl*

    If I were Bella’s boss, I would absolutely want to know if she were limiting her availability to 2 hours a day and that her work product was subpar. Given that fact, I would also want to know that she has a second job. The second piece of information would feel largely irrelevant to me as long as it’s not affecting the first.

    1. learnedthehardway*

      I think that these concerns by themselves are enough to bring to the OP’s manager. The second job by itself wouldn’t be necessarily a reason to do so – lots of people have side-hustles. But combined with the lack of availability during working hours and the fact that Bella’s performance is affecting the OP’s ability to do their own job, it’s time to bring the whole situation to their manager’s attention.

  14. Important Moi*

    If the second job is an unrelated industry, could that be why there are 2 different LinkedIn profiles?
    Two active LinkedIn profiles with the same name strikes me as not having a good plan.
    At this place of employ (LW’s) , is a second job expressly prohibited?
    Is the second job a side hustle?

  15. Putting the Dys in Dysfunction*

    It’s not only the adverse effects of Bella working another job, it’s also her lack of honesty, plus a profound deficit in judgment (both in covertly working the other job during work hours and her closing-the-barn-door-after-the-horse-has-escaped move of blocking OP on LinkedIn.

    1. Lab Boss*

      That’s where I came down. There’s nothing inherently wrong with two jobs, even if that keeps you from performing at 100% at either of them, as long as you’re meeting the expectations of both. It’s the deceit here that really raises a red flag for me. The dual profiles imply Bella was trying to be deceptive, and the rapid blocking strengthens that- I would have a problem with any employee trying to deliberately deceive me, and a *big* problem with not being able to trust my HR team.

    2. The OTHER Other.*

      How is having a second job dishonest? Millions of people have multiple jobs. Are they dishonest?

      1. Ana*

        Lots of commenters living for the drama today, and it’s sad. With the cost of everything rising at an insane rate, lots of us have to find more money somehow.

          1. Vinessa*

            The director-level LW who wrote in about their secret second full-time director job was doing it, and Alison and most of the commenters thought it was a cool power move. She was also accomplishing it by limiting her availability, and she was handing off her work to people lower in the hierarchy than her (not even people who directly reported to her).

            I don’t understand why that was okay, but this isn’t.

            1. Ask a Manager* Post author

              That’s a bizarre misstating of what I wrote.


              From my response: “that’s a huge ethical issue” … “that’s a big deal” … “The biggest one is the deception … That’s a big deal.”

              Saying “I still don’t condone it because of the deception, but I also can’t condemn it as strongly as I would have in the past” is not saying that it’s okay, and it’s definitely not saying “cool power move.”

              1. can't stand cheaters*

                I’ve been reading your blog for 10 years Alison, and your response to that question surprised me the most. I was so upset I almost stopped reading completely. Maybe you didn’t intend it that way but clearly many of us found your tone way too sympathetic to the office two-timer, and it clashed with our regular image of you as an extremely fair and even-handed work-place advisor. I think that director OP was even worse than Bella. Bella seems basically unavailable and incompetent, but that director was likely putting burden on multiple underlings who had little recourse.

                1. Delphine*

                  I’d argue the response *was* fair and even-handed.

                  Also, the director LW specifically stated that they had no reports and that their “dotted-line” reports don’t typically need guidance. Based on that info, your assertion that the LW was putting a burden on their underlings is speculation.

                2. Eldritch Office Worker*

                  It was a new concept and Alison thought it out verbally in the answer. It’s REALLY useful to see her thought process when faced with new dilemmas, and takes into account both the ethics of the situation and the realities of a cultural shift (which at the time the letter was post, did seem like it might be happening – this kind of thing was in the news a lot. But no one had written in about it yet, so Alison hadn’t had to think about it critically).

                  I agree with you about side-eyeing the burden on the “underlings”, but let’s be clear that Alison is not a god doling out final judgement, she gives workplace advice and the practice of that involves being open to new ideas and hearing different points of view. She still came down calling it unethical.

              2. quill*

                Also, some of the commentariat was less “admiring” than “jealous that someone gets paid that much to have a job they can halfass so thoroughly when our own jobs expect over 100% all the time.” Which may not all have been obvious given the text medium, the spin-off conversations about when it is ethical to have two jobs, and being polite to OP.

            2. New Jack Karyn*

              I think you are seriously mischaracterizing the response to that letter writer.

              Alison did not think it “was a cool power move”. She explicitly said she did not endorse it. She doubted the ability of that OP to do excellent work at both jobs–OP’s stated goal. Many commenters discussed the ethics of it, and believed it was unethical of OP.

            3. Eldritch Office Worker*

              I didn’t think that was okay either, and the commentariat was pretty split. However the fact that was a notable enough occurrence that you’re drawing it up 8 months later is probably a flag that it’s still not a normal thing most people are doing.

        1. Keeley Jones, The Independent Woman*

          People can have multiple jobs. A lot of companies spell out in their employee handbook guidelines for outside employment and typical language is that int not interfere with this job there. Times are hard but that doesn’t give people carte blanche to do whatever. Bella is her availability (whilst I am presuming she’s being paid) to work another job. That’s the issue. Not just having a second job.

        2. Clobberin' Time*

          Right? It’s ridiculous how many people are being all drama llamas by saying the OP would be “tattling” or “narcing”, and expecting OP and her co-workers to hamper their own ability to get second jobs by having to accomodate Bella’s schedule!

          Oh wait, that’s not what you meant? Weird.

        3. NYC Taxi*

          Fully agree. The drama in the comments is ridiculous. OP should mind her own business about the second job. She should focus on the fact that the coworker’s poor performance is affecting OP’s work, and it’s up to management to solve that. Calling her out for her second job, which she may need to make ends meet is unnecessary.

          1. Jennifer Strange*

            OP is HR, though. It’s likely her job to oversee these sorts of things. If Bella needs a second job to make ends meet she should get one that allows her to work it outside of the hours for her other job (and make sure she’s adhering to any rules her other job has about working second jobs).

            1. Scout*

              That’s part of what’s confusing me. If OP is in HR, wouldn’t she already know if this is something she should report?

      2. Lab Boss*

        As Falling Diphthong has mentioned higher up, most people with 2 jobs are candid about it. It seems like Bella deliberately tried to hide her second job, likely because she knew it was taking too much time from her first job. The second job isn’t dishonest, the hiding it is.

        1. Where’s the Orchestra?*

          The hiding of the second job, and the impact it’s seemingly having on her first job are my main issues. I don’t care if my coworkers work a second job so long as their performance of job duties doesn’t affect my ability to get my job done. When you not getting stuff done impacts me – then your second job is my business, and yup I’ll honestly report that XYZ isn’t getting done by “Blah” and it is having ABC impact on my ability to do my job.
          And if boss asks, and I know, yes I will disclose your second job.

      3. Colette*

        Having a second LinkedIn profile and blocking people you work with when they find out about it is dishonest.

        And in many companies, you can be fired for having a second job if you don’t disclose it. A second job that you do outside of your normal work hours that’s not a conflict of issue is probably fine; this is not.

      4. ABCYaBye*

        It isn’t. It is how this is being handled that is.

        In the majority of cases, when people have second jobs, they’re not jobs that directly impact their availability to their primary job. That doesn’t make it dishonest per se, but not disclosing and making everyone else work around you is about the same as directly saying “I don’t have a second job.”

      5. Bagpuss*

        Having a second job is not dishonest.
        Lying about your work history when apply for a job is dishonest.
        Working a second job when on the clock for your main job is dishonest (and while OP doesn’t have proof that that is what Bella is doing, it is consistent with the information she has)

        Also – if Bells is not acting dishonestly – e.g. if she is only weorking the other job in her own time, there are no conflicts of interest and she only blocked OP because she prefers to keep the two separate then she will be able to explain that if she’s asked about it by her boss, and indeed could have spoken to OP to say ‘Hey, I saw you viewed my profile – I don’t tell people at my day job that I work nights at the KitKatClub, I’d appreciate it if you don’t mention it at work”

      6. Jora Malli*

        I’ve had a second job. But my employers knew about it and verified that the hours for the two jobs didn’t overlap.

        Having a second job is not the part that people find dishonest. The dishonesty is a) that Bella kept her other job a secret from OP’s company and b) OP said in a comment upthread that they also have evidence that Bella lied to them during her job interview. Those are the things that are dishonest. Have as many jobs as you want, but don’t keep them secret from one another and don’t use the time you’re supposed to be using on one job to complete another job’s objectives.

        1. Scout*

          I disagree with the idea that it’s automatically wrong to keep your jobs secret from each other. If I am doing what you pay me to do, during the hours you pay me to do it, then it’s none of your business if I am working a second job in the remaining time.

          I’m not even convinced that it’s always wrong to do something related to a second job during your typical hours for the first job. The corporate world has been purposefully blurring the lines between Work and Not Work, expecting people to check email on weekends and vacations, and so on. When you don’t have a clear line of when people are Off, you will also not have a clear line of when people are On. If you have to spend three hours of your vacation answering questions, is it so bad to do something not related to your job during typical business hours?

          Look, corporations, it’s the consequences of your own actions!

  16. Eldritch Office Worker*

    OP I agree with Alison but I also want to make it clear – this is not a snitching situation. Raising valid concerns about someone’s work and the things that may be impacting it, especially if it’s having a negative effect on YOU, is never snitching.

    1. ecnaseener*

      Yes, and OP probably needs to get comfortable with that idea in general. Depending on their specific role, HR needs to be okay with things like this that might feel like snitching.

  17. The OTHER Other.*

    I wish Bella wasn’t performing poorly and trying to claim she was “not allowing” meetings except 2 hours a day, those do indicate that the other job is detracting from her ability (or desire) to do the first one.

    But I want to push back on the general notion that having a second job is somehow a sin against your employer. Lots of people do, and maybe they hope their side hustle grows into full time work. So long as they can do the first job, having a second is not really the employer’s business IMO.

    1. OP*

      To be clear, I don’t typically care if people work multiple jobs. I worked as an HRBP previously and allowed it in the policy for people to work multiple jobs and long as they weren’t at the same time. We are her second job, she’s pretty new to the team and has been with her other “main” job for a while now. She hasn’t spoken to me since I accidentally stumbled across her profile. It’s been an awkward vibe at work, I do think even if I say nothing, she will be gone soon because I was tasked with interviewing another person who could be doing the same role recently. We don’t have leads but I do interviews for people going into this role since I’m the most senior one doing it. I will probably speak to my manager soon.

      1. ABCYaBye*

        I think people might jump on “we are her second job” but I want to say that it doesn’t make it better. She’s letting one job impact her availability for her other and that’s not how second jobs are supposed to work.

      2. DCompliance*

        Do you have policy that requires people to report their other job as a potential conflict of interest? Does Compliance own that policy? Does Compliance have an anonymous hotline?

      3. Coffee and muffins*

        So are you saying that she has 3 jobs and your company knew she had another full time position? I’m confused now?

        1. OP*

          No. Sorry. She has two jobs. One is with us and her other “main” job. I say main because she seems to be hiding her work with us and not the other company.

        2. Hlao-roo*

          OP is saying in their previous role as an HRBP (I think this stands for Human Resource Business Partners–presumably OP is in a different role in HR right now), they knew and were fine with other people working multiple jobs because those jobs didn’t interfere with each other.

          Bella is working two jobs. She has been at the other job longer than the HR job, so OP very reasonably assumes that the other job is Bella’s main/primary job and the HR job at OP’s company is the secondary job.

          1. Coffee and muffins*

            above the under Riot Girl OP comments say Bella’s other job is a sales Job

    2. Bagpuss*

      I don’t think anyone is suggesting that it is?
      The focus is on the fact that her other job seems to be impaccting onthe first job and that the faccts are highly suggestive of her doing it on her current employers time. *that’s* the issue.

    3. Warrior Princess Xena*

      It’s not, but doing your second job’s work during the hours you’re being paid for by your first job is not really OK. I can understand if you’ve got something like a call center job and you knit something for your Etsy store while waiting for calls, but a lot of jobs hire with the expectation that between the hours of 8-5 (or whatever your schedule is) your main priority will be that job and the assigned work for that job.

      Depending on the job, hiding a second job could also be an ethical violation, since some professional fields require disclosure of your workplaces to prevent conflicts of interest.

      1. Scout*

        I’m trying to follow the responses, but nowhere in the OP do I get the sense that OP knows Bella is working her second job during the hours she’s supposed to be working her first job. I don’t even understand how that would be possible in an HR position at “a very large corporation.”

        Like is she pulling a Clark Kent/Superman, dashing between the two and constantly inventing reasons to suddenly leave the office? That doesn’t work for an office job. There’s no mention of being remote, but surely her boss has some vague idea of when she’s supposed to be working and what she is supposed to be doing? Know how sharply she is restricting her meeting availability? And, if she’s been at the other company for years and it’s full-time, how are they somehow not noticing that she has acquired a second full-time job?

        OP, I’d make very sure this isn’t an MLM or even just an outside-hours sales gig. Ideally, you would have directly asked, well before this, about her limited hours for meetings and if she could flex on that, bc you need more availability to do your job effectively. If she wasn’t responsive, you go to Boss and say, Bella’s limited availability is affecting my work in this specific way, is that something that can change or is there a reason for it? This is still what I would do, with no mention of what you saw, barring official policies that would require you to report. You’re HR, so I would think you’d know that, but you could double-check to be sure.

  18. BBB*

    I’m usually firmly in the ‘mind ya business’ camp but this one has me a little torn. if Bella poor performance and lack of availability wasn’t a big enough issue for you to bring up with your boss before why does finding out the reason change that for you? but honestly only being available for 2 hours a day is super weird and management should have dealt with that already! Bella shouldn’t be juggling two jobs mostly because she’s not very good at it lol

    1. Eldritch Office Worker*

      I think it’s easier to give people grace when you believe they may be struggling and less so when you find out they’re active deprioritizing their job

      1. Scout*

        Having incredibly restrictive availability isn’t a sign of struggling, though. Addressing that issue would have been more likely to help Bella, in the sense of improving her performance and her standing with coworkers.

    2. Falling Diphthong*

      Finding out the reasons people are inconveniencing you is very relevant to how we feel about it, though.

      If I offer to cover for Chloe’s doctor’s appointment, and she cancels it and goes to get a mani-pedi instead, I am probably salty about it, complaining to other people (even if to spouse and peers rather than to management) and resolving not to cover for her next “medical appointment.” And if I learn she’s asked Margaret after I started saying no, I may well tell Margaret what happened.

      People who are good at juggling two full-time jobs don’t generate AAM letters.

      1. BBB*

        yes, context influences our feelings and perception of an event but it doesn’t change the facts. so my question was meant more as a ‘op you should get introspective and ask yourself’ kind or thing. if it wasn’t a big enough issue to tackle yesterday, has it really changed today? why? how much of this response is influenced by feelings and how much is a valid work complaint? will that change anything about how op responds? maybe maybe not. but there is a lot of value in separating out and examining objective fact from emotional reaction before making a decision.
        I think the real problem (assuming Bella doesn’t get fired) is that any complaint, no matter how valid, is going to be viewed through the ‘op is only doing this because they found out about my other job’ lense. Bella is going to ask the very valid question of ‘if these performance/schedule issues have been ongoing, why wasn’t it brought to my attention sooner?’ and there is no other reason. from Bella’s perspective, this will come across as petty and vindictive rather than a legitimate work complaint. that doesn’t mean ops complaints aren’t valid, just that Bella is incapable of viewing it any other way given the circumstances and timeline of events. there’s nothing op can do about that (it’s a management issue to deal with now) but seems like a cautionary tale in the making for why we should preemptively solve work issues rather than ignoring them!

        1. Always a Corncob*

          Bella’s perspective on it won’t matter, though, as she’s likely to get fired once this comes out. She also doesn’t have any valid objections to OP exposing her, because Bella is the one who has been lying to her employer.

          Also, something has changed — OP may have been happy to cut Bella slack while she seemed to be getting up to speed, but now that it looks like Bella’s unavailability and poor performance were actually caused by her working a second job (which she lied about), OP has plenty of standing to bring it up.

  19. anonymous73*

    I fall into the camp of if another colleague’s actions are affecting your work, you should say something. The fact that you work in HR only makes this problem worse and more significant. What is her reasoning for only allowing meetings to be scheduled for 2 hours each day? That’s a problem in an of itself – she should be available to do work during all business hours. But yes, I would most definitely tell your boss. Stick to the facts – you saw a second profile on LinkedIn and she immediately blocked you and sent you a request from her account related to your company, and spell out how she’s affecting your ability to do your own work. You don’t say what her other job entailed, but even if it’s not a conflict of interest with this job, it’s still not okay (I once had a colleague at a mortgage company who was starting his own business by using his access to poach potential clients. Yeah he was fired).

  20. CatCat*

    It’s totally fine for OP to bring this to the supervisor since Bella’s availability is an issue, that availability seems to be impacted by her second job, and perhaps there are other HR-related concerns such as a conflict of interest.

    It also may be that Bella’s second job is not what is causing any problems here such as not the reason for unavailability or any potential conflict issues. That’s for OP’s supervisor to figure out.

    Neither OP nor Bella are some kind of villains here. OP’s manager can look into it to identify and resolve issues that impact OP’s employer.

  21. CommanderBanana*

    It is a big issue if you have a coworker who is only allowing, essentially, 1 hour of time in which you can schedule anything, whether or not it’s because of a second job. I would keep the focus on how it’s actually impacting your job and her availability, because that’s a quantifiable issue. There’s nothing wrong with having a side hustle (I have a part time job on the weekends) but this sounds more like she’s trying to work two jobs simultaneously.

    1. ABCYaBye*

      Thank you for your phrasing in your last sentence. I was trying to think of how to say that upthread and for the life of me I couldn’t get my brain to engage properly this morning. :)

      And you’re absolutely right. Side hustles or second jobs are supposed to be those that occur at times other than when you’re working your primary job. OP did say in a comment that this job is Bella’s second job, but the simultaneous (or near-simultaneous) nature is impacting their ability to actually do the job. Your weekend job, or my evening bartending doesn’t overlap with your primary work, and that’s how side hustles are supposed to work.

      1. Rain's Small Hands*

        And some people do have two “primary” jobs – they tend to both be part time hourly work where hour insecurity is a thing – you might work at Starbucks for and average of 24 hours a week and at Target for an average of 22 hours a week – letting your management know what your schedule is. But its rare that anyone does more than one salaried job – and its reasonable for the employer of a salaried employee to assume that the salaried job is the primary job if you have a side hustle – even if the side hustle is trying to get a business up and running, your salaried employer is going to not want that to interfere with your work output.

        1. Aspiring Chicken Lady*

          OK. So that’s the answer then. It would be one thing if she did sales on the off hours and HR during the day hours, but unless both employers are on board with this plan, it’s not ok. Particularly if it impacts other team mates.

        2. CommanderBanana*

          Yeah, unless she’s literally Hermione Granger with a Time-Turner, there’s no way this is going to work.

          1. Boof*

            And Hermione had permission! And she was this rock star who /still/ found it unsustainable (or at least a major strain ) by the end, if i recall correctly!

        3. Not So NewReader*

          Somehow I did not get that out of the original letter. It does change my response to the situation. She is actually stealing from both companies as each company is expecting her full undivided attention for the pay she receives.

          I do wonder why this excellent boss has not caught on by now. I picture the cohort using the company computer to do the second job. If so, the proof has to be on that computer. Where I work, tech sees every key stroke. I am waiting for a phone call because I checked the weather or something. (Weather would impact my job.)

          I do agree about reporting it, OP. Why should I take up someone’s slack so they can collect a second paycheck from some where else. nope-nope-nope.

        4. Scout*

          Ah, the confirmation I have been searching for, lol.

          How is she working two jobs at the exact same time? You didn’t mention being remote, and even then I would expect B’s bosses to have some general idea of where she is and what she is doing. The sales job might have more flex, but I am truly not understanding how working two 8-5 jobs at the same time, one of them in an admin role at a major corporation, is even possible.

          I would tread lightly, simply because it seems like there’s a good chance you’re missing information.

  22. kiki*

    One question I have is whether both of Bella’s jobs are in the same field? If Bella’s second linkedin was for voice coaching or something that’s really different than HR, is there a chance her job with LW’s company is her “day job” and the second job is something she’s doing part-time? If that’s the case, I don’t think that’s necessarily something reportable, but I would approach your boss and explicitly lay out Bella’s performance issues, how it’s affecting you, and mention that she’s only available 2 hours a day. That way your boss can deal with the impact (Bella’s lack of availability and time working) and leave it to Bella to figure out how she wants to juggle her two different jobs.

    If Bella is working, like, two clearly full-time office jobs, I think that makes things pretty different. I would bring it to your boss as, ” I found something online– it looks like Bella has a separate linkedin account saying she works at X Company still. It’s really active. Here are some screenshots. I’ve noticed Bella is only available two hours a day and I thought you should have this context.”

    This actually happened at a friends’ company! Someone was trying to hold down two full-time software developer jobs. The most interesting part, to me, was that this person chose to do this at two really small companies where clearly his time would need to be accounted for. There are so many dev jobs at big companies where people can get away with putting in 20 hours per week without being noticed due to a lot of bureaucracy and whatnot, but that’s rarely the case at small companies!

    1. starfox*

      OP says in a comment that they are both 8-to-5 jobs that she’s working at the same time. I… kind of admire the audacity? lol. And if it weren’t interfering with the job, more power to Alice, but it’s unfair that she’s making double income because other people are having to pick up her slack, it sounds like.

      I have a side hustle myself and am looking at picking up another one, but my “day job” always comes first.

      1. umami*

        I’m curious about how others are picking up the slack, the letter only says that her meeting availability doesn’t always work for OP, not that she is carrying extra duties. She says she ‘knows’ Bella isn’t performing well but didn’t actually give any evidence other than her opinion, which seems to have been shaped by this discovery.

        1. Decidedly Me*

          Just because the OP didn’t spell out the performance issues doesn’t mean that it’s only her opinion. Letters would get very long if LWs had to provide evidence for every statement they make.

          1. umami*

            True, I just would have expected something more substantive than ‘her meeting availability doesn’t overlap with the hours I work’. I’m a bit puzzled by that because if both are working a typical 8-5 schedule, how does Bella have available meeting hours that somehow are after the OP’s working hours? Meeting availability with a coworker doesn’t sound like a performance issue, I would have expected to see something like, ‘I need to meet with her regularly to complete my own work, but she isn’t available during the hours I work’ – just to add some context as to why the meeting thing is even an issue.

            1. Jennifer Strange*

              I took the mention of the meetings as further indication that she’s working a second job during normal business hours, not as an example of a performance issue.

              1. umami*

                Could be! It’s definitely a bizarre situation. I’m definitely interested in the follow-up!

            2. Stevie*

              I think OP meant both of Bella’s jobs are 8-5 jobs. I’m guessing OP works something like 7-4, so that last hour might be the issue.

        2. starfox*

          Okay, even if the other coworkers aren’t picking up the slack aside from having to meet outside of work hours… that still doesn’t make it okay. I know this site tends to be rah rah rah, the worker is always right… but it’s still not okay to work two 8-5 jobs at the same time to the point that your job performance suffers and lie to everyone about it.

      2. kiki*

        Yeah, there are some jobs and some people who could pull this off (full on dual 8-5 jobs), but it’s one of those things where most people I’ve seen try are overestimating their abilities or underestimating the jobs. If Alice were successful at this job, I don’t think I would say anything and would also admire her audacity.

  23. Observer*

    Alice and I have a great rapport and I know she would handle the new appropriately without thinking I’m a snitch. Even though I would be

    This bothers me. If you are in HR, you need to get that word out of your vocabulary! Bringing a work problem that affects you to someone who can do something about it is NOT snitching! And here is the thing – if that’s your attitude or the attitude of ANYONE in HR, you are setting yourself up for real problems. Because you can be sure that people pick this up. And if they know that HR considers someone who complains about a problem that affects them to be a snitch, they won’t come to you with problems. In the “best” case, it will just be a matter of lost productivity. In the worst case, it could be loss of customers, regulatory failures or behavior that leads to a a law suit.

    I was listening to a podcast yesterday where Suzanne Lucas (Evil HR Lady) was talking to someone else (don’t remember his name) about why so many companies with “open door” policies still wind up getting slammed when things they should have known about blow up. Well, HR who thinks that complaining is “snitching” is one of the reasons those “open door policies” do not work.

    1. OP*

      I agree! I need to work on my vocabulary. I would never say that about anyone else, I think I just try to find the best in everyone else and the worst in myself. I never use that work when speaking to associates. I appreciate their candor, it can be hard to speak up. As I’m learning now.

  24. Jedi Sentinel Bird*

    Lw, ask yourself what would you say to Alice if you did not know about bella’s second job. From your letter, bella having limited meeting times and this is affecting your work. I wouldn’t mention about the second job stuff because it shouldn’t matter. There are a lot of people with 2nd jobs and side hustles. CEOs own multiple businesses and have roles in each separate company. I say embrace the side of being in control of your career instead of settling for a job based on if you can afford medical insurance or something. Bella has more power to leave the company because she still has income from other job. I don’t understand the mentality of how this is a bad thing. Granted, it’s not good if you stink at your job. So bella’s boss or someone should inform her she’s performing poorly not hey she’s got 2 jobs so that’s why she stinks at her job. If you thought bella was excellent at her job, would you say anything to Alice? Bella is in more control of her career in that if she gets fired, she still has her other job. She should be more cautious of what she posts on social media though.

    1. starfox*

      I think I disagree? I mean, I get it on the one hand…. Raise the issue of performance, not that she has another job. But if I were a manager, I would be fairly patient with someone who seemed to be struggling with the job. It’s a whole other issue if they are working two full-time jobs and THAT’S why they’re struggling/having others pick up their slack….

      1. Kiwi*

        My last two jobs have also had policies against moonlighting dur to the nature of the job, so that may be something to keep in mind as well

    2. New Senior Mgr*

      Agreed. If this is her second job and having second jobs aren’t against policy, I don’t see the issue. Her performance is a separate thing and that should be addressed. You’re assuming bc she has performance issues at work it’s due to her second job. That may not be the case. Think twice before blowing up someone’s livelihood.

      1. Jennifer Strange*

        If having second jobs aren’t against policy, how would this be blowing up someone’s livelihood? Wouldn’t the manager just say, “Oh, there’s no rule against having a second job”? Also, the issue isn’t that she has a second job, it’s that she’s working that job while she’s supposed to be working the job at OP’s company. That’s not okay.

  25. Annie*

    Isn’t the key question whether she is double-dipping with time? If she’s doing the job outside business hours and never ‘working’ both jobs at the same time, then it doesn’t matter unless it’s a conflict of interest or runs afoul of the company policy on disclosing. It would need to be brought to someone’s attention, but shouldn’t present a problem. If she is on salary and “on the clock” for two jobs at the same time, that’s double-dipping and time theft and is a huge ethical quandary and would need to be addressed probably through firing.

  26. umami*

    It’s not clear if Bella is actually employed elsewhere, or if she has a side hustle she is promoting via LI, which sounds more likely if there are multiple posts about it a week. I would keep any concerns to performance issues – it’s not really OP’s business to decide what hours Bella is available for meetings (OP says one hour is after hours FOR HER, not that it is after usual working hours) or what she does with her time outside of her job. Not being able to meet when OP wants to meet doesn’t indicate a performance issue to me, and she doesn’t say in what other ways Bella is falling short on her work.

    1. umami*

      Ah, I see that the other job is also an 8-5 job. Yeah, I would definitely think an HR person needs to at least mention what they saw to a manager, even if it’s to just confirm whether the manager is aware, not to address the coworker’s performance.

    2. Jennifer Strange*

      Not being able to meet when OP wants to meet doesn’t indicate a performance issue to me, and she doesn’t say in what other ways Bella is falling short on her work.

      The issue isn’t not being able to meet when OP wants to meet, it’s ONLY being available for meetings during two hours in the day. Also, the OP doesn’t need to give an exhaustive list of how Bella isn’t performing well. We’re asked to take the letter writers at their word.

      1. umami*

        I am taking OP at her word in that Bella’s availability for meetings with the OP doesn’t fit her schedule. But she doesn’t state that Bella is only available to the company/her boss during those same two hours. That … doesn’t seem reasonable or possible, frankly! I can’t imagine as a manager allowing a direct report to only be available to me for two hours of the work day, but I wouldn’t bat an eye at how they manage their availability to their coworkers unless it truly was impacting the other person’s work.

        1. Jennifer Strange*

          OP says Bella will “only allow meetings during two hours per day.” That seems to indicate that she’s only allowing herself to be available for meetings with folks during two specific hours each day. My guess is she’s doing work for the other company during most of the other hours (either she works from home so no one sees, or she’s in an office where no one is looking over her shoulder).

          but I wouldn’t bat an eye at how they manage their availability to their coworkers unless it truly was impacting the other person’s work.

          OP specifically says it is affecting their work.

  27. HelloFromNY*

    I work in FT HR. Out of financial necessity, I have a second PT job at a retail store. I manage this VERY differently then Bella does. So I can explain what I feel is the correct approach:
    1) I have reviewed and am fully compliant with both companies policies on Moonlighting and conflicts of interest.
    2) I never work the two jobs at the same time. M-F is HR. Weekends are for my part-time job. They have no scheduling impact on one another.
    3) Although I don’t actively mention my PT job, I wouldn’t lie about it if it asked. I have one single LinkedIn, which is public and lists both jobs as currently active. So technically this is public knowledge.

    1. Decidedly Me*

      I don’t think most folks are saying that just having two jobs is a bad thing. The issue is when they are at the same time. It sounds like you’re doing things in a fair manner to both jobs (though sorry that’s a necessity for you!)

    2. Observer*

      It sounds to me like what you are doing is pretty much the exact opposite of what Bella is doing.

  28. MissM*

    LW, I think that the fact that Bella restricted meetings to one hour of your work day and her lack of availability is affecting your work would be enough to talk to Alice, and the accidental LinkedIn discovery makes it doubly important to do so.
    Also you should be able to take screenshots of Bella’s other profile without being logged in; if not, recruit a friend. If they adjust their privacy settings, she’ll just see that someone (no company) has viewed her. It might be worthwhile to have some documentation in your back pocket, just in case

  29. Joe4d*

    Op can mind her own business and just focus on what affects her..
    IE tell boss Bella isnt available during normal work hours and it is hurting my productivity.
    Period,,,, and leave it at that. Absolutely no reason to add the reasons you suspect

    1. Delphine*

      Based on other comments, the company OP and Bella work at is Bella’s second job and she mislead people during the interview to get that second job. I’d say that makes it essential for OP to share that Bella is still working at her previous company, unfortunately.

    2. Observer*

      What employees do that has the potential to affect their job IS the OP’s business – they are in HR.

      And it’s also necessary for the OP to provide this background so that their boss understands that this is not an issue of giving Bella some time to improve and trying to accommodate possibly legitimate scheduling issues.

  30. Hiring Mgr*

    This may be an irrelevant comment, but my thought was that if Alice is as great a boss as OP says and Bella and OP are the only ones doing this job, surely Alice knows something’s off already? (Otherwise can i question the great boss claim?)

    If Bella is underperforming as described, how can Alice be unaware? Doesn’t change any advice, just that I don’t think you’ll be dropping some big revelation

    1. umami*

      I was thinking that, too. It’s always an iffy prospect to discuss someone’s performance with their supervisor just based on your own observations, you really should have something very concrete to share that is impacting you and your work directly. An effective manager does not need or want a direct report to de facto manage other direct reports.

      This issue is somewhat different, though, in that OP has clarified that Bella appears to be working 2 jobs during the same work hours and did not disclose the other job on her application. That issue is separate from any actual performance issue and needs to be brought up for verification.

  31. Northland*

    Even if it were outside hours, if she wasn’t getting her work done – like an important PowerPoint presentation her boss specifically came to the office for – then that’s a problem. Even if she was so tired from working her second job at a call center late into the night. (And there may be a really good reason for this, like her partner wracked up tons of cc debt after a mental breakdown and she is trying to pay it off.) It still could be a problem.

    1. Pugetkayak*

      I’m late to the party but sad no one caught on to this response… should have added “partner who dumped all their money into a homemade candle business”

  32. Fez Knots*

    Maybe Bella needs the money?

    I work full-time, but post-pandemic my agency and many of my coworker’s agencies can’t afford to pay employees what they’re worth or have budgets still affected by pandemic closures. I know a lot of friends and associates who stack freelance or contract roles on top of full-time work because they literally have to. My current role doesn’t pay me enough to ONLY EVER work for them.

    I get that Bella’ performance is being affected, but based on my own lived experience, I think people work more than one job because they need the added income or they’re trying to go out on their own to work a schedule or for a wage that better fits their life. Not because they’re trying to be sneaky or dupe anyone.

    If the OP’s work is being impacted so much it’s worth bringing up, then so be it. But I wouldn’t say anything to preserve a relationship with a manager, no matter how good they are and I would encourage compassion rather than a gotcha! attitude.

    1. starfox*

      I have two jobs and I’m potentially about to pick up a third. That said, my “day job” comes first. My coworkers should not have to pick up my slack or work overtime to meet with me because I’m prioritizing my side hustle. LW has also clarified in a comment that Bella is working two full-time, 8-to-5 jobs and lied about it.

      You can have compassion for someone and also have a backbone.

    2. Jennifer Strange*

      If she needs money surely there are jobs she can work that would be outside of the hours for this job? And if she wasn’t trying to be sneaky or dupe anyone, why block the OP from being her LinkedIn once she realized OP had seen it? I don’t see how mentioning what could be a conflict of interest for the organization (especially when the person mentioning it is HR!) is a “gotcha attitude”?

    3. Observer*

      Maybe Bella needs the money?

      So? That doesn’t make it OK. I’m not saying that Bella is a monster that must be destroyed. But she is doing something that is a legitimate issue for her employer. And it is NOT the OP’s job to protect Bella from the consequences of it. On the other hand, it IS their job to let their employer know when a coworker can’t perform appropriately and, as part of HR, when an employee is doing things that are not appropriate to the job.

  33. Wot, no sugar?*

    I don’t have enough evidence that Bella’s second job is truly negatively affecting the OP’s work; I’d need to know more before I’d jump on the snitch bandwagon. I’ve have often had second jobs simply because I needed the money, and I’d be pissed if a colleague crept around social media, then went behind my back and squealed. Why so eager to add her as a LinkedIn contact if she so disrespected her work ethic? Sounds to me like the OP is taking too much for granted just because Bella has a second job. MYOB, I say.

    1. Jennifer Strange*

      The OP has said it’s affecting their work, and we are asked to take them at their word. Also, it’s not “snitching” or “squealing”, it’s informing one’s boss of a potential issue, which, as HR, the OP is especially supposed to do. If Bella needs a second job she can get one that won’t interfere with the hours of this one.

  34. silly little public health worker*


    I’ve been The Supervisor in a similar scenario and it *suuuucked.* the employee in question did eventually tell me that she had 2 jobs running in the same time frame (M-F, 9-5) when confronted about a VERY important and VERY simple deliverable she was failing to meet, but my particular job makes it VERY hard to fire or even discipline staff. the piece of information about the second job did in fact violate our employee handbook and made it possible to exercise literally any consequences around her actions.

    when you tell your boss (and you really should) you should include how it is affecting your work in ways that are unavoidable to you. like, your boss probably doesn’t realize the extent of the problem where she’s only scheduling meetings in 2 hrs/day, because your boss doesn’t need her for much more than that. but maybe you do, because you need her for candidate interviews, and a 2hr window is really restrictive. you don’t necessarily need to present it when you talk to your boss, but if you have documentation of this (i.e. a series of emails that say “sorry, i can only meet 2-4!”) it’s helpful for your boss if they need to bring anything over your head.

    ultimately, even if the LinkedIn profile is Gone Forever, the fact that her availability is so restrictive and it’s not only affecting her work product but yours as well is enough reason to talk to your boss about it. like, there’s Heroics you could go through to reconstruct the LinkedIn profile (or you can just try off a friend’s computer to access it or something if it’s not gone), but ultimately the work product problem won’t change. she’s an underperforming employee, and if you as a team are performing well as a unit, your boss might not know the mechanics behind the successful performance (i.e. that you’re doing All the Things).

    good luck, and once again, uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuugh.

    1. silly little public health worker*

      to be clear – i wouldn’t take this stance if it was a second job that didn’t affect the time she had to be at work, or if the work you share could be done at any time and it didn’t matter that that she was unavailable during posted work hours but things were happening as needed. but it sounds like that’s not what’s happening, that the work hours do in fact conflict, and that you do in fact need her to be working at the same time that you are, and that All This is affecting your ability to produce good results in a reasonable work environment.

  35. Ben Marcus Consulting*

    Based on the comments, it sounds like LW is gunning after Bella’s job over what appears to be a MLM gig? Isn’t enough that Bella is proactively keeping it out of the workplace?

    1. Jennifer Strange*

      If she’s doing work for it while she’s supposed to be working for the OP’s company then she’s not “proactively keeping it out of the workplace”.

    2. Jora Malli*

      A lot of people heard Sales and jumped to MLM, but that’s not the only kind of sales job that an employee would actively promote on LinkedIn. OP says in the comments that Bella’s other job is a 9-5 job, and we’re meant to take them at their word.

    3. starfox*

      Where’d you get the impression that it’s an MLM? There’s no evidence for that, and LW clarified in a comment that she’s working two 8-5 jobs at the same time, so not an MLM at all.

    4. OP*

      This is professional sales not MLM. Honestly I don’t care if people work multiple jobs, it’s just that it’s making it harder to do mine. I will be speaking to my boss, my concern about the performance will be the focal point. I don’t even want her to get fired or anything. Just focus on the job we were hired to do.

    5. New Jack Karyn*

      She’s not keeping it out of the workplace. Bella’s low performance and self-imposed limited availability are affecting OP’s work.

  36. Jessica Fletcher*

    I just watched the Twilight movies for the first time, and I’m delighted to see Bella and Alice here! I always wonder if LWs choose names based on the coworker’s personality matching the character.

    1. quill*

      I missed this 100%.

      But if that’s the case, OP doesn’t need to tell Alice, because she already had a vision about it. ;)

    2. NotRealAnonForThis*

      Obviously the solution should be that Edward should just change Bella already so she won’t have to sleep and thus will have time to work the two jobs. (I fully realize that this is not a realistic solution, just playing on how the vampires in this world occupy themselves!)

  37. Great*

    OP, from hard-won experience, I would keep your mouth firmly shut on the second job. Tell your boss about how your work is being impacted, sure. But don’t go blabbing about other people’s business.

    1. Moira Rose*

      And if there are legal troubles later and it comes out that OP knew? Naw, man. Scroll up to see how the lawyers feel about this (not good!)

  38. Frustrated worker*

    If you haven’t already, ask Bella about it first. Before you put it on your manager’s plate or go get screenshots or whatever, tell Bella how it’s affecting you at work, the fact that she can only meet at very limited times, and ask her what’s going on. If she is doing something wrong you can always ask if she knows it’s not ok. That way if you still need to take it to your boss you have a more complete picture thereby saving time, hurt feelings and potential misunderstandings.

    1. itemss*

      I think this might backfire in this particular case but it’s a good strategy in general.

  39. PhillyMiss*

    Here’s what I gleaned from the original post and OP’s responses to other comments
    Bella didn’t quit her job. The sales/hr job with OP is her side job. The problem is they are both full time roles. From where I sit Bella is stealing time from both employers

  40. Zils*

    Why does it matter if Bella has a second job? Is she working for competitor? Is there actual evidence that its affecting her performance, or just OPs (who, incidentally, is NOT Bella’s supervisor) belief that it is? Side hustles are generally not something a company can force an employee out of, unless there are specific guidelines already in place, something someone in HR should know. Since OP didn’t mention this, I’m guessing Bella isn’t actually violating any rules, and they really should just mind their own business.

    1. Jennifer Strange*

      It matters if Bella is working another job while on company time for the job at OP’s company. The OP says it is affecting her work and we’re asked to take them at their word. Also, Bella is clearly violating rules if she hid the LinkedIn profile once OP saw it. Side hustles are fine, but they can’t be on company time and have to be within the rules set by the company.

  41. itemss*

    I can’t get over how clueless Bella is being. I had heard of software engineers quietly doing two remote jobs during the pandemic but I assume they took precautions to keep things under wraps. And the best way to do that is to actually do both jobs well.

  42. In the bathroom*

    The fact that she is working a second job really isn’t the point here. Plenty of people have side-hustles or after-hours jobs, it’s a bit of a red herring, as you don’t know she is working full-time, during the same hours etc. etc.

    When you broach this with your boss, perhaps focus on the fact that her availability is limited to 2 hours per day, one hour being after your work time, and that this is impacting your work, along with her overall poor performance.

  43. From the bathroom*

    The fact that she is working a second job really isn’t the point here. Plenty of people have side-hustles or after-hours jobs, it’s a bit of a red herring, as you don’t know she is working full-time, during the same hours etc. etc.

    When you broach this with your boss, perhaps focus on the fact that her availability is limited to 2 hours per day, one hour being after your work time, and that this is impacting your work, along with her overall poor performance.

  44. BeenThereDoneThat*

    I’m late to the party here, but was recently in a similar situation where a new coworker I was training, “Joffrey,” was doing poor work, had a lousy attitude, and was unresponsive on Slack and other channels for long stretches of time without explanation. The poor work issue fell to me to deal with as his trainer, and I pulled him up on LinkedIn (because it was slightly faster than finding his resume) to refresh myself on his background before speaking with him.

    Joffrey’s LinkedIn profile suggested (among other things), that we were his side hustle and that he had lied on a variety of topics during the interview process. I was thinking about how to deal with this new information when our mutual boss, “Ned,” asked for my take on Joffrey’s performance issues. We discussed those, and I raised the LinkedIn profile as something I didn’t have full context on, but might warrant further investigation.

    Ned discussed with his boss and HR – the consensus was that the profile was likely real and Joffrey was dishonestly and poorly working multiple jobs while he was supposed to be on the clock for us. But, we did not have the time and resources to formally confirm this, so Joffrey was instead managed out on the performance issues alone.

    I suspect that very few commenters have actual experience in a situation like this. Based on the above and some other details I haven’t included here, I’m certain that Joffrey was acting maliciously and causing real harm to our company. So the comments to the OP along the lines of “mind your business” don’t sit well with me – in my case, this was made my business, and I relayed the LinkedIn information to my boss in a neutral, factual manner so that the higher-ups could draw their own conclusions. Which they did, and acted on in a way that I believe was correct. If the OP didn’t have confidence in Alice’s ability to manage the situation, I might have more sympathy for the argument to withhold this information, but the trust is there.

    OP – you are not a snitch. Do what you need to do.

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