• June

    29

    2013

Caught Playing during work time

The client- an Auckland business.
The targets- Sales manager David and his sales assistant Lorna.

Staff morale was plummeting and the Singapore based Director was at a loss to explain why until he spoke privately with his most trusted and long serving employee.

It was revealed that David and Lorna were having an affair and it seemed that the entire staff roster were aware of it. David was making life easy for Lorna and she was cruising in her role as a result. On top of that, they often left the office together and returned ‘refreshed’ an hour or two later. Why should the other staff have to carry the load when these individuals were having all the fun?

Sometimes there is a dilemma in business as to when staff activities are acceptable within and without work hours. We all know that when staff morale drops, productivity and profits respond accordingly but when should we butt in on what could be construed as a private matter?

The Director decided that if he could prove that the pair were intimately involved during work hours, he would be in a position to take positive action. In fact, a clause in their employment contracts dictated that they were not allowed to visit their home residence during work hours.

We conducted a surveillance operation to track the activities of David and Lorna over a three day period tailing each of them around appointments and activities for the duration of their work days. For the first couple of days they restricted their meetings to coffees and lunches when they were supposedly at client meetings but the Director was still uncomfortable as it would be easy enough for the pair to explain and excuse their way out of that argument.

On the third day events took a turn. The trysting two deviated completely from the standard routine and traveled to Lorna’s home. Now of course we no longer peek through windows or key holes to prove adultery but with both parties caught on camera emerging from the address after more than an hour; both freshly showered in the early afternoon, it was a fair enough summation.

When presented with the evidence the parties were initially bewildered and wondered why they were under investigation in the first place. They were so tied up in their affair that they had failed to notice the effect on their jobs, their fellow employees and in David’s case his marriage and children.

• Employers and people in general are often afraid to pursue an issue when they are unsure of their footing. This is human nature, hence the need to obtain irrefutable evidence prior to making decisions or playing your hand.

• The Director was correct to bring this to a head and since the issue was dealt with the business has prospered and the organization hums with happy and team-orientated employees again.

Names and some details have been altered for reasons of confidentiality.

Rod Moratti is the principal at Moratti & Associates, Licensed Investigators since 1989. Feel free to contact Rod on 027-6958863 at any time or email

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