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Work It Out

Dealing with deadbeat employees

This story appears in the March 1999 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine.

After interviewing about a thousand applicants who looked and acted like business-school rejects, you finally found an assistant with the necessary qualifications. But you're realizing she's not quite as career-minded as you thought. She shows up late almost every day and makes hour-long calls to her boyfriend every time you turn your back. When you confront her, she grins and asks if she can take a vacation next month. Welcome to Boss Land.

What's the best way to deal with Ms. Broken Alarm? Before you fire her and start from scratch with someone new (who may end up making your vacation queen look like Employee of the Year), try to work with what you have, using motivation as a tool.

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