Lazy layabout at work is driving me absolutely mad

I am in my 40s and I have a very good job. I have been in my industry for many, many years.

I am in my 40s and I have a very good job. I have been in my industry for many, many years.

I started a new job two years ago and I love the company and people I work with. Our offices are very pleasant, the pay is excellent and most of my colleagues are wonderful.

The problem is one guy. He is the laziest person I have ever met. He is the first to leave, takes a lunch hour that is always 10 or 15 minutes longer and is constantly "just running to the loo".

He sometimes gets through the day without doing a thing other than surfing the Net and playing on Facebook.

The bosses are aware of it, but have done nothing about it. We have complained many times, but they just turn a blind eye.

I am very easygoing and am popular because I never complain, and make my colleagues laugh. But this guy is stretching my patience and good nature to the limits. I don't want to lose my temper and say bitchy stuff to him.

Is there some other way of dealing with this lazy layabout?

Uptight, Johannesburg

The first thing to do is find out whether this man's laziness upsets your colleagues as much as it does you. Then ask them to back you up in a meeting with your bosses.

In the meeting, tell the bosses how the guy arrives late and leaves early, and all the other things that niggle you, and tell them to do something about it. Tell them it is time for warnings and threats of disciplinary action. Point out that they are paying him to surf the Net and fiddle with Facebook.

Ask them if condoning his laziness is an indication that all of you are entitled to do as little as he does?

If they still don't do anything, then all of you should approach lazybones and tell him that his life is going to become very unpleasant if he doesn't start working. Tell him he is unpopular and will become more of a leper if he doesn't start doing what he is paid to do. If he still doesn't pull up his socks, ignore him and treat him with the contempt he deserves.

Place the weekly job sections of newspapers on his desk as a big hint that it is time for him to leave.