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Slacking co-worker

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Question: During certain times of the year, one of my co-workers is supposed to take over the responsibilities of my normal job a couple days a week because I’m working in a different department. This co-worker doesn't seem to care to do that, however, leaving either our boss to pick up the slack or me to continue with my duties on top of my assumed duties.

Well, it’s that time of the year again and my boss has said that she will pick up the slack. “No,” I told her. “It’s not your job.”

I have not directly said anything to my co-worker but did remind everyone it was that time of year. Having to do these jobs on top of my other tasks can be hectic, and some of my everyday duties are put off until the next day, which directly affects other co-workers.

We have always had trouble getting the president to act on any issues with this co-worker, so I don’t know what to do.  Should I ask my boss to remind my co-worker of the change in responsibilities? Should I go to my co-worker myself? Or should I do nothing and let it fall on my boss, since she chooses not to say anything to this person?  -- Anonymous


Sounds like the decision is already made. If the boss said she will take care of it, then, make sure she has all the information she needs to accomplish the task.
Kudos to you on your willingness to find a solution for this one.

I agree with the above statement, BUT....(and there is always one..) If this was a job duty that this person KNOWS she is suppose to do, to be a team player, why is everyone willing to do it for her??

Debbie is right on this one if that duty is in her job description. If this person does not have a copy of her job description, she should be provided with one and it should be reviewed less than once a year at a performance review. If she is not meeting the requirements of the position, then corrective action either needs to be made or her job duties changed.

I think that this boss thinks it would just be easier to do it herself...I say let her do it and she will realize what the task actually involves and how much time it will set her back...and maybe then she will be prompted to deal with the employee - If she still chooses not to act on the situation, then this boss will have set a precedence for the future.

Well, I suppose, but if you have a "boss" that is will to take on other's tasks and do them herself. What kind of boss is that?

The boss is a real team player. Maybe the co-worker is not capable to doing the job the correct way and the boss knows it. Maybe the boss is trying to save you the hassle of doing it all when you get done with your other duties. Maybe you and the boss can work together to get this done. What happens to your co-workers responsibilities while she is doing you job?

Could you not speak to your co-worker's supervisor and ask that this person be instructed to take over your responsibilities? Maybe express to him/her the difficulties you've had getting her to do as she knows is her obiligation?

If it is known that she is supposed to take over your responsibilities, let what she supposed to do go undone. That will get somebody's attention -- as long as someone else takes up the slack and enables her to continue shirking this responsibility, she will continue to do so.

Wait a minute! Everyone has addressed the situation of this girls job going undone if someone doesn't do it while she's on another assignment, and that it is important it gets done. How about the person expected to do it. How important are her responsibilities. Also, maybe she doesn't feel competent in handling the other persons. I think what should be done is that the person going to another assignment for the day or whatever time period should approach the other person that is supposed to be responsible for taking over and ask her if she understands everything she's supposed to do while she's gone. It can be done in a very nice manner, offering assistance and at the same time letting her know that it is her responsibility...

I guess I would have to ask a couple of questions here. How long has the 'switching departments' been going on? Is the company short-handed? Why will the President of the company not address ANY issues with THIS co-worker?? How large is this company? Sounds to me like there is a lot of 'moving/switching to cover other departments, is this not something that a Temp. can be hired to do for whatever the period of time is?

If your boss isn't willing to take a stand and speak to this co-worker then let her do the work. I've worked for people who were afraid to "manage" people. Who knows how they got into management. I don't think saying something to your co-worker is a good idea, you've already taken this issue to your boss. Once management is aware of something its their responsibility to "manage" it. If you fear having to come back to your position and play catch up then maybe you should suggest to management that a temp be hired. If your boss is willing to do it I say let her do it. Sometimes it helps if management can experience the problem first hand.

I agree with ldunkerley. If people continue to cover for the worker, including the boss, then it is not a problem I would take on or get stressed about. It is not our responsibility to take on the efforts of managing other co-workers for our bosses.

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