Post # 1
So I have this co-worker. Let’s call her Sally.
We are both contract employees for a large firm. She was hired about two months after me when the firm realized we needed more help.
We have a very fast-paced, paper heavy job. Not only is it faced-paced but we often face impossible deadlines. It’s very stressful and we’re constantly working on two or three projects at one.
Now, there are three of us. There’s me, a girl who has been here for about 4 years, and Sally.
Sally does NOTHING. She arrives about 45 minutes late every day. Leaves 30 minutes early. Takes a total of 2 hours in breaks throughout the day and often sleeps in her office. She also walks around and bothers people in the office all day. When she first started working she visited my office at least 4x a day and talked to me for at least 20 minutes each time. I eventually had to tell her that I was too busy for that.
When given a project, she rarely finishes it and we’re left to pick up her slack. She oftens plays the “know it all” since she has been doing this for about 15 years longer than us, but she often makes more work for us by coming up with these “grand ideas” that our bosses love in meetings. Little do they know, she’s not doing any work and is leaving it all on us.
I often have to work overtime (8am -9pm, and a lot of Saturdays and Sundays – and I already work 7 days a week) because I’m finishing her work load. When I approach her and ask her what she’s been working on, she literally makes up projects that I find out later had never been assigned to her. She creates work for herself so she doesn’t have to do the task at hand and leaves it to myself and the other girl.
The worst part about this all is that she lies on her time sheet. She weekly clocks overtime hours when we know she’s not doing any work. Although she arrives late and leaves early every day, she never accounts for that. She often comes out at the end of the week with more hours than me and I’ve produced 20x as much work product and been in the office for at least 5 hours more during the week.
Me and my other co-worker do not know what to do. We don’t think it’s appropriate to go to our bosses. How would we bring it up without sounding like tattle tales? It’s to the point that I’m getting very angry about the situation and am starting to get a major attitude with her which she has picked up on (mentioned it to another co-worker). I just can’t stand the laziness and dishonesty. It’s not fair to us hardworking employees or the company itself.
Post # 3
- Wedding: June 2010 - parent's backyard
How long has she been getting away with it? Honestly, I would stay out of it. Your higher-ups should take notice eventually. If you rat her out, then it’s possible you’ll be seen as a whiner.
The only thing I can think of is maybe going to your manager to talk about your overtime. That might prompt him/her to take notice of your co-worker’s slack.
I know it sucks, but that’s how it goes.
Post # 4
@nerdybird: Our bosses don’t work in our office since we’re contract, so they’ll never notice it. She’s been working in the office for 5 months.
Post # 5
I would approach it from the position of, “It’s making it more difficult for me to accomplish my work and I don’t want the company to suffer because I’m overloaded.” Make sure you have specific instances in case they ask, but don’t bring them up unless they do ask.
Post # 6
You have two options.
1) Collect evidence against her and take this to your boss (i.e be a “tattle tale” and risk being seen as a whiner).
2) Suck it up. If you do this, you will become more resentful and angry, and eventually all of your co-workers will pick up on this and most likely see you as the problem for being the “angry worker”. Remember most workers have a higher tolerance for slackers with happy personalities than they do for angry co-workers who are actually productive.
So basically, DO SOMETHING CONSTRUCTIVE or DO NOTHING
Post # 7
Is there an actual manager who assigns tasks? I’m wondering why that person hasn’t noticed that Sally doesn’t do the tasks assigned to her. Also, is there a reason you’re finishing her workload? I can’t be sure but it sounds like you’re covering for her instead of allowing her to fail.
Post # 8
I had a similiar situation way back in the day, but at a non-career job and was really nervous how to approach it. I did just what was suggested; created a brief list of specific incidents in which my boss was not doing his job and it fell on me and noted the lack of fairness in the work place. Boss was fired a week later, after the board members went into the office a few days, asked around and found what I said to be true.
Think from a bosses perspective what would be the worst part to mention to them- probably lying on time sheets and taking credit for other’s work.
Post # 9
@geekspice: Per @nerdybird: Our bosses don’t work in our office since we’re contract, so they’ll never notice it.
She also mentions they work on a team, so if OP doesn’t do the slackers work a project wouldn’t get done- which would fall on the entire team.
Post # 10
@AnonBeeLee: document everything! You and your coworker should document her behavior.
Post # 11
I work with a similar person. She sits and does nothing all day while the rest of us work our butts off. She sits at her desk all day online. One day she was on the phone for 2 hours disputing a 9 cent charge on her credit card! Literally! We’re all doing overtime and she claims it as well, but hardly gets ANYthing done for the hours she claims. So many people have complained about her, but she has been working there for 30 years and her and our boss kind of grew up together – used to go out to bars together, parties, etc. He does call her into the office, but nothing ever changes. We’re federal employees and as such it is almost impossible to get fired
Post # 12
@aliciapdx: I got that part, but regardless of whether they’re in her office, it seems odd that there isn’t someone remotely managing and assigning them tasks and projects, keeping track of who’s working on what. I’ve managed a lot of teams and if there’s no leader, it quickly devolves into chaos.
Post # 13
@geekspice: There is an actual manager, but we work in a building of about 800 people and there are about 150 on my floor alone. He is on the other side of the building and I maybe see him two times a week at most. All of our assignments are done through e-mail.
I’m also not technically “finishing her workload”. I think the best way to describe it is with this hypothetical situation:
The three of us sit around a table and in the middle of the table is 1,000 documents to review. We each grab one at a time and once we are done we put it in a communal “completed file”. Sally takes about one page a day, while we take about 100 each a day. There’s always a deadline and the deadline is never negotiable. This is the legal field so there’s no if’s, and’s and but’s if something doesn’t get completed in time.
So you can kind of see that we’re not technically finishing her workload. She’s just choosing not to help at all. It also makes it hard to document seeing as there’s always one task that three of us are working on and we can’t really prove what we’ve done vs. what she’s done.
I suppose it’s hard to explain without saying what I do exactly but I don’t want to risk my job by putting that out there. Hopefully that makes more sense.
Post # 15
- Wedding: June 2010 - parent's backyard
LOL, I have no idea what law firms are like, so I don’t know if these tactics would even work:
1. a slow, sneaky way: if you all contribute to a “pile” of work, what if you suggested signing your name on each finished task, and each have your own separate folder to keep them in? You could frame it as “just in case one of us makes a mistake, you know who is is accountable“. or something like that.
2. If you work for a place that has billable hours, do you keep detailed time tracking sheets? do they just all get lumped together between the three of you? Maybe you could figure out a way to suggest that separating them would be a good idea for the company.
3. Do you get paid extra for overtime? of course money loss for the company is always a major motivator. you could lead with that. Only then if they ask why you think you have to log overtime, you could bring up your co-worker.
Post # 16
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
If she is lying on her hours, especially overtime hours, the company can get in big trouble. I would find a polite way to let them know that she is being less than honest about her hours. Maybe film her in the workplace. Make sure the third person is on your side solidly before getting management involved.