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Deadline junkies - work rant

(21 Posts)
Lorelei76 Tue 20-Sep-16 15:26:59

okay, I might live to regret posting this on AIBU

here's the short version first - why do my team want to leave everything till the last possible minute of a deadline?!! I am the most junior by the way. They are lovely people but they seem to require 5 pints of coffee and deadline half an hour away in order to do anything.

Long version - project deadline on Friday with various meetings taking up about 5 hours tomorrow and Thursday (for all team members). Working at this place a few years, so tbh there are always issues with this, people seem to enjoy doing naff all till near the deadline.

however, last time was a bit of a disaster - I thought anyway! - because cutbacks have meant that five of us all had our own printers and we had 2 photocopiers. We now have 1 photocopier that also does the printing, just for 5 of us.

no one seemed to factor this is in on the last project so I gently reminded them and tried to plan the use of it. No joy.

Ended up with who team bar me staying till 9pm on Friday night to be sure everything was ready for clients on Monday AM. I had told them from the start that I was away for the weekend and leaving that night - they had no problem with me going but I was just annoyed because my day on the Friday was 100x worse than it needed to be and I spent Mon-Thurs twiddling my thumbs because they hadn't passed stuff to me in spite of being asked 100 x.

I mentioned this to my boss at the time and she looked bemused and said "but we didn't mind you going when you said you were" and I said "yes, I know but I did find it a horribly stressful day as well". She said "oh, sorry, next time don't worry so much, you can only do what you can do".

This time around - same thing happening. We have a Friday 2pm deadline in fact. I go around asking "Is xyz ready for me yet?" I am greeted with blank faces. "no, nothing can be done till Friday".

I ask again. I get "oh could do x".

So i managed to do something today but then one of that dozy group came to me later and said "Can I ask you to do this please?"

From looking at the pile of papers in her hand, I could see it was another project, not the one that's due this Friday. She had already started to explain what needed doing so I said "sorry to interrupt, but when is that due?"

she replied "don't interrupt me, this is really complicated to explain" and proceeded to spend 15 mins explaining to me what needed doing. I waited for her to finish. I then said "when does this need doing please?" and she said "oh not till mid Feb". (it's about 20 hours work).

I was really hanging on to the last of my politeness and said "er, I'm not constantly popping by asking about the current deadline because I am looking for things to do. What I am trying to do is make sure we don't have a repeat of last time when you ended up staying till 9pm, remember?"

She looked thoughtful and went "oh yeah! I remember now. But it's not like I have a social life or anything. So you don't want to do this now?"

I said "er, there is no need to do it now, but are you absolutely sure there's nothing that can be done now for Friday's deadline?"

Her "no".

five minutes later - my email pings, it's her saying "Actually this needs's only about 2 hours of work though...why don't you just leave it till Friday?"

I replied saying "you haven't forgotten we've got all these meetings have you haven't got as much time as you maybe think?"

She then came into my office and said "boy I'm glad you said that, I HAD forgotten".

FFS. I am the most junior person there. AIBU to expect a bit more planning ability from more senior colleagues?

(for the record, I am now on a break and I have told my boss again that I'm wondering why everyone is being a sloth but she just laughed and said don't try to squeeze 2 mornings work into one morning on Friday, let the others stress over it).

I will be back to read replies, just not sure when as working till 8.

thanks for listening!

winkywinkybumbum Tue 20-Sep-16 15:29:33

That sounds very frustrating and I'd be so annoyed. You have my sympathies.

Lorelei76 Tue 20-Sep-16 15:36:39

thanks winky
while I'm still on my break, I have seen Ms Dozy watching TV on her computer a couple of times - she works in a different room than me and the boss and she sits with her back against a window, facing outwards to the door, so no one can see her screen for her to get caught.

also the February task is just a massively boring one, I think she thought I was bored and needed stuff to do and thought she could fob it off on to me. Really I'm just trying to be sure that Friday morning isn't a case of raised blood pressure because it so doesn't need to be.

Carrotpuree Tue 20-Sep-16 15:38:19

I think you need to find something else to fill your time than checking up on your colleagues and advising your boss they are all sloths. It sounds to me like they all have other work to compete ahead of the one project deadline you share and your boss trusts them to all to reach it by Monday, working as late as they need to. No-one is asking you to stay late or take on additional work. I suggest you focus on ensuring all your work is done on time instead of on others. And perhaps update your cv before your boss tires of you telling her how to manage a dept.

user1471443066 Tue 20-Sep-16 15:46:54

I can understand your frustration, but you lost my sympathy when you started describing what a co-worker was doing and position of monitors etc. Way too nosey neighbour, twitchy net curtain vibe. Stop being overly invested in how other people work when it doesn't directly impact you.

Only be invested in the team dynamics when it 100% impacts on you.

By the ay I doss a lot in manager and other senior people know....they don't care because my work product/output is ultimately good and exceeds their requirements. I cannot stand people trying to micro-manage or project manage me when it is not their place to do so.

Runningupthathill82 Tue 20-Sep-16 15:47:09

Exactly what carrot said.
I work in a deadline-driven job and if a junior member of staff started constantly trying to manage me, checking up on me and moaning about how me and my colleagues manage our work, I would not be impressed.
You are also doing yourself no favours with management. Let other people do their jobs, you do yours. You've been told you "can only do what you can do", so stop stressing and leave the team to it.

facepalming Tue 20-Sep-16 15:55:35

Aw someone who has managed at a senior level I can tell you that if you are being told ' don't worry you can only do what you can do' then the deadlines you are worried an are not as important as you are perceiving them to be.

this is further supported by the fact that your colleagues are not worried either.

It's a bit odd you assume all of your more senior colleagues are less capable / committed / organised than you rather than assume they may have more information and experience than you and be prioritising appropriately

LotsOfShoes Tue 20-Sep-16 15:56:25

Sorry but I think you were very rude and that was a totally inappropriate thing to say, especially by the most junior person in the team. It's not your job to manage everyone. We have all had experiences working for someone we thought was incompetent. But your way of handling it was not the best. Suck it up and stop stressing. Raise concerns quietly and formally during your review or earlier if you have to. Don't go around calling people lazy and certainly don't manage them. If you can't do that, then this might not be the job for you and you need to look for another one.

user1471443066 Tue 20-Sep-16 16:03:59

Be a productivity orientated, low maintenance employee (keep your head down and get your task done without pissing everyone else off).

Lorelei76 Tue 20-Sep-16 16:15:49

sorry I should clarify - I didn't say to my boss "why is everyone being a sloth" - I was just having a rant when I posted this.

My actual words were "Tom/Jane/Lucy haven't given me the xyz to do yet and I'm a bit worried about the deadline".

I do know they are not overwhelmed because when I go in and ask "Is xyz ready yet" they will say "no but I'm just watching Fleabag on catch up" or "come and look at these shoes, Im not sure whether to buy them or not".

I don't mind them doing that in the slightest when it doesn't impact on my timings. They can shoot up if they want. I just would prefer not to squeeze 10 hours work into 5 that's all.

RawPrawn Tue 20-Sep-16 16:28:17

Jeez. Chill out. It's only work. None of it actually matters.

PeachBellini123 Tue 20-Sep-16 16:44:41

OP is this a new job? You sound very eager (over eager?) and keen to impress. Which is fine but you also sound inexperienced. I think as others have said you need to chill a bit and worry less.

witsender Tue 20-Sep-16 16:56:36

I think you need to rein it in, and not overstep the mark. Presumably the people you are complaining about know what they are doing and have more experience than you?

littleprincesssara Tue 20-Sep-16 17:04:03

Maybe the others are just lazy irresponsible buggers?

It's pretty horrific to be expected to stay till late at night (even if they did let her leave "early" one time) and be subject to extreme stress and a mountain of last minute work because your co-workers spend their working hours watching the telly!

PigletWasPoohsFriend Tue 20-Sep-16 17:13:20

Be a productivity orientated, low maintenance employee (keep your head down and get your task done without pissing everyone else off).

^ this

Or are you seriously trying to piss everyone off.

You're job isn't to manage them. You need to back off.

I agree with pp in that if you are being told 'you can only do what you can do' then the deadline isn't nearly as important as you are making out.

SnakesandKnives Tue 20-Sep-16 17:22:29

Sounds like a mismatch of expectations of what work means between you and them. Frankly I'd love to employ you!

I don't agree with most other posters on here. I don't think she is sticking her nose into things which aren't her problem - she is trying to get projects done which she is involved and has associated responsibility for. I sure the deadlines aren't totally arbitrary, so whilst others may not care as much (experience maybe), it can be incredibly demotivating when you want to do things as well as possible.

This isn't an caring whether people watch YouTube and shop at work - it's them seeming to care first about delivery a great project....and being good enough they can fit in the shopping and Facebook as well.

Lorelei76 Tue 20-Sep-16 21:26:53

thanks for all the replies. I'm going to give a quick update first as something happened this afternoon.

It kicked off a bit after I posted. Short version is, boss checked up on a few things after a complaint from another team member (who has been given far more than she can do by Friday even if she stays very late) and it is now clear to her that the Tom/Jane/Lucy trio mentioned in my previous reply are not managing their time at all.

Also a director came to check on progress and wasn't impressed with how much there was left to do. Normally he doesn't ask for details but today he wasn't happy with my boss's stock answer of "it's all under control and will be done by deadline" and actually sat with us with a tick list to see what was done. Typing this out, I guess it's trickle down laziness from the top that got us here.

to answer questions - no it's not a new job, been there ages, I suppose I've just lost my tolerance for them doing this. In fact I think they've got worse over the years, I don't remember them being this bad at the start.

these deadlines, they are real, yes. I think the reason my boss has been so casual recently is she is counting the days to retirement and just crawling towards that light at the end of the tunnel. it's partly why I didn't raise it with her because I can see she is struggling. I think at this point if her boss told her to go, she'd almost be relieved? And of course she doesn't have to worry about references now!

littleprincess - you're right about them stuffing in far too much work into too little time so they can watch TV in peace. So a report that would say, take 2 hours to do, they will give me the data at the last minute with no thought of how long the report will take - and come in 30 minutes later and say "haven't you done it yet?"

The poster who said about doing the TV AND the work - yes, exactly - I don't mind anyone doing that at work if they actually get their work done- but I do mind when it stuffs up the schedule overall - and clearly the person who complained feels the same. I'm on MN at work a lot as you will know - but not when someone is waiting for some actual work to be done.

re their years of experience - I'm the most junior but not by much, we're seen as equal by the clients because our titles are the same. A client might employ me in future so I would like the work to look good. I don't "care" about it in the wider sense but I have to earn a living.

If they were flat up against other deadlines I wouldn't mind - but they aren't, we are all working on the same stuff. The person who complained today - I think we will lose her, she has been very quiet lately so I guess this was bugging her more than it was bugging me. She and I have had a moan about it before and I suppose she thought it was time to do more than moan - so props to her. I've seen so many people being pushed out of places for daring to complain, it wouldn't have occurred to me so yes, good for her.

re chilling out - I'd love to. That's why I would rather do the work gradually and not in a deadline junkie way.

Fingers crossed, we might have reached "peak deadline junkie" now this has come to a head.

RunningLulu Tue 20-Sep-16 22:56:20

Sorry but as a junior colleague you won't have as much of a workload as the more experienced colleague. It's common for trainee analysts in my line of work to have 1 or 2 deadlines a week, while someone at my level has 10-15 and they're nearly always inter-dependant on each other. So it's very usual for me not to be able to complete most of them until the last minute if I don't get the info on time.

Also, because I have more deadlines I tend to work from home and come in early/leave late, basically working a lot of unpaid overtime while junior colleagues are encouraged to leave at 5pm to avoid burnout. So as long as I do my job what should it matter if I take a 2 hour lunchbreak one day or do a bit of online shopping another?

Lorelei76 Wed 21-Sep-16 00:27:32

Running not sure if you read my latest post before posting this but guess not as it's totally different situations you're describing.

I have a feeling tomorrow's going to be interesting....

LockedOutOfMN Wed 21-Sep-16 00:33:33

I empathise as I have been in similar situations to you when I was younger and felt frustrated, but over the years I've learned to Be a productivity orientated, low maintenance employee (keep your head down and get your task done without pissing everyone else off).

Lorelei76 Wed 21-Sep-16 00:44:43

Locked, I do that too, not a fan of making waves, hence not directly complaining as my brave colleague has done.

Like I say, tomorrow will be interesting.

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