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To leave my colleagues to fend for themselves

(29 Posts)
Polarbearflavour Sat 23-Sep-17 08:55:03

I’m the most junior person in my team. But I’m not an office junior or administrator. I am the youngest person and a woman in a male dominated team. My team is very top heavy (they are generally 2 pay bands above me to 5 pay bands above me) and we share our floor with another team who also use the printer but never restock it.

I work for a huge corporation on a massive office site.

It isn’t my job strictly speaking but I’m asked to order stationery and go over to the main admin hub to get paper and more ink toner. Nobody else seems able to do this and if the printer runs out of toner or paper or the confidential waste bags get full and need to be collected by the porters, it just gets left.

AIBU to go on holiday for 2 weeks leaving one ream of paper, all the printers blinking because they are short of toner and the confidential waste bags needing to be collected? Mainly to see if anybody else actually sorts it?

CheshireSplat Sat 23-Sep-17 08:57:39

You've said it isn't your job "strictly speaking". Does that mean it isn't your job but you've been doing it? If that's the case you should definitely do that! And then report back in two weeks.

If it has become your job I'd tread more carefully...

ForgivenessIsDivine Sat 23-Sep-17 08:58:56

Absolutely not unreasonable at all!!! You could leave some laminated instructions stuck to each item..

LindyHemming Sat 23-Sep-17 09:00:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

YouTheCat Sat 23-Sep-17 09:02:05

I wouldn't even leave them a ream of paper.

TashieWoo Sat 23-Sep-17 09:13:25

Sometimes I find myself in a similar position at work but I don't let it bother me, just get whatever menial task it is out of the way (usually in about 10 mins) and get on with my real job.

I have to say I think you're being a bit petty, unless your colleagues are genuinely disrespectful in other, more significant ways. If they are all various pay bands above you then you are more junior to them. They were in your position once and had to restock the printer etc, and hopefully you will go up the career ladder in time and be replaced by someone else who will restock the printer.

I don't think you necessarily have to provide for them while you are away, someone else will do it. Just do what you would usually do until you go on leave. Acting in a passive aggressive manner and making it difficult for them is just a bit childish.

coddiwomple Sat 23-Sep-17 09:19:04

AIBU to go on holiday for 2 weeks leaving one ream of paper, all the printers blinking because they are short of toner and the confidential waste bags needing to be collected?


If people assume that it's your job, and it seems that it has become your job, it won't do you any favour for things to go wrong and people comment you didn't do your job before going on holiday.

You work in a huge corporation, so is there no office admin, facility department, or receptionist? Who was responsible for stationary before you started?
YANBU to not want to be in charge of the printer, but you should address it in a professional manner.

Chewbecca Sat 23-Sep-17 09:27:12

Whose job is it?

You need to get the right person nominated and point all future requests to them.

(It might be you that gets nominated as most junior person. In which case you should also ensure someone is covering the task whilst you're away)

specialsubject Sat 23-Sep-17 09:31:10

As you are junior you can't delegate. So go to your manager and ask them who should be instructed to do the job in your absence.

Polarbearflavour Sat 23-Sep-17 09:33:52

Oh well. I should have said that I’ve been offered an internal promotion with 4 weeks notice to my current team. They don’t know that yet. And it will take around 3 months to get a new person in! So they will have to do it for themselves.

There used to be loads of admin staff but they didn’t replace them when they left. They are seeing the error of their ways and running a new recruitment campaign I believe.

It’s not in my objectives to be printer monitor and it’s the kind of place that if it’s not in your objectives you don’t it. I have a very busy day job of my own to do.

A friend works in another team with no admin cell. If something needs doing, one of them does it, even the team leader who is senior management. It never falls to one person.

slightlyglittermaned Sat 23-Sep-17 09:34:13

In a similar situation (most junior, female in team of men paid shit loads more but doing same work hmm ) my lovely boss said "like fuck are you turning her into your secretary you lazy shits!"

YANBU. It's not "paying dues" - the lazy fuckers never fucking did it when they were junior either.

When the next junior comes in, if they are male, they will not do this work.

Timefortea99 Sat 23-Sep-17 09:35:53

Not your concern. They are adults. They will figure out a way.

Coffeeandcherrypie Sat 23-Sep-17 09:36:53

So you're out of that team in 4 weeks?

They will get a rude awakening then.

littlewoollypervert Sat 23-Sep-17 09:37:29

It will piss people off if you do this - including your manager.
If you were my most junior employee and this had become part of your role, what would impress me would be if:
1) you wrote very clear procedures on what needs to be done and how often
2) made sure that everything was disposed of and stocked up before you left
3) ensured the procedures were displayed clearly where your colleagues could see them (or send everyone an email with a hyperlink to a document showing the procedures on a shared drive)
4) either organise someone to substitute for you in your absence (might be difficult though - how good are your team at supporting each other)
if 4 is difficult
5) send on the procedures and a summary of the current position to your manager and let them know that someone will have to do X Y and Z in your absence

My current best employee does this on every task I give her. She's worked for me 2 years - and because she operates like this, I knew she was the best in the team from about 3 months in. I'm currently getting her trained on another team's work (more senior, demanding, and if she moves there, significantly better paid). She will still roll up her sleeves and tidy the stationery if needed - but because I know she brings this work ethic to everything, she gets the interesting work - because I know she will do it well.

Coffeeandcherrypie Sat 23-Sep-17 09:38:42

slightly s/he's not very lovely if they pay you less then the men.

Make your case for equal pay.

littlewoollypervert Sat 23-Sep-17 09:39:55

OK I see you are moving on and have ended up doing this job when it's not in your objectives.

However I would still do the above - you never know when you will need goodwill from your old area/manager - but I'd also let your manager know (in writing) that you have been doing this role for X months even though it is not in your objectives, and they will need someone else to do it from X date.

Don't burn your bridges!

Kualabear Sat 23-Sep-17 09:45:48

Sounds like an issue for your team only, if other teams have people who ' see it, do it' that is how it should be. Where I am, if the chairs/ desks need rearranging when I get to a room, I do it - I am the CEO

EngTech Sat 23-Sep-17 09:48:42

Woolly has it spot on as well

I used to do it in my office but others assumed it magically happened by itself

5rivers7hills Sat 23-Sep-17 09:52:55

i'd also let your manager know (in writing) that you have been doing this role for X months even though it is not in your objectives, and they will need someone else to do it from X date

Oh my god do not write to your manager and say that you have been doing the role of printer bitch and they need to find someone else to do it....that is hilarious

Just go on holiday, then move. Don't draw any attention to the printers. Leave them to it. Someone will figure it out.

slightlyglittermaned Sat 23-Sep-17 09:53:12

@Coffeeandcherrypie Yeah, I should have mentioned that. She did her best to get me onto a decent payscale, to no avail but the process really showed me I was more than capable. In the end we both moved on, and I got a whacking great payrise in the next job.

TBH OP, if you are moving on then it's entirely reasonable to let the rest of the team do this job which is not in your objectives for two weeks. If you get back from holiday and they have had any problems, then they will understand why they now need to find out how to do it before you leave.

flumpybear Sat 23-Sep-17 10:00:10

You've been asked to do this as your job so it would be irresponsible to leave no paper and ignore any broken copiers

I have print champions at work, two per piece of kit - they sort problems, orders etc out between them - it's the other part of their job description that says ,10% of role doing reasonable requests relating to the role'

murmuration Sat 23-Sep-17 10:11:26

Actually, why would you be so nice to them as to let them have a pre-warning about what will happen once you're gone?

If you don't leave things to tick along for those two weeks, what will happen is (1) they'll leave most of it for you when you back, so you'll still have to do it, (2) then be upset with you for your last 2 weeks there, and (3) they'll have their eyes opened and realise that when you're gone for good someone will need to sort it. So you get to pick up a giant mess on your own while still there with people unhappy with you, and then they get the chance to put measures in place so that no giant mess reoccurs.

Alternately, if you leave things to last for two weeks, things will just tick along until about two weeks after you leave for another post and suddenly they'll realise that NOBODY is going to do it and somebody else needs to pick up a giant mess.

AlternativeTentacle Sat 23-Sep-17 10:11:44

Just go on holiday. Do you think they worry about you when they go?

If anything is mentioned say 'if it was that hard surely it would be in someone's main objectives, surely everyone should be able to replace toner and order paper in an office situation? But if you like I will arrange some team training to help you all.'

wrenika Sat 23-Sep-17 10:13:40

Leave them with nothing. I work in a male dominated field, in a male heavy office, and everyone is equally responsible for paper, toner, etc. Whoever lands unlucky on their printer turn has to deal with it!

OverOn Sat 23-Sep-17 10:14:36

As you're moving on, I would leave them to fend for themselves for the two weeks.

If you weren't moving on, I'd say the same actually. For the posters saying you should incorporate it into your role and highlight you've been doing it - I'd be very hmm if someone I was paying a high salary to came to me and said I want to incorporate being printer monitor into my job. I'd be asking why they hadn't brought it up before and found a better way of dealing with it - e.g. seeing if there is someone in the other team who could take responsibility.

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