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re colleague promoted beyond her capabilities

(25 Posts)
user1485342611 Fri 10-Nov-17 11:45:19

It has happened recently with someone in here. Her tactic is to insist that various things are 'not part of my job' and to palm them off on someone else, in a very demanding and arrogant way. If people object or complain she goes whinging to the Head of Dept (who she is well in with and who was mainly responsible for her promotion) and stamping her foot and he then starts making statements about how 'Sarah is very busy. She can't be expected to cope alone. People must be more supportive and helpful'.

We are supportive and helpful of each other, because we ask each other nicely and with respect. But someone trying to dump their work on other people (including staff paid less than them) while walking around with an arrogant air is a bit much.

AWBU to start digging our heels in and refusing to cover her lack of ability?

whoareyoukidding Fri 10-Nov-17 11:48:49

Is your job description quite vague? I don't know what I would do, OP, but is there some way of asking for clarification of job roles? At least you would have a clearer idea of what your duties are and aren't. Or what about union advice? Are you in a union or could you all join one?

SpongeBobJudgeyPants Fri 10-Nov-17 11:50:15

Do you know it's lack of ability rather than CBA? Also, have you tactfully suggested to Head of D that her manner is a little unfortunate? Or would that just go down badly? Though I suppose if the main issue is the work, you would only have solved part of the problem. Did previous person who was in Foot-Stamp Colleague's role get all the work done without delegating?

Awwlookatmybabyspider Fri 10-Nov-17 11:54:00

I wonder if it's a case of it doesn't suck itself.
If you get my meaningwink

user1485342611 Fri 10-Nov-17 11:54:08

My job description is very clear, but we are all required to 'muck in' occasionally and usually do so willingly. But with this colleague it's all take and no give.

The previous person in her role was actually bored and felt she didn't have enough to do. Several of us have tried approaching the Head of Dept but he makes vague noises and then, at meetings etc., comes out with these 'we must all help Sarah' comments while she's sitting there looking serious and put upon. It's very galling.

Increasinglymiddleaged Fri 10-Nov-17 12:11:35

It's time to employ the 'I can do it a week on Thursday' technique ;) Repeat ad infinitum....

Viviennemary Fri 10-Nov-17 12:12:47

If she's hand in glove with the Head of Department you will get nowhere. . I'd look for a new job if nothing looks like changing in future. He's obviously not going to admit her failings as that would be a reflection on his judgement. Is this Sarah at the same level as you are or promoted over you. She does sound a pain.

woollyminded Fri 10-Nov-17 12:13:07

I don't know what to say OP. We are all at some point promoted beyond our capabilities, it's the only way to get on. After a period of time we get the hang of it, get god at it and then look for a promotion and start the whole cycle again. Although, that said I always feel that I'm going to get caught out for the fraud that I am!

I think your problem might not so much be about her capabilities but her attitude to the learning phase and how she interacts with her colleagues. That's a much tougher nut to crack and may be just one that you're going to have to swallow.

woollyminded Fri 10-Nov-17 12:13:57

Get 'god' at it! Freudian slip grin

MargaretTwatyer Fri 10-Nov-17 12:16:11

Are you sure that she is not being expected to do junior work from her old role? Because TBH, it sounds like your nose is out of joint she has been promoted. I'm not sure why she is now expected to 'muck in' and do things which aren't part of her job but other people who don't want to muck in and do the same thing aren't happy to either although they are presumably more junior? Are you sure you're not just struggling with the idea that she now has the power to delegate?

I don't think it is your place to decide whether or not she is under or overworked based on gossip with a previous employee or whether or not she has been overpromoted based on a limited overview of what she's doing seeing as you are not her line manager.

From what you've said, I think the impression that the HoD will be getting is that you are trying to undermine both his and Sarah's positions.

user1485342611 Fri 10-Nov-17 12:23:25

Margaret she is now at the same level as me but doing far more junior work. She is refusing to do work that is clearly part of her job and making herself disliked across the organisation, including by people who are senior to her and who witness their staff being put upon and who have complained to the HOD but been ignored.
No one is asking her to 'muck in and do things which aren't part of her job'. They are asking her to do the job and stop dumping it on other people.

user1485342611 Fri 10-Nov-17 12:24:05

They are asking her to do the job she's meant to be doing, I should have said.

ShotsFired Fri 10-Nov-17 12:24:18

I had a similar situation once - turned out HoD was shagging the useless one envy <<not envy

Iris65 Fri 10-Nov-17 12:25:37

Because TBH, it sounds like your nose is out of joint she has been promoted.

I don't see any evidence of this at all in the OP's post. The promotion is relevant because the colleague is now in a position to delegate and appears to be delegating far more work than would be justified if she were actually doing her job.

I say this as someone who was once promoted beyond my capability but ended up not doing it rather than delegating (which was partly why I shouldn't have had that post - I couldn't manage others!)

SloeSloeQuickQuickGin Fri 10-Nov-17 12:26:21

If senior people are complaining and being ignored, exatly what sway do you think you have?

Questioning her capabilities also calls the judgement of your manager who promoted her - think wisely before you step into this malestrom. Because if shes that close to him, he will cover her back and you'll find yourself out the door.

woollyminded Fri 10-Nov-17 12:27:18

I think SloeSloe speaks the truth

SoEverybodyDance Fri 10-Nov-17 12:29:47

If he's promoted her, then he'll probably feel his backside is also on the line and he'll do what he can to make it work, even if it puts other people out rather than admit he made a mistake.

Good luck

VladmirsPoutine Fri 10-Nov-17 12:32:55

I worked with someone like this as well. Turned out she was shagging the Head of Dept.

pinkingshears Fri 10-Nov-17 12:42:50

Is that you, Amber? no?*Andrea*? no? Priti?
(sorry, OP)

woollyminded Fri 10-Nov-17 12:47:54

grin Now THAT has gotta be a toxic working environment! Jeeeeeez.

LadyinCement Fri 10-Nov-17 12:48:32

I have witnessed this on many occasions. Sadly the shagging reason is usually true!

Also it is really galling that some people get away with the "It's not my job" thing or "I'm useless at that" and get promoted out of the situation. Another person who tries this gets disciplined or fired.

HeebieJeebies456 Fri 10-Nov-17 12:50:31

The only thing that works in these kind of situations is hitting management where it hurts - time, money and an audit trail.

Firstly - make it very clear that your priority is the work you get paid to do - you can't 'help' her when you still have work/deadlines outstanding.
If that means you have to work that bit slower in order to have a 'fallback' excuse/reason then so be it.
If you get 'forced' into helping her, make sure somebody else/dept experiences the knock-on effect of you not meeting deadlines/completing something properly as a result of this.

Keep a written record of the tasks you 'help' her with - including the amount of time it takes you to do it.
Then send her/her manager an email at the end of the week/month totalling the amount of time it took to do her job with the request for payment for that time/JOB.
Even better if all your other colleagues do the same.

Keeping an audit trail like this shows the pattern over time, of how much of her job is done by others and the time it takes.
That will get noticed....especially if you complain to HR/higher management and have this evidence to back you up.

She can shag her boss all she likes - when the shit hits the fan he will always cover his own ass first....

BenLui Fri 10-Nov-17 12:54:24

Would it not be more productive to just train her up so that she could do the work?

Yes, it’s a PITA but it would help her, help the put upon staff and make you look good. Wins all round.

WeAllHaveWings Fri 10-Nov-17 13:23:37

AWBU to start digging our heels in and refusing to cover her lack of ability?

or you could grow up and ask to discuss it productively and maturely with Sarah and your line managers about where responsibilities lie speak constructively about the issues with workload and priorities for the department, if there is to be a period of adjustment for Sarah while she transitions to her role. How you could help with training/mentoring. Ask for minutes from the meeting, or write them yourself and then have regular updates. Include Sarah wherever possible and get to know her as a person so she feel more comfortable and doesn't have to defend herself.

Or you can dig your heels in and all bitch about her indiscreetly behind her back, make her defensive and have the HoD (who promoted her) have to come in to protect her from bullying, get accused of being a crap boss too, and basically have a shit department to work in. And I assume you are so perfect you aren't spending time on MN during work hours!

user1485342611 Fri 10-Nov-17 13:51:13

Believe me WeAllHaveWings discussing it, offering to train her on the things she finds difficult, outlining where responsibilities lie have all been tried over and over.

We have now Resorted to bitching and considering just digging our heels in.

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