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How do I complain about colleague without sounding Bitchy?

(7 Posts)
SpikyGrass Sat 02-Jul-16 12:06:03

Please can you help me word this properly without sounding like I'm having a bitch.

I work closely with one colleague who has a similar role to me. However, she is in a senior position to me, so the buck stops with her. She is responsible for the budget, and the responsibility for any decisions that we make ultimately fall on her shoulders. She is paid considerably more than me.

However, she is incredibly lazy. She is increasingly taking the piss by coming into work late, taking 2 hours lunch breaks, leaving early or taking whole days off as days in lieu. She has confessed to me that she doesn't have any more days owing, but she still takes them off because nobody challenges her. I never know when she's going to be in or not.

Our work is being impacted by her persistent absences and lack of commitment. I'd say on average she works 3.5 days a week (supposed to work 5), yet she constantly complains about not being able to do stuff because she's snowed under.

The trouble is, I'm conscientious and a bit of a control freak. So I've taken to organizing things, taking control of the budget, and badgering her to meet deadlines etc. It's incredibly stressful and really not my responsibility to 'manage' her in this way but I can't just sit there and watch things fail. Colleague knows that I will take care of things and is happy to let me do so.

Our line manager is lovely, but I think she just wants to avoid conflict. I'm not sure if she's aware of my colleague's absences, as colleague tends to be clever about when she takes them and does it when no one else is around. LM isn't really familiar with our workload, so she doesn't know just how many projects are being neglected and how often my colleague misses deadlines etc - I'm the only one who really knows the detail of all of this.

A number of other colleagues have complained about her to LM, I think because she has been so difficult to get hold of so no one ever knows where she is. But I have never raised it myself with LM.

I'm about to have an appraisal with my LM so I think it's now or never - but I just don't know how to raise my concerns without it sounding like a whiny bitch fest. How can I put it in a professional and non-vindictive way???

RaeSkywalker Sat 02-Jul-16 12:11:35

I hunk I'd say that I was finding the amount of absence that x has challenging, as it was meaning that I was managing the budget etc. I'd probably frame it as

'I know that x has been taking her days in lieu, but it's putting a lot of pressure on me- is it part of your plans for me to have me take this on permanently, and do the same role as x? If so, what are the timelines? If not, I would like some support to manage my additional work load.'

To be honest, I think that most people in your position would just stop doing her work for her, so you've done well to put up with it this long!

RaeSkywalker Sat 02-Jul-16 12:12:12

^'think', not 'hunk' 🙄

SpikyGrass Sat 02-Jul-16 12:19:29

Thank you Rae

My LM definitely doesn't have any plans for me to take on my colleague's work - she's unaware that this has been happening.

I have scaled back on the amount of 'covering up' I've been doing for my colleague - but it's hard when we're both working on something, and she doesn't pull her weight - I either step up myself, or watch it fail. I can't watch it fail. I've tried and it just pains me.

She also fobs all the dull work off onto me and cherry picks the most interesting bits for herself. That is something that I think we can deal with through our LM, so we could have a meeting to divvy up projects and document it, so it's clear who does what.

We have a budget for projects, and last year I worried about managing it etc, until I realised that it really wasn't my responsibility. But the outcome was that we hugely underspent (because colleague didnt get her arse in gear and mis managed the budget) so we've now lost that portion of the budget. So by stepping back and letting her fail, we both lose out.

alicemalice Sun 10-Jul-16 11:53:30

I think you have to speak up to your manager.

I've been dealing with this situation too and when it goes tits up, I still get part of the blame - so feel it's better to flag concerns early.

Lorelei76 Sun 10-Jul-16 12:02:14

I think you do need to learn to sit back and watch things fail tbh, otherwise you are managing that and you are not paid to do that?

re the days off, I had a similar thing when a colleague had a 3 week holiday and our managers forgot to log she just kept taking the days off. In the end I went to our manager and said plainly "it isn't fair that she has more time off than I do - there's nothing in the contract about longer service meaning more days".

the manager was then prompted to look into it and it stopped.

newtscamander Sun 10-Jul-16 12:04:30

What you wrote in the OP is perfect. Id be inclined to write that out as a letter or email, and send it to line manager and her superiors myself.

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