Saying no to extra work

(7 Posts)
chloworm Thu 08-Nov-18 12:59:51

I could really do with some advice please! I work with 1 other person (my line manager) and we have clearly-defined areas of work. I work 2.5 days a week and am usually rushed off my feet (same old story, f/t workload in p/t hours). Today I received an email from him asking me to take on one of his cases. This case has been languishing around since August and he received a chasing email about it. He clearly hasn't even looked at it since August. Now he wants me to take on the case (and presumably take the flack for his lack of attention to it). The case is clearly not my area of work (we are meant to be strict at sticking to our well-defined areas) and I have enough to do as it is. This isn't the first time he's asked me to deal with his mistakes. I've done so in the past but am getting quite fed up of it. My question is, how can I say no to taking this case on without appearing inflexible/unwilling? Thanks all.

OP’s posts: |
Isleepinahedgefund Thu 08-Nov-18 13:05:40

Say sorry but you don’t have the time, and give a little run down of what you have on. If he insists, remind him of the strict divisions between your responsibilities. If he insists again, tell him you don’t have the time, and give a little run down of what you have on. Etc etc.

Carbivorous Thu 08-Nov-18 13:07:32

I wouldn’t give him a run down of what you have on because then you’re giving him ammo to pick holes in it. It’s none of his business what you have on. Never apologise, never explain! A brief email saying that unfortunately you don’t have capacity right now should be enough. CC in a manager perhaps?

Carbivorous Thu 08-Nov-18 13:09:19

Just realised he is your line manager, hmm! In which case perhaps follow above advice... I thought he was a colleague!

DailyMailDontStealMyThread Thu 08-Nov-18 13:11:09

I’d email back so it’s in written accepting the extra work, list what you have on and the deadlines and ask him to let you know which tasks he would like you not to do in place of his task.

RedSkyLastNight Thu 08-Nov-18 13:12:23

Dear Manager
As you know, that piece of work falls within your area. I could pick it up for you, however this will mean that x,y and z won't get done / will get delayed. Please can you confirm that this piece of work takes priority and that you will communicate with the relevant parties to inform them of the impacts on x,y and z?

(I know you said you didn't want to take it full stop, but the reality is there may be good business reasons why it takes priority over other existing work)

chloworm Thu 08-Nov-18 13:15:26

Thanks for the suggestions! It's so hard working with just 1 other person. I really prefer working in a big team - the atmosphere is so much nicer. I do have a reputation for being 'too nice' at work, so maybe I need to step up and assert myself. And Carbivorous, I think I would get support from a senior manager if needs be.

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