AIBU to be p***ed off about work colleague
anna231a · 22/06/2017 22:42
I work in a team of 6 within a larger organisation. All of us should have more or less the same duties over the week. One of my colleagues consistently doesn't pull his weight within the team - when tasks are divvied up he always gets the less demanding jobs and even when we are all doing the same task he doesn't do it properly so that his mistakes end up being given to someone else in the team to put right. He spends a lot of his time going to other departments chatting to staff there. Many of my clients comment on how they always see him walking round the building or chatting in other people's offices and my clients who have had to have dealings with him have described him as a "waster"; "someone who hasn't got a clue" and "what the f* is his job?"
He is on a higher pay grade to other members of the team and he should carry extra responsibility for that but doesn't. A more senior member of staff confided to me that when she started she was told not to give him any higher level jobs because he wouldn't be able to do them properly, which means that when tasks or clients requiring a high level of responsibility need completing they are given to other members of the team, meaning we end up carrying more of the responsibility.
I've been annoyed about him for a long time but now I am starting to feel very resentful. I challenged my manager about him today - she has told me in the past about how incompetent he is and how she has to "protect" him in the organisation. I asked her why he was allowed to get away with basically doing sod all when the rest of us are up to our eyeballs in work, but she was full of excuses - "he's always very flexible" and " I'm trying to find jobs for him to do but there's not much to do at the moment." So why can't he be doing some of the stuff that the rest of us are doing? I know one of my colleagues in particular is doing a very pressurised and stressful task at the moment and another is doing something long and detailed which is making her feel stressed.
My manager said "he's been busy doing xyz this morning (a very undemanding job) so I replied "No, A did that, he was there but he spent the time chatting to everyone who went past" - cleaners, kitchen staff ......everyone else in the building basically so A did the work. Fortunately I had a to go and see a client at that point otherwise I think I would have got into a big argument with her.
So, AIBU and what can I do about it? What rankles even more is that he is the only male member of the team and is on a higher pay grade even though he is doing less. So, would I also BU to challenge my salary on grounds of pay equality?
UsedtobeFeckless · 22/06/2017 23:27
I've got one too! Everyone who doesn't work with her thinks she's lovely because she's always got time for a chat, so nothing ever gets done about her because whoever does give her the boot will be regarded as a total horror by the rest of the staff, so they always chicken out and just give her a warning, which she ignores. I've given up expecting anything to ever change, frankly ... She'll still be in post when the cockroaches have taken over
Nettletheelf · 22/06/2017 23:36
Start planning to leave. Seriously. Your manager isn't going to do anything about his performance. She's told you so.
The number one irritation noted on staff surveys is lazy incompetent colleagues not being challenged and getting away with murder. Eventually you will snap and tell him, truthfully, that he's an idle fuckwit, at which point he'll run crying to your manager whinging that you're 'bullying' him. Never underestimate the venom of an incompetent fool when somebody calls them out. They'll do anything to get revenge on whoever exposes them.
Are you in the public sector? So was I once (thank god, no more) and it was rife with lazy useless bastards and ineffective managers who didn't want to challenge poor performers because it meant having a difficult conversation. The civil service even had to introduce a 'wave' system in which each team had to have one person 'requiring improvement' in order to force managers to manage performance properly. It didn't work. They chose the people who spoke out about colleagues' poor performance for the 'requires improvement' category, on the grounds that they 'did not display model behaviours'. One very senior colleague walked out when this happened to him.
The only thing you could try is, jointly with your colleagues, approaching your manager's manager. Do it with caution, though, and try to find out who is protecting him first. It may just be your manager, but it may be somebody far more senior.
I'd go for the 'tell the manager's manager' approach, because I'm a bit reckless and I'd think, well, I've nothing to lose if the only alternative to putting up with it is leaving anyway!
LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett · 22/06/2017 23:46
I totally get how annoying, frustrating and damaging this is. But you can't get into an argument with your boss about someone else's performance. All you can do is call it out - in writing if you can - every time it directly impacts your work. And encourage everyone else to do the same.
So if redoing his work means you work late, send a note to your boss with along the lines of 'here is X report. I wanted to feedback that sections A and B were below the expected standard when Lazyarse submitted them, it has taken the team 3 extra hours to address the issues.'
Or - if you're brave enough - submit the work without catching his errors. Obviously that depends on the field you work in.
Basically you need to make him your boss's headache rather than yours.
Tazerface · 22/06/2017 23:51
Why the fuck isn't he on some sort of capability plan if he's so shit? For real - management and clients all say he can't do his job yet he's on more money and literally gets away with turning in substandard work?
I agree, he's either shagging someone, someone's idiot relative, has dirt on someone - or, your management are just as hopelessly incompetent at actual management.
Of course he's the only bloke. Have you got an HR rep you can speak to over the head of your manager? Make sure you have clear examples.
CotswoldStrife · 22/06/2017 23:58
It is a difficult situation to resolve, and it's likely that the staff will feel aggrieved either way. But it does need tackling. The resentment is obviously building.
Is it possible to get him to fix his own mistakes for a start? Can you decline to sort them out and refer everything back to him?
Does your department have any kind of 'workflow' system that records who does what? Do you have any kind of regular departmental meetings? If you are a large organisation (which I suspect you might be with the pay banding) you probably have some kind of hoops to go through annual review for promotion or grade movement, and I would be tempted to start laying the groundwork for a bid to be regraded by noting your projects (especially the higher level ones) and mentioning them in departmental meetings. Start laying the trail that you are working at a higher grade, IYSWIM.
I don't think you'd win on an equality basis, as it is likely that the roles have been evaluated and graded on the knowledge and skill required. So it's back to showing that you are performing at this level.
It may well be easier to look around for a new opportunity though as it doesn't sound as if they are keen to tackle the issue.
anna231a · 23/06/2017 01:07
I don't understand why he hasn't been taken down the competency route either. He does seem to have a lovely time swanning around chatting, laughing, eating other people's biscuits. I'd leave him to get on with it but I am getting more and more resentful that he is paid more than the rest of the team but we do more, do more complicated stuff than him and have to cover his work and correct his mistakes.
We recently had to be observed working with clients and my manager told me she had to observe him twice because the first time he was so awful that she couldn't let her manager know how bad he was. She's sat with him for several hours trying to get him to correct his own mistakes but he carries on in his half-arsed unprofessional way. I suspect she thinks it's easier for the rest of us to try and put things right and to give him something uncomplicated and easy so at least she's given him a task and it looks like he's doing some sort of work.
UsedtobeFeckless - other people in the building do think he's a fun guy and the life and soul of the party, but they're not doing his work for him like myself and my colleagues. He does seem to think work is an extension of his social life. He paces around the building with a clipboard under his arm - anyone seeing him from a distance would imagine he was on an important mission. Well, yes, I suppose he is - to get a slice of cake from site services or HR or Finance or where ever.
Nettletheelf - I am actively doing something about leaving and I guess that pisses me off even more because I do generally love my job and I am going to leave to go to god knows where because of how I feel. Out of our team of 6 one person is leaving next week, and two of us are actively filling out job applications. We have an informal "job club" where we are all helping each with cvs, personal statements etc.
Cotswoldstrife - it's only recently come to light that all members of the team are correcting his mistakes, each one of us thought that we were the only one and we kept quiet so as not to cause him embarrassment. Then we discovered that we were all being given bits of his work to put right and that he was making so many mistakes. Heck, he can't even file things alphabetically or in the right file - a small complaint I know but it can take a couple of hours to put right.
I have had several "reasonable" conversations with my manager before about his performance and her answer has been " You need to keep on doing your job in the way you do it so he can "model" your behavour". Well, he's in his 40s, has worked there for 10 years so if he hasn't noticed my role model behavour by now then I must be being too subtle.
I suspect he uses a "false" incompetancy to get out of doing any hardwork. He's not especially good looking although he does like to think he is.
Now I am starting to BU by ranting on so much.
PerspicaciaTick · 23/06/2017 01:59
Why is your manager protecting him?
Why can't your manager give negative feedback on his performance to her boss?
Why would a company watch a capable team disintegrate and lose several good people rather than take action against him?
Is your organisation generally disfunctional?
LellyMcKelly · 23/06/2017 02:49
It sounds like you are all, in one way or another, covering for him. Perhaps you have to let him fail. Don't do his work, don't cover for him, don't enable him to be crap at his job and get away with it. The manager knows he's bad at his job - make it his/her problem when the complaints start rolling in. When there's a problem or someone makes a complaint ALWAYS give the manager's phone number or email if someone wants to complain.
Finola1step · 23/06/2017 11:53
Tread carefully. Your conversations with your manager could easily be twisted by Lazy Fucker as you bullying him. Even though you are absolutely right to be completely hacked off. Keep any future conversations to your workload only. So make it clear that you will not be correcting his mistakes in future as this is on top of your own workload. Unless you are paid overtime to do so. Now if all team members went down this route, something might eventually happen.
lalalalyra · 23/06/2017 12:55
Is your manager any good at managing people when they aren't working their arses off or is it just him?
I became a SAHM after realising that my last manager was just shit at dealing with anyone who wasn't working their arses off. We were a team of 12. Cutbacks seen us down to a team of 6 and 2 of them were an absolute waste of a seat. Lazy, avoiding the most difficult children (who needed the input the most), dodged reports etc. The day I realised my manager was absolutely incapable of dealing with anything negative (someone else made a genuine, but serious mistake and she glossed over it) was the day I realised it was never going to change and I handed in my notice.
In your shoes I'd look for another job. If the manager isn't going to pull him up he's never going to decide to knuckle down off his own back.
BossyBitch · 23/06/2017 13:01
I have one of those, too. Does my head in - he does the basics of his actual job but refuses to pull his weight in any other regard. The team he used to manage is now being looked after by me because apparently he can't concentrate on his operational work if he's also got management duties.
We tried to get him transferred - that's how we found out that his BIL is friends with one of the board members.
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