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How not to cooperate at work politely
223

PushedOutPissedOff · 07/12/2021 16:10

So I'm leaving a role where the direction of it as outlined in my JD never materialised, for a job which I think will be a better fit in that regard. All good.

However, the parts of my job which never got going have been absorbed into a colleague's new role and she has started with great gusto with meetings, projects etc all of which by rights should have sat with me but I was never allowed to develop.

AIBU for not really wanting to cooperate with her? She needs me as she is a project person not a systems person and really has no idea how it works and needs my input for a coherent plan.

I only have a few weeks left in this role and I really really really don't want to spend it training her up to do things I should be doing. I feel personally that it is professionally embarrassing to be her 'junior' on this but there is an expectation that I help her.

I am rubbish at work politics but I need some strategies/ideas to get out of it until I leave the job in Jan. I admit I would be pleased if she was unable to do it without my assistance.

AIBU? And how?

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Am I being unreasonable?

AIBU

You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

thedefinitionofmadness · 07/12/2021 17:58

I think if you are not going to be there to see the project through, it's not appropriate to be at the meeting. The resource of your knowledge is not available to the project as a whole so that skills gap needs to be filled.

I have to say I think I would quite possibly be off sick that day.

Why were you not allowed to lead it?

I'd be quite assertive and say hi - great you are getting this going - I need to handover X and Y to you/Or you will need some input on this and that - get it to the right project stage and I will offer X support. Think of yourself as a consultant.

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Vodkaandgingerale · 07/12/2021 18:00

@kittykarate

The sad thing is that you are not 'hurting' the organization that has let you down, but probably causing more grief to the new colleague.

Exactly...this person has done nothing to you. What happened to Be Kind?
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thedefinitionofmadness · 07/12/2021 18:01

Actually seeing some of the replies about being the fall guy if it fails - yeah I 'd keep well out - on the basis that your skillset isn't in the ongoing team and that needs addressing structurally whether through bringing in someone else or some proper formal training for colleague.

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PushedOutPissedOff · 07/12/2021 18:02

@thedefinitionofmadness

What derailed your role OP?

A change in management - my new manager didn't think these tasks were a priority and directed my time towards other things of a more BAU nature shall we say. It was made clear when I raised it this wasn't going to change hence me looking elsewhere.

My colleague's manager is of a different opinion. But she was obviously going to give this work to her team to direct rather than someone else's.
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limitedperiodonly · 07/12/2021 18:03

@Shedmistress

'Oh gosh this was never part of my role, I have no idea how to do that'.

Another vote for @Shedmistress but only if pushed. I was in exactly the same position a few years ago. I've never been so busy tying up loose ends with clients and vague and unavailable with a colleague.

It wasn't the new person's fault but on the other hand she knew what had happened and was shameless about asking me to show her how to do the bits of my job that I hadn't been allowed to do. If the company wanted her to do well it was their responsibility to train her and her responsibility to make sure they did.

In a way I was helping her by demonstrating that if she didn't want to get shafted she should be more assertive with them than I'd been.
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GreenFingersWouldBeHandy · 07/12/2021 18:10

It's not her fault you've been shafted. If you're that pissed off, raise it as an official complaint, don't take it out on this poor girl.

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TractorAndHeadphones · 07/12/2021 18:12

@SusieBob

"But there’s a world of difference between training your replacement (part of your job) and having to advise someone on something you’ve never done before (not your job)."

Well, it's not really clear if the help required is something the OP knows about, is it.. That's the implication though, and if it is it would be extremely unwise to "get out of it".

If it is something the OP isn't trained/skilled in, then it's an easy out, but then I suspect there would be no need for the question in the first place.

In my world (a similar profession to the OP) there are plenty of things which are not the responsibility of the 'most skilled' person.

For example - I have expertise in a particular database that my team uses. Plenty of other teams have come to me for help etc. Which I'm happy to give. ​But on several occasions I was surprised to find that I was listed as the subject matter expert, and had teams get upset at me prioritising my own work instead of dropping everything to help them.

If everyone knows that OP is the one with the knowledge - it doesn't really matter whose name is on it. They'll assume that she spearheaded the technical part and any design flaws etc discovered later will be blamed on her.

Which is why she has to be strategic. I get that the OP implies that she wants it as petty revenge, which may be one of OP's feelings. But in terms of the practical implications 'helping' isn't always a good idea.

Of course as pp have discussed there's also a choice between going overboard, or not getting involved at all, and it's up to the OP to find the balance. Going to a major meeting and getting known as a contributor probably not a good idea. Answering questions in private, probably ok.
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TractorAndHeadphones · 07/12/2021 18:16

@PushedOutPissedOff
OMG I've been on both sides of this.
Sorry for the caps but there are often so many competing projects. Team A's manager CBA to do something for several reasons (budget, resources, doesn't fit their personal or their MD's goals etc etc). Project gets given to Team B, but everyone knows that Team A has the subject matter experts.

You need to be really clear in setting your boundaries so that nothing from the project is attached to you.

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Haffdonga · 07/12/2021 18:19

Then just be polite but frank and say something like
I won't be able to support on this project. As it's an area I was planning to take on myself it would be difficult for me to be involved again now. I'm sure it would be easier and clearer for you to come at it from your own fresh perspective without my input and the risk of treading on your toes. I wish you well with it and I'm sure you'll be extremely successful.

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bowlingalleyblues · 07/12/2021 18:19

I’d signpost colleague to books and training courses, and handover what I’d already done. That will help her without being a doormat.

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WorraLiberty · 07/12/2021 18:25

This does sound rather mean spirited of you OP.

I'm of the opinion you should treat people as you would hope to be treated.

It's not this woman's fault that things didn't work out how you wanted them to.

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Qqqqqqqq · 07/12/2021 18:26

Don't start early, leave on time, go away from your desk at lunch.
Whenever she approaches you excuse yourself to go to the toilet or kitchen.
Pretend you have to take an important call.
Pretend you urgently have to get on with your day job.

Don't help her.
They want to give her credit for your knowledge.
Nepotism.

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senua · 07/12/2021 18:26

She needs me as she is a project person not a systems person and really has no idea how it works and needs my input for a coherent plan.
Surely you can't be the only person in the organisation who understands the systems?Shock Tell her, "I can't help you but I know a (wo)man who can." She doesn't need your help, just somebody's. Deflect, deflect, deflect.

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OneFootintheRave · 07/12/2021 18:29

@Gasp0deTheW0nderD0g

I feel I'm getting a clear sense on this thread from those who've been treated like the OP and those who've been fortunate enough never to go through that.

This. Completely.
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PushedOutPissedOff · 07/12/2021 18:32

@senua

She needs me as she is a project person not a systems person and really has no idea how it works and needs my input for a coherent plan.
Surely you can't be the only person in the organisation who understands the systems?Shock Tell her, "I can't help you but I know a (wo)man who can." She doesn't need your help, just somebody's. Deflect, deflect, deflect.

I'm the only superuser in the org. There is no one else. Other people know parts of it but not the whole.

Obviously there are lots of other people out there as knowledgeable and competent as I am but none of them currently work for the company.
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Gasp0deTheW0nderD0g · 07/12/2021 18:33

It's not the colleague's fault that things have turned out the way they have, but it is the organisation's. Surely there must be someone else who can help colleague? Ludicrous to rely on a person working out a notice period to throw herself into helping a colleague start a new project, especially in these circumstances.

We're all seeing this through the prism of our own experiences. Mine was being turned down for a internal job for which I was very well qualified. Person appointed, also internal, wasn't. (I still regret not raising a grievance there, but it was a long time ago.) Appointee was then placed in the excruciatingly embarrassing position of being told to contact me so I could explain to her how to do the job she'd been appointed to do. I was polite and helpful, but then all it required of me was an hour of my time. It wasn't the other woman's fault and she was very frank with me about being amazed she'd got the job and I hadn't.

From the sound of it, OP has been asked to find time in the last few weeks of this job while she is busy winding other things up, writing handover notes etc etc, to plaster a smile on her face and give a lot of time to colleague who has been given an opportunity OP was promised and then denied. You'd have to be a saint not to feel miffed about this.

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CaveWoman1 · 07/12/2021 18:35

Do you work for the local authority by any chance? They pull this shit all the time. We had a Snr Manager start in our team, & he didn’t have a fucking clue how to do the job, so the poor woman who also went for the role was asked to spend the next few weeks training him up. Taking the puss to a whole new level.

Public sector in general are good at this type of shitty one-upmanship. I would also be bitter in your position. Don’t train her up.

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VladmirsPoutine · 07/12/2021 18:36

@Haffdonga

Then just be polite but frank and say something like
I won't be able to support on this project. As it's an area I was planning to take on myself it would be difficult for me to be involved again now. I'm sure it would be easier and clearer for you to come at it from your own fresh perspective without my input and the risk of treading on your toes. I wish you well with it and I'm sure you'll be extremely successful.

Really?
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DuckbilledSplatterPuff · 07/12/2021 18:39

It is a predicament, but I think it would be unfair to fob the colleague off so that she doesn't even realise she's been left in the lurch until its too late, when those instructing her told her to contact you about it. . If you are not going to help, tell her straight so she can find help elsewhere from someone who is continuing at the company.
At the end of the day you will be free of this as you have a new job but she will still be stuck there.

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JingleJangler · 07/12/2021 18:41

You never know when somebody from your previous jobs will pop their head up in the future. There is no point being awkward with such little time left in the job.

Help out where you can but do not put in any more than the bare minimum effort.

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OldSpeclkledHen · 07/12/2021 18:42

Do you need to ... ahem ... self isolate for 10 days? 🤔

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westofnormal · 07/12/2021 18:45

Nasty and petty. You can't lol. It would be funny if you got fired before you left for your ridiculous plan / behaviour.

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westofnormal · 07/12/2021 18:47

@Gasp0deTheW0nderD0g

You can be treated badly and not take it out on others. :)
She is refusing to do her job. But she hasn't left yet. There are a few reasonable solutions.

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inferiorCatSlave · 07/12/2021 18:48

I'm the only superuser in the org. There is no one else. Other people know parts of it but not the whole.

Obviously there are lots of other people out there as knowledgeable and competent as I am but none of them currently work for the company.

Well I'd still direct her to the other people with partial knowledge - and any helpful resources but honestly if they haven't got the expertise it's probably better it's realised earlier rather than later.

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TractorAndHeadphones · 07/12/2021 18:49

God help her if you’re the only superuser
Is this a database by any chance

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