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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?

OP's posts:
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Am I being unreasonable?

AIBU

You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

Shedmistress · 08/12/2021 10:35

Sorry I thought you said it was doing something that you weren't allowed to do when I initially answered.

If you are the only super user then gather everyone around to one meeting, with the person taking over this project, and give them an hour or two to go through the system, to ask any queries and signpost them to the answers. Hand over your printed guidance/handbook/s and then you've done what you can.

It would be more beneficial to give all the information pertinent to your query in the original post.

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Randommother · 08/12/2021 10:48

@TractorAndHeadphones I disagree, it is similar and it’s this line from the OP that makes it so:

“I admit I would be pleased if she was unable to do it without my assistance.”

She knows her actions will have a negative effect on her colleague, despite it not being her fault. It doesn’t matter whether the project is software development, system design or designing equipment for an oil rig — she’s the SME and refusing to support the project will cause issues for her colleague. Sure they “may” be able to get another SME, but that will take time, and could affect project deadlines. Why not just be the bigger person and do a decent handover before leaving?

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inferiorCatSlave · 08/12/2021 10:54

@Randommother

I can’t believe people are advising you to be obstructive. I was once in your colleague’s position and it nearly broke me. My manager had given me a project to run which I didn’t have the skill set for, or the strength of character to turn down. The experienced person in my team thought the project should have been his, and went out of his way to make me fail. He would withhold valuable information, not attend meetings, not answer my requests for help, he even said to me one day as I was in charge it wasn’t up to him to train me. I used to drive home from that job in tears. My relationship at the time failed, I lost my house, and I nearly lost my sanity. It ended with me leaving the job and the career I’d spend years training for. Don’t underestimate the impact of your actions on other people, yes you are feeling aggrieved and rightly so, but it’s because of a management decision and not the fault of your colleague.

First proper job very young 21 very shy already struggling with very male office with lots of banter and I found an entire department giving word salad answers to basic questions and generally being obstructive.

I flagged it up with team leader - unfortunately he balmed me - found out later he was very much success his and problems his minions.

I learnt to e-mail and flag everything up the management chain - I got moved which did hit my confidence but longer serving and more experiences team member also hit road blocks and did leave - my next project was a huge success I was only technical person and I worked well with other departments - to point I was being asked for.

I was made very unhappy - but it made me realise I need to move employers sooner rather than later which I did and in fact my entrie team in their 20s did as well. The poor managment culture was clear to us.

However I've also seen the other side - where OP is.

Speak to the new managers person and highlight the issues(what needs to be done,you don’t have to say how)this way you’re not obstructive but cooperative and save your face. I’d do it by email and cc as many people from the project as you can.

I'd do this rather than go to the meeting. I'd be very clear you're leaving and that your flagging up resources/training people with partial skills they may want to contact but you're leaving so can't really be involved with technical support/planning to the project - and while you'll answer questions you have your own work to complete.

If there is a skills gap -it does need to be thought about as soon as possible.
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UniversalAunt · 08/12/2021 11:30

When leaving a job, be the better person & make your exit work to your benefit. Show yourself to have been the right stuff & been smart to move on to better opportunities.

For your own self worth & also, because all formal employer references are to a format, it is your informal reputation that spreads under the radar particularly in the contractor recruiting markets.

Build the reputation that you want to be known by.

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StepAwayFromGoogling · 08/12/2021 11:39

@senua - spectacularly missing the point with your snarky 'people pleasing' comment. The OP's replacement has done nothing wrong and the OP is hell bent on sabotaging her. Saying 'don't do that' isn't people pleasing - it's just not being an arsehole.

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TractorAndHeadphones · 08/12/2021 12:00

[quote Randommother]@TractorAndHeadphones I disagree, it is similar and it’s this line from the OP that makes it so:

“I admit I would be pleased if she was unable to do it without my assistance.”

She knows her actions will have a negative effect on her colleague, despite it not being her fault. It doesn’t matter whether the project is software development, system design or designing equipment for an oil rig — she’s the SME and refusing to support the project will cause issues for her colleague. Sure they “may” be able to get another SME, but that will take time, and could affect project deadlines. Why not just be the bigger person and do a decent handover before leaving?[/quote]
I’ve already acknowledged the element of pettines.
However given the size of the skills gap and the fact that OP hasn’t done the job we’re talking about a full on knowldge transfer. Not a handover. This is impossible in 3 weeks. if everyone else knows that the OP is the expert they will blame all problems on her when she leaves
So it’s better to establish ground rules.
While highlighting the skills gap seems petty it is the only long term solution. It doesn’t matter if OP spent all of her waking hours on this project in the next 3 weeks it’s not going to help.
Sharing resources and pointing out what she needs - setting the stage will make her realise that she needs the OP’s skill set (not the OP, the skill set!)

The colleague may have been given a poisoned chalice but again this is not the OP’s problem and she cannot prevent it from happening if colleague is set up to fail.

I’m not saying that OP block all calls and emails but she mustn’t be a full on contributor. I have lots of experience in this kind of thing and once you get involved you never leave. The other benefit is of course coming back as a contractor and charging double ;) but if that’s not what OP wants it’s counterproductive.

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TractorAndHeadphones · 08/12/2021 12:02

Whaf @inferiorCatSlave said.
Clearly someone wth experience
@StepAwayFromGoogling if things continue as they are colleague will fail anyway whether or not OP is helpful. By flagging up the gap she’s actually acting in the long term benefit. Yes she may be petty but there’s also a point.

I don’t agree with people saying don’t cooperate go off sick etc but equally don’t agree with people saying help as much as you can.

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senua · 08/12/2021 12:45

[quote StepAwayFromGoogling]@senua - spectacularly missing the point with your snarky 'people pleasing' comment. The OP's replacement has done nothing wrong and the OP is hell bent on sabotaging her. Saying 'don't do that' isn't people pleasing - it's just not being an arsehole.[/quote]
It's not about the colleague. The soon-to-be-ex colleague. The 'colleague' who is in a different department. It's about the company and OP's manager.

Anyway, the colleague hasn't handled this well, jumping about making a big noise. They should have started by getting OP onside instead of antagonising her.

OP isn't sabotaging; just not helping. As somebody else said, nobody is irreplaceable so the company can find someone else with OP's skillset to help with the project. Not her circus, not her monkeys.

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rookiemere · 08/12/2021 13:25

"Jumping around making a big noise" really @senua ? Even the OP has said that the new colleague is just doing her job and has been trying to engage with OP.

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senua · 08/12/2021 14:08

"great gusto with meetings, projects etc" sounds to me beyond "just doing her job". If the project does succeed how much credit do you think will be given to OP?

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rookiemere · 08/12/2021 14:21

Well based on OPs input at the minute no credit is due if the project succeeds
Anyway if a project goes well all good PMs know to heap praise on the team.

What do you suggest the PM does ? Butter up OP to try and get some information from her ? Not arrange meetings or try to plan the project?

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TractorAndHeadphones · 08/12/2021 15:11

@rookiemere

Well based on OPs input at the minute no credit is due if the project succeeds
Anyway if a project goes well all good PMs know to heap praise on the team.

What do you suggest the PM does ? Butter up OP to try and get some information from her ? Not arrange meetings or try to plan the project?

She should have had an individual meeting with the OP first.
What seems to have happened is that she’s set up meetings with all the stakeholders including the OP under the assumption that OP will contribute.
Resource management is a key part of the PM role and if someone was leaving I wouldn’t include them in al meetings etc without clear boundaries and a succession plan.
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Dixiechickonhols · 08/12/2021 17:32

Personally I’d co operate and hand over info in professional manner. You never know when you will cross paths etc again. It’s not her fault. If you can’t assist as you haven’t done that part of your job advise that. I wouldn’t go out of way or make suggestions but if she says can you show me x process I’d show her.

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CallmeBadJanet · 08/12/2021 17:43

Go in, do what's expected, go home at the end of the day. You're nearly out of there for good. You never know when being uncooperative now will come back and hit you on the arse.

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Mirw · 08/12/2021 18:08

If you continue to take the wages, you continue to do the job as your employer wants you to. If you do not want to co-operate, leave. Simples.

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FootieMama · 08/12/2021 18:15

Off sick is the easy way. Otherwise you need to be really good at apearing to be helping. You never know if you are going to need her help in the future.

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FootieMama · 08/12/2021 18:16

I mean, don't make enemies. She might be your boss one day

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Dibbydoos · 08/12/2021 18:20

Unlike others on here who are clearly wanting to hold you responsible for not progressing things, I've seen great people screwed by culture. So, firstly, congrats on getting out. A culture's that prevented you from doing the job you were employed to do frankly doesn't deserve you.

However, you could right now show them exactly what they're missing, you don't have to do everything, just some really exemplar contributions.

Best of luck!!

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TracyLords · 08/12/2021 18:43

@PushedOutPissedOff. I’m not sure why you think helping her out or contributing your knowledge is “being her junior”. I run.projects and in no way whatsoever would think anyone contributing as an SME to the project is my junior. I’m always grateful for their expertise:

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Tigger1895 · 08/12/2021 19:33

Why did you never query the fact you weren’t asked to do it? Maybe the found you to timid to enforce what needed to be done. The fact you are asking for advice indicates that you question yourself rather than doing something outright

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waitingpatientlyforspring · 08/12/2021 20:11

@Fireatseaparks

Don't be a dickhead OP

This is exactly what I wanted to say.

Just spend your last days and weeks being productive and helpful.
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ladyinka · 08/12/2021 22:24

Perhaps your lack of professional attitude was the reason that the project did not go your way OP? I’d rather have an excellent project manager who can work with right technical experts than a super-user in charge whose attitude to colleagues frankly sucks.

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BourbonScreams · 09/12/2021 00:13

How could you possibly be expected to help someone do something you've never done before? Wink

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BourbonScreams · 09/12/2021 00:14

But I do like what @Dibbydoos says about showing them what you're missing. It's your call really op

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BourbonScreams · 09/12/2021 00:14

What they're missing I mean! Oops

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