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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.

Treesandsheepeverywhere · 09/12/2021 00:37

She isn't to blame, being nice doesn't cost anything and how would you feel if you were being treated this way. Be the bigger person OP and not let such a situation block your blessings.

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tallduckandhandsome · 09/12/2021 02:38

🤮

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YourenutsmiLord · 09/12/2021 06:14

being nice doesn't cost anything

Being nice can erode your self esteem, result in you being the underdog, the blame receiver, the belittled one.

Being 'nice' doesn't stop you being bullied.

Being nice, in my now much older view, is not the best way for many people.

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tallduckandhandsome · 09/12/2021 07:17

Agreed @YourenutsmiLord

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wigglerose · 09/12/2021 08:55

I'd do one big handover meeting (with others invited to knowledge share have witnesses) and make it clear I'm here to signpost and host trouble-shooting slots until I leave but sadly can't do the work because sadly I'm leaving and knowledge retention is important for the business etc etc.

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HarrietsweetHarriet · 09/12/2021 08:57

Be kind. You've got a new job secured that you're delighted about.
Be the better, professional, person you really are.
I don't know whether you're in a niche industry but the business world can be a small place where word gets around. Hold your head up high and leave in the knowledge you have treated this other person in the way you would like to be treated.
On a cynical level, you may end up with a nicer leaving gift if you are friendly and professional during your last few weeks!
Good luck in your new role OP.

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rookiemere · 09/12/2021 09:00

Actually I think the be kind and nice messages are reinforcing this not being OPs responsibility. So don't be kind or nice, but do the job you're actually being paid for which includes documenting your knowledge for a handover.

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MammaMacgill87 · 09/12/2021 09:05

I'd imagine what's happened here is that management have seen potential in ops ideas and plans but realised that to implement them using OP is going to be more costly and because they were her ideas would grant her more power within the companies than management would like. So they've hired someone new and enthusiastic to imply said ideas all while paying them less and as these ideas are withing the job role they were actually hired for a salary has been agreed on that basis, which I guarantee is less than is actually warranted. I can understand op not wanting train up her replacement with her own ideas that she wasn't allowed to implement. To be honest I'd be very tempted to say exactly that to the new staff and to management. 'im expected to not only train my replacement but also enable them to implement ideas that were actually mine? I'll be cooperative in the basic training the new staff requires to do my job but I'm afraid anything further is beyond my remit especially as my contract ends shortly'
What are they gonna do sack you? When you already have an end date and the new staff would be stuffed regarding being trained up? Doubt it. While it's an age old management trick I'd be pretty pissed tbh. Good luck

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daimbarsatemydogsbone · 09/12/2021 09:08

@YourenutsmiLord

being nice doesn't cost anything

Being nice can erode your self esteem, result in you being the underdog, the blame receiver, the belittled one.

Being 'nice' doesn't stop you being bullied.

Being nice, in my now much older view, is not the best way for many people.

People who want you to "be nice" seem to be unable to practise what they preach too.
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daimbarsatemydogsbone · 09/12/2021 09:27

@Wotsitsits

Be busy, unavailable, don't volunteer information. I'm team OP too.

I would have said the opposite until I experienced this kind of crap firsthand.

It's not personal against your colleague. You can be perfectly civil and polite and un co operative.

Crack on OP and more power to you. Check out the antiwork movement too

^This - all this crap about being "professional" and "the better person" is just that - I do those things in my personal life, not work. Work is work, not real life - it took a redundancy in my 30s to make me realise this and I believe I'm the better for it.
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CharityDingle · 09/12/2021 10:11

@YourenutsmiLord

being nice doesn't cost anything

Being nice can erode your self esteem, result in you being the underdog, the blame receiver, the belittled one.

Being 'nice' doesn't stop you being bullied.

Being nice, in my now much older view, is not the best way for many people.

Agreed.

And in a similar vein 'whatever happened to be kind' makes my eyes roll. It's the most overused and trite expression, at this stage.
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wigglerose · 09/12/2021 12:46

Being professional doesn't mean being a pushover. Quite the opposite in fact.

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billy1966 · 09/12/2021 13:07

@MammaMacgill87

I'd imagine what's happened here is that management have seen potential in ops ideas and plans but realised that to implement them using OP is going to be more costly and because they were her ideas would grant her more power within the companies than management would like. So they've hired someone new and enthusiastic to imply said ideas all while paying them less and as these ideas are withing the job role they were actually hired for a salary has been agreed on that basis, which I guarantee is less than is actually warranted. I can understand op not wanting train up her replacement with her own ideas that she wasn't allowed to implement. To be honest I'd be very tempted to say exactly that to the new staff and to management. 'im expected to not only train my replacement but also enable them to implement ideas that were actually mine? I'll be cooperative in the basic training the new staff requires to do my job but I'm afraid anything further is beyond my remit especially as my contract ends shortly'
What are they gonna do sack you? When you already have an end date and the new staff would be stuffed regarding being trained up? Doubt it. While it's an age old management trick I'd be pretty pissed tbh. Good luck

I think this is an interesting post and is something that I have come across.

I think the OP has every right to choose not to facilitate an employer who has treated her poorly.

She can absolutely stick to the tasks that she was restricted to during her tenure.

That they want her NOW that she is leaving to act as a trainer of this new person is not her responsibility.

She has had to look for another job, which must have been annoying for her, because her employer has been so poor.

I think she is under no obligation to put herself out.

Training people is exhausting, she can direct the new person to remaining staff.
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wigglerose · 09/12/2021 13:14

The person isn't new. She's an existing colleague from another team that has been given the tasks with managerial support that OP was blocked from doing.

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hivemindneeded · 09/12/2021 13:18

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

Then surely the logical thing to do would be to prioritise training up your own successor and encouraging them to take the lead on the projects she sets up, as you won't be around to troubleshoot, advise or assist.

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inferiorCatSlave · 09/12/2021 13:40

@wigglerose

Being professional doesn't mean being a pushover. Quite the opposite in fact.

I agree.

I do think though the OP should protect her reputation and preface most of her interactions with - obviously I'm leaving on X date but here a list of resources/other people/answer to question - or as you know I'm leaving on X date so you'll need someone with y skill set - these people have some of the skills here's a list of resources or I can answer speciifc questions ( and CC in both managers/eveyone on project stating your leaving on x date and list of other resources and question answer)

(If you've wrriten an exit document copy from that - or have a draft e-mail that can be quickly tweaked to limited headspace you give for any requests as persuably you have your own work load)

I think making it clear you leaving and not the person who will be providing technical support long term is professional. It should flag up any potentail skill gap they need to address but OP looks helpful without being drawn into doing the work.
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Ostagazuzulum · 09/12/2021 13:54

Similar situation ish. However I'm in a position where I left to another role in organisation (not through choice of me or my bosses, organisational need) however new role hold easily be filled by many. Our hr department responsible for moves don't personalise it, just treat us as a number). But my issue is bosses too busy looking. After themselves and squabbling amongst themselves rather than actually let me handover stuff to them. I warned the, once I'd left I wouldn't have time to do it as I need to learn my new role. They accepted that. However the poor woman who took my job had no experience and has borderline harassed me, to point of asking my old team for my personal number. My new boss is very controlling and doesn't want me to do anything other than learn my current role. I can't help out who took over from me because if I start, she'll lean on me so much that I'll end up doing two jobs. I'm not prepared to get into that, plus my old bosses should have listened more to ensure they could help her out. You run risk of helping, her leaning on you, you doing work for no credit. I wouldn't do it. You weren't good enough in their eyes to do it before so why help now. She's able otherwise she wouldn't be put In That position.

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steadyedina · 09/12/2021 14:01

I have been in this position from the other side, where the person with the knowledge made very difficult it for me to understand what I was taking over. I did cope, it took longer, and I'm sure it didn't make him feel any better, but I understood that he just didn't have the motivation to help.
At other times I know people got bonuses to help or contractors rates (much higher) to come back for a while to complete or handover difficult systems - if you are so unique could you try negotiating a deal?

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wigglerose · 09/12/2021 14:13

One thing has struck me is that the organisation sound like they are in denial that OP is leaving. One of my colleagues had that issue once. After she handed in her notice he kept trying to get her involved in new projects. She had to keep reminding him that she wouldn't be there to work on a project that kicks off after her last day.

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PushedOutPissedOff · 09/12/2021 14:14

@hivemindneeded

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

Then surely the logical thing to do would be to prioritise training up your own successor and encouraging them to take the lead on the projects she sets up, as you won't be around to troubleshoot, advise or assist.

They haven't started recruiting yet. I'm not seeing a handover period in my future let's put it that way!

Obviously I will collate all the documentation and they will have access to all my files. But other than that not much I can do.

Some interesting perspectives though and I'm rethinking not attending the kick off meeting, but I will speak to my colleague beforehand and explain that I won't be taking on any actions but I'm happy to attend in an advisory capacity.

Seems like a reasonable compromise. I do like my colleague, I think she's very good at her job and on a personal level we get on well. But my job is very different to hers and it galls me that's she's been given this stuff.

Anyway - I have a new job and none of this will matter in a month's time Smile
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TractorAndHeadphones · 09/12/2021 15:10

@hivemindneeded

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

Then surely the logical thing to do would be to prioritise training up your own successor and encouraging them to take the lead on the projects she sets up, as you won't be around to troubleshoot, advise or assist.

It’s impossible to train the person given their very different skill sets. It’s like asking an accountant to train a salesperson. I see that the OP has chosen a very reasonable route.

Be wary OP as pp have mentioned companies have form for calling people up etc even once they’ve left. Unless you don’t mind being a contractor and charging accordingly ;)
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TractorAndHeadphones · 09/12/2021 15:14

@YourenutsmiLord spot on.
And women especially are advised against this in career workshops. Of course it’s all couched in more diplomatic language but the essence is - don’t be ‘nice’. Be fair, be empathetic but not ‘nice’.
Because leaders are paid to make hard decisions, and to protect their team. Which means sometimes being not nice.

Feel like starting a thread on all the irritating phrases I’ve heard
‘Be the bigger person’
‘Be kind’
Etc
I’m not scared of conflict, or confrontation. People respect me all the more now. Than when I was a yes woman

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sillysmiles · 09/12/2021 16:26

I do like my colleague, I think she's very good at her job and on a personal level we get on well. But my job is very different to hers and it galls me that's she's been given this stuff

It seems like the managerial change in your dept is the reason for you not getting to work on this. What are you going to get out of not giving your colleague some assistance.
I recognise it may not be the same - but my field is a small network and I think if it were me, I'd have to be seen to be helpful. Because any hint of being malicious or actively obstructive would not help in future roles.

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