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Thread: What to do when other people shift their work on you [was: Other people's work]

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Plus dandy_warhol's avatar
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    What to do when other people shift their work on you [was: Other people's work]

    what do you do when other people, sometimes in other departments, try to pawn their work on to you?

    we have a situation at the moment that could get out of hand and damage the relationship between two departments and i don't want that to happen. we need to nip it in the bud.

    some of it is systemic, i realize, and there have been minor indications as to how to remedy the situation, but the people involved (not me at the moment) are getting miffed.
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    What exactly is the problem?

  3. #3
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    za inquiry

    yes, need more info - is it a lot of hours - is it outside the realm of planning duties? - is it eating up your budget when not assigned to your budget? are they being nice about their requests or just assuming? are they more understaffed and overwhelmed or just lazy?

    there's a hairy line between being a team player in inter-office coordination/work and being taken advantage of

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Plus dandy_warhol's avatar
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    our Grants Administrator is taking advantage of our Senior Engineer, because the Senior Engineer is nice and one of the few competent people in the Engineering Dept.

    the Grants Administrator is trying to close out a grant and in doing so has pretty much delegated the work to the Senior Engineer, even though she has no authority to do so. the Grants Administrator is telling the Senior Engineer who to call, what to ask, what to say, etc. the Senior Engineer is saying, "if she knows who to call and the questions to ask then why isn't she doing it?" the Grants Administrator has a better relationship with a lot of these people as well.

    the stupid part is this all has to do with a little bronze plaque that needs to be placed somewhere in the project limits.

    the Senior Engineer has been a team player and a welcome addtion to the Engineering Department. she collaborates well with Planning and a good relationship now exists between the two depts.
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    who does the grants admin report to?

  6. #6
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Tell the Senior Engineer to grow a pair and say "No, it's your job".

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    In a cooperative workplace, everyone ought to help get a project out...but not at the expense of office morale and good-will.
    Sounds like the GA is assigning work that is either not within the comfort zone of the SE, or she needs to develop an excessive workload of her own (rather than complaining about the GA).

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Plus dandy_warhol's avatar
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    the GA reports to the Planning Director. our Planning Director resigned and his last day was Monday. so technically the GA now reports to our Asst. PD.

    the SE has been very cooperative and helped in a lot of areas that typically don't fall within the purview of the engineering department (e.g. ordering vinyl stickers for bike bollards).

    i think part of the problem is when we write grants no one ever pays attention to how they will be administered. our GA is more of a grants writer and then gets stuck administering grants for a variety of departments on projects she really has no clue about, other than what was written. so the GA is stick of administering grants she has no clue about and is passing the work on to whoever is slightly competent.

    the SE has an excessive workload (don't we all?) and that's part of the reason why she's annoyed that the GA is telling her what to do and how to do it when that could be considered more of a GA task.

    (overworked + understaffed) * poor (no?) management = burn out
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Plus
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    The SE sounds like she has the personality type of the "griping martyr":

    - Always the "good guy" who's there to "save the day"--then complains that he's "overworked and underpaid" and "ready to collapse with exhaustion."

    - Enthusiastically volunteers to head community activity after activity--then gripes when other people don't follow suit.

    - Does all of the yard work, house maintenance, housework, laundry, child raising, pet care, etc.--then complains about the "lazy spouse."

    - When his/her child has finally calmed down a bit and become school-age, it's time have another child. Or a few puppies, ("because you can't have just one").


    I'm not insulting this personality type; I'm explaining it. The good news is that they actually thrive on being somewhat overworked, and as long as they have sympathetic people to complain to, they seldom burn out. I wouldn't worry so much about the SE.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by dandy_warhol View post
    ...i think part of the problem is when we write grants no one ever pays attention to how they will be administered...
    Now I understand. I have been in this position. What I eventually did is asked for the usual 10% administrative funds and used those to pay the consulting engineer to do the administration. If that was not an option I would tell the department up front that they would be responsible for all administration. Of course, this is a long-term solution and does not help the problem at hand.

    The senior engineer and grants administrator need to sit down and discuss the administration work that needs to occur. Both will likely have some role. If it is something related to work the engineer oversees, then perhaps they should be doing it. If it is for a project they are not at all involved in, then the grants administrator needs to do it or find someone more appropriate.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  11. #11
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    Like Cardinal, I had a similar situation. In addition to other issues, the grants person had no concept for "local match." The only way I could handle it was to leave. The grandiose thinking grant writer left a bit later.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian azmodela's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by dandy_warhol View post

    (overworked + understaffed) * poor (no?) management = burn out
    We must work for the same place, I think the quoted statement appears somewhere in our mission statement!

  13. #13
    Cyburbian lycosidae's avatar
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    You can talk about them behind their back, that always makes me feel better...

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