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Co-workers who don't do their job

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
ARGH!!!
So I am a graphic designer for a very large hospital. my job depends on someone else doing theirs. For example, i can't design an annual report if i don't have the text, natch.

Well, this month is (supposed to be) a big month for me. Our annual report is being written and i will have the text on wednesday. it is a 36-40 page report and it will take me a week or two to complete design on it. it is a top priority. meanwhile, we have another secondary annual report just for the nursing department. That text was due to me on February 27th, so that I could get it done before working on the main one tomorrow.

I STILL HAVEN'T GOTTEN THE TEXT. So I have spent the last week twiddling my thumbs because since I have no idea what the topics are, I can't even schedule photo shoots. I have reminded my co-worker as nicely as I can at least 4 times to get me the text. He is ALWAYS late on everything to the point that co-workers have to repeatedly just do his job for him. Except that no one else can do this.

To top it all off, my boss commended him yesterday for working so hard all last week. "I know Steve was working hard with his door shut all last week!" WHAT A CROCK OF CRAP! Several times he shut his door to make it look like he was working, but he wasn't even THERE! Other times I went in his office and he was on the internet or talking to his wife on the phone (which would be fine if he didn't owe me 24 pages worth of text)!!!!!!!!!!

I have always prided myself on not being a "tattle tale" co-worker who throws people under the bus. I have worked with people like that and they're horrible. But this has gotten totally out of hand and it's clear my boss is clueless!

post #2 of 27
Yeah, I have been there....

Just make sure your behind is covered. If you have asked him for copy repeatedly - keep a log or keep the emails so that if this comes back on you, you have proof that he didn't deliver on time and that YOU are NOT to blame.

I hate doing that, but you have to protect yourself from people like these.

As an aside - I am a freelance writer. This kind of story makes my blood boil. That guy doesn't even understand how great he has it to have a full time job writing. Maybe I can send you my resume! LOL!!! JK!!!!!
post #3 of 27
I think you're right.

I think at this point you don't have any option but to inform your boss that you don't yet have the text, and cannot begin to work on the project.

You don't have to state your suspicion that your coworker wasn't actually working on the project or anything else, but look at it this way: if you can't do your job until your coworker does his, you aren't doing your job either.

And the longer your boss does uninformed of the situation, the more likely you are to get blamed for the report not getting done.

You've given your coworker an extra ten days. You're not throwing your coworker under the bus, you're just refusing to lie down next to them.
post #4 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AddieBee View Post
Just make sure your behind is covered. If you have asked him for copy repeatedly - keep a log or keep the emails so that if this comes back on you, you have proof that he didn't deliver on time and that YOU are NOT to blame.
Mostly I have asked him in person but am now sending emails to cover my hiney. I can't bring myself to tell my boss because it just doesn't feel right.
He definitely doesn't know how lucky he is. He has a great job with a lot of variety, but he just seems depressed or something. I've never met anyone with less motivation than this guy. There have been several times where he was in charge of something and someone else quietly took over because he wasn't doing it. He's basically getting a paycheck for doing nothing, IMO. But he could really make the job fun and rewarding if he tried.
post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 
I just went to his office and said, "Could you just print what you've already written? It doesn't even need to be edited or refined, I just need something to schedule these photo shoots and get started on the design."

He started stuttering. He hasn't even STARTED! OH MY GOD!!!

(Sorry I am acting like a drama queen but I am really going crazy here)

post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by anjhest View Post
I just went to his office and said, "Could you just print what you've already written? It doesn't even need to be edited or refined, I just need something to schedule these photo shoots and get started on the design."

He started stuttering. He hasn't even STARTED! OH MY GOD!!!

(Sorry I am acting like a drama queen but I am really going crazy here)

Ok, you're not going to like this, but you really should sit down with your boss. You've asked him, time and time again, and he hasn't given you anything. If you don't want to seem like the whistle-blower, express this to your boss. But you cannot get your work done without him doing his.

What will happen if you have to put off the nurse's annual report to do the hospital one? Will YOU get thrown under the bus for it?

I deal with this often, as a writer, but usually it's the client that throws the wrench in the deadline-works. Then they say things in meetings with upper management like, "Oh it was perfect! I just wish I had gotten it earlier!" Well, lady, you would have if you hadn't missed OUR deadline by a week!

Phew!
post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 
I think what I'm going to do is talk to my boss and approach it from the standpoint of, "We need to adjust my production schedule" and offer some suggestions.

That way I can let her know that I haven't gotten the copy without actually saying, "Steve didn't give me the copy, nor has he started." I can just say that since I don't have it yet, we need to review the schedule to figure out how to make all these things work out.
post #8 of 27
Quite honestly, I would MENTION that you haven't gotten a copy yet.

You aren't saying he hasn't done it.


IT ISN'T TATTLING.

It's getting the job done. If your coworker gets in trouble IT IS THEIR FAULT.
post #9 of 27
Think of it this way...your boss has a RIGHT to know that you haven't gotten the material yet and haven't been able to work on the report. You and your coworker may be doing the actual report, but if he's in charge of the office or dept if it's late it's going to be a bad reflection on him and his butt may be in a sling with HIS boss. I'm actually surprised he isn't more up on the progress but most of my bosses have micromanaged everything.
post #10 of 27
I really think at least point you need to let your boss know. If this guy is sloughing off his work on everyone, I'll guaranteu that you are not the only one feeling this way. One thing I like to do is copy the managers on e-mails
post #11 of 27
I am not a tattle-tail persone either, but in this case I think it's important you talk to your boss. If you don't , it most likely will be blamed on you.
post #12 of 27
How does this guy still have his job? People are being laid off left and right because of a down economy, and deadweight like him get to stick around... sounds like he must know someone important. I think your idea of tactfully telling your boss you need to adjust your production schedule, and casually mentioning that you don't have the required material yet, is a good one. It will come back to bite you if you blatantly tell on him, but if you're tactful about it, you'll get what you need and still cover your own butt. Good luck
post #13 of 27
Speaking as someone who's recently been the boss in a similar situation, please tell your boss.

We had a similar case here where one staff member was assigned a project that was to be handed over to another for phase two. Whenever I asked, I got progress reports from the first person and assurances that it was on time...almost a month after the handover should have happenned (and to my knowledge, did happen), I learned from person 2 that person 1 had not even started.

Nobody won in this case and something which could have been an incredibly positive project turned out being a nightmare.
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by emrldsky View Post
Ok, you're not going to like this, but you really should sit down with your boss. You've asked him, time and time again, and he hasn't given you anything. If you don't want to seem like the whistle-blower, express this to your boss. But you cannot get your work done without him doing his.

What will happen if you have to put off the nurse's annual report to do the hospital one? Will YOU get thrown under the bus for it?

I deal with this often, as a writer, but usually it's the client that throws the wrench in the deadline-works. Then they say things in meetings with upper management like, "Oh it was perfect! I just wish I had gotten it earlier!" Well, lady, you would have if you hadn't missed OUR deadline by a week!

Phew!
Oh, maaa-an! Do I EVER know that scenario. The vendor often gets tossed under the bus by the lazy or inept client liaison or rep! As the project manager/writer on an assignment once, I had the designer design the project/ do a layout filled with holes and gaps where the client hadn't provided information to me to write up, etc. I thought seeing the project sooooo incomplete would jolt them into action.... nope. No amount of begging or pleading helped. This assignment dragged for months until the very top brass in the company started demanding to know where the item was. Well... then we had to finish it YESTERDAY!!!!
post #15 of 27
Any resolution yet?
post #16 of 27
Thread Starter 
No, because I'm too much of a wuss to do anything. I'm trying to work up the courage to tell my boss.
post #17 of 27
Tell your boss! Send him an email, if you think it's easier!
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by katiemae1277 View Post
I really think at least point you need to let your boss know. If this guy is sloughing off his work on everyone, I'll guaranteu that you are not the only one feeling this way. One thing I like to do is copy the managers on e-mails
if you don't want your co-worker to know, you can always do a blind carbon copy [bcc instead of cc on the email].
otoh, if he knows you're copying every email to the boss, it might light a fire under him!
post #19 of 27
Look at it this way anj - if your boss finds out that your co-worker hasn't
started his part of the project and finds out that YOU knew about the
situation, you'll probably get in as much trouble as your co-worker.

My advise FWIW- Go into the boss's office when he's not busy, tell him
you're still waiting for the copy from your co-worker and that you are
concerned that you won't have enough time to complete your task if you
don't get it ASAP. Let your boss be the bad guy.

It's not just a CYA move, you're protecting the jobs of everyone in your
department, saving costs, etc. Think about how much more it costs to
rush a printing job because you're up against a deadline, vs. giving the
printer the 2-3 week time they usually need. Then think about the money
spent on that print job the next time you're told there's no money in the
budget for raises.

Supervisors are paid to SUPERVISE, however it's next to impossible to do so
if the lines of communication are cut. What you have then is a boss who is
constantly on your butt, micro-managing EVERYTHING, and making your life
miserable. Been there, done that, got the ulcer to prove it!

My GF was dealing with a lazy co-worker a few months ago who, according to her,
"sits on his fat butt all day, surfing the net and eating mircowave popcorn."
I gave her the same advise, and when she finally (FINALLY!! ) went
to her management about it, they had the IT dept track his computer usage.

Three days later, they turned off his internet and told him to get some work
done or they'd fire his popcorn-munching butt. Problem solved and my GF is
now getting home on time again. Meanwhile, Mr.Popcorn is PO'ed at company
management for 'spying' on him and doesn't suspect my GF of anything.
post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by anjhest View Post
No, because I'm too much of a wuss to do anything. I'm trying to work up the courage to tell my boss.
Honestly - Mobius' suggestion is a good one. Make it about the team, the dept, the cost, not about him or you. This lazy writer dude is likely snowing the boss... obviously he's snowing the boss. Probably goes in there and tells him all the time how hard he's working -- the boss buys it b/c the BOSS is out of touch. Man does that EVER ring a bell, as well. But you need to protect yourself. So get off your hiney and do it! Write out what you're going to say and practice it outloud at home if you have to.
post #21 of 27
I'm pretty much watching two people in our lab do nothing, or next to nothing, daily. One of them was almost laid off back in November, and I have no idea WHY they didn't (oh yeah, because she told them a few years ago she would sue them for racial discrimination if they ever fired her).

It's so aggravating watching people around you do nothing, when they are lucky enough to have a job instead of sitting around hoping for one. Luckily I dont have to work directly with either of them, but they are in the same lab room as I am (they do all metals, I do solely mercury, and usually do more than they do - there's 4 of them!) I just feel bad when the other 1st shift guy is over there trying to do everything at once when the other two women sit there and watch and mess on the computer.

Some people are so irritating! I would find a way to let your boss/supervisor know for sure. Unfortunately in my case, the boss AND our team leader already knows, but that one reason keeps him from firing her I guess.
post #22 of 27
There is always a way to legally terminate an employee who isn't doing
their job - even one who threatens to sue for discrimination.

All it takes is proper documentation of each and every late arrival, long
lunch, violation of company policy, etc, along with evidence that every
issue has been address with the employee each time.

It may take a few months, but once there is enough evidence to show a
pattern of bad behavior and that the employee refuses to modify their
behaviour even after repeated warnings, most of the time the case wont
make it past the preliminary hearing. If the employee actually carries
through with their threat that is - many are a lot of hot air who can't even
afford the attorney fees to go through with a discrimination suit.
post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Möbius View Post
There is always a way to legally terminate an employee who isn't doing
their job - even one who threatens to sue for discrimination.

All it takes is proper documentation of each and every late arrival, long
lunch, violation of company policy, etc, along with evidence that every
issue has been address with the employee each time.

It may take a few months, but once there is enough evidence to show a
pattern of bad behavior and that the employee refuses to modify their
behaviour even after repeated warnings, most of the time the case wont
make it past the preliminary hearing. If the employee actually carries
through with their threat that is - many are a lot of hot air who can't even
afford the attorney fees to go through with a discrimination suit.
I agree completely. Start cracking down on the free-loaders. Write up and document everything and put a copy in their employee file. Have IT check how much time they are spending on non-work related surfing, etc. It is not impossible to get rid of bad employees but it will take effort on the part of management. If someone told me they would sue me if I fired them, I would be looking for every thing they did wrong to document just to get rid of them. I would not want anyone with that attitude working (or loafing) for me.
post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
I agree completely. Start cracking down on the free-loaders. Write up and document everything and put a copy in their employee file. Have IT check how much time they are spending on non-work related surfing, etc. It is not impossible to get rid of bad employees but it will take effort on the part of management. If someone told me they would sue me if I fired them, I would be looking for every thing they did wrong to document just to get rid of them. I would not want anyone with that attitude working (or loafing) for me.
I agree with this wholeheartedly. However... you have to have upper management with some backbone. I worked in a situation where we had a crazy/lazy woman who threatened to sue for racial discrimination if she was fired. Now mind you, I DO NOT CARE WHAT COLOR, RACE, CREED, RELIGION you are!!!! Truly.

My immediate boss at that time was told "document everything" which he did meticulously... including this woman's threats of physical violence against him!! (Stunning b/c he was just the nicest guy and one of the best bosses I ever had.) He went to his superiors with this detailed info and know what? They still refused to get rid of her. And my department eventually was decimated by layoffs and the only person still standing after the dust settled? Crazy lady. Go figure.
post #25 of 27
Thread Starter 
To follow up on my co-worker:

He ended up giving me the copy at the end of the day. We have a production meeting today. When it is my turn to let everyone know what I have going on, I will mention that I got the Nursing Annual Report copy at EOB Tuesday and the Community Benefit Report Copy at EOB Wednesday and that I am going to focus on the CBR because it's a priority. That will immediately raise red flags and I'm sure my boss will ask, "Why didn't you get the copy until Tuesday?" and I'll let Steve answer that question. I'll bet my next paycheck that he will stutter!

This will actually feel LESS like I am throwing him under the bus because I won't be walking in my boss's office to specifically address the issue. Everyone knows that I'm working on these to things, so it'll be perfectly natural for me to bring them up and let people know when I got the copy. I do that every week. In fact, for the last two weeks, I have been publicly asking Steve for the Nursing AR copy. So it's not news.

My boss is actually teh worst micro-manager I've ever worked for. BUT, she also avoids conflict so that when someone is NOT doing what they're supposed to, she makes excuses for them. "Well, Steve has a LOT on his plate," or something equally pathetic.
post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by anjhest View Post
To follow up on my co-worker:

He ended up giving me the copy at the end of the day. We have a production meeting today. When it is my turn to let everyone know what I have going on, I will mention that I got the Nursing Annual Report copy at EOB Tuesday and the Community Benefit Report Copy at EOB Wednesday and that I am going to focus on the CBR because it's a priority. That will immediately raise red flags and I'm sure my boss will ask, "Why didn't you get the copy until Tuesday?" and I'll let Steve answer that question. I'll bet my next paycheck that he will stutter!

This will actually feel LESS like I am throwing him under the bus because I won't be walking in my boss's office to specifically address the issue. Everyone knows that I'm working on these to things, so it'll be perfectly natural for me to bring them up and let people know when I got the copy. I do that every week. In fact, for the last two weeks, I have been publicly asking Steve for the Nursing AR copy. So it's not news.

My boss is actually teh worst micro-manager I've ever worked for. BUT, she also avoids conflict so that when someone is NOT doing what they're supposed to, she makes excuses for them. "Well, Steve has a LOT on his plate," or something equally pathetic.
I hate to break it to you, but IMO, outing him in front of all the staff is more like throwing him under the bus than approaching your boss in private to discuss.

But that's just my opinion.
post #27 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by emrldsky View Post
I hate to break it to you, but IMO, outing him in front of all the staff is more like throwing him under the bus than approaching your boss in private to discuss.

But that's just my opinion.
I know what you're saying. But in our production meeting, we have a "round robin" where each staff member gives a status on all of their ongoing projects, including whether or not they have what they need. For the last two weeks, I have said, "I am waiting on copy for the nursing annual report" during the round robin section. so this time i'll just state that i got the copy on tuesday. it's really a natural follow-up.
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