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Old 05-10-2007, 11:42 AM   #1
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How would you handle being asked to do work outside of your job description?

I've been at my current job for just over 5 years and I like it here for the most part. Its the people that suck and act like whiney bitches when they need something.

Over the years, I find that I am being asked to perform job duties that are not within my job description and its pissing me off.

My responsibilities here are tremendous, and I cover allot of bases here for the company.

I support a staff of over 150 employees locally, and 4 satellite offices with various requests, maintain the copier/fax machines to keep them from going down and call service if they do go down, deal with all vendor relations for the company, process incoming and outgoing mail (tons of it), Inventory, order, and stock two out of three kitchen areas, and maintain all of the companies letterhead stock, including business cards for new/current employees. That'* pretty much what I was hired to do.

For a while now, ive been asked to change out light bulbs, fix leaking fridges, install/remove keyboard trays for employees, hang personal pictures, fix sliding whiteboards in our conf. rooms, and act like a personal go for for the CEO when he decides to restock his wine fridge in the corner office. It seems that the list keeps growing.

We have a building engineer on site to deal with building matters, and just this morning, I get an email from my boss asking me to check a leak in front of the sink in the kitchen. I sighed in disbelief that im even being asked to do this and reluctantly I go to check it out. Upon my inspection of the leak, I find that its either the water filtration system under the sink, or the small water heater for the hot water. I cant even tell since water is everywhere under the sink. I email my boss back telling her of my find, and she then tells me that she will call the building engineer, like she should have to begin with.

Its really bugging me and I fear that before I know it, I will be replacing light ballasts, swapping out AC units, and changing our air filters in our dropped ceilings

WTF??? I like working for the company, but I cant take on anymore work, and im getting sick and tired of being asked to do things that I wasn't hired to do!! How would you handle this?
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Old 05-10-2007, 11:57 AM   #2
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Simply put..

Your job description includes one last sentence "and all other duties as assigned"

Stop whining like a bitch. :P
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Old 05-10-2007, 01:05 PM   #3
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Here'* what you do:

Every time someone asks you to do something outside your scope, ask them (in writing) for a written "job order." Nothing formal necessarily, just something you can keep a paper trail on...email is great for this. This alone will cut out 80% to 90% of these extracirricular activities, because most people are too damned lazy to follow through on a reasonable request like that, and a select few will understand that you are actually forcing them to take responsibility for their request. No written response, no extra work, period.

By keeping this paper trail, you CYA when someone complains to your boss that the copiers aren't getting fixed or the letterhead ran out, or when you fall off a ladder or electrocute yourself while changing a ballast.

Note that this method has a 100% success rate when your boss asks you do something unethical or illegal.
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Old 05-10-2007, 01:07 PM   #4
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This sounds frustrating. If this is bothering you as much as it seems to be, my approach would be to first sit down with your immediate supervisor and in a polite way express your concerns. I have discovered in the past that when people who are hired for positions such as you describe, the "task list" assigned to them continues to grow. Keep in mind that management may not have considered, or may not be aware that this is becoming overwhelming for you. Most situations like this can be resolved with a little communication. Also, keep in mind that how you are perceived is often based on your delivery. It'* often not what you say, but how you say it
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Old 05-10-2007, 01:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillBoost37
Simply put..

Your job description includes one last sentence "and all other duties as assigned"

Stop whining like a B****. :P
That seems to be your answer to most of my legitimate problems when I come to you looking for advice.

When im broke and cant afford my bills and sell my life away to make ends meet, you say "Stop Bitchin"

When im having problems at work and come to the club for advice, you say "Stop Bitchin"

When Im doing the best that I can, and I'm giving it all that I've got and my life still sucks the way it does, im sure you will say "Stop bitchin".

Not everyone can take things in stride such as yourself Bill.........Simply telling me to "Stop Bitchin" doesnt help my problem now does it?

While everyone has their own issues/problems, no one can know what im going through unless they have stepped into my shoes.

I cant even afford to buy a new belt, or a new pair of shoes for work, or new clothes for that matter because everything ive got, everything I make, goes into paying my bills and supporting my child. This past paycheck left me with $65 to stretch over two weeks........but maybe I should take your advice this one time and stop Bitchin........


Seeya........

Thanks everyone else who had given me "real" advice.
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Old 05-10-2007, 02:02 PM   #6
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chill Tony.

from what I can tell, Bill meant/means it as a joke. i would have said the same thing, but now i can see how worked up you are about it, so im not even gonna give advice.

my title is graphic designer, wanna know what else i do?

Customer service
Phone support
Computer/network repair
Delivery
Maintenance
Construction
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Old 05-10-2007, 02:12 PM   #7
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Work it to your advantage, the more they give you the more you need.
Start with tools, then supplies, get all the gadgets and never use them.
Make a big deal out of every job, drink lots of coffee and scratch yourself, groan lots and shake your head while talking to yourself. Ask for a helper to cover sick days and vacations, get t-shirts that read "I'd like to help you but I cant fix stupid", quit and sell amway :P
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Old 05-10-2007, 02:59 PM   #8
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Here'* my take, after 25 years in the IT industry (although I'm sure it applies almost universally to all employees of a company somebody else owns, regardless of the field):

You will get loaded with all the responsibility you can handle, over time you will be overloaded and learn to compensate, return to normalcy, and then become overloaded again. It'* just the way it is. Take for example a situation I've been in many times: A critical project comes up, deadlines are tight, and cannot be missed. So you bust your ***, working whatever is required to meet the deadline.

And this is the crux of the problem. From that point forward you have demonstrated that you are capable (and willing) of getting things done quickly, even if they include responsibilites over and way above what you consider your job to be.

Congratulations! You've just reset people'* expectations. Now the next project comes along, and it'* worse than the last one, but since you got the last one done OK, everyone figures you will do this one as well. If you are lucky, your timeframes havn't been halved again.

The bad news: This pattern will never stop. Companies will never stop trying to squeeze every drop of productivity (and then some) out of you. Every time you demonstrate you can do more, you WILL be asked to do even more. Irritating as it is, when you think about it, it makes sense. Why would you hire someone who shows no interest/ability in growth?

The good news: Just as with strength training, all this work will build your inherent capactiy to perform even more work. You actually become capable of getting more done than you ever thought possible. Your skillset has grown. All this makes you more valuable.

Now the question: Are you being compensated for your added value? Are you willing to ask to be compensated if not?

If you are willing to ask, then have your ducks in a row, cite specific projects/assignments/dates/times/situations/etc where you went over and above what is required of your position. SELL YOURSELF. Nobody ever got a raise or promotion that didn't ask for one (well, that' not entirely true, but for the most part it is).

If the company is unresponsive to your request to be compensated, be gracious, and begin hunting for another job where you can use your new found abilities to fetch a higher starting salary. Don't let on that you are looking elsewhere, at least until you have a solid offer from another company. At that point, you go meet with your supervisors again, and let them know you've found another position whose pay is more commensurate with your skills/abilities.

Now one of 2 things will happen:

1) They will offer you more money, or negotiate with you for whatever it is you are looking for,
<or>
2) They will say: 'Ok, See ya!'

In the case of (1), you then must ask yourself a very important question - why did they not take care of me until I forced them to?

It'* a complex question, and you must make the decision as to wether or not you want to accept their offer and continue working there. Only you can know all the pros/cons of your company and the position you hold there.

In the case of (2), well, you're off to a new start, but that too, has drawbacks and advantages. And in time, the same cycle will repeat that got you here in the first place.

Your other choice is to not ask for a raise/promotion, and continue to languish in unhappiness. You will produce less, your attitude will plummet, and soon you'll be downsized, layed off, etc. You also become a MUCH LESS DESIRABLE new hire candidate.

I guess what I'm saying is it'* all up to you to take charge of the situation and manage your career. There are risks/benefits to every decision - and perhaps more importantly - every indecision (Actually there is no benefit to indecision. Every bad decision is an order of magnitude better than no decision at all).

I leave you with 2 pieces of advice that have always proved true for me, throughout my career:

1) Better the devil you know than the one you don't
2) Damn. I forgot 2. And it was a good one.

Best of luck, now get out there and take control of your life!

Edit: Not trying to be too much of a smartass, but the short version of the above can be summed up with 2 words: Quit Bitching!
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Old 05-10-2007, 04:26 PM   #9
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Tony...as some mentioned..it was a quick quip..and a joke. By the way..I said Stop whining like a B****, not stop bitchin..

It was a joke bud. Sorry you were too stressed to see it. We'll crack a couple beers soon and laugh about it. The same way that after that large BANG in my garage you said.. "Cool... the white curse arrived a few minutes ago".

Another time..you were feeling over your head. We spoke...I mentioned to sit down and give it some thought..that one way or another you'd figure out a plan. Now you have that plan for paying bills etc. Might not be one that you are happy about..but you have one. This is the same. Think things over and form a plan.

Ranting expends energy and brings nothing constructive back to the table.
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Old 05-10-2007, 04:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillBoost37
Tony...as some mentioned..it was a quick quip..and a joke. By the way..I said Stop whining like a B****, not stop bitchin..

It was a joke bud. Sorry you were too stressed to see it. We'll crack a couple beers soon and laugh about it. The same way that after that large BANG in my garage you said.. "Cool... the white curse arrived a few minutes ago".

Another time..you were feeling over your head. We spoke...I mentioned to sit down and give it some thought..that one way or another you'd figure out a plan. Now you have that plan for paying bills etc. Might not be one that you are happy about..but you have one. This is the same. Think things over and form a plan.

Ranting expends energy and brings nothing constructive back to the table.
Jeez Bill, you sure do bitch alot! Now you two shake hands and get back to being the old married couple we all know and love.

Hmmmmm 10 posts in 1 hour. My productivity is through the roof!
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