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Old 05-10-2007, 08:33 PM   #11
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Deal with all the small things you can; if something big comes along that will really hinder getting your normal duties done, come right out and say so. Something Like "This isn't a problem but I'll need to offload such-n-such until I'm done, Got anyone in mind/suggestions? or is it ok to put in OT?" Bosses usually scoff when it comes to OT <grin>

As for the small stuff, I don't sweat those. Like you I get handed alot of odd 'not my job' items but I do them anyway and If I can't I get the right people on it. In your sink example I would have gotten the building super on it without bothering the Boss and only reported back when it was done. (unless you have one of those micro-manager bosses that whats to know every little step you do in which case I'd email them that I couldn't fix it and got the super on it). About the only thing I refuse to do is make coffee since I'm allergic to even the smell of it.
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Old 05-11-2007, 01:59 AM   #12
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Some thoughts coming from someone who worked 70 hours this past week

1) I'm going to guess (and hope) that you work for a small company. Otherwise, there is a VERY BIG problem. Liabilities and grievances are abounding if you work for a big company

2) Some sort of management system is in order. Go to your boss and tell him/her that you are going to sit down and work on a system to manage and disposition these tasks (i.e. as others mentioned, a paper trail system). Now you and I both know that a simple e-mail paper trail is sufficient. But stay with me, ok? When your boss expresses that this would be a waste of effort, express that any task that'* not worth managing (i.e. because someone else should be doing it) is not worth doing. Turn around and mention that it would then be better for you to focus on your core responsibilities from this point forward.

3) Where I work, I am very much in demand. If someone asks me to do something, and if I am working on something else that is higher priority, I tell them that they will have to petition my management if they want my assistance. Management are the ones that decide what tasks you work on, and you shouldn't be working on other tasks without their approval.
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Old 05-11-2007, 08:21 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by agrazela
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.
This is actually really sound advice. I've done this for years.

Start it off really "Guys, I really need you to start writting down these tasks that need done so I can set a priority on all of the rquests and make sure nothing gets forgotten about" In other words, make it sound like you are trying to do your job better.

If the people making the request balk at filling out a form, don't make a big deal out of it, you whip out the "To-Do" list on your own and write up the request yourself (Date, time, task, person who asked you to do it..."just the facts mam") You are just exercising the "I'm a good little cog in the system" philosophy.

Once you have a paper trail of tasks, keep a written record of what you do on a daily basis. Then slow the whole system down and work at a comfortable pace. Don't refuse to do a task, just do what you can do and some of the tasks just aren't going to get done

Now, when you get confronted about why such and such didn't get fixed, you can whip out the logbook and very frankly say what you were doing and ask your supervisor where he/she thinks time was wasted.

One of two things will happen... your boss will fire you (knee jerk reaction from uneducated employer) or will consider hiring some more people power to lighten your load/reassign some of those tasks to others.

Last thought....if you are living on a shoestring, dedicate some time to finding a new employer. Don't pull the plug on the current one or even change your demeanor on your current job, just covertly look around for new opportunities. When you have someplace else to go, you can waltz into your bosses digs and make your pitch "Gee, I really like it here, but I'm not making enough to keep up with bills, so I'm afraid that unless you have something more to offer, this is good-bye..." You can usually get away with this play for a raise once. The second or third time your bluff will get called, so you never make this play until you have another employer waiting in the wings.
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Old 05-11-2007, 08:48 AM   #14
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I like the paper trail idea. Even the e-mail. And it fits my idea even better.

"Could you...??"
I'm on this right now, but send me an e-mail to remind me and I'll get right on it

When the task is complete. Reply to the e-mail. Then you have a double-log of requests (no one ever remembers to empty the sent items folder), and completions

Then, as stated earlier, do them at your, safe, non-likely-to-go-postal pace. if stuff doesn't get done, you have a log of what you were doing.

If it'* the actual tasks that bother you, and not the number of them, you might just have to take your chances with the "Should I do that, or my real job?" line.....
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Old 05-11-2007, 10:29 AM   #15
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i can sympathize. unfortunately my job description DID include those infamous words "and other duties as assigned". this wasn't a big deal for a long while till we got one new supervisor who decided to put it to the test. here'* what worked for me.

when she'd come at me with a "could you do such and such" which in no way related to my current job, i'd always make a point of replying " sure, just give me a couple of minutes to finish this up, making sure i'd mention something that was job related. i found about half the time she'd say "oh, don't worry about it then" and go get the right person for the job or i'd still do it but had my butt covered for later on my regular work if there was a problem.

funnily enough, a couple of us did the same while everyone else raised hell, and at the end of the day, she'd bend over backwards to do whatever for those of us that worked things this way, whereas the "thats not my job" crowd got ridden even harder!

yeah it sucks sometimes having to play the game, but unfortunately in todays working world, thats what you have to do to survive my friend!

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